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Bachmann Dynamis Digital Command Control Pro Box

Read this review from Model Railroader magazine
Bachmann Dynamis Digital Command Control Pro Box
Bachmann Dynamis Digital Command Control Pro Box
The Bachmann Dynamis Digital Command Control (DCC) system features intuitive programming, operating menus displayed on the handset's liquid crystal display (LCD) screen, and wireless infrared communication between the handset and an infrared receiver. The basic system, reviewed in the July 2008 Model Railroader, works fine for a small layout. However, it supports only one handset and its range is confined to a 180-degree line-of-sight reception arc around the infrared receiver. The Dynamis Pro Box expands the system, supporting up to three additional handsets and extending the system's range with plugs for up to four more wireless receivers. Like the other Dynamis components, Bachmann developed the Pro Box with Electronik Solutions Ulm (ESU) of Germany.
The command station fits between the Pro Box and IR extender
The command station fits between the Pro Box and IR extender
Easy set-up and operation. Installing the Pro Box was just as easy as setting up the basic system. Along with the Pro Box, the set includes an infrared extender, and an infrared receiver with 10-foot extension cable. All the components are modular, so the command station (sold separately in the basic set), Pro Box, infrared extender, and infrared receivers simply plug into one another. An ECosLink cable is included to connect the Dynamis Pro Box to an ESU ECoS DCC system.

I installed the Dynamis on our Milwaukee Road Beer Line HO scale layout while it was under construction. (See the January through May 2009 issues of Model Railroader.) We'd planned to upgrade to the Pro Box prior to our story about operations on the Beer Line in the May 2009 issue, but the components weren't available until after our story deadline.

Installation involved connecting leads from the layout's power bus to screw terminals in the Pro Box and plugging in the power supply. I then plugged a separate infrared receiver into the supplied 10-foot cable and plugged the cable into one of the ports of the infrared extender on top of the Pro Box. I placed the additional infrared receiver on a fascia-mounted shelf used for paperwork on the Beer Line.

I recruited another operator and we successfully ran a Broadway Limited Imports SW7 and a Walthers H-10-44 at the same time without any difficulty. When we turned on the two Dynamis handsets we had to wait a few seconds while they acquired the locomotive roster saved in the command station.

Using the two infrared receivers, we controlled the locomotives on two sides of the layout while it was configured as a freestanding table. Four infrared receivers would give us control from any side of layout. It would be helpful if Bachmann offered longer cables for the infrared receivers.

Expanded programming. With the Pro Box you can easily add an isolated programming track to your layout. Power leads from a programming track connect to screw terminals on the command station.

Using a programming track, you can assign your locomotives four-digit addresses. You can also read back configuration variables (CVs) from the Program on Service Track menu. Enter the CV and a Read option will appear on the screen.

The Dynamis Pro Box still supports programming on the main. However, in that mode, CVs can't be read back, and only two-digit addresses can be assigned.

A drawback of the Dynamis system is that it allows for just four handsets. Larger layouts will require an additional Dynamis command station and Pro Box.

That said, the Dynamis system with the Pro Box add-on is a good option for those looking for reliable, programmable control of their small- to medium-sized model railroads.
Dynamis DCC Pro Box
Price: Pro Box, $450; Infrared receiver, $45; Handset, $150

Manufacturer
Bachmann Trains
1400 E. Erie Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19124
www.bachmanntrains.com

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