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October 25, 2020, 04:12:47 AM
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Author Topic: Can one connect two train sets with two different EZ commands and operate ?  (Read 145 times)
Ralph S

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« on: September 12, 2020, 06:00:21 PM »

Question.  If you have two train sets (both identical DCC train systems), can the two train sets be connected via the train track and not cause the EZ controllers to fail, since both are pulsing square wave DC with a continuous 1 amp on the tracks.  Similar to AC systems, I could devise a synchronizing circuit, where both pulses from each EZ controller are timed exactly the same.  Basically I'm looking at whether anyone has tried this with success minus the synchronizing circuit to connect two train systems where the tracks are connected without adverse issues.. 

 This is related to a previous post: Can two (2) EZ Command Controllers Work Together? 
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Len

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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2020, 06:03:24 PM »

In a word, no.

You can control two trains on the same track with one EZ-Command, but connecting two EZ-Commands to the same track is asking for all kinds of trouble.

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
Ralph S

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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2020, 06:46:08 PM »

Hate to be a stick in the mud....
But Would there be issues even if I used track separators to separate/isolate each train set from the other.  Yes, the engine would probably have a heart attack  (short as it crosses from one track system to the other) since the pulses aren't synchronized.
Basically, what I'm asking is track separators also won't work help the condition too?
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Len

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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2020, 07:24:33 PM »

The loco wheels will mometarily bridge the gap between sections, connecting the two command stations together. Which begs the question, why would you want to connect two command stations to the same layout to begin with?

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
Maletrain

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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2020, 09:48:05 PM »

There can only be one command station connected to any particular piece of track.  You need to read-up on how the command station sends commands to the individual locomotives to understand why there can't be 2 of them sending signals to the same track.  It is not just a matter of the square waves being in-phase from 2 systems.  That is only the power, not the signal.  The signal is created by slightly varying the pulse width of the individual square waves, sending binary code.  Having two systems trying to vary the same pulses by different amounts to send different signals to the same track simply would not succeed in getting any coherent signals to locomotives. 

That said, there is no reason that two command stations could not be connected to 2 different tracks, so long as those tracks do not connect to each other, even with insulated rail joints.  If a train tried to power over an insulated joint between two command stations, it would bridge the command stations together, and besides messing up any control signals being sent to locomotives, there would be a fight between the edges of the pulses that would be out-of-phase and cause short circuits that may or may not kill the command stations and possibly the locomotive decoders.

So, the only way to have 2 kids run 2 trains independently with 2 EZ Command controllers is to have 2 tracks that do not connect.  They might run around on the same layout, like an inside oval and an outside oval with no crossover between them.  But, it could get fancier than that, with the ovals becoming figure-8s and going over and under each other.  There could even be switches and sidings on each track, so long as they never connect with each other.

If that satisfies the kids, then maybe it is the cheapest and simplest way to go at this point.  But, if somebody ever decides to make those 2 separate tracks connect and that kills your investment, then I urge you to replace it with a system that is designed to have multiple throttles feed one command station so that they can control multiple trains on the same track.  As they get older, the kids will surely find that they can do more interesting stuff when they both have access to all the tracks.  But, if they are at the stage right now where they would stage collisions if they could run 2 trains on the same track, then you might be better off with two separate tracks, anyway, for the time being.
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rich1998

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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2020, 10:02:11 PM »

If you really want to run two trains on one track go to ebay and look for a MRC Command 2000. Three throttles on the panel and you can also find a set with two throttles on a lanyard also. Five throttles.
I had the set about eleven years ago.
One amp limit like the EZ Command.

Rich
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