I struggle with technology, but recognize its value. 

For instance, I think LC+ is a terrific technological breakthrough in the world of O Gauge trains because it has fun and interesting features, does not overwhelm me, is user friendly, and is affordable.

I've been running my 3 LC+ locomotives with their dedicated remote units, which I love. So does my 7 year old granddaughter. I have the Universal Remote  and I downloaded the LC+ App on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 smartphone, but I have not used them yet. 

This morning I read the instructions and did a Forum search on LC+ to start educating myself about the Universal Remote and the App. I need to learn how to use them because I am purchasing an LC+2.0 switcher in the new Lionel catalogue, and the dedicated remotes do not come with the new LC+2.0 engines.

All of us who have recently ordered LC+2.0 locomotives need to educate ourselves about them. If you have any questions or concerns about them, you can raise them on this thread, where we can pool our knowledge. We have plenty of time to do this because I understand that Lionel projects delivery of the LC+2.0 engines in the new catalogue in the 2nd quarter of 2020.

I will start us off with the following:

According to prior posts re LC+ engines, the LC+ App gets updated periodically. I have the LionChief App Version 2.3.0 that I downloaded from Google Play Store about 1 year ago. Is that the latest version of this App?

Arnold

 

 

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Original Post

The LC+ 2.0 locomotives are going to be TMCC locomotives with BlueTooth capability.  This is very similar to the currently shipping Legacy stuff that has Legacy control and BlueTooth.  Either of these will run with the LC phone app, the universal remote.  In addition they run with the TMCC or Legacy command system.

Arnold D. Cribari posted:

 

According to prior posts re LC+ engines, the LC+ App gets updated periodically. I have the LionChief App Version 2.3.0 that I downloaded from Google Play Store about 1 year ago. Is that the latest version of this App?

 

Yes, that's the latest version. We're aiming to do updates twice a year.

Here's a how-to video for the Android version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...2vIBdqN7c&t=544s

The iOS version is similar.

I have it on my to-do list to make a video for the Universal Remote. Working on videos for some LCS components first.

Dave Olson

Director of Engineering

Lionel LLC

Mr. Dave Olson, thank you so much for your reply and the link therein for the How To Video for the LC+App and Android smartphone. 

I just listened to the video and it explained everything beautifully. Now I have the confidence to start using the LC+ App, which I will do this evening.

For any of you Forum members that are hesitant like I was about using the LC+ App, do yourself a favor and watch the How To Video. 

IMO, those of us that are over 6O years of age, like me, often need help with technology like this. What is so great about the video is that you can go over things 2, 3 or more times that you may not fully understand the 1st time you see and hear it. Younger Forum members, IMO, will tend to grasp this technology more quickly and easily. Of course, there are many exceptions to the above.  Arnold

 

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Arnold, you are correct.  Even though I have worked in the electronics field mostly for power and telecom companies, the technology changes faster and faster and I have trouble too.  That is probably why the only job I could find after the early retirement was as an entry level technical support rep for a different telecom.  I'm 40 years older than some of these fellows who I have to call for guidance when handling customer calls!!!!  

I just ran my LC+ New Haven FA AAs using the App for the first time. I can't believe how easy and fun it is running the trains with the smartphone.  The Video also explains how to make the various adjustments to the sounds, momentum, speed limit, etc. 

I know that such features have been around for a long time, but I avoided them because I didn't want to make running trains too complicated. IMO, what makes the LC+ technology so brilliant is that it's so easy to use. This App can be used by model railroaders from age of 4 to 110. All one needs to do is watch the How To Video posted above by Dave Olson, and then run your LC+ locomotive! Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

One more thing, Mr. Olson.

I think it's a great idea that you plan to make a How To Video for using the LC Universal Remote. It would be great if such a video could be available well before the 2nd quarter of 2020 when Lionel delivers the new LC+2.0 engines that do not come with the dedicated remote. Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

cjack posted:

What size are these engines? Standard O or what they call Traditional?

Chuck, from my anecdotal experience, I think they are different sizes. For instance, I believe my LC+ Erie Camelback is scale O, whereas my LC+ New Haven FA AA diesel and Jersey Central Pacific steamers are traditional.

As I glance at the new Lionel catalogue, it seems that all the New LC+2.0 run on 031 curves, and most run on O27 curves, which is an indication they are traditional. 

My layout is such that I prefer traditional.

Legacy Steam and Legacy Diesel usually require wider curves and are much more likely to be scale O. Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Thank you. That answers my question. Lionel is somewhat inconsistent on designating the scale. Also there was a couple of engines a year or more ago that had some funky Legacy in them due to space requirements. I forget what it was called. It resulted in a very nonlinear startup speed versus turning the dial. I wonder if that will come up again. 

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

Thanks for mentioning the running on 031. That should help. The engine I was thinking of is an N&W Legacy Lionmaster A. It runs on 031 and is clearly Traditional, but the description on Lionel's site says Scale Type: Scale. Not Traditional. And no hint on the different kind of Legacy electronics inside.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

Most of the LC stuff is traditional, but stuff like the A5 and the Camelback were scale sized.  I suspect the Dockside switcher will be close to scale sized for an 0-6-0 as well.

Virtually all LC and LC+ sets still come with a dedicated remote, except one LC+2.0 (Manufacturer's set?) if I recall correctly.  I think this is a wise decision to make sure the customer doesn't require a smart device to operate a new Lionel set. This is as compared with MTH sets,  who,  despite their higher prices,  do not come with any sort of control device.  This is one reason I prefer LC sets to Railking sets when making recommendations to new hobbyists. Another is cost.  More options, less upfront cost in most instances.

LC+2.0 is a direct response to hobbyist pressure from experienced folks who want LC+ but want to use their TMCC or Legacy system to control the loco.  Doesn't matter to me (I like the additional "free" remotes that came with all LC and LC+ locos in the past), but it matters to some,  so why not give people options?  In any case, the universal remote (another option) is, relatively speaking, dirt cheap (about $40 from many retailers), and will also operate new Legacy locos that have Bluetooth.  Seems complex to some, but having lots of choices is still better than fewer choices in my view.  Going forward all Lionel locos will operate with Bluetooth (the free app), the universal remote and any included dedicated remote.  No additional expenses required.

The new Lionel catalogue says on page 70: "LionChief Plus 2.0 engines do not come with their own remote."

However, LionChief engines continue to come with their own dedicated remote.

The above is also spelled out in the comparison of features listed on page 71 of the new catalogue. Arnold

 

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

"The new Lionel catalogue says on page 70: "LionChief Plus 2.0 engines do not come with their own remote."

That's only for the separate sale locos, which makes some sense.  LC+2.0 sets with track on pp. 74-75 (Granite Run Quarry; Easter Eggspress and Christmas Candies) come with a LC remote.  The LC+2.0 set on pp. 82-83 (Pennsylvania Fast Freight) contains no track and no remote.  The Manufacturer's Set I mentioned above in error is actually a Legacy set with no track.  So we are both right to some extent . Sets with track will include a LC remote, at least in this catalog, as would also make sense. 

I would hope they won't move to selling sets intended for beginners with track that have no control capabilities unless you pay for them yourself, as MTH does.  This just raises the barrier to entry into the hobby a bit, which makes no marketing sense to me. 

The wisdom of LionChief is, I think, now pretty much evident, as you and I seem to agree. Inexpensive, simple, reliable and flexible.  A home run in my opinion. LC+2.0 extends that approach one more step by including TMCC/Legacy functions.

What a brilliant marketing move it was for Lionel and other major manufacturers to have trains that can be run from a smartphone app. This development, more than anything, will enhance the popularity of model railroading well into the future, IMO. Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Most of the LC stuff is traditional, but stuff like the A5 and the Camelback were scale sized.  I suspect the Dockside switcher will be close to scale sized for an 0-6-0 as well.

The FTs, NW2 switchers, and the GP-7s and GP-9s are scale-sized as well, so a significant number of the diesels are scale-sized. Other than the A5, Camelback and Docksider, all of the steamers are the smaller traditional size, that I'm aware of. 

breezinup posted:
gunrunnerjohn posted:

Most of the LC stuff is traditional, but stuff like the A5 and the Camelback were scale sized.  I suspect the Dockside switcher will be close to scale sized for an 0-6-0 as well.

The FTs, NW2 switchers, and the GP-7s and GP-9s are scale-sized as well, so a significant number of the diesels are scale-sized. Other than the A5, Camelback and Docksider, all of the steamers are the smaller traditional size, that I'm aware of. 

My LC+ NH FAs shown below are definitely traditional size:20180427_210805

Only 1 of the FA units is powered so it is not a great puller. It can pull a few Postwar passenger cars and about 8 modern light weight freight cars, so it is only OK as a puller. Otherwise, it runs, smokes and sounds great, and I think it looks great too, so I am glad I have it.

If both FA units were powered. I think it would have been a great puller and could haul 10+ heavy operating box cars like the Lionel Postwar operating coal/ore dump cars, which are among my very favorites. Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

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Buy another set, swap shells  and have two powered units.  You'll have to swap some leads so they run properly if you run tail to tail, but then they'll work great together.

Arnold D. Cribari posted:
breezinup posted:
gunrunnerjohn posted:

Most of the LC stuff is traditional, but stuff like the A5 and the Camelback were scale sized.  I suspect the Dockside switcher will be close to scale sized for an 0-6-0 as well.

The FTs, NW2 switchers, and the GP-7s and GP-9s are scale-sized as well, so a significant number of the diesels are scale-sized. Other than the A5, Camelback and Docksider, all of the steamers are the smaller traditional size, that I'm aware of. 

My LC+ NH FAs shown below are definitely traditional size:

Yes, the Alco FAs are traditional-sized; the EMD FTs are scale-sized.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Buy another set, swap shells  and have two powered units.  You'll have to swap some leads so they run properly if you run tail to tail, but then they'll work great together.

I did that with a SantaFe LionChief set, two powered units, I switched the plug on one and they respond together to the universal remote.

BOB WALKER posted:

Let's not forget to credit Dave Rees at BlueRail Trains for creating the first smart device app based control system several years ago.

Actually, Bob Krivacic developed the first B/T / phone-app train operating system.  Bob lives in the Bay Area, but we were visiting the Angels Gate RR Club in San Pedro 6-8 or so years ago where he showed the system publicly for the first time.

 

 

RT   

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Buy another set, swap shells  and have two powered units.  You'll have to swap some leads so they run properly if you run tail to tail, but then they'll work great together.

Thanks, Gunrunner John. That's a great idea, especially for a very big layout. Then, one can run a lashup of 4 FAs: 2 powered and 2 non-powered units, and probably have plenty of pulling power to run a very long train. 

Of course, that would double the cost of the locomotives, which is another consideration. Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Arnold D. Cribari posted:

Of course, that would double the cost of the locomotives, which is another consideration. Arnold

Are you another one of those have your cake and eat it too people?  

I am a bit surprised how weak those are, I have zero issues pulling 40-50 freight cars with any of my Legacy two-motored diesels, and I'm sure they'll pull at least a dozen 18" passenger cars.  My MTH Genesis pulls eleven MTH Amtrak passenger cars and doesn't even break a sweat, at our recent show it was pulling eight superliners.  Even the LC+ Camelback pulls 25 modern freight cars.  Is that a very lightweight engine?

I have a strategy I have for LC+ and my new LC+2.0 from the new catalogue once I get it, which I will now share because I think it may help others besides me.

Lionel, IMO, has been great making repairs free of charge if anything goes wrong during the 1 year warranty period. However, I am nervous about repairs once the warranty period expires.

My strategy is as follows to reduce the need for LC+/LC+2.0 future repairs. I only run them for show, when I have an audience and to entertain my granddaughters. 

For my daily runs, I mainly use my Postwar locomotives, which I also love, that are easy to maintain and get fixed.  Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

gunrunnerjohn posted:
Arnold D. Cribari posted:

Of course, that would double the cost of the locomotives, which is another consideration. Arnold

Are you another one of those have your cake and eat it too people?  

I am a bit surprised how weak those are, I have zero issues pulling 40-50 freight cars with any of my Legacy two-motored diesels, and I'm sure they'll pull at least a dozen 18" passenger cars.  My MTH Genesis pulls eleven MTH Amtrak passenger cars and doesn't even break a sweat, at our recent show it was pulling eight superliners.  Even the LC+ Camelback pulls 25 modern freight cars.  Is that a very lightweight engine?

Yes, those LC+ NH FAs are light weight. However, my LC+ Erie Camelback and Jersey Central Pacific steamers are heavy and pull much better.

I love to have my cake and eat it too. Doesn't everybody? LOL, Arnold

PS, I greatly appreciate the sharing of mechanical knowledge that you do on this Forum, GunrunnerJohn!

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

You might consider adding some weight to the powered unit.  I have done that for a few locomotives, especially diesels.  It's amazing what a few ounces sometimes will do.

I added just over a pound to this HHP-8, and it almost doubled it's pulling power!  Before the weight, with six or seven 18" passenger cars, it would spin in any grades or sharp curves.  I'll pull a dozen now, and never missed a beat.  It used to weigh around 4 pounds, the extra pound has an amazing effect!

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gunrunnerjohn posted:

You might consider adding some weight to the powered unit.  I have done that for a few locomotives, especially diesels.  It's amazing what a few ounces sometimes will do.

I added just over a pound to this HHP-8, and it almost doubled it's pulling power!  Before the weight, with six or seven 18" passenger cars, it would spin in any grades or sharp curves.  I'll pull a dozen now, and never missed a beat.  It used to weigh around 4 pounds, the extra pound has an amazing effect!

Thanks again, GunrunnerJohn.

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

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