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Old 12-02-2019, 07:39 PM   #11
traction fan
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: San Diego
Posts: 3,170
Scales Modeled: N
West Programer and controller

Originally Posted by Tom_C View Post
It should be OK, but it's DC (it appears). Your loco is DCC... which should run on DC, but you won't get the bells and whistles... literally and figuratively

To give a quick explanation, DC is simply a voltage applied to the track and depending on the polarity the train will go forward or backward, and faster or slower. DCC uses a modulated wave to send digital signals to a computer in the loco.

It's totally up to you, and at this early stage there are a lot of choices to make.

And, as Traction fan hits on, the EZ-command is a 'controller' where the NCE is a 'programmer', to put it in the simplest of terms. You may be able to program very simple things with the Ez-command, but if you want to get into the meat and potatoes you will need a 'programmer'.

While what Tom_C says above is quite true, it occurs to me that since you are not experienced with model trains, you might not understand some of what Tom is saying. The Bachmann EZ-Command, and the NCE powercab are both controllers in that either one will control your locomotive's speed, direction, and built-in sounds. The Bachmann is not a "full featured" controller that can itself be programed, and can program locomotives. The NCE does both. It controls the speed, direction, lights, and sounds of your loco, and it is "full featured", so it can program a locomotive. I was a little concerned that, being new, you might think a "controller" and a "programer" were two distinct and different pieces of hardware. The Bachmann is the exception actually. Nearly all DCC controllers can also program. By the way, programing. hooking up, and using, an NCE powercab is very simple. Everything is in one compact, hand held, unit. Hook up consists of attaching two wires from the controller to the track. The printed directions make programing the controller easy.
So what do you program? Not much, unless you want to, but there are plenty of options available. The simple start up involves programming your locomotives ID number into the controller. Most of us use the number shown in the number boards on the locomotive. If you're only going to run one locomotive, even that little bit of programing is unnecessary. All locomotives come with the same factory default ID number, (I think it's 03) The only reason to program in any loco ID numbers is to route the control signals to the right locomotive when you have more than one.
Some sound decoders have lots of different sounds that you can choose from. Which prime mover, horn, air pump, brake squeal, coupler clash, etc. sound do you want. There are lots of options for starting speed, maximum speed, Etc. Etc. ad infinitum. I've never bothered changing any of those, because I never needed to. Other guys like to tweak the performance of their locomotives to the max.

As Tom says, it's up to you. If you just want to circle the christmas tree, I suggest keeping the loco you have, picking the track you prefer plain Atlas sectional track, Kato Unitrack, Bachmann EZ-Track, whatever you like. I also suggest going with the NCE Powercab controller. It will do everything the Bachmann controller can, plus a lot more. It's made in the USA instead of China, like Bachmann, and it is well supported by the manufacturer. The prices are close, so why not get the better one? It will do a fine job of running your christmas loop, and if you later decide to go further, it will be able to handle that too.
If you have any more questions? Just ask. we will be glad to help.

Have fun;

Traction Fan
To Puget sound, Electrified!
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Old 12-02-2019, 07:52 PM   #12
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Virginia
Posts: 362
Scales Modeled: On30
Yep, Yep, and Yep.

To make it even more complicated, I use a ez-command to 'run' my train and I use the NCE to program my train... I could do both with the NCE, but the ez-command is super easy to use and if your kids or grand-kids punch any buttons they won't (can't) do any harm, other than turning the speed up to 100.

Anyway. As you can see, your choices are infinite. Merry Christmas.
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Old 12-02-2019, 08:38 PM   #13
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: S.Pasadena,Ca
Posts: 173
Scales Modeled: N / HO
If you plan to keep it a simple circle and old analog control (no sound/lighting).. as much as I never cared for the 3 rail O gauge stuff, like Lionel, I'd store the Bachmann engine and do buy Lionel 3 rail track and trains, as they are rugged enough to not be affected by things on the floor or pine needles...You will need an AC transformer which Lionel also makes.. Smaller trains if not attached to a board and are on a rug, are too susceptible to all kinds of intrusion and interference. The Lionel are big, bulky and heavy and less susceptible to harm...
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:04 PM   #14
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Virginia
Posts: 362
Scales Modeled: On30
The man makes a good point. I have trains in my attic that I could fire out of a cannon and they'd survive.

Here is one of a million examples on ebay:

Or this one:
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:52 AM   #15
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Managua
Posts: 201
Originally Posted by Haystack View Post
Thank you for the great reply, Tom! That is indeed the locomotive I have. I found a website called Stuff that has everything you listed for a cheaper price than Amazon. I'm also going to pull the trigger on a single coal car for now. I can see how this hobby can get expensive real fast! Thanks again and I'll report back once I have everything set up
Expensive real fast ? Welcome, more like skyrocketing ! A single coal car, lol, is just a prelude to a shopping spree. Trust me. You will see. Tell me about it, a thousand dollars here, a thousand dollars there, so it goes. But don't worry, you're on the right track. I say who dies with the most trains wins but I practice everything in between.
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