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Author Topic: Multiple DCC throttles  (Read 10002 times)
lanceraider

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« on: May 03, 2011, 04:52:45 PM »

Hi everyone, this is my first post.
I want to convert to DCC. I need two throttles (two kids, two throttles = less arguing). Can someone tell me what equipment I should get to make this happen? I just need basic throttle functions nothing too complicated for the kids. thanks Bruce
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ACY


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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2011, 05:15:16 PM »

You want Product Code: 44902 (E-Z Command Digital Command Control System) & Product Code: 44907 (E-Z CommandŽ Walk-Around Companion (with Connector Wires)). You cannot buy 2 of product code 44902 and connect them together. Make sure you are clear what you are buying if you purchase online, because it can get confusing.
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Nathan

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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2011, 05:21:55 PM »

There are many good systems out there that will work.  Many under $200 for the base system and add-on throttles under $75.  What are your long term plans for DCC?  Future plans need more then four throttles at one time?  What scale are you working in?  How many locomotives do you plan to run one one train?

Every one has their favorite brand, and many will tell you 'only look here'.  If there are any clubs near where you are at take a look at what they are using.  If there is a hobby shop within a reasonable drive, see what they have.

I use the NCE system.  The low cost one is the Power Cab.  It will allow only two throttles with the base system.  Adding an SB3a will allow four throttles.  Everything will also work with there Power Pro series which will allow about 60 throttles with wireless ones if that works for you.
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ACY


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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2011, 05:28:41 PM »

There are many good systems out there that will work.  Many under $200 for the base system and add-on throttles under $75.  What are your long term plans for DCC?  Future plans need more then four throttles at one time?  What scale are you working in?  How many locomotives do you plan to run one one train?
Every one has their favorite brand, and many will tell you 'only look here'.  If there are any clubs near where you are at take a look at what they are using.  If there is a hobby shop within a reasonable drive, see what they have.
Nathan he said quote
Quote
I just need basic throttle functions nothing too complicated for the kids.
That pretty much limits you to an E-Z Command, because most of if not all the full systems are pretty complicated at least when you start out.
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NWsteam


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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2011, 06:01:30 PM »

Quote
That pretty much limits you to an E-Z Command, because most of if not all the full systems are pretty complicated at least when you start out.

I would have to disagree here. We have kids at our local club running several systems. And by kids I mean young lads (and some ladies too). I say shop around and get several opinions before you buy. Go talk to your local hoppy store and they will help you out a lot.

-Brad
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2011, 06:17:48 PM »

I would say that it depends on where and why the simplicity is needed.  One of the things I like about my Digitrax Zephyr starter system is that is can do about everything in terms of programming but the basic throttles are simple to operate.  That makes it a good choice if the simplicity is for the kids but Pop doesn't mind a bit of learning.  On the other hand, if the simplicity requirement is for everyone including Dad, then the E-Z Command is a better (and cheaper) choice.

Jim 
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Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
jward


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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2011, 08:48:15 PM »

the nice thing about the zephyr is that you can plug in two dc controllers to it and have a 3 person railroad. the zephyr allows you to assign certain locomotives to the dc controllers, but leaves this choice up to the person using the zephyr throttle. if the kids are running on the dc controllers, there is no way they can accidentally reprogram something. they are limited to speed and direction controls, while you retain ultimate control of the entire railroad.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Bucksco

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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2011, 10:09:42 PM »

For simplicity and value E-Z Command is the way to go!
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Doneldon

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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2011, 11:16:37 PM »

lance-

I won't try to tell you what to do, at least as far as what system to buy, but I will suggest that you give yourself a week to make your decision.

I'm rather stunned by how fast this thread has caught fire with what seems to include some strong personal feelings. It seems to me that the various opinions are premature in that they come from far too little information beyond your statement that you just need something simple for the children. I don't doubt that is true, but simple is a concept with little consensus as to meaning, so what you mean and what the other posters mean may be the same or miles apart. Moreover, simplicity is only one issue which influences a decision about what system to buy. Please notice here that I'm not advocating for or against any of the recommended systems. Indeed, I could make a case for any of the suggested systems, depending on just what you need and/or want. And that's my point: your decision needs to be predicated on a fuller understanding of just what is important to you, not just a statement which understandably means different things to different people.

Accordingly, please tell us more about what you're looking for in a simple or entry level system. How old are your children? Do you expect their interest in model railroading to continue for a while or be gone before the end of summer? Do you plan to be part of the hobby with your boys? Exactly what do you want your system to do beyond making trains run around in a circle? How many trains do you anticipate will be running at one time? What are your expectations, if any, about future expansion? Will you be running trains with sound and/or lights? Do you think you might want to dabble in computer interfaces with model trains? Do you anticipate that your children will have friends in model railroading or that they'll join a model railroading club? What about you?

Now I'm not trying to sound like the grand inquisitor here; I'm merely pointing out that a lot more goes into a decision about what DCC system to buy or, for that matter, whether DCC is a better option than "simple" DC.

That brings us full circle to my original point. Advice is premature when it's based on only minimal information. Tell us more and I think the other posters, and even I, will be able to offer suggestions which will be much more useful because they'll be based on needed information.
                                                                         -- D
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Jerrys HO
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2011, 11:46:17 PM »

Lance,
Just to say I just recently started back in this great hobby. There is a couple of things I will say and that is I did alot of research and decided to go with all Bachmann equipment thinking small at the time. Well low and behold my layout is 16x16x10.5 in a U shape. And to think it all started with the diesel digital commander set which I am very happy with. Believe it or not this layout is all controlled by the Bachmann DCC command controller. I do not (at this time anyway)plan on running more than three trains at one time. If I do upgrade it will be much later after I get my feet wet on this DCC system and I am sure I can sell off the old to someone wanting to give it a try and then upgrade. I would start with a little starer set as I did and get a walk around controller and take it from there. My local train club uses a much more sophisticated system but they also run 15 to 20 trains at once and they also said the bachmann system is the best starter set to get me started and I can just grow from there.
Jerry
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Ken G Price


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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2011, 01:08:35 AM »

Bruce, the one thing that no one has mentioned is that with any of these systems you must read the manual.

We who have been doing this awhile hear about problems that could have been avoided if the person with their new DCC system had read the manual thoroughly.

Have fun!
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Ken G Price N-Scale out west. 1995-1996 or so! UP, SP, MoPac.
Pictures Of My Layout, http://s567.photobucket.com/albums/ss115/kengprice/
NarrowMinded


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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2011, 01:33:35 AM »

I use the EZ command for my two girls 6yrs and 4yrs Very easy for them to use.

 I have not bought the Companion yet... But its coming soon, the little one likes to crash things, so two engineers at once have to share one throttle for now.

NM
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lanceraider

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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2011, 11:51:03 AM »

Wow thanks everyone for taking the time to give me the benefit of your experience. Your input has helped immensely, although I am now wondering if the Bachmann turnouts # 44559 & 44560 are compatible (powered frog issue) or will they need to be changed out.   Thanks again Bruce
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2011, 02:24:37 PM »

Your turnouts are probably ok with DCC.  "DCC friendly" turnouts generally have an insulated frog and the point rails (the ones that move) have the same polarity as the stock rails right beside them.  The insulated frogs allow all rails to be continuously powered which in turn makes it easy to manufacture the turnouts with the point rails matching polarity with their stock rails.  The Bachmann turnouts I have (product number unknown) are wired that way.

Even turnouts that were not designed to be DCC friendly rarely have shorting problems with diesels and short wheel base steamers.  Long steamers with sets of 6 or 8 or more drivers can be troublesome if the drivers on one side touch both the point rail and its stock rail and that stock rail is NOT the same polarity as the point rail.  Often it is possible to temporarily relieve this problem with a bit of nail polish to insulate one or the other rail.  On my own H0 layout, I have more than 50 turnouts all manufactured in the days pre-DCC.  Only one was troublesome all the time until I rebuilt it to be DCC friendly.  Another is troublesome only occasionally and only with Hudson (4-6-4) locomotives.  Consolidations (2-8-0) locomotives rarely if ever cause a problem at this turnout.

Why were there no problems in the days of dc?  DC power packs were protected by circuit breakers which took several seconds, sometimes up to a minute, to trip.  By then, the offending locomotive was long gone from the short circuit site.  DCC systems are protected by "electronic circuit breakers" which shut off the power in milliseconds, stopping the the offending locomotive where it shorted and continues to short circuit the track.   On my own layout, I find operator error, usually running through turnouts set the wrong way, is much more common than shorting at non DCC friendly turnouts.

Bottom line, if you already have the turnouts in place, try running with them.  If they work, they work.  If not, then it is time to think about changing them out.  If they are electric remote control, just leave all that wiring as is including whatever is powering them (your dc power pack maybe?)

Jim
« Last Edit: May 04, 2011, 02:27:29 PM by Jim Banner » Logged

Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
Burto

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« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2011, 03:24:17 AM »

Hello to all those who proceed to give advice without reading what the enquirer wants.It has me beaten as to why some of you participate on the Bachmann Forum when your talk seems to promote other systems.I suggest you change your allegiance to the NCE and Digitrax Forums.There is heaps to read and improve your technical qualifications on these other products.I suggest you learn more about the Dynamis.Lenz is no slouch in the DCC stakes.So
much for my dollars worth,AU or US.
 Burto
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