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Author Topic: Newbie Information  (Read 232 times)
jeff.s

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« on: February 26, 2021, 02:18:43 PM »

I left model railroading in my 20's.  I am in my mid 60's and getting back into the hobby which has gotten a lot more technical.  I see a lot of non-DCC train sets at great prices.  But as a technology guy, I really like what DCC has to offer.  I am considering a 4x8 layout Bachman 012 that includes several switches and crossovers.  Several questions

1. Can I run a non-DCC locomotive on a DCC setup?
2. Are the DCC remote control switches as good as they appear to be?
3. Given the choice, knowing what you know would go with a DCC or analog setup?
4. Should I go with the traditional track or is the EZ track better?
5. Is the Bachmann EZ track compatible with a similar track from other manufacturers.


Thank you in advance, I appreciate your time and answers.

« Last Edit: February 26, 2021, 08:12:45 PM by jeff.s » Logged
Len

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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2021, 02:48:57 PM »

1. Can I run a non-DCC locomotive on a DCC setup?

-- Maybe, but generally not recommended. It depends on the DCC system you select.

2. Are the DCC remote control switches as good as they appear to be?

-- Opinions vary on this. An alternative is using regular remote switches and controlling them with someing like a Digitrax DS64 or DS52 stationary decoder. The DS64 can control 4 switches, the DS52 can control 2.

3. Given the choice, knowing what you know would go with a DCC or analog setup?

-- Personally, I'd go with DCC, but wire with blocks similar to a DC layout. Being able to switch blocks on/off makes troubleshooting easier. It also allows sidings to be switched off for storing locos without adding to the system load.

4. Should I go with the traditional track or is the EZ track better?

-- Which track is better is a matter of what you want to do with your layout. The fixed geometry and any sectional track system imposes limitations flex-track doesn't. On a 4 x 8 layout that may not be an issue. You might want to look through some track planning booklets, or download 'AnyRail' track planning software, to get some ideas.

5. Is the Bachmann EZ track compatible with a similar track from other manufacturers.

-- If the other track is also Code 100 rail. There is a slight height difference between traditional track on cork roadbed and EZ-Track. So some shimming of the cork, or sanding down of the EZ-Track roadbed, may be needed for proper alignment. The Walthers/Life-Like 'Power-Loc' track system has an adapter piece that lets it connect directly with EZ-Track

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


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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2021, 04:20:57 PM »

I'll comment on the switch (turnout) part. I had a DCC set up with DCC switches and it was hard for me to keep track of the locos and the switches at the same time with one DCC controller. I got rid of the DCC switches. With the switches, I like the idea of being able to see the physical position of the switch controller button at a glance.
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Feel like a Mogul.
jward


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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2021, 05:36:52 PM »

On question number 4, the answer is it depends alot on what you're trying to do. While the basic curve and straight track shares a common geometry with most HO sectional track, the switches are another matter entirely. Due to the width of the roadbed EZ track switches take u alot more room than the equivalent track without roadbed. Examples, the basic 18" radius switch in EZ track has a 30 degree curve, whereas the equivalent Atlas switch has a 20 degree curve plus a ten degree piece of curved track to bring it up to 30 degrees if desired. If you are building a yard, that extra ten degrees severely limits the number of tracks you can get in a given space. Making a crossover using #4 switches, the EZ track takes up about 20" with track centers of over 3" whereas the equivalent Atlas crossover is 16" long with track centers of 2" IN fact, the length taken up by the EZ track #4 crossover is also the same length used by the much gentler curved Atlas #6, which also results in parallel tracks on 2: centers.

Don't take my word on it, download a track planning software like Anyrail or SCARM, and lay out various track configurations for yourself. You'll see firsthand what can be done with various brands of track. Use the one that can fit what you want to do in the space you have to work with. I've used Atlas as an example in this post merely because it's the most widely available alternative to EZ track. On my own railroad, I build all my track from scratch, and can build #6 switches to fit where published plans call for #4s. My railroad as it currently exists has only 30 square feet of space, less than the area of a standard 4x8 sheet of plywood.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
jeff.s

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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2021, 08:15:26 PM »

I have been looking at the EZ Track layout, Bachmann 012.  It will meet my present needs and serve as a base when I look to expand to the full layout I want.
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rich1998

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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2021, 08:33:14 PM »

1. Can I run a non-DC locomotive on a DCC setup?

The motor can get quite hot even when the loco is stopped. Where both brushes contact the armature is the issue.. I have measured with an infra red temperature scanner with the loco in a test stand.
Last I knew, Bachmann EZ Command, MRC Command 2000 and I think a Digitrax system can run a DC loco using stretch zero bit. I use to have the MRC system.
DCC is a type of AC that makes the DC motor oscillate. The decoder changes it to a different form to run the DC motor. I have used a Scope to see the difference.

Rich
« Last Edit: February 26, 2021, 08:39:01 PM by rich1998 » Logged
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