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Okay - we've had a chance to play with the two systems now. I don't need the wireless aspect of dynamis, and prefer the "knob" control of the Elite, which I understand can also read back CV values too.

So, just on the basis of reliability, compatibility, is there one clear winner ? I'm tempted with the Elite, but does it have any bugs ? I see it is now certified as NMRA compliant too.

Any thoughts ?
 

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If you don't want the wireless and you prefer knobs, the Elite is the obvious choice for you. The latest firmware version 1.2 has passed the NMRA tests so you should have no worries on that score. Most of the "serious" bugs should have been ironed out by now, but the unit is user upgradable so there's a negligible risk to you on the bug front. Given the current status of the Elite, I would think it would have a reasonable value on the second hand market should you ever decide to go for a different system.

David
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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I think you've answered the question yourself!

You prefer the rotary control knob and you don't need wireless, it really is the Elite.

I had the Elite but have since sold it on, if you are going to have any locos with sounds or lighting the function operation will drive you insane with the Elite, just far to many button presses to switch lights on or operate a bell, hence my reason for selling it.

It's a shame really, if the function switches could be toggled between momentary action or on/off, not important if the functions could be selected just by pressing the number button I would say the Elite is the clear choice.

If you can have a play with the two again with a sound operated loco and have a play at switching the functions on/off sounds and lighting and see which you prefer then.

DWB, has basically covered the potential bugs and updating.

Ian
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think I've answered it too - but you've got me worried about the sound thing !!

I'm not too bothered about triggering the horns sounds for example(I think I'll get tired of that), but fancy some sound equipped diesels, really just for the engine noise. I undersatood that the diesel sounds were linked to the acceleration settings on the chip, and once set up, the thing should be okay, without too much key tapping.

I don't think I can get my hands on the two to play with. My local shop has a lenz system for testing stock/demos, but he doesn't demo the controllers.

Wiggy, you've had both controllers. Can you give me a "talk through" of operating a loco with sound - say start up engine, move off, switch on lights, shut down - on both controllers. How annoying was it to force you to get the Dynamis - and are you 100% happpy with it ?

From the reliability and compatibility point of view both seem fine. I don't want or need to go for xpress net stuff or anything complicated. I don't need accessory control (will still use stud and probe).

Just a simple controller, that will read and write CVs, is NMRA compliant and supports long digit addresses, is what I fancy !

thanks chaps. I've not seen a comparison to show "how they actually work" between these controllers.
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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I don't actually have the Dynamis, just had a play to see what it's like, I didn't like the joystick control.

To operate sounds on the Elite:-

Remember each function has a function number eg..lights on/off function1

Bell function 2
Horn function 3
Whistle number 4
Engine noise function 5

These are not the actual function numbers for the sounds but it gives you the idea.

Not too bad with lights as you can just turn them on and they will automatically change when the loco changes direction.
For sounds however you will need to operate a few more functions.

Train is running on control knob say 1, you then have to press the FUNCTION button then press the number of the function you wish to turn on/off then press control knob 1 to confirm. The sound is now operating. To turn it off you have to press FUNCTION then the number of the function then press the control knob 1 to confirm.

You can operate the LAST function on/off just by pressing the on/off button, this is short cut but only works for the last function operated by using the above steps.
For a quick blast of the horn or ring the bell you have to follow the above steps first to put one of these functions as the last one operated.
Just really got on my nerves!!
Tells you how in the manual link below.

Elite Manual

This is a 9.5MB file just to let you know!!

I actually have the NCE PowerCab and it's excellent, it doesn't have a program track(although you can get an automatic change over relay from NCE)but I just use a DPDT switch and switch this over which isolates the rest of the layout. Any locos that need altering I just drive them onto this program track first.

To operate funtions with this you just press the number to turn it on, then press again to turn it off! dead easy! it's also £95 so in the same price range.
To upgrade NCE send out a new chip, you just take out the old chip from the Cab and plug the new one in.
It is a very good system and can be upgraded, take a look at the web site, you can also read the manual for it as well:-

Powercab Manual

Where abouts are you?

HTH

Ian
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry Wiggy, i don't know where I got the impression that you had the Dynamis......

I'm up near sunny Rochdale, and didn't know about the NCE system. Its not mentioned in the DCC systems chart on this site.

I've had a look on the DCC supplies site, and you can get it with a power supply for about £85 ! Nice wheel controller, long digit addresses, and looks the part too. It's not too big in the hand is it ?

I'm tempted by this system, but have never heard of NCE or seen them in the shops. I trust it is a good make and a reliable controller ?

The PDF instruction book looks very detailed - not in a difficult way, just reassuringly comprehensive. How long have you had yours, and is there anyone else using one out there ?
 

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NCE are a very reputable company that have been producing DCC systems for almost as long as Lenz (The pioneers).

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm tempted with this NCE power cab, but thre seems to be confusion on several sites whether it will read back (or not) CV values from decoders.
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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Thats a shame, although if you set off fairly early you could get down to Digitrains(just south of Lincoln) as you could have a play on their demonstration layout!

They have loads of DCC systems all set up ready to play with and they now sell locos as well, which is good as you can try all the different systems with sound chipped locos...I love going there I just spend too much money!!

Digitrains

The NCE Powercab is an excellent VERY easy to use system and it does read and write CV's, and yes there are alot of uses out there, if you start to get a bigger layout and need to expand there are a number of ways to do it!

I've bought the Smart Booster to give 3amps( I already had a 3amp transformer) to the track and I will get another cab eventually!

You could just buy the Pro-box and plug the Powercab into it you then have a Full PowerHouse Pro 5amp system( just need a 5amp transformer)
The pro box has a built in PC interface that works with the free JMRI software as well!

It's not too big you can access everything with one hand, it will also do macros or routes, not many starter systems do this!!
It means you can control points via an accessory decoder, not only that but a macro is basically a route, it can have 15 macros set up with 8 points in each macro so by just activating 1 macro you could have 8 points all change!
You can also link one macro to another!!!



I've put some info on it in my blogg if you take a look at that, I really must do a proper user review of it!!

HTH

Ian
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Ian - reads and writes CV's eh ? Very very tempted with this. i didn't think they did a controller at this "entry-ish" price level. All I need now is to convince the wife that I need one - although with 1st baby on way at end of january it may need more work !

If I use stud and probe to operate the points - I'm not planning on a big layout - does the transformer supplied with this have a 16v AC output, or will I still need my guagemaster D for this ?
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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QUOTE (dieselweasel @ 4 Jan 2008, 13:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks Ian - reads and writes CV's eh ? Very very tempted with this. i didn't think they did a controller at this "entry-ish" price level. All I need now is to convince the wife that I need one - although with 1st baby on way at end of january it may need more work !

If I use stud and probe to operate the points - I'm not planning on a big layout - does the transformer supplied with this have a 16v AC output, or will I still need my guagemaster D for this ?

Quite a alot of people dont know about the Powercab, but it was available well over a year ago, before any of the newer entry systems were even built.
It is very good and I would put it easily in the mid range level of controller, although some top end systems cant do as many routes as the Powercab.

The power supply is only a small max 2amp output, but I have happily run 2 OO locos and 2 N gauge locos all at the same time with no problems.

You will need to use the Gaugemaster controller for the stud and probe points though.

Ian
 

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Just out of curiosity will the powercab work with hornby decoders.
as I already have working hornby decoders in some of my locos and I want to be able to change some cv settings on other chips types and check for errors on their cv setting 30 on my lenz mini silver decoder.
 

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QUOTE (harkins77 @ 5 Jan 2008, 06:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Just out of curiosity will the powercab work with hornby decoders.
as I already have working hornby decoders in some of my locos and I want to be able to change some cv settings on other chips types and check for errors on their cv setting 30 on my lenz mini silver decoder.

***it seems Ok with them. They won't read as the hornby decoder can't. but they can be written to by the powercab. The Powerca breads and writes well with any decoder that can be read!

It really is the "best" featured and perfoming system under GBP100 by a long way - in fact in many ways the best system under GBP200 really!

Richard
 

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I have updated my Elite in the last 24 hours to firmware version 1.2 and all my locos function as they did before including those with Bachmann and Bachmann sound (Esu) decoders. The noticable difference is that the arrow is displayed facing left rather than right on start up and functions now all work on control knob two. Functions are straightforward and more so now that both Elite control knobs operate functions.

wiggy25 did over complicated things in his report above although he never had the advantage of being able to control functions with both Elite control knobs and the version 1.2 firmware.

You simply hit the function button, enter the number (most are single digit) and hit whichever of the two control knobs you want to hit for the two default trains being controlled. The function operates immediately you hit the knob. No need to select a loco first before choosing a function.

To turn the function off (which you need to do with sound anyway) you hit the on/off button before choosing the next sound function. When you return to the sound function then for repeat use you simply hit function, enter the number and hit whichever of the two control knobs again, again hitting the on/off button after sound function use. For repeat use of the same function you hit the on/off button.

So when controlling a pair of locos no need to select one first and no need to select single or double digit function mode as you enter the digit or digits after pushing the function button. With two control knobs operating two trains together at the same time I personally believe that Hornby have got the function controls right. How else could Hornby do it without increasing the number of buttons on the unit and at the same time controlling two trains together? Whatever you do have to select which train is having the function turned on and off with any controller! With the Elite you do that after you select the function, not before, for the default two trains being controlled together.

I guess its entirely what you are used to at the end of the day.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Still seems a little more long winded than any of the three controllers I am used to - FLM Twin-Centre, Lenz LH100 & GM Prodigy.

Does this mean that with the Elite you have to turn a sound (or other) function off to get another one on ?
 

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QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 7 Jan 2008, 21:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Still seems a little more long winded than any of the three controllers I am used to - FLM Twin-Centre, Lenz LH100 & GM Prodigy.

Does this mean that with the Elite you have to turn a sound (or other) function off to get another one on ?

And to add to your list, more long winded than NCE, Digitrax, Zimo, ESU, EZ DCC, Uhlenbrock, Marklin, Roco, trix, Arnold, etc etc etc etc...... almost all have a simple push on, push off, and can also be configured in many cases as push once and it will be momentary only as for whistles etc..... Many now also have playable whistles....

Three pushes for a function - OK for lighting etc I suppose but just not in the race for sound and momentary functions like onboard couplers etc I am afraid.

Richard
 

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Well its two buttons for a function with one number and one button to select the loco. The push off button happens to be a different button.

In listing controllers it does seem that there are not many that have two seperate speed control knobs operating two locos at the same time with most having one speed control.

As I said its pretty much down to what you are used to and how you want to operate the speed of your locos (Slider, joystick, button, or knob control or twin knob control) and this is some ways determines how functions are routed.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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QUOTE (Gary @ 7 Jan 2008, 12:06) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>wiggy25 did over complicated things in his report above although he never had the advantage of being able to control functions with both Elite control knobs and the version 1.2 firmware.

You simply hit the function button, enter the number (most are single digit) and hit whichever of the two control knobs you want to hit for the two default trains being controlled. The function operates immediately you hit the knob. No need to select a loco first before choosing a function.

Happy modelling
Gary

Just read this!

Wiggy25 didn't over complicate things at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thats exactly how you have to operate the functions, and I did have functions working on both control knobs!!
Before V1.2 if you operated a function on control knob 2 it would switch it on for control knob 1.
This I believe has now been fixed.

Regardless, you still have to press function then the function number and then the control knob to operate it, if this happens to be a whistle or horn these need to be the LAST functions operated for the on/off button to work......oh wait a minute these are two functions only one of them can be the last function operated.....that means you would have to press function then the function number and then the control knob!!!

So this is overly complicated.....yes which is why I sold it...no it's not me making it that way it's just the way it is and the instructions tell you to!!!!!

Please don't make out I'm at fault on this!!!
The NCE Powercab......operate function 1........press number 1 function operates......press number 1 function goes off, have I made that over complicated?

Ian
 

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Ian

If you reread your original post you overlooked something. I did check it very carefully against what I was doing before posting. I added that you turn off the last function used immediately using the off button. Then you have not got to come back to it to turn it off.

This combined with having two speed knobs that work properly does make it easier. You were not able to try this out in the way it was intended to be used by Hornby.

Nobody is at fault. I am adding information to make the process easier.

You are happy with the speedcab and that is great and there will be folk who will be equally happy with the Elite and that is great. Not everybody wants a cab type of control. You have said that systems should be tried out before purchase and I agree with that.

Why are folk so jumpy when it comes to DCC?


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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QUOTE (Gary @ 7 Jan 2008, 20:14) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Ian

If you reread your original post you overlooked something. I did check it very carefully against what I was doing before posting. I added that you turn off the last function used immediately using the off button. Then you have not got to come back to it to turn it off.

This combined with having two speed knobs that work properly does make it easier. You were not able to try this out in the way it was intended to be used by Hornby.

Nobody is at fault. I am adding information to make the process easier.

You are happy with the speedcab and that is great and there will be folk who will be equally happy with the Elite and that is great. Not everybody wants a cab type of control. You have said that systems should be tried out before purchase and I agree with that.

Why are folk so jumpy when it comes to DCC?


Happy modelling
Gary

Gary,

I'm not being jumpy, just putting you right, no matter how you put it the on/off button will only turn off the LAST function operated!!!!
This is in the instructions, It's not made any easier just by having both control knobs working correctly!!
All this means is that if you have two locos control knob 1 controls functions for loco 1 and control knob 2 controls functions for loco 2. You still have to press numerous buttons to get the functions to operate.

You still need to press function then the function number then the control knob 1 or 2 to confirm, this will then activate the said function on either 1 or 2.
Yes you can turn that function on/off directly with the on/off button, but to operate another funtion you still need to press function, function number then the control knob 1 or 2 to confirm.

This to me is a real pain and very long winded, you have twisted this round again to make out that the function operation is so much easier than it was...sorry but it's not!
I'm sorry to tell you but that is why everybody gets 'jumpy' when you and DCC are brought together.

Agreed each to their own, and everybody going for DCC needs to try a system out to see if they like it.
What I won't accept is being accused of making things over complicated when I haven't!
It's just the way the functions operate on the Elite and to me it's just way too many button presses and there are much simpler systems out there.

Ian
 
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