Author Topic: Digitrax unveils iPad / iPhone app and stand alone access point  (Read 1428 times)

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John

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« Last Edit: July 13, 2011, 08:01:26 PM by John »

esa123

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Re: Digitrax unveils iPad / iPhone app and stand alone access point
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2011, 11:24:43 PM »
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It's funny because when I got an ipad a few months ago one on my fist thoughts was "wouldn't' it be great to have a small camera within the engine itself and use a cab mock-up to run the trains" (sort of like on flight simulator's bitmaps). Sure enough, someone had the same idea! The price seems a bit steep but it could be fun to play with for small switching layouts. I wouldn't really want to carry around an ipad around a walk bigger layout but I guess one advantage would be that everyone could just bring their own devices and you'd always have enough throttles.

Erik

sizemore

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Re: Digitrax unveils iPad / iPhone app and stand alone access point
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2011, 09:49:52 AM »
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I think its great but what gets me is how they created their own wireless network tool for which you have to by for $$$$$. I'll stick with WiThrottle and JMRI as they are both FREE!

The S.

conrail98

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Re: Digitrax unveils iPad / iPhone app and stand alone access point
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2011, 11:12:40 AM »
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I think its great but what gets me is how they created their own wireless network tool for which you have to by for $$$$$. I'll stick with WiThrottle and JMRI as they are both FREE!

The S.

You forget the need for the computer in that setup though. What I haven't been able to tell is if their device creates it's own wireless network or attached itself to one already existing. Many people don't have spare computers and/or want to hook there personal computer up to the layout itself. I see this as a happy medium in that's not as expensive as the computer option (counting the cost of the computer) but will also actually have support by a vendor/business (something that's actually been discussed elsewhere),

Phil
- Phil

mmyers

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Re: Digitrax unveils iPad / iPhone app and stand alone access point
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2011, 10:31:23 PM »
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Rich,
Time to shed some light on this. Inquiring minds want to know.

Martin

wm3798

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Re: Digitrax unveils iPad / iPhone app and stand alone access point
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2011, 05:38:22 PM »
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Obviously, I'll have to hire Gizmonics Industries to sort all of this out for me.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Bob Bufkin

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Re: Digitrax unveils iPad / iPhone app and stand alone access point
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2011, 06:02:32 PM »
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Obviously, I'll have to hire Gizmonics Industries to sort all of this out for me.

Lee

Isn't that why you use ED?

Rich Businger

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Re: Digitrax unveils iPad / iPhone app and stand alone access point
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2011, 09:09:05 PM »
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Opens up alot of possibilities.


Rich

bicknell

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Re: Digitrax unveils iPad / iPhone app and stand alone access point
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2011, 09:34:59 PM »
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A good step forward, but far short of what should be possible today.  I see why they are trying to leave out needing a computer, but it also very much limits what they can do.

However, I am interested in the LocoNet to Wifi bridge.  I bet it pretty much turns the Loconet messages into a TCP or UDP stream, which would be dead simple to reverse engineer on the other end.  That would allow say, JMRI to interface with LocoNet over WiFi, or the ability for someone else to write a iPad/iPhone/Android app that spoke the protocol.  No idea if Digitrax will try and prevent that via IP methods or not, but I hope not.

What they really need to do is hire me.  I could have them get a bunch of cool, innovative, and money making products out the door and really drive the DCC world forward.  ;D

John

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Re: Digitrax unveils iPad / iPhone app and stand alone access point
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2011, 07:53:47 AM »
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I already interface JMRI with WiFI .. this is really nothing that can't be accomplished already with locobuffer, PC. JMRI, and a cheap linksys wifi hotspot

sizemore

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Re: Digitrax unveils iPad / iPhone app and stand alone access point
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2011, 12:36:25 PM »
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However, I am interested in the LocoNet to Wifi bridge.  I bet it pretty much turns the Loconet messages into a TCP or UDP stream, which would be dead simple to reverse engineer on the other end.  That would allow say, JMRI to interface with LocoNet over WiFi, or the ability for someone else to write a iPad/iPhone/Android app that spoke the protocol.  No idea if Digitrax will try and prevent that via IP methods or not, but I hope not.

This has already been accomplished, this us what JMRI does for you already. The WiThrottle plug-in then sets up a mini server on the same host system as JMRI and your Wireless device be it iPhone, iPad or Droid runs the application that talks to that server through wireless TCP/IP.

The S.

bicknell

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Re: Digitrax unveils iPad / iPhone app and stand alone access point
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2011, 04:28:00 PM »
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This has already been accomplished, this us what JMRI does for you already. The WiThrottle plug-in then sets up a mini server on the same host system as JMRI and your Wireless device be it iPhone, iPad or Droid runs the application that talks to that server through wireless TCP/IP.

Yes, and no.

I am familiar with WiThrottle.  It does not send LocoNet over the WiFi/Ethernet.  It is a custom plug in that allows a throttle to send commands to JMRI.  Specifically, there are LocoNet commands that cannot be issued by a WiThrottle client.

WiThrottle is nice, and also a nice step forward.  I actually think the ergonomics of the throttle leave a little bit to be desired.

LocoNet over TCP can be done with JMRI, there's a different plug in for that: http://loconetovertcp.sourceforge.net/

I actually have written my own iPhone application which uses this method to get the raw LocoNet stream to the phone.  This allows the phone to do ANYTHING
LocoNet can do.  I also like my ergonomics better on the throttle, although I will admit mine could use a little bit of graphical pizazz.  I haven't released this version though because to do it with the LocoNet interface means I would have to license LocoNet from Digitrax so I could sell the app, and quite frankly I didn't want to deal.

The cool thing about the Digitrax module that does the WiFi to LocoNet function is that it is computer independent.  I realize for a couple of hundred bucks you can dedicate a laptop to doing the function with JMRI and LocoNetOverTCP, but it's more to set up and carry.  If they can make this into a UP-5 sized panel I can mount in a module (I'm an NTraker) and then folks could just discover it with their iPhones, iPads, Androids and the like that would be worth $100 for the module.  It would also mean that the market for LocoBuffer's, PR3's and even Simplex and Duplex radio and the like has dramatically shrunk.  Pay $75 for a PR3 and $100 for a UR-92, or pay $100 for a panel that lets multiple WiFi clients connect?  WiFi all the way.

Indeed as prices drop I can see a day when the command station just has WiFi built in, and clients from JMRI to throttles just connect.  I believe it would be cheaper and easier for all involved, and indeed it may also mean that "custom" throttles go away.  You can buy an iPod touch with software on it for cheaper than a DT-402, it's easier to update, has better battery life, and infinitely more functions since it's just all software.

The last part of the vision is a LocoNet-less LocoNet.  Command stations and boosters with built in WiFi, find each other and connect.  No need to string any wires at all.  Imagine how that would improve the setup at NTrak shows!  There's no technological reason it couldn't exist today, the issue is cost and availability.

SebastianLee

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Re: Digitrax unveils iPad / iPhone app and stand alone access point
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2011, 07:10:07 PM »
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I already interface JMRI with WiFI .. this is really nothing that can't be accomplished already with locobuffer, PC. JMRI, and a cheap linksys wifi hotspot
You could actually ditch the pc if you have a beefy enough wifi router.   I rolled my own using an appleTV and a PR3.  It took a lot of tinkering to get everything set up.  I had intended to roll a linux package like dd-wrt / tomato for wifi routers that had enough ram & cpu to handle running JRMI.  I don't think price wise it would be competitive since it would be close to a $200 price point.