HO UK model rail
At the outset, I’ve wanted to manage the operation of the rail layout from a computer, programmed to direct the movement of locomotives, points, signals and lighting from a central position. Thus an automated rail layout.
I envisage the satisfying vision of three locomotives independently following separate routes and stopping to a set schedule, and without collision. That would be nice!
Whilst the Mobile Station controller is a fine piece of kit, it won’t talk directly to a PC without some other electronic equipment and knowledge which I lack in confidence.
As of 2015, I am a long way off from achieving a computer controlled model rail layout, as I will need an new Märklin central station or an Ecos ESU to talk to the locomotives and PC. Either of them is an expensive and sophisticated piece of technology and both come with varying levels of technical and practical support for the english speaking hobbyist.
Märklin documents are translated into a poor form of English which fails to describe technical processes in simple language. Difficult but not impossible. I believe Märklin web documents fall behind in their translations into English, and for me the end user, this is a deterrent. Despite the fact that I am a German speaker, the tech speak in German sometimes fails my comprehension and in their translated English it is not much better. In contrast when I look at the pdf documents on the ECOS ESU website they appear to be to a higher standard and whats more important have been crafted and translated into a much friendlier form of English.
Simply Google Translating a document from Märklin fails to generate useful information. M
Thankfully there are user forums on the net and these are ultimately invaluable to the hobbyist in any are of study. I just find it very worrying that Märklin makes so little use of these forums to promote its products, and to provide free online support to its users.