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16  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: all good things come to an end. on: May 01, 2012, 12:19:44 AM
Oh man, geeez Les you and 2-8-8-4 shhhhhhhhhhh! Now you've gone and done it! All the lurkers are gonna know how great Bachmann loco's really are and how much they've improved, the switch's too. They'll be going out buying them and then they'll be a shortage for Bachmann stuff. Good thing you didn't mention the huge discounts on the DCC Soundtraxx Sound loco's Bachmann has out there and how good they sound and run. I don't know of any other manufacturer who sells DCC sound  equipped loco's brand new for a little over $100.00. Jim
17  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 4-8-2 Heavy Mountain #82506 on: April 30, 2012, 05:42:51 PM
Some of you guys think it is not a challenge to do these installs.  Just because you think it is easy does not mean it is for everyone.  It might actually be hard for someone new to model railroading who didn't build radios before to figure out where all of those many wires go and to actually do the sub-atomic-sized soldering work needed on each wire, without melting plastic somewhere or getting something wrong and frying your decoder when you power up.  Plus you have to get the speaker not to rattle.............. a job in itself.

This job might turn out to be easy for some, but work like this never was for me, in any form, over many years now,and I think that caution is a really good idea before jumping off of a cliff you might not be able to climb back up.  Having the install done by a professional is a real option, and it does not imply a lower level of ability within this pastime.


Good points, but I was one that wouldn’t take a shell off a loco or any car for that matter when I came back to the hobby 7 years ago. Hated those little screws and oh my God I have to take out couplers to get a shell off. Did that only if it was absolutely necessary!

Then I wanted to mess with them CV’s ya’ll were talking about! Didn’t know what a CV was. Well I found out and still finding out, but I do understand now a little.

Funny there ain’t no bogey men! I went on and gave a good shot at installing a decoder in an old Bachmann 0-6-0 switcher that ran pretty good and followed advice given on doing the stall test. Then I bought a decoder and followed directions on the web about split frames, isolating the motor, how to wire it (hard wired of course), changing the bulb to led as well as rear light. LOL put her on the track and it ran like a store bought DCC loco.  Learned a lot, took awhile for my first install, heck plugging in plugged decoders in DCC ready engines doesn’t even count as a conversion to me. I’ve done now 28 and still sometimes need somebody else’s experience to guide me along the way.

I ain’t afraid of “messing with cv’s”, that’s what factory reset is for, guys like me who want to learn. I enjoy all aspects of the hobby and make my own scenery trees and even scratch build, and weathering!

But hey,”I ain’t afraid to take a shell off now!”

Now “ain’t that something” Jim

Now I know some folks don't want to mess with the stuff I do and it's ok we're all here and doing what is best for ourselves. LOL that's why I bought Bachmann EZ Command in the first place, just wanted to put my trains on the track and run them using the most uncomplicated DCC system I could find, didn't want to know anything about all this program stuff with CV's what's the best system, just want to run trains. Live and Let Live I say and enjoy the hobby the way you desire!

18  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Changing rails on E-Z Track on: April 30, 2012, 03:21:43 PM
I don't think I'd want to attempt that. Granted most use NS. I guess some of us have it mixed, I do, NS, brass and steel. I have to tell you I have the Bachmann EZ track for my subway and yes I do have the steel track on part of it, been there for 7 years always thought about replacing it but I haven't yet. It's not rusting, needs no more cleaning than NS as long as I don't use abrasives to clean it with, I use Flitz polish when and if it needs cleaning just like NS or even brass for that matter. I believe the steel track has a zinc coating to prevent rust and or corrosion. I haven't ballasted it yet, but that's probably what I'll do. Doesn't seem to bother anybody that's seen it, the 2 different colors of roadbed. Heck here in West Virginia the remodeled rail yard has light gray stone for ballast, go over the bridge and it's black. By the way I use DCC and haven't had any problem with the different rail metals affecting operation!
My post is from experience and not of an opinion! Jim
19  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: all good things come to an end. on: April 30, 2012, 01:03:37 PM
I totally agree with some of your post but I must add, it's only the few that were the critical poster's. I rarely posted on the site and if and when I got bad negative flammed  response's from those that we know, from experience over the 7 years I was there were offensive, I stopped responding, like I said in a previous post, "ignore the trolls, don't feed them".

Most of the time I lurked or only opened threads of interest to me or to solve a problem, learned how to use the search button especially there. I must say again too that I did appreciate the majority of the modellers on that site and I will follow a few who have helped me over the years to other sites they are going to. All in all I'm gonna miss the Atlas site! Jim
20  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: DCC-Equipped Train on DC train set - Not Working? on: April 28, 2012, 10:22:38 PM
It sounds to me like it's either addressed to a 2 or 4 digit address or the previous owner turned off DC analog. You'd best take it to a Local Hobby Shop that has DCC system or a friend who has a system capable of reading CV's to make it work with DC analog. It possibly needs to be reset to factory setting's! That's sometimes a problem when buying used DCC loco's. Jim
21  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: all good things come to an end. on: April 28, 2012, 07:39:08 PM
You know Rich you have a good point. This site should be about Bachmann products after all. I joined the Atlas site 7 years ago when I came back to model railroading only because I had purchased several DCC Atlas Loco's with sound as well as this site because I purchased several Bachmann loco's, EZ track switch's and other Bachmann DCC products including my EZ Command DCC system. I didn't dare mention EZ Command over on the Atlas Site without  getting slammed.

There are plenty of good sites for all brands and scales of model railroading that don't have a title for a particular manufacturer. Model Railroader Magazine is very informative and so is Model Railroad Forum that covers everything associated with this hobby.

I have already gotten myself in a couple flame wars right here over Bachmann DCC and other Bachmann products, shame when I come to a manufacturer's site and get slammed for the use of their product by other posters of my decision to use and enjoy said products.

I'm quite sure there are already posters on this site that belong to Atlas and other sites that come here and abide by the rules as posted in the sticky's some on the other hand will always behave in a different way! Jim
22  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: all good things come to an end. on: April 28, 2012, 06:20:28 PM
Funny, just a couple of days ago I was thinking about joining those forums. I wonder why they're closing them...

FLAME WARS........ it's not the first time I've seen Atlas shut down due to bickering by a few, great site otherwise with lots of information, but they claim the employees of Atlas would much better serve their employer by doing some real work instead of monitoring the forum, if you read the reason Atlas gave on the web site. Special preordering everything seems to be a major complaint and certain loco's and rolling stock are always out of supply! Older modellers are concerned that newcomers to the hobby give up due to lack of most popular items and of course the sticker shock of most everything. Atlas track is being moved to a new facility and seems to be a shortage of that! If you go there and read the forums you'll soon see what I mean. My opinion is that is was a great site, just ignore the trolls! Don't feed them! Jim
23  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: DCC and Decoders for dummies on: April 19, 2012, 07:05:40 PM
RJP-Here's the most condensed, complete, and informative for beginners and guru's  and yes it's especially for Dummy's! Me included! Jim

Just click on the red heading titles!
24  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Sound decoders start as soon as wheels touch track? on: April 19, 2012, 06:22:32 PM
I believe you're talking about CV 11. Handy CV but that won't do it!
If your BLI loco seems to have erratic sound behavior, cutting in and out when in operation and dirty track or wheels are definitely not the problem, try changing CV 11 to 20, that's the highest value you can go, if you go higher it reverts back to 6 (default).  Default value is 6. The reason it sort of skips, other than the problem I had at a rail joint, has to do with the decoder pausing for more info associated with packet timeout. It won't, however, from my experience using Decoder Pro, stop those engines from starting up as soon as power is applied to the tracks. Odd but 2 out of 3 of my BLI's don't start up until I call it up with the throttle. Of my Digitrax Soundbug's, one does the same thing, comes on when power is applied to the track, nothing I found to change it except function 8 (mute) button. Jim
25  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: F40 DCC Ready Boards on: April 19, 2012, 03:04:52 PM
You still need a DCC decoder to operate the ditch lights as to your liking, likes been said NCE, TCS, Soundtraxx, Digitrax with FX functions. Also in your choice of decoders if you leave the light board as is and not change it you will need an 8 pin to 9 pin JST harness for some decoder installs such as:
26  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: F40 DCC Ready Boards on: April 19, 2012, 02:28:16 PM
I have a Bachmann F40 with the shell off and I'm anticipating putting a sound decoder in it. There is an 8 pin plug. and yes there are several additional plugs 4 in all marked led. There are also 2 on the extreme front of the board that I would assume are for bulb's for the ditchlights, not sure. But to put ditch lights in with led's/bulbs you need to drill out the weighted frame and of course the shell. And because of the front truck swings close tolerance with the frame 3mm, you need to run the wires in a way to keep them from interfering with the truck. The front headlight is also an issue if you were to just cut away the  front of the frame due to the headlight mounted in the frame, not impossible but I give it a 5 for difficulty out of 10, 10 being most difficult/impossible. I don't know if resistors are needed have to check it with the meter.  Jim

Note after looking a little closer to mount ditch lights it would be best to mount led's in the frame and drill holes in the shell with a small lense glued in place for the ditch lights
27  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Sound problem on: April 17, 2012, 06:10:19 PM
I had a strange thing happen with my BLI engines, the only loco's that did it too. It's one of the reason's I mention about how sensitive BLI is. I had a section of track that I put and expansion joint in when I laid my track and it opened to about 1/8". Every time a BLI loco hit that joint if I had the sound off, the sound would start even though I had it off with the function 8 button. If the sound was on and they hit that joint the sound would start as though it was just starting up, LOL and sometimes the bell would ring or the whistle would blow. Drove me nuts!

Thank God I didn't have it ballasted yet. I loosened up the track and pulled a bit and put a plastic rail joiner in to close it. Bingo! That fixed it! None of my Atlas, Proto, Bachmann, Athearn or Stewart sound loco's were bothered by it. Odd! Jim
28  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: E-Z Command Control on: April 17, 2012, 03:29:13 PM
Back to the topic, if the tender trucks somehow got turned around so that they are both on the same side, the decoder would have fried without doubt if the short detection device failed. Jim
29  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: E-Z Command Control on: April 17, 2012, 03:01:14 PM
Northern Pacific one more note I feel a need to add. Using JMRI I have all my DCC loco's logged on the roster sheet. Even if I were to upgrade, I'd still use JMRI/DP as others do. It for me is the greatest thing that came to be like sliced bread. I can look back 3 years ago and see what I did to program a decoder to the performance of my liking and if I installed the same decoder in a different loco, all I have to do is place the new loco with the decoder installed on the program track and hit the button write changes to sheets, done, a little minor tweeking and I'm up and running. Jim
30  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: E-Z Command Control on: April 17, 2012, 02:28:22 PM
Pacific Northern, I agree with the limited use of EZ Command. When I came back to the hobby after almost 40 years lot's have changed, it opened up a whole new world in the hobby. I wasn't sure if I was even going to stay with DCC, reading so many posts on model railroading sites with decoder issues, what's the best units and lots of money for it all and the price of DCC loco's with/without sound, DCC ready it was all real confusing. I was sort of still stuck back in the 50's-70's with all the problems of that time and the frustrations, it was the frustrations of the DCC users were having with their new DCC systems that gave me doubt. I didn't know what a cv was and wondered how did these guys learn about cv programming and remember all the cv's and each value, scary!

But I too after 2 years wanted to learn more and reading still more posts I wanted to program my decoders too to acquire maximum performance and just tinker and learn. Money after I retired became an issue. The cheapest way for me was the Digitrax PR3/JMRI for $74.00. Once I received it in the mail and assembled a program track and began using it, I found out there were no bogey men. Changing the cv's and trying it on the track, finding out sometimes nothing worked by the changes I was making, I often used my friend, factory reset, nothing lost and I acquired many learning experiences. Now after a few years with programming, converting analog to DCC on most of my old favorites, buying junk/used steamers on eBay and converting them, about 2 dozen in all, it seems rather simple and easy. Converting those old loco's as long as they passed the stall test and ran decent and weren't all beat up was the most rewarding.

I still use my EZ Command though I can't count how many times I had an urge to upgrade, money is no longer the problem it's just I think of the problems I don't have that others seem to have even with more expensive systems. And I wonder also what can others that have better system's do that I can't do with Bachmann EZ Command along with PR3/JMRI, besides program on the main, more slots for address's, the ability to operate my 45 switch's through my throttle and the cost of that alone for the function decoders and rewiring all of them is definitely out of the question. OK and the only other thing I can think of is computer interface, because I have played around with the idea of panel pro to run my layout via computer. I have the interface with DP, but I would still need the better controller than Bachmann EZ, we all know that's not compatible.

Oh I suppose some day I'll upgrade and probably to the NCE system, they did have a lot of problems in the beginning, but NCE drastically improved in the last 4 years or so. If Dynamis was a wired system, I'd buy it in a New York heartbeat.

I know how expensive the Bachmann booster is, though I won mine on eBay for a whopping $180.00 several years ago, but I'm glad now I have it. It has a fan and doesn't overheat like some of the other brands do. I've heard of guys putting fans on their other boosters to keep them from overheating. I also believe I would have fried some decoders if it were not for the sensitivity of the Bachmann booster in detecting the tiniest of shorts and shutting down, I'm happy with my Bachmann EZ Command and booster and I might add the reverse mods on my loops (3) nothing has failed or given me any trouble or problems in many hours of operating.
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