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alpineaustralia

Bachmann Dynamis

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alpineaustralia

I have a Bachmann Dynamis DCC system that runs my trains. It consists of a base station and an infrared hand held remote controller.

 

Today, after a phone call to Bachmann Europe Plc in the UK, I have great displeasure in announcing that after only 5 months it not longer works properly and I must pack it up and sending ot back to the UK (from Australia) for warranty repairs.

 

I am trainless!

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Bernard

Ahhhh, say it ain't so.....trainless!!!

Alpine - I have heard good things about the Bachmann customer service so hopefully it won't take too long to get your DCC system back.

After having it for a while, how do you like the Bachmann Dynamis system?

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alpineaustralia

I cant compare it to any other system through experience as this is the first system that I have used.  Lets see now, it is has:

 

*Speed steps = 14, 28 and 128;

 

*Backlit LCD display;

 

*Current = 2.3A (I have run 4 trains at the same time without a problem and anticipate that I can go to 6 trains);

 

*Voltage = 15.5V +/- 5V;

 

*Address = 2 or 4 number as well as alphanumeric (eg one of my trains I have labelled "SNCF TGV POS" so as not to confuse with other more modern TGVs like the Atlantique and the Thayls);

 

*Speed control = Throttle is a stick that moves forward and backward for speed (and changing CVs and values) and sidewards to choose trains and step through the various menus;

 

*Warranty = 1 year;

 

*Walk around capability = Yes, Wireless Infrared control;

 

*Function buttons = 21;

 

*Accessory/turnout control = Yes. Controls up to 25 decoders, 4 accessories per decoder (i.e. max 100 accessories);

 

*Consists = 127. Both Universal and advanced. Each consist can also be given its own name;

 

*POM and Service track programming;

 

*No computer interfacing,

 

The best feature of it is that it has the main features (albeit greatly watered down) of the ESU system. The alphanumeric is dead easy to use, even my 4 year old uses it (the alphanumeric have even helped him to start to read).

 

To anyone beginning in the hobby, I can recommend it for ease of use. For anyone really into it like you guys, I would not recommend it because, firstly, ease is less of a concern and secondly, the flexibility and ability to grow the Dynamis system in the manner discussed by Martijn, Steveh and Capt is extremely limited (eg no computer interfacing etc).

 

The main downside is that the wireless infrared signalling needs a fair bit of work to perfect. Unfortunately it is direct line of sight and so (unlike your TV remote control), it wont pick up if you are at an extreme angle or and certainly not if you are facing the other way.  It means that you cannot hide the system under  the layout and rely on wires to carry the signal from the controller to the command station. In fact, it is the wireless infrared signalling that no longer works on my set.

 

I sent the train away today and so we will be able to tell how good the service is.

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alpineaustralia

Well I received the Bachmann Dynamis and cannot say I am impressed.

The problem was (and remains) that the hand held IR remote doesnt always communicate with the base station.

I sent the unit away and received it 3 weeks later with a note telling me that they could not find the fault and that the unit worked up to 15 feet away.

I tried the unit and again it didnt work. I then called the service department in the UK and spoke to the service manager. He was friendly enough and tried to be helpful -  at the end of the day I can't fault him - however, I did find out that the IR reader on the base station is sensitive to  some flourescent lights. In my case, this isnt the problem because we dont have flourescent lights. However, the best guess that I can come up with is that it is (seemingly randomly) affected by the IR motion detectors that form part of our home alarm system.

Needless to say, I wp;d have thought Bachmann would have produced a better product than that. The service manager assures me that the IR componentry is fundamentally no different than other IR components. Funny that - because my TV remote works just fine in rooms where the Dynamis does not.

Stay away from the Dynamis!

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Welshbloke

I'm a bit puzzled why they used IR at all - Lenz make a very reasonably priced module to convert a standard cordless phone into a wireless throttle, which had excellent range and doesn't drop connections.

 

Their old "E Z Command" was ok, but a bit limited in terms of what it could do. However, when you look at the sort of prices you could pick up a brand new split from set example for it was very reasonable.

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alpineaustralia

Can you tell me more about the Lenz system?

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Bernard

Alpine--I have the Lenz 100 system and I love it! But what I would research is how easy it will be to get parts, other applications that go with it.

Here is a DCC comparison chart from Tony's train exchange where I got my system.

http://www.tonystrains.com/productcompare/dcccomparison.htm

 

In the USA a lot of people use Digitrax and I think it's because a lot of Hobby shops supply more of the Digitrax systems than most of the others. The Lenz system is European (Gernany) and I have to order from Tony's to get additional items I need for my system. I've never had any problems with it and it's easy to use.

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Martijn Meerts

Lenz is a real nice system, and it's pretty much compatible with any other DCC component that's NMRA certified. In fact, DCC "compatible" components are tested based on a list that again is based on the Lenz DCC standard. Lenz literally set the DCC standard that everything else is based on ;)

 

I have the Lenz 100 as well, and it works just fine. It's very modular which is great for a modular layout.

 

I'm also considering getting a Viessmann Commander or Trix Central Station 2 at some point. They have a colour touch screen which allows you to draw the trackplan right on the thing, and use automated control without a computer. Great for temporary layouts that you leave up for a couple of weeks for example.

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alpineaustralia

The wireless Bachmsnn system was effectively developed by ESU.

It appears that the problems that I am experiencing are not known to Bachmann and they are raising it with ESU.

I'll keep you posted on what they come up with.

 

On another note, that Veissmann Commander looks like beauty!   

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Bernard

It is an interesting design.... but it looks a little bit like an Etch-A-Sketch  ;)

Do you know about what the system is going for and have there been any reviews on it?

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alpineaustralia

Although the Veissmann and the Marklin systems are a fair bit more advanced, they seem to have the same basic design feature of the Bachmann which is what I was attracted to in the first place - a largish screen, alphanumeric addressing and remote capability

If I replace the Bachmann, one thing I am sure that I will miss is how user friendly it is (when it is working).

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Martijn Meerts

Bernard, the Marklin version will support only the Marklin digital systems, but the Trix version (same hardware, bit the red buttons and such are green) will be a DCC system (and support selectrix as well.) No reviews yet, since the thing isn't released yet, but it should be arriving before the holiday season =)

 

 

Alpine, the original Marklin central station is pretty well received, the new one should only make things more interesting. I've been considering getting a Commander for a while, but I'll be waiting for the Trix version of the Central Station to come out now.

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Bernard

Martijn--Just curious since I have no experience with Marklin trains, does Marklin make their own decoders just for their systems? Another reason why I ask is that if you already have for example lenz or digitrix decoders installed in your trains, the Marklin command control wouldn't work?

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Martijn Meerts

Marklin has used 3 systems. The first one was actually mainly developed by Lenz (before they started on DCC), then an upgraded version of that system which Marklin made themselves.

 

The next step was Marklin MFX which they developed together with ESU. MFX they also call "Marklin Systems". It's actually a really nice idea, since the decoder registers itself when placed on the track, no need to remember all the decoder numbers etc.

 

The new one (with the Central Station 2) they call "Marklin Digital". It's really just the same system as "Marklin Systems" in that it uses the MFX protocol, but some of the components are slightly different.

 

As it is, you can't run DCC decoders on the new Marklin Central, but they have hinted at a box you hook up to the central, which then allows you to use DCC as well. Other than that, it is VERY likely that they'll also make a version branded "Trix Digital" which will support DCC and Selectrix, after all Marklin owns Trix nowadays.

 

Marklin H0 is actually a 3-rail system, whereas Marklin Z and Marklin I are 2-rail, it's all very confusing =)

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Bernard

Thanks Martijn for the explanation. It seems that the Trix system would be more popular since it can service both DCC & selectrix. Now you've opened another question, what is selectrix and do you know if there a link I can look at to see what it actually is?

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Martijn Meerts

Selectrix is an older digital protocol specifically designed for N-scale and smaller. The smallest decoders you can get are all Selectrix. Many of the new ones are multi-protocol (Selectrix/DCC) since Trix is switching to DCC (I guess the reason for that is selectrix isn't really being worked on anymore)

 

Information in English is a bit hard to find, all manufacturers of Selectrix are German/Austrian, but there's some slightly outdated and short info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selectrix

 

 

My father's layout uses Selectrix btw.

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Welshbloke

The one problem I have with Marklin's current digital range is the cost. There is no sensible upgrade path between the very limited Mobile Station (which can be had for reasonable sums via ebay, brand new split from set) and the top of the range Central Station which is £400+.

 

I'm not a huge fan of the need to "install" locos either. The Mobile Station can only have ten locos in its library, and deleting one to add another is a lot more effort than just dialling in a new address (as you would with 99% of DCC systems).

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Bernard

I just went to my currency converter for 400 pounds to US dollars.....WOW that is expensive. My LHS carries Marklin trains and their quality & detail is exceptional but those are the most expensive trains in the store.

In the USA I would say that Digitrax is probably the most popular DCC system and I think that's so because of all the systems out there most LHS carry that one plus most RR clubs use Digitrax. Being a Lenz user, I have yet to find any parts or accessories locally, I always have to order online. That is the only disadvantage I have found so far on my Lenz system.

 

In your country, what is the most popular DCC system?

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alpineaustralia

Without a doubt Hornby would be the most popular system around for anything to do with model trains in Oz

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Bernard

Alright in the USA very few people if any know about Hornby. Is it made in England and is it exported to the USA under another manufacture's name?

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Welshbloke

Hornby is designed in the UK and manufactured in China. Their DCC system did go through a rocky patch but I think it is now properly NMRA compliant.

 

They offer a varied range from cheap toys to rather more expensive models that would shame a lot of professionally-built kits. No N scale yet apart from the "Lyddle End" range of buildings which are rather spiffy.

 

Marklin Digital has had some quality control problems of late too, with a noticeable number of the Central and Mobile Stations having to be returned for repair. Not acceptable given the prices paid for them. They are currently working on a MK 2 CS which may or may not fix the electronic problems but will not solve the problem of their only offering a cheap basic controller and a seriously expensive top of the range one with nothing in between.

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alpineaustralia

I have been re-miss in adding a post script to my complaint about my Bachman Dynamis.

Bachman sent my complaint to Germay and I was sent a replacment part that has resulted in the consistency of the signal improving dramatically but completely. Overall I am happier than I was and feel that Bachman took the matter seriously and tried to deal with it as best they could. So for now, it all works and things are good.

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quinntopia

Alpine,

 

I just came across this post...I had the same problem with the Dynamis.  I did love the interface, but the poor IR killed it.  I am sticking with my Trix Mobile Stations until something better comes along myself...

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alpineaustralia

Mate you should write to them and let them know because they suggested to me that they never saw this problem before.

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