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October 15, 2018, 06:53:43 AM
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| | |-+  EZ Command Walk Around Companions--will they ever be made again?
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Author Topic: EZ Command Walk Around Companions--will they ever be made again?  (Read 1933 times)
kraigb

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« on: May 14, 2017, 08:20:03 PM »

Will Bachmann ever be making the walk-around companion for EZ Command again? I want to have two operators (my son and I), and we have an EZ Command. The Dynamis system would clearly work but it's too expensive, as apparently you need the command station, then the Pro box, and THEN the second handset.

I've had ZERO luck locating a walk around companion controller on eBay and many different online hobby stores.

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Piyer


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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 07:31:01 PM »

The companions do show up on eBay from time to time, the most recent being a used one that was posted as a "buy it now" for $40 sans box and instructions. That listing was back in mid-March. So there is some hope on that front.


Now, that said.... I don't know if you know your way around electronics or not, nor how big and complicated a layout you have, nor your son's age and level of interest in the hobby, so this might be overkill, but...

My recommendation would be to look into upgrading to a more advanced DCC system, preferably one with a computer interface. A free, open source program called JMRI (Java Model Railroad Interface) http://jmri.org/allows you to more easily program the various settings on your decoders, and - via wifi - allows you to connect your smart phone (Droid and Apple) to your layout as a throttle. I believe that it works with many tablets too.

As for what DCC system to upgrade to... if you know your way around electronics (or are game to learn) there is DCC++ https://github.com/DccPlusPlus/BaseStation/wiki/What-is-DCC--Plus-Plus which is basically a do-it-yourself DCC system. If that low cost option is enough to turn your hair gray, you could go with the basic version of most any other DCC system. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that Dynamis (nor EZ Command) can be connected to a computer / interface with JMRI.

I understand perfectly the need to stick to a small budget, but think of it like this: EZ Command is a new driver's first car. It gets you were you need to go, but it's short on amenities. By upgrading you get things like automatic transmission, power steering, a CD player in place of that 8-track player, and "AC" isn't just another word for opening the windows and driving really fast. A more advanced (and yes, more expensive) DCC system will let you fiddle with the CVs, power / speed match locomotives, and so much more.

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~AJ Kleipass~
Actively modeling in N, HO, and 2-rail O scales.
kraigb

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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2017, 08:03:45 PM »

Thanks. I did come to the conclusion that it was best to go to another system that's more easily extendable, and sell off the Bachmann main controllers that still seem to do well on eBay.
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Warflight

I'll be your Huckle Bearer...


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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2017, 03:47:22 AM »

Though I will be upgrading to something more advanced, I am using the EZ Commander for now, and having a BLAST with it (yes, it's limited, and yes, it is kinda like that first car) but I too would LOVE to find the walk around companion... and I'm still a bit disappointed that Bachmann canceled the wi-fi interface for the EZ Commander... that could have been SWEET! (and who knows... had that actually been made, I might not feel bothered to upgrade... I am only planning a small layout, after all)
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ACY


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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2017, 03:50:12 PM »

but I too would LOVE to find the walk around companion... and I'm still a bit disappointed that Bachmann canceled the wi-fi interface for the EZ Commander... that could have been SWEET! (and who knows... had that actually been made, I might not feel bothered to upgrade...
I would like to hear more about this "wi-fi interface"
I am only familiar with a computer interface through the standard I/O port, I had no idea anyone had a wi-fi interface, and I never knew Bachmann intended to originally support such an interface just the standard computer interface.
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Warflight

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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2017, 04:32:17 PM »

I would like to hear more about this "wi-fi interface"
I am only familiar with a computer interface through the standard I/O port, I had no idea anyone had a wi-fi interface, and I never knew Bachmann intended to originally support such an interface just the standard computer interface.

It was called "Bachmann EZ Command Smart Interface", and was a project that didn't get much further than showing it off at a few shows. Bachmann wasn't just going to support it... they built it! I don't know why it was canceled... I can only speculate that the cancellation may be related to EZ App...

Here's the information on it from Bachmann themselves: http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/docs/E_Z_Command_Smart_Interface.pdf
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ACY


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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2017, 07:05:13 PM »

Thanks that seems vaguely familiar now. I think another company made one for their DCC system.
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Warflight

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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2017, 07:18:55 PM »

I totally would have bought it, had it ever been made! (provided it would be under $200, of course)
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