You get a Bachmann DC Controller with the Empire Builder, an elegant, sturdy power pack that delivers dependable DC voltage to EZ Track. It’s so simple to use that almost anyone over 4 can set it up in minutes by just following the directions (non-readers can just look at the pictures!) It’s total plug and play; you don’t even need a screwdriver! It’s another testimony to Bachmann’s skill at developing model train products suited for beginners of all ages. As a DC controller, you’re looking at controlling a single loco’s direction and speed.
With the Whistle-Stop starter set, you get upgraded Bachmann’s EZ Digital Command Control System. This DCC controller offers the same sturdy construction and plug-and-play ease, with some basic DCC programming (that means it’s limited.) You can change the 2-digit address of a DCC-equipped loco, and you can activate the first 9 (F0-F8) functions via a very easy-to-use pad of 10 buttons (this is probably my favorite feature on the EZ Digital Command. Choosing trains by their 2-digit address is a breeze, as well as getting at those all-important function keys to make those bell, whistle and horn sounds!)
This is, to my understanding, the easiest DCC controller on the market to learn on, with just enough DCC features to hook even die-hard DC train enthusiasts into entering the DCC world. In addition to assigning 2-digit (and only 2-digit) addresses, you can set NDOT (Normal Direction of Travel) and even a basic consist by just assigning multiple locos to the same address. And these functions can all be performed on the main line, no programming track needed! The DCC controller does have a way of using a programming track, but it requires wiring a resister into the connection. I’m just not sure if you can adjust the values of any other CV’s by doing this because I never tried.
The super cool thing about the Bachmann DC and DCC controllers is that they can be connected TOGETHER like this—->>
So this further justified my investment in the Bachmann Whistle-Stop and Empire Builder Starters sets– I could still use BOTH controllers in tandem, and run both DC and DCC trains on the same oval loop layout. And look how cool and matched those two controllers look working side-by-side!
In August of 2021, as I first began my model train hobby, it appeared that with my Bachmann Starter Sets– with 2 locos, 9 cars, a bunch of EZ Track and two neat, matching controllers– I was set to be satisfied for a long, long time.
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