SRman wrote:Suzie wrote:PluX-16 is also an N-Gauge socket with quite a few decoders available for it, but not many locos use it yet, unfortunately the Next-18 socket appears to be more popular.
The PLuX format is a little bulkier than Next18, but is also more flexible, with 12, 16 or 22 pin versions readily available, and all usable in any of the PLuX sockets. Next18 is really nice and compact, so ideal for the smaller models, including small HO/OO models.
As I said earlier, where there is space, I think the PLuX format is the way forward, with Next18 filling the gap for smaller models. Certainly it is time, in my opinion, to retire the 6-pin and 8-pin sockets (Hornby, please note ... and get rid of that ridiculous 4-pin version of yours).
But here's the problem, which those with dreams of standardisation - in all fields - typically ignore.
None of those previous connector formats can be 'retired', because there's an up to 30 year legacy of installations of them in customer's hands, and a raft of model toolings with those connector formats, which will continue to be reissued unchanged. (Margins are tight, not going to spend anything on retooling!) So all previous formats must still be produced. Attempts at 'standardisation' by introduction of a new and better connector format simply increase the number in use: de-standardisation! And we pay for this, it doesn't come for free.
A far better move would be to dump most connector formats for new model introductions, and only use 8 pin, 21 pin MTC and Next18, the first two because they are de facto standard by volume in the HO (and OO) market place, and Next18 because it is needed for N gauge, since some will insist on doodads beyond motor control.
SRman wrote:...Now all we have to do is get manufacturers to not be lazy in their pcb designs, and separate the various function outputs such as tail lights so they can be independently controlled.
That would be good, but everything I know about model railway world tells me not a snowball's chance in hell. Manufacturers all tend to have a 'my way' fixation, especially if they can sell their decoder as the only one that works the various functions on their new 'Student Riot' Class 68, without having to reconfigure the outputs.