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Just another modeller
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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.



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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