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I like the lights, smoke generators are ok but they don't always work that well. I like aristos pnp socket, when it works


I have a bunch of locos where I gutted everything and added my own stuff--directional lights, firebox lights, sound. I dont think we'd save much money if they just delivered a loco with an engine in it. The costs of the PC boards is--maybe I'm wrong about this--way way less than the cost of paint and molds


I suppose Bachmann could offer a loaded, ready to run K27 and a stripped, Goodson appoved K-27. Kind of like painted and unpanted?
 

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Back to the topic at hand, I can see advantages to both the plain and simple approach and to the complex approach. I've stripped a bunch of locos down to two leads to track power, and two leads for motor, and leads for lights. I cans see where, especially if you run batteries, you want control over what goes on when, because you want to control battery drain. Makes sense. Smoke generators are a gimmick, mostly--people smile in delight when they see it, and I turn them on for that reason, but they aren't all that effective. I like having a few to run, but they aren't essential for me. I can definitely see where battery guys want nothing in there but the motor.




But I just bought an aristo Rs-3, and I have to say when it works (and I've had it not work), the PnP socket is just great. I dropped a 75mhz reciever in there and I'm off. I can switch to batteries if I want to without tearing the loco down, I can easily turn the lights and the smoke on or off. I have a QSI card on order, and then I can control those functions remotely (except smoke). So what's not to like? Unless you really enjoy digging in and tearing everything out, you can shut off the battery draining functions at will. That's all good. Is it adding a lot of cost? I would bet no--circuit boards are cheap to produce, relatively speaking, and automatable


BobGrosh ahs a nice discussion going on about DCC can really do, and he makes a god point that you want more in there--that a large scale train can be way "smarter" than it is now, that it can easily catch up with cell phones. He has some very interesitng ideas, and if he's right, then aristo's new TE system is a dead end. And you can do DCC with batteries--hello, Airwire. Airwire gives you all the functionality of DCC on battery or track power


So I'm in favor of havng more in there and more PnP.
 
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