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here are some specific to the iPad app and the layout sketching feature.

 

obviously, i don't have the WiFi module yet, but i have been fooling around with the layout sketching feature.  it is unclear to me how to get it to expand beyond one page.  does it?  does it expand only horizontally or will it expand vertically, too?  is there a size limitation to the sketching feature?  ideally, i would like to be able to draw my entire layout.  is that feasible?

 

ah, discovered that once i saved a sketch, i had another page available to the right (horizontal).  what about vertical??

My wish list/feedback so far:

1) It would be nice if there was a way to select your layout or sections of track so you could move them as one piece. I had to restart my layout a couple of times because I underestimated the placement of some pieces. A possible solution would be a two finger double tap to select a set of connected pieces and using a two finger movement to reposition them.

2) How will accessories be handled? I'm thinking of those which have their own dedicated controllers such as the AEC Reactor and Gantry crane. 

3) Will there be any ability to run MTH DCS locomotives? I imagine this would be a REALLY low priority but would be nice for those of us who have both brands. 

4) Not entirely LCS related but it would be nice if there were a fill in the blank/drop down menu TurboTax type of webpage where new users unfamiliar with digital trains could input what we have/plan to buy and get a single list of what equipment we'll need to convert from conventional to digital. It can be confusing figuring out exactly what gear you need to run all your trains, switches and accessories. 

5) Separate track piece icons for uncoupling and operating tracks. 

My layout is 5x10. Currently I have 4 remote switches, 2 uncoupling tracks, 2 operating tracks. Expanding it to 8 switches soon with 1-2 additional uncoupling tracks. It's pretty compact but with the LCS app as is you need to be pretty mindful of where you place things if you want it to end up centered on your screen. SCARM has a feature where you can double click and it will highlight all connected sections of tracks so you can move them as one piece. Very handy. 

Thanks Rich for the "LCS thread"!

 

Forrest, some thoughts to your comments:

You can only scroll horizontally.   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. 

 

We are considering pan and zoom functionality, but just not right now.  The focus in our development group is to get you the WiFi hardware and add accessory controls.  The awesome video Rudy just released, gives a glimpse into the method we are planning to control accessories.  When we finish the Lionel AMC/ARC products (Crane, Log Loader, Culvert loader/unloader) we will add more generic controls for ElectricRR aftermarket accessory upgrades. 

 

You won't be successful to use the LCS app as a track planning tool, the LCS design is not 0-36 or any other scale.  If you compare a design that creates a fixed geometry, such as a reversing loop in LCS; the count of track segments in LCS won't match what Fastrack actually requires.  In order to give the user as much presentation on the limited real estate we created our own scale in the LCS app.

 

I realize editing the track plan in LCS could be improved, we will listen to feedback from the forumites and folks in our test group, and make improvements.  The best advice I can give for the current editor is - it can be fun, and it is a one time event!  Enjoy the process.

 

Thanks to all for the feedback and questions, more videos will be forthcoming to help explain how to get the most from the LCS app; and how it ties into the Lionel ecosystem.  Our layout related products are coming along nicely and will enhance your train running experience!

 

The possibilities seem they could be unlimited.  Could it be possible to transfer your layout from previously drawn plans from other vendors like RR Track, or other graphical software.

Will you be limited to only Lionel track and switches.  What is the size limitation. What is the layer limitations.  Is the WIFI module available?  I would assume it will have a kill switch.  Is there a tutorial available?  Probably way too soon to know the answers.

Buzz

Jon, another quick question. Can the new lcs control boxes be used in a modular environment like the new lionel modular set up at the shows. Assuming one uses the proper connectors at both modular table ends. My thought is the boxes would be mounted under the table for switch and or accs. Control on any given module. Then home layouts could be built to be moved so as to not have to lose what one has invested in time and construction. Not to mention track and various lcs components. I plan to design my layout to have the look and portability just like tw designs builds. I love how there layouts look. Roger is top notch down there in dallas! Thanks!
Originally Posted by Lionelzwl2012:
Jon, another quick question. Can the new lcs control boxes be used in a modular environment like the new lionel modular set up at the shows. Assuming one uses the proper connectors at both modular table ends. My thought is the boxes would be mounted under the table for switch and or accs. Control on any given module. Then home layouts could be built to be moved so as to not have to lose what one has invested in time and construction. Not to mention track and various lcs components. I plan to design my layout to have the look and portability just like tw designs builds. I love how there layouts look. Roger is top notch down there in dallas! Thanks!

I believe so.   The modules plug together, no screw terminals or remembering what color wire is what!  And you could cut the cable between the plugs as long as you keep the cable wires properly connected.

 

The LCS module interconnect (PDI bus) has: 9VDC @ 1.5A, Common, Serial TX, Serial RX, Allocate signal.  The RX/TX baud rate is 115k.  The 9VDC power supply can be augmented in long chains of LCS modules on larger layouts.  (once you have about ~25 modules, in addition to ~25 IR sensors you need to have more juice!). 

 

 

 

 

 

Jon

 

This is awful (grin).  I am a prewar guy!  Now it looks as though I am going to be pulled into the 21st Century.  This looks like awesome stuff.  My HO club was DCC but using the switches from the handhelds was too difficult so we used conventional toggle switches.  This looks like a winner.  Well done!  I look forward to seeing a Demo at York

 

Al Galli

Jon:

 

If you're crunched for resources you should look into doing an internship or co-op with Computer Science department at your local university. I've done this with several small companies and it's a win-win for both parties. You get an affordable (or even free!) resource and the students get valuable job experience that will make them stand out to employers come graduation time. Students - at least the smart ones - are clamoring for internships these days. 

Thanks jon, very usefull info. How far along are the lcs boxes? Amc2 asc2 ect. Are they in production and planed for sale by middle of next year. If this info is company secretive until launch I understand. Thanks again! I used to get frustrated when I could not afford the latest engine or control pieces. Now I am glad I had to wait. Looks as though my train money will be spent on new lcs/legacy components. Can't wait to get these new toys!

The IR sensor track is in production, delivery is hard to call, but I hope within a couple of months.  Don't quote me on that - I don't track production that closely, but I am hopeful...

 

The WiFi is about to enter production.  The ASC2 right behind it.  The AMC2 - I am still designing this one, but I hope to have a design ready by year end.

 

The most important is the WiFi module, IMHO; as the LCS app needs the module.  I am working on an early access program to get a limited supply of WiFi modules available.  More on how to participate within the next 30 days...

Jon, if we have things like fasttrack tmcc switches and the gantry crane with tmcc or any lionel accsessory with tmcc built in. These do not need the asc2 and amc2 correct? They already communicate with the legacy base right. Thew new control boxes basically handle the same functions as there icc counterparts right.motor control, switch control,ect. Just with new terminals. As for the dat and com cables they have been replace correct. now the boxes will use the wifi signal to communicate with the legacy base am I right on this one?

Lionelzwl2012, you basically have it correct in your understanding.  There are some exceptions though, which I will try and explain. 

 

The original BPC and ASC, etc, have very complicated commands (by button presses) from the cab1, which was all that existed when those products were designed.  The Legacy system takes a different approach to control, for example you can get throttle commands on ACC IDs. 

 

As such, the LCS iPad app will not send the correct command sequences to the BPC, ASC, etc.  With the Serial interface (SER2) you will still be able to use the older tech with the cabs, but the iPad may not support them directly.

 

This is why we had to create the ASC2, BPC2, TPC2, AMC2, etc.  The newer Legacy commands make for a nicer user experience, and the LCS iPad will leverage this new capability.  An exception is the switches (TMCC capable); these use a simplified command sequence and are system wide compatible.  

 

I realize that some folks may be quite unhappy that some of the older ICC controls boxes won't be supported under LCS.   The problem goes quite deep, even the ICC controls boxes don't have consistency!  Pick an older BPC (pre Lionel) and the BPC of current design, and they operate differently.  With time, we may be able to support them by configuration on the LCS iPad app.  For now, some limits are going to exist.

 

Originally Posted by Chris Lord:

 

Rudy says "New products coming from 3rd party developers"

 

  • Does this mean Lionel is going to open up the Legacy spec to others?
  • What and when might we see from 3rd parties?

 

 

 

If I understood Jon correctly at York last year, Legacy commands cannot be sent through the comm port of the base and the chip that supports it. Perhaps the 3rd party apps will be TMCC only or DCC

I actually thought the DCC mention was intersint. I know the AF Legacy engines support DCC, but so far the O-Gauge engines do not

SER2:  A module that converts the PDI bus to RX/TX DB9 @ 9600 baud

- Current booster to enhance the Legacy base output drive levels

- Supports multiple SER2 boards on the PDI bus => multiple DB9's!

- Going forward our system will be more open!

 

The LCS system does not require a Legacy base to operate.  A possible configuration: iPad, WiFi Module, ASC2 module.  Thus a DCC or conventional only layout can leverage switch control with the aforementioned modules, operating from the iPad or toggle switches in a control panel relationship.

After getting to see the LCS at the open house, I am more excited than before.  IMO this will open up some modern tech with our Lionel trains.  Personally I can't wait to start playing with it an seeing how it expands.

 

The sensor tracks for me are rather exciting.  I can see IDing trains as they pass and assigning a sequence of events depending on what train passes.  And as we found out at York, they are directionally sensitive so the sequence could be different depending on the direction of travel.  I'm not sure if this is what is the pipe line but I don't see why things like this couldn't be done with the technology.

 

A truly exciting time to be in the hobby for sure!

Sorry the app on my phone went squirly on me. What I was trying to say was. Maybe on down the line one can load up his buddy's track lcs ipad diagram onto his ipad for control of his layout when visiting and running trains. Or for guys at the club who wish to bring there ipad. assuming all the layouts are set up for the wifi lcs componets. Just a thought.
Keep up all your hard work jon! Lionel hasn't had a man like you since frank p. in the early 50's. I for one want to thank you for all your hard work and love of making our lionel's somthing to be proud to run and show off to our friends and relatives. 50's smifty's the hay day of lionel trains has only just begun!! Quick get dr.zw back to his lab chief o'hara we need more wiz bang stuff!

I'm 42, just got back into trains this year after a 25 year hiatus and the iPad app is very appealing to me. For starters, it will make it much easier for my children to run the trains. It may not appeal to you but keep in mind people with advanced layouts are a ***REALLY*** small audience. Appealing to such a small audience isn't going to do much for Lionel in the long run. If Lionel wants to survive they need to appeal to a new generation which is something they haven't been doing a very good job of in recent years. 

"Forrest, that's what must have happened with the #765.

I tried to "blow" the bell and swing the whistle.

I didn't pay attention to the matter of the wheels needing to stay on the rails."

 

i hear ya!

 

i also hear ya about vision line features.  i love the swinging bell and whistle steam on my vision line hudson.  wasn't there some noise coming out of york about new vision line stuff coming late this year or early next?  or am i fabricating that?  i am sure no one can say anything if this is true.

from jon earlier in this thread...

 

"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. "

 

clearly, this technology is not currently targeted to control a large layout from a single iPad.

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.

 

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?
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.

 

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.

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:  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.

 

 

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).

 

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.

 

 

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.
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?

 

Originally Posted by SantaFeFan:

  For now, some limits are going to exist.

 

Hello jon, I currently run DCS and Legacy together. Will the new software work ok in that environment? I also use all Fastrack Command controlled turnouts and wyes. Will these still work with the new software? I notices there were no track sections for wyes in the app ... Thanks for any information..

 

Rick

I am confuse about LCS and have a lot of questions, some of them maybe stupids; my layout is 24'x52' and currently run a mix of DSC PS2, PS3 TMCC, Legacy and Vision line also about 30 Z-Stuff switches plus about 20 twin coil switch machines,of course Iam 100% command control guy, one of my questions is: Will all these locomotives, switches and about 30 accesories work with the new software? and how in the world connect or interface them with the software or LCS? Any tutorial in the future about how to use LCS?

I watched the demo at the open house and liked the way the sensor plus lcs was able to play back a routine.  I didn't get a chance to ask about this aspect.  Is the routine a recorded set of commands that were set up in the CAB-2 and then called up/played back by the lcs software or was the routine "built" using the lcs software?  I don't see a macro record function on the current app and I can't find any documentation on the CAB2 side to "name" a stored program the way you would a route?

 

BTW, I suspect a zoom function will just open another can of worms.  it is very, very, very easy to accidentally trigger events on a touch screen that you did't really intend to, especially if that screen has a lot of potential buttons scattered around on it.  It took a little getting used to but I've come to appreciate the swipe to the next screen aspect.  If you could easily incorporate a jump to control panel section on the bottom of the screen (like the photo thumbnails in the photo album app) or a list of "screen" names on the left or right side it could make navigating a larger layout easier.

So the "sensor" is way more than a sensor.  It's a programable storage unit?  what are the limitations in terms of stored commands and how flexible is the programming sequence?  Can it handle if then else conditions, e.g east bound loco 7 throws switch to through and accelerates to speed x while west bound 7 decelerates and engine 10 maintains current speed?

Yes, The LCS SensorTrack is both a sensor as well as a preset & user programmable storage unit. Up to 250 time-stamped commands are stored in a recording. And you can create two different recordings--one when your engine or train passes from left-to-right, the other when moving right-to-left.

 

It won't do the logical conditionals you describe. The recorded commands are sent to specifically to the locomotive which triggers playback by crossing that SensorTrack. However, you can include commands for switches and accessories within each recording. Finally, you can set your custom sequence to play ONLY when that specific engine passes. Then you could automatically shunt a passenger train into a station siding each time it approaches, yet keep all other trains on the main line.

 

Great questions. You're helping get me ready for York!

-Rudy

Originally Posted by chuck:

So the "sensor" is way more than a sensor.  It's a programable storage unit?  what are the limitations in terms of stored commands and how flexible is the programming sequence?  Can it handle if then else conditions, e.g east bound loco 7 throws switch to through and accelerates to speed x while west bound 7 decelerates and engine 10 maintains current speed?

Chuck, Rudy is correct that logical operations are not part of the programming; your scenario is plausible.

 

1) Record loco 7 eastbound, throw a switch, accelerate to speed X.

 

2) Record loco 7 westbound, decelerate to speed X.

 

Loco 10 will not be affected by the recordings for loco 7, maintaining current speed.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Rudy, Jon.  I look forward to getting the WiFi interface (the person doing the demo actually had me connect to the one at the open house, the iPad saw it with no problems) and I'm playing around with software and getting comfortable "sketching" areas that would be nice to have advanced control.

 

If you can work in a jump scroll or floating "section" index it would definitely make multi screen navigation easier.

Originally Posted by Railsounds:
 
 
Yes, the SER2 will have plenty of serial drive current. No booster required.
 
There are no immediate plans for an ARC separate from the functionality in SensorTrack, but it's certainly worth considering. This might be a good project for a 3rd party software developer!

I expect there are a number of software developers that would be happy to provide such a capability.  However that would require access and use of the Legacy command structure.  Is Lionel considering publishing the Legacy Command specification for third party hardware and software developer use?

 

Fred

 

Ok, So I know that I need the LCS WiFi Module and the LCS Power Supply with DB9 Cable...but what about this SER2?  Since I have a number of ASCs in my layout, it sounds like I will need an SER2.  What is an SER2?  Is that another piece of hardware?  I don't see it specifically referred to in the Lionel catalog.

 

I may have missed the definition of this so I'm sure someone can set me straight!

Originally Posted by cerbyg:

Ok, So I know that I need the LCS WiFi Module and the LCS Power Supply with DB9 Cable...but what about this SER2?  Since I have a number of ASCs in my layout, it sounds like I will need an SER2.  What is an SER2?  Is that another piece of hardware?  I don't see it specifically referred to in the Lionel catalog.

 

I may have missed the definition of this so I'm sure someone can set me straight!

Sorry it did not make the catalog...   The SER2 converts the new Hi-Speed PDI bus to the low speed DB-9 @ 9600 baud.  To interface to the ASC's you will need the SER2.

 

 

Originally Posted by Don M.:
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....

Tell us more.....

If you are looking for some ideas... how about a real fire in the firebox!

 

That would be cool.  

Originally Posted by Don M.:
Originally Posted by Don M.:
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....

Tell us more.....

If you are looking for some ideas... how about a real fire in the firebox!

 

That would be cool.  

Only if I could also buy a real Fire Car to put out the blaze

Originally Posted by SantaFeFan:
Originally Posted by cerbyg:

Ok, So I know that I need the LCS WiFi Module and the LCS Power Supply with DB9 Cable...but what about this SER2?  Since I have a number of ASCs in my layout, it sounds like I will need an SER2.  What is an SER2?  Is that another piece of hardware?  I don't see it specifically referred to in the Lionel catalog.

 

I may have missed the definition of this so I'm sure someone can set me straight!

Sorry it did not make the catalog...   The SER2 converts the new Hi-Speed PDI bus to the low speed DB-9 @ 9600 baud.  To interface to the ASC's you will need the SER2.

 

 

What improvements can we expect as a result of the new high speed data bus? 

Any thoughts on this question Rudy?
 
Originally Posted by MartyE:

When you say 250 time stamped commands, is that each speed step made?  IE from slow to restricted might be 50 speed steps.  Is that 50 of the 250 or is it considered 1 command.  Also same with using brake or boost. 

 

Or even holding down a whistle for a set amount of time?  Is that one command or multiple as you quill a whistle.

 

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