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Looking at the the Märklin® Central Station® joy and grief are very close together. At the presentation this unit was the most advanced digital controller of the World and a consistent, courageous step of Märklin® and its development partner ESU. Nobody knew if the model railroaders would accept a graphical user interface with a large LCD screen and a touch panel for data input.
But these were enthusiastic about the concept and enjoyed on a hitherto unknown game comfort. Talking loco names and icons, an almost unlimited number of locomotives, which got automatically registered by mfx® decoder or graphical icons for magnetic items are standard today, but were actually only with the Central Station® introduced.

Obstacles in the way
Because the Central Station® is basically a small computer, the system lives of subsequent updates. Many functions of the new world were initially not yet finished and should be retrofitted. This was not the case and the Central Station® owners asked themselves frustrated what are the reasons for this compulsive break. ESU showed afterwards with the ECoS how to continue developing the successful Central Station® concept for the purposes of the customers and showed the public new, inovative ideas. After one finally made the upgrade to version 2.0.4. the development of the Central Station® no longer be pursued.

New routes
ESU was not able to change the undue state for the customers in the past, but here is the most important message:

The development of the Central Station® 60212 is ensured by ESU. Nobody is forced to write off its investment and to buy new equipment.

On the contrary: According to our philosophy, revalue available devices by new functions, we may explain to you here our imagination for the future of the Central Station®.

Further information here.

That screen looks terribly familiar. I can't quite place it though.
 

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Translation (my take on it anyway):

ESU devloped the system and the MFX protocols in concert with Marklin. Marklin wanted to keep MFX exclusive but ESU were keen to broaden its base in the market. Marklin resisted but ESU built partial acceptance of MFX protocols into its real goal which was development of an ESU branded system...ECOS.

ECOS has some good success as ESU of course directly targeted Marklin people with things like partial MFX support and S88.

Marklin are P'd off at the brand line gets blurred so they redeveloped the central station totally as a new product, and under financial stress can't afford to maintain both as software costs for system evolution are always huge and never ending...

So M decide to close 60212 off as a project, leaving partners ESU with the baby for the orignal Marklin unit. ESU, in defence of their reputation and as the known source of the product will now have to maintain that systems operating systems. ESU make a point of promoting this to keep their flag flying positively - a very good idea!

-----------------------------------

Actually...good on them. MFX isn't really DCC but is kept sort of compatible in some ways and it is quite clever... and very advanced in abilities, data accuracy and speed.

It may well still be a cul-de-sac long term as its expensive and exclusely ESU-centric but is a good product overall, and I really like some of its "out of the box" abilities.

The question is are the added MFX things really whats needed... The core is ESU's own quite clever but so far totally proprietary bi-di approach really.

I personally think not: I believe that a better and more easily adopted set of accessory control devices and related abilites (better enabling accessory initiated loco control for micro-automation situations within the layout) is the direction DCC really needs to evolve in.... DCC "as is" is already very good at the core things like loco control.

regards

Richard

QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 20 Oct 2008, 09:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Looking at the the Märklin® Central Station® joy and grief are very close together. At the presentation this unit was the most advanced digital controller of the World and a consistent, courageous step of Märklin® and its development partner ESU. Nobody knew if the model railroaders would accept a graphical user interface with a large LCD screen and a touch panel for data input.
But these were enthusiastic about the concept and enjoyed on a hitherto unknown game comfort. Talking loco names and icons, an almost unlimited number of locomotives, which got automatically registered by mfx® decoder or graphical icons for magnetic items are standard today, but were actually only with the Central Station® introduced.

Obstacles in the way
Because the Central Station® is basically a small computer, the system lives of subsequent updates. Many functions of the new world were initially not yet finished and should be retrofitted. This was not the case and the Central Station® owners asked themselves frustrated what are the reasons for this compulsive break. ESU showed afterwards with the ECoS how to continue developing the successful Central Station® concept for the purposes of the customers and showed the public new, inovative ideas. After one finally made the upgrade to version 2.0.4. the development of the Central Station® no longer be pursued.

New routes
ESU was not able to change the undue state for the customers in the past, but here is the most important message:

The development of the Central Station® 60212 is ensured by ESU. Nobody is forced to write off its investment and to buy new equipment.

On the contrary: According to our philosophy, revalue available devices by new functions, we may explain to you here our imagination for the future of the Central Station®.

Further information here.

That screen looks terribly familiar. I can't quite place it though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That was pretty much my take on it too.

Did you see how much it costs for this package?

149 Euros; however you get a new power pack 4 Amps and a stylus as per the ECoS.


There's a downloadable brochure on the website for those interested in this upgrade.
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 20 Oct 2008, 17:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>149 Euros; however you get a new power pack 4 Amps and a stylus as per the ECoS.


Cheap booster or expensive stylus?

That being said, the CS1 will turn into a Marklin badged ECOS.

Will be interesting to see what direction Marklin takes (is railcom a real option for them perhaps?) and what inovation they come up with.

that said the lack of a colour screen for the CS1 and ECOS is surprising!

John
 

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QUOTE (john woodall @ 20 Oct 2008, 05:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Cheap booster or expensive stylus?

That being said, the CS1 will turn into a Marklin badged ECOS.

Will be interesting to see what direction Marklin takes (is railcom a real option for them perhaps?) and what inovation they come up with.

that said the lack of a colour screen for the CS1 and ECOS is surprising!

John

It is not a booster, it is a power supply unit. Among the FAQs on the subject on the ESU website is one whether the software update will be available without the PSU and the answer is No, because the CS1 needs a good PSU to reach its potential. I don't find that a very convincing argument, but if you do not pay the money you are stuck with an obsolete product. If you pay you get, as John points out, what is almost a full ECoS and subsequent software updates are free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
QUOTE (TWG @ 21 Oct 2008, 21:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It is not a booster, it is a power supply unit. Among the FAQs on the subject on the ESU website is one whether the software update will be available without the PSU and the answer is No, because the CS1 needs a good PSU to reach its potential. I don't find that a very convincing argument, but if you do not pay the money you are stuck with an obsolete product. If you pay you get, as John points out, what is almost a full ECoS and subsequent software updates are free.
I guess you don't have much choice really.
 

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I find it interesting that the Marklin transformer, which was built for the CS1 is no longer deemed to be good enough by ESU, even though they no doubt had input when it was designed
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
QUOTE (john woodall @ 22 Oct 2008, 16:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I find it interesting that the Marklin transformer, which was built for the CS1 is no longer deemed to be good enough by ESU, even though they no doubt had input when it was designed
Maybe ESU are rectifying the points they had to conceed to Maerklin?
 

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The power supply that comes with an ECOS is 90VA which equates to sround 4.0 Amps track power.

The Marklin Central Station has always been limited to 2.8 Amps track power, no matter what transformer you used. Apparently this is a software limit, hence the update to 3.0 will remove the limit, but you then need the 90VA psu.

Also, as I understand it, the 90VA psu is a stabilised power supply, which the Marklin 60VA units may not be. Richard can explain why a stabilised psu is better for digital control far better than I can.

The other aspect of the 149 Euro package, again as I understand it, is that ESU will also be providing the user with an extended warranty on the Central Station. Although I have so far not expero=ienced any issues with my Central Station, there are several reliability isssues reported on www.marklin-users.net, so the extended warranty is probably worth having.

As an owner of both the ECOS and the Central Station, I will probably pay for the upgrade, and then sell my ECOS. The reason I had to have both was I need both MFX and DCC. My Central Station is part of a large starter set, and I don't really get on with the motorised controls on the ECOS, just a personal preference.

Regards
Ashley
 
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