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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The delay in the arrival of the Dynamis is really starting to get me down. I've wired my layout for DCC, so I can only run two locomotives under analogue control. That would be fine if my layout weren't 24 x 8 with plenty of space for more and now that I have 5 modern locomotives, I want more action - now!

I've been holding out for a Dynamis because it has a wire free controller, but changing locomotives by literally removing them from the track is starting to lose its allure and I'm looking for an excuse pretext to go the whole hog and get an ECoS. One of the "lacks" in the basic Dynamis is a programming track output, so my questions are:-

"How useful is a programming track?"

"Is there a number of locomotives at which not having a programming track becomes a problem?"

I happen to have the cash at the moment. Buying an ECoS might push back other railway related purchases, but I can't run the trains I've got at the moment, so it's not an issue.

I know that there will be "Pro" addon for the Dynamis, but I am not aware of even a hint of a delivery date and I did ask that question at Peco back in June.

David
 

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I like to read CVs. I don't keep a database of settings so every now and then I put a loco on the track and find that I need to reconfigure settings. To see what has been programmed previously is key to understanding how a loco behaves.

I have a programming track that is easily accessed from the layout. Locos can ride onto it without a problem. A quick flick of a switch and the siding becomes the programming track. I do the configuration, switch back to DCC and the loco drives off.

With this easy set-up, I find that I do very little programming on the main, preferring to bring the loco into the yard for some thorough looking after.
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 7 Aug 2007, 05:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The delay in the arrival of the Dynamis is really starting to get me down. I've wired my layout for DCC, so I can only run two locomotives under analogue control. That would be fine if my layout weren't 24 x 8 with plenty of space for more and now that I have 5 modern locomotives, I want more action - now!

I've been holding out for a Dynamis because it has a wire free controller, but changing locomotives by literally removing them from the track is starting to lose its allure and I'm looking for an excuse pretext to go the whole hog and get an ECoS. One of the "lacks" in the basic Dynamis is a programming track output, so my questions are:-

"How useful is a programming track?"

"Is there a number of locomotives at which not having a programming track becomes a problem?"

I happen to have the cash at the moment. Buying an ECoS might push back other railway related purchases, but I can't run the trains I've got at the moment, so it's not an issue.

I know that there will be "Pro" addon for the Dynamis, but I am not aware of even a hint of a delivery date and I did ask that question at Peco back in June.

David
In summary yes you do need a programming track and buy an ECoS. Seriously David you are not going to be able to do a quarter of things you can do with an Ecos with the Dynamis. You can always buy a Dynamis later as a cheap(er) remote control which is what I was intending to do. A Dynamis is only really a starter set or small layout control. If your layout is 24 by 8 then you really do need a full spec controller. My layout is only 15 by 9 and I need one.

With the programming track you can be programming while you are running trains and changing points and running shuttle trains. Instead of having to lift all other trains off your tracks so you can program. I used to have to do this with the Lokmaus2 and it's a pain in the butt. Quite seriously when you have forty locos and you have to lift them all of the track you are going to know that you need a programming track.

It is also useful to read in all the info that is already on your decoder. This is useful when you have bought a second hand pre-installed loco or a friend brings one of his locos round. You can also do some tweaking while the rest of the action is going on.

If you have any questions at all about the ECoS David, please PM me, I'd be glad to help.
 

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The title of this thread is a little misleading.
Doug's answer completely covered the subject - yes you do want a programming track and yes you want to be as convenient as possible. In the greater scale of things the ECos can be regarded as a topend system whereas the Dynamis is more the bread and butter and lower spec. Bachmann frequently fail to mean delivery deadlines so if your in a hurry to go DCC it would appear the ECos would be the way to go. At £375.00 quid it isn't cheap, and you'll still need a transformer, it's over £100 more than the Lenz 100 and the Digitrax super chief. NCE possibly a little cheaper. Without giving a bias slant to any system, we've all seen recently what can happen if you rush out and buy a digital system without it having been in the market for a while. So personally I'd much rather go with an established system than hang my hopes on a maybe it's coming next week..month...year....decade.
Buy and established system that works With technical backup and someone you can speak to if and when you have a problem to resolve
 

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Another in support of Doug's answer; and let me take up Makemineadouble's very good point about convenience. Surely I cannot be the only person who has recycled DC layout section switching to provide a switchable test track that provides DC control, DCC programme track or DCC as required? This track is a continuous run and thus ideal for testing, running in and setting up acceleration and braking characteristics. One day I may even get around to interlocking the point on the layout that gives access to the test track, such that it will only operate when the the test track is set to DCC; however, no accidents to date to spur me to that development.
 

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Also Ecos automatically switches between the programming track and main.
When a train isn't being programmed the prog track becomes part of the mainline, no need for seperate switches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
QUOTE Instead of having to lift all other trains off your tracks so you can program. I used to have to do this with the Lokmaus2 and it's a pain in the butt. Quite seriously when you have forty locos and you have to lift them all of the track you are going to know that you need a programming track.

I thought that might be the case.

Thanks for the input. I think you've given me the final "shove" I needed to make a decision.

David
 

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Might I add in the bigger picture 75 or 80 quid is pennies per month over the expected life of the unit regardless of make. The important thing is having made a decision is to see it through and implement. ( assuming you don't have the constraint of not being able to afford it ). Try to take up German lessons it isn't an easy language but the beers nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
QUOTE Try to take up German lessons it isn't an easy language but the beers nice.

Ein grosse bier bitte!

And yes it is nice. Been over 30 years since my O level german.

David
 

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QUOTE Try to take up German lessons it isn't an easy language but the beers nice.

This is the only real down side tothe ECoS. The support forum is currently mainly in German.
However;
an ESU English forum is reported as being iminent,
there is a English laguage Yahoo users group,
if you post in English on the German forum you will always get help and they are nice enough to respond in English usually,
there is always the google laguage translater which while not perfect you can normally get the drift off,
the forum is used to feedback software glitches so that they can be corrected in the next software update.

I don't speak German and I'm managing fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
To tie this thread off with a neat bow, I have now been using an ECoS for a couple of weeks. For what I want to do, I _need_ a programming track which the ECoS has. Now I am looking forward to RailCom which should provide a reliable way of getting information back from the decoders. The current system "works" but it sure ain't 100%.

David
 

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Hi all

Having wandered through this thread it was interesting to see the comments but the ONE BIG REASON why a programming track is essential was totally missed in the "I use this or that system" comments!

Its important for new DCC'ers more than the experienced ones, but essential for all!

The primary purpose of a programming track was always to give a "safe place" to so initial test and programming...

So...

If you make an installation error, the current limiting of the programming track will 99& of the time prevent a blown decoder - which will be instant if you put the loco on the main immediately.

After that, most changes can easily be done on the main.... Unless you are one of the unfortunates who chose ZTC or other brands which still can't offer this convenience

Regards

Richard
 
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