Bachmann Message Board

Discussion Boards => HO => Topic started by: kdgrant6 on February 24, 2015, 01:57:32 PM



Title: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: kdgrant6 on February 24, 2015, 01:57:32 PM
I am running the following on a layout of under 100 total feet of EZ Track:

2 Bachmann Locomotives, both DCC, one with sound
2 DCC Crossovers
3 DCC turnouts

The only power is the 1 amp transformer that the Echo Valley Set came with.

In answering a question on Amazon, one reviewer wrote that he upgraded power to his Bachmann DCC layout only after going beyond 5 locomotives and nearly 400 ft. of track.  He claims the 1 amp is sufficient unless a user expands a layout considerably.  Bachmann manual states that running more than 2 locos may require additional power. 

I have no problems running my layout now, but I have a 3rd DCC loco (with sound) coming, and plan on expanding the layout even more. 

I'm wondering what other users have experienced concerning power upgrades for the Bachmann DCC controllers.

Thanks for any enlightenment.


Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: bapguy on February 24, 2015, 02:32:43 PM
Will you be running all 3 loco's at once? With 2 sound loco's this may tax the 1AMP system. 2 options in my opinion: get a 5amp booster from Bachmann which is expesive, or upgrade to the Dynamis. On sale from MB Klein:   http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/Bachmann-36505-Dynamis-DCC-Controller-p/bac-36505.htm
  Joe


Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: kdgrant6 on February 24, 2015, 10:22:21 PM
I read the owner feedback about Dynamis on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/NCE-Power-Cab-Starter-NCE5240025/dp/B005M8GRKW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424813216&sr=8-1&keywords=nce+dcc+controllers#Ask

Users are disappointed that it will run only two locos at the same time.  So it doesn't look as if it solves the power issue.

Just wondering.



Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: AGSB on February 24, 2015, 10:38:49 PM
The link is to a review of an NCE system not Dynamis.


Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: kdgrant6 on February 24, 2015, 10:53:32 PM
Sorry.  Your're right.

Here's another link to the Dynamis manual:
http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/ez_content/dynamis_manual.pdf

Here's a quote.

Thank you for your choice of the Bachmann E-Z Command® Dynamis® DCC
model train control system. You have chosen an easy to use yet highly sophisticated
product. Please take a few moments to become familiar with the product by reading
this manual before proceeding. Using the Dynamis DCC system is simple as all
actions are guided by the screen icons with four Action Keys beneath.

The Dynamis DCC system features a powerful bi-directional infrared hands- free
control unit for convenient operation around your layout. Information passes both
ways between Command Station and Handset to ensure communication integrity.
Both units have been designed to have a wide transmission and reception arc for
optimal performance.
Dynamis can be used with model trains of any scale: power hungry Large Scale
trains may require the use of the E-Z Command® 5-amp boo[/font]

It seems as though the Dynamis, while offering more control options, doesn't solve the power problem.

I may be wrong.


Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: Len on February 24, 2015, 11:25:22 PM
The part the Dynamis review you highlighted in green is in reference to Large Scale (G-gauge) locos, which have a much higher power requirement than HO or N.

From the "Introduction to Dynamis" available here: http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/dwg/dwgs/Introduction_to_Dynamis_DCC_System.pdf (http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/dwg/dwgs/Introduction_to_Dynamis_DCC_System.pdf) in reference to HO and N locomotives:

Quote
a 2.5 amp power rating which should be sufficient for six modern standard locomotives equipped with 5-pole skew wound motors to be operated at the same time.

Len


Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: kdgrant6 on February 25, 2015, 07:14:14 AM
You're right.  I was assuming that large scale was referring to an expanded HO layout.  My mistake.  Thanks.

I'll see what happens when a 3rd locomotive comes Friday.


Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: JimJim on February 25, 2015, 08:05:38 PM
Hello All,

I’m currently using the Dynamis system with the 5-amp power booster on my 4x8 HO pike. I picked up an "only used once" one for about half the MSRP on eBay!

I'm currently running consists of three GP40's, two GP30's with an additional GP30 as a helper up the 3% grade, a snowplow consist of an F7B and an RS11, along with a single GP40, GP38-2 and a 70-ton & 44-ton switchers.

At any give time I'll have 6 to 8 locos moving simultaneously with no problems.

My turnouts are D/C powered by a separate transformer. They are separated into two blocks that are driven by a CDU for each block. I've been told that this is overkill for the turnouts but some of the turnout motors are PECO's, wired in parallel, and need the extra amperage to activate.

I highly recommend the 5-amp power booster especially if you're powering turnouts.

Hope this helps.


Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: kdgrant6 on February 25, 2015, 10:42:11 PM
JJ,

How many feet of track are in your layout?


Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: TwinZephyr on February 26, 2015, 10:18:18 AM
How does one determine the appropriate size (amp) power pack/transformer/controller/command station based on the feet of track?


Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: Len on February 26, 2015, 12:52:38 PM
Feet of track is a factor in how many power feeders you need from your controller to the track, not the size controller power supply you need.

Since you're powering switches seperately, if you have enough feeders to the track, the determining factor for power required is the load you'll be putting on the track. Specically the number of locos, whether they have sound or not, and lighted cars in use.

A basic rule of thumb I use for figuring power requirements is to count a sound equiped loco as two regular locos. It's not exact, but close enough.

Len


Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: kdgrant6 on March 02, 2015, 08:32:29 PM
Well, I found out today that a Bachmann EZ DCC Controller will run at least 3 DCC locos at once, two of them with sound.


Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: Jerrys HO on March 02, 2015, 08:48:36 PM
Well, I found out today that a Bachmann EZ DCC Controller will run at least 3 DCC locos at once, two of them with sound.

Actually I have ran more than that on my layout, others say you can not but I have  ;D


Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: kdgrant6 on March 02, 2015, 09:08:50 PM
Actually I have ran more than that on my layout, others say you can not but I have 

That's good to know.  How many?  How many with sound?  What would you say is the limit?


Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: Jerrys HO on March 02, 2015, 09:20:46 PM
Actually I have ran more than that on my layout, others say you can not but I have 
That's good to know.  How many?  How many with sound?  What would you say is the limit?

How many I have had up to 6 loco's maybe seven at one time running. 3 with sound.
What is the limit? 2 or 3 at best is my limit as it get's hard to control more than two at a time and my layout is not that small. Now there is another myth why I don't want to push it to the max, could it harm the decoder? could it harm the power station? how many licks to the center of a tootsie roll? only testing it will reveal the answer and I'll leave that to JBrocks video king who cut's up $150.00 plus loco's  :D :D :D :D


Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: jbrock27 on March 02, 2015, 10:38:45 PM
how many licks to the center of a tootsie roll?

It's Tootsie Pop boss, 'how many licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop' ::)

I recognize no 'Kings' or their authority over me, Geraldo.


Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: kdgrant6 on March 02, 2015, 11:13:44 PM
Actually I have ran more than that on my layout, others say you can not but I have 
That's good to know.  How many?  How many with sound?  What would you say is the limit?

How many I have had up to 6 loco's maybe seven at one time running. 3 with sound.
What is the limit? 2 or 3 at best is my limit as it get's hard to control more than two at a time and my layout is not that small. Now there is another myth why I don't want to push it to the max, could it harm the decoder? could it harm the power station? how many licks to the center of a tootsie roll? only testing it will reveal the answer and I'll leave that to JBrocks video king who cut's up $150.00 plus loco's  :D :D :D :D

. . . and JBrock rises to the summons . . .


Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: jward on March 04, 2015, 12:56:45 PM

 Now there is another myth why I don't want to push it to the max, could it harm the decoder? could it harm the power station?

jerry,

i9 don't think you have to worry about overloading the decoder when running more than one locomotive. the decoder controls only the locomotive it is installed in, and could care less what else the command station is powering. as long as the locomotive doesn't overload the decoder you will be ok. if you do get close to the limits, or exceed them the decoder will probably go into thermal; shutdown, and will work again when it has cooled down. but that would be an issue with that locomotive, not whatever else is on the line.

as for the command station, it is very possible to overload it. this is especially true if you are running older locomotives, which could and did draw an amp or more each. from my experience, the old athearns with the grey motors were notorious current hogs, the ne3wer ones with the gold motors not so much.

if your total current draw for the layout is near an amp or more, you have three options:
1. add a booster (expensive)
2. replace your system with one with a higher current rating (also expensive, but you'll gain a lot of programming capability)
3. gap your sidings and install on off switches to isolate them. (cheap, but requires work)

in my case, I design my layouts with dc block control in mind, and run them with dcc. isolating the unused locomotives means I will never get close to exceeding the current rating of my system (3 amps)


Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: Len on March 04, 2015, 01:50:36 PM
"Blocking" a large layout is a good idea, even if operating with DCC only. Being able to isolate and power off sections of track really helps with  troubleshooting when the control system keeps shutting down due to a short somewhere.

Len


Title: Re: Limits of a Bachmann EZ Command Control Center?
Post by: Jerrys HO on March 04, 2015, 07:03:20 PM
jerry,
i9 don't think you have to worry about overloading the decoder when running more than one locomotive. the decoder controls only the locomotive it is installed in, and could care less what else the command station is powering. as long as the locomotive doesn't overload the decoder you will be ok. if you do get close to the limits, or exceed them the decoder will probably go into thermal; shutdown, and will work again when it has cooled down. but that would be an issue with that locomotive, not whatever else is on the line.

as for the command station, it is very possible to overload it. this is especially true if you are running older locomotives, which could and did draw an amp or more each. from my experience, the old athearns with the grey motors were notorious current hogs, the ne3wer ones with the gold motors not so much.
in my case, I design my layouts with dc block control in mind, and run them with dcc. isolating the unused locomotives means I will never get close to exceeding the current rating of my system (3 amps)

I have seen thermal shut down cause problems in my R/C hobby side to ESC's and sometimes it does not come back to life depending on how hot it had gotten. So even though it is OK to you I don't think I would trust your comment that the decoder would revive itself and if it would I don't want to be a guinea pig to find out my luck has run out  ;).
As for the command station, it has a better chance IMO to burn out than the decoder but then that is why I went NCE Power Cab. 5 amps should be all I will ever need.
Block control has not been an issue for me, if I would have thought earlier when building I might have done block control  ??? but this is what brought me to DCC is the unnecessary extra wiring and capabilities of controlling each loco independently.
I do gap my sidings with a toggle to shut down power when a loco is in the siding.

Jerry