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Offline michelvr  
#1 Posted : 21 July 2012 14:30:30(UTC)
michelvr

Canada   
Joined: 05/07/2012(UTC)
Posts: 125
Location: Ontario, Canada
Good Morning,

I'm new with Marklin, but old with DCC. I have experienced setting up a large layout with one of the top North American DCC manufactures using all of their related components to run RR&CO., TrainController. It was a huge undertaking and it worked but I will tell you it was not a pleasurable experience. One of the reasons for me switching to Marklin three rail / two-conductor track system was the ease of wiring and abundance of proven components from Marklin, ESU, Viessmann and others. I will say that Marklin makes beautiful trains and the C track system is a pleasure to use. I'm now at the stage of buying a "Digital System" to use. After everything I have read and seen I have come up with two possible choices. Marklin Digital or ESU digital control utilizing the ECoS 50200.

My question is directed to those who utilize computer control. If you can start over again which system would you invest in?

PLEASE NOTE: I'm starting over again from ZERO, your input will be greatly appreciated.

Michel

Edited by moderator 21 July 2012 21:46:54(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

thanks 1 user liked this great post by michelvr
Offline AshleyH  
#2 Posted : 21 July 2012 14:53:43(UTC)
AshleyH

United Kingdom   
Joined: 15/02/2008(UTC)
Posts: 565
Location: Bournemouth, Dorset
I know this may not be entirely helpful, but there is no right or wrong answer to this.
Both Märklin and ESU make well respected central stations and associated decoders, and to a large extent the two manufacturers products are interchangeable.
You will find users of both controllers on here, as well as earlier digital systems and, of course, analogue!

For computer control, ESU can be used with third part software such as Railroad and Co etc, I don't currently think this is an option for Märklin 60213, 60214 and 60215, but I stand to be corrected. Instead, Märklin offer both iPhone and iPad apps that link to their Central Stations. If you go the ESU route, then there is the excellent Touchcab app for iPhone iPod Touch etc.

Best advice would be to try and get a hands on experience of both systems and see which works best for you.

Ashley

Edited by user 21 July 2012 18:35:12(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline efel  
#3 Posted : 21 July 2012 15:40:42(UTC)
efel

France   
Joined: 23/02/2005(UTC)
Posts: 847
Originally Posted by: michelvr Go to Quoted Post
.

My question is directed to those who utilize computer control. If you can start over again which system would you invest in?



Hi,

With computer control, it is completely useless to buy expensive CS or ECOs. You may buy TAMs central, or just an interface like IB com, or from LDT.

Fred
Offline river6109  
#4 Posted : 21 July 2012 16:21:12(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 10,433
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Michel,

It is one component it is the whole package..

You have to be aware of different choices availability, Märklin has a closed protocol whereas others have an open protocol, for instance mfx decoders.
If you just want to buy locos of the shelf and are happy with its functions or soundfunctions go for CS2. if you are considering, changing CV's and programming your decoders and this goes for sound decoders as well, your better choice would be the ECoS 50200,

ESu decoders and other brands are updateable, lokprogrammer and ECoS as well. with the ECoS you can use your previous digital components, such as 6021, MS1 and connect them directly to the ECoS.

If you control your trains purely by computer you don't need any of these command stations only S88's

John
http://www.youtube.com/river6109
http://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline Rhapsody  
#5 Posted : 21 July 2012 19:38:30(UTC)
Rhapsody


Joined: 22/02/2008(UTC)
Posts: 19
Location: Lykstad, SH
Hi Michel,

if you start from zero and like easy wiring than you should consider the CAN-digital-Bahn project, too. On the CAN-bus there is bi-directional messaging possible with opportunities that are new and not available with s88 (e.g. real feedback from turnouts).

The Märklin control units CS2 and MS2 are compatible with the CAN-digital-Bahn system (ECoS instead is not) and if you like controlling your layout with a pc than it is sufficient to buy a MS2 (Trix or Märklin, it’s the same) with Gleisbox and a CC-Schnitte 2.0 plus StartPunkt from CAN-digital-Bahn.

If you are interested than you can find further informations about the CC-Schnitte 2.0 here
kind regards,
Rhapsody
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#6 Posted : 21 July 2012 22:03:47(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 13,364
Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: AshleyH Go to Quoted Post
You will find users of both controllers on here..................................

For computer control, ESU can be used with third part software such as Railroad and Co etc, I don't currently think this is an option for Märklin 60213, 60214 and 60215, but I stand to be corrected..........


Hi Michael, I don't think you will go wrong buying either controller. I have both a CS2 and an Ecos (the early non-colour version), and both will do the things you want.

I think there are a number of software packages that support both controllers:

- iTrains
- Railroad & Co
- Rocrail (software is free)
- Windigipet

The disadvantage I see with the system Rhapsody proposes is if you need more power to support a large layout than what the MS2 can supply. Buying a CS2 or an Ecos opens up those possibilities for you, whereas using a MS2 only limits you.
Offline nevw  
#7 Posted : 22 July 2012 00:05:16(UTC)
nevw

Australia   
Joined: 27/08/2005(UTC)
Posts: 11,546
Location: Strathpine QLD
Michael,
I have a mixture.
An Ecos 50200 Controller, Marklin, and Viessmann s88s, Marklin and Viessman under track decoders for turnouts) and in locos a mixture of ESU and Marklin decoders. all wotk in Harmony.
I also have a couple of MS 1s . I am running Itrains Software.
No problems,

Nev
wearing the Pink Pinny, which is hard to see and now have a new shiny tin Hip that is badly in Need of Repair
Junior member of the Banana Club, a reformist and an old Goat with a Bad memory, loafing around
Offline H0  
#8 Posted : 23 July 2012 10:10:29(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 8,400
Originally Posted by: efel Go to Quoted Post
With computer control, it is completely useless to buy expensive CS or ECOs. You may buy TAMs central, or just an interface like IB com, or from LDT.
ECoS and CS1/2 are the only controllers with full mfx support.
Tams has limited mfx support.
Other controllers with PC interface have no mfx support.

Tams could really be an alternative.
Regards
Tom
---
Happy customer of Roco, Piko, Fleischmann, ESU, Brawa, Liliput, Rivarossi, Lima, ... - and will happily continue to buy locos that run well out of the box. I'm also happy with 95% of my Märklin items, but will avoid a few cost-optimized items made 2011 or later.
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#9 Posted : 23 July 2012 10:45:48(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 13,364
Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: efel Go to Quoted Post
With computer control, it is completely useless to buy expensive CS or ECOs. You may buy TAMs central, or just an interface like IB com, or from LDT.
ECoS and CS1/2 are the only controllers with full mfx support.
Tams has limited mfx support.
Other controllers with PC interface have no mfx support.

Tams could really be an alternative.



All very well, but a moot point - Michael has already said he has come down to a choice of either CS2 (Marklin Digital) or Ecos. Why are we throwing all this other stuff at him? You'll only confuse him.
Offline H0  
#10 Posted : 23 July 2012 11:12:58(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 8,400
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
Michael has already said he has come down to a choice of either CS2 (Marklin Digital) or Ecos. Why are we throwing all this other stuff at him? You'll only confuse him.
Maybe I'm missing something, but to me the question is not limited to those two controllers. He wrote those two are possible choices.

Maybe Michel can explain which controllers have been deleted from his list, and if the Tams (or other controllers) could be candidates.
Regards
Tom
---
Happy customer of Roco, Piko, Fleischmann, ESU, Brawa, Liliput, Rivarossi, Lima, ... - and will happily continue to buy locos that run well out of the box. I'm also happy with 95% of my Märklin items, but will avoid a few cost-optimized items made 2011 or later.
Offline michelvr  
#11 Posted : 23 July 2012 13:27:04(UTC)
michelvr

Canada   
Joined: 05/07/2012(UTC)
Posts: 125
Location: Ontario, Canada
Just to clarify; My selection is between either the Marklin Central Station 60215 or the ESU ECoS 50200.

What I'm asking is I'm used to changing CV's and setting up consisting with more than two or three locomotives. My layout room is large 45' X 12'. I have already used DCC for my layout and now I am starting over with Marklin. I am starting over from scratch, which means I do not presently own a digital system. I have no experience with Marklin and have not used either of the systems that I have selected.

The $64,000 questions are: Can Marklin Central Station 60215 or the ESU ECoS 50200 do the following;

Train detecting
Consisting
Interface with computer
Program decoder and change sound files
Computer control with software i.e.: TrainController

AND most importantly short protection on the layout. Let me explain:

Separate the layout utilizing boosters and electrical short management to prevent total layout shutdown when shorts occur in any given section. If a short happens in one section, only that section will shut down, the rest of my layout will keep working. The reason I want this is because I know from experience that electrical shorts happen all the time and with the boosters seperating the layout into sections the setup will work properly. With electrical short management I will have no worries with frying a locomotive or welding wheel sets to the tracks and with all of the boosters linked to the digital command system/station they will continue to receive the DCC signal and output it to their own section of track leaving the other trains running.

Michel
Offline witzlerh  
#12 Posted : 23 July 2012 15:34:16(UTC)
witzlerh

Canada   
Joined: 25/09/2010(UTC)
Posts: 236
Location: Sherwood Park, AB, Canada
I know with certainty that the CS2 and ECoS 50200 has most of the features above.
I know this from playing with other systems. I have a CS1 but routinely borrow dad's CS2.

I know that Marklin does have the short protection, provided that you use the more modern boosters and transformers that have the protocol installed. Dad had an older booster but upgraded to enjoy these benefits.

CS2 does well with CV programming and with your DCC experience, you probably will enjoy it more than what you used to have.
I found that I got rather spoiled adjusting the mfx decoders with the older interface as it was more user friendly, although I now see that there were not as many options as the newer but more DOS like interface.

The sound file uploader is a new upgrade. I have used it but found the process clunky at this time. but I also know that Marklin is coming out with their own sound decoder similar like ESU Lokprogrammer.

I know some guys in my Marklin group use the ECoS 50100 with Railroad and Co. software and it usually is quite reliable in communicating. I am not sure how well CS2 will interconnect to computers as compared to ECoS but I just checked the Railroad & co. by Friewald and they have CS2 support.

I too am struggling with the same question you are, CS2 or ECoS....Confused
Harald
CS1 DB & Canadian Era 3-6
Offline Fredrik  
#13 Posted : 23 July 2012 20:09:43(UTC)
Fredrik

Sweden   
Joined: 13/07/2004(UTC)
Posts: 653
Location: Karlstad, Sweden
Since I have them both I'll give you my few thoughts of them:

Originally Posted by: michelvr Go to Quoted Post
Just to clarify; My selection is between either the Marklin Central Station 60215 or the ESU ECoS 50200.

What I'm asking is I'm used to changing CV's and setting up consisting with more than two or three locomotives. My layout room is large 45' X 12'. I have already used DCC for my layout and now I am starting over with Marklin. I am starting over from scratch, which means I do not presently own a digital system. I have no experience with Marklin and have not used either of the systems that I have selected.

The $64,000 questions are: Can Marklin Central Station 60215 or the ESU ECoS 50200 do the following;

Train detecting


Do you mean occupancy detection? Both of them can handle that!

Quote:


Consisting
Interface with computer
Computer control with software i.e.: TrainController



Both will do this nicely

Quote:


Program decoder and change sound files



For changing sounds ESU has the LokProgrammer, whilst the CS2 at least will be able to do this. Other decoder programming is possible on both units. If the EcoS will be able to manage sound files - can't tell.

Quote:


AND most importantly short protection on the layout. Let me explain:

Separate the layout utilizing boosters and electrical short management to prevent total layout shutdown when shorts occur in any given section. If a short happens in one section, only that section will shut down, the rest of my layout will keep working. The reason I want this is because I know from experience that electrical shorts happen all the time and with the boosters seperating the layout into sections the setup will work properly. With electrical short management I will have no worries with frying a locomotive or welding wheel sets to the tracks and with all of the boosters linked to the digital command system/station they will continue to receive the DCC signal and output it to their own section of track leaving the other trains running.

Michel


On the booster issue I know the ECoSBoosters can shut down their power districts only - which I think the CS2 boosters also can (haven't got that confirmed though).

There are som other issues that for me spoke for the ECoS, for instance the new implementation of (non-computerized) routes, the possibility to "lock-out" accessories (with computer control), as well as the possibility to run mfx-locos with "only" 28 speedsteps. Also the availability of RailCom+ gives an extra credit for the ECoS as do the more frequent updates.

Drawback on ECoS is the mfx-registration which takes much longer time - although the CS2 internally implements acceleration- and braking delay (which every now and then compromises the settings of the decoder - if not properly programmed) thus not initially reading all the decoder values.

I still keep the CS2 though - as a reserve as there is no way to wire for subsequent use of them both, maybe there will be a 2:nd layout utilizing the CS2 someday... BigGrin
Fredrik.

* ECoS 2 + ECoSDetector *CS2 2.0.1 (0) CAN-bus only *CS 2.0.4

WWW: Modellbanan
Offline jeehring  
#14 Posted : 23 July 2012 22:30:29(UTC)
jeehring


Joined: 25/09/2003(UTC)
Posts: 2,700
Location: ,
Originally Posted by: Fredrik Go to Quoted Post
Since I have them both I'll give you my few thoughts of them:

Originally Posted by: michelvr Go to Quoted Post
Just to clarify; My selection is between either the Marklin Central Station 60215 or the ESU ECoS 50200.

Train detecting


Quote:


Consisting
Interface with computer
Computer control with software i.e.: TrainController



Both will do this nicely

Quote:


Program decoder and change sound files




Quote:






There are som other issues that for me spoke for the ECoS, for instance the new implementation of (non-computerized) routes, ... BigGrin


What about the Memory on CS 2 : does it allow implementation of routes .. ???
Offline Fredrik  
#15 Posted : 23 July 2012 22:45:10(UTC)
Fredrik

Sweden   
Joined: 13/07/2004(UTC)
Posts: 653
Location: Karlstad, Sweden
Originally Posted by: jeehring Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Fredrik Go to Quoted Post
There are som other issues that for me spoke for the ECoS, for instance the new implementation of (non-computerized) routes, ... BigGrin


What about the Memory on CS 2 : does it allow implementation of routes .. ???


Yes it allows to set up routes too - yet the ECoS-version is now by far better! (my opinion)
Fredrik.

* ECoS 2 + ECoSDetector *CS2 2.0.1 (0) CAN-bus only *CS 2.0.4

WWW: Modellbanan
Offline jeehring  
#16 Posted : 24 July 2012 00:26:56(UTC)
jeehring


Joined: 25/09/2003(UTC)
Posts: 2,700
Location: ,
Originally Posted by: Fredrik Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: jeehring Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Fredrik Go to Quoted Post
There are som other issues that for me spoke for the ECoS, for instance the new implementation of (non-computerized) routes, ... BigGrin


What about the Memory on CS 2 : does it allow implementation of routes .. ???


Yes it allows to set up routes too - yet the ECoS-version is now by far better! (my opinion)


...is NOW by far better"...
NOW = since the last update ?
BETTER in what ?

Edited by user 24 July 2012 00:33:46(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline jeehring  
#17 Posted : 24 July 2012 01:11:13(UTC)
jeehring


Joined: 25/09/2003(UTC)
Posts: 2,700
Location: ,
Originally Posted by: Fredrik Go to Quoted Post


For changing sounds ESU has the LokProgrammer, whilst the CS2 at least will be able to do this. Other decoder programming is possible on both units. If the EcoS will be able to manage sound files - can't tell.





They have a separate Lokprogrammer because at the time they developed the LokProgrammer, ESU had no central ! (they had sound decoders but no central-station) The lokprogrammer is now more than 10 years old. It's an old concept.

But that's the ESU way : pay 120 E more to get a separate lokprogrammer. why would you want them to integrate it into ECOS.

Same about I-things : ESU didn't developp any APPS for I-pad/I-phone , why ?....because they preferred to sell their own wireless Mobile : the Ecos-radio. ( completely outdated. They still ask 200 E for this !)

Edited by user 24 July 2012 01:47:28(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline nevw  
#18 Posted : 24 July 2012 04:04:46(UTC)
nevw

Australia   
Joined: 27/08/2005(UTC)
Posts: 11,546
Location: Strathpine QLD
Jeehring,
Why am I getting the impression that you do not like ESU????.

NN
wearing the Pink Pinny, which is hard to see and now have a new shiny tin Hip that is badly in Need of Repair
Junior member of the Banana Club, a reformist and an old Goat with a Bad memory, loafing around
Offline Fredrik  
#19 Posted : 24 July 2012 07:24:10(UTC)
Fredrik

Sweden   
Joined: 13/07/2004(UTC)
Posts: 653
Location: Karlstad, Sweden
Originally Posted by: jeehring Go to Quoted Post

...is NOW by far better"...
NOW = since the last update ?
BETTER in what ?


Yes, since the last update (3.5.0).

Better, again in my opinion, because one is allowed to specify up to 8 conditions that have to be true for the route to activate. Thus a route can be prevented from being activated should the track it leads to be occupied! That in my world is far better than always activate the route without regarding status of the target track.

I wrote about this to Märklin years ago - just provide 2 feedback contacts for the route, one activating it, and one preventing it if occupied (just like I now can with the ECoS), nothing happened yet! In addition I addition I can add several conditions of other contacts/accessories.

As for the LokProgrammer, I guess you already pay about €100-150 more for the CS2 - and to that you need a power source at another €70. A booster + power source is also somewhat €50-100 more expensive with Märklin...

But I do not think the CS2 is "bad" - I think it's a very nice piece of equipment, as I do with the ECoS, the latter however currently allows more of what I want. I could also add the RailCom-feedback of accessory-positions when using SwitchPilot decoders - but this is also possible by the CS2 when using CAN-Digital-Bahn WeichenChefs (with feedback).
Fredrik.

* ECoS 2 + ECoSDetector *CS2 2.0.1 (0) CAN-bus only *CS 2.0.4

WWW: Modellbanan
Offline river6109  
#20 Posted : 24 July 2012 08:43:41(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 10,433
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Peter,

I think there is some truth in it what you describe.

Although the radio control is handy it is by no means completely user friendly, the batteries I think are inadequate and the speed joystick is not easy controllable.

I have to admit I'm not up with electronic technology and I think I never will be and one can only hope things will improve over the years.

One problem we all will have as new technology comes onto the market the old version will suffer or our investment could be out the door or onto the scrap heap.

One can also say, yes there are add ons regarding ESU is concerned, e.g. adapterplates to get 4 or 6 functions and why is this not integrated into the decoder like the ones from Zimo.One can buy an ESU decoder for less than Euro 30.00 but the latest adapterplate (51969) (not yet released) is about Euro 20.00.

My experience with the Ecos has been limited and I have not explored all its functions, e.g. routes, etc etc. but I will eventually get to it.

John








http://www.youtube.com/river6109
http://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline H0  
#21 Posted : 24 July 2012 11:46:52(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 8,400
Hi, Michel!
Originally Posted by: michelvr Go to Quoted Post
Program decoder and change sound files

Which locos will you buy?
Neither of those controllers can change firmware or sound files of any pre-installed decoders.
ESU announced this feature for ESU decoders years ago, but it's not implemented yet.
CS2 can upgrade firmware on mLD and firmware/sound files on mSD decoders sold separately.

ECoS is better IMHO with respect to DCC programming - especially if you have ESU decoders (also used by Brawa, Liliput, Mehano, older locos from Fleischmann and Roco and others).

Both can handle mfx programming.
Regards
Tom
---
Happy customer of Roco, Piko, Fleischmann, ESU, Brawa, Liliput, Rivarossi, Lima, ... - and will happily continue to buy locos that run well out of the box. I'm also happy with 95% of my Märklin items, but will avoid a few cost-optimized items made 2011 or later.
Offline finwen  
#22 Posted : 25 July 2012 06:51:26(UTC)
finwen


Joined: 19/06/2011(UTC)
Posts: 103
Location: Sweden
Very interesting thread. I am planing to buy a CS2 or an ECOS in about a half year. I like both of them but now i might choose the Ecos due to price and extra flexibility imo.

Just one question. The ecos can use a MS1 as extra handcontroller but i cant find anything about using a MS2. Is it possible to use an MS2 with an ECOS?
Offline Fredrik  
#23 Posted : 25 July 2012 07:38:47(UTC)
Fredrik

Sweden   
Joined: 13/07/2004(UTC)
Posts: 653
Location: Karlstad, Sweden
No - you can't use a MS2 in combination with the ECoS, they speak different "CAN-languages".
Fredrik.

* ECoS 2 + ECoSDetector *CS2 2.0.1 (0) CAN-bus only *CS 2.0.4

WWW: Modellbanan
Offline NZMarklinist  
#24 Posted : 26 July 2012 03:28:09(UTC)
NZMarklinist


Joined: 15/03/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,255
Location: Auckland NZ
Whilst I'm having the same quandry Unsure I'm happilly using my CS1-R, but as I will have my layout going this year, (hopefully) and I intend to power the tracks thru boosters, and the controllable accesories off the main Controller, I will soon have to consider the options.
I used to think it was simple, CS2 & 60174 Boosters for the layout and keep my CS1-R for the modules.
After lots of negative about the CS2 I am strongly leaning the Ecos way and can have the two Controllers together along with my two MS1's, six throttles Scared , nope, seven including Iphone with TouchCab Wink OhMyGod
However to get going I can use one Ecos boost, but then use that for the modules if I go the CS2 way in the long run.
So whilst I have time to decide, I'd really like to know if the Marklin Boosters allow a shutdown only in their particular power district in the event of a short Unsure That is something I consider a biggy ThumpUp
Glen
Auckland NZ

" Every Marklin layout needs a V200, a Railbus and a Banana car", not to mention a few Black and red Steamers, oh and the odd Elok !

CS1 Reloaded, Touch Cab, C Track Modules, K track layout all under construction. Currently Insider
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