Jump to content

Piko SmartControl


Recommended Posts

First mentioned by GoingUnderground (Keith), in the ESU 2015 post, in January this year.

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/95331-esu-2015/?p=1760014 

 

Announced at the Nuremberg trade show in that same month.

 

After seeing mention of this new system in another thread today, I realised there hasn't been a dedicated topic posted yet.

 

Piko have published some details and prices are posted on some model shop web sites already.

 

 

Piko SmartControl Brochure

 

r.r.p. = €399.99

 

Modellbahn-Lipp are advertising it at €331.99 (approx. £240)

Modellbahn-Kramm are more expensive at €387.49 (approx. £280.15)

 

 

.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

A video from Nuremberg.

 

Made by Train World, an American retailer for their YouTube channel.

The American interviewer sounds like he's going to explode with excitement !

 

However, it gives us a chance to have an early look at the SmartControl.

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • RMweb Gold

Interesting that this system fully support Railcomplus in the way that Lenz describe how it will operate. I wonder if this will kick-start Lenz into bringing out the long-awaited V4.0 upgrade of their LZV100 which is supposed to bring Railcomplus to this system.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For those who may not know how, or have not seen how RailCom Plus automatically detects and registers a new loco on a layout, here is a short YouTube video.

 

This is just one function of RailCom, which is capable of quite a lot more than this.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

A video from Nuremberg.

 

Made by Train World, an American retailer for their YouTube channel.

The American interviewer sounds like he's going to explode with excitement !

 

However, it gives us a chance to have an early look at the SmartControl.

 

 

Er.....Do you get the glasses to operate it with too ? The good Dr. reminds me of a certain comedian that wears some similar ones !!!

LOL

Link to post
Share on other sites

The handset is based on ESU's Mobile Control 2 handset which is due to go on sale in the next month or two. The Smart Box, which acts as the interface between the handset and the layout is housed in ESU's usual external housing, as used on the ECoSBoost, ESU Navigator, and Dynamis. So it looks like ESU have developed it for Piko, and I would expect to see ESU launch their own version eventually as the replacement for the Navigator.

 

The images on the handset appear to be different to those that ESU show on rthe Mobile Control 2, and ESU have previously said that they would welcome people creating apps for the Mobile Control 2 for it to be used with other systems. Thus it may not be possible to mix Piko SmartControl and ESU Mobile Control 2 handsets on the same system. (Edited to correct spelling mistakes.)

Edited by GoingUnderground
Link to post
Share on other sites

...is housed in ESU's usual external housing, as used on the ECoSBoost, ESU Navigator, and Dynamics.

Dynamis ! Hmmmm?

 

 

So it looks like ESU have developed it for Pico,

Piko ! Tut Tut !!!!

 

 

....I would expect to see ESU launch their own version eventually as the replacement for the Navigator.

The SmartControl is currently being sold (on pre-order) for less than the ESU Navigator and the new Bachmann Dynamis Ultima systems, both of which are just slight variations of each other.

The SmartControl provides an arguably better form factor in the way of the handset and a much clearer and better colour touch screen, compared with the relatively crude monochrome one on the others.

It also uses WiFi wireless communication, rather than IR; uses a motorised throttle wheel/knob and comes fitted with rechargeable batteries and a charger.

In many ways a much superior system.

 

I would be very surprised if ESU don't do as you suggest and release their own version.

 

 

The images on the handset appear to be different to those that ESU show on rthe Mobile Control 2, and ESU have previously said that they would welcome people creating apps for the Mobile Control 2 for it to be used with other systems. Thus it may not be possible to mix Pico SmartControl and ESU Mobile Control 2 handsets on the same system.

As it runs using an app, it might be possible to download different control apps and just boot up the one you need at the time.

 

 

.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For anyone who hasn't seen the Mobile Control 2, here's the Piko SmartControl handset and SmartBox side by side with the ESU MobileControl 2 and ECoSBoost. N.B. the current ECoSBoost will NOT work with just a MobileControl 2.

 

post-6983-0-35548700-1426934979_thumb.png

 

Edit: I should also have said that the Mobile Control 2 will only work with an ECoS when it goes on sale.

 

ESU have said that as the Mobile Control 2 is Android based, it will be possible to load and run other Android apps on it. If Piko make their SmartControl app available for download on to a Mobile Control 2 then it may be possible to use a Mobile Control 2 with the Piko SmartBox, but unless and until ESU make their Mobile Control.2 app available for download, it will not be possible to use a SmartControl handset with an ECoS.

Edited by GoingUnderground
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I looked at this again today, to see if they were in stock yet (they're not).

 

A couple of features I missed first time around are....

 

A Loconet-T extension port (wired controllers, occupancy detectors etc).

 

The system can be used without a wireless router, or independent of a wireless network, if you choose.

Although a network connection (WLAN or Ethernet) is required for automatic updates, or connecting to computer control.

 

With the (still) very good rate against the Euro, the system is still listed at £240 inc Free p&p to the UK from Germany.

 

 

p.s. Gaugemaster want £340 for it !!!!!

£100 more.....Who are they kidding????

.

.

Edited by Ron Ron Ron
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

....Is there any news of a release date for the Piko Smart Control? - I cannot see any update via the usual sources.

 

It's not showing in Piko's Oktober 2015 - "NEU im shop" latest releases bulletin.

 

With only 11 weeks to go before Xmas (Crikey!!!!!), I would think that Piko will want its new SmartControl digital train sets in the shops, in time to make it into a few Christmas stockings.

So hopefully there won't be much more time to wait.

 

 

On the subject of SmartControl train sets.

These are being advertised from only €138 (£102) more than the cost of the SmartControl + SmartBox alone.

 

For example, that extra £102 buys you....

a Piko H0 diesel loco fitted with a LokSound decoder, plus 2x double deck coaches, plus track to make a basic layout.

...or a Piko H0 AC electric loco fitted with a LokSound decoder, plus 3 bogie tank wagons, plus track.

 

That's right. A LokSound decoder fitted loco + wagons or coaches + some track for only £102.

 

 

Note: The SmartControl + SmartBox alone is still being advertised at €332 (£245)

 

 

 

.

Edited by Ron Ron Ron
Link to post
Share on other sites

There are reports of the ESU MC2 being sold at the Leipzig Model Railway exhibition yesterday, Friday.

 

Now that the MC2 is on its way, the SmartControl, (and ESU's own version as Navigator looks to be heading for the exit lounge), can't be far behind. We know that the handset must work, or the MC2 wouldn't be on sale, so the only remaining work for the SmartControl must be finalising the firmware for the SmartBox, which would, I guess, be derived from the very recently released ECoS firmware 4.1.0. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Er.....Do you get the glasses to operate it with too ? The good Dr. reminds me of a certain comedian that wears some similar ones !!!

LOL

 

I am really worried about buying a system from a guy that looks like a mad scientist from a villian's lair in a Bond movie  :O

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. I did not want to move to a mobile phone type of controller but this looks so easy to use, yet has so much functionality (from that which I have read and The 3 Rons has translated), works off WiFi, at a quite reasonable price and the big shiny knob has me almost persuaded.

 

I have become rather disillusioned with infra red remote control.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The closest to my ideal controller so far appears to be the ECoS 50200 Command Station...........but it a personal taste thing, I'd really like a DCC controller with Knobs, buttons, levers and switches, something with more tactile feel than this screen I am presently typing on.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The closest to my ideal controller so far appears to be the ECoS 50200 Command Station...........but it a personal taste thing, I'd really like a DCC controller with Knobs, buttons, levers and switches, something with more tactile feel than this screen I am presently typing on.

 

The only DCC controller left that will give you all that is the latest ZTC 611 from Taunton Controls, which I do like very much. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mike,

 

Are you thinking of using the new handheld with a 611 by any chance as it won't work.

 

The new handheld for the ECoS will only work with the ECoS

Absolutely, but ESU do want people to write apps for the MC2 for use with other command stations, and have already released the necessary code fragments needed for the throttle knob operation. The code fragments would need to be incorporated into an app as they cannot be used on their own. So you may see, one day, an MC2 being used with other DCC systems.

 

The MC2 still has not yet been put on general sale, AFAIK,  not even in Germany. There are posts on the ESU Users Forum from folks who ordered theirs back in Jan 2014 when it was first announced asking why it is taking so long to go on general release.

 

Incidentally, it would seem, judging by the Piko video and ESU's user manual for the MC2, that there is very little difference between the Piko app for the SmartControl and the ESU app for the MC2.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only DCC controller left that will give you all that is the latest ZTC 611 from Taunton Controls, which I do like very much. 

 

 

Yes I have been watching the ZTC saga since its release, such a great idea with very limited funding often results in incomplete execution, which has been my conclusion since the start.

 

I really wished it had a better human interface for programming along the lines of a large (or satellite) screen similar to the ECoS but the actual driving interface remained those lovely "knobs, buttons and levers"........life is a compromise, what I spend my money on should not be  :no:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...