Problem with 36-557 decoder

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Bigglesof266
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Re: Problem with 36-557 decoder

Postby Bigglesof266 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:55 am

Metadyneman wrote:any chance of a link as to where I can buy them or a rough idea what an amenable price is bearing in mind Hattons were selling 36-554s at £12!!!?

Click the comment highlighted in blue for link. 'tis dearer than it was under the Bachmann brand with Hattons, but no more so than the 36-557 is now. Whilst like you I preferred paying £12, arguably it's worth £15 if the 36-557 doesn't fit the bill and one doesn't want to stretch to £25 for a Lenz 21 Silver or bodgie a Lenz basic 8 pin. Don't buy 'em all OK? :wink:

Re Lenz. I agree with you entirely Bigmet. At £18 from Hattons, Lenz's basic 8 pin has to be THE best value (vs cheapest) decoder in the market right now. Used Lenz in electric air for years and no-one came close to Lenz for reliability and consistent functionality per design specification. I really like the Lenz 21 pin silver, but at £25 ea, I confess to being sparing in their deployment back when I could source 36-554s for £11, particularly when DMUs require X2. Now the cheapies are £15 and so many MUs only require a single decoder I stretch the extra £10 so that they get a more frequent look in.

More HT room post painting fitout today, so still haven't had a chance to get time to have a play with the 36-557. But it sounds interesting if one heck of a learning curve to program it vs just setting a value in CV5. But 37 pages of manual? Oh well. Saving grace I suppose at least it isn't printed in Lillputian font like Hornby's Sapphire.

Bigmet
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Re: Problem with 36-557 decoder

Postby Bigmet » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:23 am

Same here on the price saving for the 36-554 vs the Lenz silver 21. For those motors and chassis which it matched well (large centre motor bogie type) the 36-554 was a complete steal in the £10 -12 price range; the on track performance in terms of smooth quiet movement all through the speed range was first class. With both this item and the 36-553, I really regretted the lack of large values in CV's 3 and 4; otherwise they would have been good in the loco drive Hornby steam models with the good sized 'black can' type motor. A neat feature was that they used F3 and F4 for shunt speed and cancelling CV 3 and 4 effect respectively, matching Lenz, so one never had to think about the decoder, just hit the button.

But they were never up to the job of managing the small motors in Bachmann steam types, and there I always put in Lenz. Bought a bunch of Lenz standards the last show I went to, and these are going in 'everything' for the foreseeable future. There really isn't the half price cost saving to be made any more, so I'll have the whole Lenz control package which suits just about anything you care to throw at it.

So Bachmann's new decoders I don't see myself as likely to use much; with the 36-557, it is competent but a totally different set-up, I like knowing what I am doing without having to check the manual. What I have got is the 36-558 6 pin job (also Soundtraxx) in the class 03. Bachmann could only have gone better on the neatness of this installation by making it plug in from the underside through a slot; but I will settle for the easy body removal and neat socket and void arrangement. I can remember just one loco on the layout with a different decoder type, and have left it pretty close to direct drive to imitate the slow and clunky progress of these unsophisticated little mobile housebricks.

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Rabspat
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Re: Problem with 36-557 decoder

Postby Rabspat » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:38 am

Well the bachmann decoder went back for a refund. I ordered a Sapphire the otherday thats arrived so all is well. But i think i am gonna have to start shopping around for decoders as £25 each time i get a new loco is gonna get expensive. I did find a place that did Lenz decoders at a rather nice price, but can i find it now......... Can i heck.
SIMON
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"Daunton" oo gauge end to end Branchline, using DMU's and EMU's in different eras and regions. But general theme would be Kent area with some stations with the SR era colour. Be Starting Board 1 this week I at a time.

Bigmet
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Re: Problem with 36-557 decoder

Postby Bigmet » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:49 am

DCC supplies as in the link in Biggles post above? I tend to look there and on Hattons site.

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Rabspat
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Re: Problem with 36-557 decoder

Postby Rabspat » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:08 am

.Might be but not sure. Place i found had lenz 21 pin for under £25. Or i could have been dreaming :D
SIMON
IN PROGRESS
"Daunton" oo gauge end to end Branchline, using DMU's and EMU's in different eras and regions. But general theme would be Kent area with some stations with the SR era colour. Be Starting Board 1 this week I at a time.

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martin_l_jones
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Re: Problem with 36-557 decoder

Postby martin_l_jones » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:08 pm

Metadyneman wrote:I have had the same problem with this decoder. It refuses to be reporgrammed using a Bachmann Dynamis or a Hornby Select ( I have both ). I originally put it in a brand new class 350 desiro unit, it worked on default No 3 but refused to accept any of the CV adjustments for accelleration deceleration,
P S You can set CV 8 to value 8 on the non pro Dynamis but it won't work with this decoder for some reason..


I have fitted one to two Colas Class 66's tonight but I only use a basic EZ on the layout to run the trains and could not reset the loco number's

I had to use my Dynamis to programme them and managed to set both the acceleration and deceleration to 8 on both, and managed to reset the loco numbers from 3 to 9 and 6 respectively.

The EZ recognises the new loco numbers, so at least i can run them on the layout.

In terms of the Class 350 I had a real problem that it would not recognise the Bachmann decoder at all, same issue with the on board MPV, changed them both for a Sapphire and both ok.
No more fotopic, now onto flickr...

Just started to load up my photos and video, see my layout and the real things at..
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Metadyneman
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Re: Problem with 36-557 decoder

Postby Metadyneman » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:10 pm

Bachmann have now confirmed with me that there are issues with this decoder and certain controllers. It doesn't work very well with the Hornby Select and I suspect your experience with the E-Z command is probably another controller it has issues with. I eventually changed the ID number on mine using the Dynamis but in order for it to accept the change I had to program it, then remove it from the track and replace it before it would respond to the new number. I am not happy with this type of decoder and will not be buying any more. The 36-554 was far better in my opinion and wil probably buy ESU decoders from now on if Bachmann persist with this one.
Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we will be jolly, fat with a headache!

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thebritfarmer
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Re: Problem with 36-557 decoder

Postby thebritfarmer » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:21 pm

Think I'll be sticking with the ESU myself as well. Seems to be a poor move on Bachmanns part here.
All Aboooooard !!

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Bigglesof266
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Re: Problem with 36-557 decoder

Postby Bigglesof266 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:02 am

Metadyneman wrote:The 36-554 was far better in my opinion and wil probably buy ESU decoders from now on if Bachmann persist with this one.

Where I think the Bachmann's 36-553 and former -554 (ergo still available as a Lockpilot Basic) excel is in their end user simplicity (KIS) and value. Adequate functionality for a larger proportion of users than those who would admit to it, reliable, plug in and go importantly, all at a price people want to pay. In short, they fit an important niche. It's rather a mystery why Bachmann chose to succeed the -554 with the rebadged MC1? Given the MC1's 20% increase in street price, cost shouldn't have been the reason.

RFS
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Re: Problem with 36-557 decoder

Postby RFS » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:41 am

I tried the 36-557 for a Bachmann 2EPB before discovering I couldn't set max speed, but other than that it was OK. I did return it for a refund however. I'm prepared to pay a few pounds more for a decent decoder and the Lenz Standard+ is my decoder of choice - £16 currently from Model Railways Direct. Where the loco has a 21-pin socket and space permits (eg steamer with socket in the tender) then I use the Lenz Standard+ with the Bachmann 8/21 pin converter which is much cheaper than the 21-pin Lenz Silver - pity they don't do a 21-pin standard.

The Bachmann 2EPBs don't seem to like the Lenz Silver21 and give erratic running on my layout, so instead I'm using the Hornby Sapphires. These are excellent too but have a silly RRP - £35 or thereabouts, but can be had much cheaper if you shop around. I've just bought 3 from Scograil (http://www.scograil.co.uk) for £19.95 each which I reckon is good value. DCC Supplies sell them for around £21.
Robert Smith

Bigmet
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Re: Problem with 36-557 decoder

Postby Bigmet » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:02 am

Metadyneman wrote:Bachmann have now confirmed with me that there are issues with this decoder and certain controllers...

That's useful information. Now we wait and see if retailers advertise as 'not fully compatible with these controllers: .....' ? They should do to spare themselves the complaints and returns.

It has to be the 'certain controllers' that are sub-standard by my reckoning, as the 36-557 I played with responded perfectly to what is now a ten year old unaltered v3.0 Lenz 100 system. It would be interesting to hear from someone who knows the DCC platform just what it is on the budget controllers that leads to this situation. (There was some good information on the original Select shortly after its launch, showing that its track output waveform was non-compliant with the DCC standard, so the natural assumption is that similar deviations lurk in other budget systems.)

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Metadyneman
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Re: Problem with 36-557 decoder

Postby Metadyneman » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:30 pm

Bigmet has suggested that the waveform might be the problem. Again Bachmann gave this as one reason why the 36-557 does not respond well to the Hornby select although they put it to me in more laymans like language of "its because the Hornby Select makes too much noise!".

Personally i dislike the 36-557 in so much as it is more complicated to use than the simpler 36-554 CV5 is not supported (despite saying it is in the decoder literature supplied with it) meaning you cannot set top speed in a simple manner and have to fiddle about with complicated speed curves using a completely indecipherable ridiculous table in the leaflet). Good for the techies but not good for the normal punter I'm afraid. I think Bachmann have made a big mistake in discontinuing the 36-554.
Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we will be jolly, fat with a headache!

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martin_l_jones
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Re: Problem with 36-557 decoder

Postby martin_l_jones » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:33 pm

I guess there will be a purge on any stocks of 554's and the ESU equivalent...
No more fotopic, now onto flickr...

Just started to load up my photos and video, see my layout and the real things at..
http://www.youtube.com/user/mljones21
http://www.flickr.com/photos/16645820@N06/6157779077/

Bigmet
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Re: Problem with 36-557 decoder

Postby Bigmet » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:46 am

Old story; if you like the superseded item, snap it up while available. The other interesting aspect is that Bachmann have made no move toward the plux connector in these new additions to the range. So one imagines that the present 6, 8 and 21 pin sockets are going to remain in their product for the foreseeable future; they would hardly want to be selling locos which they cannot offer a decoder for.


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