Author Topic: CI-1  (Read 5480 times)

Geek.Verve

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CI-1
« on: February 07, 2016, 10:28:58 PM »
I don't suppose there has been any more info released lately about the CI-1 interface, has there?  I was wondering if it is something that would be opening up the possibility of other control methods such as smart phone and tablet, using apps from RE or third parties, or is it designed simply for computer interfacing (e.g. JMRI)?

I'm really liking some of the features I'm seeing in the Z21 system, such as dual throttle display and side-by-side throttle and accessory displays.  I would like to have that on my hand held controller, rather than my computer.  It bothers me to consider choosing one system, knowing I'm giving up some really useful features only available in the other.   :-\

I'm getting close to making a final decision, and this "coming soon" business is killing me.   :P

G8B4Life

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Re: CI-1
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2016, 01:51:19 AM »
There's been no info forthcoming that I know of however I am seeing prices for it already, and at ~$40.00 US I'm not expecting it to be much more than a programmer so you don't have to keep using and running down the hand held controller when programming. I do hope I'm wrong though.

I guess we'll have to wait and see. They are apparently in production so they can't be too far away.

The Z21 is a good system, but it is still DCC and it will always be mired in that bog. Don't get me wrong, DCC isn't bad on paper, it just need's a massive kick in the rear to get it into "today".

- Tim

KPack

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Re: CI-1
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2016, 10:16:37 PM »
Where did you see prices for it?

I haven't heard any info on it either, though I'm assuming some people have to be beta-testing it.  But what it is won't be public knowledge until after it has been released.

I'm assuming as you said that it involves programming and downloading to locomotive modules from the computer, which is welcome indeed.  That would cut out the step of having to load files onto the controller.  I'm also assuming that it allows some control over RE products.  At some point in the future I would not be surprised if it allows full layout control similar to JMRI...ie all switches can be thrown from the computer, etc.

-Kevin

G8B4Life

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Re: CI-1
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2016, 04:04:37 AM »
A simple Google search for railpro ci-1 provided the prices, such as

https://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/634-CI1

and

http://www.hiawathahobbies.com/Computer-Interface-for-Command-Control-System--RailProTM_p_48013.html

Quite a few others are advertising that price too. Whether it actually is that price when it arrives remains to be seen but I suspect it will be as there is more than one place advertising that price.

- Tim

KPack

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Re: CI-1
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2016, 01:51:18 PM »
I have a little more info on the CI-1 from an email exchange with Tim:

"The CI-1 is a USB to Direct Radio dongle.  So with PC code it can do many things including controlling and monitoring a layout.  For the initial release there will be a desktop simulator that basically has the functionality of the HC-2.  Using the CI-1 and PC simulator you will be able to load all the files etc without running your HC batteries down."

This is exactly what I was hoping it would do.  With the CI-1 we'll be able to load all files directly from the computer to the modules without tying up the HC and wearing down the batteries.  We all know that loading files, particularly prime mover files, drains the battery at an accelerated rate.  In addition, loading files ties up the HC so it can't be used for other things like running a train or setting up other modules.  Sounds like the CI-1 will solve all of that. 

Layout control and control over all Railpro products from the computer sounds intriguing as well.  This would be great for layouts that utilize a dispatcher for ops. 

As soon as they come out I will be buying one.

-Kevin

« Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 01:53:44 PM by KPack »

nodcc4me

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Re: CI-1
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2016, 04:06:14 PM »
Thanks for the info Kevin.  Another example of the ease of use and flexibility of the RP system. I will also be getting one as soon as they become available.
Al

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bnsf8000

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Re: CI-1
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2016, 04:38:40 PM »
This CI-1 is going to be interesting. I'm just getting my layout set up for ops. I hope it does have some of this in mind for that. A dispatcher is one of the jobs I want to include in my operations on my BNSF Black Swamp Division (The Swamp). Planning on running 42-50 trains when we run a full days schedule. Other times we will run a 1/2 days schedule. Plus, doing a lot of the HC-2 stuff on the computer is a major PLUS! Thanks for the update Kevin.

  Patrick Waltz
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  BNSF Black Swamp Division

melarson

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Re: CI-1
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2016, 09:30:18 PM »
Count me in, I will get one as well when they arrive.  Let's me keep the HC-2 with my trains and will always be with me when I leave for an event (train show, Free-mo meet, clubhouse, etc.).  And yeah, the battery thing too!  :)

William Brillinger

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Re: CI-1
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2016, 09:56:10 PM »
I'm looking forward to getting this for myself too. It will be Soooo nice not to drain the battery for programming.

I'll be listing the CI on my website as soon as Ring announces the details, but when I talked to Tim yesterday it sounded like it could be a while before it would be ready.

A production issue with the HC's will be taking precedence, once that hurdle is passed then he can concentrate on the final tweaks for the new CI.

Now you're going to ask: "What production issue?"

It sounds like the power adapter for the HC is no longer available which is holding up production. It looks like the charger will be replaced with a USB based system, allowing use of a standard phone charger. Tim is taking the opportunity to make some other under the hood changes in the HC too, but apparently nothing that will be noticeable to the user. I'd file this under the category of future-proofing and production efficiencies.
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KPack

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Re: CI-1
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2016, 10:08:09 PM »
Smart idea moving the HC to USB-based charging.  The idea of having a separate charging port was always a little odd to me.  Plus not being able to use the HC while charging was unfortunate.  Hopefully by switching to USB charging it will allow the user to use the HC at the same time and let it charge in the background, simliar to a phone.

There have been a number of things in the pipeline that have been delayed for a bit, and now that I know there is a part supply issue it all makes sense.  One of the things I've been waiting for is the new GEVO prime mover file, which is basically done, but the HC issue obviously takes precedence.

-Kevin

G8B4Life

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Re: CI-1
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2016, 09:57:53 AM »
Moving to USB charging is a good idea indeed, though it could require a fair amount of reworking of the internals to accomplish depending on how it's all connected inside at the present time, plus USB only delivers 5v, which may be an issue if the HC actually needs 6v. This could add considerable time to the "production issue".

What does surprise me though is if the issue is the non availability of the 6v charger why a new one wasn't just sourced; it's not like 6v chargers are rare.

Anyway, back to topic, The CI-1 sounds like just the thing we've all been waiting for, and I'm also looking forward to getting one. Hopefully the software for it is a bit better / stable than what's used currently. And who knows, there might just be a new HC in my life as well depending on what Ring does. Now I'm just left wondering what the other unannounced product is........

- Tim

TwinStar

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Re: CI-1
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2016, 12:26:00 AM »
This CI-1 is going to be interesting. I'm just getting my layout set up for ops. I hope it does have some of this in mind for that. A dispatcher is one of the jobs I want to include in my operations on my BNSF Black Swamp Division (The Swamp). Planning on running 42-50 trains when we run a full days schedule. Other times we will run a 1/2 days schedule. Plus, doing a lot of the HC-2 stuff on the computer is a major PLUS! Thanks for the update Kevin.

  Patrick Waltz
  Superintendent
  BNSF Black Swamp Division

What part of the country are you in?

Jacob
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bnsf8000

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Re: CI-1
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2016, 06:52:45 AM »
Jacob, I live in west central Ohio. The town is about split in the middle between Ft. Wayne, IN and Lima, OH. Good amount of operating layouts in the region. Operations changed my whole model railroading experience. I really enjoy it.
 
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TwinStar

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Re: CI-1
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2016, 12:53:55 AM »
Ah, I'm an airline pilot and thought maybe you might be in one of our layover cities. I could easily fit an HC-2 and a single loco in my bag for an ops session. I used to work for an outfit out of Columbus but I don't make it there currently. ATL and LAX seem to be my second homes now. Maybe we need a user map? I'd be happy to host visiting RP users in the DFW area.

Jacob
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Modeling late 1950's Dallas Union Terminal in Free-mo+ modules

Texas Railway Modeling and Historical Society trmhs.org
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SD90

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Re: CI-1
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2016, 07:00:08 PM »
It sounds like it will be cool product!
What is this about layout sounds? That sounds very cool!