• Chris Di Paolo

    Hi,

    Thanks for doing your blog, I am getting back in to trains and this is very helpful.  I am trying to implement occupancy detection and Railcom on my layout with my ECoS II and I was doing some research on Railcom and Railcom Detectors to try and understand it better and I stumbled over this 16 zone Railcom detector/reader athttp://www.coastaldcc.co.uk/products/productinfo.php?id=1556 andhttp://www.dcc4pc.co.uk/our_products.html . 

    It looked pretty interesting and wanted to see if you had any experience with it.
    Thanks,

    Chris

    • Hi Chris, thanks for the comment. 
      The most important thing is to make sure what you’d like to achieve with train detection. If you just want to know if a track is occupied, then you can just use the integrated S88 in the ECOS II: it’s cheap and works pretty well; look at my other post “Loconet vs. S88”.I personally only use the “global” function of Railcom (being able to program decoders on the main) and the global function of Railcom Plus (automatic detection of locomotive and functions when put on the track). That means I don’t use Railcom on a block basis: my blocks are monitored by Loconet & S88, and these just tell me if a train is there, not which one. But again, I am using a computer software so it “follows” my trains and knows where trains are anyway.

      If you want Railcom *local* detection (each block sending feedback “I am occupied AND it’s train nr X”), then it’s going to be expensive. The easiest way (and this is a guess) would be to use the latest version of the ESU Ecos Detector, which has Railcom on some of its outputs and works with your ECOS II seamlessly (at least it should).
      But again, even ESU didn’t equip all ports of the Ecos Detector with Railcom, because there are limited applications to exactly tracking train number in each block. What is it you’d like to do?

  • Chris Di Paolo

    I am in the US but, no one I know is using Railcom yet, I am the first that I know of trying it.

    Chris

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