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CaptOblivious

Railstars: Gauging interest in decoders for EMUs

Were specially designed EMU decoders (see below) to be offered for sale, would you buy?  

24 members have voted

  1. 1. Were specially designed EMU decoders (see below) to be offered for sale, would you buy?

    • No.
      7
    • Yes, but they'd have to be cheaper than what's out there now.
      4
    • Yes, and if it makes my life easier, I'd pay the same or more than what's available.
      10
    • Yes, I'll take 10 sets please.
      3


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cteno4

Nigel,

 

perhaps its best to let Capt do his business himself. legally could mean the terms of their licensee would conflict with other licenses he may have to do with his project or he would have to give up too much in terms of other licenses or legal positions that he does not want to to be kosher with the terms of digitrax. there are many situations you can license something but not legally use it in some situations that he may want to (ie restrictive terms).

 

i dont know the case here, but its his business not ours. He cant run businesses by publicly discussing all the intricacies of his business like this. Don's been very nice by being much more open and informative about the basic engineering of this system and how his business is moving on this than most all train businesses (or any small businesses) usually are.

 

jeff

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The_Ghan

Jeff,

 

I am not on a witch hunt.  Don is developing products that will benefit many N-scale modellers.  His Aegaeon:C cab-car decoder which frees us all from having to modify the lighting circuit board (possible exception replacing bulbs with LED) is a brilliant idea and something that Digitrax scoffed at a year ago when several of us approached them.  If they had Transponding I'd buy them myself.  It might even be worth my while to use the Aegaeon:C in conjunction with the cheapest Transponding decoder I can get my hands on.  Certainly if the light board is not easily modified.

 

RailStars have good products.

 

You know? Your thread on SAL has convinced me to try that method with future orders from suppliers supporting that postal service.  Likewise, members are influenced by what is said in other threads on other topics.  We rely on the advice of others to help make informed decisions, such as electing to stick with DC or make the jump to DCC, or choosing a brand of system as the core for our layout.  I use Digitrax.  I get frequent product support.  The Digitrax guys tell me things that contradict what Don has to say on the subject.  If I'm being misled by Digitrax, I can assure you Jeff that I will be more than happy to inform all members accordingly.

 

In the meantime:

1. LocoNet is a DCC Standard;

2. LocoNet is an Open Standard ... you can download a version of it at the link below;

3. There is a growing LocoNet community of manufacturers;

4. Anyone can license LocoNet, presumably there may be some limitations based on existing agreements;

5.Transponding can also be licensed.

 

You can read all about the LocoNet partners and personal edition and related material here.

 

You are completely correct Jeff, Don does not have to report to me.  I apologise for my tone in that regard.

 

Cheers

 

The_Ghan

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CaptOblivious

 

In the meantime:

1. LocoNet is a DCC Standard;

2. LocoNet is an Open Standard ... you can download a version of it at the link below;

3. There is a growing LocoNet community of manufacturers;

4. Anyone can license LocoNet, presumably there may be some limitations based on existing agreements;

5.Transponding can also be licensed.

 

You can read all about the LocoNet partners and personal edition and related material here.

 

 

1. FALSE, EXTREMELY FALSE. Who told you that? NMRAnet, S-9.7 is the NMRA's standard for a layout control bus.

2. FALSE — unless you are using an extremely broken definition of "open". Have you read the terms of that license? Compare what you are calling "open" to what other larger organizations call open: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_protocol

3. TRUE — so what? Why does that mean I must join the bandwagon?

4. TRUE — and I do not accept those limitations, which I find onerous. I support only truly OPEN protocols in my products.

5. TRUE — same comment. I support only OPEN protocols in my products.

 

Because I do not accept their terms, implementing their technology without having licensed it is illegal.

 

Let us now drop this subject once and for all.

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Spaceman Spiff

Any updates?

 

Spiff

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CaptOblivious

Any updates?

 

Spiff

 

Well, some minor ones. Sending prototype designs off to be made up; firmware is looking better, though very few bells and whistles. Lining up some potential retailers, which will be necessary at this point to have enough pre-orders to actually fund the first round of production. Looks like I'll have three models available at launch: The motor-only (called the Aegaeon:M), the easy-peasy cab-car (called the Aegaeon:C), and a more traditional 2-function loco decoder (Aegaeon:L2). We are in the very early stages of designing a fancier 4-to-6 function decoder with tons of bells and whistles as well as RailCom as well. Exciting times!

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Spaceman Spiff

Thanks

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CaptOblivious

Update: Firmware is complete, including almost all testing, except for BEMF. Hope there's still room to squeeze that code in…

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CaptOblivious

Update: Complete my rear. Found a way to add a whole new set of feature for animations on the lighting effects. Nearly done with that, still want to add a couple more lighting effects in the remaining few bytes.

 

That said, as I wrap this project up, slowly, I'm thinking forward to the next decoder I want to do. I have two in mind that I'd like to get feedback on:

 

  • One is a full-featured decoder with lots of fancy options and effects, including RailCom (for which I now have a license).
  • The other is a repackaging of the Aegaeon:M into an EM13 and FL12 form factors. Possibly including RailCom.

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KenS

The EM13 with railcomm potentially has a larger audience than just us, as Kato has used that in some of their U.S.-spec models.  That alone might make it worth doing.  Unless, of course, they have some kind of patent on the shape.

 

I don't, myself, have a need for any of these, unless you can somehow underprice Kato on the EM13/FL12, which seems unlikely given your probable volume. Although an FL12 with a capacitor that could prevent flicker would be cool; I'd pay extra for that. But I doubt the form-factor would permit, even for the really low power draw those LEDs have.

 

Now an FR11 with flicker-prevention, and maybe some way to vary output intensity (I really don't need track voltage in my lighting on DCC), or even a non-decoder lightboard replacement with a resistor or current-limiter to drop the output and a cap for flicker-control, that would be useful.

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CaptOblivious

I find myself leaning towards doing an EM13-shaped decoder with RailCom, and some other advanced motor-control features like constant stopping distance. Of course, I need to get these first ones done first!

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CaptOblivious

Update:

 

Firmware is complete to first beta. Final prototype is built, installed in a Tomytec mechanism, and proved. Beta units will be going out early next week. Pending feedback from the testers, I can start taking actual pre-orders. I also have quotes for components and assembly, and have nailed down the MSRP—

 

Aegaeon:C/M— 25USD

Aegaeon:L2 — 35USD

 

From now until everything is finalized and we start officially taking pre-orders, we are running a special: A 5USD down-payment will get you 20% off the MSRP once we start taking pre-orders:

 

Aegaeon:C/M — 20USD

Aegaeon:L2 — 28USD

 

You can read more, and place a deposit to lock in the 20% discount, on the Aegaeon website: http://railstars.com/hardware/aegaeon/

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KenS

Considering the small run, US$25 is a fair price. And given the poor competition for a bipolar cab decoder, I expect to be using a fair number of the C version since I don't want to pay US$40 for the Lenz (I still need to evaluate the M against its competition).  So far, these look good on paper. I'm looking forward to seeing how they work.

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CaptOblivious

Now taking applications for the secound round of beta testing! Those who have placed reserverations are automatically enrolled in our beta program; even so, we will have a few extra units to send out to potential beta testers when the next batch is ready in early March. Perks: Free decoder! Costs: You have to supply us with some feedback about your experiences with the decoder.

 

We have 5 decoders to give away to the first five respondants who are willing to provide a minimally compelling reason as to why they should be considered! Your choice of :M, :C, or :L2.

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Webskipper

Can you get the decoder narrower than 3mm?

 

Just motor and light functions.

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CaptOblivious

Webskipper, perhaps. I am going to spend some more time on these next weekend, I'll measure my prototypes to see what they are at.

 

Man, this is turning into a slow project!

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Webskipper

Oh, the max potential is 4.5v.

 

That should keep you busy, doc.

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Spaceman Spiff

Any updates?

 

Spiff

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Spaceman Spiff

Any updates?

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