Is DCC dead???????

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

Postby b308 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:28 am

Good for you!

I'm always interested in new technology, but have a dislike to it when, in my view, it over-complicates things... Using a software prog to control a train seems to do that and for an old fogie like me takes the fun out of it, though I can understand the youngsters liking it!

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

Postby centenary » Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:57 pm

Interesting thread! But as with all things, some people may see development as the 'death' of one technology. In reality all that is happening is the integration of DCC with smart phones and tablets. (Analogy in that respect is a dead end.) IMVHO, that was just a natural development. Id expect to see the growth of pc \ tablet software such as Hornby's elink Railmaster make inroads into the handheld controller market.

Nearly everyone has a pc, laptop and now smart phone or tablet (even phablet!). Why pay anything between £150 to £300 for even an entry level DCC HH unit when you have one of the previously mentioned devices? OK, the companies may rip us off by charging an almost similar amount for the software and peripherals but Id prefer to have less clutter.

As someone who's also heavily into radio control (hence why I havent been here for a long time, too busy flying my heli's), I just cannot see RC making an impact to OO scale and equivalents. Current RC technology uses the 2.4ghz frequency which is a boom as we now dont have to change crystals (frequency) to fly two or more aircraft at the same time. The radio does this automatically many times a second if needed to avoid any frequency clash. And while transmitters can now routinely 'store' 30 (top end radios can store 1000) or more different model set ups, you can only control one model at a time from the transmitter and need to 're bind' the radio transmitter and receiver everytime you change model.

I just cannot see the technology being able to run 2, 3, 4, 5 and more trains from one transmitter being developed to do this never mind it being demand lead by the consumer. In any event, each train would still need its own radio receiver and if you think DCC chips are expensive, you'll find a reciever a lot more expensive believe me.

I know wireless DCC is out there but that's something different to RC.
Last edited by centenary on Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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End2end
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Re: Is DCC dead???????

Postby End2end » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:01 pm

If tablets are the future, my Nan must be a computer wizard. :o
She takes 17 tablets a day :lol:
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LukeB
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Re: Is DCC dead???????

Postby LukeB » Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:07 pm

As an analogue runner in my mid twenties this would be interesting for me. It sounds cheaper than a full DCC switch over, negating the large cost of a DCC controller, whilst having all the benefits. I already have a tablet and smart phone. I would definitely consider it.

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

Postby Bigmet » Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:30 pm

LukeB wrote:As an analogue runner in my mid twenties this would be interesting for me. It sounds cheaper than a full DCC switch over, negating the large cost of a DCC controller, whilst having all the benefits. I already have a tablet and smart phone. I would definitely consider it.

There's cost, the internal space requirement in the models, and the track power and protection to consider.

DCC decoders can be got cheap, and also very small. Even so many folks find it difficult to install them. What cost and size will the Bluetooth receiver/decoder be? With more functionality necessary it's probably going to be more expensive and larger than a DCC decoder equivalent in quality, so there is a trade off right there: saving on the DCC controller, but costing more per loco equipped, and possibly more difficult to install.

Then there's the track power. Bluetooth will be like DCC in having track power permanently full on. For a relatively modest track power supply, perhaps an amp at 16V, the typical thermal or electromagnet over-current cut out is probably adequate. But if the number of locos operating is such to demand significantly more track current, then the addition of a fast acting short circuit protection becomes necessary to prevent damage. (Built in to DCC systems.)

Unless I am much mistaken, the Bluetooth route should offer a lower cost entry to command control, by the purchase of relatively inexpensive software to exploit an already owned device, and by using an existing track power supply; but will quickly become more expensive as the number of receiver/decoders to be installed rises. There will be a 'turnover point' of number of locos etc equipped: below this number Bluetooth will be cheaper, above it, DCC becomes the cheaper option.

As ever, wisest course is to see what's on offer, and what the early adopters discover, before making a decision.

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

Postby BananaRepublic » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:33 pm

A bit off topic, but to answer Blair's assertion about phone ownership and usage in the UK....

b308 wrote: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...


The first highlighted bit is correct.
The second highlighted bit is just nonsense.

According to Ofcom, who have direct access to the correct data, there are more than 25 million active residential landlines in use in the UK (2014 figures).
That's roughly the same as the number of individual homes in the UK.
The number of homes without a landline is less than 0.5%.

Back to the topic and availability and use of Smartphones....
The number of adults (over 18) with a mobile phone, is now 93%.
The number of adults (over 18) with a Smartphone, is now more than 61% and rising rapidly.

Bachmann intend to issue models with the Bluetooth loco decoders pre-fitted.
All you need to do is have the FREE app installed on your phone or tablet and those locos can be immediately operated and controlled using that device.
No expensive control system needed, no DC controller needed either. Just a simple, inexpensive regulated power supply feeding the entire layout with the required fixed voltage.
Decoders are to be made available for retro fitting in other locos too.

If they can incorporate all the functionality of DCC and more into such a system, then it would be a very compelling option.
I'll be watching this carefully to see if it delivers what's promised.




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

Postby b308 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:55 pm

I know many people who have a mobile phone but an equal number who don't, however I also know that many of those who own a mobile have two or even three of them, so perhaps your stats aren't as accurate as you think... Also there are plenty like me who have a mobile for work as we have to have it but don't outside work or just use that same mobile as a glorified phone...

"Lies, damned lies and statistics" spring to mind...

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

Postby BananaRepublic » Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:06 am

Those statistics are for the number of people, not the number of phones.
As for the people you know or aware of, that's irrelevant as it's unlikely to reflect the wider picture.

Ofcom are not the only provider of statistics on mobile phone ownership. All the other sources report very similar numbers.

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

Postby b308 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:11 am

You (deliberately?) miss my point... Numbers are fine but they don't tell the whole story... How many of them actually use (or want to use) the smartphone for a purpose other than phoning, texting and web browsing... Statistics can be used to "prove" anything and usually in the process prove nothing! It's the same argument as the DCC/DC one, and as I and many others have said the answer is not as simple as you are making it out to be... Some people will happily use the technology but a lot won't want to or need to and will ignore it...

As I've said before 3 rail was supposed to be dead but it's not....

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

Postby whynot » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:19 am

In an entirely statistically meaningless example....I have an expensive smart phone. All the wifi. internet, google stuff is disabled.I use the phone and the texting and (the reason I have an up market model) the camera. Really it is a camera with a phone!
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Bigmet
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Re: Is DCC dead???????

Postby Bigmet » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:16 am

BananaRepublic wrote:...Bachmann intend to issue models with the Bluetooth loco decoders pre-fitted.
All you need to do is have the FREE app installed on your phone or tablet and those locos can be immediately operated and controlled using that device.
No expensive control system needed, no DC controller needed either. Just a simple, inexpensive regulated power supply feeding the entire layout with the required fixed voltage. Decoders are to be made available for retro fitting in other locos too...

The test as ever will be when it hits the market. How good is the control, is it easy to switch from one loco to another, what is the size of the decoder, what's the effective range? If it attracts a customer base that will quickly be revealed as the larger power demand, points control and reversing loops questions start to surface...

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

Postby sparkhill » Fri Apr 24, 2015 9:20 pm

IMO marketed properly and cheaply the new Bachmann control system will take off like a rocket, we cannot stop progress :arrow: of course it will happen in the US first but eventually it will find its way to the UK.

I remember my dear old Dad telling Mum that when he gets that lazy to get off his backside and change the TV channels he would give up watching TV, of course he was referring to remote control.

In my case as a pro photographer I said I will never give up manual focus over autofocus lens, famous last words, autofocus lens were one of the best inventions re photography, more time to compose pictures and less time to worry about what the camera was doing.

The jugernaut rolls on and I have no doubt that one day DCC will be a thing of the past, in the meantime I will enjoy what we have now because like many others all this stuff does my head in, I am happy with DCC.
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Nobby


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