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Author Topic: switching from dc to bachman ez command  (Read 8274 times)
CAMPBELL LYNN


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« 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 ")
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bapguy

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« Reply #1 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   
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Doneldon

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« Reply #2 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
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richg
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« Reply #3 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
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Jerrys HO
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« Reply #4 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
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Joe323

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« Reply #5 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
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jward


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« Reply #6 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.

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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Bucksco

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« Reply #7 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. 
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Joe323

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« Reply #8 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.
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Balrog21

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« Reply #9 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
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Jerrys HO
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« Reply #10 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
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Joe323

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« Reply #11 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.
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JerryB

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« Reply #12 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
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Joe323

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« Reply #13 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.
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jward


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« Reply #14 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.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
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