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Not sure how I feel about this.

Firstly, only ZTC could be arrogant enough to blame their own customers and target market for the company's demise. Its pretty clear with leadership like that the company was never going to survive long term. They needed improved products, more features, better reliability and above all cost a lot less. Without at least some of that, failure was inevitable.

Secondly, as a previous ZTC owner and a proud Brit, I do like to buy British and am sad to see another British company go under.

Rob
 

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DT
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Well, I'm not surprised.

I contacted them many times for advice, help and information and they were either rude or not interested in supplying info. Perhaps they were bothered by my questions, but as someone who very nearly bought one of their top-end systems I was not impressed by their communication.

I'm not sure who they are talking about when they say "... unable to compete with the market-price set by the mass-produced products offered by the recent international entrants into the DCC market." Are they implying Hornby and Bachmann? I would have thought that ZTC could have aimed at a higher market segment. Not sure who else in any higher segment could be seen as mass-produced competition...?
 

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Shame to see a British company go but obviously the competition was too strong ...... did ZTC rest on their laurels too long ? i did look at ZTC myself but after watching the dvd and seeing the copper tape bus any thoughts were abandonned.

(quote)
I'm not sure who they are talking about when they say "... unable to compete with the market-price set by the mass-produced products offered by the recent international entrants into the DCC market." Are they implying Hornby and Bachmann? I would have thought that ZTC could have aimed at a higher market segment. Not sure who else in any higher segment could be seen as mass-produced competition...?

Not sure there Doug if it is aimed at the prodigy its a side swipe at another Briitish company,with the powercab at such good money people will go for it, its features are good value and can be operating in minutes.
They are both from established manufacturers of course and could be construde as mass market though i see the statement as a partial mask for ZTC's inability in meeting customer requirements.
 

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Paul Hamilton aka "Lancashire Fusilier"
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I too nearly went the way of the 511 ZTC from memory (can't look it up now any more I guess) and was taken aback at the lack of assistance provided when I said I wanted to have one sent out to Australia and would it have the correct lead for power etc you would have thought I was asking for a free sample to trial for 90 days!

I hope the recent purchasers will get some support though however it looks unlikely - on your own now I guess.
 

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Just another modeller
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QUOTE (wiggy25 @ 2 Oct 2008, 04:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Snap!

Beat me to it!
We all knew it wouldn't be long, bloody shame though!

*** A Shame? - not really:

It is actually a blessing in disguise for modellers as often, probably quite inadvertently, customers were well and truly oversold or mis-advised, resulting in more problems for modellers with ZTC than with any other brand. Operating issues with ZTC layouts were as a result, also extremely common.

Initially under its original owners a decade ago it was a very good product but to me, since it lost its founding vision it saw no real technical advance and nothing other than attempts at patching of software problems and issues that shouldn't have been there in the first place. Yes... some new items happened but overall the product had not really advanced at its core for over a decade and in fact technically was simply no longer really competent for todays market.... as has been said before, latterly it became a Trabant at a Rolls Royce price.

The last owners certainly worked hard doing much of the show circuit, but in doing that they gained a double profit margin whilst losing all retailer support, a you can't run with the hare and hunt with the hounds in business....

To me Neils comment is a fond hope I suppose but couldn't be further from reality - money could not have fixed what disillusioned consumers & allowing software relativity to erode so far over ten years caused. I really don't think that ZTC could not ever have become a long term success ESU once it lost the vision of its creator...

ESU succeeds right now as it is a totally software driven product with a good human interface and because it was created with some vision and a plan to evolve as only a software based product can - ZTC was created based on a once stylish Physical design that would and did date and without a little continuous software genius to add new realisable reliable benefits from time to time could never have survived, as evolution demands that value increases over time - and value in digital is software driven.

So... a shame - No. Buried by other brands - No. Sad to see the loss of a British manufacturer - definately yes!

However blame is laid where it doesn't exist - a mirror would reveal the culprits immediately. It didn't acknowledge its weaknesses so was simply overtaken well and truly and failed to even seem to try to keep up. A once competent battleship lost in a sea full of nuclear subs & cruise missiles.

However I am in a way sad that its happened in that with foresight it could have been avoided... Even though I win the bet I made online some time ago!

Richard
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 2 Oct 2008, 14:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>*** A Shame? - not really:
To me Neils comment is a fond hope I suppose but couldn't be further from reality - money could not have fixed what disillusioned consumers & allowing software relativity to erode so far over ten years caused. I really don't think that ZTC could not ever have become a long term success ESU once it lost the vision of its creator...

ESU succeeds right now as it is a totally software driven product with a good human interface and because it was created with some vision and a plan to evolve as only a software based product can - ZTC was created based on a once stylish Physical design that would and did date and without a little continuous software genius to add new realisable reliable benefits from time to time could never have survived, as evolution demands that value increases over time - and value in digital is software driven.
However I am in a way sad that its happened in that with foresight it could have been avoided... Even though I win the bet I made online some time ago!

Richard

I was thinking more if they had the investment a decade ago. What they have been selling in the last five years has never been a goer. As you say no amount of investment could have saved by then. A fancy box on it's own is no good.
 

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Well talk about leaving gracefully!

They talk about the low cost entrants, and by that you have to assume that they mean Hornby (I don't consider ESU to be cheap).

I wonder how often if at all ZTC talked to Hornby to see whether they could have been the DCC system of choice for Hornby.

Did ZTC really try and promote DCC or let people "find out about it on their own" then try and push their product.

From this side of the world, I believe that the recent take up of DCC in the UK has been driven by Hornby releasing their own system.

When you look at the ESU model (Marklin joint venture aside) when you see a European outline model with sound, the logo is ESU's loksound 3. Imagine if the same could have been said for Hornby and ZTC.

A shame when a company goes out of business, but not a loss to the DCC world.
 

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In depth idiot
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QUOTE (Doug @ 2 Oct 2008, 00:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Well, I'm not surprised.

I contacted them many times for advice, help and information and they were either rude or not interested in supplying info. Perhaps they were bothered by my questions, but as someone who very nearly bought one of their top-end systems I was not impressed by their communication..
So it wasn't just me: had a similar experience while researching what system to purchase. Uniquely among DCC system suppliers, the attitude they conveyed to me was "You buy ours because we say it is the best, and that is all the information you need".
 

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As a previous owner and user of the ZTC511, I am not really surprised at this outcome, I had no end of problems with mine, always needed calibration, would not read back cv values.
The response I had from ZTC was that it is not a problem with the controller, and that mechanical items always need calibration, regarding cv problems I was told that all dcc controller manufactures were suffering this problem, and that it was due to the NMRA rules not taking into account newer more efficient motors???.
I am now the owner of a NCE powercab, and what a controller, like chalk and cheese, much smoother control, reads back cv values every time, and here is the bit that hurts it cost a third of the price.
ZTC ONLY HAVE THEMSELVES TO BLAME.

Derek
 

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QUOTE (Derek H @ 2 Oct 2008, 08:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The response I had from ZTC was that it is not a problem with the controller, and that mechanical items always need calibration, regarding cv problems I was told that all dcc controller manufactures were suffering this problem, and that it was due to the NMRA rules not taking into account newer more efficient motors???.

Yes i got the feeling of a high brow attitude to their products and belittling of the customers locos or any other item that didnt have ZTC stamped on it ..... this doesnt cut with customers for the unfortunate ones who have been dealt this way i'm appalled by it and hope they wernt put off or even gave up the hobby as good advice and experience gained from it is priceless,

**NMRA rules not taking into account newer and more efficeint motors ? **

Try telling that to a Con Cor 30 year old loco i converted last week i installed a TCS decoder and used the procab to programme it first time readings, a powercab would have done the job i know and have every confidence in both controls albeit one is a third of the cost.

The powercab i was reccomended here to buy and converted a friend to one ...........why ?

Because the product is excellent and more importantly the members i came into contact with discussing DCC/Retailer i eventually purchased from always giving excellent back up i can wholeheartedly recomend ......the secret to success is give people good clear concise information that is of use and NOT a fob off deluding customers into thinking yours is the one and only item out there.

ZTC ONLY HAVE THEMSELVES TO BLAME.

Derek
 

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My dealing with ZTC were brief. At an exhibition I bought two of their point decoders simply for testing purposes. I was told I would have them within ten days. It took two months before I got them. I thought they had forgotten me.
Put this experience with ZTC against my dealings with NCE. I bought an NCE Power Pro while on a visit to New York. I had the unit almost a year before I got to testing it. NCE had introduced an updated EPROM & thinking I might need it I e-mailed Tony's Train in New York & asked if I could purchase one & if in fact I actually needed it. In ten days I received a new EPROM & a set of instructions through the post at no cost or charge. Now that's customer service. And ZTC are wondering what happened to them.
If you give quick courteous & professional service in any field you will succeed. If you don't you will end up like ZTC.
 

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[/quote]NCE had introduced an updated EPROM & thinking I might need it [/quote]

I have to agree with Tony in respect of service for NCE.
Having purchased the Powercab,a few days later the new eprom was released.
I contacted Bromsgrove Models in the uk.
Excellent service, the new eprom was sent free of charge.
That is what you call customer service.
 

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As a one time owner of the ZTZ 505, I m saddened by te news, but not surprised.

I sold my ZTC 505 back in the sumer to part fund a move to the ESU ECOS. One of the main reasons was that the ZTC could only operate 8 Functions, whereas many sound decoders had at least 12 and often more. From a user interface point of view I miss the 505 because of the regualtor and brake setup, but nothing else at all about the interfeace was intuitve, you always had to have a manual or at least the quick reference guide to hand. Other than the TC issue of the lights always defaulting to forwards, I never experienced any problems with the unit, but it was only ever used on a smll test setup, not a large scale layour.

In th past 6 months or so, ZTC had been appointing a number of dealers across the UK, presumably as a last ditch attempt to raise sales. I wonder what is going to happen to all the unsold stock? Presumably it is in the hands of the receiver and will reappear through one of the big internet retailers at some point in the future.

However, what price a controller in a fancy metal box that can only operate 8 functions and comes with an iffy reputation for reliability...........

Regards
Ashley
 

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I have been using a ZTC511 for a number of years and am very happy with it, but I do recognise the limitations. While I have defended ZTC in the past, I was getting rather tired waiting for ever for each new development to materialise. I have been considering getting another system and using the ZTC511 as a slave because I still think it is the best driving console around.

To pick up the general thrust of the comments made in this thread about ZTC not moving with the times, I have to point out that I thought even their advertising was rather dated in that it sells the concept of DCC rather then selling their own products. Their adverts are rather like a mobile phone company stating that with their phone you can carry it around in your pocket and don't need to hard wire it to a socket in the hall.
 

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Hi All

It would be difficult to put ZTC in the same category as Lenz

Lenz continually do research and development , hand in hand with the NRMA working group on DCC

a lot of their ideas like RailComm , Asymmetrical DCC ( Brake on DC) are only now being implemented by other manufacturers
Lens Design and help Manufacture for other companies like Roco and Atlas , XpressNet is still the fastest communication protocol

USP is another new development Uninterruptible Signal Processing will help run loco's even over a bit of dirty track

Version 3.6 software has a full 28 functions , 10 year warranty

Who else offers that?

ZTC built a nice console , it looks the part , but they relabeled Decoders with there own brand

It is, a matter of choice , Bells and whistles and fancy panels appeal to some people .

On going development and improvement in DCC Control systems is certainly what Lenz are doing

I'll get off my soapbox now


Regards Zmil
 
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