unlike most other DCC decoder manufacturers (who provide over-
abundance of documentations and features in their decoders), Bachmann
takes the minimalistic route. :-)
This can be both bad and good. Bad if you are technically inclined
and you want to customize the decoder's settings. Hovever, there isn't
much to customize... Good, if you are a non-computer inclined guy who
just wants to put the loco on the track and just program its address
so it can run on the Bachmann's simple DCC system.
In any case, this is the most info I've ever found on those decoders:
If a non-computer inclined model railroader just wants to put the loco on
the track and run it on Bachmann's DCC system, can you explain why it is a
GOOD thing that Bachmann has minimal documentation?
If a model railroader is in that category, it doesn't seem like it would
matter what sort of documentation is supplied.
... it is strange that you see a possible GOOD outcome from this ...
I agree with you because I fit more into a "computer geek" profile
rather than a computer illiterate model railroader. But there are
plenty of the latter type out there. And they really don't need to
know all the CV specs when they use the Bachmann E-Z Command DCC
system. All they have to do is to program the loco's address and
they're off and running. And many people would rather do this than
research how to set CV29 or how to enable some special lighting effect
or back-EMF motor control. All they want to do is to run trains, not
to read bunch of manuals. BTW, Bachmann decoders are just bare-bones
basic decoders with just a simple motor and headlight control. Perfect
for the "train runner" crowd.
While that is not me, I'm only acknowledging that people like that
exist and that there is room in this hobby for all of us. OTOH,
sometimes even I marvel at all the functionality included in some
premium decoders from companies like Digitrax. I don't utilize many
of those features and I'm still quite happy with the way my models
run. I suspect that quite a few DCC users do not use many of the
functions included in those DCC decoders. How many times have you seen
anybody utilize the speed tables (and not just the Vmin,mid and max
CVs)? Sometimes I think that the computer geeks who design the DCC
decoders just include some features only to say that they have done
My Holy Grail is the miniature size of a decoder. I would like one of
the DCC manufacturers to come up with sub-miniature decoder. Small
size would be the primary design consideration. All it needs to do is
to control the motor and front headlight. Such a decoder could be
easily installed into tiny N scale steamers such as the Atlas/MicroAce
2-6-0 loco (without sacrificing much of the loco's ballast). That
would really make my day.
"Peter W." wrote in
news: email@example.com: *snip*
Give them time, and hopefully they'll get that done. Right now, I think
the biggest enemy will be the 1 AMP @ 12V many motors require.
Otherwise we'd have something the size of a MicroSD card... Talk about
plug and play, the whole decoder could just slide in to a slot in the
I mentioned my request to Digitrax couple of times but I don't think
they were too interested. They rather make larger advanced decoders
rather than simple micro-sized ones. I know that Digitrax DZ143, Lenz
LE077XF and Silver MINI W are pretty small already but I'm still
hoping for something even smaller.
I like your idea - a micro card sized decoder for an easy plug-n-play
conversion. But by the time such a decoder will be viable, all the
model locos will probably already come DCC equiped.