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DT
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OK, I have a great DCC system. My Lenz 100 system does everything I want except for a few things. It does have a few limits though, so is there a system out there that can match all my requirements?

Lenz is great except:
  • I can switch easily between two locos, but I often run more. Running more requires more cabs or a better system of switching between locos with one cab. The Lenz switches between tow locos with the Esc key. If you want to control a third or more, you have to dial it in or look for the list (pile) and select the loco you want.
  • I have XpressNET sockets around my track, but plugging and unplugging the cab controller is a pain. I want wireless.
What I want from a DCC system:
  • Simplicity
  • Programmability
  • Expandability
  • Manoeuvrability (of the operator, i.e. wireless)
So what do you recommend?
 

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Dear Doug,

Have you though about adding a Wireless Multimaus? See here for more on this new Multimaus in MRF. You can easily add more handsets, once you have the base station and it can be linked to the Lenz via Xpressnet, or to a PC via a USB port. It comes with the Rocomotion s/w, which I believe is a cut-down version of Railroad&Co.

It such a nice easy to use controller you can let a guest use it anytime (especially children). The Wireless version has been announced, but I am not sure if it is in the shops already. Switching between locos is easy, you just press the arrow keys, until you find the loco you want to control.
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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Doug,

You know you want one......the ESU ECoS.
I'm sure it won't be long before the Dynamis oooops my mistake the ECoS wirless controller will be available.

I'm sure with that set-up you have just about future proofed yourself!

You have the programmability.
Ease of use
Semi automatic operation without a PC if required.
Using the Switch pilots you can use the Railcom feedback.
The wireless controller is showing on the ESU website, you can connect 4 of these up to a single receiver, it's also radio!!
As it's the Dynamis handset you should get some good information displayed on the screen as well.
Large user base, including a moderator or two I believe

Update firmware over the interweb thingy


Major problem is the price!
On the Lokshop it has it at 169 euro for the radio controller and receiver available 3rd quarter of 2008, then you will need the ECoS at 479 euro.
Still it's only money and lets be right you could alway sell the Lenz unit on it's lasted a very long time.........

You may even get some good discounts at the present time, if you were to buy the ECoS and radio controller together?

Cheers
 

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If you wanted to spend a lot more money you could get and ECoS with Mobile Control. The base station will allow you to readily switch between 12 locos and you can have another on the go on the wireless mobile.

It's updatable, easy to use, you can add more mobile controls if you want and programming is very easy. You can also continue to use your Lenz system through the Ecosniffer.
 

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Hi Doug

I will have to agree with John go for the MultiMAUS Pro and use it with the Lenz System
You can keep all your XpressNET connections

You should be able to buy a MultiMAUS quite cheap on feebay and plug directly into the Lenz system
and see if it agrees with you before going for the MultiMAUS Pro

Having used the Lenz system (very well constructed) and myself using the MultiMAUS , easy to use.

So, I am , a bit biased towards the MultiMAUS

I find the MultiMAUS very easy to use, and one handed , fits comfortably in your hand much nicer than the Lenz Handheld

The MultiMAUS allows you to put a Loco list (Loco Library) together a bit like the the "Stack" in the Lenz LH90
You can keep it short and Name them with 5 Alpha Numeric characters
In mine I have eg. TEST3 for testing and programming new loco's ,DMU 2 , BR218 etc

My Grandson has another MultiMAUS and Uses it with a Lenz system 90 But rarely would use the LH90
He also names his Loco's (in The Loco Library Mode ) differently , to his taste

It is easy to switch from the Loco Library mode to Loco Address mode (normal 4 digit address )
In address mode you can scroll through the address numbers or enter them directly

The MultiMAUS may not have all the features of the Dynamis and ESU ECos or the amount of information on the screen
But I prefer to look at the Trains not the screen

The only bug we have had is the MultiMAUS comes up with Err1 (not compatible for programming) when trying to Program on Main (POM) on the Lenz LZV100 (ver3.5) which is a bit annoying as adjusting things "on the fly" is easy with MultiMAUS usually. I'm not sure , if an update of the LZV100 to version 3.6 , will fix that .

Maybe some one on the forum has already done this update and tried it

Hope this helps

Regards Zmil
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 16 Sep 2008, 22:43) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If you wanted to spend a lot more money you could get and ECoS with Mobile Control. The base station will allow you to readily switch between 12 locos and you can have another on the go on the wireless mobile.

It's updatable, easy to use, you can add more mobile controls if you want and programming is very easy. You can also continue to use your Lenz system through the Ecosniffer.

The ECOS is the way I went couple of yrs ago. It is updated to latest version (free from web site).
I still use my Lenz 90/100 thru sniffer port of Ecos as walk around throttles. I have had my Lenz updated to V3.6 which now gives access to 28 functions and storage of up to 12 addresses in LH100 controller + other features.
I have the ESU mobile ( radio) control thru ECOS. Unfortunately, the Mobile control is no longer available but, as stated in earlier post, the new radio control for ECOS is not far away.
If you are prepared to spend the money, the above will give you a DCC system that is future proofed and very few systems would be equal to it.
Iansa
 

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Just another modeller
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QUOTE (Doug @ 17 Sep 2008, 05:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>OK, I have a great DCC system. My Lenz 100 system does everything I want except for a few things. It does have a few limits though, so is there a system out there that can match all my requirements?

Lenz is great except:
  • I can switch easily between two locos, but I often run more. Running more requires more cabs or a better system of switching between locos with one cab. The Lenz switches between tow locos with the Esc key. If you want to control a third or more, you have to dial it in or look for the list (pile) and select the loco you want.
  • I have XpressNET sockets around my track, but plugging and unplugging the cab controller is a pain. I want wireless.
What I want from a DCC system:
  • Simplicity
  • Programmability
  • Expandability
  • Manoeuvrability (of the operator, i.e. wireless)
So what do you recommend?

***The ECOS is nice but it really suits about 1 in 10 of my clients mentally... Many are not comfortable with its interface. Ecos is a good system but adding radio will be exxy and frankly the playstation style of the new radio handsets is unappealing as they are a 2 handed controller... that is a big mistake, as most clients are not of the Playstation generation

Without doubt I'd recommend the NCE system. every useful function is wihin one finger reach whether U are right or left handed. Its being adopted by many large clubs globally because of its exceptional performance overall, ease of understanding and exceptional radio peformance.

Has all 28 functions, NMRA Compliant, does what you want stack wise, can be plugged into the SAME layout sockets as Lenz (handset wiring sequence is the same), has direct computer interface, and is the best and most instinctive controller ergonomics wise.

Roco has some quirks that I see raised regularly on E lists and its rail voltage is ridiculously high. Its an expanded toy controller.

Re radio no its not specifically EU compliant as nobody has done the work to approve it but it DOES pass EU standards, otherwise it couldn't pass AU standards which are fundamentally the same.

you CAN as a private individual import the radio version... its only prohibited for a company to distribute.

It will NOT cause interference to anyone anywhere and is in fact so tightly controlled in frequency and power that its perfectly reliable at any range.

It is the ONLY radio system that requires no plugging in for any reason - all others need to be plugged in except for driving of trains and basic stuff.

The NCE can also control routes and provide semi automation from the base system with no PC added, and NCE's coming mini-panel will give extended automation for things such as shuttles etc with any form of detection, not just S88 like ECOS.

Regards

Richard
 

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QUOTE (zmil @ 17 Sep 2008, 03:25) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Doug

I will have to agree with John go for the MultiMAUS Pro and use it with the Lenz System
You can keep all your XpressNET connections

You should be able to buy a MultiMAUS quite cheap on feebay and plug directly into the Lenz system
and see if it agrees with you before going for the MultiMAUS Pro
Regards Zmil

IMHO the Multimaus Pro is well worth a look, especially as you already have a Lenz set up. Should be a cost-effective purchase with one of the start sets too.

Depends on what you really want - I would also look at the ECOS & maybe the VM Commander.
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 16 Sep 2008, 22:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>What I want from a DCC system:
  • Simplicity
  • Programmability
  • Expandability
  • Manoeuvrability (of the operator, i.e. wireless)
So what do you recommend?

Esu Ecos fullstop

Baykal
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 16 Sep 2008, 21:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>OK, I have a great DCC system. My Lenz 100 system does everything I want except for a few things. It does have a few limits though, so is there a system out there that can match all my requirements?

Lenz is great except:
  • I can switch easily between two locos, but I often run more. Running more requires more cabs or a better system of switching between locos with one cab. The Lenz switches between tow locos with the Esc key. If you want to control a third or more, you have to dial it in or look for the list (pile) and select the loco you want.
  • I have XpressNET sockets around my track, but plugging and unplugging the cab controller is a pain. I want wireless.
What I want from a DCC system:
  • Simplicity
  • Programmability
  • Expandability
  • Manoeuvrability (of the operator, i.e. wireless)
So what do you recommend?

I would say first of all NCE as I think the user interface is very good.

I would then say go and try the short list of systems. In particular do you want to roam and how does the controller feel/operate in your hand.

Looks to me as if the short list is Multimaus, Ecos and NCE with the first of these considerably more expensive
 

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DT
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for your replies guys. Some were expected - usual suspects with your systems


You know me though, I need more convincing. You can't just say that because you have x system then I too must get x system because it's the best.

I want wireless...
I'm not keen on the Dynamis wireless so Dynamis / ECoS is out (or I need more convincing)...
Need to see and test the Roco wireless system...
What about Zimo...?
 

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QUOTE I'm not keen on the Dynamis wireless so Dynamis / ECoS is out (or I need more convincing)...

Is that because of the controller design, in which case fair enough, or because you don't want IR? If the latter, then I would point out that the ECoS is "proper" wireless not IR like the Dynamis which is why the ECoS unit costs more than a complete Dynamis system.

David
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 18 Sep 2008, 03:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks for your replies guys. Some were expected - usual suspects with your systems


You know me though, I need more convincing. You can't just say that because you have x system then I too must get x system because it's the best.

I want wireless...
I'm not keen on the Dynamis wireless so Dynamis / ECoS is out (or I need more convincing)...
Need to see and test the Roco wireless system...
What about Zimo...?

*** Whilst based on user feedback from many NCE users with radio systems compared to other brands including ESU, I'd still recommend the NCE over all of them....however if budget is not an issue the Zimo system is excellent feature wise, very high quality and does all it claims to very well indeed.

I'm not an evangelist for a product because I use it, as I use them all, however my opinion IS based on practical things like user satisfaction, observing comfort level of modellers after they've made the decision and levels of help needed after purchase - NCE always stands out as having more owners with constant smiles than any other brand at every level from startset thru 5 amp system to full blown mulit-booster wireless systems and huge club layouts.

As always its a very personal thing, but having sold very many systems to very many clients, I can say without doubt that those who bought by looking at the pretty control panel and lots of glitzy bits are always less happy long term and always enjoy running their trains less than those who bought based on ergonomic comfort and pragmatic operational need.

Richard
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 18 Sep 2008, 12:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>As always its a very personal thing, but having sold very many systems to very many clients, I can say without doubt that those who bought by looking at the pretty control panel and lots of glitzy bits are always less happy long term and always enjoy running their trains less than those who bought based on ergonomic comfort and pragmatic operational need.

Richard
Couldn't agree more Richard, these were precisely my considerations when I bought my system.
The pretty control panel was a bonus.
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 17 Sep 2008, 19:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks for your replies guys. Some were expected - usual suspects with your systems


You know me though, I need more convincing. You can't just say that because you have x system then I too must get x system because it's the best.

I want wireless...
I'm not keen on the Dynamis wireless so Dynamis / ECoS is out (or I need more convincing)...
Need to see and test the Roco wireless system...
What about Zimo...?

Are you really sure you need wireless??

I have four terminal sockets for my NCE system so I can unplug it and replug it without loosing any info or stopping the trains and unless you have a very big space perhaps this would do.


NCE has of course had wireless for a long time as our american cousins like it with their very big (by our standards) layouts.
 

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DT
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm sorry but NCE just doesn't appeal to me. Is it that much better than Lenz? It just doesn't seem to upgrade me from what I already have.

I have a large room to walk around and wireless seems logical. I have plenty of cabs and I can put one in each corner, so I can move from one to the other. I also have 4 Lenz Plug sockets, but I don't like the idea of setting a loco off and then unplugging and plugging in elsewhere to pick up control.

If Lenz had only remained passionate about DCC and come up with an updated system building on their older systems I'd happily upgrade to it.
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 18 Sep 2008, 15:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm sorry but NCE just doesn't appeal to me. Is it that much better than Lenz? It just doesn't seem to upgrade me from what I already have.

I have a large room to walk around and wireless seems logical. I have plenty of cabs and I can put one in each corner, so I can move from one to the other. I also have 4 Lenz Plug sockets, but I don't like the idea of setting a loco off and then unplugging and plugging in elsewhere to pick up control.

If Lenz had only remained passionate about DCC and come up with an updated system building on their older systems I'd happily upgrade to it.
In terms of switching between locos I think NCE is better than Lenz since it has the "recall" button that bscrolls through the last 6 addresses used.

I also think the programming is better than Lenz.

If you have never actually used one I would encourage you to try it as in practice it is better than it looks.

If you have tried one and do not like it then that is absolutely fine because the user interface has to feel right for you.
 

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Hi All

Personal preference is always , just that , personal

I have always liked a control knob for hand held control

I prefer the the Roco (designed by Lenz) control with the centre off rather than the Lenz combination of the Direction Switch and Knob of the LH90 or push buttons of the LH100
So my preference would be something similar
Hence my choice would be MultiMAUS Pro for wireless

NCE do a Knob based control (NCE cab-04p) as well which can be used like the Roco (centre off) in yard mode or full one direction and can come radio equipped

But I don't mind keyboard based control like JMRI panel pro ( controlling trains while answering emails is great!)

The NCE Power Cab control is in a Industrial Tough case so very robust

The MultiMAUS is in a plastic case and a bit more ergo dynamically designed , it also has 4 little rubber pads underneath so it will not slide away when put down on a smooth surface (handy when leaving it on the rolling tool box while plugged in) you can also hang it on a round head self tapper , it has a upside down keyhole mount on the back.
The only time you need to use two hands - is you need to enter the Menu (shift and Menu button) or change from Library mode to Address mode , basically you need to push two buttons simultaneously . For most operations you would use it like you would a phone keypad , everything is in easy reach of your thumb.

But Like Neil wrote Try some systems out you may be pleasantly surprised

Regards Zmil
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 18 Sep 2008, 23:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'm sorry but NCE just doesn't appeal to me. Is it that much better than Lenz? It just doesn't seem to upgrade me from what I already have.

I have a large room to walk around and wireless seems logical. I have plenty of cabs and I can put one in each corner, so I can move from one to the other. I also have 4 Lenz Plug sockets, but I don't like the idea of setting a loco off and then unplugging and plugging in elsewhere to pick up control.

If Lenz had only remained passionate about DCC and come up with an updated system building on their older systems I'd happily upgrade to it.

***No need to apologise as appeal is an important part of any decision...

You ask Vs Lenz 100:

In the past year I've had perhaps a dozen clients change from Lenz 100 to NCE. without exception they found it a better system to use, more instinctive for thngs like consisting, better equipped, more comfortable in the hand and in general simply more competent. All who had the radio system in particular find it impossible to wipe the smile from their faces.

What do you see as an upgrade?

For train control I see a system with no pracical train control limitations that lets me control everything I want at any time one handed while drinking a coffee a superb bit or human interface design....

If you are a runner of trains and its improved loco control then NCE is a very big positive step. If you want a big pretty LCD display like the ECOS or veismann then its not....

There's absolutely nothing wrong with pretty units like the ECOS at all, in fact they are great, but a good half of their street cost is in scrren + plastic tooling not control electronics, and a pretty box isn't an indicator of relative usability, functionality or competence.

You should without fail 100% clearly define real operational wants and needs before you even think about brands, otherwise eyes persuade heads and wrong decisions happen..

Richard
 
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