Skip to main content

@superwarp1 posted:

Yeah it ain’t cheap.  MTH just never made engines I wanted other than the few I have

Amazing, considering the diversity of engines MTH made over the 15 year period from about 2001 to 2016 compared to Lionel. Anyone have a count, and I'm not just talking about different road names. I mean different engines.

Anyone remember how many different engines Lionel made before MTH came on the scene? IMO, we lived thru the Golden Age.

Having said that, I too like the remote.

Gerry

Last edited by gmorlitz
@gmorlitz posted:

Amazing, considering the diversity of engines MTH made over the 15 year period from about 2001 to 2016 compared to Lionel. Anyone have a count, and I'm not just talking about different road names. I mean different engines.

Anyone remember how many different engines Lionel made before MTH came on the scene? IMO, we lived thru the Golden Age.

Having said that, I too like the remote.

Gerry

Well since I limit myself to steam, NYC, and New England roads you can see why.  For the most part what’s on My layout MTH has never made, except for the three I have.  Check out my YouTube video for my inventory

Last edited by superwarp1
@superwarp1 posted:

Well I’m going to be hard on MTH.  Yes it’s a cost savings canceling the remote but they redesigned it for the production run last winter.  Why not keep making it.  Theirs still demand.

You assume facts not in evidence Gary.  I believe they went out and procured enough parts to produce the existing remote, I don't think anything significant, other than maybe a capacitor or IC footprint changed.

For several years, as most of us know, MTH sets have not come with a remote.  They expect even the new consumer to operate their trains using a smartphone or tablet purchased separately.  I thought that was an exceptionally bad idea. Cannot imagine that contributed to their set sales, but perhaps that's just me.  Being charitable, they have done the math and they do not think they can recover the redesign and production costs of a remote with the likely size of the market.  Being a little less kind, someone at MTH made this decision and stubbornly isn't going to be dissuaded by a bunch of amateurs .  That said, it doesn't, to my mind, seem a favorable prognostic sign for the future of DCS production and PS3 equipped locomotives to limit consumers in this way.  More like the road to ever smaller market share.

As a contrast, and I hope it continues, Lionel has actually shipped all of its previous LC and LC+ locos with an inexpensive but useful remote, and has made a $40 universal remote available that operates both Bluetooth and LC systems of all current Lionel locomotives. I hope they do this for the long haul, so that those of us who don't want to use a smart device do not have to do so.  It adds complexity (you mean you still use a flip phone?) by requiring additional purchase or reuse of some other device you have and forces one approach on everyone.

I don't want to use my iPhone to operate my cable box or television either.  I use it for voice (I'm on-call 24/7 for work) and personal/work email, texting, and some Internet browsing. Even reading newspapers and magazines while in line for this and that.  I occasionally take photos or scan stuff. I don't want to use it to operate my toy trains, and it sounds like there are many who feel the same way, and we are not necessarily technophobes.

Last edited by Landsteiner
@gmorlitz posted:

Amazing, considering the diversity of engines MTH made over the 15 year period from about 2001 to 2016 compared to Lionel. Anyone have a count, and I'm not just talking about different road names. I mean different engines.

Anyone remember how many different engines Lionel made before MTH came on the scene? IMO, we lived thru the Golden Age.

Yep, one of the things that got me looking at MTH was the diversity of stuff they were making.  There are a ton of cool engines, not to mention novelty stuff like the Coors Silver Bullet, the Doodlebug, the Galloping Goose, etc.  MTH made a bunch of PRR stuff that never came out of Lionel, and I'm sure they pushed Lionel to make stuff that might have languished on the cutting room floor had it not been for the competition.

@superwarp1 posted:

Well I’m going to be hard on MTH.  Yes it’s a cost savings canceling the remote but they redesigned it for the production run last winter.  Why not keep making it.  Theirs still demand.

For all we know, the remote is based around a PIC or microprocessor that is was discontinued a while ago (like 4-5 years ago when they started to warn customers) and there are no equivalents being produced.  Couple that with a software code base that is tied to that particular architecture and the programming tools that supported it, it could be a significant lift to both redesign the hardware AND software.  

The redesign they did last year was only for a different thumbwheel from what I remember. They were probably using the remaining stock on the other parts for the rest of the remote, or some leftovers they found somewhere.

Electronic parts supply chain logistics are extremely difficult.  I do repairs for vintage electronics I collect, and when it comes to anything semiconductor wise, I have to stay on my toes since a part can change without much warning.  Then I have to start researching a suitable replacement, which can take a while.  Mind you, I do it as a hobby - imagine trying to do it and slap a warrantee on it and continue to support it.  

Do you have any expensive audio electronics at home with one of those blue dot matrix or segmented displays?  Those are called vacuum fluorescent displays and after about 5-10 years there’s little to no chance you’ll find a replacement for them.  And while they’re very durable, they do fade/dim and wear out.  

I think Lionel Legacy owners will be in the same boat with their remotes eventually too if a key part is discontinued.  Why redesign the software AND hardware when you can just design the software and let the big tech companies worry about sourcing parts and all the vertical integration problems.  

Last edited by rplst8

I think the problem here is that it appears that MTH has not taken the time to ask its customers who support the company what they want. These surveys are great, but unless the leadership of the company is willing to listen to the people who ultimately pay their salaries, nothing will change. At one of the last York meets, I went to the MTH booth to talk to the guys about the remote and a few other things. They were all glued to a TV set watching a golf tournament and not one of them would break away to speak with me, so I left.

Interesting. Will not having a remote available negatively affect purchases of new DCS equipped engines?

@superwarp1 posted:

Well I’m going to be hard on MTH.  Yes it’s a cost savings canceling the remote but they redesigned it for the production run last winter.  Why not keep making it.  Theirs still demand.

The only thing that is likely to get MTH's attention is this: if we simply stop buying their products. We are essentially being forced to use a phone or tablet if we want to run DCS. If the orders start to dwindle and they start choking on their inventory, my guess is they would find a way to continue producing a designated remote. Someone once told me that men are just little boys with money; as long as that money keeps flowing to MTH, they have zero incentive to listen to what anyone says.

@rplst8 posted:

I think Lionel Legacy owners will be in the same boat with their remotes eventually too if a key part is discontinued.  Why redesign the software AND hardware when you can just design the software and let the big tech companies worry about sourcing parts and all the vertical integration problems.  

What he said. Eventually Lionel will be in the same boat. Whether they recreate a hardware remote or most likely go the way of the smart phone is yet to be seen. I agree, why deal with ever changing hardware that can take years to redevelop when you can push software updates regularly.

@MartyE posted:

What he said. Eventually Lionel will be in the same boat. Whether they recreate a hardware remote or most likely go the way of the smart phone is yet to be seen. I agree, why deal with ever changing hardware that can take years to redevelop when you can push software updates regularly.

Why deal with it? Because that's what the consumers are demanding. If you own a business and you produce something for which there is no demand, you have no business. Like I said, until the money stops flowing, they're not likely to listen.

@MartyE posted:

What he said. Eventually Lionel will be in the same boat. Whether they recreate a hardware remote or most likely go the way of the smart phone is yet to be seen. I agree, why deal with ever changing hardware that can take years to redevelop when you can push software updates regularly.

One reason would be sufficient push-back from Lionel's customers.  Obviously, if they just whimper and take it, then Lionel would have little incentive to spend the extra money to keep a real remote.

"Lionel is NOT discontinuing the Legacy remotes. "

Not only that, but every single one of the hundreds of thousands of Lionel sets for sale, including Ready to Play sets for under $100, have a remote included.  Thus justifying MTH's decision making by stating "Lionel hit me first" or "Lionel will do dumb things in the future" isn't going to work with Mom and Dad .  And probably not with a lot of consumers.

I think it is a near certainty that Lionel keeps making a remote that operates all its locomotives made from here on in.  They would be deeply misguided not to.  Dave Olson is probably reading this thread and thinking "we'll find a way to make this work."   Lionel has the additional advantage that they are trying to remain in business as an ongoing full train line concern.  MTH and DCS are heading to stasis,  or the history books, depending on whose goat entrails you are reading.

Last edited by Landsteiner

Why deal with it? Because that's what the consumers are demanding. If you own a business and you produce something for which there is no demand, you have no business. Like I said, until the money stops flowing, they're not likely to listen.

O gauge consumers have short memories. How many times people on this forum have sworn off Lionel and a new catalog comes out and they’re running hand in hand with them down the beach.

Lionel and for now MTH will make trains, people will buy them whether they use a hardware remote or smart phone.

I recall adding my vote for keeping the remote to prior forum threads when this subject was first "news." I subsequently ordered two new DCS remotes last year - which was good timing as the power button on my older remote bit the dust during repeated attempts to hold the button down for that peculiar and rather ridiculous method of updating the remote's software.

In my assessment, MTH has been streamlining, a euphemism for cost-cutting, for years now. First, gutting instruction manuals to a one page "fits all" for steamers; then by not updating steamers with whistle steam (I think the Premier Big Boy has it), nor no attempt to match Lionel's various top-notch engine features. To me, this all translated that MTH was losing to Lionel. 

It's not that I won't use a Smart device to run trains, I literally cannot due to hand-eye impairment that makes swiping screens next very frustrating. If my remotes should die and I cannot obtain replacements, I'll either run my MTH conventionally or with TMCC (if possible) or just sell my MTH engines.

@MartyE posted:

What he said. Eventually Lionel will be in the same boat. Whether they recreate a hardware remote or most likely go the way of the smart phone is yet to be seen. I agree, why deal with ever changing hardware that can take years to redevelop when you can push software updates regularly.

This is an MTH problem, today. It is not a Lionel problem... now or in the future.

Add Reply

Post
The DCS Forum is sponsored by
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×