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@MartyE posted:

Jeez while I find some of the angst humerus, I wouldn't be gloating.  How is this any where near supporting the hobby.  While the OP has good intentions I still feel that ship has long sailed but I would never gloat about it.  It could have easily been Lionel dropping the hardware remote.

You are absolutely right, it isn't a time for gloating. I would feel as disappointed, angry and frustrated as DCS fans feel if Lionel did the same thing.  I also think you are correct, the ship has sailed and the new DCS company isn't going to reverse course because people on OGR petition them to do so. Why? Because they can't make them any more.

Ultimately, if this thread serves as a warning to Lionel against doing the same bone-headed thing as ending hand held remotes, then this thread will have helped the hobby.

Last edited by Madockawando
@Jim Sandman posted:

On Android the last MTH App update I've seen is Nov 5th 2018.

Not really being updated that often - bigger question is the MTH DCS Wi-Fi app going to continue to receive updates in a timely manner?  As OS and hardware evolve updates will be required.

Jim

Google is pretty easy going for allowing apps to remain on the store and allowing developers to build apps for devices going all the way back to Android version 4.x. Developers just need to keep there TOS, support and contact information up to date. Keep in mind the iCab app hasn't been updated since March 15, 2017.

I too would like to see regular updates with enhancements but to update an app on the store only to give everyone a warm fuzzy feeling with a new version number and a recent release date is a nothing burger. It's kind of like the 6.10 firmware update for the DCS remote. It did nothing for the remote (enhancement or feature wise) other than change the version number on the splash screen from 6.00 to 6.10. MTH released the 6.10 update for the DCS remote only so that it's version would match the TIU.

Getting the APK file to install the DCS app on any android device is pretty easy to do. I'm not too concerned about getting the WiFi app to work on android devices, it's a much more open platform than Apple.

Hybrid.... the ESU Cab Control remote:



it’s an android device in a custom box. I’m a fan. It’s easy to update, easy to use, tedious but easy to configure the functions, has a knob and 4 buttons that can be programmed to whatever function you want. The knob has motorized rezero and going past 0 changes the direction.  Holds more engines than any one person can own... oh, and it talks to the cab control base via Wifi.

I like what the TCS UWT100 can do, but it needs a bunch of stuff to talk to the ESU base and I’m just not there yet.

900 MHZ is dead. I don’t even think you can get a cordless phone in that band anymore. If you want a new remote, get with the times and campaign the new Electronics company to build a wifi remote with a thumb wheel.

I had one and didn't really like it.  I think they are going in the right direction, though.

Brendan

Just a thought.......if the 900 MHZ platform is a thing of the past, would there be a way to retrofit/convert existing remotes to communicate with the TIU via WiFi?

Well then you open up a pretty big can of worms by having to modify all the existing remotes to work with the WiFi.  Seems as previously mentioned, the simple solution would to create the 900MHZ bridge to the new TIU's "remote jack" if it truly does have one.

@MartyE posted:

Well then you open up a pretty big can of worms by having to modify all the existing remotes to work with the WiFi.  Seems as previously mentioned, the simple solution would to create the 900MHZ bridge to the new TIU's "remote jack" if it truly does have one.

Wouldn't this all be a waste of time if no one is updating the remotes going forward?  You may get it to work now, but will it down the road?

Wouldn't this all be a waste of time if no one is updating the remotes going forward?  You may get it to work now, but will it down the road?

Very valid point.  Despite going forward without remotes the reality of it is there are more remotes and TIUs than Wifi and TIUs.  Seems they would still have to support the remote if with nothing else but compatibility.

Last edited by MartyE
@MartyE posted:

Very valid point.  Despite going forward without remotes the reality of it is there are more remotes and TIUs than Wifi and TIUs.  Seems they would still have to support the remote if with nothing else but compatibility.

There is another thread here about issues with the wifi app and the latest Apple iPad OS. The implication is that changes will have to be implemented in the app to keep up with changes in OSes. My experience with Apple OSes is they make many apps obsolete in less than 5 years and if not the App then the hardware it resides on.
Who knows, the remotes may well outlive any software dependent alternative.

Pete

I have a remote in for upgrade with 4.2 software, and I've run it with the 6.1 version of software in my TIU on the layout with no issues.  It seems that until a significant change in the protocol between the remote and the TIU happened, the RF link would still be fine.  I still think there's a place for this product idea.

@Norton posted:

There is another thread here about issues with the wifi app and the latest Apple iPad OS. The implication is that changes will have to be implemented in the app to keep up with changes in OSes. My experience with Apple OSes is they make many apps obsolete in less than 5 years and if not the App then the hardware it resides on.
Who knows, the remotes may well outlive any software dependent alternative.

Pete

John and Pete, having dealt with upgrades in both hardware and software, including the issues of obsolescence (hey I spelled that right first try) in the telecom industry, I think both of you have valid points.   If we didn't have to constantly increase the bandwidth and features of the Internet, and deal with security issues, we could run almost any equipment indefinitely.  That is what we were doing with the old SONET (Synchronous Optical Network).  Usually when something broke, it was when we pushed a new software upgrade and some other feature stopped working.  In a closed system, like our layouts, we could run the same system at the same software level for many years.  Granted I don't expect the hardware in consumer electronics to be as reliable as on commercial hardware, but what usually breaks?  Plastic thumbwheels?

Excellent point about simply not upgrading the TIU or remote software once you get it all working.  If there are no meaningful upgrades for your operating environment and locomotives, let sleeping dogs lie.

This often the advice I used to give people in the computer world - but security issues have rendered that advice useless.  Thankfully we mostly don't have to worry about that with our trains (WIU/phone/tablet excluded of course).  That said, what happens to us remote users when the new DCS company adds a new PS3 feature - or "PS4" comes out?  Hopefully there will at least be some period of overlap in compatibility, but I could see a time in the future where the Remotes may not be able to operate a new feature or a new version of ProtoSound.

That said, I'm still down for one more remote in the mean time.

Good point, rplst8!  I don't use most of the features we now have.  I only have one PS3 engine, and never looked into what PS3 has that PS2 doesn't.  That's just me.  I'm not a power user at anything.    I'm quite happy driving my 18-year old Hyundai for instance.    I can't take my eyes off the road and mirrors long enough to use my wife's touchscreen anyway. 

If the situation is so good that new features or a new version of ProtoSound comes out, I think we will all be quite happy wherever we stand.

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