Getting Started

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Jasong, May 17, 2007.

  1. Jasong

    Jasong New Member

    Ok. Noob question. Getting started with this hobby I had a train set as kid and I was telling my wife about she bought a Bachmann DCC HO train set. My dream is to make a layout. Her thoughts were without my knowledge were to buy the set as start. After reading the forums seems buying that set may have been a bad idea on her part. So My question is: Starting a layout better off buying track and a loco or Buying Track that matches the set and two locos I already have? The set came with a E-Z Command Control Center with 10 spaces to program 10 seprate locos with. I am totally new to this having only owned a DC set as a kid 18 years ago. So any advice without laughter would be appericated. Thank You for reading and responses so hopefully I can start a layout in the near future.

    Noob in WV
  2. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    You can program 9 of the address buttons. The tenth one is to run a DC loco if you wish to do so. I use the Bachmann EZ Command myself and am quite happy with it. I usually take the decoders out of the cheap Bachmann engines and put them into my more expensive engines. BTW, all my track is Bachmann nickel silver EZ track.
  3. Jasong

    Jasong New Member

    So you are saying I can add locos to the Ez command with no problem no other parts needed except a loco I just stick it on the track program and go? That is the track that came with the set so i can add to that no problem well the track problem is solved with your post I thank you for responding to my questions. Say I buy another loco it has to be bachmann? or do your suggestion and switch the decoders and I am ready roll with the starting set she bought?
  4. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    You can go with what you have. You'll find a lot of discussion here regarding the pros and cons of flex track and the several brands of unitized (track and roadbed all in one). The new Bachmann equipment with DCC is light years away from their early toy stuff. The limiting factors with the EZ track and others of that type are that you don't have a large number of turn radii choices except with Kato. Also there is no interchangability built into competing brands. Set up your trains and play around with the them. Learn to program the locos' and have some fun. Do lots of reading and planning.
    Concerning your latest post: No you don't have to buy Bachmann loco's to use with your set. I believe Bachmann uses Soundtraxx decoders in their loco's and there are NMRA standards for decoders just to keep things consistant between manufacturers.
  5. Jasong

    Jasong New Member

    I am just trying to really decide for future add. of Locos I have the layout Blueprints the area How many train I wanna run and can the question really is future locos and switching to new Command sys and or track now before I build or is expanding more trains with the current start I have easy as 1 2 3. I am trying to prevent getting to a poin the future and realize that is it. Gotta start new with something else or having to switch command just anything I can prevent now I would like to if possible is the only reason i ask these questions. Better to know now that later. But thats just me. Thank You for your response though
  6. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    The Bachmann set is ready to go as is. You can add other DCC equipped locos from Bachmann or any other supplier. The EZ Command recognizes all NMRA compatible decoders.
  7. Go Big1

    Go Big1 Member

    I also got the Bachmann DCC set with EZ track and 2 DCC equipped logos about 3 months ago. I am totally new to MRR, and never really had a train set to call my own ever. I bought a couple extra pieces of EZ track, and currently have a small oval with one siding on a 4x4 piece of plywood that my 2 young boys and I enjoy.

    My future plans are to build a pretty decent sized layout, and for that I plan to use the DCC EZ Command, but not the EZ track (gonna lay flex track down). I figure I can always put together my small oval of EZ track DC style for my 2 young boys to play with if they want.

    Overall, I am very happy with the EZ Command System. I realize it's not the be all end all, but it should suit me just fine for the foreseeable future.
  8. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Jasong: There are a tremendous bunch of options available for the future layout. Basically, flex track is, well, more flexible in layout design potential as well as its physical flexbility. It all depends what you want to accomplish on your layout. What you want to accomplish will probably change as you grow in the hobby. You may become a real scenery, detail oriented person and then you will definitely find yourself looking at either flex track or hand laid track. Thats where the pre-planning comes in.
  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The most important thing in your post is that your wife supports you in your hobby - you're lucky! ;)

    My advice to you is not to worry so much about what to buy next, it's to determine what it is about the hobby that interests you the most. Is it model building? Scenery? Photography? Research? Operating trains? Watching trains?

    Your interests will evolve over time, but it is always good to take it easy at the beginning, and explore things. Once you've decided that you can't possibly live without a steam-powered, coal-haulin', mountain-climbin' fully-operational, completely scenicked layout (for example ;)), then you can go whole-hog knowing that your goal is in sight...! :)

    Good luck, and Welcome to The Gauge!

  10. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I'm a DC guy and have yet to break into the wonders of DCC but I knew folks would come through with answers for you! Welcome aboard, by the way!
  11. Jasong

    Jasong New Member

    I appericate all the replys. I understand its a hobby and it seems I am sucking the fun outta it but I try to prevent any dead ends early as I can right now I have just an oval track I love watching and running trains atm I set up last night and just ran the two around the circle and had a BLAST. Maybe some day it will change but right now I want an area and run as many trains as possible I love watching them run. And again taking the time to reply is appericate more than I can express in text but Thank You ALL.
  12. Jasong

    Jasong New Member

    So I was at the local hobby store which isnt much for train info and the woman tells me I can only use DCC friendly track? Care to elaborate her answer? My impression was DCC friendly track meaning Turnouts and speciality track not straight and curve pieces? The LHS isnt much for trains more into the trading card games so I am leaning more towards what I have read here than what she says but I will ask I am sure someone here can enlighten me with the truth.
  13. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    There's no such thing as DCC friendly track. A DCC system will work with all track. The only differences are in how it's wired. Power routing turnouts may give you a problem but nothing you can't get around.
  14. Jasong

    Jasong New Member

    See I know you guys would have the answer. Thanks again.
  15. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    The only thing unfriendly about track is when your locomotive and cars won't stay on the rails or it won't conduct electricity. There are hobby shops and then there are model railroad shops. We are fortunate here in Montana to have the latter, in most cases. Unfortunately , they are far, far apart.
  16. Jasong

    Jasong New Member

    Well I found a Model Railroad shop today heading there right after i finish typing this bad thing is its an hour away. Only hobby shops in the area so I am in the same boat you are.
  17. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    I know how you feel. The nearest LHS to me is in Alexandria. That's a 120 mile round trip.
  18. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    You mentioned in an earlier post about buying other locos and putting them on the track and operating them. They should all work but be aware that not all locos come equipped with DCC decoders. Those that do not have the decoders work on address 00 or as directed in your system documentation. You program the address for your DCC equipped locos

    You will find items with descriptions like "DCC ready" or "DCC equipped". The "ready" means just that. It does NOT have a decoder installed but it can be equipped with a decoder that YOU purchase and install. Depending on the loco it could be a simple remove and replace the light board or you could have to do a bit of soldering. The "DCC equipped" are like what you originally got in your set - a loco with the decoder already installed.

    Check the listings for the equipment you buy to be sure that you get what you want.

    And above all - enjoy the hobby.

    BTW welcome to the Gauge. :-D :-D
  19. Jasong

    Jasong New Member

    Wow you guys are great. I gave the train shop a visit I left there feeling excited. Got tons of track with roadbed. Now mind you I have the space to start my layout and the benchwork (if I am using the term correct the area to lay track and secenary) done. So the whole drive home I was excited knowing I could lay the track and test. I have been home laid my track and realized one thing or maybe its me. With the roadbed attach to the track I de rail alot. I let the shop owner talk me into buying Atlas track straight and curve with the roadbed and as of the tests I have ran I am sorely upset with my purchase. If there is any tricks with out nailing the roadbed down just for tests I could use it in a bad way. Without the roadbed I run smooth as silk but with it :(
  20. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    If this is track with seperate roadbed (cork roadbed or WS foam roadbed) the roadbed has to be tacked or glued down first and it must be smooth, no bumps. Make sure the rail ends go into the rail joiners. If a rail end is sitting on top of a joiner you'll have derailments for sure. Make sure that the rail ends do not kink, especially in the curves. If Atlas track is what you have, that's what you'll have to work with. I can't understand how Atlas can make such wonderful locos and cars and have such bad track. I stopped using it years ago, especially their turnouts.

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