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Author Topic: Speed controller in the Bachmann 'Empire Builder' N scale set  (Read 5710 times)
seaisleRR

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« on: January 01, 2011, 04:43:55 PM »

Can someone tell me if the speed controller in the "Bachmann Trains Empire Builder Ready - To - Run N Scale Train Set" is the one
that is DCC compatible? I know that all they offer is the one for HO, N, etc. that is DCC compatible, and the one for large scale that
is not DCC compatible. But, I'm just making sure...  After some research, I'm pretty sure that the loco is not DCC ready, even though
I COULD convert it to DCC. And, yes, I know it has E-Z track (not what I want to end up with in the end).  Still, it's a decent starter set
for N scale. And, I'd like to eventually use some part of this on a larger layout with DCC locos.  Thanks, Steve

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robcope

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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2011, 07:58:20 PM »

No, it isn't DCC compatible.  You can plug it into the DCC E-Z commander controller and use it to control a DC loco with your DCC loco's.  I don't advise that approach, I tried it and the DC locomotives don't like it.  The engines whine and it sounds like they are about to burn up.  I will admit that I love my DCC E-Z commander controller and I have had no issues with E-Z track, other than operator error.  I can be like an elephant in a glass factory, so I take responsibility for breaking some E-Z track lol.
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2011, 11:41:02 PM »

Dear Steve,

I'm pretty sure this is the power pack set that is included with N scale sets:

http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/products.php?act=viewProd&productId=209

I'm also pretty sure that the statement "DCC compatible" means that it can plug into the EZ-Command controller:

http://www.bachmann.co.uk/pdfs/ez_man.pdf

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik

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If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
the Bach-man
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2011, 11:48:26 PM »

Dear Steve,
Joe's correct- the controller can be daisy chained with an EZ Command, and it becomes the analog address, freeing up address 10 on the EZ Command for another DCC address.
This cannot be done with Dynamis, which does not support an analog address.
Happy New Year!
the Bach-man
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robcope

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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2011, 12:38:30 AM »

Seems useless to daisy chain them as it seems to just burn up DC locomotives.  I have the F-7 from the explorer set and an Atlas DC locomotive that I wouldn't dare leave on the track unless they are running because I can only imagine after a short period of time they would burn up.  Has anyone else tried this.
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seaisleRR

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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2011, 03:54:25 AM »

Thanks everyone for all the info. And thanks Joe for the links, especially the DCC controller instructions pdf. That made it all clear.
I still think I might get that set. It's a decent set for a first dive into N scale. I have a "mid-size" HO layout in progress, and in a perfect
world with a HUGE room, I'd stick to that. But after going to the local model RR club's joint and seeing all the various scales setup,
my wife has shown 'some' interest in N scale. And I want to dabble with 'N' along with the HO scale.

I noticed on another post that a guy had problems with his locomotive from the "Empire Builder" set right out of the box.
I wonder if he got it fixed. Sure hope I don't end up with a fix-r-upper in a brand new set.

I plan to post more on other topics soon - such as the "Woodland Scenics Subterrain system", which is what I used on my HO layout;
my new found fascination with steam locomotives (used to strictly a diesel guy), and many other subjects to see what you guys think
and get some tips & tricks from more experienced model RR guys like you.

Thanks again for the help.
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DoubleDAZ

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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2011, 02:49:49 PM »

I noticed on another post that a guy had problems with his locomotive from the "Empire Builder" set right out of the box.  I wonder if he got it fixed. Sure hope I don't end up with a fix-r-upper in a brand new set.

If you are talking about me, I wouldn't let my experience deter you if you really want to get a set.  However, if I had to do it over, I would opt for a set with a diesel or smaller steam locomotive.  The steam locomotive in the Empire Builder set is definitely entry level.  The power pickup is via the wheels on the front truck only, only some parts of the gear linkage are actually connected and work, there are 2 wheels with tires that are not connected (that's how the tires came off), and the tender is just a tender like any other rolling stock.  I'd be very surprised if it can really be converted to DCC, but even if it can, I'm not sure the operation would be reliable.

Be advised though, that is just an opinion for what little I know about DCC so far.  I know very little at this point, but all you have to do is look through their on-line catalog to see/read the difference in their standard N-scale equipment and what they offer for DCC.  Even the diesels are very different, look between the trucks.  The locos have 8-10 wheels plus tenders that pick up power vs just wheels on the front truck.

I know the set appears to save money, but if your intention is to upgrade to DCC, you will spend less in the long run by simply buying what you want instead of a set.   But, that is just my opinion.  I'm going to start with a couple of diesels and add steam later.  Even with DCC, you need to do your homework to see if the E-Z Command System will satisfy your needs.  I'm not against Bachmann, but there are other systems out there.  The advice I got in another forum is to check with the local hobby shops to see what folks are buying in your area so you will have a resource for help.
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seaisleRR

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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2011, 06:20:52 PM »

Good points DoubleDAZ. I had already flip-flopped back in forth in my mind about the set before I read your post.
I think I'm going to skip it and either find a recommended starter DCC set or maybe, as you said, buy the parts separately.
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DoubleDAZ

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« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2011, 10:17:39 PM »

Good points DoubleDAZ. I had already flip-flopped back in forth in my mind about the set before I read your post.
I think I'm going to skip it and either find a recommended starter DCC set or maybe, as you said, buy the parts separately.

If you find something, please let me know.  Bachmann sells their E-Z Command controller with some diesels, but that's all I've seen so far, really haven't looked for DCC sets though.

FWIW, I just did a down/dirty check and as near as I can figure the loco cost me $25-$50.  I simply computed the cost of track/cars based on what I paid since and that came to just over $110.  At best, the loco cost me $25, at worst $50, so I don't feel I'm out too much.  And that doesn't even count the controller and power supply.  I've heard of some people who bought multiple sets just for the track.  FWIW, the loco goes for $58 on Amazon.
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the Bach-man
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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2011, 01:32:48 AM »

Dear All,
An analog loco can be safely run on the analog address, but cannot be parked, as it will fail.
Have fun!
the Bach-man
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