Originally Posted by SantaFeFan:

Folks, an upcoming Vision Line loco is where I am spending 90% of my time right now.  Even "Scrapiron Scher" is going to be *very* impressed with the features.  Now back to the LCS discussion....

Hmmmmmm this comment is certainly going to get peoples attention.

Perhaps we will finally get a Vision Line Thomas the Tank engine

 

-Chris

I am patiently waiting for the LCS hardware and for the next round of iPads.  I think this is going to be great for layout control!  much cleaner and simpler than switch panels.  Although I must admit, some people are master craftsman when it comes to control panels (i'm not one of them, but maybe i'll make a cool holder for the iPad, and as my layout grows perhaps I'll make a few holders at key points). 

Originally Posted by cbojanower:
Originally Posted by SantaFeFan:

Folks, an upcoming Vision Line loco is where I am spending 90% of my time right now.  Even "Scrapiron Scher" is going to be *very* impressed with the features.  Now back to the LCS discussion....

Hmmmmmm this comment is certainly going to get peoples attention.

Perhaps we will finally get a Vision Line Thomas the Tank engine

all kidding aside, that would be cool!

Jon, another idea for the app. If we can have acc like the gantry crane displayed on our layout. And controlled by the lcs. Can you make a turntable track piece in the track library. then we can maybe click on that piece to enlarge it along with the connected stall and approach tracks.then just by touching up or down buttons or swiping the turn table track icon itself it will move it in either direction. You could also touch the approach track of choice and it would make it line up with that track. We could use the err mini commander hooked up to any turn table for the tmcc and a small transformer deticated to the turntable motor for power.This is just a thought. Could this even be possible to control this way with lcs app? Hope this gives you another idea for the next software upgrade.

One suggestion I would like to make if it is not part of the plan already is a "yard mode speed limit." 

I know you can set speed limits for engines on the Legacy remote, but it would be nice to have a seperate "Yard Mode" specific speed limit.  This would only work on the iPad and only when in the "Yard Mode."  This way, you could set it at a fairly low number and while using the iPad slider bar you could keep an eye on the engine while not worrying about going too fast and smashing into your cars.  Prefferably the "yard mode speed limit" would be set on the ipad and be unique to each engine, that way I could have a fairly low number for my legacy diesels and a higher number for something like my track mobile.  I think this would address one of the only problems I see with the iPad, no tactile feedback like you get from the remote.  However, I think iPad addresses the problem of the legacy remote, hard to remember what switch is what number.  just my 2 cents, happy railroading!

An exception is the switches (TMCC capable); these use a simplified command sequence and are system wide compatible...

Jon or someone, can you tell me if you have the LCS app and fastrack command control switches, does the iPad know what direction the switch is pointing? Through or out? In the videos it appears as if the iPad knows how a switch is aligned. Curious if this is true and or if only true with a certain configuration.
From the demo at York it was certainly my impression that the iPad does know the position of the switch.
 
Originally Posted by jrmertz:
An exception is the switches (TMCC capable); these use a simplified command sequence and are system wide compatible...

Jon or someone, can you tell me if you have the LCS app and fastrack command control switches, does the iPad know what direction the switch is pointing? Through or out? In the videos it appears as if the iPad knows how a switch is aligned. Curious if this is true and or if only true with a certain configuration.

 

Marty

 

Below the Signature...

"Awesome Treksgiving dinner with Captain Kirk"

 

My layout is 18 x 30 ft with roughly 250 ft of track and 26 switches. I use TPC 400's to regulate power and SC-2's to control the switches. I've been using an iPad for several years, so I'm familiar with the various hand gestures used to zoom the display on an app. I've just downloaded the app but have done nothing more than review the info and have watched the YouTube presentations from Lionel and LCCA. So, questions: 1. Is the layout display going to be scaleable, or am I going to create my layout display in segments? 2. Will I be able to enter my engine roster from my CAB-2, or will I have to separately enter it into the LCS? 3. I assume this new system will be compatible with the TPC's and SC-2's. Correct? 4. Given age and mobility factors, York isn't really an option. Will there be an LA area presentation?

"1. Is the layout display going to be scaleable"

 

i think not...

 

"The concept we have is to create "Action Centers" that represent areas of the layout being controlled, not necessarily the entire layout.  We have seen folks capture their entire layout on one screen view; and those layouts typically were 12 x 16 at most. "

Fabulous Forrest at the Brewer Ave & Pacific RR 

Just to for fun to play devils advocate on a few points below (please don't take offense just trying to share thoughts).
 
 
Originally Posted by Scrapiron Scher:

         

Here is yet another reason why the Ipad app is simply not practical for layouts larger than 12' x 16'. In addition to the issue of controlling switches and loco functions at the same time is the issue of layout size, complexity, type of track, radius of curves, and age. For a layout like mine (roughly 20' x 30') and largely finished and using Atlas O track, the installation of infrared detectors is not realistic. Using DCS to control my switches requires only four TIU's and the handheld. Since installation, it has worked flawlessly.

 

This makes sense as far as operating switches goes, and not wanting to install sensor tracks, but I feel this hobby often requires removing and changing our layouts for new peices of hardware, whether they be accessories or track, but I must admit pulling track is more work than pulling trees

 

This being said, who will go for the Ipad approach to command control with Legacy?

New operators laying Fasttrack? Certainly not folks under the age of 20. They will not have the resources to pour into locos, Cab-2's and Ipads. Large layouts like mine, even if outfitted with the app would need five or six Ipads.

 

I agree and disagree on this one, many under 20 somethings probably already have an iPad and look forward to using it with their hobby of trains.  Also, why would I need 6 iPads for a large layout, it is wireless, I carry it with me no different than the DCS or Legacy remote.  I might want 6 or so "cradles" around my layout were I would like to set my iPad for use.  

 

As far as not having resources, I agree that many under 20 something's wont have money for a bunch of high end stuff but this app doesn't require a bunch of high end stuff, it can be used with conventional layouts as well (i thought i read that above anyways) so the iPad can stay with them as their layout grows.

 

Also, as far as resources go, I know you want more high end locos with more features those cost money under 20 something's don't have too

 

Where would they be located? Perhas on the opposite side of the layout from where I am standing? In the middle aisle to control the yard? 

 

Older operators (40 and up) not into the techie stuff with their track down will not want to

retrofit for the purpose of moving into detectors and Ipads. Sure, some will, but the vast majority will not. I do not need a detector to blow my whistle as the train passes a road. That is what my Cab-2 is for. I want to blow the whistle.

 

I certainly do not want to have to buy four or five Ipads.

 

Try telling your wife that the four or five Ipads you are buying will not be available to her when she wants to book a trip to Hawaii because they're down in the train room. Hysterical !!!

 

I'm not undrstanding why so many iPads are needed?  same as before, it is wireless and designed to be like a switch board.  So I guess if you built several switch boards for your layout then maybe you would want several ipads.  The wife might go for 2 if she gets to keep one for use

 

Why do I go off of this issue? Obviously, these comments are very "rant like." The answer is two fold. 1) I want Lionel's resources directed to where they will benefit operators like myself. I want whistle steam vision locos. Regardless of the Lionel comments, we all know that companies have limited resources. Pouring resources into this disregards the majority of operators, IMHO.

 

I want more of this too, but I still want the iPad app

 

2) I am pretty tired of the "app" thing. Thousands of apps abound that really don't do much to improve the quality of life. Mostly, they take what we do already, and switch it to an Ipad. I cannot smoke a cigar on an Ipad.

 

you might be able to use one to light it though, I've seen some charger issues on the news!

 

Grumpy Curmudgeon Scrapiron Scher

 

Cantankerous-Curmudgeon-Olde-Coot-Beer-logo

 

"I want Lionel's resources directed to where they will benefit operators like myself. "

 

That's the problem. I haven't seen Lionel's financials but I'm willing to wager that they're probably a lot like the financials of other specialty enthusiast companies which is to say not great. Their not too distant past is certainly filled with financial difficulties. Operators like yourself are older and I hate to say but you won't be around forever. At some point Lionel needs to start attracting a new generation of customers. Tapping into baby boomer nostalgia isn't a viable long-term business model.  

 

Personally, I prefer the older style controls though for different reasons. I work in the digital entertainment business so when I get home I like to get away from that sort of stuff which is why I got into trains and also also why I enjoy making wooden kayaks/paddleboards. That said, I love the idea of an iPad app as it would allow my 2 and 6 year old kids - as well as the 15 other kids on our block - to run the trains. This of course allows me to justify to my wife further spending on the trains! "Honey, I need that gantry crane for the kids!"

Originally Posted by Carl_Heinz:
My layout is 18 x 30 ft with roughly 250 ft of track and 26 switches. I use TPC 400's to regulate power and SC-2's to control the switches. I've been using an iPad for several years, so I'm familiar with the various hand gestures used to zoom the display on an app. I've just downloaded the app but have done nothing more than review the info and have watched the YouTube presentations from Lionel and LCCA. So, questions: 1. Is the layout display going to be scaleable, or am I going to create my layout display in segments? 2. Will I be able to enter my engine roster from my CAB-2, or will I have to separately enter it into the LCS? 3. I assume this new system will be compatible with the TPC's and SC-2's. Correct? 4. Given age and mobility factors, York isn't really an option. Will there be an LA area presentation?

First I would like to comment that the iPad LCS app is a product that can be upgraded, with a new upgrade controlling accessories due by the time the WiFi module is shipping; and we will improve the functionality as time passes.  We have limited resources, and a good start.  Also, all folks can really do right now with the LCS app is build track plans on the screens, when the WiFi hardware is available, the complexion of the use will change.  Track entry is only a very minor, but necessary, step in using the LCS app.

 

Answers:

1) For now, model sections of the layout, just as you would do in physical control panels.   Simply scroll left to right to cover various sections of your layout that you are actively controlling.  By modeling sections of your layout, your level of detail will be greater, and easier to operate.  Especially when you are controlling accessories.

 

2) The engine roster is pulled in from the Legacy base.  Edits in the iPad LCS app will update the Legacy Base upon request.

 

3) Absolutely.

 

4) I would like to work with the clubs in various metropolitan areas  San Diego has a club that seems like a good fit.  I have not had time to reach out to them, but plan to shortly.

 

 

Relative to resources, we weigh the different projects and the costs.  We have not allocated a lot of resource (cash) to the iPad LCS app.   The growth of the product is there, and like any user interface, is tedious to develop.   Much of the work was done off hours by folks on my team.  The LCS app is not for everybody, and that is OK.  It is a bad assumption to believe that the iPad app is taking away from our loco feature development - simply not the case.

 

Locomotive features are driven by marketing and ROI (tooling costs).  Just as the iPad app is not for everyone, not every loco will please every persons expectation.  A balance must be struck, sounds, smoke, lighting, road names, etc are but part of the complexity we face to bring you products.  We hope you enjoy the final deliverable, and we strive to listen.

 

jon

Lionel LLC (2006-2017)

Folks, this thread is wandering off topic.  I would appreciate that we concentrate on the questions, and suggestions, for the LCS app.  Banging the drum about Locomotive Whistle smoke, etc. belongs on another thread.

 

Thank you.

jon

Lionel LLC (2006-2017)

Jon

 

Please reach out the the Angels Gate club located in LA area.  Matt Jackson can help.

 

Angels Gate     his email  mcjackson at earthlink dot net  replace the at and dot.

 

Great club and a bunch of good guys running Legacy and DCS.

Marty

 

Below the Signature...

"Awesome Treksgiving dinner with Captain Kirk"

 

Originally Posted by SantaFeFan:

Folks, this thread is wandering off topic.  I would appreciate that we concentrate on the questions, and suggestions, for the LCS app.  Banging the drum about Locomotive Whistle smoke, etc. belongs on another thread.

 

Thank you.


true,

 

Jon - Can you answer if the app knows what direction a switch is pointing?  I know Marty said it looks like it does.  how does it know this and will it be true for only certain types of switches?

 

also, I guess my thought on Yard Mode speed limit didn't seem to gain much traction I thought it was a good idea but put on drawing board for me please

Simply scroll left to right to cover various sections of your layout that you are actively controlling.  By modeling sections of your layout, your level of detail will be greater, and easier to operate. 

 

I've not played around with the app to find the scroll function.  Pointer, please.  I have played with the app a bit since my last posting and really haven't figured out how to enter other than a fairly small segment.  Unless the segments are somehow joined, I think there might be a problem in controlling more than a single consist at a time.

 

Would the developers consider adding a pinch function to expand and contract the layout diagram?

 

I plan to give Matt Jackson (thanks for that contact) after I've had the opportunity to play with the app a bit more.

Carl Heinz

jrmertz - the LCS App will update the switch position when is "sees" a TMCC switch command.  If the turnout is moved manually, the LCS App will not know about the state change.

 

Carl - to scroll simply swipe the operating screen (not in edit mode) to the left.  A new blank page is presented to edit and build a new layout section.  After each page is saved, a new blank page appears to add to the scroll view list.

 

The scrolling is built into the iPad, just like adding a second screen for the apps themselves.

jon

Lionel LLC (2006-2017)

Jon:  Are you saying that when the app is initiated it does NOT know the position of any switch.  It sounds like one has to activate each switch to know its position then.  Does the app do this or do you have to do it manually.  Or does it remember the switch positions from the previous activation of the app?
 
Fred
 
Originally Posted by SantaFeFan:

jrmertz - the LCS App will update the switch position when is "sees" a TMCC switch command.  If the turnout is moved manually, the LCS App will not know about the state change.

 

 

Originally Posted by fredt:
Jon:  Are you saying that when the app is initiated it does NOT know the position of any switch.  It sounds like one has to activate each switch to know its position then.  Does the app do this or do you have to do it manually.  Or does it remember the switch positions from the previous activation of the app?
 
Fred
 
Originally Posted by SantaFeFan:

jrmertz - the LCS App will update the switch position when is "sees" a TMCC switch command.  If the turnout is moved manually, the LCS App will not know about the state change.

 

 

Fred, The switch does not give feedback to the LCS app; so it is not possible to sync the physical switch to the app.   However if a switch changes state via a command from a cab or another iPad, the LCS app can update accordingly.

 

 

jon

Lionel LLC (2006-2017)

Can it remember that position when powered down for the evening.  Example.  I have 2 switches 1 through the other thrown at the end of day 1.  When I relaunch the next morning will it know this?

 

I guess also if you have a session where the iPad isn't used, how does it "sync up" with the switch positions?

Marty

 

Below the Signature...

"Awesome Treksgiving dinner with Captain Kirk"

 

Could the iPad know a default switch position, this position would be defined by the user when they build their track plan.  All of these default switch positions would then create one long route.  When you power up your iPad the user could fire the "Default Switch Position" route, this would then artificially "sync" the iPad switches with the layout.

 

I'm pretty sure they cacn be accomplished now with a route on the CAB2, but might be easier to define in the LCS app (if possible).

While that maybe true, as one poster pointed out, there maybe a train on those switches. You don't want to be firing a default route with trains on switches.
 
Originally Posted by jrmertz:

Could the iPad know a default switch position, this position would be defined by the user when they build their track plan.  All of these default switch positions would then create one long route.  When you power up your iPad the user could fire the "Default Switch Position" route, this would then artificially "sync" the iPad switches with the layout.

 

I'm pretty sure they cacn be accomplished now with a route on the CAB2, but might be easier to define in the LCS app (if possible).

 

Marty

 

Below the Signature...

"Awesome Treksgiving dinner with Captain Kirk"

 

Originally Posted by MartyE:
While that maybe true, as one poster pointed out, there maybe a train on those switches. You don't want to be firing a default route with trains on switches.
 
Originally Posted by jrmertz:

Could the iPad know a default switch position, this position would be defined by the user when they build their track plan.  All of these default switch positions would then create one long route.  When you power up your iPad the user could fire the "Default Switch Position" route, this would then artificially "sync" the iPad switches with the layout.

 

I'm pretty sure they cacn be accomplished now with a route on the CAB2, but might be easier to define in the LCS app (if possible).

 

Yep, I agree that could be a problem, which is why I think this Route should not fire automatically but fire when the user asks it too.  Also, this is not a new problem the LCS introduces, but just a fact of remote switches and routes (something might be on top of switch now and we could fire a route).

 

I think for really large layouts this would not be ideal.  For smaller and medium layouts, I think this would work very well.  This would just become part of my start up routine when powering up the layout, then if someone uses my iPad they should know all the directions of the switches.  I think even if the LCS doesn't make this route an easy add on, I will consider just building this route my own to accomplish the same goal. I would build this route right now, but sadly my layout has just been packed up as I am moving in the next couple of weeks

Marty - I completely agree!!!

for my fulltime job I test software and help roll it out.  Often times during rollouts we run into unique scenarios that we need to find a cost effective way to solve.  Are they bullet proof? Nope they definitely are not, but they accopmlish the task effectively as long as you are aware of the nuiances.  This "Default Route" idea falls into this category in my opinion

 

My more hopefully suggestion is to have a yard mode speed limit.  I think that would be super useful, but I can't wait to get the hardware and test out the app!

Are the SC-2's intelligent enough to recall switch position? I suspect they aren't, but if they were, this might solve the switch position problem on initial startup. I suspect, though, that switches will be assumed to be in the open position unless the command base retains actual position instead of just having switch command setting sequences.
Originally Posted by jrmertz:

Marty - I completely agree!!!

for my fulltime job I test software and help roll it out.  Often times during rollouts we run into unique scenarios that we need to find a cost effective way to solve.  Are they bullet proof? Nope they definitely are not, but they accopmlish the task effectively as long as you are aware of the nuiances.  This "Default Route" idea falls into this category in my opinion

 

My more hopefully suggestion is to have a yard mode speed limit.  I think that would be super useful, but I can't wait to get the hardware and test out the app!

The App, unless closed and released from memory (home button 2x, press the "X") will retain the last state of the switches.  A button to reset to a default route is possible.  Just remember, there is no feedback, thus a non-derailing switch operation will toss it out of sync again.  The ASC2 will be able to report the switch position, and it can remember and report status.

 

I am thinking we could make a new Sensing module device that monitors the switch and reports the state, much like the Lamps on the Fastrack switch change color depending on the position, the info is there to query.  Folks that want the real time feedback can have an option for detection in this way.

 

 

The Yard mode has a built in speed limit by default.

 

 

jon

Lionel LLC (2006-2017)

thanks for the feedback Jon!!!

 

Glad to hear about the yardmode speedlimit that will be great.

 

Sort of a bummer the command control switches won't give feedback to the app out of the box.  The best thing about them is not needing an ASC2 in my opinion.  But sounds cool that he app will remember things!  A new sensing module would be great, but i'm guessing that would involve wiring like an SC2?  In that case I think on my small layout I'd opt for a route and less wire mess.  A big layout would be a different story

Switch settings being retained by the app after initial setup should resolve the issue of a need to sense position at the switch level. If possible, I think it would be nice if the Legacy base could capture setting changes made using the CAB-2, and relay them to the app. I'd still like to see a layout expand/contract function using a pinch hand gesture which is found in a number of other apps. As an aside, I was a senior programmer/analyst for around thirty years prior to my retirement. But, that experience was in mid-range computers, so I've no background in coding apps. Still have good analyst skills, though.
Originally Posted by Carl_Heinz:
Switch settings being retained by the app after initial setup should resolve the issue of a need to sense position at the switch level.
JZ >>We can do this, and allow configuring this feature setting on/off as desired if we extend the function to force an initial "route" setting to sync everything on the layout.
If possible, I think it would be nice if the Legacy base could capture setting changes made using the CAB-2, and relay them to the app.
JZ >> This works now.  If you fire the switch from a cab- the LCS app shows the change.  Additionally, if you change the speed on the cab- the LCS app shows this as well.  The cab2 bar graph updates when you change the speed on the LCS app.  The devices all interact with each other i the network.
I'd still like to see a layout expand/contract function using a pinch hand gesture which is found in a number of other apps.
JZ >> I am investigating this, maybe it will be deferred until 2 revs from now, but worth investigating.
As an aside, I was a senior programmer/analyst for around thirty years prior to my retirement. But, that experience was in mid-range computers, so I've no background in coding apps. Still have good analyst skills, though.
JZ>> Your insights are very helpful.

jon

Lionel LLC (2006-2017)

Can someone clarify something for me from the new catalog (2013 fall).

I realize to make this app work you need the wifi module. I also see a cable with a db9 end on it and power supply. Is that cable needed to make the LCS app talk to the legacy base?  Or will the LCS app talk to the legacy base with just having the wifi module?
You need the cable.
 
The power supply powers the LCS WiFi module which communicates with the base via the 9 pin serial cable.  The LCS modules then daisy chain the RS232 port so you can connect the RS232 buss to other devices.
 
Originally Posted by jrmertz:
Can someone clarify something for me from the new catalog (2013 fall).

I realize to make this app work you need the wifi module. I also see a cable with a db9 end on it and power supply. Is that cable needed to make the LCS app talk to the legacy base?  Or will the LCS app talk to the legacy base with just having the wifi module?

 

Marty

 

Below the Signature...

"Awesome Treksgiving dinner with Captain Kirk"

 

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