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Bachmann EZ command

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Bachmann EZ command
Posted by Ringo58 on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 12:10 PM

 Is the bachmann DCC contoller any good?

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 12:17 PM

My answer is no! A very basic DCC command station. There are better ones abailable in the same price range, i.e. Digitrax Zephyr Express and others.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by jjdamnit on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 12:54 PM

Hello All,

Bachmann has two DCC controllers.

One is the E-Z Command and the other is the Dynamis.

These are considered "dead-end" systems.

Despite being "manufactured" by the same company these two are not compatible.

The E-Z Command only allows you to assign up to ten locomotives with 4-digit addresses. It also allows you to run a DC locomotive, through zero bit stretching.

You cannot write or read CVs other than loco addressing.

With the E-Z Command you can not add-on or upgrade to the Dynamis at a later date.

With the Dynamis, once you "max out" the system; throttles, 5A booster and Pro Box with IR Extension, that's as far as you can go, with a few exceptions.

The Pro Box allows you to add up to three throttles and the IR Extension allows for more infrared receivers to be added. The system is line of sight so large pikes benefit from the additional receivers.

By adding the Pro Box theoretically you can add a dedicated programming track but in reality it doesn't work. I had to add a NCE Auto SW Programming Track Auto Switch for "Programming On Service Track".   

If I had to do it all over again I would have gone with the NCE system. The number one reason is the ergonomics of the throttle. 

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by selector on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 1:23 PM

Quite a few people have a history of having started with the EZ-Command and were happy with their introduction to DCC that way.  Others, not so happy.

As far as I can tell, all DCC systems, no matter under what name they came or where they were assembled, have been good, solid, reliable systems that have done for their owners as they were designed to do.  So, quality across platforms and designs has been very good, and a darned sight better than, say, the HO scale locomotive offerings over the past 20 years.

About the EZ-Command, though: I had one.  I tried it, found it to be very confusing and frustrating due to it's severe hamstrung design.  First, its very low power, and secondly, and by far the worst of it, it can't change all the nifty CVs that make decoders as wonderful and capable as they are meant to be.  An analogy might be designing and bringing to market a very nice revolver that only shoots BBs.  Or a V-8 block with a short crank and only two cylinders with spark-plugs and working valves.

Lastly, about ten years ago, maybe as much as 12 already, Bachmann marketed a train set with an EZ-Command included, and if memory serves, it was around $100 for the whole thing.  THAT would have been a good bargain.

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Posted by Trainman440 on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 3:09 PM

I think the EZ command is a good beginner DCC controller. I myself began with the EZ Command + 1 DCC engine(GP40) set for only $80. It tought me the very basics of DCC, and how it works. 

The controller itself has very limited functionality(for simplicity), and no screen(which is probably its biggest downfall, making it somewhat harder to learn). But its a very good beginner DCC controller, with few buttons and large throttle. I later upgraded to the superior NCE Power Cab, after I managed to short out my EZ Command. 

Though the power cab(and others) is far more powerful, I would imagine starting off with one would be confusing as heck, with the long list of features, buttons, and abilities. 

In short, EZ command is a good starter controller, but nothing else. I'd recommend a Digitraxx Zephyr express or command(if found for cheap) for starters, then a NCE, MRC, or Digitraxx throttle for more advanced use. 

The EZ command is very comparable to the Hornby DCC Select:

 

Just my 2c.

Charles

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO

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Posted by BigDaddy on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 5:19 PM

selector
secondly, and by far the worst of it, it can't change all the nifty CVs that make decoders as wonderful and capable as they are meant to be.

That ought to be a deal killer right there. 

I started with the Power Cab, and it wasn't terribly difficult.  There is a learning curve and you do have to read the manual.  I  don't do nearly as much as is possible in tweaking CV's as some and am not into creating custom sounds.  But to be limited to just changing the loco number, I would stick to DC if that was the case.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by tstage on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 5:49 PM

I started out in DCC with a new E-Z Command and only paid $51.  I had it a year and - although very limited - it did what it did very well and I enjoyed it.  After a year the NCE Power Cab was released (2006) and I sold my E-Z Command to someone on the forum for $30.  For a $21 investment, I got to try DCC and determined it was the way I wanted to go.  I've been very happy with the Power Cab.

So, if you want to get your feet wet with DCC, have only limited funds, and can find one for <$40, the E-Z Command is not a bad deal.  However, if you have the $$$ and you already know that DCC is the way you are leaning, go ahead and purchase a good starter set that will allow you to enjoy the full range of DCC's capabilities.

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 7:14 PM

 The two Bachmann systems are not made by the same company - the EZ Command is made by Lenz, the Dynamis is from ESU.

 EZ Command can only assign a loco to a button on the controller, that's the extent of programming. To use on another DCC system, the locos are numbered 1-9 based on what button they were assigned to. You can operate F0-F9. That's it. No real expansion.

 The Dynamis is a stripped down version of a system ESU sold under their own name. The ESU version has many more features, even when the Dynamis is equipped with its expansion box. Dynamis works more like a typical DCC system in that you can program CVs, set loco addresses to whatever you want, and has some limited expansion. The biggest problem is that it was WAY overpriced for what it was, it had less capability than a Zephyr or PowerCab, yet cost 2-3x as much as either of those.

 Unless someone is ditching one of these REALLY cheap on eBay or some other sale site, it's not worth spending the money. If priced around $150-$200 for a Dynamis, you would be MUCH better served with a Zephyr or PowerCab. Frankly, I wouldn't pay more than $25 for an EZ Command. It's completely dead end and isn't worth spending more than the cost of a decoder on. Technically, both are dead ends - neither is made any more.

                                    --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by richg1998 on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 9:48 AM

I have seen this a few times at the Bachmann forums. Some found that they could not reset a decoder or change a CV. They could run trains just fine though.

I had a different issue.

I had the MRC2K. Five throttles. Throttle 1, DCC or DC loco. Throttles 2 and 3 also on the panel with 1.

Throttles 4 and 5 on a lanyard. Same 1 amp limit as the EZ Command.

Got me started. Gave it away after a year and bought a NCE Power Cab.

The Dynamis does have infrared issues from what I have heard.

Rich

If you ever fall over in public, pick yourself up and say “sorry it’s been a while since I inhabited a body.” And just walk away.

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Posted by hornblower on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 1:31 PM

A friend of mine recently purchased a complete HO scale layout that was powered using two EZ Command units.  As Bachmann literature states that you can't daisy chain two EZ Command units together, I'm not really sure what the builder did to wire the layout (basically three independent loops with switches connecting them together). After researching how to properly wire up an EZ Command system, I discovered (by accident) that Bachmann used to offer another unit to be used as an add-on walk around throttle you could hook up to the EZ Command.  Unfortunately, Bachmann quickly discontinued producing the add-on throttle due to poor sales.  As no mention of this walk around throttle appeared in the Bachmann EZ Command manual, it's no real wonder why it didn't sell.  Anyway, it is rather easy to select and run trains and the EZ Command will operate up to 9 DCC locos and 1 DC loco (button 10).  It probably would be an acceptable system for a one operator beginner layout as I'm sure it was designed to be.

Since I had an old AtlasMaster DCC system with both a master throttle and a second slave throttle tucked away in a box, I gave the system to my friend and we re-wired his layout with a real DCC bus to use it.  We put a long tether cord on the slave unit to act as a walk around throttle and now his layout operates as the original builder intended.  No, the AtlasMaster system doesn't offer much more than the EZ Command system but it does, at least, offer limited programming abilities and a few functions.  Besides, the system is no longer collecting dust in my closet.

Hornblower

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Posted by jjdamnit on Wednesday, June 3, 2020 3:50 PM

Hello All,

richg1998
The Dynamis does have infrared issues from what I have heard.

As a Dynamis user I can assure you that it does!

My pike is a 4'x8' walk-around. One of the 4' sides is against a wall.

I have the IR (infrared) Extension. This allows up to 3 IR receivers. These receivers are hardwired to the Pro Box and can be placed/mounted around the space.

The single receiver I use is mounted on the wall about 2-feet above the pike.

When the signal from the controller to the receiver is lost/interrupted the system kicks into a "keep-alive" type mode.

The last command packets received by the decoders are "held" until a new command packet is received.

After a minute of "no signal detected" the system shuts down. The time can be user-defined.

As a "line of sight" device, if I have the controller in my hand and turn my back to the receiver the system begins the shutdown count-down.

If the controller moves below the level of the pike the no signal protocol begins.

When the controller is farther away than ten-feet from the nearest receiver, it will shut the system down.

Unlike other "wireless" systems that use WiFi (an omnidirectional signal) the controller needs "see" the receiver(s) to operate.

As I have said before, if I had it to do over again, I would have gone with an "open-ended" system like NCE.

Hope this helps.

 

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by rs2mike on Thursday, June 4, 2020 9:07 PM

Started with the bachmann dcc set that came with 2 engines and a couple cars and track.  All I have left from the set is the track and controller.  I must have been one of the few that got the add on walk around controller.  It is very limted as everyone has said.  It was good to use to see if A) I wanted into this hobby B) if dcc is what I wanted to do with it.  I still use it today. Bear with me here.  I dont have a massive layout.  I have a 4x6 double loop.  Basically something for the kids to run trains and for me to test trains that I have bought or fixed.  It works great for what it is and it is easy for the kids to understand and use.  I also have an NCE power pro throttle that I use to change my cv and tweak the decoders.  It is tied to my test track on the bench for now.  This will be my system of choice if and when I go bigger. NCE is an expandable system. So I can buy extra controllers and extra power districts and all sorts of extra goodies.  I probably wont go too far into the goodies though.

Just some things to think over.

alco's forever!!!!! Majoring in HO scale Minorig in O scale:)

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Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, June 5, 2020 4:15 AM

Ringo58

 Is the bachmann DCC contoller any good?

 

 

A friend of mine uses it and is quite happy with it.. He also thinks my MRC Tech 6 is to limited since I can operated one engine without using the T-6 hand held throttle.

I have use Bachmanns's DCC controler and for basic 2 or 3  train operation its gets the job done...

Larry

Conductor.

Summerset Ry.


"Make Safety Your First Thought.. Not  Your Last" 

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