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Author Topic: RF-16 DCC Question  (Read 6623 times)
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2009, 10:03:42 AM »

Features of the decoders with these locomotives  include, 2 and 4 digit addresses, 28 and 128 speed steps, advanced consisting, dimmable lighting, settable acceleration, deceleration, starting speed, and much more.

The above is copied directly from this web site.  Click on E-Z Command, DCC equipped locomotives.  Go figure.

Yampa Bob


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« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2009, 01:36:36 PM »

That section seems to refer to the EZ Command "system", which includes the EZ Command controller and the EZ Command standard 2 function decoder, both produced in partnership with Lenz. Note the comment, "28/128 speed steps", which applies only to the decoder, not the controller.

Apparently the decoder boards are not a part of the EZ Command "system". I checked one of the boards, there is no indication of manufacturer, only a revision date of 2004. Instructions and specs are available for the EZ Command decoder, but not for the decoder boards.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2009, 06:13:33 PM by Yampa Bob » Logged

I know what I wrote, I don't need a quote
Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.

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« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2009, 06:40:04 PM »

Bob, I was initially puzzled by your differentiation between decoders and decoder boards but I think I have figured it out.  If I am correct, your "decoders" are the general purpose decoders typically packaged in shrink wrap and your "decoder boards" are decoders designed to physically fit a particular type of locomotive and often referred to as "Plug and Play" decoders.  Like scale designations on decoders, the use of a particular decoder is only a suggestion.  What I mean is, if you want to take a decoder that is a light board replacement Plug and Play decoder designed for Kato diesels and put it in a Bachmann steam locomotive, by all means do so, as long as the ratings are adequate, the functions are what you need, and there is physically enough room.

As far as determining manufacturer, you are better off looking into CVs 7 and 8 than looking at the board.  A decoder may have BRAND X printed on the package but the printed circuit board probably came from a different supplier located elsewhere in the world.  The board was probably populated in yet another country half a world away using components from a host of different countries.  What makes it a BRAND X decoder may in part be a physical arrangement of the hardware but more likely is the internal programming that makes the hardware work.  And the owners of the BRAND X name are usually proud enough of their work that they have their NMRA assigned manufacturer code permanently etched into CV8 and their version number of that decoder similarly programmed into CV7.

The above should explain why two very different looking decoders (e.g. one a general purpose, the other a Plug and Play) can have identical specifications while two physically identical decoders can have quite different specifications.  It also helps explain "mules" - decoders that are different from and usually better than what you thought you bought yet do not correspond to any catalogued type.


Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
Yampa Bob


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« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2009, 09:04:43 PM »

Digitrax refers to the "full length" decoders as "Board Replacement Decoders". If that designation is acceptable to all, then that is what I will call them. LOL

Of course I totally agree that a board designed for a particular locomotive can be installed in any locomotive if the ratings and functions are acceptable, however a main consideration is available space.

To answer the original question, I was hoping someone with an advanced controller would "read" one of the decoders used in Bachmann standard line diesels, to determine if CV 19 is supported, and CV 7 / CV 8 for the manufacturer.  Lacking that ability myself, all I could do was search the internet and report my findings. (rather lack thereof).

After 3 days of searching, I'm afraid my "bloodhound" instinct has lost the trail.  Cheesy

I know what I wrote, I don't need a quote
Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.

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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2009, 11:39:59 PM »

Bob, Jim,
I haven't given up on this yet...minor glitch...I gave my old LocoBufferII to the PSU Club, because it would stay in one place, and the external power supply would not be an issue, and they have an old PC at the layout to use.
Meanwhile I bought myself a new LocoBuffer USB and a new MacPro laptop...trouble is I haven't had the time to set it up for the last few months, and now when this came up, I find I must have Decoder Pro back  up and running  (I also have about 6 installs for myself that need to be programed and tweaked.  No happiness yet...I am missing a crucial USB/Serial driver to make the laptop talk with the LocoBufferUSB.  Have been messing around with it for a few days now and will have to get on the JMRI group and look for the answer or ask for help.  Once I have that solved, I'll take it over to my friends layout and read the darned engines and report what I find.
Boalsburg,  PA
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