Programming Problem

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by OnTrack, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. OnTrack

    OnTrack Member

    Oay so today i bought the Bachman EZ Command DCC System. I purchased an Atlas U23B Locomotive with it as well (nmra 8-pin dcc)the guy at my hobby shop said it is ready and all it needs is to be programmed. So i took it home hooked up the dcc system, and followed the instructions. The instructions say when the locomotive is programmed correctly, it will emit a series of sounds...which mine DOES do. But after that once you place it on the main lay out (it has to be programmed on a different series of track), it just sits there when powered and the lights go crazy (fast paced blinking), and it makes this weird electronic noise thats constant and does not stop untill the DCC unit is unplugged, or unpowered.

    Additionial Info: The locomotive is brand new
    -im programming it on a single piece of flex track Atlas flex code 100)
    Does it have to be on a complete circuit of some sort, such as a small oval when programmed? Im just confused and dont know what to do, did i mess the decoder up some how?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
  2. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    3 q's,
    1. is this EZ Command or Easy DCC?
    2. did the loco move on the program track?
    3. did you disconnect any DC controls?
  3. OnTrack

    OnTrack Member

    1.) It is the EZ Command
    2.) No it did not move
    3.) No DC controls were installed at all, or previously.
  4. OnTrack

    OnTrack Member

    Cid, i saw on a previous post on another threat, and you stated that the Bachman EZ Command, will NOT program the decoder that comes installed with the loco? if thats correct can you or any one tell me if i could buy a Bachman decoder and install it into my Atlas Loco? Are they interchangable parts?
  5. EngineerKyle

    EngineerKyle Member


    With the Bachmann EZ Commander the ONLY thing you can program is the loco's address.

    If the Altlas is decoder EQUIPPED, not just decoder READY.... It will already be programmed to address 3, or commonly, the last digit of it's road number. You should not have to do anything on a seperate track.

    Even if you don't know the new loco's address... it should be a snap to give it one by following the steps outlined by Bachmann.

    Is it a dual mode decoder in there? (the loco) If so, you might have to take the cover plate off the top of the shell an move the jumper from the DC to the DCC position. This proceedure is also outlined in the Atlas/decoder documentation.

    If your hobby store guy is telling you you need a seperate program track for the EZ Commander... I fear he doesn't know what he's talking about, unless you've got a whole bunch of loco's on the mainline, and you don't want them all with the same address. I just take all the loco's but the ones I want to modify off the tracks before changing addresses.

    Let us know how it comes out?

    Also, a model train never needs an oval to run. It will run on a single piece of track. It is the wheels of the loco that cross the rails that power it and complete the circuit.
  6. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Hi OnTrack,

    I don't know if this is true with the particular Atlas loco you purchased, but some of my Atlases such as the Silver Master Series B40-8s in my fleet comes with the pre-installed Atlas dual-mode decoder. The pre-installed Atlas decoder needs to have a jumper moved to a different position on the circuit board to enable DCC operation. If you got one of those, Maybe you need to do that with yours too. Read the manual that comes with your Atlas to see if that's the case.

    Good luck!

    EDITED TO ADD: Oops, EngineerKyle beat me to it. :D
  7. OnTrack

    OnTrack Member

    Well kyle im fooling with it on and off as im browsing the forum and, its still doing the same thing, in the description of the loco is says "[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Equipped with the NMRA 8-pin plug for DCC", so i assume YES it does have a decoder installed, but as i look at the direction for assembly it says "dummy plug decoder", so its leading me to beleive that it doesnt even acually have a decoder installed. But im following the steps, step by step and it has an easy way of telling your doing it correclty, its very simple yet it never worked correctly, the engine just goes crazy, lights flicker real fast, and it makes a loud humming...thats what it does after the programming process is complete.

    The loco came with only a sheet with a blown up diagram of how to assemble, nothing else. i looked more up on it and all i could come up with regarding the dcc was "
    [/FONT] Analog PC Board with 8-pin NMRA plug"
  8. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Sounds like your loco does NOT have a DCC decoder installed. It has the the 8-pin plug to receive one.

    You need to buy a decoder and plug it into that 8-pin plug.

    Hope this helps!
  9. OnTrack

    OnTrack Member

    Tom, thats what im beginning to think. It kind of makes sense, becuase its like once the loco recieves power it goees, crazy im assuming becuase with out a decoder it has no idea what to do, after all thats the whole point of the decoder right sign1
  10. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member


    Meanwhile, don't mess with it any more until you get the decoder. When you put that decoder-less Atlas engine on a DCC track, the lights flash rapidly and the motor hums because the electricity in DCC track is alternating current (AC) at a higher voltage. It will fry an analog DC locomotive's motor if you mess with it enough. (the decoder will convert the AC track current to lower-voltage DC to supply the loco's motor.)

    So grab a decoder with a standard 8-pin plug, and put it in.

    Good luck!
  11. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    You're right...That's what the decoder is for. If you've got a DC power pack around, disconnect the EZ Command, and connect the DC power pack. The loco should behave normally with the power pack. Then go get yourself a decoder with an 8-pin plug, plug it in, and it should work with the EZ Command (after you give the decoder a number...).
    Good luck!!!:thumb:
  12. OnTrack

    OnTrack Member

    Ok well, i just removed the shell to take a look for my self and there is NO DECODER FOR SURE. You know i really didnt think that guy at the Hobby Shop knew what he was talking about. So do i have to buy a specific brand of decoder like an Atlas, sense its an Atlas locomotive. I dont want sound or any thing lol just foward and reverse.
  13. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Any brand of mobile decoder with the standard 8-pin plug should work, as long as it's small enough to fit into the engine.

    Some basic ones out there that will work with your loco:

    - Atlas 2-function HO decoder, part number #431.
    - Digitrax DH123P decoder.
    - Bachmann's #44915 decoder.

    to name a few.

    Good luck!
  14. EngineerKyle

    EngineerKyle Member

    Hey Ontrack...

    If the Hobby store tried to tell you that loco had a decoder... you should consider getting your money back. I haven't ever bought just a decoder, but I'm sure you can plan on spending at least another 50 bucks!

    May I suggest going online to a store like and email Keith. He should be able to sell you a nice H16-44 or GP-x from Atlas that is decoder EQUIPPED for about 80-90 bucks. He only get 5 for shipping. I think that's a pretty good deal.
  15. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member


    Two function decoders can be had for just over $20.00. I would get the Bachmann decoder to avoid any compatibility issues. Check the B'mann site.
  16. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    In the meantime, you can use the loco by setting the loco number on the Command station to...0, I think. Check with the guys at the B'mann site-they can tell you what number to set for a decoder-less loco.
  17. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I would suggest that you also tell the LHS persons' boss that his employee doesn't know what he's talking about and that you would like a new locomotive, due to potential damage while trying to program a non existant decoder,
  18. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    Heres where you can get a Lenz gold series Advanced 23KHz. high-frequency Silent Back EMF load compensation motor control. Overload protection and NMRA DCC Bidirectional support. SUSI sound interface. Advanced braking modes. USP Power-1 circuit for optional energy storage backup running. Four functions with lighting effects. NMRA 9 pin JST connector and wire harness with 8 pin NMRA medium plug. Handles 1 amp. maximum continuous motor current, total max current load is 1.8A. for $30
    I've been getting Lenz Digital Plus LE1000W-2 Value-Line DCC Decoder 2 Pack with wire harness for $28 including shipping to convert my Athearn bb's.

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