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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 6 year old son and I would like to get him into this hobby and I have a few questions.

I would like to start with a basic set to see how interested he is. I was look around a bit and it looks like DCC is the way to go but can be $$. I saw this set which looks like it may be a good start.
http://www.sptrains.com/160-501.html
My guess is that like everything you get what you pay for so this isn't the best DCC but what limitations will I run into. I can't see us getting to more that 3-5 trains.
Would I need to stick with all Bachmann track if we go this way or could I use other tracks/switches. Will this DCC be able to control other functions such as switches...? The manual talks about controlling trains but not about turnouts and such.
I am sure your answers will prompt many more questions.

Thanks for any help.
 

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Would I need to stick with all Bachmann track if we go this way or could I use other tracks/switches.
Welcome to the forum! I am not into HO scale and I am also a newbie with DCC, so I can not be of much help to you :eek:

I do know the answer to this question though, track from different manufacturers is not compatible, so in this case you would need to stick with Bachmann track...
 

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Hey Mark - you sound just like me - but my son is only 4.
As much as he likes Thomas & other trains, I thought entering
the world of model trains would be a fun long term transition for
us.

You have some of the same questions I've been dealing with.
Types of track and their perspective benefits, DC or DCC, switches
and controllers, etc.... and balancing price. I'm heavy on the
track issue right now, and I'm going to a huge hobby store this
Sunday. I'm going to ask a lot of questions, and make a decision on
the track. I suspect it will be a track with roadbed & easy connections
unless something big is revealed to me. I'll pass on all the info I can to
you if you want.
-tw
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Please do let me know what you find out.
It seems like DCC is the way to go but I don't want to get a cheap one that will just turn us off trains. I would rather spend more and be happy but it is hard to take that hit when just getting into a hobby that I am not sure how well he will like. He loves to build things so I think he will get into it.
 

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Mark..as promised.
In a nutshell, this is what I found out.
Most all track is at least good.
Bachmann EZ track is almost a 'standard' when it comes to
sets for little ones - its the type primarily included in sets.
Regular Atlas (without roadbed) track (due to flex track) would
be better for us older folks to setup and leave. This can be held
down by doublestick tape, and then eventually tack nails.

I purchased a bag full of Bachman ez track. I was really
debating on Bachman or Atlas truetrack (going with track with
roadbed to start with).

We had a great time at the store, and watching their HUGE running
layout was great fun too.
-tw

p.s. - keep in mind, this is what I was told and what I decided.
Don't hold me accountable for the info - but they did seem like
super nice folks, and I suspect I'll go back there in the future.
 

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Sorry, I've been away from the board for a couple days.

Here's a write-up I've done on integrated roadbed track, of which Bachmann E-Z track is among the most popular.

Here's a link to some model railroading resources for parents.

If you are planning on going with DCC you'll find that the Bachmann E-Z Command system somewhat limited. Bachmann has a new system coming on the market called the Dynamis which looks good. But for a proven system I'd recommend you look at the NCE PowerCab. I personally use a Digitrax Zephyr, but it's not exactly user friendly.

Best!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
tw001,
Thanks for getting back to me. I have seen that almost all sets come with the bachmann easy track so I am sure that is what we will start with.

Lownen,
I can see the limitation of the e-z command but it does look simple for a kid to be able to pickup and use. Thanks for the links, you have some good info in there.
 

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Bachman EZ

Hi - I am new here, was looking for some DCC info, and realized I can give you some more on this - Bachman EZ Track IS compatible with ATLAS Code 100 track - you just have to cut off the snap-lock from the EZ track piece, and then you will need roadbed for the Atlas track, and may have to shim it up a little where it meets EZ.
The switches are pricey, even from the Trainworld in NYC, and Toy Train Heaven in Pa - both online discount stores, ads in MR mag
The Bachman DCC system is a great starter for DCC - yes it only has 9 addresses, and limited functions, but it runs a PROTO QSI DCC + Sound with all the bells, horns, and several sounds, or just a regular DCC engine or 2 great.
It is absolutely cool to control 2 locos on the same track independently without tons of wires and toggle switches.
I bought mine at a Greenbergs show for $55 - a very cheap DCC starter. You can also go for the Bachman DCC Commander SET - Includes TWO DCC Diesels, 3 freight cars, and the DCC power unit, a DVD and a loop of EZ track.
Saw one on the internet for $150.

Tim
 

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Hi - I am new here, was looking for some DCC info, and realized I can give you some more on this - Bachman EZ Track IS compatible with ATLAS Code 100 track - you just have to cut off the snap-lock from the EZ track piece
Welcome to the forum! LOL, I never knew that about the two different types of track... Now when people ask I will have to tell them that "track from different manufacturers is not compatible, at least not without modification" :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the input.
I ended up getting the Bachman DCC Commander SET which includes two DCC locos, 3 cars, and the DCC power unit and a loop of EZ track. I got it at a local store for not much more than the 150 I have seen on line.
After we got it home and setup my wife mentioned that Hobby Lobby in our area has train stuff. We went and looked and they had the same set for $190. She also mentioned that she gets 40% off cupons about once a month. Looks like we could of saved some $ if she told me that earlier. They did have some atlas code 100 track and I picked up a few pieces and tried them. They fit without any modifications, just need about 1/4" riser under them.

So what is the difference between atlas code 100 and 83?
 
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