Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by wpyr, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. wpyr

    wpyr Member

    Hi i`m wondering what kind of dcc system I would need for a small 4x8 HO layout would need. I have looked at a few and the best I`ve come accross so far is the Bachmann EZ Command.® What all do I need to make this dream become reality? (Hardwear wise.) I have 5 other trains that are not DCC and how do I make them DCC?
  2. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Hi, i don't know that the bachmann has enough oomph to run 5 trains at the same time. I think it is only like 2 amps or so. I think i remember reading that you should calculate .50 to .75 or so amps for each engine you plan to run. The other issue is some of these engines have stall draw of 1amp or above.

    I have a digitrax zephyr and only has 2.5 amps, which would probably let me run about 4 or so very efficient locomotives. I also have a super chief (5 amps) which lets me run like 10 or so engines at the same time.

    In order to make your engines dcc compatible you have to install a dcc decoder in to each of your engines.

    If you post what engines you have we can suggest posts that may be able to help you get them installed.
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    I started out with the EZ command until I upgraded. I think it is a great beginners system for the price. Mine could run 3 locos at a time. On your size layout the only other you should need would be the decoders, unless you have a reverse loop. And you don't have to buy all the decoders now, the EZ command will run dc locos.

  4. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    NCE Powercab is best. Its cheaper than most systems while still delivering. It also is a hand held, which helps it out alot ( especially compared to digitrax, which unless you buy higher models or extra components, is still stuck in one spot).

    At the same time, it beats out other hand held DCC systems like Prodigy Express, since Powercab can operate accessories like switches and such out of the box.

    as for wiring locomotives, its pretty straight forward. just connect the wires where the instructions say to, and don't short anything out.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    On that size layout, you probably won't run 5 locos at a time unless you hook them all together to pull one train. The 2 amp system will probably work until you add sound units, coach lighting and turnout controls.
    I would suggest that you have the ability to use 2 hand held units on wires. Even if you don't have extra operators, it's handy to have one controller dedicated to each train that's running.
  6. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    I have the EZ command system and I love it. But I have spent 60 dollars on a reverse loop module, which you wont need, and 150 dollars on a 5 AMP booster, which you also will not need. It is a very simple system and you can buy it with locos that have DCC onboard. for yor locos, Bachman offers decoders for 25 dollars, that are simple to install. Overall, this system is good for your layout and would be easy to expand in the future if needed, hope this helps. :thumb:
  7. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I'm not a big fan of EZ command. There really isn't to much that it can expand in as far as features go. on a 4x8, you are going to want something walk around, since its tough to reach around the layout, and besides, what fun is it to be trapped across the layout from the action?

    EZ command lacks function, and its walk around control looks kinda big.

    Like they say, you get what you pay for. EZ command may be cheap, but it might not deliver in the end, causing you to waste money.
  8. wpyr

    wpyr Member

    I plan to run only two engines at a time. One of the engines is a WP&YR desil engine which I think is from Bachmann. Another is a 60-60 steam train that is from superstore. (lob-laws, extrafoods.)
  9. 60-60?

  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    "6060" is the number of the engine. It is a "Bullet-Nosed Betty", a semi-streamlined 4-8-2 Mountain.

  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I've never seen them, but from what I understand from reading posts by our Canadian friends on this board, some big supermarket chains in Canada feature some special run trains sets at Christmas that I think were made by IHC if I remember correctly from the posts I've read.
  12. wpyr

    wpyr Member

    There is only 1 60-60 and it is sitting in the Edmonton train museum.
  13. Denyons

    Denyons Member

    Number 6060 does excusion runs on the Stettler to Big Valley line during the summer. Did the ride myself a couple of years ago.
    Heres a photo of 6060 ready to leave Stettler which is about a 2 hour drive south of Edmonton.

    Attached Files:

  14. wpyr

    wpyr Member

    We have been on a train in stettler. It was a wild west them and people robbed the train. (Donations to the railway.) It was a good afternoon lunch included!:thumb:
  15. wpyr

    wpyr Member

    How do you install DCC decoders?
  16. ChadYelland

    ChadYelland Member

    Installing Dcc decoders just depends on the engine, The digitrax ones are nice and small and usually come with a 9wire harness that you solder to apropriate connections inside the loco motor, lights, pickups etc. has a plug on the other end to accomodate the decoder wich may be changed or upgraded etc, you can allso get decoders which require soldering at both ends of the wires, rather then a plug at one end
  17. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Decoder installation is easy if your loco has a socket -- find a decoder with matching plug and plug in. (at least 2 types of sockets I know of).
    If you have no socket but two wires from the wheels to the motor, get a decoder with wires, cut the two wires, and two decoder wires go to the wheels and two to the motor, and maybe another to the lights. (The wires are colour coded -- get them right.)
    If you have a loco where one side of the circuit (or both) doesn't go by wire, you're in for a lot of work. The one big rule of decoders is that you can't short the pickup wires to the motor wires. This results in letting the smoke out of the decoder.
  18. Denyons

    Denyons Member

    First thing is to make sure your engine is decoder ready.
    Not all engines will accept or have space for one.
    Make sure you buy the correct decoder for your engine and check inside the package for the detailed instructions.
    It's not too difficult.
  19. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    Most newer engines are "plug and play". "Plug and play" decoders come with a built-in 8 pin plug. To install them, you remove the body (for diesels) or tender (for steam engines) of the model. There will be a green 'light board' (a circuit board) with a dummy 8-pin plug plugged into it. You remove the dummy plug and plug in the decoder. Put the tender or body back on and you're done. :mrgreen:

    TCS (Train Control Systems) make good plug-and-play decoders, and their instructions for programming the decoder are very clear compared to some other manufacturers. But Digitrax, NCE and others all make very good decoders, with different features etc.
  20. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Bachman has came out with many products for their DCC system. No it does not come to close to the other systems, but they are alot more expensive. Bachman does have a walk around throttle you can plug in at various points around the layout, they are also currently developing a wireless one.

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