New WiFi Android DCC System

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TimberSurf
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New WiFi Android DCC System

Postby TimberSurf » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:32 am

Controlling your DCC from a smartphone has been out for a while. It has one problem, after spending £100's for the black box, you still need a £500 smartphone or two! A phone opens up a lot of easy features via touch screen, with colour graphical symbols, but can be a bit erratic for controlling speed and needs you to 'look' at it to see where to put your finger.
ESU have come up with a "phone" based controller with an enormous knob for speed!

50310 CabControl. Unfortunately, only available in the USA! :?:

It seems there is a plan! :idea:
Just discovered that Piko seem to do (virtually) the same (rebadged) for Europe PIKO SmartControl
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kiwitram
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Re: New WiFi Android DCC System

Postby kiwitram » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:20 pm

I'll admit I do like the idea of being able to use a smartphone or tablet to control my layout, however, I think my main hangup would be that it isn't very tactile- you can't really 'feel' what you're driving, whereas with a conventional controller you've obviously got knobs and buttons and pushy-pully-twisty things galore.

On the other hand, the space-saving aspect of it (having it on a phone or a tablet, with the adapter/receiver hidden away in the layout somewhere) appeals very much- it's very easy to load up and go- open the app, turn on the adapter and train are a-runnin'.

If they become more affordable in the next ten years I'd definitely consider it. But, for now, I'll carry on with my Select.

- Alex
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BananaRepublic
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Re: New WiFi Android DCC System

Postby BananaRepublic » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:20 am

The ESU CabControl may be new, only being announced last Autumn (October IIRC?) but it has been available in rebadged PIKO SmartControl form, for about a ŷear and a half.

The wireless handsets are the same ones sold with the ESU MobileControl 2, that can be used with the ECoS system.

Unlike using ordinary smartphones as DCC handsets, this one has a proper control wheel (motorised) and some physical buttons along the sides and at the top above the screen. The buttons on the sides can be configured to operate any function you wish, so that commonly used functions can be selected without looking at the handset.



GWR_fan
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Re: New WiFi Android DCC System

Postby GWR_fan » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:59 am

How is this any different to a wireless handset for digital control? I cannot see the point of it (unless it also makes and receives phonecalls).

BananaRepublic
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Re: New WiFi Android DCC System

Postby BananaRepublic » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:29 am

GWR_fan wrote:How is this any different to a wireless handset for digital control? I cannot see the point of it (unless it also makes and receives phonecalls).


It's no different to any other DCC wireless handset, except that the user interface is far in advance than older style handsets.
It really comes into its own when programming and adjusting decoder settings.
Also with the greater use of functions becoming commonplace (e.g. lighting effects, sound etc), it removes the need to remember what F number to select, as icons can be used to label the individual functions (e.g. a whistle to represent a whistle, bell to represent...a bell etc).
If the user wishes to, the most commonly used functions can then be mapped to one of the side buttons for instant access.

The full range of ESU ECoS accessory modules can be used with the CabControl and SmartControl.

The Android operating system is only used as a ready made platform on which to develop the control app, rather than create something new from the ground up. A side benefit is that other Android apps can be loaded too, including model railway related ones, although the control wheel and buttons will not function unless those other apps are designed to use them.





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