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ECoS 50200 vs Viessmann Commander


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#1 alpineaustralia

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 05:50 AM

I'm thinking of upgrading my Bachmann Dynamis system to a big screen colour system, either the ECoS 50200 or the Viessmann Commander.

It appears the Dynamis stores all of the train addresses in the handset and this is limited to only 40 trains. I have already had to start deleting some of my US freight locos but will run out of spave soon in any case

Please could anyone give me their views/ pros/cons between the two?
Alpineaustralia

#2 inobu

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 08:45 AM

I'm ROTLF with the capabilities of the Viessmann Commander. That is just crazy!

For those who want to see: LOL


http://www.youtube.c...&hl=en_US&fs=1

http://www.youtube.c...&hl=en_US&fs=1

http://www.youtube.c...&hl=en_US&fs=1

#3 inobu

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 09:03 AM

Alpine,

check this http://www.dcctrain....asp?itemid=4047 out it is a demo unit

Inobu

#4 David

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 09:30 AM

I'm ROTLF with the capabilities of the Viessmann Commander. That is just crazy!

For those who want to see: LOL


And now throw in some American devices like Digitrax or MRC to compare.

Despite my dislike for unreliable Bachmann quality (some is good, some is bad, some you have to buy 3 to get a good one), it's becoming clear that they're about the only company in North America (I'm not counting Kato since they're just dropping America leftovers from their home market) that are even trying to act like they have access to technology from the last 30 years. See also Bachmann's new DCC turnouts - while the track is unfortunately Bachmann quality, the idea of turnout with integrated remote function (ala Kato or Tomix) plus DCC decoder (since it's for the American market) is really something that should have been out years ago in DCC centric America.

IMO the craftsman approach held by the aging American modeling community is what's killing it - if you want to make reliable product at an affordable price (which is what is needed to get new people into the hobby - not everyone wants to handbuild every part) you have to start designing with manufacturing in mind - not by picking up a pile of parts at Radioshack and using trial and error to solder them into a semi-working device (and then send the "design" off to China and wonder why the factory has so many problems). It's too bad that there is no easy way to replace DCC - while the concept isn't terrible, it does not lend itself to cost effective components at all: $30 and up for a DCC decoder (a low power ARM Cortex-M0 32bit processor, more power then my first computer inside a 2mm x 2mm package, costs less then a bottle of Coke). $150 for a booster or 8 block detector, $80 for a super basic throttle that doesn't even support programming (Digitrax UT4 utility throttle). About the only hope is a company like Tomix who has no DCC legacy deciding to create their own digital control solution.

#5 inobu

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 11:14 AM

Thank you David.

I was going to post the similar but thought It would hijack the post. (But since you did it...) It did not seem fair to post the likes of Digitrax, MRC and the others to compare although it is warranted to show the gap in technology. The fear is we (America) are being left behind in the realm of technology and innovation. We choose to outsource it.

There is a form of gridlock that has formed is the way consumers, manufacture and product development. A majority of established modelers are entrenched in their mentality and will not evolve. The companies in turn appeases their views to maintain market share. This may be like balancing yourself with your own noose.

The question is when will the companies modernize their products. Trying to compete with Xboxes, PS3, Wii for future consumers will be hard press with a Zephyr or Command Cab.  ???  

In any case I'm glad Alpine brought this up.

It is a hard decision. I don't know if you saw the Touch Cab for the EC0S.

Not to leave out this guys layout and stuff pretty impressive in what it does. 

http://www.youtube.c...&hl=en_US&fs=1

#6 alpineaustralia

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 07:01 PM

I'm ROTLF with the capabilities of the Viessmann Commander. That is just crazy!

I'm still struggling with what 'ROTLF' means.

I am leaning ever so slightly towards the ESU Ecos 50200.

http://www.esu.eu/en...200-dcc-system/

It has this feature called EcoSniffer which allows you to link it up to your existing DCC control and control the trains through the Ecos system using your existing controller. Given that I have the Dynamis, it effectively allows me to have a hgand held controller to walk around with for 40 trains.
Alpineaustralia

#7 inobu

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 08:36 PM

Rolling On The Laughing Floor?

My dumb @ss fat fingered it.

Inobu

   

#8 inobu

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 08:43 PM

One thing I did pick up on in the video is the response of the touch screen. The Vess uses a stylus and I did not see it on the ECos. I know finger size can be an hindrance.

Did you the the link to the Ipod/phone program?

That pretty nice too.

Inobu

 

#9 KenS

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 09:25 PM

The Viessmann is simply incredible.

I think the reason we don't see systems like that here in the states, is that Model Railroading isn't really marketed to kids anymore.  Aside from some DC "train sets" that show up in hobby stores for the Christmas season, and usually don't seem to sell well, most "hobby stores" and toy stores don't stock trains anymore.  Even twenty years ago you could find Life Like and other low-end brands in pretty much any store, but that's not the case today.  Most stores seem to primarily be selling RC cars to younger modellers. Young adults haven't had much exposure to railroading, and that translates into lack of interest, both for them, and as gifts for their children.

There are some obvious counter-examples: Thomas the Tank Engine wooden trains can be found everywhere, and other toy trains (non-electric mostly) exist. But try finding an HO train set outside of Christmas, or any separate track or cars, and you won't have much luck.

Model trains here are a niche item you only find in specialized hobby stores (or online).  It's a healthy niche, but a niche nonetheless. That's not a volume business.  And without volume, there's no incentive for the kind of development it takes to make something like the Viessmann.  Our best hope is that one or more of these European companies will decide to pick up some extra income by selling Americanized (i.e., UL-listed) versions of their systems over here. And the cost of doing that, even if there aren't other problems with patents or technology licensing, may be prohibitive.

One thing that gives me hope is the one of my LHSs that does do trains tells me that Kato Unitrack is selling really well recently, because there's a growing group of new, younger, modelers who want something that "just works".  If the recent growth in use of commuter trains (i.e., more trains travelling through densely populated suburban towns where they can be seen) and the interest in high-speed rail helps enlarge that group, maybe model railroading in the U.S. will rebound to the point where someone can make money selling something like the Viessmann here.
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#10 alpineaustralia

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 10:30 PM

Both the Veissman and the ESU system are not cheap (In Australia the Veissmann is $1500 = double the average weekly pay).
I wold try to get it overseas a bit cheaper. The Dynams cost me in the order of about $250.
But you can see why I want to do my due diligence on the product first before spending anything like that amount of money.
Alpineaustralia

#11 inobu

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 11:53 PM

Both the Veissman and the ESU system are not cheap (In Australia the Veissmann is $1500 = double the average weekly pay).
I wold try to get it overseas a bit cheaper. The Dynams cost me in the order of about $250.
But you can see why I want to do my due diligence on the product first before spending anything like that amount of money.


Did you see that link for the Viessman that demo was 499 USD


Inobu

#12 alpineaustralia

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 06:53 AM

Yes I did but I am not sure at this stage whether to go for the Veissmann or the ESU.
I am willing to forgo the opportunity to make sure I get the right one.
Alpineaustralia

#13 CaptOblivious

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 08:21 AM

One consideration is that the Dynamis ProBox (being designed by ESU) supports the ECoSLink bus, and so can be used together with the ESU unit. The Veissman doesn't work with the Dyanmis system.

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#14 Martijn Meerts

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 09:11 AM

I have played with both the old and new ECoS, and while the new one with the touch screen is a nice little device, the hardware (especially the CPU) is slow. The screen doesn't always respond well, and loading new screens can be really choppy. If you want the ECoS though, you can save a lot of money by buying the one without the color screen. Apart from the screen, their hardware is exactly the same.

The Viessmann Commander looks great, but I'm a bit worried about very slow updates. There are known bugs (mentioned in the Viessmann Commander forums) which still haven't been fixed after 1.5 year. I was actually really close to buying when it was just out, but since I didn't have a layout, I didn't really need it ;)

Another option is the Marklin CS2. Hardware wise, it's the fastest of the 3. Design wise it's also by far the best looking of the 3 (it won the red dot design awards.) You'll need to make sure you pick up the version that does DCC though. They seem to have 3 versions by now.

Also not, if you want to use TouchCab on iPhone/iPod touch, you'll need either the ECoS or CS2, the Commander isn't supported (no network connection.)
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#15 Martijn Meerts

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 01:16 PM

I guess I'm not listening to my own advice all that often ...

I recently bought an ECoS with the colour screen. While the hardware is pretty much the same compared to the one with monochrome screen, the colour one has twice the amount of ram, and the screen resolution is MUCH better than the monochrome version.

Also, with the various updates, the screen has become more responsive, so the main issue I had after playing with demo models had been fixed. I had the option of buying a demo model of the monochrome ECoS, but I thought it was too expensive for being a demo model.

The reason I went for an ECoS, is that I now have a little workshop set up in the basement, and I needed a versatile digital command station. I also wanted one with a network connection (which meant the commander was a no-go), and one that supported Selectrix (which meant the Marklin CS2 was a no-go.) I haven't played with it much, but I have managed to connect my 0, H0, N and Z scale to the device, all at the same time. The thing can actually run all scales and the various digital formats (DCC, Selectrix, Marklin Motorola, Marklin Mfx) at the same time ;)

Disadvantages so far are the bootup time, it takes about 1.5 to 2 minutes before it's ready to roll, and 1 of the knobs seems to be slightly faulty. I should probably get it fixed if it starts happening too often. Also, the touch screen feels primitive if you're used to iPhone/iPad and similar devices ;)

2 interesting little bits are that there's a power monitor on the device, which measures the amount of amps being used by the ECoS itself, and by any connected booster, as long as it's an ECoS booster. It's quite nice to see in real time how much power the trains use. Turning on headlights will see a rise of about 15-20mA in general. I also think I may have figure out why my M250 is getting hot so fast, it's using up around 250mA (motor car only, no lights), so I'm guessing the motor isn't running freely ;)

The other interesting bit, if you hook up the ECoS to the network, and go to its web interface, you can actually view the ECoS screen right in the browser in (slightly delayed) real time.
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