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18395 Views 132 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  Johan de Villiers
Can anyone give me some info in this system due for release from Bachmann probably at the Warly Show DYNAMIS?

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I also picked up the leaflet at Warley.

The picture of the unit looks vaguely like a grotty picture of the ESU ECoS unit in an advert in Dec RM. Bachmann , of course , have recently started selling an obsolete ESU decoder with back EMF.

The only startling feature is the statement "Available Spring 2007". Spring could be quite an elastic concept in Barwell, but even so this implies they are in the final stages of development and very close to starting manufacture . Frankly this seems very difficult to credit given the spase info to date.

To pick up Neil and MMD's argument that "Bachmann and Hornby should stay out of DCC" and "buy a top of the line" system - I think we have a fundamental difference of philosophy here.

DCC in the UK is at the crossroads. It could stay a small niche product , targeted at a limited number of "early adopters" who want the latest cuttign edge technology regardless of what it costs - the equivalent of the computer gamers who buy the latest cutting edge graphics card at £200 a time as soon as it comes out, upgrade their machine every year to the latest top end spec etc etc

Or it can become mass -market: a control system for general use. Until now , the cost has been prohibitive for most people. For someone with 100 locos and a sizeable layout - and there are a surprising number of them out there- , the cost of "going DCC" with top end equipment across the border , as recommended by most existing DCC enthusiasts would be about £3000 to £4000 : near to the sort of money most families spend on their main car

This for an almost entirely dispensible bolt on luxury to their hobby. How many of you are prepared to go out and spend £4000 on a new hi-fi system? (I don't mean a television - all the family share in that). Would you spend that on a new computer when your existing machine is perfectly serviceable , though not exactly cutting edge ?

The standard resposes ,"you don't need to chip most of yuour locos" amounts to saying "not only will it cost you a fortune , you've got to dump most of your collection as well"

4 years ago a DVD player cost at least £200 in the UK and only about 5% of the population had one. Now you can buy them for £19.99 in Tescos - and almost everyone has one. The Tescos specimen would make any audiophile grind his teeth - I have something rather better from Richer Sounds . But that's not the point. Drop the price and the product goes mass market. This has been the story for every electronic product bar DCC

Until a few years ago DCC prices in the UK were 50% higher than in the US , and 25%-30% higher than in Germany (the latter being normal importers mark up: the same differential appraently exists for Maerklin and Roco between France and Germany). If cost was the biggest stumbling block to adoption of DCC in the UK, it was certainly being made as difficult as possible

Standing back from the details , the big picture is that Bachmann and Hornby are trying to launch budget priced DCC kit. Equipment that will do the basics at a modest price, to open up the mass market. They are Tescos - not Sevenoaks Hifi

Some folk are saying , in effect , they oppose anythign other than top end DCC, and they don't want the mass market players in DCC - they like it as an expensive little niche supported by a cottage industry . If the choice is top end DCC only , or nothing, 90% of modellers will chose "nothing"

Power DCC users will never choose Hornby or Bachmann systems. But if they are serious in saying everyone should go DCC , they should stop trying to force others into buying only high end kit (The Rco Multimaus is more than enough for most people, unacceptable as it seems to be to some here)

And if you double or triple the cost of model railways, you'll drive a lot of folk out of the hobby. A quarter ? a third? over time . Who knows . But it won't be good
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I'm afraid the flyer is all anyone has to go on where Bachmann Dynamis is concerned. I gather the reps on the stand at Warley were declining to give any further information

I don't feel this is enough to allow anyone to draw any conclusions about Dynamis , let alone to conclude that it is better than the Elite will be , bearing in mind that we haven't seen that in the flesh either (The Select is clearly Hornby's trainset controller )

QUOTE You only get what you pay for and if you do not pay the money you will end up with an inadequate system

This sounds to me very like "if you don't pay £250 for a DCC system it won't be any good". You can drop the price of these systems without losing capability because the same system generally sells for 2/3rds the price in the US .

At £250 for a system and £24 for a decoder, DCC is not for the mass market. At £75 -100 for a system and £7-50 to £10 per decoder it may well be

QUOTE If Bachmann and Hornby did not provide DCC starter sets then people may start to look at German Trix Maerklin, Fleischmann and Roco starts sets.

This is far too optimistic . German brands are only available through a few specialist retailers in the UK. They aren't in the high street. Hornby are more worried about kids not buying trainsets at all

QUOTE While their [Trix Maerklin, Fleischmann and Roco ] DCC attempts seem pathetic to the DCC enthusiast,

If this isn't rubbishing the Multimaus, the high priced Flieshmann control centre and the Marklin /Motorola systems. I'd be grateful of clarification

QUOTE By basing your decision to buy based soley on budget you maty regret buying an incompatible inadequate system whic you will turf after a few months. You will find that this arguement was advocated by many others.

Are you saying the Bachmann EZ system is "incompatible with DCC"?? We are not simply discussing the Select here - I'm talking general principles. I agree this "aim high" is the mantra of the DCC enthusiast. I am sick of being told by the Usual Suspect at the club that my locos will only run properly if I fit every one with a Lenz Gold

Would you also describe the NCE PowerCab as a QUOTE incompatible inadequate system whic you will turf after a few months ??

To be clear - I'm suggesting we are seeing, and should welcome, the emergence of a "mid price" bracket of DCC systems at around £100 all up in the UK. Systems falling into this bracket are the Multimaus (though you can't buy it directly in the UK) the PowerCab, the Elite, and Dynamis. All offering 4 digit systems with full programming, point control, plenty of functions , consisting, but compromising in the area of sheer amps, number of cabs supported , feedback and other high end features.

We can't argue about whether the Elite works reliably cos we haven't seen it yet. Nor can we be sure Dynamis will be bug free just cos Bachmann say it will be

Below this band there is the budget price bracket - entries the old Lokmaus (defunct) , Bachmann EZ with its severe limits , and the Select. I don't regret the existance of this bracket , though I'm not myself going to buy this low down the scale

The compatibility issue has been heavily overplayed on this forum by MMD and yourself . The facts , from repeated first hand reports , are that the Select is not designed to do anything other than change the decoder address, and this it does with Lenz, ZTC (ie Digitrax) and Hornby decoders. It looks as if there is an issue with TCS because it looks as if Hornby have given the Select only one programming mode out of 4 . They have explicitly stated the Elite will support all 4 programming modes (I'm no expert here, I'm quoting)

The decoder is more of a problem because it won't read back , although it seems some folk have managed to program the CVs. Until I'm confident it can be addressed succesfully and will take addresses over 99, sadly I won't be buying a Hornby decoder

These look to me like technical glitches from a new entrant to the field launching first products , not evidence that this is not DCC equipment. No one has found any existing player who has developed/licenced Hornby's system so it looks like they have developed a DCC system themselves

The existing players have not taken DCC into the mass market, and most show little interest in doing so. I welcome the emergence of new players who are willing to produce affordable DCC. But I don't think their systems are what you are looking for.
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My maths was based on use of Lenz Gold all round. One self proclaimed DCC expert in the clubs comment when I said I needed to tweak the running of a 31 - "that's 'cos you've fitted a crap decoder. I told you to use a Lenz Gold". The "crap decoder" in question was a TCS M1 and the real issue was removal of capacitors
Then there was the chap elsewhere who when the Maccoder was new had his signature reading "Go for Gold!" and was recommending everyone to fit the Gold as fleet decoder

A big layout is going to require several handsets (at £100 a time with the LH100) and no doubt the "power users" will recommend computer control . That's another £100 for the interface unit and £200 for Railroad and co.And as a someone said to me on a stand at Warley (with specific reference to a large 4mm DCC layout at the show) then you have to buy a laptop to run it on, so that's another £400

Even on your own figures the cost of DCC is very large - bearing in mind that a couple of Gaugemasters and some switrches will do the job for perhaps £200 (and a lot of time)

When the "DCC premium" is down below £1000, it starts to be a geniune option


Hornby have told people at Warley that the Elite will support addresses 1-9999, with 256 locos in the "memory"

As the Elite isn't out yet , none of us can prove what it will do in practice, but that's what Hornby are now saying. We don't know what Dynamis will do in practice, but I bet Barwell have read previous postings on here, picked up "NMRA compliant" as a good line to throw at Hornby, and stuck it on their leaflet

Hornby claim (I think from memory) 18 functions on the Elite . Bachmann are promising 20. The difference in functions is only modest

QUOTE You could pay 75 Euro for a MultiMaus and get a reasonable system

Sorry , I can't. I'd dearly like to walk into a model shop and buy a system of that capability for £50. Roco is not readily available in the UK ( I don't think you could buy one at Warley), the multimaus is not available as a separate system only, it's not advertised anywhere , and if you could source the bits separately from a specialist shop it would cost you £160

Please don't trot out the line "everything in Britain is a rip off so stop complaining and get used to paying through the nose£" . Especially when you and dbclass50 have been arguing on this forum that British loco prices should double to £200 a loco in line with Germany...

The quote was from your own posting earlier in the thread. Dgitrax do not sell a budget system in the UK . The Zephyr start set costs about £150 from the main importer, and hardly anyone else sells Digitrax. This isn't budget. Nor is Flieshmann - apparently their system costs about £300 !!
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Second hand down the car auction or on ebay

(Most new cars in the UK go to fleet buyers)
1. Elite and 4 digit addressing:

QUOTE The chap on the Hornby stand today [at Warley] seemed quite helpful, and when I asked about addressing with the Elite he assured me that it can use 255 addresses. THOSE 255 ADDRESSES CAN BE ANYTHING BETWEEN 0 AND 9999.

The restriction to 255 is how many addresses it can store. (thats twice what a set 100 can manage, and SIXTEEN times what a ZTC511 can handle

Posted on another forum - the poster is owner of a large wellknown DCC exhibition layout (XpressNet system), a committee member of one of the specialist societies and a regular on that forum.

Immediately below from Graham Plowman:

QUOTE Ravenser,

I should correct myself as I miswrote my comment and ended up giving the wrong meaning.

Elite is full 4 digit, 1 to 9999. It has a limit of storing up to 255 loco addresses/configurations in its 'database' which I believe is the same as the Len 100.

Graham Plowman

2. Systems and Dynamis.

We now have 4 systems available/announced which are a lot lot cheaper than £200, support 4 digit addressing, point /accessory control, extensive programming and substantial numbers of functions:

- NEC PowerCab (Available for £95 all up incl power supply from 2 UK suppliers )
- Hornby Elite (not yet available, advertised by many retailers below £100)
- Bachmann Dynamis ( not yet available , Bachmann indicating price very competitive)
- Roco Multimaus (only available as part of a loss-leader HO trainset , from a small number of retailers, price somewhere between about £110-130 for trainset)

SCC's price list shows the Digitrax Zephyr at £145 for a starter set with transformer. This is not a competitive price , and Digitrax's UK availability and profile is pretty low

The Lenz Compact (£130) is only 2 digit, supports limited functions, and general opinion seems to be it's main function is to convince you you need Set100 (The stupid thing is that Lenz look like they've got a pretty attractive mid price system if they'd only sell the multimaus as a stand alone system through normal channels)

This defines the products competing against Dynamis and the likely price point. We have very few details of Dynamis, but we can start to see what it needs to offer and how it might be aimed from the products it will be competiting with.

As a side comment , it's no longer true that you have to pay £200+ to get a system that isn't severely crippled

3. Target market

I am definitely in the target market for these systems .

I'm involved with a protracted club project (uses Lenz Set100) and about to start building a small layout (9' long) which will use DMUs being acquired /built mainly for the club project . I need a system at home for programming , to save me carting stuff up to the club for decoder instalation.I have a Lokmaus2, bought for £30 , which has just blown up 2 decoders while attempting to program them (apparently the Lokmaus programs at full voltage) . A cheap programming system that destroys decoders ain't cheap

I do not want to build a control panel - so easy point control is needed (That rules out Set100 - and I don't much like the LH100 as a handheld)

I'm not prepared to pay more than about £100 for a system . I'm committeed to custom built point work , and therefore also Tortoises, I'll want all of 156, 108, and 101 and I need to replace the computer in the next 6 months. Systems costing £200-350 are out. I don't need sound - speakers and DMUs don't mix. Nor do I need 999 cabs and masses of amps, or computer control

A lot of people in the club have bought powerCabs and even hardened Lenz users are impressed . We have a number of Lenz users in the club , and a couple of Gaugemaster. No-one knows anything about Digitrax, or has seen a Multimaus in the flesh

Unfortunately the PowerCab isn't compatible with the club project. Hence interest in the Elite (or even Multimaus). I need a system by mid Feb (if only for programming) so that rules out Dynamis for me

Neil may be in the target market, but it sounds like he wants a top end system

MMAD and dbclass50 are established power users with existing top end systems from other brands. They definitely aren't Dynamis' (or Hornby's) target market
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I'm afraid we don't run to engine drivers round my way - there's going to be, er, me. At least as far as the home layout is concerned.

For the club project , every extra position means 2 more operators and therefore accomodation costs for the exhibition manager. We're not intending to have masses of operating positions , otherwise shows won't book us

For the home layout, what I want is your third option :

Or call up the point on your Cab hand held and switch the point?

For the club, there will be a full computer glass panel under Railroad and Co , with back up local switches on each board, being made by the sparks . Though while all this is being slowly implemented , the ability to change a few points from the handset without digging through 4 levels of menu might be nice....

I've just found out the Multimaus system won't support consisting , though the Multimaus handset will do as slave for a full Lenz system.

Fine for the club , but a showstopper for the home project wher joining and splitting DMUs is a key part of the intended operational interest.

So that means I'm back to a choice between PowerCab and Elite...
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To be honest , I suspect I'll probably end up with a PowerCab. But I'm not taking that decision until we've seen what the similarly priced competition actually does . And from my perspective the trouble with Dynamis is that as MMAD puts it "it's a flyer and a picture"

I'm not in the market for a flash rail system. I'm arguing that there's a place for something between a Rolls Royce and a second hand Morris Minor - that's the gap Hornby and Bachmann are trying to plug, and I hope they succeed, because that's the product that interests me.

Bachmann's Warley flyer for Dynamis says :

- Control of up to 20 functions
- Control of up to 40 locos at any one time

But I'm curious why Neil dismisses the NCE Power Cab and the Roco Multimaus - both under £100 on his own showing - thus:

" don't come back bleating when you find out you paid peanuts and got a s** t system. You were warned. ..and we'll laugh at you. "

I've said the contenders were 3 - Elite, Powercab and Multimaus , though the lack of consisting with the latter debars it for my particular project.

What is precisely is wrong with these 3 systems that only systems £150 more should be considered for a modest home layout??
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