Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Connecting to an existing layout
- Remove your existing controller(s)
- Attach the EZ Command jack lead to track
- Turn on all section and isolating switches.
Do not connect EZ Command to any track which has any other controller connected
Do not use high frequency track cleaners with a DCC system - these units will damage both EZ Command and decoders
Do not use high frequency lighting equipment with a DCC system - these units will damage both EZ Command and decoders
Q - "Can I use 2 or more EZ Command units to have more than 10 trains on the layout at once?"
A - NO! if EZ Command doesn’t run enough trains for you maybe think about a bigger DCC setup.
You can of course select up to 10 locomotives from your larger fleet to have on the layout at once,
reprogramming the locomotive decoders for each session to suit the address numbers available.
Q - "Can it be used to control a part of a larger DC layout?"
A - Yes, but make sure that each part is electrically separate, and that it’s not possible for
trains to run from one part to into the other. Remember, though, that the point of DCC
is that your train can travel the whole extent of the layout without worrying about section switches
and the like. Setting up with only part of the layout controlled by EZ Command, or with two separate
EZ Command controlled sections, does not achieve the more realistic operation DCC can give.
DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT IF YOU HAVE COMMON RETURN WIRING
Q - "How many trains can run at once?"
A - EZ Command has a 1 amp power supply which is enough for 3 locomotives.
EZ Command will allow double heading by allocating the same address to each locomotive
(Example — pairs of class 20 or 25s) Remember that only one train is under control and
that the others are continuing to run in accordance with the last instruction they were given
(running as a 'background' train).
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR COLLISION PREVENTION and Bachmann Europe are not liable
for any damage caused if a collision happens!
The STOP button on the EZ Command unit cuts power to the track — once it is reset power is
restored and trains recommence running at previously set speed and direction. When switching back to
a train running in background, it will adopt the speed of that the control knob is currently set at — the
controller has no memory of the existing speeds of train running.
Coach lights — if rolling stock is fitted with lights the constant 16 volt AC on the track means that they
will be illuminated at all times. However, remember to include the current draw against the 1 amp total
power supply — each bulb will draw about 80 milliamps.
Q - "What is Decoder Programming?
A - Decoders have a large number of 'registers' called 'Configuration Variables', or CVs for short, within the electronics that can be programmed with different values so that the performance of the decoder can be tailored. It’s an advanced feature of DCC use but EZ Command can be used without understanding this aspect. Full details of the programmable registers are listed on the instructions that came with the decoder.
Q - "Can EZ Command program a decoder?"
A - No: apart from allocating address and the direction of the decoder it cannot program decoder CVs. There are more advanced systems and “stand alone” programmers that can do this.
Once programmed, the settings in the decoder registers are stored permanently and will determine how the decoder controls the locomotive. You can tailor your locomotive on an advanced DCC system or programmer and use it with those settings on EZ Command
Examples of what can be programmed:
- The minimum output voltage - adjust so that your locomotive starts moving as soon as the controller is turned
- The maximum output voltage - set a realistic low maximum speed for a shunting engine
- A speed curve - exactly how fast your locomotive travels as the control knob is turned.
- Lighting functions - mainly for American trains: the function outputs can be set to different fancy flashing schemes, for example
Q - "What is ‘Programming on the Main’?"
A - DCC systems usually program using a separate low-power 'programming track' that is separate from the main layout. Only one locomotive is placed on this at one time and the instructions sent by the programmer are like this:
Set Register 1 [ie Locomotive address] to be 4
The value 4 would be set in register 1 of any decoder on the programming track.
Programming on the main lets changes take place to the values in decoder registers whilst out on the layout. The operation of programming is like this:
Locomotive 4 set Register 1 [Locomotive address] to be 5
Only the address of locomotive 4 is changed to 5.However if there are any early 'first generation' decoders on the layout will respond to the command to change address even though it is not for them.
Q - "What are Self Isolating Points?"
A - Most model railway points are designed to be ‘self isolating’. This gives the familiar operation when a point thrown against a siding to cut the power off and keep the train stationary.
Q - "Can I still run an Analogue (DC) Loco?"
A - EZ Command allows the operation of 1 analogue locomotive. As there is AC on the track at all times the locomotive will make a whistling noise.
DO NOT LEAVE ANALOGUE LOCOMOTIVES STATIONARY ON THE LAYOUT AS THE MOTORS MAY BECOME DAMAGED. ISOLATE SIDINGS
Q - "Is the EZ Command System Expandable?"
A - The Bachmann EZ Command controller features a Lenz X-bus socket. This allows the unit to work with other pieces of equipment. Future plans for the EZ Command include operation of points and other accessories. In addition, some devices from other manufactures may work with EZ Command.
ONLY CONNECT A BACHMANN EZ COMMAND DEVICE, OR A BACHMANN APPROVED DEVICE, TO THE X-BUS SOCKET. DO NOT PLUG IN ANY OTHER DEVICE IN EVEN THOUGH IT MAY HAVE THE SAME CONNECTOR. THEY MAY NOT BE COMPATIBLE AND DAMAGE MAY RESULT
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