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New Technology in 2006

3343 Views 16 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Colombo

What new technology do you think or hope you'll see next year? I have a couple of ideas that I will share later. (When I'm not at work)
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Lighting on Steam engines would be an excellent one to think about doing next year. (Done using Fibre optics possibly to save on space???)
That is a very good question Dennis!

Happy modelling
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For you digital bods, I would think a self-powered uncoupling system for locomotives would be just about as useful an accessory as one could ever wish for. Just think, the ability to uncouple ANYWHERE on a layout without any jiggery pokery gubbins in or under the track. Arnold had something like this in N gauge, many years ago, but I never got my hands on one to see how that actually worked.
I was looking at my Minitrix catalog and hadn't noticed that Minitrix has upgraded many of their steam locomotives. The motor is no longer in the cab as it had been before nor is it in the tender. The motor is now bell shaped and it and the flywheel are in the boiler! Now this is N-Scale we're talking about. So given the extra real estate that offers it seems to me that we can now consider sound in an N-Scale Steam Tender Locomotive, something that was considered impossible just a couple of years ago.
Kadee has a technique called delayed coupling that can be used a work around but with DCC why not have automatic couplers. Should be at least possible in larger scales. The only problem would be having to replace all of your existing couplers.
The power coupler would only be really needed on the locomotive.
In theory, each vehicle in the consist could also have its own, but that might be considered digital overkill!
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The UK are a long way behind Europe and the USA when it comes to technology actually available and on the shelf. And by UK I mean UK outline locomotives and rolling stock.

I basically would like to see UK steam locomotives that actually smoke, and have steam sound and whistle and readily available as ready to run models so no need to mess about and take the body off. And if this can be delivered for an extra £40-£50 per model then fantastic!

For the UK this would be a big step forward in the technology stakes.

Happy modelling
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And as far as control goes I have long been a fan of Microsoft Train Simulator and the cab style control that you are offered on your PC monitor.

I want this type of control for my model trains.

It would be just great to be able to pretend to be in the cab of the model locomotive that I am operating and for my actions with the PC to be transferred to the model locomotive.

And combine this with a layout design feature and you have complete control of your model trains on your PC.

Whatever buildings and scenery you have on your layout are converted to three dimensional images on your PC. So as you drive your loco on your layout into a station then you get the actual loco cab view on your PC monitor. And so on and so forth.

Happy modelling
I'd like to see a true standard develop for a DCC BUS.

Sure, DCC is a concept and the NMRA does have a set of compliance rules, but few of the existing systems allow true plug and play of other systems.

I'd like to see a BUS that can be expanded by adding base units or boosters, enhanced by adding feedback modules and used with controllers from a variety of manufacturers, stationary and mobile depending on the need.

To get this to work the major companies have to sit down together and work something out. Why don't they make a move in 2006.
Re: DCC uncoupling, there's articles about it all over the net, just do a Google search and you'll see many options for it, can be used with most commercial auto-couplings. Although I'd agree that a 'ready to fit' version would be nice.

Re: DCC BUS, I take it you mean a communications BUS/NET? On the train this morning I worked out how to completely eradicate the Comm BUS and Feedback BUS. This would certainly make the adoption of a common standard easier!

Personally I like to see British outline loco's with factory fitted sound decoders!
Yes I means a BUS (the communication channel), not a bus.
A number of American manufactures offer locomotives with DCC and non-DCC versions. The DCC versions come with sound and cost an extra $100. This is starting to be normal practice and one has already announced an N-Scale Steam Locomotive with sound next year.
Hence why I'd like to see it in a British outline model, if you can fit a decoder and speaker into an N gauge model than obviously it can fitted into a A3 or Pug or what-have-you.
What about applying new technology to old technology?

Why doesn't somebody invent a cheap modular self asembly 4'x2' baseboard kit that all slots together and comes with holes through the board in all the right places with plugs in that you can remove as required and with screw in feet and with simple modular power connectors and lock nuts to join boards together.

And for under £10 a time. It would save all that faffing about with joinery skills.

Surely Ikea or MFI could come up with something?

Happy modelling
I'm not sure that flatpack furniture actually qualifies as 'technology', old or new!

Apart from which, I think something like this has been available for many years, though I can't recall exactly from where. Probably Noch, though I have a feeling there are others too. Always grossly over priced, though handy if you have the wherewithal.
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I see that nobody has yet mentioned the possibility of on board loco mounted video cameras that broadcast wirelessly high quality pictures to a screen nearby.

The equipment has been developed by a company in Japan which makes tiny cameras for dentists that can be used to show patients any problems with their own teeth as they sit in the chair.

Have a look at the following link which demonstrates the equipment which can be fitted into an N gauge railcar for example. There is a video at the foot of the page.

I can see possibilities for drivers eye view cameras and simulated loco controls in a separate room from the layout. One person acts as signal man, another as driver.

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