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I have found out that the new Viessmann GBS 5380 Panel, disappointingly, Cannot be connected to the ECoS.. because it does not use the S88 interface, so if ESU were to produce a panel for Their ECoS, I am sure they would be onto a winner with these two as a package..
Do you think ESU are hear watching us???
Puzzler..
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This whole mimic board stuff is very expensive.

I have a friend who uses the Uhlenbrock gear. Yes it looks good, but IMHO you could build it your self using the appropriate digital components, leds and push button switches.

I have been considering whether it would in fact be better to have the controller of your choice to "drive" the trains, and a totally separate system to drive the signalling and points etc.

This specific area is certainly a niche growth area at the moment.

John
 

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QUOTE (Puzzler @ 7 Jun 2008, 01:30) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have found out that the new Viessmann GBS 5380 Panel, disappointingly, Cannot be connected to the ECoS.. because it does not use the S88 interface, so if ESU were to produce a panel for Their ECoS, I am sure they would be onto a winner with these two as a package..
Do you think ESU are hear watching us???
Puzzler..
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Why not put a thread on the ESU ECoS forum to let them know?
 

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Yes.. I tried to register but it's all in German and I could not get in

QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 6 Jun 2008, 22:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Why not put a thread on the ESU ECoS forum to let them know?
 

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QUOTE This whole mimic board stuff is very expensive.

I have a friend who uses the Uhlenbrock gear. Yes it looks good, but IMHO you could build it your self using the appropriate digital components, leds and push button switches.

I have been considering whether it would in fact be better to have the controller of your choice to "drive" the trains, and a totally separate system to drive the signalling and points etc.

The clever thing about the Uhlenbrock system is that the completed panel is connected by only 2 wires; you just clip the cells together and do not have to wire the individual switches or lights. I do not know what you mean by the "appropriate digital components" but I think that most of us would struggle to produce a DIY system with the same ability. However you are absolutely right about the price. The Uhlenbrock system could easily cost €1000 for a medium sized layout.

The title of this thread is in my opinion misleading. To describe a new system as disappointing and not forward looking because it does not use the S88 bus seems odd to me. Apart from the fact that it is entirely reasonable for Viessmann to design a panel that goes with their equipment rather than that of their main competitor at the expensive end of the market, the S88 bus is technologically way behind the times. It was chosen by Märklin in the earliest days of digital control in the 1980s and is therefore a survivor from a past era.

There is quite a number of people in Germany who use DCC for train control and the Selectrix digital system for computer control, feedback and point control, as it is particularly fast and stable.
 

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QUOTE (Puzzler @ 6 Jun 2008, 15:30) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have found out that the new Viessmann GBS 5380 Panel, disappointingly, Cannot be connected to the ECoS.. because it does not use the S88 interface, so if ESU were to produce a panel for Their ECoS, I am sure they would be onto a winner with these two as a package..
I believe S88 is essentially an input only bus, so although it could be used to read switches in from a panel, it can't readily be used to drive any associated LEDs as an output.
 

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QUOTE (Gordon H @ 9 Jun 2008, 20:14) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I believe S88 is essentially an input only bus, so although it could be used to read switches in from a panel, it can't readily be used to drive any associated LEDs as an output.

You are quite right Gordon,

Many ECOS owners think S88 is the only thing ECOS supports but thats not correct - it accommodates them specifically but S88 isn't even related the main communication bus structure of ECOS.

I think ESU simply made ECOS directly S88 compatible as there are so many EU based modellers already using S88 and this gave them "instant low resistance sales access" to a large existing client base who could easily migrate to ECOS.

This is very clear when you look at the way connections are configured and described - The manual calls it Marklin S88 and the S88 connections are a totally separate set for S88 which attaches to these added terminals not to the primary ECOS bus (ECOSlink) which is all mini-din connected

I think linking or attributing non compatibility with Veismann to the S88 issue is an error

The ECOSlink bus structure is CAN based like Zimo and so will have little problem with almost any form of bi-directional accessory interface devices they choose to use - if a product such as a mimic panel was to be attached to ECOS, it would be via these or the RJ45 network connections.

I expect to see a very interesting set of clever devices from ESU over the next couple of years

Richard
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QUOTE Many ECOS owners think S88 is the only thing ECOS supports but thats not correct - it accommodates them specifically but S88 isn't even related the main communication bus structure of ECOS.

I think ESU simply made ECOS directly S88 compatible as there are so many EU based modellers already using S88 and this gave them "instant low resistance sales access" to a large existing client base who could easily migrate to ECOS.

This is very clear when you look at the way connections are configured and described - The manual calls it Marklin S88 and the S88 connections are a totally separate set for S88 which attaches to these added terminals not to the primary ECOS bus (ECOSlink) which is all mini-din connected

I think linking or attributing non compatibility with Veismann to the S88 issue is an error

The ECOSlink bus structure is CAN based like Zimo and so will have little problem with almost any form of bi-directional accessory interface devices they choose to use - if a product such as a mimic panel was to be attached to ECOS, it would be via these or the RJ45 network connections.

I expect to see a very interesting set of clever devices from ESU over the next couple of years

I second that.

It is also worth pointing out that the current Maerklin / Trix DCC controller bears more than a passing resemblance to the ECoS, so support for S88 is amost inevitable.

David
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 10 Jun 2008, 03:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I second that.

It is also worth pointing out that the current Maerklin / Trix DCC controller bears more than a passing resemblance to the ECoS, so support for S88 is amost inevitable.

David
Yes I second that too.

ESU were involved in design of both of these so there are inevitable similarities. A quick browse through the ECoS manual also shows that the ECoS is designed to be compatible with many existing Maerklin digital devices. Similarly the SwitchPilot was designed to replace two maerklin devices, the K84 and K83. Compatability with Maerklin seems to be crucial to getting access to a large portion of the German market.
 

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I think that a lot of people underestimate the sheer size of the "Marklin" market in Germany. All the European manufacturers recognise that if they bring out a product that is not Marklin compatible, they are potentially missing out on a fairly substantial revenue stream.

The S88 bus has been around for just about forever, and its drawback is that it is not a bi directional bus. The RailCom initiative is a great idea, but I wonder just how much of it will be leveraged off existing Zimo technology (this is a good thing). Exciting times ahead.

My advice is that unless you really need to buy a new controller at the moment, it may pay to wait (Feb 2009 toy fair in Nuremberg perhaps?) and see what develops.

But check out the specs of the Zimo MX82 for point feed back and the MX9 for track detection.

John
 

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 10 Jun 2008, 09:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think that a lot of people underestimate the sheer size of the "Marklin" market in Germany.
Nail on the head, well & truely John !

The German market is probably six times larger than the UK one & probably larger than the whole of UK put together with ex-pats & those modeling UK worldwide.

Like it or not, Marklin will have the same influence as the UK OO/"narrow gauge" & be around for as long.

As an aside two lovely German ladies arrived last night for a four week stay, as they came into my office to use the internet one of them,spotting the HO items in the showcase & remarked "ah, Marklin good German trains", as it happens there is only one Marklin item in there !
 

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QUOTE (Brian Considine @ 10 Jun 2008, 10:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>As an aside two lovely German ladies arrived last night for a four week stay, as they came into my office to use the internet one of them,spotting the HO items in the showcase & remarked "ah, Marklin good German trains", as it happens there is only one Marklin item in there !

I suppose I'd better return the others then!


Back to best behaviour again eh?

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For those of us who are fairly new to all this can one of you please explain, in simplish language, what an S88 interface is and how it fits in to the control system with EcoS.

Thank you

R
 

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QUOTE what an S88 interface is and how it fits in to the control system with EcoS.

For two pieces of equipment to be able to communicate effectively, they both have to use the same medium and speak the same language. So for this post, the text is the medium and English is the language. For the "S88" interface, the medium is a set of 10 or so parallel wires which physically connect the units together. There are also restrictions on how long the link can be. The "language" used on the wires is a sequence of voltage changes in the wires.

Other examples of such interfaces are "USB", Ethernet and ADSL (Broadband). You are almost certainly using these to access this Forum. In the same way that USB device won't work on Ethernet or ADSL (unless of course they are routers), model railway equipment designed for the S88 bus will not work with the Lenz RS Feedback bus for example.

About a year ago searching on "S88 Bus" in Google produced very few hits. I think we had a topic about it. I came to the conclusion that it is pretty much a closed system for Maerklin putting it at the opposite end of the scale to CAN bus.

How it fits with ECoS?
The S88 interface is one of at least 4 interfaces available on the ECOS; the others being CAN Bus (ECoSLink); sniffer port (DCC signal?) and Ethernet (twisted pair via RJ45).

As mentioned in this topic, Maerklin use the S88 bus as part of their DCC control empire with a lot of modules available for it. If you want a slice of that market and don't want to cut yourself off from all those people, you need to support it. At least two German after market suppliers have S88 products in their line up - Viessman and LDT. There are links to both of these manufacturers in the link section.

If you want to read more about the S88 and ECoS, check out Neil Wood's experience with setting up shuttle train services in his blog - you can read it here.
In fact thinking about it, I don't think ESU could have shipped the shuttle feature from day 1 without the ready availability of S88 accessories, so that could well be the "clincher" for including what at first sight seems a rather esoteric connection port.

I hope this helps

David
 

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QUOTE (Brian Considine @ 10 Jun 2008, 09:31) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Nail on the head, well & truely John !

The German market is probably six times larger than the UK one & probably larger than the whole of UK put together with ex-pats & those modeling UK worldwide.

Like it or not, Marklin will have the same influence as the UK OO/"narrow gauge" & be around for as long.

Slightly off topic, but I'll second John and Brian on the Maerklin issue.

Seeing is believing as they say. I went to Dortmund with a bonafide Maerkliner. He purchesed all his wish list where I couldn't. Maerklin is everywhere, even in toy shops, department stores etc. unbelievable. I couldn't find a Fleischmann Br78 even at Modelbahnn Kramm which we visited and eventually had to order it to be sent home.Odd isn't it? Maerklin is the undisputed ruler of Germany.

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Hi Baykal,

But isn't it great being able to walk into a shop like Kramms and there is just so much stuff in there.

The hard decesion is not so much on what trains to buy, but all those scenic bits that leap out at you and say "buy me".

Whish we had shops like that in this part of the world.

John
 

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QUOTE David

Many thanks for your clear explanation.

R

It was my pleasure and thanks for the feedback


David
 
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