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Has anybody converted a Bachmann EZ App (bluetooth) engine to DCC , of coarse Bachmann says it can't be done and if so how did you do it?
 

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I would imagine the simplest approach would be replacing the ez app engine control board (?) with a DCC sound decoder control board. And using a DCC control system to the operate the engine.

I guess that's not exactly converting it in any direct manner, since it's a total replacement of existing.

But I've never seen the inside of ez app engine, I just assume there's a pcb board connected to a dc motor and track power lines, maybe a speaker and some LEDs.

The typical things a modern DCC sound decoder can handle with ease.
 

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My suggestion was to replace the entire pcb. But is there any knowledge out there of the ez app bluetooth command formatting or ez app engine pcb board?
 

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Lenovo said you couldn't install a traditional 7-row keyboard in T/W530 either. It has been done.
 

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Ok you can definitely replace the pcb with a DCC pcb.

But assuming the original knows nothing about DCC at all, there's no jumper or secret code that enables it.

Then to get that original pcb to do something with DCC, you'd need some little bit of hardware to take the track inputs, decode the DCC signals to command codes ... Map the command codes to ez app operations...

And then encode that into the wireless bluetooth side of things so ez app can receive a command

Which is probably not impossible but surely can be economical.(and you would need to know something about what ez app sends over bluetooth)

Maybe someone with a EE can correct my speculations.
 

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My guess would be that it would be similar to a non-DCC-ready loco. The wildcard, as Severn suggests, is whether the existing PCB is too different from the standard architecture (I'd bet it isn't, just for ease of manufacturing).
 

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I watched the video in bewhole's post above.

That's an HO scale F unit, right?

It looks like the entire light/controller board needs to come out, and be replaced with a dcc-specific decoder board. There's no connection to plug in a dcc decoder "as it is".

The video guy said the board measured around 115mm (L) by 15mm (W).
I'm thinking a digitrax DH165AO might drop right in place. All the existing wiring seems to be in the right places to accommodate it. The width might be an issue (The Digitrax board is just under 17mm wide).

Another thought: get ahold of the 8-pin "reverse connector" used by LifeLike on their old Proto2000 engines, which has a female 8-pin "receiver". Then, use a "postage-stamp" sized decoder, such as the Soundtraxx MC1H102P8

Of course, this approach would work only with the F-unit as seen in the video.
I'll guess that each individual locomotive model will have to be opened and examined to ascertain what decoder could be used.

Bachmann probably says "it can't be done" because they don't offer a conversion kit, and of course the existing installation is soldered in and could be considered "beyond the ability" of many.

But if you're willing to snip the wires, remove the existing board, and install a 3rd-party decoder, doesn't look to be too big of a job...
 

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If your goal is to have DCC sound but to keep the smartphone control, you would buy a DCC sound locomotive and then add a BlueRailDCC board which would supply the decoder with DCC signals. The 2 amp boards are about 1.5” by .5”.
 

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If your goal is to have DCC sound but to keep the smartphone control, you would buy a DCC sound locomotive and then add a BlueRailDCC board which would supply the decoder with DCC signals. The 2 amp boards are about 1.5” by .5”.
Another option would be to build a lc-dcc. It's a DCC controller that can easily be built with bluetooth or wifi and has an app for android, apple or windows. You can control trains from your phone, tablet or computer. You can also add potentiometers for manual control of up to 8 assigned engines.

You'll still have to convert the train to regular DCC, but its compatible with any standard decoder, so you don't have to find extra room for additional boards.



Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
 

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I don't think there's going to be a realistic way to modify the existing pcb to handle DCC, without just completely replacing it with an appropriate DCC sound decoder board.
 
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