Author Topic: Bachmann Easy Command System  (Read 1322 times)

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Freight Train

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Bachmann Easy Command System
« on: January 28, 2016, 12:15:37 PM »
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I'm about to venture forth into DCC for my first time and about to buy my first engine and DCC system.  Right now I'm on a tight budget so I'm looking at online retailers who offer good discounts on the two items mentioned above. But I would like to get some input on the pros and cons on Bachmann's Easy Command system ( Is it worth getting as a first entry level system ? ). Also will it work with other brand locomotives other than Bachmann ? Like Atlas Gold series locos with sound and DCC. The system from what I saw on YouTube looked easy to operate but I would like to hear others opinions who've actually used the system. ?
Phoenix Southside Connecting Railroad (H0)
Moose River Railroad (N)

davefoxx

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Re: Bachmann Easy Command System
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2016, 03:16:11 PM »
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If it were me, I would pass over the Bachmann and go with a nice quality DCC starter set that can be easily expanded.  You won't be throwing your money away with a decent starter set, e.g., Digitrax Zephyr.  Take a look here:

http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/DCC-Starter-Systems-s/3252.htm

DFF

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Member: ACL/SAL Historical Society
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peteski

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Re: Bachmann Easy Command System
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2016, 03:47:14 PM »
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In theory all the DCC decoders are compatible with all DCC control stations (systems).

I agree with DFF, but my unit of choice is NCE PowerCab.  The price is right ($140) and if you expand in the future, the unit can be used as a regular NCE throttle.  NCE is much more intuitive in use (it gives you plain English prompts on the display) thank Digitrax with its ancient-calculator-style display.

http://www.blwnscale.com/nce-systems.htm

Granted, Digitrax is more  powerful (functionality wise), but most layouts never really need all those extra features.  So if you aren't planning on a club-sizes layout with block detection and automatic signalling then there is no need to complicate your hobby with a difficult DCC system.

Even if you are planning on expanding into a model railroad empire, I still say that starting out with intuitive and easy-to-use DCC system will not leave you scratching your head thinking why is this DCC so complicated.   :)
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

davefoxx

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Re: Bachmann Easy Command System
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2016, 05:23:39 PM »
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Ooh, I didn't realize that the NCE Power Cab could be had for $30.00 less than the Digitrax Zephyr!  Doooooooo it.  You won't be sorry.

DFF

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peteski

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Re: Bachmann Easy Command System
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2016, 06:28:37 PM »
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Ooh, I didn't realize that the NCE Power Cab could be had for $30.00 less than the Digitrax Zephyr!  Doooooooo it.  You won't be sorry.

DFF

Dave,
undisputedly, Digitrax seems to be the best DCC system in the universe - sorry that dared to mention an alternative.  :facepalm: I'm curious - have you ever had any experience using any other system besides Digitrax?
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

reinhardtjh

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Re: Bachmann Easy Command System
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2016, 06:37:37 PM »
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Dave,
undisputedly, Digitrax seems to be the best DCC system in the universe - sorry that dared to mention an alternative.  :facepalm: I'm curious - have you ever had any experience using any other system besides Digitrax?

Uh, why would anyone ever need to?  :trollface:

And I've operated on Digitrax, Lenz and NCE.  Although NCE only once.  The guy who had it gave up MR for kids and sold off his whole layout.  And it was a nice one. :(
John H. Reinhardt
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Rich_S

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Re: Bachmann Easy Command System
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2016, 09:06:41 PM »
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Dave,
undisputedly, Digitrax seems to be the best DCC system in the universe - sorry that dared to mention an alternative.  :facepalm: I'm curious - have you ever had any experience using any other system besides Digitrax?

Pete, I cannot answer for Dave but other than my Digitrax Empire Builder, I've operated on friends NCE and MRC Prodigy systems. They are all quality systems, although Tony's is showing the MRC Prodigy starter system at $179, $39 more than the price you found for the NCE system.

Rich S.

peteski

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Re: Bachmann Easy Command System
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2016, 11:00:28 PM »
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Pete, I cannot answer for Dave but other than my Digitrax Empire Builder, I've operated on friends NCE and MRC Prodigy systems. They are all quality systems, although Tony's is showing the MRC Prodigy starter system at $179, $39 more than the price you found for the NCE system.

So maybe you (ignoring the Digitrax knowledge you acquired by using your system) could you put yourself  in the shoes of a DCC newbie: some model railroader who is not really familiar with computer technology and who would quickly feel at home with an easy to comprehend DCC system?  Not just operating the throttle, but also configure the system and program decoders.

Would it be easier to do all those tasks following the English language prompt on the display of a system like NCE PowerCAB, or using the 4-digit 7-segment numeric display of the Digitrax Zephyr?  Do you see where I'm going with this?  To me a good DCC system should be as transparent as possible to the operator..
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

davefoxx

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Re: Bachmann Easy Command System
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2016, 11:08:04 PM »
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Dave,
undisputedly, Digitrax seems to be the best DCC system in the universe - sorry that dared to mention an alternative.  :facepalm: I'm curious - have you ever had any experience using any other system besides Digitrax?

Digitrax and MRC.

DFF

General Counsel to the Laurel Valley Ry.
Member: ACL/SAL Historical Society
A Proud HOer

Freight Train

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Re: Bachmann Easy Command System
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2016, 12:50:37 PM »
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Almost pulled the trigger yesterday and bought both the engine and DDC system I was looking at it. Something told me to come here and start asking questions. With all the great responses I  got made me hold off not buying that Bachmann EZ command system. I went to YouTube and started watching videos showing users with other systems. Then with all I gathered here and from YouTube I saw all the things the Bachmann system couldn't. It just does basic functions and that's it. It' s a great system for someone just getting into the hobby but for someone like me even though I'm new to DCC I' m not new to the hobby. I had reservations on the EZ system like not being able to rotate through lighting and sound functions and not being able to control volume. The other thing that occurred to me is what would happen if I went to train swapmeet and bought a used engine already programmed to the engines road number ? Now please correct me here if I'm wrong but it looks like to me that the Bachmann system can only do programming to short address's ? And if the road number on a diesel is considered a long address because of the added digits the Bachmann system will not be able to address the decoder inside leaving me stuck in the water.  So everything I've seen and heard so far I have to say I like the NCE Power Cab. Little bit of a learning curve but that' s to be expected with new digital devices. Wish I had enough cash as I would of bought that set at BLW. Though I 'll probably get it in a couple of weeks. I did end up getting a Atlas Gold  Morrison Knudsen C425 Phase 2. Thought it would be prefect for my short line switching layout. Wanted something a little bit different and a leaser locomotive fit the bill. I do want to thank everyone for all of your suggestions....really made me stop and think things through.      PSCR
Phoenix Southside Connecting Railroad (H0)
Moose River Railroad (N)

John

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Re: Bachmann Easy Command System
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2016, 06:24:36 PM »
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Sounds like a good choice .. glad to see you took the time to research it, and developed requirements for what you want it to do. Never mind the noise from Peteski :) .. ultimately, no matter the brand, they all do a pretty good job .. you just need to decide what you need .. good luck with it .. looking forward to hearing about your experiences.  And you have a good support group here as well.

djconway

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Re: Bachmann Easy Command System
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2016, 06:34:00 PM »
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Freight train you are going to get the mine's the best from a lot of folks for a lot of different systems, kind of like Ford Mopar Chevrolet debates.  I'm going to recommend that you go to model rr shows and WATCH what and how foolks are using on the display layouts. 

Think of what your needs are going to be 5 maybe 10 years down the road,  do not lock yourself into a system that can not use all of the components as you expand your system.

learmoia

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Re: Bachmann Easy Command System
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2016, 06:42:39 PM »
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I'm about to venture forth into DCC for my first time and about to buy my first engine and DCC system.  Right now I'm on a tight budget so I'm looking at online retailers who offer good discounts on the two items mentioned above. But I would like to get some input on the pros and cons on Bachmann's Easy Command system ( Is it worth getting as a first entry level system ? ). Also will it work with other brand locomotives other than Bachmann ? Like Atlas Gold series locos with sound and DCC. The system from what I saw on YouTube looked easy to operate but I would like to hear others opinions who've actually used the system. ?

I bought one for use on a young first timer's layout.

Pros:
Easy to use for locomotive selection and control.

Cons:
Requires a voltage reducer for N scale.
Poor Speed control. (Partially due to voltage)  May be better in HO scale.
Difficult to use functions.
Can't MU locomotives. (I don't think)

If your looking for a very simple system for a youngster to use, Bachmann is a good fit.

Beyond that, Speaking as someone who has experience with Digitrax, NCE ect.  I would point you towards their starter systems.

~Ian
Don't Neglect the Jewel Case!

reinhardtjh

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Re: Bachmann Easy Command System
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2016, 10:04:24 PM »
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Another thing to think about is if you have any modeling buddies around.  Look at what they use.  Although some problems may be generic to any brand DCC system, it can help to have others around to ask questions of when needed.  Another benefit is that you can take your cab to friends or they can bring theirs to you if you have train sessions.
John H. Reinhardt
PRRT&HS #8909
C&O HS #11530
N-Trak #7566

mmyers

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Re: Bachmann Easy Command System
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2016, 09:24:29 AM »
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If you happened to acquire an engine that is already programmed (even with a long address) the engine can simply be reprogrammed to a new address. The Bachmann system will do this. I think it is only capable of 10 addresses and not the normal 100 -128 short addresses.
back in the dark ages of DCC, my Digitrax Big Boy system would only handle short addresses. Couldn't read Cv's either. You just programmed the CV with the right value and played trains. Much quicker than wasting a bunch of time reading wrong data just so you know it's wrong.

That being said, i now run a Zephyr system and also have an empire Builder set. At the club we use a Chief. Through it all that old Digitrax equipment from way back when still works with the new stuff. So look for a system that will not go obsolete when something new comes around.

Martin Myers