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Author Topic: Choice of DCC system  (Read 45803 times)

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Offline Nigel Cliffe

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #195 on: December 02, 2019, 03:56:57 PM »
I started with the Black Z21 and love it.
Setup is dead easy, I had my first loco running in less than half an hour, just donít try to connect it to your home Wifi, thatís not necessary, and can cause a whole world of hurt.


Depends on your knowledge of WiFi networks, port numbers and so on.   If you've a reasonable understanding of things, there is nothing "special" about the router supplied, or the default settings in the Z21.   There are advantages and disadvantages of using a home network vs. using a dedicated "model railway" network.   
But, lack of knowledge can end up in a mess of stuff not working, and wireless networks just sitting doing nothing are hard to debug! 

I also think an alternative throttle for the Z21 is worth considering, be it a Roco Multimaus, or one of the numerous other vendors devices which will connect (eg. Digitrax, Lenz and several others).   NCE isn't on that list of alternative hardware throttles for the Z21, and its not likely to be added.


- Nigel

Offline LASteve

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #196 on: December 02, 2019, 05:10:53 PM »
... but d/l the app and have a play ...

That's a great idea, I will. Thanks for the links also.

Offline LASteve

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #197 on: December 02, 2019, 05:13:52 PM »
I started with the Black Z21 and love it.
Setup is dead easy, I had my first loco running in less than half an hour, just donít try to connect it to your home Wifi, thatís not necessary, and can cause a whole world of hurt.

One other thing, there are TWO apps. The OLD one allows you to take photos of your layout and put point diagrams on top. The NEW one doesnít allow this but you can draw mimic diagrams for point control. Iíve used both and now prefer the new one. I would have ended up with a lot of photos with points on using the old app.

The old app has a red loco icon and the new one has Z21 on a black background.

Both use photos of locos for you to choose rather than having to remember addresses.

A very good system IMHO.

Regards,

John P

All good things to know, thank you. I like the "loco photo" feature, I'm getting to the point when i can't remember all the addresses off the top of my head.

Offline LASteve

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #198 on: December 02, 2019, 05:18:50 PM »

There are advantages and disadvantages of using a home network vs. using a dedicated "model railway" network.
   

I'm happy keeping them separate. I have a number of "connected" devices which run on their own network, including a Canon camera and a sous-vide cooker - I don't think my kitchen needs to talk to the trains, nor the trains get cuddly with the camera :)


I also think an alternative throttle for the Z21 is worth considering, be it a Roco Multimaus, or one of the numerous other vendors devices which will connect (eg. Digitrax, Lenz and several others).   NCE isn't on that list of alternative hardware throttles for the Z21, and its not likely to be added.


Interesting - why the alternative throttle? Is that to reduce reliance on a tablet interface, or some other reason? Of course my Powercab didn't make the "supported" list, I would have bet a dollar to a donut that would be case :)

Offline jpendle

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #199 on: December 02, 2019, 05:47:25 PM »
Hi Steve,

A lot of people reject the Z21 because they don't like the idea of, or have tried and didn't like, using a phone or tablet for train control. I can understand that point of view because if you aren't able to eyeball your device, maybe at a show, and want a more tactile feel, like a dial, so that you know that you've turned the throttle all the way down to zero.

So the Z21 supports both the Roco Multimaus and a variety of other more traditional handheld throttles, for those wanting something other than, or as well as, a tablet/phone. I haven't found the need to invest in one yet as I'm the only one operating my layout and running even two trains at a time is about as much as I can comfortably handle. So for now I've stuck to my iPad.

BTW you might want to buy from a US dealer as then at least you'll get the correct power bricks  ;).

Regards,

John P
Check out my layout thread.

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https://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=39501.msg476247#msg476247

Offline Nigel Cliffe

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #200 on: December 02, 2019, 05:50:57 PM »

I also think an alternative throttle for the Z21 is worth considering, be it a Roco Multimaus, or one of the numerous other vendors devices which will connect (eg. Digitrax, Lenz and several others).   NCE isn't on that list of alternative hardware throttles for the Z21, and its not likely to be added.


Interesting - why the alternative throttle? Is that to reduce reliance on a tablet interface, or some other reason? Of course my Powercab didn't make the "supported" list, I would have bet a dollar to a donut that would be case :)

Some people really don't get on with smartphones/tablets for some driving.  So, its an option open to you.   

(why NCE isn't on the list - they're unknown in Europe, excluding the UK, no users, so no user demand.  Roco are a big European maker.    Digitrax/LocoNet makes the cut because of a fairly large European install base, particularly in Fremo (modular setups, very popular in Germany and Netherlands), plus German maker Uhlenbrock uses LocoNet.    You'll find the same with other European makers, such as Digikeijs and ESU who offer the same list of alternative throttle makers.   ). 

- Nigel

Offline Graham

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #201 on: December 02, 2019, 06:45:20 PM »
I have just implemented the DR5000, and it couldn't be easier and as @Only Me said a lot less $ than the Z21 with all the functionality. worth a look

cheers
Graham

Offline LASteve

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #202 on: December 04, 2019, 12:18:55 AM »
I have just implemented the DR5000, and it couldn't be easier and as @Only Me said a lot less $ than the Z21 with all the functionality. worth a look

cheers
Graham
Thanks, Graham, I looked again at the DR5000 as @Only Me mentioned earlier in the thread. I'm looking at the comparative pricing here in the US between the Z21 Black and the DR5000, and there's about a $300 price difference.

I also like that the DR5000 has the all the wi-fi I need built in, and I don't need to deal with another router. I'll dig around a little more, but right now with the wisdom of crowds (I love this forum), I'm looking at the DR5000, the Roco iPad app, and an optional Roco Multimaus as for the best of all worlds.

I'll keep my Powercab for the test layout, that's a sunk cost already so I don't feel bad about relegating it to the bench.

Thanks all. I'll report back.

Offline Graham

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #203 on: December 04, 2019, 03:33:44 AM »
there are some good videos from Rudy? on you tube which helped me a lot. the one thing to add is you need a pc to drive the DR5000, luckily I had just replaced my travel laptop so had this going spare to use. Also you will need to run the JMRI pro on the laptop to get some of the iPad or Android apps to work. I am still testing and finding more functionality in my DR5000 as I go.

cheers
Graham

Offline LASteve

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #204 on: December 04, 2019, 03:55:54 AM »
there are some good videos from Rudy? on you tube which helped me a lot. the one thing to add is you need a pc to drive the DR5000, luckily I had just replaced my travel laptop so had this going spare to use. Also you will need to run the JMRI pro on the laptop to get some of the iPad or Android apps to work. I am still testing and finding more functionality in my DR5000 as I go.
Uh-oh ...  JMRI Pro to get apps to work? A PC driving the DR5000? Please tell me I didn't just spend $250 on a computer science project. I thought I could unpack the bugger, plug it in, download an app, connect to a Wi-Fi network and Robert would be my favorite uncle. Maybe I'm out of my depth.

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #205 on: December 04, 2019, 06:56:49 AM »
there are some good videos from Rudy? on you tube which helped me a lot. the one thing to add is you need a pc to drive the DR5000, luckily I had just replaced my travel laptop so had this going spare to use. Also you will need to run the JMRI pro on the laptop to get some of the iPad or Android apps to work. I am still testing and finding more functionality in my DR5000 as I go.
Uh-oh ...  JMRI Pro to get apps to work? A PC driving the DR5000? Please tell me I didn't just spend $250 on a computer science project. I thought I could unpack the bugger, plug it in, download an app, connect to a Wi-Fi network and Robert would be my favorite uncle. Maybe I'm out of my depth.

As with most things these days it will need a little setting up using its pc app before you will be able to use the Z21 app directly to it or if as you said youíve bought a hand held unit to go with it (I use digitrax hand helds) you can just plug in the hand held and away you go



Offline LASteve

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #206 on: December 04, 2019, 07:00:42 AM »
there are some good videos from Rudy? on you tube which helped me a lot. the one thing to add is you need a pc to drive the DR5000, luckily I had just replaced my travel laptop so had this going spare to use. Also you will need to run the JMRI pro on the laptop to get some of the iPad or Android apps to work. I am still testing and finding more functionality in my DR5000 as I go.
Uh-oh ...  JMRI Pro to get apps to work? A PC driving the DR5000? Please tell me I didn't just spend $250 on a computer science project. I thought I could unpack the bugger, plug it in, download an app, connect to a Wi-Fi network and Robert would be my favorite uncle. Maybe I'm out of my depth.
OK, I'm cool with that. Thanks all round as always. @Only Me Just a little nervous about the upsizing project.

As with most things these days it will need a little setting up using its pc app before you will be able to use the Z21 app directly to it or if as you said youíve bought a hand held unit to go with it (I use digitrax hand helds) you can just plug in the hand held and away you go

Offline RailGooner

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Re: Choice of DCC system
« Reply #207 on: December 04, 2019, 08:15:22 AM »
I'm really pleased with my DR5000 and if I can get it running anyone can! :beers:
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