August really snuck up on us! After returning from Colorado, it's been an absolute beehive of activity at TCS. We've been doing a lot of testing with the throttles and software improvements to enhance the overall user experience. One of the most important things to happen this week was the much-awaited arrival of the keypads for the Universal WiFi Throttle! We've spent months designing these: drawing up plans, choosing materials and colors, deciding on tactile sensitivity, and finishing the artwork for the keys.
Having them arrive in our shop - and looking fantastic - was a big step toward our first production push! Check out a short celebratory video below!
Our brilliant tech gurus are continuing to plug away at our new software application. Updating the Universal WiFi Throttle is even easier than we set out to make it. We've already pushed patches and fixes to beta testers, enabling them to address problems and fix bugs without physically sending their throttle to us. Please note: Secrets are being blurred out in this image, so don't run out and get an eye exam just yet!
Got Questions? Be sure to visit tcsdcc.com/throttle-faq for more information.
Give it a browse and get familiar with some of the finer technical points of the UWT-100.
TCS and Bachmann Trains recently took a trip to the Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI) in Pueblo, Colorado, where we worked directly with Siemens Mobility to record the Siemens SC-44 Charger locomotive for the upcoming Bachmann Trains release.
Imagine an "Area 51" for locomotives - a secured Federal facility that is off-limits to the general public, and full of trains. That's TTCI. It's essentially a high-tech research and testing facility in the middle of the Colorado plains that serves customers like GE, Siemens, TTX, and more. The 50 miles of track that surround the facility enables TTCI to conduct experiments and safety tests in an isolated area full of cutting-edge tech.
After touching down in Denver, CO, we made our way to Pueblo to prepare for our recording tip. We arrived at TTCI at the break of dawn to begin recording. Both days were bright and sunny, with temperatures that ranged from 95-103℉ in the sun. The first day of recording was also punctuated with a massive thunderstorm that rolled on in and dumped rain for about 30 minutes. The second day was hotter and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Despite the weather conditions, the recording sessions went very well. With the help of our Siemens Engineer and TTCI Hosts, TCS was able to secure an abundance of interesting audio material.
We are incredibly grateful for the assistance of Siemens and TTCI in securing these high-quality recordings, and for the assistance of Bachmann's own Larry Harrington throughout this process as well.
You can learn more about all of Bachmann's upcoming TCS WOWSound-equipped projects here.
Check out the Siemens Charger SC-44 model from Bachmann here.
Take a look at some of our behind-the-scenes photos below:
Check out our upcoming SC-44 Charger project with Bachmann Trains here!
We're very excited to share the great projects coming up from Bachmann in the next year that feature TCS WOWSound. Check out the details below!
Charger SC-44 Diesel-Electric Locomotive (DCC WOWSound Equipped) - Shipping 2020
Bachmann's all-new DCC-sound equipped SC-44 Charger uses Siemens Mobility's original design documentation and sound files. This model includes a TCS WOWSound® CD-Quality 16-bit 44,100Hz decoder with Audio Assist® for easy configuration without programming CVs and a Keep Alive® device for uninterrupted operation, even over dirty track. The WOWSound® diesel-electric locomotive sound package includes horn, bell, prime mover, start-up/shutdown, compressor, cooling fan, coupler close/release, breake release and application, crew alert, grade crossing quill, departing and arriving station announcements, and more. Loaded with prototypical features, the Charger brings all the sights and sounds of Siemens' diesel-electric locomotive to your layout.
2-10-0 Russian Decapod (DCC WOWSound Equipped) featuring NEW! Chuffinity™️ Technology - Shipping November 2019
With the advent of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, the Baldwin Locomotive Works was forced to stop shipment of over 100 Decapod 2-10-2 engines originally bound for Czarist Russia. These "orphan" locomotives later found homes with American railroad companies and helped relieve a scarcity of motive power after WWI.
They are now part of a new revolution in model train sound realism, equipped with a TCS WOWSound® CD-Quality 16-bit 44,100Hz decoder with Audio Assist®. This decoder allows easy configuration without programming CVs as well as a Keep Alive® device for uninterrupted operation even over dirty track. It also features Chuffinity™️ technology for amazingly diverse and realistic chuffs and a WOWSound® steam locomotive sound package that includes bell, whistle, blow down, cylinder cocks, coupler close/release, brake release and application, grade crossing quill, depot sounds, and more.
2-6-2T Baldwin Class 10 Trench Steam Engine (DCC WOWSound Equipped) featuring NEW! Chuffinity™️ Technology - Shipping September 2019
Quickly-created narrow gauge railroads played a crucial role in bringing food, ammunition, and construction material to entrenched troops and carrying away injured soldiers from the Western Front in WWI. The Baldwin Class 10 Trench 2-6-2T was one of the locomotives that saw service with the U.S. Army in France. When the war ended, the victorious U.S. troops turned over all the railways and equipment to the French, who adapted them to agricultural use.
Bachmann's DCC WOWSound®-equipped model is the first-ever to feature Chuffinity™️ technology. Featuring a ten-fold increase in the number of chuff sounds over previous WOWSteam offerings, Chuffinity creates amazingly diverse and realistic sounds. Coupled with intelligent load and grade sensing, chuffs will vary in character, volume, and intensity in prototypical fashion. Chuffinity™️ is just a part of this Trench engine-specific WOWSound® steam locomotive sound package that also features depot background and battleground sounds. Bachmann's new DCC sound-equipped Trench engine will put you in the middle of all the action of the Great War!
You can find the pricing and availability details for the locomotives within Bachmann's announcement flyers here!
Author Dana Zimmerli released a new book on LCC this June entitled: Introduction to Layout Command Control: Basic Concepts and Practical Examples of LCC for Model Railroads. In this overview of everything LCC, Dana explores the emerging standard and breaks down concepts in easy-to-understand ways, no matter what your level of experience is with model railroading.
From the publisher: A beginner’s guide to Layout Command Control. Covers the terminology and basic techniques to install and configure LCC on your layout. Includes practical examples of route switching, block occupancy detection, and simple signaling. This book explains the terms used in LCC at a practical level. A complete example implements a demonstration layout featuring Route Control, track power switching, occupancy detection and a simple set of Signals. Configuration of the LCC Nodes is shown with many screenshots to guide the new user.
An excerpt from the book's introduction: This book was inspired by the many hobbyists that have been looking at Layout Command Control as a new method to control their model railroad. After giving clinics on LCC for two years in the Pacific Southwest Region of the NMRA, I realized that the beginner would need something to refer to and I could not reach everyone in clinics. Constant messages on the LCC group made it more clear. I decided that I could writhe this down so that all the hobbyists that wanted to implement LCC would have a starting point. I have spent my entire career through to retirement in aerospace development. As a System Engineer, Technical Director, and Program Manager, I participated in several proposals for military contracts. I decided that, if I could translate engineer-speak for the military, I should be able to explain LCC to model railroaders.
Perfect for anyone curious about the new world of LCC or planning on implementing LCC into their existing layout, this overview is a simple and practical introduction to the nuts and bolts of LCC.
Our Universal WiFi Throttle and forthcoming Command System were featured in the July 2019 issue of Model Railroader magazine. Dana Kawala's article "A Buyer's Guide to DCC Systems" walks through the history of Digital Command Control (DCC), the evolutions that the protocol has undergone in recent years, and the future of DCC before systematically cataloging the command systems and control options that are available to modelers who are beginning or expanding their DCC railroad operations. We are proud to join the ranks this year!
TCS' Universal WiFi Throttle (UWT) is a newcomer on the DCC scene and a pioneer in the LCC space. Engineered to work with many of the existing DCC systems and solutions that modelers are contending with on their current DCC layouts, this throttle relies on the universal standard of WiFi communication and departs from shrouded, proprietary protocols. To put it simply, this throttle "plays nice with others." The UWT will also integrate flawlessly with the upcoming DCC/LCC command station from TCS, which will be the first commercially available, stand-alone, LCC command station. LCC's robust command bus and future-proof considerations will make it a great choice for modelers who are serious about operations and have a ton of signals passing through their command bus. LCC can keep track of all the locomotive and accessory decoders you need to control - without breaking a sweat.
Poised to make WiFi control for DCC a staple for every modeler, the Universal WiFi Throttle brings a new level of convenience and comfort to handheld controls. Ergonomic design and an intuitive interface allow the modeler to focus on the important things - controlling and programming locomotives - instead of learning how to interpret their throttle and manual. The throttle is built for both operators and programmers, with easy-to-understand on-screen prompts, and innovative programming displays that make modifying CVs and manipulating bits a quick and simple process. Something this good should last the test of time, and we've made sure that the UWT is updatable. Users can update their throttles with the latest software updates and tools and in just seconds (not minutes!), guaranteeing that their investment will not become obsolete in a few short years. It's our hope that the TCS Universal WiFi Throttle is the last throttle you ever need to purchase for your layout.
Head to your local hobby shop and pick up a copy of the July Issue to check out the "Buyers Guide to DCC Systems" featuring the TCS Universal WiFi Throttle. You can visit our FAQ page for some answers to our most common questions, and check out the benefits of preordering a throttle for your home or club layout.