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Author Topic: E-Z Command tines out  (Read 5625 times)
HONZ

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« on: September 02, 2013, 09:46:36 AM »

hello all

for some reason my trains just stop after running for about an hour - used to be a half hour. I have to press the stop button to restart the trains, which run for about a minute or two, then stop again. I let the trains sit for a few minutes and restart - all goes fine for a while.

does anyone know why and how to remedy the problem?
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jward


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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2013, 10:56:22 AM »

it sounds like something is going into thermal shutdown. that is, as that component warms up, it overheats to the point that it shuts itself down. I've encountered this numerous times with decoders running at or near their current rating.

some follow up questions:

how many trains are you running at one time? are they older models that you had to install decoders in? or are they newer models that were dcc equipped? does the ez command shut down regardless of the number of locomotives being run, i.e. can you run just one locomotive for an extended period of time without problems?

since the ez command is a very basic, entry level system, it has limited current capacity. I suspect that you are exceeding this capacity by trying to run too many trains at once. keep in mind that any locomotive with a decoder will draw current whether moving or standing still. sound equipped locomotives draw more current than newer regular locomotives. older (pre 1990 or so) locomotives can draw enough current, even in a single locomotive, to tax the limited capacity of ez command.


possible solutions:


1. only run 1 or 2 locomotives at a time.

2. remove all unused locomotives from the track, or park them on sidings with electrical isolation. and turn that track off.

3. look into adding a booster for added current capacity.

4. you may wish to look into upgrading from the ez command to a more robust, full featured dcc system.

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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
HONZ

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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2013, 11:45:51 AM »

thanks jward

I kind of suspected an overheating problem - here are the answers to your questions.

how many trains are you running at one time? -2

are they older models that you had to install decoders in? - new models factory installed dcc equipped?

does the ez command shut down regardless of the number of locomotives being run, i.e. can you run just one locomotive for an extended period of time without problems - shuts down with one

I have been thinking about going to another dcc system - I know that you cannot recommend anything on this forum, but if you have a moment, please send me a recommendation  at honz.dw@gmail.com.

thanks again

doug
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Doneldon

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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2013, 06:25:52 PM »

HONZ-

Anyone's entry-level DCC system will work for you. EZCommand has minimal power and effectively no programming ability but Dynamis is both more powerful and more versatile. I suggest that you let your fingers do the walking -- do a web search for DCC systems, go to manufacturer web sites and compare the features and power of their entry-level systems. Make sure that whatever you consider is NMRA compliant. Almost everything is but there are a few proprietary items which are not fully compliant.
                                                                                                                                                       -- D
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Bob_B

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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2013, 08:55:05 PM »

I'm running the basic Dynamis DCC system and have no problem running four locos on a dual track that is about 5 meters x 2 meters. The controller is its' greatest feature IMHO. My only quibble would be that it only has 20 function keys. While this isn't a show stopper, some of my locos have 28 functions available and it would be nice to have access to all of them concurrently.
I considered other systems but in the end I wanted to have everything based on one single manufacturer and chose Bachmann because of their E-Z track as I want something for non-permanent layouts.
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jward


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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2013, 11:07:56 PM »

being true to one manufacturer shouldn't be a consideration in this hobby. most things are designed to work together. you can run anybody's HO train on anybody's HO track, for example. and anybody's dcc system will be able to control anybody else's decoder.

as an example, I use ward brand track (I make my own) with locomotives from Bachmann, atlas and roundhouse, pulling cars by Bachmann, atlas, athearn, kato, and model power, with a digitrax dcc system, using Bachmann, nce, digitrax and tcs decoder. and it all works together with minor if any modifications. the main determination to what you use should be if it meets your needs. personally, I did not choose ez command for my dcc because it did not meet my needs. by the time I invested in dcc, I would have already outgrown the ez command before I even purchased it. for others it might be different.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
Doneldon

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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2013, 11:54:19 PM »

I'm running the basic Dynamis DCC system and have no problem running four locos. My only quibble would be that it only has 20 function keys. While this isn't a show stopper, some of my locos have 28 functions available and it would be nice to have access to all of them concurrently.

Bob B-

Four locos, especially four recently manufactured locos, should present no challenge for Dynamis. As for the functions, few locos have more than that so it's adequate for most engineers. The ability to control 28 functions comes with a (high) price. And I would bet that just as soon as 28 functions become standard on DCC controllers, some manufacturer will come out with a loco sporting 35 features.

                                                                                                                                                       -- D
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Bob_B

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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2013, 12:01:03 AM »

being true to one manufacturer shouldn't be a consideration in this hobby. .....

That would be putting words in my mouth, I didn't say "true" but I appreciate it may have been implied.
I'm new to DCC and if I had it all to do again I probably would have chosen another control system but I am being polite here as I know mentioning other systems as a preference to Bachmann is somewhat frowned upon ;-)

However I am running a couple of BLI Paragon 2 locos in addition to Bachmann but only because I wanted a specific wheel configuration.
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Bob_B

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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2013, 12:11:49 AM »

..... As for the functions, few locos have more than that so it's adequate for most engineers. The ability to control 28 functions comes with a (high) price.  ....

I have two BLI Paragon 2 locos and both have 28 functions and I suspect most others, if not all in the range do as well.
As for "(high) price" I purchased them because they were very reasonably priced. A lot cheaper than some of the competition in fact.
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GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2013, 01:08:10 AM »

Darn, I thought this was about a "Swiss Army train".
"Tines"...."Swiss Army knife"......Its a joke son... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9gxoDlpEAY (not Fog Horn Leghorn this time, but the original source.)
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Doneldon

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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2013, 06:11:23 AM »

Bob B-

BLI are probably the most expensive US based trains you can buy unless you go to high-end brass. I have some Broadway models, too, and they are very nice. But you can get a Bachmann model which runs about as well and looks pretty great for a good deal less cash. That's excepting close-outs, pressured sales, etc., for both companies. You made my point as well as I made it myself. Thank you.
                                                                                                                                                      -- D
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Bob_B

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« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2013, 02:53:27 AM »


BLI are probably the most expensive US based trains you can buy ...


I must have a good local (Australian) supplier then ;-)
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