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Discussion Boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: CAMPBELL LYNN on April 11, 2013, 04:57:13 PM



Title: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: CAMPBELL LYNN on April 11, 2013, 04:57:13 PM
Howdy, and thanks for the scenery replies.  I am also going to switch my DC to the Bachmann DCC EZ command. Is this going to be a pain for me?  I am leary of doing something that will be very confusing to me, and a bit of on the "timid" side to do something new with my DCC equipped Locos.  What problems may I run into before I get started ?  I like everything to be easy and in order....thanks in advance ")


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: bapguy on April 11, 2013, 05:22:04 PM
This is a limited system. DCC decoders have what's called CV's. These controll the address, motor speed, acceleration, deceleration, light functions and other  features. The EZ DCC can only change the loco address and direction of travel. If you don't plan on having sound equiped locos, this will be fine.It can run only 9 DCC locos with an address of 1 to 9 and 1 DC loco, although having a DC loco on the track all the time will damage the motor as DCC has AC power to the rails on all the time. Kalmbach(Model RailRoader) and Carstens(Model RailRoad Craftmen) have several books on DCC. I suggest you read as much as possible on it ti better under stand how things work. Some people read about CV's and think DCC is over their head. Joe   


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: Doneldon on April 11, 2013, 07:31:11 PM
Campy-

The EZ Command DCC system lacks power (only one amp) to run more than three or four locos, or two with sound. Older locos which draw more current may limit you to only one or two locos. EZ Com has no ability to read configuration variables from your decoders and no ability to program those decoders. It can control only a limited number of sound and light functions though decoders are offering more and more such features all of the time. It also allows you to have only ten locos potentially active at a time which can have you shuffling locos on and off of your layout while having to keep track of which loco is controlled by which button on the EZ Command controller, and making sure that you don't want two locos with the same assigned button on your layout at the same time. It's easy to add cabs (controllers) to the EZ Command but doing so adds neither power, nor programming ability nor additional locos. You can add power with another booster but the Bachmann booster costs more than many more powerful and versatile entry-level DCC systems. In short, the EZ Command offers only the most rudimentary form of DCC. It is unlikely to be a good long-term solution for most modelers.

The Dynamis, on the other hand, is both more powerful (powerful enough for most home layouts) and far more versatile than the EZ Command. Although it can't read CVs, it has full programming ability which is much more desirable and more frequently helpful than the ability to read CVs. It can also access more sound and light functions. Dynamis and the entry-level systems from other manufacturers are much better choices than the EZ Command.

EZ Command does what it does reliably at a very reasonable cost. Due to its limitations and low expansion potential, and the ready availability of excellent options (including one from Bachmann), I must strongly urge you to carefully study whether the EZ Command will meet your current needs and the things you may want to do in the future. Whatever way you go, good luck.
                                                     -- D


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: richg on April 11, 2013, 07:39:35 PM
Howdy, and thanks for the scenery replies.  I am also going to switch my DC to the Bachmann DCC EZ command. Is this going to be a pain for me?  I am leary of doing something that will be very confusing to me, and a bit of on the "timid" side to do something new with my DCC equipped Locos.  What problems may I run into before I get started ?  I like everything to be easy and in order....thanks in advance ")
[/quote

Go to the Parts, Service and Information page and look at the manuals for both systems. They are not difficult to understand.
Many come here and fail to look at all the Bachmann site. Maybe it is a Male thing? lol

Rich


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: Jerrys HO on April 12, 2013, 06:35:48 AM
Lynn

Here's my two cents worth. I have a decent size layout (16x28) which the EZ command run's flawlessly. I recently added Bachmann's booster because I had it for almost a year and finally said what the heck and put it in. Before and after I installed the booster I had no problem running multiple loco's even with a couple of sound loco's.
Yes eventually I would like to upgrade but have no reason to yet. I am working more on my scenery than running trains for now. I have all the sound controls I need for now.
EZ may be limited but I still here the engine rev and the horn and whistles blow. I can turn the lights on and off, heck my MTH has coupler crash and the EZ can operate them.

Quote
I am also going to switch my DC to the Bachmann DCC EZ command. Is this going to be a pain for me?  I am leary of doing something that will be very confusing to me, and a bit of on the "timid" side to do something new with my DCC equipped Locos.  What problems may I run into before I get started ?

To answer your question which I have not seen anyone do yet, they just want to talk about command stations. It should not be painful unless you have reversing loops which would need an auto revering module.(not a big deal) I have never had a DC layout but from what I read and been told take off your old DC pack, flip all your blocks on and go.
Here's a link that I learned a lot on this DCC stuff.

http://www.awrr.com/dccintro1.html

http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/nswmn2/DCC.htm#ExisDC1

http://www.dccwiki.com/Introduction_to_DCC

It may be a lot to read but it is worth it..
Jerry


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: Joe323 on April 12, 2013, 08:28:13 AM
 I did what you are about to do a few years back. Basically on my small layout I unplugged the DC power pack and plugged in the EZ command fortunely I only had a couple of non-dcc locos so the switch was easy I still have the Chessie loco that came with the EZ command.

Others here have given you the basic limitations of ez command I will only add to things

1 be prepared to. Upgrade or replace your existing fleet with decorder equiped locos.

2 be sure your trackwork is clean dcc is much less forgiving of dirty track than dc


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: jward on April 12, 2013, 08:45:49 AM
to answer the original question:

no it is not hard to convert the layout to dcc. often all you have to do is replace the power pack with a dcc unit. as jerry mentioned, reversing loops need special wiring, but even those can often use the original dc wiring configuration if you don't want to buy an autoreverser.

if your layout has block control switches, you just replace one of the packs with the dcc unit, and set the block control switches to that pack. remove the second power pack from the circuit as well. the block control switches will now function as on-off switches to kill power to various sections of track.

locomotives are another story. all your locomotives will need decoders in them. some are easier to convert than others, and some can be a nightmare.


that said, the ez command is a limited utiliy system. you'll only be able to have 10 locomotives assigned addresses. the addresses probably won't be the same as the locomotive number since you can only use 1 to 10. if anybody else brings their locomotives over to run they won't work unless programmed to one of those addresses. also, dcc locomotives draw power at all times when sitting on a live track. you may want to consider having a siding or two which can be isolated as with block control, if only to reduce the power drain on your ez command from idling locomotives.

dcc isn't as ez as some would have you believe, but it's nothing to be afraid of either. I've been running it for close to 10 years now, and I won't go back to dc by choice.



Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: Bucksco on April 12, 2013, 11:15:29 AM
EZ Command is an easy and very economical way to get started in DCC. It makes learning DCC theory quite simple. Yes, it does not have all of the features of a full blown DCC system but that's because it was designed that way - to keep it simple and economical. 


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: Joe323 on April 12, 2013, 04:25:41 PM
EZ Command is an easy and very economical way to get started in DCC. It makes learning DCC theory quite simple. Yes, it does not have all of the features of a full blown DCC system but that's because it was designed that way - to keep it simple and economical. 

I agree with this and have decided until I am ready to build my next layout the new Staten Island West I will continue to use the EZ command.


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: Balrog21 on April 12, 2013, 04:49:18 PM
I'm happy I got the EZ command first. Yes, I will be upgrading in the future, but I don't need to for now. I don't have a power amp to it and run 4-5 loco's (two of them sound) without hardly any trouble. The main reason I will be upgrading in the fugure is because my loco fleet has grown from 2 powered loco's to over 31-15 powered/16 dummies! Now, explain to me how that happened!?! I think it's a great small investement to get your feet wet with DCC, and you can find them on Ebay at some really great prices. Then if you want to go full blown DCC with everything the controller from the EZ command can help run your switches, etc, etc. when you buy a more expanded system. Hope this helps!
Bal


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: Jerrys HO on April 12, 2013, 06:55:49 PM
Quote
Then if you want to go full blown DCC with everything the controller from the EZ command can help run your switches, etc, etc. when you buy a more expanded system.

That is not possible Bal as you can only have one system hooked upat a time. The EZ Command is considered a command station as is a Dynamis,NCE,Digitrax,etc.....

Jerry


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: Joe323 on April 13, 2013, 11:22:16 AM
When I ugraded I left the switches alone they are wired to the ac terminals of the power pack I was using. So why mess with it.


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: JerryB on April 13, 2013, 01:03:25 PM
When I ugraded I left the switches alone they are wired to the ac terminals of the power pack I was using. So why mess with it.

Because the DCC system can operate all manner of items other than just the engines. The control is all done through the DCC controller using the track to provide power and digital information. No need for switch panels, separate power supplies and wiring to run turnouts or other accessories. Want to add a turnout or other accessory? Just put it in, set the CV and it is done. No additional controls or wiring required.

On a small layout the fixed DCC base unit runs everything from the operator's station. For a larger layout or multiple operators, using wireless (or wired) DCC hand pieces allows each operator to follow his train, set switches and operate things like a turntable and even the doors to the engine house without returning to a control panel.

A large club layout here in N. California has a dispatcher in a tower using JMRI software to track trains on a large flat panel display. The dispatcher communicates with operators on the main floor who use wireless hand pieces to control all aspects of their train and its routing.

Happy (DCC) Railroading,

Jerry


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: Joe323 on April 13, 2013, 05:17:54 PM
I am aware that I could control everything from by DCC and when the next layout is built there is a good chance I probably will but I was upgrading an existing layout in which all that wiring was already up and running.  Since This is a home layout that I can and do operate from one location there was no need to upgrade.  I do have a second throttle for guest use.


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: jward on April 13, 2013, 05:49:31 PM
don't feel bad joe.

there are plenty of us who run dcc but do not use it to control anything but our trains. having run on a friend's layout with dcc control of all switches, I find it much easier to just use push buttons to control my own. I find dcc control of them to be confusing and expensive, having to enter accessory mode, remember and punch in the proper decoder number, remember which way is normal and which is reverse, press the proper buttons and hope I got it right, then going back out of accessory mode to regain control of my train..... that is as opposed to pressing one button on a control panel with a track diagram on it.


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: BRS Hobbies on May 06, 2013, 01:00:09 PM
I am in the planning stage of building a model train track and also plan on using DCC to control the locos only. I see positives to both options (using DCC turnout or conventional electric turnouts). I plan on using the conventional electric turnouts since I find it more intuitive and easier to just flip a switch to control the turnout even if it means more wiring. I can also see how the wiring is much simpler and it can be more convenient to control a turnout from anywhere on the track using a DCC handheld controller. Another consideration is the added cost involved with using DCC turnouts.

Best regards,
Brian


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: Doneldon on May 06, 2013, 05:01:22 PM
Brian-

Read each of the posts in this thread to get good, detailed information on EZ Command and other DCC products. I think it will help you decide how much system you need. My personal belief, and I own it as such, is that it's a bigger mistake to err on the side of starting too little than starting with a little too much. One can easily grow into a more powerful or versatile system but expanding an elementary system is always expensive and it can be difficult or impossible, particularly if the expansion is to obtain added features. Whatever you do, good luck.
                                                                                                                                                  -- D


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: Rangerover1944 on May 18, 2013, 01:51:52 PM
I left this site (posting) due to the negativity that I received from the MRR Guruís on this, the Bachmann Site for distain comments I received for using the Bachmann EZ Command DCC System. Imagine that on a Bachmann Product Site.  I had and still have no intention of starting flame wars over Bachmann Products. I have received much help in other areaís of this wonderful hobby of model rail roading on this site and still lurk on occasion, but to defend Bachmann EZ Command and its possible expansion we all know is very limited. But most of us donít have the available room for a thousand mile scale model layout or care for the need of more expensive complicated systems.

I use the Bachmann EZ Command, if I ever upgraded to another system I could sell what I have invested and probably get nearly all my money back. But I wonít since I have no need for advanced systemís with my 11íx17í layout with a 2 rail line subway under, so I litterly have 2 layouts stacked. 8 years Iíve been using my Bachmann EZ Command along with the Bachmann 5 amp booster. A simple Google Search one can find the Bachmann booster at a reasonable cost under $200.00.  I program my CVís and sound with my PR3/JMRI (cost $74.00) program track, I have no desire to able to put in 900 locoís in any throttle and Iím quite happy with what I have at the present time 52 DCC locoís about half have sound, I have converted 24 DC locoís to DCC, hard wired and some with sound, yes a lot of work especially speaker placement. 

Bachmann sells locoís with sound that are extremely affordable for the few that are available at this time. Iíve paid more just for a sound decoder from other manufacturers than Bachmann sells for a complete locomotive with the sound already installed. Most of the sounds after all are default in startup and shutdown and of course depending on the decoder even while running such as the wheel riding against the inside of the rail squeal, steam sounds and chuffs, it has nothing to do with the throttle since it is default in the decoder, and we all know EZ Command allows these sounds.

I am curious as to how many model railroaders actually use all the function buttons when operating one train or 3-6 trains for a session. QSI, I believe, has the most functions for sound and or lights, 24 at the present time.

Most throttles have 10 function buttons and some have 27, correct me if I'm wrong, my throttle has 10, I still use Bachmann EZ Command after 8 years. I mostly use the default buttons such as:

1-bell

2-horn/whistle

3-loco addressing (single addressing)

4-ditch lights (remapped, not defalult)

8-mute

9-dim light

10- light/lights on/off

I don't use all the function buttons for all the sounds/functions available on a decoder. Though I know how limited I am with my throttle. Even when I program using PR3/JMRI their throttles too only have 10 function buttons. I assume that using other throttles, Dynamis, Digitrax, NCE, for example would have something on the screen such as touch for the remaining functions. I really can't remember all the function's on my decoders whether it's Bachmann, QSI, Soundtraxx, Tsunami, or Digitrax.

I only use the functionís for what sound options I can use and quite frankly only use the bell, horn/whistle, and lighting functions.

The only other function button I use is #4 for my ditch/mars lights, I remapped so I could remember what function button to use.

Do any users really use more than the bell, horn/whistle and the light function buttons when operating or am I really alone. I do run 3-4 trains with 2 loco consist's on my 11'x17' layout but can run up to 6. It seems that running even 2-3 trains and trying to apply all the different functions is almost impossible. Heck I can't really remember what loco is on what address, let alone the functions for it.

 Bachmann DCC systems are a bargain and again easy to set up, and in just a few minutes you can be up and running  and operate in DCC with no hassles's. There are other systems that have a much more complete program and function capabilities but for much more $$$. But I'm not interested in spending several hundred dollars more so I can hear a rooster crow or listen to steam safety blowoff. No on the contrary I even enjoy function 8 MUTE! No sound at all, just the whining of the electric motor and the metal wheels on the track. And I appreciate Bachmann making this hobby with DCC simple, and EZ to use for the price of it.

I also admit that adjusting the motion cv's most definitely been a challenge in the beginning but it's rewards are outstanding in running, especially in consists of 2 or more locomotives.

I have also completed some function remapping and configured decoders as an example, ditch lights that flash when the horn sounds with PR3/JMRI using decoders that allow you to do so and operating them from my Bachmann EZ Command. It keeps me quite busy with completing my scenery and maintaining whatís completed.

Anything to do with CV's is after all, a bit more advanced and I still find the reset button a life saver when "playing" with CV's. I have 45 turnouts on my layout and the price to install the decoders to allow me to operate from any throttle is cost prohibitive, pushing a button on my panel is not a problem, I do have a lighted map on the wall with led's showing me which direction a switch is thrown, the slow motion Tortise Machines were quite enough. I have installed 4 Bachmann EZ Command Auto Reverse Loop Modules that have worked flawlessly for 4 years.


Bachmann Easy Command system for $59.85.

http://www.thefavoritespot.com/p-3982-bachmann-ho-scale-train-ez-command-control-system.aspx

A link to see for yourself of how to assemble and use the Bachmann EZ Command and how to lash up consists, 2 or more locoís in one train.

http://www.google.com/search?q=bachmann+ez+command+youtube&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=ie7&rlz=1I7GGLL_enUS385




Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: Bucksco on May 18, 2013, 04:45:33 PM
Most of the negative comments that appear when EZ command is discussed come from lack of understanding concerning the ultimate purpose of the product. EZ Command was designed with beginners in mind. It is a quick, easy and AFFORDABLE way to get started in DCC. It was designed to make learning DCC theory easy. You can not change CV values or do 4 digit addressing but it is far less intimidating than a 400 dollar plus system with a huge operators instruction booklet and a myriad of confusing buttons on the control station.
I think the key point is to compare the price to a full blown system. According to the post above an EZ Command can cost less that a single DCC equipped locomotive. I have much better luck teaching a novice to run DCC with an EZ Command than I do with the higher end systems.


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: Jerrys HO on May 18, 2013, 06:26:42 PM
Rover I second everything you just wrote. I too left this site but took it further and deleted my account because of the negativity and decided to reopen it for the benefit of others and myself.
Yardy did you ever check in to what I asked could be done?

Jerry


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: Rangerover1944 on May 18, 2013, 07:41:54 PM
Most of the negative comments that appear when EZ command is discussed come from lack of understanding concerning the ultimate purpose of the product. EZ Command was designed with beginners in mind. It is a quick, easy and AFFORDABLE way to get started in DCC. It was designed to make learning DCC theory easy. You can not change CV values or do 4 digit addressing but it is far less intimidating than a 400 dollar plus system with a huge operators instruction booklet and a myriad of confusing buttons on the control station.
I think the key point is to compare the price to a full blown system. According to the post above an EZ Command can cost less that a single DCC equipped locomotive. I have much better luck teaching a novice to run DCC with an EZ Command than I do with the higher end systems.

Rover I second everything you just wrote. I too left this site but took it further and deleted my account because of the negativity and decided to reopen it for the benefit of others and myself.
Yardy did you ever check in to what I asked could be done?

Jerry

From these 2 posts, and Jerry, I wonder how many others felt and did the same thing. Well you guys have made me realize the value of helping others who need help with EZ Command. I too after reading your responses refuse to let others put me down for using a product that is to my liking and never had any problems with.

It won't happen again!


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: Bucksco on May 18, 2013, 08:28:34 PM
It is impossible for us to police how you guys treat each other. Everyone needs to show respect and civility toward each other.


Title: Re: switching from dc to bachman ez command
Post by: Rangerover1944 on May 18, 2013, 09:02:21 PM
It is impossible for us to police how you guys treat each other. Everyone needs to show respect and civility toward each other.

Yardmaster I know you're an administrator but I would never use any profanity or turn anybody in either. I have seen over the months some of the trouble makers are no longer here. They came I think from the site that closed down. I have never been disrespectful, you can read any of my posts from years ago to see that. Even when things were going on, none of my posts were ever removed. I would usually wind saying something of the effect of "I'm sorry you feel that way", or "there is no sense in replying any further to this thread". I never put anybody down or have ever shown any hostility. I also have a mutual friend who I met here on this site who lives in town and is a police officer and he hasn't been back either to this site, who used to help with a lot of people too, he too got jumped on over the Bachmann EZ Command attacks sometime after I left. Except for a few, I never had a problem.