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@bigkid posted:

Apple doesn't employ 100,000 people to make the Ipad and the Iphone, that work is done for them by Foxcon (Taiwanese company that does its work in China), they employ a lot of people, but it isn't just the iphone and ipad, they build for a lot of people, they are a contract manufacturer, the way Sanda Kan was with trains.



I believe in 2021 thats a given. I didn't think that needed clarification.

"The factory, run by the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn, employs about 350,000 people and produces about half of the worlds I Phones.  In the busy summer months before the fall release of a new iPhone, the factory produces 500,000 phone a day or up to 350 a minute."

They  "might" make more phones in one day than than Lionel has made locomotives in 100 years.

@RickO posted:

I believe in 2021 thats a given. I didn't think that needed clarification.

"The factory, run by the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn, employs about 350,000 people and produces about half of the worlds I Phones.  In the busy summer months before the fall release of a new iPhone, the factory produces 500,000 phone a day or up to 350 a minute."

They  "might" make more phones in one day than than Lionel has made locomotives in 100 years.

That is very true,  it is a mass market. The thing is, given how big that market is, they are likely applying all kinds of lean production techniques to it and the like, the cost of quality (or bad quality) in a market like that is orders of magnitude more than in our little world..put it this way, no one in this market competes on quality. If Iphones had high defect rates or they had a lot of phones fail inspection it is a huge cost of quality issue, it would be expensive to fix them and it also would kill their reputation, which is the bigger cost (just ask the US auto industry, that to this day still has the reputation of producing lesser quality cars, no matter what the reality is, perception is reality when it comes to consumer goods).

@feet posted:

Let's find out if parts for the remote are not available.  Someone with a back round in electronics take one apart, I assume there are part numbers on some of the parts.  And see what has been discontinued and what is still available.

Never opened one up, but we are many decades away from electronics having  discrete standard components, like transistors, capacitors, diodes, or even gates of various kinds. Yes, standard components are used, like resisters and capacitors and pots and the like, but the application logic is generally in ASICS (application specific ICs), custom built for that application. There is firmware there as well (code electronically stored in Prom or EPROM) and those are not off the shelf. If a resister burns out, if a capacitor goes bad, you might be able to fix it, but if the main chip goes bad? Forget it, unless you can find a bad controller that has a good main chip.

@MartyE posted:

Can't make what you can't get parts for.  When was the last time you seen a B&W LCD screen on much of anything?

My wife just got a brand new AeroGarden to grow herbs in.  It has a multi-line B&W dot matrix screen on it.

There are hundreds of different ones available.  Here's one as an example.

https://www.mouser.com/Product...KYcTjycFeJBLwg%3D%3D

Both Lionel and MTH have become a victim of technology changes.  Now I see in the MTH R&D therad where they are possibly making a WiFi DCS controller.  I'm not sure I see the logic in going back to a hardware controller with how fast things change but I've been wrong before.

This is coming from someone that prefers a hardware remote over an app but I see the writing on the wall and know that the app is probably the best move forward.  I do hope though that Lionel does make it able to be interfaced with a game controller like another poster has shown.  Again someone else making the hardware.

A combined touch screen and physical key remote would fit the bill here nicely.  The super common things like speed, horn, bell, and a D-pad or wheel/knob to select things in menus would probably work great.

Given it's smaller size, I tend to prefer the Cab 1-L to operate a number of my locomotives, particularly with younger children.   What has Lionel done, if anything to replace the Cab 1, and the Cab1-L remotes?  

I presume Lionel is just going with their Legacy set, and the alternatives, including bluetooth, etc., and the other radio controllers, including Lion Chief, and its successors.  I find the large size of the legacy controller to be a big negative.  

I expect to see a new cab3 handheld remote within a year.  Looking at the design of the base 3, one can imagine a slim charging cradle that will span the top off the bridge of the base 3.  

@RixTrack posted:

I expect to see a new cab3 handheld remote within a year.  Looking at the design of the base 3, one can imagine a slim charging cradle that will span the top off the bridge of the base 3.  

I expect you'll be disappointed.   While I can envision that "maybe" at some time in the future they might consider another handheld, it's probably a fairly remote possibility (no pun intended).   It's just too financially attractive to toss the ball over the wall and let someone else deal with all the hardware aspects of the job.

The parts of the remote that are problematic are obviously the uP and any associated custom ASIC's, the displays, and the special control pots and switches.  You can probably fix some stuff that happens, things like the discrete simple push buttons might be available for repair.

Well, you could try to reverse engineer the ASICS, use a logic analyzer, figure out the signal patterns, go back to trust Boolean algebra and the Karnaugh map, and you might be able to recreate it from discrete gates  (well, okay, might take a couple of decades and be the size of a small refrigerator *lol*).

Well, I have the logic analyzer, but I have no interest in spending the rest of my life attempting to reverse engineer the Legacy remote!

Ah, C'mon GRJ, I figured you were the kind of person who just adored Karnaugh maps *lol*....(funny story, when I was doing my CS degree in the early 80's, in the computer architecture class the person teaching it (likely grad student) spent like 3 days on using Karnaugh maps to reduce the number of gates. I mentioned this to my brother, who is an EE, and he shook his head and said "drop the class, and take it with someone else". Back when logic was defined by things like vacuum tubes and discrete transistors, when the time to process the output was really, really slow (like miliseconds), it made sense. By the 80's, you could buy off the shelf gates with like a thousand AND gates on a chip with a processing time in the microsecond or above range (1/1 millionth of a second) so reducing gates made little sense, lot more expensive to have an engineer waste time reducing the number of gates than simply using whatever worked

(For those who aren't in this world, the basic architecture of computers relies on so called gates, that implement Boolean logic that is pretty much yes/no 1/0 (like an AND gate, with 2 inputs, if both are 1, the output will be 1/on, otherwise it is zero). There is a field of math called Boolean algebra that lets you create logic using the various types of logic (which in turn are the gates I talked about). The Karnaugh map was a methodology where it would reduce the final Boolean "formula" to use a reduced number of steps. Reducing number of steps in Boolean algebra= less gates used which as I mentioned above, is faster, but not worth it with cheap, really fast gates. An ASIC is the summation of the logic that drives a legacy controller with instructions coded in firmware).

Yep, the last time I ever heard a Karnaugh map mentioned was in a classroom.  A lot of the stuff you "learn" in the classroom goes out the window in the real world.

In the 70's, I was working on a joint project with Univac developing the BC/7 business computer.  I was working on a communications board for the system and I wanted to use a microprocessor in the design.  Boy, you should have heard the screams from the traditionalists!  "You can use a processor for an I/O board!!!"  My reply was why not, it's just an IC with 40 pins, and it's the best choice for the job!  The sticking point was at the time the Intel 8080 was several hundred dollars, a lot of money for one chip back then.  However, I got it into the design anyway.

Perhaps a wCab3 is called for?

I'm betting we'll see another remote one day. For Mth to have scaled back production and then decide to bring a handheld back indicates the demand.

If I'm wrong however. I'm not eating any crow cause I have two Cab2s that should get me to the end of my hobby enjoyment. After that, I'll tell my kids to set the starting bid at $2600 each .

Last edited by RickO

Don't these remotes currently run in the 933 MHz band?  I have a feeling these radio components will not be made any more. I seem to recall a push from the cell phone industry to get the FCC to give more of the upper bandwidth to them.

We did hear from MTH of a new wifi remote they are working on. Perhaps a wCab3 is called for?

Here's what Dave had to say on Train World TV when someone asked about a hardware remote...

Starting at 24:20

Sounds like they have more important issues and they are providing new software for the Cab2 so they feel they have it covered for a while.

I hold my remote in one hand, and my Galaxy A20 phone in the other. Pretty much sums things up! 

Now that Logitech is dropping universal remotes for the same reasons I'm on a treasure hunt to find all of those individual remotes and keep them handy. Just in case.

Why would a factory make what I am guessing to be about 5000 locomotives when they can make millions of iPhone, game controllers, etc.?

Mike

Years ago, one of my friends, an engineer, and a sales representative for a manufacturing company that supplied certain electronic parts to Lionel Trains, Inc., in Chesterfield, MI,  used to marvel at the small size of the Lionel orders for component parts.

Last edited by Dennis GS-4 N & W No. 611

Years ago, one of my friends, an engineer, and a sales representative for a manufacturing company that supplied certain electronic parts to Lionel Trains, Inc., in Chesterfield, MI,  used to marvel at the small size of the Lionel orders for component parts.

It's a labor of love.  The best suppliers understand.  The ones to avoid are those who don't understand and therefore don't appreciate the passion.

Mike

Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike

The current Legacy command system with the CAB2 and BASE1L/CAB1L don't use WiFi at all in their basic form.  They do run in the 2.4ghz band for remote to command base communications, but it's not using WiFi protocols.  Obviously, you can add the LCS WiFi module to have WiFi connectivity...

Thanks John!  I was pretty confident that was the case, and just wanted to confirm that the BASE3/CAB3 was a bit of a departure for Lionel!  

I know there are the rare times when one or more of my paired Echo's is being "intransigent", and I just reach for my trusty Yamaha remote control and throttle back on Wi-Fi commands for my music.

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