Another Bachmann / DCC question

I am in the early stages of planning a small OO dockside layout, adn I am
considering my options for controllers. I am very tempted to go DCC from day
one, if only for the simplicity of wiring. The budget at the moment is very
tight, so I really have to weigh up the pros and cons of the various
systems. For the very low price, I am very tempted to run with the Bachmann
EZ-Command package to get me going. Other than this I will have little
initial outlay other than new track and baseboard materials, I have a
reasonable amount of motive power and rolling stock from previous (DC)
projects.
My real concern is how I equip my locomotives with modules which will work
on the Bachmann system AND will continue to operate when/if I upgrade to a
more advanced Lenz or other package. I have read many comments about Lenz's
involvement in the Bachmann system, but I've read conflicting opinions on
whether or not the modules are truly portable.
Any advice welcome,
Cheers,
Bill.
Reply to
Bill Davies
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Check the date on some of those web sites describing problems --- most of them are ancient history. I think you could expect any of Lenz's current range of decoders to work with the Bachmann EZ-Commander, and with anything you might get later. Selecting decoders that fit easily in your existing locos is what you need to consider carefully. I've just fitted LE1000A decoders in Hornby's Thomas, Percy and Gordon. I wouldn't want to try anything bigger (the decoder that is). Its cheap and a bit noisy at low speed (but then Percy in particular is mechanically noisy anyway --- and what would be the point of putting a £20 decoder in an engine worth ~ £18).
Mark Thornton
Reply to
Mark Thornton
Bill Davies wrote:-
I suggest you find a dealer who knows something about DCC, ask him which units will work with your particular system and then buy only from him. If you do it any other way you have absolutely no comeback if things go wrong. I give exactly the same advice to people buying hi-fi, DVD's, etc.
(kim)
Reply to
kim
Good advice, but not so easy to find a DCC savvy dealer in darkest Wiltshire. Local modelshop looked at me a bit strange when I asked for fine wet & dry paper a couple of years ago..... Cheers, Bill.
Reply to
Bill Davies
Bill Davies wrote:-
You should have no difficulty finding one in this newsgroup. There is a dealer who posts here occasionally :o)
(kim)
Reply to
kim
[...] Local modelshop looked at me a bit strange when I asked for fine
DIY, hardware (ironmongers) shops are better sources for this stuff. Cheaper, too.
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir
Well if they claim to be DCC compliant they should work with any other DCC system, although I have had problems with ZTC decoders and Digitrax boosters. If you are going to Warley this weekend all the main dealers of the most popular sytems will be there including: Digitrax (SCC), Lenz (Mackay Models) and ZTC in their own right.
Chris
Reply to
Chris
Chris wrote:-
I've read of problems of interference between some circuit board components and certain chips on various makes of loco, not just Bachmann.
(kim)
Reply to
kim
[...]
Names, data???
I suspect that these were not NMRA compliant. AFAIK, any NMRA compliant decoder will work with any NMRA compliant controller, within the limits of the built-in functions (NMRA does not require all functions to be implmented.)
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir
Wolf Kirchmeir wrote:-
Nigel Burkin, Heljan Class 47
formatting link
(kim)
Reply to
kim
"kim" wrote
Hm? My Heljan 47 is running superbly on the much cheaper LE1014E. The Heljan drive is smooth enough not to need a back-EMF decoder.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
However did you still find it necessary to remove the interference suppression components? Some people seem to do this as standard practice apparently regardless of the type of controller used (i.e. Back EMF or not).
Mark Thornton
Reply to
Mark Thornton
From looking at this, it's not a problem with "certain" chips, you could have similar problems with _any_ DCC decoder in this model unless you removed the existing light board completely and hardwired the decoder. This is not the fault of the DCC decoder, it's the extra circuitry (the "TV supression" circuit - not something found in locomotives for the US market) causing the problem, and when it is removed, the locomotive works correctly.
Reply to
Joe Ellis
"Mark Thornton" wrote
It ran fine from the off, but I still removed the capacitors as superfluous - the decoders have suppression built in as standard.
It's remarkable the effect that the capacitors can have on individual locos. I recently chipped two Bachmann 37s both with LE1014 decoders. The first ran superbly without removing the capacitors (although I still removed them) whereas the second ran like a dog until I removed the capacitors.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
"Joe Ellis" wrote
There's no need to go to that extreme, just remove the square capacitor in the middle of the PCB. See
formatting link
John.
Reply to
John Turner
The TV suppression circuitry (that square cap) is what I was talking about removing, as per the instructions in the original URL reference. My point was that simply plugging in _any_ decoder _without_ removing the cap you'd get the same problems - it's not limited to a specific decoder.
I don't understand the need for that cap - they're not in US market locos, and I've not seen any TV problems, even with the TV in the same room, plugged into the same outlet. In fact, for a while I had a layout in the living room of an apartment (flat), and the TV was right under the layout, and plugged into the same power strip. Reception was the same - layout off, on analog, or on DCC. And no, we didn't have cable. ;) There must be something significantly different about European TVs that makes them more susceptible to interference.
Reply to
Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis wrote:-
The article in the original URL (which I only found by accident a couple of days ago) suggested that the interference suppressor could cause actual physical damage to some chips in addition to compromising their performance.
What, you mean apart from using a completely different broadcasting sytem?
kim :o)
Reply to
kim
John Turner wrote:-
Well, I'm not saying Nigel Burkin is infallible but to quote from the Steve Jones article for which you yourself gave the URL:- "The decoder used in the photos is an old Lenz LE104XF (all I had available at the time) but I would strongly recommend the Lenz LE1024E as a good match for this loco." so there's obviously some measure of agreement there.
(kim)
Reply to
kim
"kim" wrote
I'm not saying that an LE1024 wouldn't work perfectly satisfactorily but I personally prefer decoders with *silent drive* and in this instance didn't find that the Heljan 47 needed a decoder with back-EMF, so the LE1014 was a good compromise.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
John Turner wrote:-
In that case I will follow your advice rather than their's.
(kim)
Reply to
kim

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