Is DCC dead???????

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GWR_fan
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Is DCC dead???????

Postby GWR_fan » Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:41 pm

I just noticed the Bachmann bluetooth E-Z APP train control. It uses your smart phone or tablet and unlike DCC wireless control by smart phone it requires no peripherals such as computer, laptop, router/modem/wireless connection.

Simply apply 16 volts to track (initially developed for 'h.o.' but to be extended to other scales/gauges, place your bluetooth enabled loco on the track and download the free app from itunes or google. When theapp is selected it brings up the operation page after finding the loco.
Unlimited number of locomotives may be run. Unlike conventional DCC 'tuning', the E-Z APP hides the CV's on its setting page so all you need to do is alter an icon on the screen to raise/lower volume/brightness, change sound settings, whatever. You do not even have to know what a CV is to alter the settings on the loco (it is all displayed as an icon on the screen to alter the variables).

A bluetooth chip will become available (much like a decoder) to allow retrofitting bluetooth technology to older DCC ready locomotives.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6xoL6NY83g


Tim

b308
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Re: Is DCC dead???????

Postby b308 » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:12 pm

Is DCC dead?

No...

Simple answer is that not everyone wants to involve their phone/laptop...

People said Analogue would be dead when DCC came along, but it's as alive as it ever was...

Bear in mind there's also Radio Control which is just taking off now the electrics are small enough... No worries al all about pick ups and feeds to the track...

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Re: Is DCC dead???????

Postby GWR_fan » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:34 pm

b308 wrote:Is DCC dead?

No...

Simple answer is that not everyone wants to involve their phone/laptop.......................


I do not see the system being marketed to old fogeys like us that are set in their ways and reluctant to accept change. However, for a new generation (the last two generations - our children and grandchildren) that have been inundated with mobile phone and smart tablet use, the system operation is ingrained in their psyche. They will not go anywhere without their phone or tablet. They use their phone for communication, internet usage, socialising, etc and do not want to be tethered to a fixed piece of equipment such as a DCC controller or computer. The mobile allows them their freedom.

I do not know the range of bluetooth, but no doubt it could be engineered to give acceptable range.


Tim

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Re: Is DCC dead???????

Postby b308 » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:39 pm

I know plenty of kids in their teens and 20s who still use analogue, Tim, so there's still hope... There's also cost, it's still cheaper to do analogue than DCC... Also there's the specialist scales and narrow gauge where for the most part there isn't much of a market even for DCC, let alone this development...

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Peterm
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Re: Is DCC dead???????

Postby Peterm » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:43 pm

I can't be doing with all this 'ere new fangled jiggery pokery stuff. It was 'ard enough getting the hang of dcc and now you want us to start mucking abaht with eye tablet phone thingamajiggys... I arsk yer, wot's the world coming to.
Pete.

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Re: Is DCC dead???????

Postby GWR_fan » Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:00 pm

b308 wrote:I know plenty of kids in their teens and 20s who still use analogue, Tim, so there's still hope... There's also cost, it's still cheaper to do analogue than DCC... Also there's the specialist scales and narrow gauge where for the most part there isn't much of a market even for DCC, let alone this development...


Yes, analogue will still be with us in the future. Remember the days when a manual transmission was standard in a car and automatics were a very expensive option. Some cars these days one needs to pay extra to option a manual drive transmission as automatics become standard factory fittings to cope with emission control requirements.

People remain with analogue for cost reasons and possibly fear/apprehension of entering the world of DCC. In 'h.o.' I would think that the majority of Bachmann locomotives come factory decoder fitted. It possibly costs almost as much these days to provide a blanking plug as to provide a factory installed decoder. Why do kits always cost more than a similar factory assembled locomotive or piece of rolling stock. Economies of scale on the production line reduce per unit cost such that a decoder equipped loco may cost the same to produce as a non-decoder fitted loco.

The E-Z APP takes all the 'fear' out of DCC. One does not even need to know of CV's and yet when they go to the loco settings page they are altering CV's to change loco characteristics.

It is estimated that half the world's population own a smart phone (I refuse to own one) so it is obvious why Bachmann are treading this path. All these younger modellers that you know with analogue trains (I still prefer analogue for simplicity) do they own a mobile phone? If not then they are in the minority. Mobile phone users are unknowingly technology geeks. They have the latest iPhone version but along comes 'iPhoneX' and they simply must have it to access all the new features (even though their now superseded phone was suitable for their needs). The E-Z APP takes advantage of this technology drive inherent in our younger generations.

Remember those movies from the 1980's when a carphone was huge requiring its own battery to power it. Along came Motorola and then Nokia in the 1990's with mobile phones impossibly small and slim. The smaller a phone the more desirable it was socially. Fast forward to today when tablet phones are in vogue and screens on mobiles are becoming increasingly larger, in reality making them more a tablet than a 'mobile' phone. People will buy anything that they think they need to be in vogue and fashionable. What is next on the horizon, a mobile phone small enough that one can actually fit in their pocket? Technology will simply not remain static.


Tim

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Re: Is DCC dead???????

Postby GWR_fan » Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:12 am

For more info you could look at the following site. The video on the link shows the integrated decoder/bluetooth receiver fitted to an 8/9-pin connector.

http://bluerailtrains.com/


Tim

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Re: Is DCC dead???????

Postby b308 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:46 am

I have no doubt that people will want to use it, but there are also lots of people who won't. I mentioned cost, you mentioned "fear" though I have no doubt that's a minor reason, another is the hassle of conversion for those who have older, pre DCC stock. Everyone's different, especially us lot into model railways!

You mentioned phones, remember even with the easy availability of mobiles millions of us still have land lines and millions more don't even have a phone... Out of choice, not fear or cost...

That's why I said that your thread title just won't happen, because everyone is different and for many running a steam engine or an old diesel using a computer just won't hack it, I've no doubt it'll take off, but I'd stake my life on it that we won't see the end of analogue or "old" DCC in my lifetime and, I doubt, in yours... It's just another fad, that's all, and it will get a number of devotees who think it's the bee's knees until the next one comes along!!

Blair
Last edited by b308 on Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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alex3410
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Re: Is DCC dead???????

Postby alex3410 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:58 am

its cropped up before, its an interesting development but like i said last time it would have been much more useful to create a box that connected up to the track and linked to your phone via bluetooth

that way you get the same benefits but wont need to rechip your fleet of locos - think of it as an E-link that uses smart phone instead of computer


now that i would be interested in! but its still good to see they are pushing new ideas

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Re: Is DCC dead???????

Postby Bigmet » Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:14 am

There's going to be an interesting 'shake out' over the next ten years or so, in the various flavours of control system that are currently coming to market.

The potential game changers are the various forms of wireless control, especially when combined with onboard power from some sort of rechargeable battery. It is no secret that to get the best from this, especially when it comes to smaller models, the system and battery need to be 'designed in', not an afterthought. Given how clumsily some model makers can still be when it comes to designing access to put in what are now pretty small DCC decoders, this is going to leave some lagging badly.

The efficiency of wireless communication will also be interesting. Railway modellers naturally do things that are not exactly ideal for signal propagation, like set up arrays of parallel wires, and then park many of the units with the receivers close together on the array. (That's a loco shed.) Sometimes we even put stacks of these arrays of wires in layers above each other - a multilevel layout. Some of this could lead to 'fun' of the 'unreliable connection' type.

Having got DCC working very well, I am going to sit back and watch, until the inferior options have clearly crashed and burned...

whynot
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Re: Is DCC dead???????

Postby whynot » Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:29 am

Not dead .... but as with every new tech in a world driven (mad) by the hysteria of innovation "dying" from day one (like every living thing!).

As a relative newcomer it seems to me that the only fundamental step forward in model rail awaits - RC and self-powered stock. Picking up power from small strips of metal prone by their nature to give poor contact and requiring more or less complicated wiring is simply archaic. That will be one innovation that will be worth wholesale new starts even for some modellers entrenched in old technology.
dave j
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whynot
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Re: Is DCC dead???????

Postby whynot » Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:29 am

Old tech gave me a double post!
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ParkeNd
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Re: Is DCC dead???????

Postby ParkeNd » Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:47 am

As an old fogey who has always advocated change for improvement my opinion is that you have to recognise this for what it is. Train control for many people is just a small boring part of the hobby that comes pre-packaged. The modeling part of the hobby is everything else and many of us just want the trains to run - doesn't matter how.

Train control will change by adding another option every time the manic rate of technology change makes something cheap enough to use on toys. As soon as the technology of military drone control trickles down to model railways it will be possible to drive your trains while you are on holiday in Loret de Mar and that's an exciting prospect isn't it?

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Re: Is DCC dead???????

Postby b308 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:44 am

Errrr... No.... ;)

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Re: Is DCC dead???????

Postby GWR_fan » Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:20 am

Blair,
by choice I am one of those recalcitrants who refuse to be sold on expensive mobile phone technology. I am happy with my landline setup. If I am away from the home phone and cannot be contacted then that also pleases me. I refuse to own a mobile. Our main service provider Telstra would like everyone to have a mobile then they could shut down the copper network. It is aging and requires a lot of expensive maintenance. Alas, the new government has elected to go copper to the node as the new form of high speed broadband rather than the complete fibre optic setup the previous government wanted, so the copper network will remain. An upside of this is I get to keep my landline.


Tim


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