Hello everyone,

We are excited to announce that Scott Mann of 3rd Rail will be taking on a new licensing deal with Lionel for the distribution of ERR Products. Scott is a fixture in the train space and has been connected to Lionel using the ERR technology/boards in his products for over 10 years. Stay tuned for future updates as it will take a few months to receive parts inventory and for Scott and his team to get up and running.

Here is the link to the official announcement on the Lionel website: http://www.lionel.com/articles...el-Electric-Railroad

Thanks!

Dave Olson

Director of Engineering

Lionel LLC

Original Post

Folks,  We are excited about this arrangement/agreement as well.  We hope we can provide you the support you have been accustomed to.  But for now, give us a few weeks to get our order page up, and know that we won't have stock for at least 4 months from the time we order to the board maker. Hoping for an October delivery schedule.

Cheers and thanks to Howard and his crew for putting this together so quickly and painlessly.

More later.

Scott Mann

sdmann posted:

Folks,  We are excited about this arrangement/agreement as well.  We hope we can provide you the support you have been accustomed to.  But for now, give us a few weeks to get our order page up, and know that we won't have stock for at least 4 months from the time we order to the board maker. Hoping for an October delivery schedule.

Cheers and thanks to Howard and his crew for putting this together so quickly and painlessly.

More later.

Scott Mann

Scott are you nuts?Boy you came out of left field to save the day. Goodluck, and Oct delivery time frame actually works for me.

Let me allay some fears and give you a few more details to avoid a lot of back and forth emails and questions. 

A. We are licensed to  produce only the following products:

1. Cruise Commander v4.1 (Including) o R4LC o Prog/Run Switch o Antenna

2. AC Commander (Including) o R4LC o Prog/Run Switch o Antenna

3. DC Commander (Including) o R4LC o Prog/Run Switch o Antenna

4. RSOE (RAILSOUNDS KIT) o Interconnect cables o Speaker 

5. Cruise “M” o Motor Driver

I am sorry if you don't see other items you may have wanted. Perhaps in the future we can consider it, but for now this is all that has been released  based on previous order volume.

B. Dealers of Electric Railroad will be offered Dealership status with us as well. Dealer discounts by % are the same.  We know many of the dealers's business relies on this to provide upgrades and service with some profit. So don't worry...

C. Prices will be determined by costs. We will do our best to keep the costs down, but if there are increases at the board manufacturer, we will have to pass these on in our Dealer and Retail Pricing. We won't know until we have received a quote. Give us until June 30th to know the exact prices.

D. If you missed ordering before, you will be able to order soon when our web site is up and running end of May. Orders for October will be similar to our Reservation system. No deposit required, but you better buy  when the boards arrive, or we will look at you funny when you try to order again. Then just sit back and wait for a notice of arrival when the boards are coming to us.

E. Service calls for previous product purchases (Before May 15th), will be referred back to Electric RR Company.  We currently can't answer your technical questions until we have staff in place. We warranty what we sell after May 15th 2018.

F.  I think that's enough details for now.  Once I have reviewed our web site with the folks at Lionel, and get the OK, we will release our link. 

Until then, sit tight and play play play.

Regards,

Scott Mann

 

Glad to hear that this is going to happen.  Personally, I will show my support for 3rd Rail by purchasing more of their products to reward them for this community oriented approach.  Don't need any ERR products just now, but always can use another locomotive or piece of rolling stock .

sdmann posted:

Let me allay some fears and give you a few more details to avoid a lot of back and forth emails and questions. 

A. We are licensed to  produce only the following products:

[snip]

4. RSOE (Including) o Interconnect cables o Speaker 

[snip]

Pardon my ignorance, I assume that the RSOE is the RailSounds Commander kit, but what do the "O" and the "E" stand for?

I just thought about something-this is even better than most of us think. 3rd Rail and subsequently GGD will now become known by a larger audience which means less canceled projects, more growth for Scott and the team, and more cool offerings. One customer who came into the shop during the Christmas season was eyeing a Lionel ATSF Hi-Level set, but it wasn't close enough to the prototype for him. He had never heard of GGD, so I told him about the El Capitan sets in 3 rail that were still left at the time (very few, must have been 2 or 3). He came back the next weekend and had purchased an entire set plus extra cars. This is great news for all, many more will come to appreciate the art Scott and the team put out.

Jim Harrington posted:

GRJ - How soon till the next batch of Supper Chuffers and Chuff Generators? 

I'll have to dust off the order book.

Good point, the TMCC stuff is much less interesting if we can't have sound!  Of course, since 3rd Rail is already using the OEM sound boards that are the same stuff ERR sells, one could logically assume that they should be able to offer them at some point as well.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Good point, the TMCC stuff is much less interesting if we can't have sound!  Of course, since 3rd Rail is already using the OEM sound boards that are the same stuff ERR sells, one could logically assume that they should be able to offer them at some point as well.

Lol, Railsounds too. - So, we will have to use a command board in dummy's. But, who cares.

sdmann posted:

Don't know why they call it RSOE - But the link to ERR shows it to be the Railsounds Kit:

Great Scott.  I was confused about the cable reference, I thought it was just some wiring.   I've never stumbled across that particular PDF before, I thought I had all the ERR documentation.

sdmann posted:

Let me allay some fears and give you a few more details to avoid a lot of back and forth emails and questions. 

A. We are licensed to  produce only the following products:

1. Cruise Commander v4.1 (Including) o R4LC o Prog/Run Switch o Antenna

2. AC Commander (Including) o R4LC o Prog/Run Switch o Antenna

3. DC Commander (Including) o R4LC o Prog/Run Switch o Antenna

4. RSOE (RAILSOUNDS KIT) o Interconnect cables o Speaker 

5. Cruise “M” o Motor Driver

Will that include the Cruise Commander Lite, or did that one get left at the station?

sdmann posted:

Don't know why they call it RSOE - But the link to ERR shows it to be the Railsounds Kit:

http://www.electricrr.com/Manu...lSoundsCmdr-Inst.pdf

Only referenced at the bottom of the manual.

Sorry Shawn, no conspiracy or controversy here.

Scott

Well now, now, isn't that good news! All that hateful banter too for NOTHING.... Don't mess with someone's train collection!

 

err surviv

 

TCA Number 16-71884

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I'll be there. I must admit that 3rd rail was one place that I thought might be a candidate to fill the gap; the other one was much farther back East. 

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?

Sound is important, but Control is more so. If the inventory needs to veer away from much Sound so Control can survive, so be it.  Sound is also more "fiddle-able".

Don't misquote me:

D. If you missed ordering before, you will be able to order soon when our web site is up and running end of May. Orders for October will be similar to our Reservation system. No deposit required, but you better buy  when the boards arrive, or we will look at you funny when you try to order again. Then just sit back and wait for a notice of arrival when the boards are coming to us.

You said "ORDER", I SAID "BUY".  Better buy what you order, or if you try to order again, we will look at your order as not so serious.

Scott Mann

For Dave Olson: What is Lionel's position regarding orders placed and PAID for via CC the weekend the ERR shutdown was announced? I realize ERR may not have inventory to support those orders, but they DID charge our CCs (mine was almost $400.00). When does Lionel think they are going to refund those monies since they can't fill the orders? It would be nice to have the refunds (or the ordered product) by this June.

I am happy that Lionel was able to salvage this in hurry, but can you image how much better 3rd Rail could have hit the ground running with TMCC upgrades if this deal would have been planned and transitioned over the last year or even 3 months?.... But this is just 20/20 hindsight thought. the situation is what it is and we are where we are.

A tip of the hat to Lionel for getting this back on the "Rails" and pat on the back to 3rd Rail for extending a helping hand. Thank you to both companies for keeping our trains rolling!

H1000

I wonder if they'll bring back the same boards (form factor, power consumption, components) or if this might be an opportunity for a redesign that has the same functions but performs better, is more robust, smaller, easier to install and may even cost less.  I'm not holding out for latter.

Scott,

After the initial rush will you be stocking product like ERR did, or will it all be advance orders only? I normally stock 5 - 6 Cruise CMDRs, 1 each DC CMDR and AC CMDR, and then order other items per my customer's requirements or as inventory gets low.

Best wishes for success in this additional venture.

 

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

          Division of the Southern Adirondack Railway Cartel

 

 

This is terrible news! So much hysteria, hand wringing and hate--all wasted! Howard Hitchcock told us early on that Lionel was trying to--and likely would--do this; and, darn, he wasn't just trying to pull a fast one on us. I'm so upset now, I'm going to sell off my layout and never buy even a black module from Lionel!

Retired is a misnomer.  Should be detired--less tired, more fun!

Kirk R posted:

I wonder if they'll bring back the same boards (form factor, power consumption, components) or if this might be an opportunity for a redesign that has the same functions but performs better, is more robust, smaller, easier to install and may even cost less.  I'm not holding out for latter.

Don't shoot the moon, I'm sure the initial thought is to bring back the existing product line, or at least the announced parts if it.

D&H 65 posted:

For Dave Olson: What is Lionel's position regarding orders placed and PAID for via CC the weekend the ERR shutdown was announced? I realize ERR may not have inventory to support those orders, but they DID charge our CCs (mine was almost $400.00). When does Lionel think they are going to refund those monies since they can't fill the orders? It would be nice to have the refunds (or the ordered product) by this June.

D&H 65, and others who are concerned about refunds:

Ken refunded all Paypal orders last Thursday and Friday.  Paypal will take a couple of business days to process them.  Once processed at Paypal, your CC will be credited.  We don't have any control over Paypal's timing for a CC refund;  I did notice quite a few folks have gotten their refunds already, judging from the posts I have read. 

Please be assured we handled this as fast as we could, and I would ask folks to email Ken if their refund is not received by next Monday, the 21st. 

jon

Past Head of Engineering at Lionel LLC (2006-2017)

Keith L posted:

This is terrible news! So much hysteria, hand wringing and hate--all wasted! Howard Hitchcock told us early on that Lionel was trying to--and likely would--do this; and, darn, he wasn't just trying to pull a fast one on us. I'm so upset now, I'm going to sell off my layout and never buy even a black module from Lionel!

Would be here right now with this deal between Lionel & 3rd Rail if people woulnd't have spoken up and expressed (yes I agree, a little excessively at times) their anger, unhappiness, and opinion about the initial closing of ERR?

Lionel caught a lot of flack for they way they handled this, but now we can move on and be happy that they got this temporary nightmare back on track.

H1000

Here's what I suggest regarding stocking boards.

I will be buying boards to satisfy the factory minimums, to keep the prices as low as possible, in line with the volume of orders by you all from the past and forecasted into to near future. Same as I do with our model train projects.

But I suggest, that each of you, retail and installer, stock the boards you think you will need in the next couple of years, because at anytime, a components that makes up these boards can go Unobtainium on us. That would require a redesign, higher production costs and higher retail and dealer costs. Or it could prove to be too much for such a product line to survive. You just don't know until it happens and you get that email from the factory. 

So if everyone buys what they foresee in the next couple of years, to stock up on boards that will be going in your favorite pieces, and spares in case there is damage or failures, then everyone will be happy.  Including me.

But if you think we will be making these forever, we won't. Minimums may change, component availability changes and then your up s..t creek. 

But until then, it's full steam ahead.

Scott 

sdmann posted:

Don't misquote me:

D. If you missed ordering before, you will be able to order soon when our web site is up and running end of May. Orders for October will be similar to our Reservation system. No deposit required, but you better buy  when the boards arrive, or we will look at you funny when you try to order again. Then just sit back and wait for a notice of arrival when the boards are coming to us.

You said "ORDER", I SAID "BUY".  Better buy what you order, or if you try to order again, we will look at your order as not so serious.

Scott Mann

Got it. (And I did say "approximate quote".)

Thanks for taking this on, also.  

This is great news.   Thanks to Scott & Lionel for listening to the great unwashed!

Now, are all the folks who swore off Lionel forever back on the bandwagon?

gunrunnerjohn posted:
sdmann posted:

Don't know why they call it RSOE - But the link to ERR shows it to be the Railsounds Kit:

Great Scott.  I was confused about the cable reference, I thought it was just some wiring.   I've never stumbled across that particular PDF before, I thought I had all the ERR documentation.

Image result for great scott

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jon Z.: Thanks so much for your input and clarification on the intentions going forward. I'll keep my eye out for the PayPal refunds.

Scott: Thanks so much for rescuing the ERR product line from termination. I will be sending an order once your website is up and running.

Scott,

Congratulations.

Delighted you took this aboard at your place. Absolutely demonstrates that you ARE crazy!

Seriously, wonderful  news for everyone who wants to fix or upgrade their trains with

TMCC components.

Ed Boyle

 

 

 

Scott and his team absolutely deserve credit for jumping in to save the ERR products. However, everyone should heed Scott’s own words that this can’t last forever and 3R/GGD should not be vilianized (in the way Lionel was) when the product ultimately is discontinued for technology turn/obsolescence reasons. That day is coming, and when it does, it won’t be Scott’s fault.  TMCC is contemporaneous with Windows 3.1 - a technology Microsoft replaced 23 years ago and wholly stopped supporting 17 years ago. At some point, a replacement technology will be required no matter how much goodwill and effort Scott’s team infuses into the current effort. In the meantime, it’s great Scott’s team can make it work for everyone involved. 

Rider Sandman posted:

Scott and his team absolutely deserve credit for jumping in to save the ERR products. However, everyone should heed Scott’s own words that this can’t last forever and 3R/GGD should not be vilianized (in the way Lionel was) when the product ultimately is discontinued for technology turn/obsolescence reasons. That day is coming, and when it does, it won’t be Scott’s fault.  TMCC is contemporaneous with Windows 3.1 - a technology Microsoft replaced 23 years ago and wholly stopped supporting 17 years ago. At some point, a replacement technology will be required no matter how much goodwill and effort Scott’s team infuses into the current effort. In the meantime, it’s great Scott’s team can make it work for everyone involved. 

Great post, I can agree with you in most of what you said. I may or may not speak for myself here but the root of the issue here isn't the "inevitable death of TMCC", I mean every type of technology dies, like windows 3.1 and the extremely useful Turbo button lol, BUTTTT those technologies were replaced with new, better, shoot even more affordable and durabel technology. What I'm trying to get at, and the reason I think people "villainized" ERR and/or Lionel, which was the same company technically speaking, was  because they are saying that the technology is becoming obsolete but not offering a viable replacement.

Look at MTH for example, I've used their PS3 upgrade kits, be it a killer on the wallet and a little harder to install, with great success and that is, and will always be, their product for those with great running engines but want to add some current features and/or you are like me and just like tinkering with stuff, I digress...

If Scott and Lionel really want this to work for the long term, and that's a big IF, gosh knows what they have planned to be honest; Those upgrades, be it to TMCC or LEGACY or TMCC with new components and features or LIONCHIEF Extreme, whatever it will be called, needs to be available. If it's not, it just looks like Lionel is just making it's customers buy new engines VS continue to enjoy our investments by adding a new smaller investment. It's a win win for Lionel to offer the upgrade.

Daniel Gonzalez

Guys, 

What's really great about this business is that the customers have some really intelligent and thoughtful suggestions. I listen even if I don't respond.

I think in the future, the path for upgrades will continue.  It's just a little early to see who and what will be involved in the upgrade business or even what the technology will be. But what I did see, is that it was too early to drop the ERR product without something else to jump to. My hope too, is that I can be involved in this evolution. But one never knows, you can just keep yourself open to it and positioned for it.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Jon Z.  Without his invention and creativity, we wouldn't be having this discussion. 

Scott

Dear Scott

Thank you and please let us have the web address as soon as it goes live. I hope the website does not crash from the orders that will come thru.

When you can also let us know if you get any other parts of the ERR product line. I have some milk cars, log and coal cars that need a refit.

Kris

 

A proud member of the Brotherhood of Carpet Layouts.  Permanent layout scheduled for Spring of  2019. New Home of Phoenix Train Works (Name of Layout)

 

sdmann posted:

I think in the future, the path for upgrades will continue.  It's just a little early to see who and what will be involved in the upgrade business or even what the technology will be.  But what I did see, is that it was too early to drop the ERR product without something else to jump to.

Scott

I think Scott succinctly states the salient point in this whole affair - the product shouldn't have been dropped until a replacement was available, as many others above have noted as well.  It's wonderful that he's picking up the loose ball and is going to keep running with it.

Daniel J. Gonzalez posted:
Rider Sandman posted:

Scott and his team absolutely deserve credit for jumping in to save the ERR products. However, everyone should heed Scott’s own words that this can’t last forever and 3R/GGD should not be vilianized (in the way Lionel was) when the product ultimately is discontinued for technology turn/obsolescence reasons. That day is coming, and when it does, it won’t be Scott’s fault.  TMCC is contemporaneous with Windows 3.1 - a technology Microsoft replaced 23 years ago and wholly stopped supporting 17 years ago. At some point, a replacement technology will be required no matter how much goodwill and effort Scott’s team infuses into the current effort. In the meantime, it’s great Scott’s team can make it work for everyone involved. 

Great post, I can agree with you in most of what you said. I may or may not speak for myself here but the root of the issue here isn't the "inevitable death of TMCC", I mean every type of technology dies, like windows 3.1 and the extremely useful Turbo button lol, BUTTTT those technologies were replaced with new, better, shoot even more affordable and durabel technology. What I'm trying to get at, and the reason I think people "villainized" ERR and/or Lionel, which was the same company technically speaking, was  because they are saying that the technology is becoming obsolete but not offering a viable replacement.

Look at MTH for example, I've used their PS3 upgrade kits, be it a killer on the wallet and a little harder to install, with great success and that is, and will always be, their product for those with great running engines but want to add some current features and/or you are like me and just like tinkering with stuff, I digress...

If Scott and Lionel really want this to work for the long term, and that's a big IF, gosh knows what they have planned to be honest; Those upgrades, be it to TMCC or LEGACY or TMCC with new components and features or LIONCHIEF Extreme, whatever it will be called, needs to be available. If it's not, it just looks like Lionel is just making it's customers buy new engines VS continue to enjoy our investments by adding a new smaller investment. It's a win win for Lionel to offer the upgrade.

I disagree about one thing. You computer OS Comparison. A toy train goes around a track. The increase of what can be done with techno will be limited. The OS changes in computers correlated to faster hardware and features and integration with a wide variety of devices. The train functions are limited. Therefore, backward compatibility can be maintained with ease. Beside's,  receiver chips are not going away any time soon. Nor FETS or optocouplers. Used in a mass number of things. Redesign, for parts non availability is another thing. Happens, all the time. So, it comes down to the expense of redesign.

Thank you Scott and thank you Lionel.  I will be out shopping again.  Also, thank you to all the forum members for stressing to Lionel in MANY ways the importance in this hobby of having options to upgrade our trains. The ERR products are easy to work with for the average Joe. 

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. 

sdmann posted:

Let me allay some fears and give you a few more details to avoid a lot of back and forth emails and questions. 

A. We are licensed to  produce only the following products:

1. Cruise Commander v4.1 (Including) o R4LC o Prog/Run Switch o Antenna

2. AC Commander (Including) o R4LC o Prog/Run Switch o Antenna

3. DC Commander (Including) o R4LC o Prog/Run Switch o Antenna

4. RSOE (RAILSOUNDS KIT) o Interconnect cables o Speaker 

5. Cruise “M” o Motor Driver

I am sorry if you don't see other items you may have wanted. Perhaps in the future we can consider it, but for now this is all that has been released  based on previous order volume.

B. Dealers of Electric Railroad will be offered Dealership status with us as well. Dealer discounts by % are the same.  We know many of the dealers's business relies on this to provide upgrades and service with some profit. So don't worry...

C. Prices will be determined by costs. We will do our best to keep the costs down, but if there are increases at the board manufacturer, we will have to pass these on in our Dealer and Retail Pricing. We won't know until we have received a quote. Give us until June 30th to know the exact prices.

D. If you missed ordering before, you will be able to order soon when our web site is up and running end of May. Orders for October will be similar to our Reservation system. No deposit required, but you better buy  when the boards arrive, or we will look at you funny when you try to order again. Then just sit back and wait for a notice of arrival when the boards are coming to us.

E. Service calls for previous product purchases (Before May 15th), will be referred back to Electric RR Company.  We currently can't answer your technical questions until we have staff in place. We warranty what we sell after May 15th 2018.

F.  I think that's enough details for now.  Once I have reviewed our web site with the folks at Lionel, and get the OK, we will release our link. 

Until then, sit tight and play play play.

Regards,

Scott Mann

 

So no Cruise Lite,  No MiniCommander2 ???

That is NOT good news.   I hope you can add those or "S" gauge upgrades will not happen.

Carl

 

 

I think this is great news for the hobby.  Thanks to Dave Olson and Scott Mann for getting this agreement to the finishline. I think this also shows the worth of the OGR forum and its members to do a modern version of a write in campaign like we tried to do in 1970 to  get Billy Grabarkewitz voted into the baseball all star game by writing his name on the ballot.   That was kind of hard to do, given the small space for actually writing in the name.   That was a long shot then, just like getting the ERR back into production today. But, Billy G did, in fact, get named as a reserve for the National League.  Billy G was a rookie third baseman for the Dodgers.

 

Dave B, from Tacoma, WA, TCA #14-70330

 

Congrats Scott for picking this up. I specialize in TMCC installations and particularly "S" gauge. There are a bunch of us in S gauge that only use the Cruise Lite because the DC, AC and Cruise Commanders are to big for most of S gauge engines. I am hoping that in the future this may be something you can also manufacture. 

Thanks,

Ed Goldin

Lionel Authorized Repair Station

Specializing in American Flyer, S-Helper and

American Models TMCC Installations

Authorized ERR Dealer

Member TCA & NASG 





 

 

Carl Tuveson posted:
sdmann posted:

Let me allay some fears and give you a few more details to avoid a lot of back and forth emails and questions. 

A. We are licensed to  produce only the following products:

1. Cruise Commander v4.1 (Including) o R4LC o Prog/Run Switch o Antenna

2. AC Commander (Including) o R4LC o Prog/Run Switch o Antenna

3. DC Commander (Including) o R4LC o Prog/Run Switch o Antenna

4. RSOE (RAILSOUNDS KIT) o Interconnect cables o Speaker 

5. Cruise “M” o Motor Driver

I am sorry if you don't see other items you may have wanted. Perhaps in the future we can consider it, but for now this is all that has been released  based on previous order volume.

B. Dealers of Electric Railroad will be offered Dealership status with us as well. Dealer discounts by % are the same.  We know many of the dealers's business relies on this to provide upgrades and service with some profit. So don't worry...

C. Prices will be determined by costs. We will do our best to keep the costs down, but if there are increases at the board manufacturer, we will have to pass these on in our Dealer and Retail Pricing. We won't know until we have received a quote. Give us until June 30th to know the exact prices.

D. If you missed ordering before, you will be able to order soon when our web site is up and running end of May. Orders for October will be similar to our Reservation system. No deposit required, but you better buy  when the boards arrive, or we will look at you funny when you try to order again. Then just sit back and wait for a notice of arrival when the boards are coming to us.

E. Service calls for previous product purchases (Before May 15th), will be referred back to Electric RR Company.  We currently can't answer your technical questions until we have staff in place. We warranty what we sell after May 15th 2018.

F.  I think that's enough details for now.  Once I have reviewed our web site with the folks at Lionel, and get the OK, we will release our link. 

Until then, sit tight and play play play.

Regards,

Scott Mann

 

So no Cruise Lite,  No MiniCommander2 ???

That is NOT good news.   I hope you can add those or "S" gauge upgrades will not happen.

Carl

 

 

Carl Tuveson posted:
sdmann posted:

Let me allay some fears and give you a few more details to avoid a lot of back and forth emails and questions. 

A. We are licensed to  produce only the following products:

1. Cruise Commander v4.1 (Including) o R4LC o Prog/Run Switch o Antenna

2. AC Commander (Including) o R4LC o Prog/Run Switch o Antenna

3. DC Commander (Including) o R4LC o Prog/Run Switch o Antenna

4. RSOE (RAILSOUNDS KIT) o Interconnect cables o Speaker 

5. Cruise “M” o Motor Driver

I am sorry if you don't see other items you may have wanted. Perhaps in the future we can consider it, but for now this is all that has been released  based on previous order volume.

B. Dealers of Electric Railroad will be offered Dealership status with us as well. Dealer discounts by % are the same.  We know many of the dealers's business relies on this to provide upgrades and service with some profit. So don't worry...

C. Prices will be determined by costs. We will do our best to keep the costs down, but if there are increases at the board manufacturer, we will have to pass these on in our Dealer and Retail Pricing. We won't know until we have received a quote. Give us until June 30th to know the exact prices.

D. If you missed ordering before, you will be able to order soon when our web site is up and running end of May. Orders for October will be similar to our Reservation system. No deposit required, but you better buy  when the boards arrive, or we will look at you funny when you try to order again. Then just sit back and wait for a notice of arrival when the boards are coming to us.

E. Service calls for previous product purchases (Before May 15th), will be referred back to Electric RR Company.  We currently can't answer your technical questions until we have staff in place. We warranty what we sell after May 15th 2018.

F.  I think that's enough details for now.  Once I have reviewed our web site with the folks at Lionel, and get the OK, we will release our link. 

Until then, sit tight and play play play.

Regards,

Scott Mann

 

So no Cruise Lite,  No MiniCommander2 ???

That is NOT good news.   I hope you can add those or "S" gauge upgrades will not happen.

Carl

 

 

Carl, I didn't even think about them for S gauge. The size constraint's . I've used 2 of them for smaller lionel steamers. It's sad, especially, when Lionel has been trying to increase interest and production of S. No, one knows the license deal that Scott has with Lionel. It did sound like he had the right to make them. But, the order numbers didn't justify making them. Understood!

Maybe, you could put in a big order?

I also wonder, can he pass on the right to someone else that would be willing to do small runs. He seems like a square guy. So, I'm sure he will clarify.

What do you mean “this is not good news” this morning there was no chance of an ERR product being available, now there is. You’ll have to wait n see. I’m sure Scott will pick up the cruise lite down the way

For those who have specific requests or needs, might I suggest avoiding too much heat,  without much light which was a significant element in the original discussions?  Please just let 3rd Rail and Scott get things going, stay calm, reasonable and polite.  Let him know what you want with a civil, informative and rational email or letter. When the dust settles, you may get what you need.

Brewman1973 posted:

I think this is great news for the hobby.  Thanks to Dave Olson and Scott Mann for getting this agreement to the finishline. I think this also shows the worth of the OGR forum and its members to do a modern version of a write in campaign like we tried to do in 1970 to  get Billy Grabarkewitz voted into the baseball all star game by writing his name on the ballot.   That was kind of hard to do, given the small space for actually writing in the name.   That was a long shot then, just like getting the ERR back into production today. But, Billy G did, in fact, get named as a reserve for the National League.  Billy G was a rookie third baseman for the Dodgers.

 

Lol, Boog Powell, Look at all those poor players never on a World series team. Lol, If we took all the Yankees World series rings and melted down the gold. One could make electric railroad PCB's for a couple of hundred years.

Matt Makens posted:

HMMMM, I’m surprised nobody saw this coming. This is a great deal for everybody. Congratulations Scott on a job well done.

I need to get my $900 back from ERR before I can order more

Lol, 900.00... I leave that for tips. 

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?

Thanks Scott and Lionel for keeping a great product line available!!

I know it's old tech but like the old Maytag washers it works reliably and dependably.

Now I have a path forward to update more of my older Weaver and Williams brass steamers.

Some sort of a "dummy" commander would be useful for sound cars and non powered locos.

Now I need to save up for a bigger order when production resumes  !!!!!

Dave

 

Landsteiner posted:

For those who have specific requests or needs, might I suggest avoiding too much heat,  without much light which was a significant element in the original discussions?  Please just let 3rd Rail and Scott get things going, stay calm, reasonable and polite.  Let him know what you want with a civil, informative and rational email or letter. When the dust settles, you may get what you need.

I let you spear head this one.  It didn't go so well last time with some even though a lot of folks tried. LOL!

Marty

 

Below the Signature...

Congratulations UP Steam Team!

 

I'm glad people will be able to get what they need.

For what it's worth the only part on these boards that I can think of that could become unavailable, without another part existing that is a direct drop in replacement, is a microprocessor. Perhaps before a new high volume run of boards is produced would be a good time to update the processor, if that is an issue.  Unless some obscure footprint part was used elsewhere?  

I can't see it being unprofitable to make any of these boards, unless the licensing fee is obscene.  

$ 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.” 

 

 

Matt Makens posted:

What do you mean “this is not good news” this morning there was no chance of an ERR product being available, now there is. You’ll have to wait n see. I’m sure Scott will pick up the cruise lite down the way

For the S Gauge world it is not Good news. This is My and many other users world too.

People seem to forget that back then need for small format modules was the reason ERR got started in the first place with the Mini Commander, their first product.

Conversion of American Models Diesels is impossible with out the Mini's and Mini-2s.

I hope they reconsider these. The Cruise Lite was also great for smaller O gauge conversions. 

I don't have the resources to buy a large lot myself but the engineering and tooling still exists so how much would it cost to crank out these too? 

Carl

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

 

Below the Signature...

Congratulations UP Steam Team!

 

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)

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.

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

The MC-II is the only one that fits.  Sadly, that's one that isn't currently slated to be picked up in the currently licensing deal.  I'm hopeful that maybe in the future it may happen, it all depends on how much volume there would be.  I'm glad I stocked up on the MC-II boards before they disappeared as I have a number of projects that I'll need them for.  I just wish I had more MC-ACC boards, I didn't plan far enough ahead on those.

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 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 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.

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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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