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Author Topic: Question about Bachmann Digital Command  (Read 3434 times)
67vette

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« on: September 26, 2007, 07:09:53 PM »

Can anyone tell me if the Bachmann Digital Command #44902 will operate the sound system of my Broadway Limited Blue Line M1 Mountain?
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2007, 07:21:07 PM »

It should operate the sound system, at least the first nine sound effects, but it will not program it.
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Hunt
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MBB


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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2007, 12:54:53 PM »

A BLI locomotive QSI DCC sound decoder equipped…
The Bachmann E-Z Command Control Center will  turn on/off the sounds factory configured on the decoder to Functions 1 through 8 (F1 – F8).

F9 is not supported.

F10 turns on/off headlight.

As Jim stated, the CVs controlling the functions can not be programmed by this Bachmann command station.

Realize the sound system in BLI Blue Line is for use with DC. You must install a mobile DCC decoder to run locomotive using DCC.

It would not surprise me if you had problems with the sound system used in the BLI Blue Line. I have not tested it with the Bachmann E-Z Command Control Center (Bachmann’s command station), but I am aware of issues other more advanced DCC systems are coming to light with the sound system being used in the BLI Blue Line.
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67vette

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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2007, 06:54:22 PM »

Thank you guys for replying. 
I have very little knowledge of DCC but I am just now getting involved.  I have a few Bachmann with DCC but no sound and the Broadway Limited is DCC with sound.
Is there a digital comand system that you would recommend?
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Hunt
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MBB


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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2007, 12:29:30 AM »

A BLI Blue Line locomotive out of the box is DC-Sound equipped and DCC ready. It is not DCC decoder equipped. It is intended to be run using a regular DC model train power pack and their sound controller until you add a DCC decoder.

DCC ready means the motor brushes are isolated from the power pickups and there is some means to accept the installation of a decoder... a socket, solder pads, wires or something else. The easy way to isolate the motor brushes is to isolate the motor.

Your BLI locomotive being DCC ready has in the tender a NMRA 8-pin DCC Socket which is where a DCC decoder is installed so you can run it using a DCC system.

To use DCC you need a DCC system that has several major components which includes but not limited to a Command Station to send signals to an electronic device called a Decoder installed in each locomotive or accessory.



There is no best DCC system.
****
The lengthy remainder of this reply has been removed as some of the links are no longer available.

It is quicker to remove than update links.

Hunt
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« Last Edit: January 24, 2009, 02:37:08 AM by Hunt » Logged
ripvanwnkl


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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2007, 05:53:33 AM »

I would add MRC Prodigy Express, Prodigy Advance Squared, and Advance Wireless to the list for consideration.  My grandson and I started DCC with Bachmann EZ Command which was great for us beginners, both in cost and capabilities!  When we were ready 2 1/2 years later, we upgraded to PA Advance Squared, then Wireless conversion.   So far, very happy with our choices.  Comparison shop around on-line no matter what system you choose.  Some good bargains out there from reputable dealers.     
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Dave
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Hunt
?
MBB


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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2007, 12:49:06 AM »

I would add MRC Prodigy Express, Prodigy Advance Squared, and Advance Wireless to the list for consideration.   
...    
You are not alone in expressing satisfaction with their MRC DCC product.

However, over the years, I have yet to put MRC on any of my consider or compare lists.

MRC makes excellent DC power packs, but MRC just (statements here are deliberately left out) when it comes to DCC. I give MRC credit... they are still trying. MRC seems to change their DCC products about every two months, abandoning the last group and the new one(s) comes with a new set of issues and, at times, some of the old issues remain.

To be fair to MRC, I have not taken the time to test the MRC Prodigy Advanced2 or the wireless version. When tested, perhaps, those will be the ones to  change my opinion about MRC’s  DCC command station.
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djp

Bring back the steam !!!


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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2007, 05:41:26 AM »

Hello Guys, anybody care to comment on the MRC Express DCC? It is a very reasonable price i see online and i am heavily inclined to pick it up. I will not be upgrading further from that and it is for just a single person to operate about 3 trains [Max] at a time. Any feedback will be highly appreciated. I for sure cannot afford the Digitrax. At present i own the EZ command but want something a little more advanced to set the CV's for speed steps and startup voltage.
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Hunt
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MBB


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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2007, 03:06:32 PM »

Hello Guys, anybody care to comment on the MRC Express DCC? It is a very reasonable price i see online and i am heavily inclined to pick it up. I will not be upgrading further from that and it is for just a single person to operate about 3 trains [Max] at a time. Any feedback will be highly appreciated. I for sure cannot afford the Digitrax. At present i own the EZ command but want something a little more advanced to set the CV's for speed steps and startup voltage.
If price is your main deciding factor, then the control system you already have is a good choice.

Make a list of what you want your next DCC system to have and do.

I suggest you compare the MRC Express to the current version of NCE Power Cab system and its related products. Retailers do not always have the current version of a DCC system. Best to do hands-on testing if you can.
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SteamGene

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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2007, 03:50:01 PM »

Hunt,
I have several locomotives fitted with the MRC steam Sheer Brilliance.  When they work, they are superb.  I had some guys blind test them vss the Tsunami and the MRC beat the Tsunami hands down - and this was with the same locomotives - two Spectrum C&0 J2s and two H5s. 
But I've had to return something like three because they didn't work.
Gene
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2007, 04:15:01 PM »

Hello Guys, anybody care to comment on the MRC Express DCC? It is a very reasonable price i see online and i am heavily inclined to pick it up. I will not be upgrading further from that and it is for just a single person to operate about 3 trains [Max] at a time. Any feedback will be highly appreciated. I for sure cannot afford the Digitrax.

The Prodigy Express appears to be a cheaper version of the Prodigy Advance with some of the features left out.  As such, it is surprising that the manufacturer's list price is the same as the Digitrax Zephyr and the street price (Tony's) is only $9 less.  I assume you already have a power pack to run your trains.  As long as it does not exceed 18 volts ac, you can use it initially to power a Zephyr.

You mention running "about 3 trains [Max].  But number of trains is only part of the equation.  The other part is how many locomotives per train.  If you ran even one of those trains double headed, the current draw could well exceed the abilities of a Prodigy Express.  If you wanted to run all three trains double headed, or any other other combination leading to six locomotives running at once, a Zephyr could do it if you upgraded to a 3 amp 15 volt transformer.

If all your locomotives have up to date decoders in them, then they are probably capable of using the "Advanced Consisting" method of making locomotives run together.  This is the only consisting method that the manual mentions as available to the Prodigy Express.  Digitrax has three methods of consisting available so it will work with both the latest decoders and the ones employing older technology.

Downside of the Zephyr in your application is that the throttle is basically fixed in one place while the Prodigy is basically a walkaround.  On the other hand, you can add one or two walkaround  "jump" throttles to the Zephyr for next to no cost if you build them yourself.  This would give you the luxury of one throttle each for your 3 trains.

If your operations involved one or two trains running around the layout while you do some switching in a yard, a jump throttle can easily be built to use in one hand.  I find one handed throttle operation extremely desirable for switching because it leaves the other hand free to throw the switches and pick the couplers.  I am not sure how you would operate the Prodigy with one hand when its knob is so low down on the case.  Of course, if your style of operation does not involve any switching, the design of the throttle is unimportant.

Lastly, if all you really want to do is add programming start voltage and number of steps to your present capabilities, you could consider buying a used MRC Command 2000.  In addition, it will also program acceleration and deceleration.  These show up on eBay from time to time in the $40-$50 range.  [Do NOT get taken in by the scammer who wants $275 for one!]
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Hunt
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MBB


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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2007, 01:54:42 AM »

Jim Banner and others,
Digitrax is having failure of components in a resent production of  “Green” Zephyr and well as some of their “Green” decoders.

Green – manufactured using lead free solder.

Digitrax is correcting with replacement as an occurrence is identified.
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Hunt
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MBB


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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2007, 02:27:46 AM »

Hunt,
I have several locomotives fitted with the MRC steam Sheer Brilliance.  When they work, they are superb.  I had some guys blind test them vss the Tsunami and the MRC beat the Tsunami hands down - and this was with the same locomotives - two Spectrum C&0 J2s and two H5s. 
But I've had to return something like three because they didn't work.
Gene
Gene,

I agree some people do like the sound of some MRC decoders.  There are more folks, in my experience, that prefer the Tsunami sound over MRC; but, to date, all prefer the motor control of the Tsunami over the MRC.

The key, as you noted, is when MRC decoders work.   Far too many over the history of MRC decoders, even the ones that work, have issues.

 (Detail of just a few of the issues with MRC decoders given in my original reply deleted since MRC and Bachmann have DCC products.)

 I am glad MRC is still trying.
 
« Last Edit: September 30, 2007, 02:54:31 PM by Hunt » Logged
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