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I am a relative newbie to digital and have recently purchased a Bachmann EZ-Command digital set. If anybody is thinking of trying out digital control then you could do worse than invest in the EZ-Command starter set which is remarkable value for money and contains two chipped tank locos and a few wagons to play around with.

What I did not appreciate was that the EZ-Command controller permits you to run one standard train without a chip. So you can operate 3 trains on your layout immediately!

And the lights are on all the time. I know that lights being on all the time is old news for the digital converts, but for somebody who is new to this sort of thing it is a miracle!

And the other interesting think is that my older locomotives fitted with Triang Hornby synchrosmoke smoke all the time even when stationary. It does look very realistic although the smoke oil in the reservoir does not last that long as a result of the constant high current burning the oil but for 5-10 minutes per top up it is a very good effect.

Click here for the review.

Gary
 

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DT
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Add a decoder to the loco with the smoke unit and put that onto a function so that you can turn the smoke on and off from the controller.

I see that this has been developed for Bachmann by Lenz. So it should be NMRA complient. The EZ-Command has a Lenz X-bus socket so you can connect other Lenz modules.
 

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Many people are not aware that the two locos supplied in the Bachmann set are exclusive to this set only. Although based on older production models, the liveries are unique. One of the locos has a history of involement in the USA version of Thomas the Tank Engine, previously unseen in the UK.

The 2005 Bachmann set has completely new unique locos, so the 2004 locos will be in short supply soon.
 

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I have noted that "Model Rail" magazine reviews EZ-Command in June's edition.

They don't rate it but then they are reviewing it as experts. The reviewer here was reviewing it as a complete DCC drongo! There are one or two features that the MRF reviewer did not pick up on that Model Rail report and thats about it really when you comapre the reviews. We all know that EZ-Command is not upwardly mobile and that you cannot operate accessories from it but this can be done with the old fashioned analogue methods (points etc) without drawing power from the track. And how many railway modellers operate more than 10 locos at a time?

The downside appears to be an inability to run more than 3 locomotives at a time due to lack of power but then how many modellers on their own are going to actually run more than 3 locos at the same time?

vintagemodeller
 

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I recently bought the E-Z controller as I have just dipped my toes into the water as far as DCC is concerned and have thoroughly enjoyed using, it is simple to set and use and does what is advertised. Later on when I have finished my layout ( if a layout is ever finished) I may look at a more versatile unit so I can programme the decoders but that is a long way off.
Steve
 

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A question that has yet to be answered is this: Even though the EZ-Command does not have advanced CV parameter programming abilities, if you do have access to a programmer, will the EZ-Command recognise the programmed commands and run the locos accordingly or does it just ignore the extra values?
 

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I think you have to realise the limitations of Bachmann's EZ-DCC. I does represent excellent value for money. But in 3 years time swop meets will be full of them.

It has a very limited capacity of 1 amp. Each DCC loco on the layout regardless of if it's running or not does draw some power off. I would suguest that you probably have a maxium capcity of 6 loco's on the layout with possibly two moving simulataniously. This might be fine for a 4ft x 8 ft tail chaser, but too little good for anything else. It has no real programming capability. It has very limited functions. It is limited to single digit addressing. Understand with layouts of 60 - 80 loco's 4 digit addressing and loco's of amps are essential. Every DCC system can run loco's without a decoder, (Bachmann didnt design your system Lenz did) the loco will be noisey, due to the additional vibration of the motor. Small motors tend to overheat very quickly so this isnt a good idea for N gauge.
If you want to dable a bit with programing I sugguest Decoder pro for your PC this will give you all the tools you want, as long as you stick to single figure addressing.
Sprog
decoder pro
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 8 Jul 2005, 06:29)A question that has yet to be answered is this: Even though the EZ-Command does not have advanced CV parameter programming abilities, if you do have access to a programmer, will the EZ-Command recognise the programmed commands and run the locos accordingly or does it just ignore the extra values?
An answer for you, yes if you program a decoder it will respond as it is programmed regardless of what system you use.
Programming CV's doesn't affect the DCC system, it affects only the decoder and the way it responds to commands from the command station.

If you want to try the next step up from E-Z command try the Digitrax Zephyr, you'll get a full feature system with almost infinite expandability, for about the same price as a Lenz Compact which has less features and isn't very expandable.
 

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I have to agree with that. I helped a friend setup a Zephyr on an 0 gauge layout
and it's a fully featured unit. The only restriction being 3 amps. It's fully expandable
with a clearup grade path so boosters, additional trottles and all the toys that people like to add to DCC as they become more experienced are easily added to the system. It
represents outstanding value for money.
 
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