Control your model train locomotives with Wifi and a smartphone style throttle!
Since smart phones with touch screens have almost completely replaced the conventional mobile phone, model train enthusiasts and manufacturers face the question how to employ more powerful devices for controlling model trains. As a result of this, many apps have been developed lately, which can be uploaded onto your mobile phone and used for running your trains.
This concept, however, has one disadvantage, namely that smart phones have not been primarily designed for running model trains. Due to the lack of suitable input elements the operator is forced to spend most of the time looking at the display. The limits become quickly obvious so at ESU they had a look at the question on how to utilize the advantages smart phone technology and combine it with the needs of model train enthusiasts.
With the 50310 CabControl Integrated Control Unit, advanced model railroading is as simple as ever. You have full control over your locomotives, switches and signals with just the tap of a finger. The unit communicates with the Mobile Control II Wireless Controller via WiFi.
The CabControl’s integrated 7 Amp booster allows it to power even larger layouts and scales with ease. LokSound decoders equipped with RailComPlus® even register automatically with the system! Running trains has finally caught up with the technology of today!
- Mobile Control Wireless Controller
- Integrated Control Unit
- Power Supply: Input 100-240VAC, Output 15-21VDC/7A, 150VA
- Completely wireless model railroad operation
- Ergonomic Android based remote control unit with TFT display
- Internal database capable of holding more than 16,000 locomotives with specific names and symbols
- Up to 28 functions per locomotive
- Easy to create multiple unit consists
- Capable of configuring and controlling more than 1,000 turnouts and other accessories
- Updatable with internet connection
- Runs all DCC decoder equipped locomotives
- Automatic train detection using RailComPlus*
- Integrated 7 Amp Booster
- Android Operating System
- ARM CPU, 512 MB RAM, 2 GB Flash ROM
- 3.2″ TFT Display, 800×400 resolution
- Large Dial for easy speed control and direction change
- 4 user personalized buttons
- Micro USB port for software updates and battery charging
- 5-8 hours of battery life
- 3.5mm stereo headset port (mic and headphone)
- Connects to all common WLAN access points
Built-in WLAN Access Point
Creates a unique Wifi-Network for your Mobile Control II Wireless throttles
Supports at least 32 Mobile Control II Wireless ControllersCompliant with all relevant IEEE WLAN standards. Suitable for use in America and Europe
The CabControl features a LAN port to connect the box to your home network.
Via the home network, the CabControl can be connected to Model RailRoad Control Software.
For easy connection with our ESU boosters, CabControl supports ECoSlink, a high speed, CAN based bus system.
The CabControl built-in booster has so much power that, in most cases, you don‘t need additional ones.
Hook up is simple with the CabControl system. All you have to do is plug the 7 Amp power supply into the CabControl box and then hook up your CabControl box to your track for track power and its ready to go! The wireless controllers automatically connect to the system via WLAN.
On occasion new features will be added to the CabControl system. Gone are the days of having to send your DCC command station back to the manufacturer for updates! When a new update becomes available it is as simple as loading this to a USB Data stick and plugging it in to the back of the system. Easy!
Each CabControl system meets the relevant requirements regarding safety and operation on a layout. The track output is protected against overload as well as short circuits. Each CabControl system can differentiate between a actual short, and a momentary current spike when passing over switches or gaps.
As the CabControl System uses the ESU Mobile Control II Wireless Throttles, expansion is easy as these throttles are already available and will connect automatically to the Integrated Control Unit. The system can also be used with the ECoSBoost Boosters using the ECoSlink Terminals when more power is needed for large layouts.
CabControl - Handheld Wireless Throttle
Ergonomics & Functionality Combined
When you hold your CabControl Throttle in your hands for the first time you will immediately notice its excellent ergonomics. All Parts of the screen can easily be reached with one hand, and unlike a cell phone throttle, the most important functions can even be reached “without looking” giving you the ability to watch your trains and not needing to watch your throttle. This is due to the central, motorized throttle knob with end stop. With this knob you can delicately control the speed of your trains and change direction.
For activating functions simply touch the icons on the display. The display also serves for changing functions – exactly the same way as you know it from your mobile phone. Finally, two buttons each on either side serve for changing direction or triggering the most important functions. These side buttons are user editable giving you the choice of what you want to control with them.
Colorized Function Icons are displayed showing what function does what. Gone are the days of having to memorize what function button control what decoder feature.
The CabControl Throttles can control all locomotives registered in the system and supports 14, 28 or 128 speed steps. All of the important locomotive properties such as name, a picture, function mapping as well as easily identifiable icons for function buttons will be taken from the Integrated Control Unit and will be displayed.
You may switch up to 28 functions for each locomotive, which, of course, can either be momentary or continuous functions. You read that correctly! EVERY Function Button can be momentary or latching depending on your use! No more limitations on how you function map your decoders.
As standards are constantly changing and the number of DCC function buttons is increased a simple update will allow for even more!
The CabControl System has the ability to run over 1000 magnetic accessories.
More Fun in Operations
The high resolution (480 x 800 pixels, 280 dpi), backlit TFT display of the CabControl Throttle always keeps you up to date on the most important operating parameters. You can see if another operator controls a certain locomotive or if an emergency stop has been triggered.
The permanently installed, powerful Lithium polymer rechargeable battery will serve you right through the most extensive operating sessions giving 5-8 hours of operation based on how you are using your throttles. Recharge the batteries of your CabControl simply by using the USB port on the Integrated Control Unit and the supplied Micro USB Cable or the battery charger of your mobile phone or any other USB port.
The CabControl Throttles are based on the Android operating system. ESU has created a powerful basis for this open, globally used operating system: The ARM® Cortex® A8 microprocessor clocked with 1.3 GHz and controls a high resolution 3.2 inch TFT color display.
A capacitive touch screen assures touch-free data entry. For communicating with the “outside world” there is a USB port and a WLAN interface. Thanks to the standardized radio control interface, trouble free operation of your layout can be assured at any time. The range can be extended with WLAN repeaters, if necessary.
Due to the open platform design you may add further apps for the Google Play Store at any time.
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If your new to dcc it takes a bit to figure out but once you do its so simple. My only gripes are wish throttle had a higher version of android. And more ram. Software updates are needed as it wont save certain consists. And more pics ate needed to library for adding loco pics. And power switch for system. This thing is constantly on unless you have a power strip. And batery life of throttle.Other than that flawless when working with any decoders.
I purchased this unit after seeing it displayed at our local annual Train Fair here in Syracuse, NY in November. I was excited to see this technology and at the price point that makes it affordable. I run G Scale trains so having 7Amps of power and up to 21 volts was perfect for what I run. I also run out doors so having the Wifi capabilities make it even more desirable.
I received the unit in early December 2017 and read through the documentation and watched the YOUTUBE videos as I think having that form if instruction is very useful.
After setting up the unit I noticed that the power brick doesn't have an On Off switch. I don't like leaving power supplies on when not in use so having an On Off switch is something I think this unit should have although I know it will bring the price up a little more. I've worked around that by installing a power strip that I can use to turn the power off when not in use.
Once I charged the handheld transmitter, I was able to program my new (non ESU controlled) G Gauge engines into the unit. It was very intuitive. Once I connected to the Wifi I was able to turn the power on to the track and run the train. I was very disappointed to see that the range of the Wifi was only about 10-15 feet before it dropped out of range. This was not what I expected. I was hoping to get 50-100 feet so I could use this unit outdoors on my layout. Instead I'm relegated to operating my indoor layout in one room. I'm hoping that ESU will come out with upgrades to the software to improve this range. Otherwise I will have to invest in a Range Extender to use this and gain better range.
The unit overall seems to be very robust and I like the ability to being able to upgrade the software using an ether net connection to my home computer or use a thumb drive to update the unit. Scaling up this unit to supply a larger layout or supply more power to the layout is a capability that other users of ESU equipment know can be done.
Overall I give this unit a rating of about a 5 out of 10 as I'm hitting it pretty hard for not having decent Wifi capabilities as when advertising Wifi you get an expectation of having good range to operate layouts assuming folks who have larger layouts and walk around them would not want to have the controller drop out all the time.