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GoingUnderground

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    I'm still in a hole. Should I stop digging?
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    Need you ask? London Underground, the GC Woodhead Route with its EM1s and EM2s, and Swiss Railways, particularly the RhB. Oh and skiing, but at my age it gets harder to lose the weight each year to get into my ski pants. Ideal railway, well apart from the Underground, it must be the Gornergratbahn - where else can you ski and go train spotting at the same time.

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  1. I've looked up K track, and eventually found comments by users that it's supposed to let you run 2 rail locos. The Marklin website seems remarksbly reticent on te subject, though perhaps I haven't looked hard enough. But there are comments that there can be problems if you have points. However, if it's been working for you on 2 rail DC, then I'd expect it to work with 2 rail DCC. Nevertheless, I would be suspicious that there is a short somewhere, but you say that you can't find any. What made you choose K track anyway? Marklin wouldn't be my first choice because of it's long stsnding use of 3 rail and of AC.
  2. I have R753, the AL1/Class 81 in Manufacturer's labelled Triang Railways boxes. The loco, which wasn't released until 1965 used the Dublo bodyshell, modified. But the boxes were standard sizes and labelled using adhesive labels. They kept using the Triang Railways stock of boxes until they ran out and the Triang Hornby versions took over. We see the majority of Triang Hornby rolling stock in window boxes, but there are Triang Hornby branded versions of the non-window boxes. But to answer your question, it might be the Baltic Tank. Vol 2 of Pat Hammond's book shows one in a Triang Railways box dating from December 1966. However, in Canada the Hornby name wasn't used until 1971. The logo was restyled in 1965, but they were still called Triang Railways. So it will be a loco for sale in Canada long after the old Triang packaging was used up on models for sale in the UK.
  3. "Rusty old tat"? Possibly if it's tinplate, but most of my tinplate is in reasonable nick, bar the stuff thst I trashed as a kid. But I've yet to see plastic rust, but the early acetate does warp beautifully, and is only fit for the bin. But I agree with your sentiments. That's how my wife and daughter already feel about my models. To them they're just "toys" or a "waste of space". But there will be enough stuff put up for sale on Ebay by the more financially savvy folks to keep driving down prices. As well as modellers liquidating their collection, to avoid it being binned when they go to play with the great train set in the sky.
  4. You cannot connect 2 or more ECoS together va their ECoSLink ports either directly or via L.Net modules. Only 1 ECoS can be connected to a layout at a time. But you can connect several ECoSBoost boosters as well. If you want additional throttles your options are: a) Mobile Control 2 throttles, expensive; b) smartphone apps, there are several for Android and Apple devices, probably the cheapest option for most folks; c) Loconet throttles via the L.Net module, but the throttle must be configured to be a slave as the ECoS must be the Master and cannot be configured to be the slave on the loconet system; d) ECoSControl Radio, but that was dscontinued years ago. e) the early models of the Maerklin Mobile station, but those were discontinued years ago as well; f) any other DCC system via the sniffer port. I have no idea how they managed 5 on 1 layout unless the layout was in 5 totally electrically separate sections. They might have had exchange sections which could only be fed by one ECoS at a time with "quarantine" sections so that a loco couldn't accidentally bridge parts fed by diferent ECoSs. Bing able to connect 2 ECoS together as Master and Slave is something that ECoS owners, including me, have been asking ESU to introduce for over 10 years. ESU hinted at times that it was on its way, most recently when firmware 4.0.0 was introduced, but it's never happened, and I don't think it ever will. And a message for Black Hat abour repairs, look in the Support part of the ESU website for answers to all your questions about repairs.
  5. You're obviously keeping an eye on US prices and know the market over there far better than me. And apologies for saying the "Light" was Fleischmann, slip of the memory. I remember tracking it down to the equivalent Uhlenbrock product when it was launched. Piko would still show SmartControl as a current product as long as they still had stock to sell. The one set that uses the ESU product was shown as out of stock when I looked last night. Now that Piko have stopped selling it that might clear the way for ESU to start selling CabControl in Europe. When that happened with Navigator the non-USA version was multiprotocol. They might do the same with CabControl, but probsbly not until the new MC2 is launched. And if it does become a fully-fledged ESU product available worldwide that might be the time that they release a firmware update for the CabControl ICU thst lets owners add their own loco icons or add the ones for the ECoS. Not being able to add your own loco icons seems to be an issue for many CabControl owners, and opening it up to let users add their own icons would be a good marketing tool that shouldn't hurt ECoS sales too much.
  6. I ached to possess a set when I saw pictures in the 1950s of what was available from Hornby O gauge in the 20s and 30s, and I'm definitely not in my 80s or 90s. And I'd love to have a 20 volt London Transport Metro-Vic and some Metropolitan carriages, but they're still in silly money territory. It was the way that O gauge became unavailable in the late 1950s that pushed me to OO gauge, but with Triang not Dublo, probably because it was cheaper for my parents. But I still have all my O gauge tinplate stuff, including what was my Dad's, some of which is almost as old as the Hornby name itself. I expect the secondhand prices to keep falling across the hobby as post WW2 babyboomers like me start dying off, and our kids and grandkids start putting our beloved models up for sale on Ebay etc. because they're not interested in the hobby. Glut of models up for sale + falling demand = falling prices, a position that I can't see reversing, at least not in my lifetime. There will be some exceptions to this rule, but even they will, eventually, succumb. So, like others, I'll buy from time to time to fill in gaps, and hope I live long enough to enjoy my purchases.
  7. The Mobile Control 2 Handset cannot be used on its own. It can only be use with an ECoS or CabControl ICU (Integrated Control Unit), or possibly the Piko SmartBox. Do Piko still sell the ESU SmartControl system, or have they gone over to the Fleischmann SmartControl Light? When I looked recently on the Piko website it only showed the MC2 handset, not the full system as being available. I suspect it was far too expensive for them. By the way, the CabControl ICU isn't an ECoS without a screen, buttons or knobs, there are also differences in the firmware that go beyond the different form factor. You probably will find someone in the USA, Canada or Australia willing to sell you a CabControl, but you may have to pay import duty and VAT before the Royal Mail or the courier releases it to you. That's what happened to me when I bought some stuff from the USA some years ago. US published prices are lower than in Europe because they quote prices excluding sales taxes because, and I find this hard to believe, in the USA you don't pay the state sales tax if you live in a different state to the seller. You'll get more feedback from SmartControl users. It is the same product as CabControl, just with a different badge. ESU's 2020 European pricelist and catalogue doesn't show the CabControl, so it's still not on sale in Europe. Their 2020 Product Highlights shows it as costing $499.99 MSRP. So if you've been quoted a price of $380 that's a 24% discount, possibly indicating an attempt to clear stock before the version with the updated MC2 is released, or to get rid of stock with firmware 4.2.3. The latest firmware for the CC ICU is apparently 4.2.5 but it hasn't been published yet on ESU's website. So users with 4.2.3 cannot update to the later version. If you're going to buy from the USA then if I were you then I'd definitely wait until the CC gets the updated MC2 handset.
  8. Many ECoS users stopped using Java when Firmware 4 was launched. 4.x.x includes a VNC Server, and if you install a VNC Client on your laptop, tablet or smartphone and connect both the ECoS and your laptop, tablet or smartphone to your WiFi router, then you can control your ECoS remotely from the laptop etc. The most used VNC Clients are Tight VNC, and RealVNC. I use RealVNC which comes in different versions for Windows, Apple's OS and iOS, Android, Linux and Solaris. The VNC Client runs in a window and is scaleable. It isn't an extra throttle, but true remote control of the ECoS. Anything that you can do on the ECoS's screen you can do on the laptop/tablet/smartphone. As regards UK loco icons, there are virtually none built into the firmware. But there are 20,000 (no that's not a typo, I do mean twenty thousand, well 19,991 to be accurate as of now) for the ECoS 2 and 2.1 available on the ESU website which includes a considerable number of UK locos, from Rocket to Eurostar. But to access them you have to register your ECoS with ESU on their website, and then in a couple of days you will get access to the ECoS Support part of the forum, to the loco icons in the Loco Icon Bazaar part of the downloads area, and also to the latest version of the ECoS firmware, the most recent being 4.2.7. also in the downloads area. When you get access don't try typing "BR" in the search box to find British loco icons as BR is the German abbreviation of Baureihe meaning Series or Class. If you do you'll be swamped by German locos. Instead try using "British" or the loco class such as "Class 77" or operating company like "Eurostar" or "Underground".
  9. In my case it's quite simple. Hornby O gauge tinplate clockwork from the 1920s was the first trainset that I played with, and was my father's when he was a boy. I only knew about the clockwork 0-4-0 locos, and only later came across the wonderful 1920s and 1930s electric models and rolling stock and desperately wished that I had that. So it evokes nostalgia for me and my earliest memories of playing with toy trains.
  10. Hornby are now showing all 4 as sold out. If I ran Hornby O gauge tinplate electric from the 1930s, I might have been tempted to get one despite the price.
  11. Well the Hornby website shows the CR, and MR versions as sold out, not too surprising as they do look good. The GN and LNWR versions are still available to pre-order though.
  12. It's very clever marketing, putting out the 1500 Limited edition models in the Triang Railways packaging, especially as they are priced at a small premium over the standard/NRM version. The Limited Edition seem to be sold out almost everywhere. Will the the special edition come close to covering all the up-front costs of the new models? I wonder what price they'll go for on Ebay once they start being delivered? There's no limit shown on the Hornby website for the NRM version, and I'm sure that they'll rerun it as and when possible, in consultation with the NRM, probably with different coach names. as a Rocket class loco with one of the other names won't have quite the same draw to Joe Public as a loco with the Rocket name. The blurb on the Hornby website implies that the NRM will get a cut of the sale proceeds on the R3810 version. Indeed, future runs could include a choice of loco names on nameplates and having the coaches unnamed and putting a choice of, say 12 different names on transfers for buyers to apply themselves at home. Rovex/Triang/Hornby Hobbies did sell the EM2/Class 77 in CKD form as R388 back in the 1960s with a choice of names and numbers included in the box, Electra, 27000; Aurora, 27002; and Pandora, 27006. Worth trying as the additional cost would be minimal.
  13. What I saw was from someone who was suppose to be one of the beta testers, and that matches with my recollection of what they said.
  14. Ron, Please accept my apologies for over-reacting. But you'd be amazed at the number of folks who seem to think that the CabControl ICU is an ECoS without the screen and throttle knobs, and others who seem to think that the "CabControl handset" is different to the MC II. I suppose part of the problem is ESU lumping ECoS and CabControl support together on their forum, and not making it clearer that Cab Control is a package comprising the ICU and the MC II. I don't know about the N. American end being "leakier" but I do know that occasionally they make the odd error. Incidentally, it was a N. American MC II user who was given the fix to the MC II freeze on bootup issue.
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