sdmann posted:

All good suggestions. I am listening. Give us time. I want to focus on the product line that can support the cost of production first.  After all, it's a business and it can't run on good intentions. Gots to have sales.

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 vote is the mini commander ACC.  I've used that board a lot. It is very flexible for accessories. 

jrmertz posted:

my vote is the mini commander ACC.  I've used that board a lot. It is very flexible for accessories. 

I'd buy a few if they become available again.

As I said before the Mini II is great for smaller engines and especially for S gauge. I do a lot of American Model an S-Helper engines and none of the regular commanders will fit. In fact, I have to mill down the motor mount just to get the Mini II to fit but it is the only one that does. The DC or Cruise Commander will fit most of the S gauge steam engines so I am glad they are continuing to produce those. 

Ed Goldin

Lionel Authorized Repair Station

Specializing in American Flyer, S-Helper and

American Models TMCC Installations

Authorized 3rd Rail (ERR) Dealer

Member TCA & NASG 





 

 

The Cruise Lite isn't one of the initial products that 3rd Rail will be supplying, hopefully at some point in the future it might join the ranks.

Cruise Lite and MiniCommander2 would be great and get my votes.  With the return of those I'd get back into S gauge TMCC conversions.  In the meantime conversion work will be DCC.  Thanks.  

Dave

S happens

TCA, NASG, ACSG W&OD

x-Chief Wrench & Bottle-washer of Precision Flyer Repairs 

Well, the Sound Converter is the easiest to crack, it's design and code were actually released for public consumption.  It could be created at your own workbench.  I actually hacked the code to make the ditch light feature that's not actually mentioned in the ERR blurb function correctly, you could also build in a nifty MARS light simulator as there is yet another LED output.  I haven't actually used the main feature of controlling conventional sound, AAMOF, I usually remove the bulky LM317T parts because they get in the road.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

The Cruise Lite isn't one of the initial products that 3rd Rail will be supplying, hopefully at some point in the future it might join the ranks.

I was thinking. Couldn't he do a prepay BTO on the other boards - Prepay.

shawn posted:
Mikado 4501 posted:

Along with the CC Lite and Mini Commander ACC and 2, I wouldn't mind a few more sound converters for running conventional sound boards that I don't want to toss.

Western Depot if you hurry

 

It looks like they sold out of them.

Thomas

Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters

TCA Member11-66911

LCCA 30247

ERR Upgrades and Custom Artwork

shawn posted:
Mikado 4501 posted:

Along with the CC Lite and Mini Commander ACC and 2, I wouldn't mind a few more sound converters for running conventional sound boards that I don't want to toss.

Western Depot if you hurry

 

wow, gone rhat was fast

It's fabulous Scott Mann has stepped in to fill the void for ERR products. However, since Scott Mann wants and needs us to buy those products as soon as he makes them available and considering ERR's Kenn will no longer be available to answer questions or give phone advice on which ERR components would be best-suited size-wise, current-wise, etc. for a particular locomotive, (eg., Mini Commander II or Commander M, Cruise-Lite or Cruise Commander, etc.), how will a novice like myself who'd like to attempt a self upgrade know which board(s) to purchase for their various locomotives? While in no way intending to diss Scott or his staff but who will fill that void of knowledge and expertise left by Kenn's retirement and correctly answer our questions and give sage advice on which ERR products would be best for any particular installation? I'm aware some will say contact GRJ, Alex M., etc. , but it's unfair asking and expecting gratus help and assistance from them when they have they own installation/repair businesses to run and manage. (In essencence that's like asking them to help eliminate potential installation jobs they might otherwise be paid to do.)  So, who, other than ERR's Kenn will willingly be able and capable to knowledgeably advise us newbie novices on which ERR products will be best for our various needs and requirements?

ogaugeguy

LCCA


 




On the DC Commander vs Cruise Commander discussion, I have found the 50% difference in price (80 vs 120)drives folks to lean toward DC Commander as it is still a nice speed control board; works great on diesels but hands down the Cruise Commander is great for steamers with their longer driven wheel base on curves and I recommend that option.  I usually demo both boards on a diesel upgrade and the price determines their decision, not the slow speed control; just my observation upgrades i’ve done.  Falcon70

ogaugeguy posted:

It's fabulous Scott Mann has stepped in to fill the void for ERR products. However, since Scott Mann wants and needs us to buy those products as soon as he makes them available and considering ERR's Kenn will no longer be available to answer questions or give phone advice on which ERR components would be best-suited size-wise, current-wise, etc. for a particular locomotive, (eg., Mini Commander II or Commander M, Cruise-Lite or Cruise Commander, etc.), how will a novice like myself who'd like to attempt a self upgrade know which board(s) to purchase for their various locomotives? While in no way intending to diss Scott or his staff but who will fill that void of knowledge and expertise left by Kenn's retirement and correctly answer our questions and give sage advice on which ERR products would be best for any particular installation? I'm aware some will say contact GRJ, Alex M., etc. , but it's unfair asking and expecting gratus help and assistance from them when they have they own installation/repair businesses to run and manage. (In essencence that's like asking them to help eliminate potential installation jobs they might otherwise be paid to do.)  So, who, other than ERR's Kenn will willingly be able and capable to knowledgeably advise us newbie novices on which ERR products will be best for our various needs and requirements?

Good OGR exist! It some cases better then ANY SUPPORT!

ogaugeguy posted:

It's fabulous Scott Mann has stepped in to fill the void for ERR products. However, since Scott Mann wants and needs us to buy those products as soon as he makes them available and considering ERR's Kenn will no longer be available to answer questions or give phone advice on which ERR components would be best-suited size-wise, current-wise, etc. for a particular locomotive, (eg., Mini Commander II or Commander M, Cruise-Lite or Cruise Commander, etc.), how will a novice like myself who'd like to attempt a self upgrade know which board(s) to purchase for their various locomotives? While in no way intending to diss Scott or his staff but who will fill that void of knowledge and expertise left by Kenn's retirement and correctly answer our questions and give sage advice on which ERR products would be best for any particular installation? I'm aware some will say contact GRJ, Alex M., etc. , but it's unfair asking and expecting gratus help and assistance from them when they have they own installation/repair businesses to run and manage. (In essencence that's like asking them to help eliminate potential installation jobs they might otherwise be paid to do.)  So, who, other than ERR's Kenn will willingly be able and capable to knowledgeably advise us newbie novices on which ERR products will be best for our various needs and requirements?

I expect someone on staff will be able to assist with basic questions if needed.  I think there was mention above of training staff and such before new product is available for sale.  

That said, I don't think it's an unreasonable position to take that someone that does not have the day one, basic level of electrical knowledge to figure out how much current the new electronics will have to handle should probably hire someone else to do the install.  The same goes for someone incapable of determining if a board will physically fit when given the dimensions of said board.  

It would probably be helpful if there were some source of information providing the specs of various products and their typical uses... you know, like the ERR website, or most likely the website Scott has already mentioned is being made.  

These are all simple devices, from the installation perspective, but if you're not capable of figuring it out, or learning the skills needed to figure out what you need, it would be best to leave it to a pro.  To be clear, I'm not saying all installs should be done by pros, and I quite encourage people to learn to do it them selves, but I can't hold a parts supplier responsible for teaching basic electrical theory, or geometry.  

JGL

$ This is John Galt speaking.  $

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” 

 

 

ogaugeguy posted:

It's fabulous Scott Mann has stepped in to fill the void for ERR products. However, since Scott Mann wants and needs us to buy those products as soon as he makes them available and considering ERR's Kenn will no longer be available to answer questions or give phone advice on which ERR components would be best-suited size-wise, current-wise, etc. for a particular locomotive, (eg., Mini Commander II or Commander M, Cruise-Lite or Cruise Commander, etc.), how will a novice like myself who'd like to attempt a self upgrade know which board(s) to purchase for their various locomotives? While in no way intending to diss Scott or his staff but who will fill that void of knowledge and expertise left by Kenn's retirement and correctly answer our questions and give sage advice on which ERR products would be best for any particular installation? I'm aware some will say contact GRJ, Alex M., etc. , but it's unfair asking and expecting gratus help and assistance from them when they have they own installation/repair businesses to run and manage. (In essencence that's like asking them to help eliminate potential installation jobs they might otherwise be paid to do.)  So, who, other than ERR's Kenn will willingly be able and capable to knowledgeably advise us newbie novices on which ERR products will be best for our various needs and requirements?

I suspect Third rail as part of taking over ERR will be offering some level of support for the product, you don't just take over something like ERR which is focused on allowing consumers to upgrade their engines, it isn't primarily a btb kind of business. Given that third rail has been using tmcc for a long time they likely have pretty strong understanding of the technology and likely they will inherit more than a bit of support documentation when they take over ERR operations.

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

I was initially upset over the ERR thing and am still not entirely happy how Lionel handled it, but as an owner of a large ERR converted fleet and about a half dozen projects in the pipeline, I am very, very happy that the products will again be available to purchase, especially the cruise commanders and RS.  Thanks to Third Rail for making this happen.

  

 

 

         

         

shawn posted:
gunrunnerjohn posted:

The Cruise Lite isn't one of the initial products that 3rd Rail will be supplying, hopefully at some point in the future it might join the ranks.

I was thinking. Couldn't he do a prepay BTO on the other boards - Prepay.

The build quantities they'll need are in the hundreds, probably around 500 units minimum if I had to guess.  That being the case, I suspect it would take quite a while to round up 500 orders for the CC-Lite at one time, same with a lot of the other products.  You can get smaller quantities, but the price goes up.

Folks, I have added to our 3rd Rail reservation list all ERR Items we are licensed to produce going forward.

The ERR by 3rd Rail web site is up.

http://www.3rdrail.com/err-3rdrail/index.html

I am not an expert web developer as you might have guessed so let me know if you see any errors.

You can now make reservations for these items the same as you do for any 3rd Rail / Sunset Models product. I will be meeting with the management of the board factory in the coming weeks and cement our deals for obtaining our first production of these products in October or earlier.

I am also pleased to announce an addition to the 3rd Rail / Sunset Models team, Robert Lopez. Robert is a well know figure in the Bay Area clubs including his big involvement in the development of the CTTOM (Carquinez Toy Train Operating Museum).

I will have to share him with the clubs and his other obligations but he will focus on setting us up with ERR set packing, customer service (Email and Phone). He also runs his own repair station installing ERR in all sorts of older and newer models, so he has hands on experience. So I want you all to welcome this fine young man.

Some dealers have contacted us and also agree to help out even direct customers with installation issues and questions. Great way to run your businesses, dealers.

In addition Ken at ERR will remain available for further customer support going forward.

More Later...

Regards,

Scott Mann - Sunset Models Inc.

Sounds great Scott, and let me say again how pleased I am that you picked up the ERR stuff.  You did put a big smile in my face.

Scott, you have two items marked Cruise Commander AC motor kit and Cruise Commander DC Motor Kits. You also have a listing for the Cruise Commander kit.

I think you want to eliminate the word "Cruise" for the first two items above. There was never a cruise kit for AC motors and the DC motor line is redundant with the Cruise Commander. ERR had a non Cruise DC Commander motor kit.

 

Pete

Am I reading his price list right and the AC - DC Commander jumped $30.00?

Ed Goldin

Lionel Authorized Repair Station

Specializing in American Flyer, S-Helper and

American Models TMCC Installations

Authorized 3rd Rail (ERR) Dealer

Member TCA & NASG 





 

 

gunrunnerjohn posted:

I'd like Cruise Commanders for $19.95 please.

With your electronics knowhow, I'm pretty sure you could have them if you really wanted. I came up with right about $20 per board in parts and assembly cost for a run of 50 boards.  Half that if you solder it yourself.  

Of course that doesn't include any room for even a reasonable profit, licensing fees, marketing, etc.  That said, I don't think an increase in price makes a ton of sense, unless Big L is extorting folks on the fee to make a product they publicly said they planned on tossing in the trash.  I expect there are a lot of parts in use that have a replacement for a fraction of the cost with no redesign needed, and the lack of reengineering and finding equal parts is driving the cost artificially high for Scott, causing an increased retail price. 

In a perfect world, the price should go down, as all of the research, development, and engineering costs are long since paid for, and marketing is only a fraction of what it would take to introduce a brand new product.  

Even with all of that, a hundred bucks for a turn-key cruise board isn't a bad deal considering the sort of money people spend on this hobby.

$ This is John Galt speaking.  $

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” 

 

 

Truthfully, I use the "steam" kit for everything.  I don't know if it actually happened, but they were supposed to all merge into one "universal" one, and I believe the steam version was it.  The difference appears to be in the serial data handling, the "steam" handles a lower amplitude serial data signal without issue.

I would appreciate a little guidance from the experts here as to exactly which ERR items I would need to order from 3rd Rail for upgrading the following engines.

1.   MTH Premier NYC heavy Pacific w/PS1 from the 90's(NIB).   I'm thinking the Cruise Commander kit,   Railsounds kit for medium steam,  along with GRJ's super chuffer items when available.   Do these sound correct for this engine upgrade?

2.   Sunset/3rd Rail Bessemer & Lake Erie 2-10-4 #643(3 rail) from 2007.   This engine has the Train America Studios/Engine on Board system which has already had some issues..   Would I need to gut the whole system and replace with the Cruise Commander kit and the Railsounds kit for large steam or use the Cruise Commander M kit?   I really don't know what parts are already in place with the TAS system.   Of course the super chuffer items would also be installed.

3&4.   Sunset/3rd Rail Canadian Pacific 2-10-4's #5931 & #5935(3 rail) from 2007.   These engines are both in the same situation as the above 3rd Rail B&LE engine as far as having the factory installed TAS/EOB setup which I wish to replace exactly like the B&LE engine. 

I will not be doing these installations-I'll leave that up to someone who knows what they're doing,  but I would like to get the parts ordered for when that time comes.   Help would be appreciated.   Thanks

Nick

machinist posted:

1.   MTH Premier NYC heavy Pacific w/PS1 from the 90's(NIB).   I'm thinking the Cruise Commander kit,   Railsounds kit for medium steam,  along with GRJ's super chuffer items when available.   Do these sound correct for this engine upgrade?

You'll need a chuff switch as well, that's typically done with either magnets and a reed switch on a wheel or I use my Chuff-Generator.

You should post any follow-up questions in a new thread in TMCC/Legacy and we'll get you sorted out.

Attachments

Photos (1)

For Clarity:

Cruise Commander is the replacement for any 3rd Rail EOB or SAW Board system. It has back EMF cruise so you don't need a flywheel sensor.

Cruise M is for Modular board replacement in various Lionel products.

Beyond that I have lots to learn.

As for prices, there are ancillary costs with any business. Personnel, Facilities (rent, utilities, services), there are warranty costs and customer service costs, dealer discounts. This all factors into how much to charge for a product, not just the cost of the components or the boards. If you can't recover profit from sales, you can't run a business.

If it's a hobby then the cost of the materials is all you care about. Not a hobby here, but I do have fun running the business.

Scott Mann

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Truthfully, I use the "steam" kit for everything.  I don't know if it actually happened, but they were supposed to all merge into one "universal" one, and I believe the steam version was it.  The difference appears to be in the serial data handling, the "steam" handles a lower amplitude serial data signal without issue.

So the the steam kit will work with diesels, stem with tether, and with IR drawbar?

Thanks.

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