2017-11.3: ESU Cab Control demonstration, pt 1

17 Nov 2017

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Summary: 
23:42 - Nov 2017 Act III - ESU Cab Control (2017)
Description: 

Matt Herman from ESU introduces the features of their new Cab Control and discusses how it can be integrated with smart phone technology for control of locomotives, accessories and routing.  Part 1 of 2.

Want to see part 2? Watch it here >>

Comments

bart's picture

I didn't hear anything that points to a "conventional" DCC system where there is a control unit that talks to boosters that provide the power to operate.  It seems to ba a combination unit and I wonder about the situation where there is a need for four or five boosters to power different sections of a layout.  I know it must have been taken into consideration, but I didn't hear anything about it.

Bart

tpmarshall's picture

Hi Bart:

As with most (all?) DCC systems, you can add boosters. I believe Matt mentions in the discussion that the command station (the ICU) and power supply pump out 7 amps. If more power is required - or if you want to isolate districts on a large layout - you can add one or more ECoSBoost units:

http://www.esu.eu/en/products/digital-control/ecosboost/

The ECoSBoost is connected directly to the ECoSlink jack on the back of the CabControl ICU.

Cheers!

- Trevor

The problem I have is adding boosters from another manufacturer.

I have (6) 7 amp boosters installed. I would like to use my current layout boosters with my CabControl. There is no interface documentation available.

In the current DCC world there are boosters from one manufacturer that will work with other manufacturers systems. Not all, but some.

I'd like to see ESU provide this or there will be limited adoptation of CabControl for owners of larger layouts with considerable component investment already.

Chris

tpmarshall's picture

Hi Chris:

The problem I have is adding boosters from another manufacturer.

I have (6) 7 amp boosters installed. I would like to use my current layout boosters with my CabControl. There is no interface documentation available.

In the current DCC world there are boosters from one manufacturer that will work with other manufacturers systems. Not all, but some.

I'd like to see ESU provide this or there will be limited adoptation of CabControl for owners of larger layouts with considerable component investment already.

Given the situation you describe, perhaps you don't need CabControl. Perhaps you need the Mobile Control II wireless throttles, and an interface to your current DCC system. The Mobile Control II is shipped with ESU's own throttle application - but it's just that: an application, like WiThrottle, TouchCab, and so on. You can run any other throttle app on the Mobile Controll II unit, with the following caveat:

- Other app developers are working on integrating the Mobile Control II's physical knob and physical function buttons into their applications - and ESU has made this information freely available to encourage them to do that. But as far as I know (and I'm not an employee of ESU or any other DCC manufacturer), none of those third party apps support the knob/buttons AT THIS TIME. If enough users apply some pressure to those app developers, perhaps that'll speed up.

As for documentation, Matt has a well-deserved reputation for being responsive to requests for help. I'm sure he could tell you which boosters are compatible - or he can find out. In addition, if you do buy the CabControl system, you can register for the ESU Owner's forum - available only to those who own the company's DCC systems - which means you can get help from others who actually own the same system (as opposed to the Instant Experts that can be found on any open DCC forum, who will have ideas but no actual experience).

Beyond that, you would have to decide if the capabilties built into CabControl - such as Railcom for automatically identifying ESU decoder-equipped locomotives and the intuitive throttle interface - are worth selling off your current system and switching to CabControl.

Some layout owners may feel it is (I did - I switched to ESU's ECoS 50200 just over a year ago for my home layout, even though there was nothing wrong with my previous system). Others will not.

As with everything in this hobby, "Your mileage may vary"...

Cheers!

- Trevor

Thanks for the comments. I now own the new CabControl system as well as the system running my basement layout. I certainly agree the virtues of the MCII are worth any effort needed to integrate into my system. One use I have is for the MCII to be my travelling throttle when operating as a guest at other layouts. I hope to replace all of the various throttles in my travel bag with the MCII. I look forward to developers adding the physical knob capability soon! Chris