Need a good switchers in DCC which one is best.

choochoopapa2u Jun 21, 2015

  1. choochoopapa2u

    choochoopapa2u New Member

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    Which switchers to buy, I would prefer one with DCC installed, or plug n play type arrangement. Bachmann makes alco switchers, with dcc, but how good is there decoder. micro trains has the sw1500 that I do believe is non dcc. One dealer at a train show said they run great, ut not dcc ready.
     
  2. rogergperkins

    rogergperkins TrainBoard Member

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    I had dcc decoders installed in my Kato NW2s. Run very nicely.
    Have not seen the MTL SW1500, but suspect dcc can be installed.
    Actually, I have a Life-Like SW-9 that is/was one of the earlier non-steam locomotives I purchased.
    It ran very well until it ate some ballast. I would have a dcc decoder installed in it
    if the gear could be replaced. It ran very smoothly at low speed which is one of my first criteria for a switch locomotive.
     
  3. retsignalmtr

    retsignalmtr TrainBoard Member

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    Atlas makes the MP15, GP15-1, GP-7 and GP-38's. Bachmann has RS-3's, 45 and 70 ton switchers, 2-8-0, 2-6-0 and 4-6-0 steamers, and there are other switchers as well that I can't think of now. All come with decoders that the manufacturers install as well as decoder ready models. I prefer putting in the decoders of my choice when I can as I prefer Digitrax, but if I like a specific small loco I will buy the DCC equipped loco and live with it as the decoders are pretty good as is. I don't do wire in decoders myself.
     
  4. rrjim1

    rrjim1 TrainBoard Member

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    Atlas S2, Atlas MP15, Atlas VO-1000, Bachmann S4, Bachmann NW-2, Bachmann 45, and 70 ton, are all available with DCC decoders. All these switchers run great, my favorite is the new Atlas S2 with sound. There are also a lot of road switchers available with DCC decoders.
     
  5. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

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  6. rrjim1

    rrjim1 TrainBoard Member

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    I have done two and the ones I purchased (Reading),were far from just drop-in, the motors were not insulated when the bodies were installed. I ended up rewiring the motors and adding a small piece of plastic to keep the chassic apart. They do run really great after all the work was done!
     
  7. choochoopapa2u

    choochoopapa2u New Member

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    thanks for the great information
     
  8. nydjshep

    nydjshep New Member

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    I'd go along with new Atlas S-2. I have the Bachmann S-4, 44 and 70 tonner--they're ok but have issues; the Kato NW2 is better--very solid. But I'm having much more fun with the S-2 with sound.
     
  9. choochoopapa2u

    choochoopapa2u New Member

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    So what issues do the Bachmann engines have. Are the Bachmann decoders as good as after market products. I guess I am wondering if engines perform smoothly and good slow speed.
     
  10. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

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    I have the Bachmann 44 Ton and the Bachmann 70 Ton switchers. These are my observations:

    - Small wheelbase leads to difficulty on turnouts (switches), particularly with the 44 ton diesel. This wouldn't necessarily be specific to Bachmann locos of this size.
    - Decoders are "entry-level" - they provide basic functions like speed control and headlight on/off. Changing the address from the factory preset of 3 to either 44 or 70 took more tries than I expected (I have an NCE Power Cab).
    - 'Momentum' appears to be the factory setting. If you change direction without bringing the loco to a stop, the loco comes more gradually to a stop first, pauses and then starts in the opposite direction. This may be a nice feature depending on your perspective. However, I've also noticed the there is not an instant response to regular acceleration either.
    - If you lose connection with the track, the headlight will sometimes shut off and needs to be cycled back off and on with the throttle.
    - Speed control is reasonable-- not what you would get with a higher level brand like Kato or Atlas.

    In short, I think you get what you pay for. I would not consider these units at the standard MSRP (in fact, I would not consider buying anything from Bachmann at their standard MSRP!) but if the locos can be had at a discount they would be a reasonable tradeoff. That is how I purchased both of my units. I'm not in the market for any more, however.

    My sample size of one complete, I'll open the floor for other opinions...
     
  11. choochoopapa2u

    choochoopapa2u New Member

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    very good to know, thanks.
     
  12. Mike C

    Mike C TrainBoard Member

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    I used to think the stock Bachmann decoders were fine , when I was using the old Command 2000 set-up . After switching to the Power Cab set-up some ran OK and others ran poorly . It was mostly a matter of throttle response . The stock decoders don't support CV 's for mid range speed and top speed adjustment. Some locos I just couldn't get to run the way I wanted them to . I ended up changing all of the decoders to Digitrax decoders and they run much better .
     

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