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Richard Johnson

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  1. There is no argument from our point of view. The structure, vision and approach are both totally different to our long term objectives in this area and I suspect that no matter what is proposed by anyone, consumers will, as they should, retain their own perspectives... following one path or another. What is certain is that forum discussion that is totally based on assumption will not help anywhere or anyone. I just hope that speculation doesn't turn perhaps well intentioned smoke and mirrors into a barrier for anyone. There's already enough BS and misunderstanding in the world as it is when it comes to technology. Richard Johnson
  2. Here is not there, and I replied very clearly in both places.... The only reason I replied here at all was because of potential misinformation encouraged by idle speculation. There is no more to say really.
  3. Actuallu Iain, you added no "sense of wonder" about anything - what may have been in your head is perhaps different? All I had to do was exactly what I did and what I would do again if I felt it better for the thread and the members. No other action was appropriate. As to the product, the very fact that you speculated was sort of amusing to me - the one thing we never, ever do, is adopt such things from others. We have our own ways of thinking 100% of the time. I already gave my perspective and reasons why it would never enter our thoughts to do anything that way quite clearly.
  4. Actually, that is not how you posted or what you said at all.... but you already know that. I am not in the habit of explaining why I do things... but seeing as you asked, the deletion means I thought the presence of the post was a "not useful" distraction as its still largely a vapourware product. As you very well know there is plenty of discussion that is not DCCconcepts on the forum... But we manage it for inclusiveness, relevance and value, not willy-waving. No, we have ZERO interest in how Rail magic works (Although it is quite obvious anyway). It has huge restrictions and is a typical "Half thought through" solution, such as we see regularly. Given the device load in on a model railway, and the conflict issues, wi-fi will never be a reliable solution for model railways in its current form. You will see our chosen direction soon enough. All I will promise you is NO wifi, no BS setup, no computer screens and B-all wires. You'll have to wait for the rest :-). kind regards, Richard
  5. Actually.... While we still consider Railcom a terrible approach technically because of the way it constantly interferes with bus communication, effectively interrupting the bus repeatedly and relying in a narrow time window that not all manufacturers get exactly right beause of failure to consider component combinations and resulting drift... we understand that its there. We have to, because it can be quite harmful to communication, even for standards-compliant products. (I'd add that in conversation with some of the EU controller makers - they too think it a primitive approach compared to todays technologies and the potential for better approaches). We were reluctant to make a change to Alpha Meter because what you saw with Railcom was indeed whats happening on your DCC bus - Constant interruptions. However, we discussed it and decided that as Railcom was turned on by default in some EU controllers and a few customers who don't even know what it is (and had no reason or desire to ever use it) were being affected... We should look at it. As a result we have already made a running change to mask Railcom activity, and this version has been on sale for a while now. RIchard Johnson
  6. RAILS Decoders are not "Cloned Decoders". They are based on our ZEN current software which contains significant original evolution and are well above that sort of level in every sense. They also out perform many so-called "Name brand" decoders in many areas. The registers are similar to some other brands simply because it makes NO sense at all to force modellers to re-learn how to do things differently with every different brand they buy. regards, Ahjay
  7. *** On the subject of lubrication. We simply choose to mention what seems to us to be common sense. Lubrication is less effective as it ages, that is all. Every loco you own needs it, your car needs it and so does your dremel, your electric shaver or your garden shears for that matter. Of course the same applies to almost anything else you own that moves parts internally against each other. Perhaps a biig difference is that most things you buy get thrown away instead because thats what you expect to have to do - including high cost items like printers and other electromechanical things. Of course, hobby items should never fail.... Or is it OK for locos and other electro-mechanical things in the hobby to need servicing over time or after long storage and use, but just not point motors? ---------------------- Lubricate or not, it does not matter to us. As long as you are the original puurchaser, the lifetime warranty is good. They will not die because of it, even if you ignore a simple common sense recommendation. We also do not differentiate by usage levels... because we seriously doubt whether any user will actually live long enough wear them out from use. To be quite clear, we simply think that librication every x years is just common sense. ------------------------------------------------- The materials chosen do not actually need added lubrication to survive, but over time, no matter what we use as a lubricant at manufacture, the volatiles will evaporate, so whats there will be less effective. With any mechanical interface, lubrication has an impact in one way or another for a smooth or quiet life, so we simply suggest it as a sensible thing to do. In the same sense, leaving things unused for long periods always has an impact that needs a little effort to fix... Locos stored for years will rarely work without a service (some will freeze solid in fact), track will definitely need a clean, etc - if in fact it hasn't shrunk or perhaps become brittle while in storage..... and it applies outside the hobby world too. A car left for years without service will become a basket case. Cobalt is way less affected than that, but lets be fair here... Why should point motors be any different? BTW - As a tip with ANY electrical product, but in this case turnout motors. Switches are a good example of things that may appear to fail with long hibernation. Tracks are hard gold plated and contacts are gold plated too, but the PCB that the contacts run on is wave soldered so there is a thin film on it that can oxidise. Expect to cycle the switches a few times to restore 100% reliability if not used for a long time. Kind regards Richard Johnson
  8. *** To make the onboard switch act like a toggle switch is simple. You have two yellow wires. Connect one to the common of the Cobalt Switch. (C or Common) Connect the other to BOTH of the other terminals of the switch (Both the Left and Right terminal) that way every time you change the point, the signal should change. Regards Richard, DCCconcepts
  9. *** Shibushe, if you couldn't get them to work on DCC then I'd respectfully suggest it wasn't the motors or accessory decoders or decoders.... because they are tested and work well with all DCC brands and of course meet the standards. (There are also of course many tens of thousands of Digital Cobalt, DCC Accessory decoders and Loco decoders out there operating just fine on DCC.... with the numbers increasing very healthily all the time) If you had or have a problem then we DO offer exceptionally good customer service and user help / support, so if you have problems understanding the use of them why not just email us and ask for help. If you are within easy enough distance of our UK offices, we may even offer to pop in and give you help at your layouts location. Richard Johnson
  10. *** Its certainly not a pop at anyone, simply a statement of fact as I see it. I too like C&L, have used many of their products over the years and I also know Peter. I am really very sad that his health prevents him continuing the sterling efforts he has made to grow the income base of the company. (A general comment, I tend to speak up front and I do not do "read between the lines" stuff). I make no comment on others because they do not currently exist. As with my previous comment, whatever they do will live or die on its merits, not because of the existence of a competitor. Kind regards Richard
  11. *** Just a few pragtmatic observations related to this page of comments.... Thread page P16 on my computer :-). We recommend that Irons are set to high heat / max. The Hakko is a nice Iron and actually goes to 480 or so. Why test at 400? We clearly said that SS needs high heat for best results and solder flow. Silver in the S179 solder helps flow with stainless steel. It works pefectly. It is NOT silver solder, just a well designed/specified 179 degree solder. We recommend our own flux for several practical reasons. Its kind to the rail, its kind to the copper in your wiring, it works as we claim and unlike MOST solders, it's also designed to not hurt your lungs by generating nasty by-products in the air you breathe. Its also a professional product and properly lab created, not mixed in a bathtub. Yes you can buy cheaper solder and flux or follow your habits. It is your choice and I really do not mind. However you cannot then judge or make ANY valid comment if you choose to use lower temperaturss OR use non recommended products. ------------------------------- Before worrying about rail inclination, install some. The extra cant you see in all these images above doesn't exist in installed track - we KNOW because we tested it every which way but loose as they say, and have done so many times. The way the rail is held gives perfectly natural curvature very easily and is not at all sloppy. There IS an important difference.. We feel that is important... as we observe many layouts all over the world that clearly show the difficulty modellers have (on average) with getting flex to curve naturally. In fact you could easily make a joint in a curve with this track with NO fishplates and it will hold shape. Nothing else currently does that - HOWEVER we have made a lovely bullhead fishplate that nobody seems to have botherted to notice or comment on and they are IN THE PACK with each pack of 12 (24 of them) as well as being available separately. What the rarified modeller will NOT also see is that this track is extremely tolerant of non-fine flanges. It will NOT work with them all, but it is very surprising how FEW wheels have problems running on it. In the real world - THAT is far more important to the average modeller than many other things.... yet we have made the changes so subtle it is clearly NOT noticeable as nobody has commented on it. (When we'd tried all the UK brands, going back 30~40+ years to find most were fine... we also tried wagions from some current production Euro brands that ran well on it ... (we were did NOT expect that)) And Even the woodgrain is finer and different sleeper by sleeper within each track panel. ------------------------------------------ For all those who worry one supplier may simply replace another... if that happens it will NOT be because of our track but because the range that makes up the longest serving competitor is either tired-tooling wise or simply never designed for flex track in the first place.... and the company itself, already less and less focussed on finer scale issues, is again changing hands. We know the current owners, like them and wish them well quite sincerely but its the real world out there - and NOT our responsibility to worrry about them in relation to this issue. For all those who micro-analyse, please do not forget that ignoring the fact that we are not frivolous with very expensive projects like this.... WE are finer scale modellers too with a fussy eye and good hands-on skills, and you will, combined, not spend the even close to the time we did in thinking this through and checking all related issues. The flex track was always a precursor to the DCCconcepts "Legacy" Pointwork range which is advancing all the time. It will not be a constantly delayed issue. Most will be more than happy with it, of that I am sure.... although I expect to wade through at least this many pages of "Almost pointless" discussion again when we do release it. I'd suggest those who want a pragmatic comment without all the faff, read BRMs article on our track in the September issue, out now. It has many really nice pictures. We had no idea it was going to press, and never saw a proof copy as is quite right with any review really - so its an "outsiders look at it" in all respects. By the way... I write this from Settle, where the DCCconcepts UK offices and distribution centre are taking shape.. so it will NOT be too long before you can visit and see the track in real life - installed on a showroom layout :-) :-) :-) Kind regards Richard DCCconcepts
  12. *** Hi Martin I like that :-) Its true. I do care enough to respond honestly, and do my best to be black and white in responses, with zero hidden between the lines... I think being up front matters... there's too much corporate marketingspeak with no meaning in the world. Whether its wise to do so may be another story I suppose.... but I'd say the same over a beer with anyone :-) Kind regards Richard
  13. ***A quick note to thank Stephen for the "History". Quite interesting. I do have the latest pointwork sample here and apart from more work on tidying u the tie bars its pretty well final... So perhaps the "Luck" is working OK for us in this at least :-). I will see if I can get a usable photo of it to show you - its not easy right now though as I am working in a corner of a "Work in progress" for office Renovations here in Settle, with lots to do and most of my equipment still in a containers - and the first of the containers is not due until next week... so it may have to be a photo from my phone if I can find the time! I'd suspect that RTR bullhead pointwork hasn't happened simply because of pragmatism and huge costs. If I wasn't very committed to the project personally it'd not be happening now, but I love the hobby, see its long standing shortcomings for the average modeller and believe in throwing my heart over the fence and chasing it... Tackling this project is FAR more than a simple business issue in more ways than one. -------------------------------------------------- Brinell? Come on :-) The alloy composition changes things, and Nickel silver and stainelss both have significant alloy choices, with large hardness differences. Similarly the rolling uses significantly different numbers of steps in the process for NS and SS, so work hardening differs too. Again a generalisation quoting generic hardnesses is totally meaningless. By the way - lead is also often added to NS to make it free-turning... Simple benefits of SS vs NS are clear. Better adhesion, a more relaistic track colour (yes, more than High nickel rail as sold... and of course less cleaning come to mind immediately. It Solders fine, cuts with track cutters if they are not knackered (cut from top to bottom is best in my tests) and files with standard files... Why is it even an issue other than in supporting previous hobby habits. My thoughts... NS has never been a good choice from day 1 - it was simply easier to roll than SS and easier to get the right wire diameters in the right grades for easy rolling, that's all! Regards Richard
  14. *** I do not YET have any production track here with me in UK here to photograph for you, however... Yes, the investment is extremely high and we are not fools... so we have already tested all of the things that you are speculating about and more. On a more personal note: Given that the investment still to come in the creation of the first ever range of RTR bullhead pointwork will exceed the value of most of the houses you live in by a considerable margin, and is therefore a huge leap of faith for us, it'd be nice to see less BS occasionally - and much more importantly - While I DO most definitely value comment from all those whose knowledge is proven - I'd prefer silence from those whose forum life is dedicated to idle BS and self promotion or fact-free speculation. Quite honestly I really do not mind if you buy it or not, but if you don't, with very few exceptions - I see zero validity in your comments. Back to a positive me and pragmatic answers: * We found no "vices" when testing and we most certainly do NOT see the extreme angle of Visitaens photos when we look at stock. I already quite clearly indicated that I thought Visitaens photos showed evidence of some crushing in trransit at the ends. If tightly wrapped for several days with a plastic thats slightly stretched, this results in a very high constant pressure and the extreme angle would be the result. It will however relax and return closer to the to correct shape when laid unless chair damage is done as the material is resilient and of high quality. * Having bought lots of bulhead track with thin sleepers over the years I was quite aware of what tight packaging can do over time so planned packing of this product very carefully. We package it in a low outer quantity / packs of 12 (complete with fishplates) and each length is individually protected within in the pack. We cannot be responsible for shipping issues after the breaking of the factory packaging. * Yes the angle is slightly more than 1:20 but it is actually 1 in 18, far less than the 1 iin 15 mentioned. We did that quite consciously... as we did with all other dimensions. Sometimes slight exaggerations or compromises are needed with scaling, especially when that scaling is to an item with an already fundemental and quite significant gauge compromise. It has nothing to do with chair design issues at all - the chair is specifically designed from the beginning to hold at our chosen angle. Subtle things nobody has noticed in 13 pages of comment also allow some deeper flanges clear passage too... even some continental wheels work fine! * Basically RTR and kitbuilt Rolling stock and locos all run really well on it and when laid properly it looks good. Its track that looks like UK track and has that fine-ness and clear air under the rail that is essential for classic bullhead track. . We even used a variety of different woodgrain patterns, all finer than anyone has managed before on the sleepers... What more is reasonable to ask of it? * The rail angle adds B-all to the force needed to curve naturally which is does. It curves easily and lays perfectly flat when glued, which is how ALL thin sleeper track I have ever seen acts and is in fact our specific recommendation in the instructions packed with it (Which nobody else bothers to do, just as they never bothered to invest in fine tooling for more proper-looking fishplates that we also pack with it!!) * The rail very easily connects and transitions are not an issue. Bullhead rail is extremely flexible, twists easily from slight angle to upright and we have tested the transition from plain track to pointwork with vertical rails - both copperclad and with chairs. It works really nicely using our fishplates and would do so for you. (BTW, insulating fishplates WILL also come soon too... in case you are wondering) Kind regards Richard, DCCconcepts
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