New Licensing Deal for Lionel ERR Products

sdmann posted:
Out of the various mini commanders, which one, if only 1 could be made, would be the one that has the most universal usage?

Scott, I can think of two that would probably be of fairly universal appeal.  First off, the Mini Commander II for really small motorized units.  As mentioned, this was one of the first ERR products, it filled a need for a truly small command board for motorized units.  It comes in three "flavors", but the only difference is the firmware that gets loaded, the boards are all the same. I understand that offering three versions might present a packaging issue as you'd have more inventory to maintain.  I believe ERR used to load these as needed with the correct firmware.  If only one firmware option was to be offered, my personal favorite is the one with smoke & front light options.  That gives me an extra remote controlled output, very handy for small motorized units.  The one with both incandescent lights isn't really all that useful as the MC-II also has LED outputs for the lights.  I've only used the coupler option a couple of times on these, I find the smoke/HL one a lot more useful for the reasons stated previously.

My other choice is the Mini Commander ACC.  It appears from my examination of both the ACC and HC versions that the only difference is a more robust triac on the HC version, they're the same PCB and code from all appearances.  That's a modification that folks could do "in the field" if they needed the HC version, so stocking the MC-ACC would appear to be the best path.  The MC-ACC is the key to doing a lot of TMCC controlled accessories and rolling stock, so it rates high on my list.

So, my vote would be for these two.

Mini Commander II

Mini Commander ACC

That's my  FWIW.   Thanks for listening, and a BIG Thank You for picking up the ERR product line!

Attachments

Photos (1)

I want to give a BIG thank you to Lionel and 3RD Rail/GGD for working out a solution to keeping these products available to us consumers!!!  Now we have to make sure Scott gets enough orders to make it viable,like he says it's a business!!

Thanks to all involved,Doug

gunrunnerjohn posted:
sdmann posted:
Out of the various mini commanders, which one, if only 1 could be made, would be the one that has the most universal usage?

My other choice is the Mini Commander ACC.  It appears from my examination of both the ACC and HC versions that the only difference is a more robust triac on the HC version, they're the same PCB and code from all appearances.  That's a modification that folks could do "in the field" if they needed the HC version, so stocking the MC-ACC would appear to be the best path.  The MC-ACC is the key to doing a lot of TMCC controlled accessories and rolling stock, so it rates high on my list.

So, my vote would be for these two.

Mini Commander II

Mini Commander ACC

Thanks for listening, and a BIG Thank You for picking up the ERR product line!

While I can't speak for the Mini Commander II, I will second the Mini Commander ACC.  Thanks John for nominating these.

Marty Eibeck

 

Below the Signature...

"Message received ground control."


 

BobbyD posted:
D500 posted:

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't understand Scott's "better order now or we'll look at you funny when you try to order again" comment (that's only an approximate quote). Huh?

His quote was:

"No deposit required, but you better buy  when the boards arrive, or we will look at you funny when you try to order again."

Which I interpret to mean he's letting you order without any down payment, BUT he expects you to pay for your order when it arrives. 

 

Which Scott explained perfectly in his response in this post

No further interpretation required, he spelled it out quite clearly there!

-Dave

 

BobbyD posted:
D500 posted:

Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't understand Scott's "better order now or we'll look at you funny when you try to order again" comment (that's only an approximate quote). Huh?

His quote was:

"No deposit required, but you better buy  when the boards arrive, or we will look at you funny when you try to order again."

Which I interpret to mean he's letting you order without any down payment, BUT he expects you to pay for your order when it arrives. 

 

So are they doing a BTO?  Seems kind of strange for the product involved. In the microchip/PCB/board business, the more you order(from the manufacturer), the better price discount you get.  Of course, you don't want to have to much of this type of inventory laying around.  Don't overthink my comment.  I'm very glad that they have stepped up to make the boards available.

Steve

 

RideTheRails posted:

So are they doing a BTO?  Seems kind of strange for the product involved. In the microchip/PCB/board business, the more you order(from the manufacturer), the better price discount you get.  Of course, you don't want to have to much of this type of inventory laying around.  Don't overthink my comment.  I'm very glad that they have stepped up to make the boards available.

Steve

The difference in parts costs from 100 units to 1000 units isn't as much as you might imagine.  Also, when you're getting boards assembled, once you do a couple hundred, the difference between the assembly cost between 100-200 and 1000 is also not that great.

Yes, there are some savings, but having hundreds of units in stock for a long time will eat up that savings in a heartbeat!  I think Scott is being pretty smart in gauging the interest and proceeding carefully with his ERR project.

I've gotten quotes for boards quantities from 500 up to 2000, and the difference in prices didn't justify sitting on inventory for months to place a larger order, on the order of 10% savings per board.

Scott's in a unique position as he actually uses some of the ERR products himself, so he certainly has a vested interest in the line continuing.  OTOH, the additional ERR products that don't get used in the 3rd Rail product line will have to stand on their own as far as volume and profit margin, so proceeding with some caution makes a lot of sense.

sdmann posted:

Out of the various mini commanders, which one, if only 1 could be made, would be the one that has the most universal usage?

One other point that I was going to mention in the product line.  I'm a bit surprised that the DC Commander is all that popular, considering that the Cruise Commander offers a major step-up in performance.  I understand the AC Commander being included, it's a unique product that doesn't have an alternative.  Do the sales of the DC Commander vs. the Cruise Commander really justify keeping that in the product line?

Just curious, I've only used a couple of these over the years, most folks opt for the Cruise Commander.

For me if only one version of the mini's can be made I would suggest the Mini II. It is by far the most versatile for most of the "S" gauge engines. 

Ed Goldin

Lionel Authorized Repair Station

Specializing in American Flyer, S-Helper and

American Models TMCC Installations

Authorized ERR Dealer

Member TCA & NASG 





 

 

gunrunnerjohn posted:
sdmann posted:

Out of the various mini commanders, which one, if only 1 could be made, would be the one that has the most universal usage?

One other point that I was going to mention in the product line.  I'm a bit surprised that the DC Commander is all that popular, considering that the Cruise Commander offers a major step-up in performance.  I understand the AC Commander being included, it's a unique product that doesn't have an alternative.  Do the sales of the DC Commander vs. the Cruise Commander really justify keeping that in the product line?

Just curious, I've only used a couple of these over the years, most folks opt for the Cruise Commander.

The DC commander like the AC commander is a price point for some and also if your not running up and down grades the cruise is not really that important to someone that basically has a flat layout. Yes the cruise is a better product but some don't need it. and some the price difference is enough to let them do the upgrade and purchase the railsounds also due to limited cash available for other things. I don't remember the exact difference but I believe it was like $50.00 which might not be a lot to you, but is to some. And if you can do without it or don't need it, why buy it. There must be enough that do use it, to make it a decision to keep it. 

Bill

gunrunnerjohn posted:
sdmann posted:

Out of the various mini commanders, which one, if only 1 could be made, would be the one that has the most universal usage?

One other point that I was going to mention in the product line.  I'm a bit surprised that the DC Commander is all that popular, considering that the Cruise Commander offers a major step-up in performance.  I understand the AC Commander being included, it's a unique product that doesn't have an alternative.  Do the sales of the DC Commander vs. the Cruise Commander really justify keeping that in the product line?

Just curious, I've only used a couple of these over the years, most folks opt for the Cruise Commander.

I couldn't agree with you more GRJ, I was thinking the same thing, the benefits or cruise is well worth the price but maybe it has to do with the ERR Softset technology? Maybe that was an ERR technology and it can't be replicated without licensing?

Please correct me if I am wrong. You are wayyyyyy more of an expert than I am in that department.

Daniel Gonzalez

Daniel Gonzalez

gunrunnerjohn posted:

 

Scott's in a unique position as he actually uses some of the ERR products himself, so he certainly has a vested interest in the line continuing.  OTOH, the additional ERR products that don't get used in the 3rd Rail product line will have to stand on their own as far as volume and profit margin, so proceeding with some caution makes a lot of sense.

Given the die is cast and all that about 20-20 hindsight this points out how this would have worked out better for all had the transfer to Scott been made before the announcement. He could have acquired ERR's remaining inventory, 6 months worth we are told, and been up and running as soon as his staff was up to speed on custom programming the boards. He would have a gauge on what products are selling or not and then order as needed.

Pete

rtraincollector posted:
gunrunnerjohn posted:
sdmann posted:

Out of the various mini commanders, which one, if only 1 could be made, would be the one that has the most universal usage?

One other point that I was going to mention in the product line.  I'm a bit surprised that the DC Commander is all that popular, considering that the Cruise Commander offers a major step-up in performance.  I understand the AC Commander being included, it's a unique product that doesn't have an alternative.  Do the sales of the DC Commander vs. the Cruise Commander really justify keeping that in the product line?

Just curious, I've only used a couple of these over the years, most folks opt for the Cruise Commander.

The DC commander like the AC commander is a price point for some and also if your not running up and down grades the cruise is not really that important to someone that basically has a flat layout. Yes the cruise is a better product but some don't need it. and some the price difference is enough to let them do the upgrade and purchase the railsounds also due to limited cash available for other things. I don't remember the exact difference but I believe it was like $50.00 which might not be a lot to you, but is to some. And if you can do without it or don't need it, why buy it. There must be enough that do use it, to make it a decision to keep it. 

I use the DC commander due to I like my trains to pull the hills slower. I have a 7 inch difference but it's over 25 feet of track and I only run short trains of 1 powered engine, 1 or more dummy engines and 15 scale cars. Also I like the ability to add the DC commander or dummy controller to a engine and then at a later date add the RS.  I have many dummy engines with sound and run them with engines that have no room for the RS unit.  I still need 6 or more DC commanders and 2 AC commanders and 6 dummy units plus RS for them.  I plan to purchase these TMCC products over the need few years.  I have the money to  purchase any new engine from any of the manufactures that I want But I have more fun up dating my old engines and the used engines that I purchase to TMCC.

Keith Johnson

Matt_GNo27 posted:
Norton posted:

[snip]

He could have acquired ERR's remaining inventory, 6 months worth we are told ...

Pete,

IIRC, Lionel said that six months worth of orders were placed, not that they had six months worth of inventory.

—Matt

I'll concede that point but I doubt there would have been a run and many of their dealers would likely have inventory for a while including the Mini Commanders and Cruise Lites. The attack of the hoarders would have been minimal.

Pete

As a very small ERR dealer, but one who has been doing TMCC conversions since the days of the LCRU scavenged from Lionel locos  (Pre-Digital Dynamics, Pre-TAS, And Pre-ERR) mostly for 5  hobby shops located in a rural not too affluent part of  Upstate NY, I will say that while I personally prefer the Cruise Commander; the DC Commander has been the choice of my customers almost 2 to 1 because of the price differential. For them the extra $50 per loco is a lot of money. I'm saying this not to start an argument but merely to offer some info from the other side of the coin (pun intended!).

jackson, CEO, Not-So-Great Eastern RR, aka The Never Done Line

          Division of the Southern Adirondack Railway Cartel

 

 

Folks,

On a more generalized note, if you have shelf queens or conventional engines you have been "meaning to upgrade" but haven't done anything to about them, now is the the time to actually do it this Fall when the new supply of TMCC components becomes available.

Without Scott and Lionel coming to an agreement you would be out of luck, so I would not wait any longer to do your upgrades or repairs.

Just a thought.

Ed Boyle

  

modeltrainsparts posted:

As a very small ERR dealer, but one who has been doing TMCC conversions since the days of the LCRU scavenged from Lionel locos  (Pre-Digital Dynamics, Pre-TAS, And Pre-ERR) mostly for 5  hobby shops located in a rural not too affluent part of  Upstate NY, I will say that while I personally prefer the Cruise Commander; the DC Commander has been the choice of my customers almost 2 to 1 because of the price differential. For them the extra $50 per loco is a lot of money. I'm saying this not to start an argument but merely to offer some info from the other side of the coin (pun intended!).

Good input, I guess I push the Cruise Commander pretty hard as I know in the overall price it's not that much more for a significant performance gain.

Ed Boyle posted:

Folks,

On a more generalized note, if you have shelf queens or conventional engines you have been "meaning to upgrade" but haven't done anything to about them, now is the the time to actually do it this Fall when the new supply of TMCC components becomes available.

Without Scott and Lionel coming to an agreement you would be out of luck, so I would not wait any longer to do your upgrades or repairs.

Just a thought.

Ed Boyle

  

And a really good one too!

member:Golden Spike Club Charter Member

Once I'm sure I can get more upgrade products (and others can too), I'll crank out another run.  I have the "improved" version waiting in the wings, smaller and with a couple new features.  That will be the one that gets produced.

Great News! Thank You Scott for taking this financial chance so as to keep this option open to us.

I have a couple of engines that need some help and I will be ordering the boards when they become available.

One suggestion though, make the directions idiot proof so I can play too.

 

Keep Your Rails Polished!

NJ HiRailer

(Just Picture The Image)

Ed Boyle posted:

Folks,

On a more generalized note, if you have shelf queens or conventional engines you have been "meaning to upgrade" but haven't done anything to about them, now is the the time to actually do it this Fall when the new supply of TMCC components becomes available.

Without Scott and Lionel coming to an agreement you would be out of luck, so I would not wait any longer to do your upgrades or repairs.

Just a thought.

Ed Boyle

  

Yes. 

Remember the old adage: "Put your money where your mouth is"? Well, unless we want to be consigned to the trash heap of Silly Whiners - now is (or soon will be) the time.

Postpone purchasing that next used passenger car set and pony up for a couple of upgrade kits.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Once I'm sure I can get more upgrade products (and others can too), I'll crank out another run.  I have the "improved" version waiting in the wings, smaller and with a couple new features.  That will be the one that gets produced.

So is this improvement a Supa Chuffa III version or more likely a Supa Chuffa 2.5?

member:Golden Spike Club Charter Member

gunrunnerjohn posted:
gg1man posted:
One suggestion though, make the directions idiot proof so I can play too.

It's hard to make anything foolproof, fools are frequently very ingenious.

John:  You certainly have a way with words.  Another of your quotes I must remember!

Don

Lionel clearly has no plan here. They cut out a supplier and created a lot of chaos for their customers. They did this without another option lined up. Then Scott comes in and saves the day. I think they are still working on a Plan B? I say that because Lionel said ERR products were getting out of date. Now I'm supposed to buy them?

 

I'm out. MTH from now on.

ChiTown Steve posted:

Lionel clearly has no plan here. They cut out a supplier and created a lot of chaos for their customers. They did this without another option lined up. Then Scott comes in and saves the day. I think they are still working on a Plan B? I say that because Lionel said ERR products were getting out of date. Now I'm supposed to buy them?

 

I'm out. MTH from now on.

I say ... questionable logic there.

 

 

RT   

breezinup posted:

The earth almost moved off its axis when Microsoft announced a couple years ago that they would no longer support XP. The difference, of course, is that there were other products available at the time to take its place, even though millions of people complained and were perfectly content to just keep their XP. 

Reading between the lines a little, I think Scott is saying (and Lionel CEO Hitchcock in his statement, as well) that Lionel will have another control system coming down the pike, which will supercede TMCC and be available for installations (and to 3rd Rail and Atlas as well), but that product is still in the development stage. 

By Jove, I think you've got it!   

 

 

RT   

With regards to the DC commanders, while I enjoy the cruise control and like to just let things run sometimes, the DC commander offers one the ability to "drive" the loco from the remote just like under conventional control.  Cruise is great with the larger can motors with a flywheel, DC commander works just fine with the smaller axle drive motors.  For me it is the consistency in control.  I am glad to see these will be returning since my order was cancelled, too late to the party.

gunrunnerjohn posted:
modeltrainsparts posted:

As a very small ERR dealer, but one who has been doing TMCC conversions since the days of the LCRU scavenged from Lionel locos  (Pre-Digital Dynamics, Pre-TAS, And Pre-ERR) mostly for 5  hobby shops located in a rural not too affluent part of  Upstate NY, I will say that while I personally prefer the Cruise Commander; the DC Commander has been the choice of my customers almost 2 to 1 because of the price differential. For them the extra $50 per loco is a lot of money. I'm saying this not to start an argument but merely to offer some info from the other side of the coin (pun intended!).

Good input, I guess I push the Cruise Commander pretty hard as I know in the overall price it's not that much more for a significant performance gain.

BTW, what board did you use to convert a K-Line Plymouth? I got three that I don't want to orphan

---PCJ

Add Reply

Likes (39)
PSU1980Tom MTraindieselStuartrthompsBig_Boy_4005NBGTGNKHarry's TrainsFred BrenekPutnam DivisiontexastrainSURFLINERBradFrtraincollectorLarry3railtrainsAlex MChris LoneroNJCJOEjrmertzTom DenselAmeenTrainGuyRapid Transit HolmesNick12DMCKeystoneRoger WassonSteve Andy HummellTed SMark BoyceEBT Jimchessie1971Dave NYC Hudson PRR K4Mikado 4501MELGARDave45681DaveSlieMartyETrainlover9943


OGR Publishing, Inc. PO Box 218, Hilliard, OH 43026 330-757-3020
www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×