Advice really needed!!!

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stripes

Member
Well today my wife offered to buy me the Bachmann E-Z Comand DCC system
for Christmass!
I am DCC challenged and have always been afraid that it would be to complicated for me to set up, and use. For me, even DC is a real headache.
The reasons I am choosing this system is that its afordable and it also comes with a 0-6-0 loco for $165.00 msrp.
So, I am turning to you folks for advise and any info for a DCC newbie!


Thanks everyone!

David :D
 
Last edited by a moderator:

NZRMac

In Training Down Under.
From what I've read and heard others talking about, the system mayby too basic. You can't adjust CV's for accelaration and braking delays etc, limited amperage output. But it can be upgraded with a booster now.

Most guys tend to go with what others in their area use so you can share throttles for operation sessions.

Here's a good link for DCC newbies.

http://www.tonystrains.com/tonystips/dccprimer/index.htm

Ken.
 

stripes

Member
Thanks Ken! I don`t even know what CV`S are LOL
But I am downloading the book from the web site now!
Great link

David
 

Steve B

Firefighter
Listen Hornby are releasing a new DCC system soon and it supposed to be very good and best of all its aimed at the novice, but don't let that fool you, it's packed with features even some of the top of the line systems don't have yet. Bachmann are also releasing a new version soon so don't rush in and buy one just yet, i'm not, there's lots on the horizon coming soon
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Buy something better then that Bachmann system, you'll grow out of it FAST! I played with the demo at an LHS, and it was dissapointing.
 

Smoke

Southern Railway lives on
On the other hand, maybe you should kiss your wife right there is the store! Many model rails can only WISH thier spouses would make such an offer. Recently on an excursion to Hobby Lobby my wife found a Bachman Plus packaged trains set with a few cars, an FT in Santa Fe passenger colors, and a blue/yellow warbonnet Santa Fe road switcher and a Bachman DCC system all in the same box for $169.95 and asked if I wanted it. The catch I have had a CVP EasyDCC system on the layout since 1998! It's the thought that counts. Since then she discovered a nearby Hobby Lobby with a sale on Woodland Senics ground foam. Bought ten shakers of the stuff for under $40.00. Maybe I should kiss my wife right there in the store!
I also found a Hobby Lobby with ground foam on sale. If they don't ahve it on sale they run a 40% off one regular priced item every other week. Just go to Hobby Lobby's website and on the top click on current specials. This week's coupon is for 50% off any of wilton's products.

-dekruif
 

stripes

Member
Thanks for all the advise guys! My wife is great! While starting on this new layout I have been having a real headache with the wiring so she said it was to bad that I could not just use the computor! Well, I explained to her that there was a DCC system that would simplify powering the trains, Thats when she offered to buy it for Christmass.
This is the acctual set I was thinking of getting
http://www.wholesaletrains.com/Detail.asp?ID=200429902
as it will include a Loco also! The other thing is that I really never expect to run more than 2-3 trains at one time anyway. The building of structures and scenery are more fun to me than the train operations! (that may change)
Anyway, I will keep reading and learning about DCC , and see what happens.
There is a Train show near here (Sudbury, ON. ) in Nov. I may find something there!!
David
 
I don't think anyone has recommended the PowerCab by NCE... I have the Powerhouse Pro, which is the basis for the PowerCab, and it's a really inexpensive piece of equipment, with most of the features of the Powerhouse Pro. I have the Bachmann E-Z Command and the main reason why you'll be left wanting more is that your locomotives can only be numbered 1-9! All the other systems allow you to use 2 digits and many allow 4 digits, so you can program the number according to the road number of your loco.
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
Advice? Well, how about "take your vitamins every day".... oops.... :D

I think you ought not to look a gift horse in the mouth here, though if you in a position to, you might want to look at the NCE PowerCab. It's probably more bang for the buck, especially if the Bachmann is at $165; the PowerCab is $139 at Tony's Train Exchange. She can save some $$$ that she can spend on herself while you get a better system that's expandable down the road.

Of course, if the wife is of the mind to limit your MRR empire, then she might insist on the Bachmann system.....

:D

Kennedy
 

NZRMac

In Training Down Under.
Also the set your looking at is just the 'Standard line' of Locos not a 'Spectrum'

And it isn't computer controller-able yet.

Ken.
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
Stripes, the EZ-DCC system will get you started, but I fear that it will be one of those purchases that will ultimately disappoint you. You'll look back on it and you will feel badly that you agreed to let your wife buy something for you that will have neither longevity nor great utility. When she learns of it, she will be disappointed that her gift did not stand the test of time.

I had no prior experience in DCC and dove headfirst into a Super Empire Builder, a dinosaur system from Digitrax. No, I am not at all disappointed, but it took some sweaty moments and wee-hours reading to get my trains to do what I thought they should. My point is, in for a penny, in for a pound. Spend another $15 or so and get a Zephyr or Prodigy. At least you will be able to adjust the Configuration Variables (CV's) that make the locomotives strain to accelerate, brake and take forever to come to a stop, and all the other cool realism effects that make these decoders so wonderful. With the EZ-DCC, you will not be able to adjust the decoders to get the finest performance that they offer. It would be like buying a $2600 car audio system and putting it in a rust bucket that even your best friend wouldn't drive for you. What a waste!

So, my advice is to trust that you have an ability to read and understand a manual that requires only a Grade 7 level of reading to comprehend. Sure, you will have some false starts...don't we all? But you will be simply amazed at what your DCC locos will do for you, with only the push of a single button. Better, not a single block switch, and you can get two locos on the same stretch of powered track to meet nose-to-nose.

Be honest with your mate, and tell her that you have thought better...with some research.
 

stripes

Member
Ok, I want to thank everyone for the great advise!
My biggest concern is that I will not be able to wire in the decoders to the few existing engines I have! and thats assuming that they will accept decoders, All of my engines are older e-bay purchases.
I will keep studying about DCC and make my choice eventually! I just know I do not want to go through the time and effort to wire my new layout for DC,
only to switch to DCC in a year or so!
David
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
Just tell us what locos you have, and somebody will be able to tell you how to wire them up. Alternately, join one of the general DCC yahoo groups....

Kennedy
 

jacon12

Member
I'd go for the Digitrax Zephyr also. When I got mine I didn't know didly about dcc and I'm still no expert on it, but you don't have to be. Hook two wires to the layout and take off to running trains. The installation of decoders is another matter and one that you'll have to learn either from here or a Yahoo group such as the Digitrax Users Forum. I understand the plug and play types aren't difficult but the soldered in variety can be, but that's just part of the learning curve in the hobby. Like Selector said, if you can read and understand on a 7th grade level, you can handle a Zephyr or comparable alternate brand. I think all the brands are pretty good, just don't buy to simple a one.
Jarrell
 

stripes

Member
Dcc

I've been researching DCC systems also, and so far I like the Digitrax Zephyr. ;)

Stan.
I was a vendor at the train show today, and the only LHS within 50 miles had a table too. The Digitrax was $249.00 on sale! Way too expensive for me just to run 2-3 trains!
David
 




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