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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

Can anyone tell me if the have this DCC system and how good it is eg user friendly. Any reviews I can have a look at.

Many thanks

Martin
 

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You asked.... Can anyone tell me if the have this DCC system and how good it is eg user friendly. Any reviews I can have a look at.

Hi Martin

Its very competent certainly, and a good product overall but not more so than NCE or Digitrax, and to me anyway. it is far less user friendly than NCE for example.

Lenz have not updated the software for a long time, and almost seem to have lost interest in developing DCC further as they are off on an O scale tangent right now... but even so, if second hand be sure you have the one with the latest updates.

Unless its being offered as a set don't bother with the power supply - there are better and more stable power supplies at less dollars.

Given the fact that price for all 3 is very close...

My personal preference for the "Handset" brands NCE #1, equal second = Digitrax and Lenz.

The computer interface for Lenz is a bit more exxy than digitrax, NCE has a serial port in the black box.

I do have it at a good tight price ex stock if U decide to go for it (both Lenz Set 100 and interface)

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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I've got a Set-90, which uses the LZV100 and the LH-90 handset (rather than the LH-100 in the Set-100). I also use it with the Lenz computer interface and DecoderPro.

I haven't used it intensively for a while but I like it because it works and I haven't had any trouble with it. It is slow for programming, which is why I use DecoderPro. I prefer the "control knob" of the LH-90 to the buttons of the LH-100 for controlling trains. I certainly wouldn't describe it as sexy!

Dan
 

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Hi Martin,

The Lenz LH 100 is an excellent piece of kit - I use one to control my LGB garden railway.

Other people prefer other makes, but one big thing in the favour of Lenz (certainly in the UK) is the support available from the importers MacKay Models - it is second to none - the rare times we have had any warranty issues parts have been exchanged by return of post with no quibble.

A couple of our customers have balked at the price of the Lenz transformer, tried to use other means, had silly problems, bought the Lenz one & no further problems.

Digitrax & NCE are good pieces of kit as well, I would not have either for the simple (& only) reason is that I just don't like the look of them - the Digitrax, in particular to my eyes looks like it was assembled with parts from Maplins (& that's no disrespect to either companie, just a personal view.)

Before you take the plunge, if you can, try as many options as possible to see which one you prefer.

Hope this helps.
 

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I have used it for 3 years now and have no complaints. It is a very reliable system. One you spend a few hours working out how best to use it, I find that its faster to operate than Digitrax. I have never used NCE but hear its very good too.

As you may have come across my current thread about the ESU ECoS I should add that if you fancy spending about £100 more, you will get a more modern touch screen system, however it is not necessarily better for you. The trick is to experience as many systems as you can and see what ones best for you. If you can't get hands on experience, all system manuals can be downloaded from the net and I find reading them along with other internet resources like this one is the best way.

Not wanting to confuse you further, there is a new budget system from Zimo due any time now for around £260 that looks excellent. See DCCSupplies for more info.

If you do go with the Set 100, I doubt you will be disappointed.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There was one on ebay for sale but I decided against it in the end. I did a bit more research and cam to the conclusion the for an extra 150 GB pounds the ecos is a far better deal.

Thanks guys

Martin
 

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Good call Martin - I had wondered why U were thinking of the Lenz
 

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We have one on the club project, and to be honest LH100 isn't my favourite handheld controller. Personally I find knobs preferable to pressing keys , and getting at the functions to work points requires excavating through several layers of menu. You get used to it I suppose , but..... If you want to run a train a Lokmaus is a great deal more intutitive , though as a very basic 2 function controller it has serious limitations

From the point of view of ease and comfort of use, control and programming of decoders I'd much rather use my NCE PowerCab. This is a starter system, and was bought deliberately because it is cheap and because on an 8'6" shunting plank you don't need a lot of amps , and computer control is unecessary (a computer interface is promised though) . The "full" NCE PowerPro is rather more expensive than the Lenz

There's nothing wrong with the capabilities or reliability of the Lenz Set 100.

But I'm thinking of putting up a prize for the first person in the club who manages to control a loco with the LH90. No-one's cracked it yet
 

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QUOTE (Martin71 @ 27 Sep 2007, 19:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>There was one on ebay for sale but I decided against it in the end. I did a bit more research and cam to the conclusion the for an extra 150 GB pounds the ecos is a far better deal.

Thanks guys

Martin
You certainly wont regret that. The ECoS is still being added to and is a pretty excellent system. Each software download adds new features to it. Lenz seem to have forgotten about their controllers and upgrades are history.

I'm looking forward to getting the Mobile Control to add to it. Hopefully shouldn't be too long.
 

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QUOTE (Ravenser @ 27 Sep 2007, 21:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>But I'm thinking of putting up a prize for the first person in the club who manages to control a loco with the LH90. No-one's cracked it yet

Must be something wrong with the 90 or it's setup - a few of our customers use a 90 & 100 together (the 100 for setting CV's & the 90 for driving).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The real crux of the problem is I have a select controller (still no real problems) loco's fitted with sound lights smoke etc I can run most ot the features but I cant touch the CV's and every now and then it spits the dummy and I got to reprogramme all again.

Plus Im stealing 20mA here 200mA there and now I can only now run 3 loco's ( i could run 8 with bare). I have also lost the use of a couple of my favourite loco's because I fitted TCS decoders which do not work with the Select.

I have just outgrown it, great starter controller if your getting back into it.

One question Dynamics wireless can I use this with the Ecos controller?

Thanks

Martin
 

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Martin - You asked: One question Dynamics wireless can I use this with the Ecos controller?

This answer is to you, but I posted it on list as I think that many retailers just recommend whatevers their best profitability product wise and too many modellers make the mistake of buying based on the pictures and the experience rather than properly matching the gear to their own specific needs and their operating style... hope U don't mind.

*** Will Dynamis work with ECOS. Re protocols, possibly but doubtful - re wireless almost certainly not - But I'd be delighted to be wrong... however, until its in my hands, I can't be certain.

If wireless is a big issue for you then it might be better to drop in, sit with me and have a coffee or a coke in the next week or two -
there really are other very competent options that will give you some excellent results.

Personally depending on final operating concept/preferences I'd be very happy with ECOS, NCE, Digitrax, or probably the Dynamis is it delivers up to all its promises, each will have good and bad points and each will have a different set of unique benefits, depending on how you want to run the railway.

Worth an hour of chat as its a big investment - and a good choice is the difference between a good experience and a terriffic one!
Bring a layout concept plan when U come so we can really think it through properly, modeller to modeller.

Richard
 

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Just to say that if your problem with the Select is a lack of power, then the NCE PowerCab's no use to you ,as it offers little more than an amp
 

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Ravenser:
The Powercab is appx 1.7 amps, and is at least a proper DCC system with all the features of a full system unlike the non-compatible Select - however the more recommendable system for Martin would be the NCE Powerhouse Pro - a full 5 amps and still a reasonable cost... and is now the system of choice for most large clubs in USA now as its ergonomically excellent, universally understandable and very full featured.

Neil / Piotr:
The Lenz software upgrade is in actual fact part "fix" for some quirky issues with the LH90 handset and part bringing it to be able to handle a few more functions. It is not a system upgrade as such, just a "controller fix"

My comment:
System wise, Lenz have certainly dropped the ball evolution-wise and sadly they are doing little to maintain or upgrade their primary DCC systems, which are now falling behind slowly but steadiy.

The Lenz Set 100 is still a competent system, but there are many well ahead of it for usability, understandability and features.

Having said that, the issues of change and "fix" that ECOS goes through is not the same as for other systems. ECOS is a software based "TRAIN PDA" which has evolutionary patches and changes needed like a windows computer etc... whereas others such as NCE and Digitrax are PROM based systems, which are fully "proven" when released.

Therefore to answer Neils comment... Frequency is irrelevant, the need varies based on system type!

Of all the systems out there, to me the ECOS is currently the best of the console based systems, the NCE PowerHouse Pro the best of the hand helds, although the DIgitrax Super chief comes close. Dynamis may fall in the middle, being theoretically both potentially. Hornby aren't even quite on the right planet yet, but probably (I hope) will be soon as lite gets its "fixes".

BTW I love the NCE because its so instinctive and the screen communication so clear in plain english that you almost never need to refer to the manual ever again once you've got it installed and underway - yet it ahs all the features you can expect from a top end unit....most other systems end up with dog eared manuals from frequent use!

I really do appreciate the "evangelism" of ECOS owners - As a model railway technocrat I love it too - however it should be realised that in reality, a truly DCC compatible quality system of any brand will drive the trains well.

Therefore when it comes to decision time, ergonomics are at least as important as the electronics, and so there will be some who should buy one brand, some the other, because they way the system is operated will dictate the "user comfort" with the system, NOT the length of the feature list, which is to me, largely a distraction from the most important decision points!

And they are - "Does it do what I ask, and is it comfortable and a pleasure for me to use".

Everything else is either a bonus or redundant!

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 1 Oct 2007, 05:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Therefore when it comes to decision time, ergonomics are at least as important as the electronics, and so there will be some who should buy one brand, some the other, because they way the system is operated will dictate the "user comfort" with the system, NOT the length of the feature list, which is to me, largely a distraction from the most important decision points!

And they are - "Does it do what I ask, and is it comfortable and a pleasure for me to use".
100% support for this. I was able to try out a fair spread of systems when shopping around last year, and concentrated on these factors. All of the full systems offered more capability than I am ever likely to exploit, but it is good to have the menu available so that there are minimal constraints on any future development that may take my interest. As a newcomer to DCC I was looking for 'bombproof' reliability, so that any problems were likely to be with me, the system could be ignored as a source of trouble. Once I had the system several weeks were spent just operating with it, and familiarising myself with the control layout, so that all aspects of its' use became near instinctive.

The choice eventually went to the Lenz 100, (swayed in part by nostalgia for some resemblance to Allen Bradley industrial controllers used early in my career) and a year in it continues to be a joy to use.
 
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