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Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Posted: Mon May 11, 2015 4:17 pm
by BananaRepublic
alex3410 wrote:are they the same company as ESU? as it looks identical to their hand held offering link

No they're not the same company (PIKO are a big RTR manufacturer) but they've used ESU's new Mobile Control 2 handset as the basis of this system, using their own control app.
Obviously it's made for them by ESU.

The Command Centre for the system is housed in the standard ESU system box used to house the ECoSBoost, Navigator and the Bachmann branded Dynamis, ProBox and Dynamis Ultima.

The big difference between the ESU Mobile Control 2 and the PIKO Smartcontrol, is that the ESU version is an add-on wireless handset for the ECoS DCC system, where as the Smartcontrol is a stand alone DCC system in its own right.
It remains to be seen whether ESU will bring out a similar system to replace their own Navigator, as the budget option in their range.

Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Posted: Mon May 11, 2015 4:29 pm
by Dad-1
Anything to do with Smart Phones is not for me ...... I don't have & no intention of getting one.
My laptop is also on it's death bed - Crack on screen hinge currently cobbled together with a
reinforcing patch stuck to the outside. It works, slowly, but I prefer to use my desktop and in
two minds as to replace or not.
Lenz is my current No1 choice, but somehow my spare savings have just gone on the power bills
that arrived last week !!!
In the meantime Selects are still used although for programming I connected the Dynamis up and
after some experimenting decided one command station receiver was duff (the one I'd had attached
most of the time) The second one seemed to work although still not to my liking. (I hate it really)
Back to trying to save a few hundred quid ...........

Geoff T.

Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Posted: Mon May 11, 2015 4:43 pm
by alex3410
BananaRepublic wrote:...

thanks for the info - interesting to see how they all integrate :)

I am the same in preferring desktops but after moving in with the other half it was made clear i was only allowed one computer and the flexibility of the laptop won out (read the ability to sit in front of the TV at the same time :lol: ) but i am slowly bringing her around to the idea of a desktop as well - ideal for when you want to get some real work done! (13" laptop screen just does not cut it - especially while at work i have three screens!)

Anyway I would not want to rely on a system that needs me to bring my laptop out with me every time i wanted to play trains - you could always look into a dedicated machine but then there is the cost implication.

Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Posted: Mon May 11, 2015 4:58 pm
by Dad-1
Hi Alex 4310,

I have one small 'work station' corner 30" square in the 'hobby' room.
Two computers feeding into the one 19" flat screen that accepts two
feeds, one digital, the other 15 pin RGB. I can switch between the two
computers, by pressing the 'select' button on the screen.

You've hit the target regarding computer use on one's railway. It's more
to carry about all the time .......... With 4 Selects I have one permanently
on the garage layout and another on the loft layout. Then two to take out
for use on the Thomas layout .....

Geoff T.

Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Posted: Mon May 11, 2015 9:34 pm
by sparkhill
I use a Smart Phone on my layout but not for controlling trains, I use it to run Model Railway Sound Effects that I downloaded as an app on Android, quite happy with my 3 Selects for loco control and Phone running my sound through a pair of computer speakers, no need for sound chips and all that stuff. :wink:

Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Posted: Mon May 11, 2015 9:35 pm
by alex3410
Smart phone does come in handy googling when DCC is playing around :lol:

Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Posted: Tue May 12, 2015 12:55 am
by BananaRepublic
I don't know where the using a desktop or laptop PC came into this?
It's certainly not needed for the new system I pointed to.

Unless it relates to the Hornby e-link suggestion earlier on?

For the OP.
Have a think about the MultiMaus. Miles better than the Select and very cheap to buy.


Re: Picking a DCC Command Station

Posted: Tue May 12, 2015 1:55 am
by Bigglesof266
Dad-1 wrote:Anything to do with Smart Phones is not for me ...... Lenz is my current No1 choice, but somehow my spare savings have just gone .....Back to trying to save a few hundred quid ........... Geoff T.

For model railway control, I'm 100% with you there Geoff. My wife and I have had android phones for sufficient years for any novelty to have long since expired now, along with a tablet both of which we update hardware wise with reasonable regularity. Any suggestion from any quarter that anyone who doesn't heap approbation on PC OS, iOS or Android device driven control systems is somehow technophobic or an anachronism is as inaccurate as it is indicative of a churlish and puerile perspective IMV.

I read and hear this kind of "Technophobe! We're not the '60's now dude!" insulting accusational crap from 20 and 30 somethings all the time in roadie (cycling) forums where these 'kids' are more concerned about what they're seen on and about having all the latest expensive Garmin gadgets and their public profile on Strava than the cycling itself. These '500 and 1000 hour pilots' and 'I've done all the research on the net what is there I couldn't possibly know?!!!!' nUbs are the worst, frequently buying not only much more bicycle than required for their purpose at just silly money -think four figures starting at > £1.5k (AUD$3k) that they must only be able to splurge out of hand like that because they are either still living at home with mum and/or dad or have bought it on a 24 month easy repayment plan. The absurdity is that more frequently than not it is entirely the wrong aero geometry and frame ill suited to their intended non-road racing purpose. Saliently, in the delusion of know it all arrogance with which all youth is afflicted, albeit unbridled today, an encumbrance which our generations weren't generally permitted, they still don't get it that it's NOT about the bike. Saliently, how many of them will still be riding in 5 or 10, let alone 30 or 40 years time?

Similar to model railways, a relatively recent introduction in Di2 electronic shifting naturally segmented so as to only be available in their top $$$$ tiered and most expensive groupsets of Dura Ace and Ultegra, is now the boasting rights darling of the coffee club riding set although it hasn't 'progressed' to handlebar mounted smartphone control and or programming yet, at least AFAIK? Give it time. Ultimately, like CVT in cars, there will come a time when nearly all bikes feature electronic shifting such as Di2 as standard just as there will come a time when all model locos come fitted with DCC + sound as standard. It's just not yet, and in the case of model railway control via tablet or smartphone, perhaps ever for many in my reckoning. Because by the time that evolves to be a pragmatic useful reality, other than as a form of automation for controlling points and routes, what point remains in running a tactile model railway via input from touch interface phone or tablet if primarily for the sake of being perceived as 'moderne'? One may as well just save the $$,$$$ and run a PC simulation instead -if it were just about the headwork?

So for so many reasons I won't espouse here, wallet depth not withstanding, my suggestion is to go with your instinctive intelligence. So if Lenz is that to you, find the £££, or your compromise point only if you absolutely must.

In my own life experience, any time I've compromised beyond an "is it what I really want?" triage, I've consistently ended up dissatisfied and bought again rendering the initial purchase a false economy. When I haven't and paid the price for the product I wanted in the first place but didn't necessarily want to pay at the time, it has consistently ended up being the wisest and smartest decision, and ultimately, in hindsight of time passing so quickly as it does, affordable after all. It was thus with my bicycles, my motorcycles, our cars and my model railway control system. And I make the point, the right bicycle or motorcycle or model railway control system mightn't be fashionable, suit someone else or in fact the majority -notably my choice of motorcycle, but my choice inevitibly fits me perfectly like a tailored suit of the best quality which lasts an aeon which is classically timeless to those capable of discernment sufficient to comprehend what that means.

importantly about either Lenz or NCE is that they will last reliably in service for a long time, well at least as much as any product can in this age of rapid technical change, which offers as good a guarantee for a technical half life and future support as any product can.

From what I have read in your remarks, "Lenz FTW!" really should be your hallmark catchcry IMHO.