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Yes, it is very nice indeed. I wish they were available for all Bachmann loco's. Documentation like this may save a few loco's from the "Cut & Throw" so often required when adding products or making conversions, just because we don't know what's in there!
 

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The new socket is a huge controversy, and Bachmann wants to ensure people use it. We actually have been waiting for this information since January when it was first promised.

In addition the RCS people make a plug in decoder that works perfectly and should soon be on the site.

Regards, Greg
 

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I like the idea of a standard socket in all powered G Scale products. One that would allow all third party sound & Dcc & Battery setups to be plugged in and work from the get go. I guess a successful socket would be bad news for the guys who are in the business of installation, but great news for makers of control systems, and sound systems, and many G Scalers like myself. I know many folks love to get into a loco and spend hours and hours maybe even days & months trying to wire up stuff , but I am not one of them. Looks like I could have four control and sound systems, for the same money it would take to have one professional install.

After listening to some of my friends tell their tale of woe having to send their prefessionally installed item back to the installer for fixes and tweaks, I know I don't want to go thru that.

I am confident that I can plug something in as long as it worked out of the box, and I did't have to perform soldering additions and other tweaks just to make it work.

Judging from the rants against sockects, I expect to get flamed for this, but I hold fast to the concept that a standard sockect would be a big pluss for the hobby.

I don't know too many young folks who can afford a couple of high dollar locos and then send them off for a professional install. Must be nice!!

Just my two cents!!!
 

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I kind of agree--I've spent a lot of hours trying to get third party stuff to work in various locos, and it's a headache I'd rather not have.

On the other hand, Aristo's socket/circuit board isn't wired right--if you're using track power and remote control, you can't have both the loco and the tender picking up power at the same time, and if you try to use the "battery" switch you send power to the rails. At least that's how one of mine was wired. Manufacturers have to get it right, and from what I've seen quality control is shaky and design is not consistent. But theoretically, I'd love to see a plug and play socket
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I hold fast to the concept that a standard sockect would be a big pluss for the hobby.

Bill,
Actually, ANY socket that comes with decent documentation is a huge plus for the hobby! Most of the stuff is pretty standard - 0-24V DC power, DC electric motor, and an on/off trigger switch for the chuff.
What I hate is the electronics guys (and you know who you are,) with their bell, whistle and steam sound triggers that are described as 'ordinary transistor-transistor interfaces'. Why they can't use a simple on/off switch, a good diagram, and add protection to their electronics so that neophytes (like me) can't blow them up by connecting the wires in the wrong order... OK, Rant over.
 

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I also believe in standardization, once they get together to advance the hobby, it will come,
Such as a generic socket for sound and control. DC or DCC.
However there are many things to get to standardization,
Couplers, scale, gauge, body height, power, wheels are just a few.
The new Bachmann socket is a good start, with the new documentation on the product; it makes it very easy to understand.
However you need to realize that this would mean giving up some control, and now with the current issue of proprietary products, they make their own business.

I believe AristoCraft, with all its lack of quality control on new products, wiring, wheels, control systems and lack of parts, in their own way they are the true motivators of standardization.

Just my .02

KC
 

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The issues are being somewhat missed.

First, mandated with no hobby input.
Stanley's secrecy in the development of this has us where we are.
Size.
Try fitting this universal socket in a Porter. Or a Climax, or Shay, with a full cubic-inch control unit plugged into it and a speaker under it.
Then figure out batteries (if so inclined).
If you would read that wonderful documentation, you will see a whole lot of cutting, soldering, jumpering. Not exactly plug-and-play.

The comment about installers may have relevance, but not with me.
I don't care.

What I DID fight for was an actual universal interface usable for ALL currently available systems, with a small footprint, not requiring specific space and placement considerations.
Screw terminals will do that, plus can be made for any number of additional functions without violating the standard.

My understanding is Bachmann is not the first company approached over the years to use a standard such as this.

Look closely at the Lenz installation, and wonder if that's the best they could do in 3-1/2 months.

In that time, I got all the data to Tony, he built up a prototype, and when he finally got a K, built a plug-in unit, and was in production, shipping, and showing at shows before this documentation ever came to light.

I have some experience in plugs and sockets seemingly added haphazardly into circuitry.
Automotive, appliance, etc, and if there is a failure waiting to happen, that's usually where it will be.

Some of this "documentation" shows all this cutting, soldering, patching, just to prove they can use the socket, when they could have whacked the wires off the base and connected directly.

The documentation, as far as I can see, is only there to show work-arounds to try to prove a point.

Only two seem to be plug-and-play in the documentation, and that's in 3-1/2 months of work.

Look again.
 

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Addendum:
I know for a fact one person who will forward these "comments" along to Bachmann.
When they see this, they need to understand that the stifling of discussion on their company forum has resulted in many folks discussing this topic in other forums.
Many of us have watched posts that were not inflammatory just disappear off their forums.

Read this thread:
http://www.largescalecentral.com/LSCForums/viewtopic.php?id=8738

Makes you wonder just how "standard" this "standard" is going to stay.
 
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there are no standards...you can't standardize "nothing", and while we're at it...who will make the standards? it's a steep slope...wheres the link to the 30+ pages of this argument from last year? no need going through that again.
cale, a young father of almost 4 who does his own installs.
 

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Standards, lets see, there is the RP-25 wheel standard, 1:20.3 standard, 1:32 standard, 1:13.6 standard, 1:29 standard, the socket that Aristo-Craft installs in there locos, the new rolling stock that has pads for body mount KaDee couplers ( USA Trains & Aristo-Craft ), decoders by Digitrax & QSI for the A-C socket & Aristo-Crafts own R/C decoder, the Bachmann socket that extends the design of the A-C socket.. These have been started by the Manufacturers & they are the ones who will implement the new ones..

BulletBob

PS RCS has a P-n-P R/C board for the new Bachmann socket, who will be next??
 

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What I DID fight for was an actual universal interface usable for ALL currently available systems, with a small footprint, not requiring specific space and placement considerations.
Screw terminals will do that, plus can be made for any number of additional functions without violating the standard.



I agree totally with TOC on this and applaud him for fighting for it. This is exactly what we need across all manufacturer. This is what I will fight for as a way of expanding the hobby increasing the fun and reducing costs to the average guy with little or no electronics skills. I believe it would be to the benefit of manufacturers as it would increase sales of their product.

What is needed is a specific proposal with sufficiently detailed specs that could be presented to all interested for comment then refined as necessary. I would love to but I don't know squat about electronics. Who should do it, NMRA? anew similar organization?
 
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Posted By billsharron on 04/20/2008 10:15 AM

What is needed is a specific proposal with sufficiently detailed specs that could be presented to all interested for comment then refined as necessary.




Now that is where you'd begin to get the "Standards" I was speaking of above...but if I'm not mistaken (have been, and may be?), that is what was attempted before, submitted and agreed upon to some extent....then changed by one or more parties involved?


Pete I agree documentation is a good thing as well.

cale
 
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Posted By Road Foreman on 04/11/2008 8:37 AM
Standards, lets see, there is the RP-25 wheel standard, 1:20.3 standard, 1:32 standard, 1:13.6 standard, 1:29 standard, the socket that Aristo-Craft installs in there locos, the new rolling stock that has pads for body mount KaDee couplers ( USA Trains & Aristo-Craft ), decoders by Digitrax & QSI for the A-C socket & Aristo-Crafts own R/C decoder, the Bachmann socket that extends the design of the A-C socket.. These have been started by the Manufacturers & they are the ones who will implement the new ones..
BulletBob
PS RCS has a P-n-P R/C board for the new Bachmann socket, who will be next??




Bob I was referencing the lack of electrical standards...while some manf/companies may have one that works for them...there is no LS Train Industry Standard for on-board Control Electronics.


cale
 

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Cale,

The standards are being created right now by Bachmann & Aristo-Craft.. This is happening because some body drug there feet..

BulletBob
 

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Who do you imagine "drug their feet", Bob?

It's more than the Ames Super Socket, it's the Ames Super Socket With Integrated Prodcution Electronics that the problems hide.

So, you have to cut, remove, solder, attach for a plug-and-play?
Really?

What new "standard" now re-writes the definition of "plug-and-play"?

Funny, too, in all of this posturing that has gone on, the only one currently available that is full plug-and-play is the unit I got all the data for so it was ready to go when the manufacturer finally got a K.

And the whole time, some have been posturing that I am against it so bad I won't even discuss it.

It is, in most cases, pointless.
You have another layer of electronics (sockets, plugs, pc board, solder joints) to possibly give you problems, just cut it out and connect direct, in the process, glueing a sheet of .080" styrene over the opening to keep condensation under the coal load from raining in, allow loose coal to be insatlled, and to "seal up" the speaker enclosure.

Last I heard there is STILL no list of requirements for this socket.
 

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TOC

After my experience yesterday converting an Aristo 0-4-0 for battery power, I have to agree with you. When I pulled the boiler off the bottom end, all I needed to do was trace the wires to the driver pickups and snip them. Then fish the driver pickup wires back to the top of the lower end.

Imagine this. The wires from the track pickups connect directly to the motor with no sockets, circuit boards or other stuff in between other than a solder joint. I'll hook my cable running back to the battery car to two of the clipped driver power feed wires and clip off the other two. The hardest part of the conversion was figuring out how to disassemble the damn engine.
I'm not sure what I would have done if faced with a big ol' socket when I pulled off the boiler. Even with all the documentation in the world, it would have been a bigger challenge than the one I faced.

I'm not saying standardization isn't a good thing. But in my mind that means all the manufacturers work together and define the 'standard plug and play' interface. And it should support all (or at least most) of the major approaches to providing power to engines -- DCC, battery, etc -- out of the box. In addition, the specifications should be posted in the public domain so other vendors left out of the first release can design (or redesign) products to the standard.

Gosh there's even a precedent out there. As much as some people hate Microsoft, when the last few generations if the Microsoft Windows operating system were released they contained true plug and play compatability. A few weeks ago I purchased a Nikon D40 SLR. When I wanted to move pictures to my PC for the first time, I plugged one end of a USB cable into my Nikon and the other end into my notebook. Windows immediately recognized the D40 as an external flash drive. I didn't need to consult detailed documentation and wiring diagrams. I didn't need to install new software. I just plugged it in. Within a few seconds I was dragging files from the Nikon's flash drive to a folder on my desktop. It couldn't have been easier.

Of course Microsoft put the interface standards into the public domain so anyone could design a device for the plug and play standard - including Nikon - in advance of releasing new Windows versions. Now who would have imagined 15 years ago that Nikon would want one of their cameras to look like an external hard drive to a computer? That's a P&P application that probably wasn't even on Microsoft's list when they originally designed plug and play. Of course part of the deal was that Microsoft wouldn't keep changing the standard so actual or perceived competitors couldn't use that capability. That way Nikon was able to come up with their own use of the 'plug and play' standard and make life so incredibly easy for me as their customer.

That's what we need in trainland too.

Until then, we don't have a standard - regardless of what the marketing flacks claim. Somebody needs to stop thinking of their world domination strategies and start thinking about customers. Of course all these (train)world domination types think they are smarter than Bill Gates. Give me a break !!!!

Tom
 
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