What you are saying is exactly what I have read, they sound bloody great. Apparently Zimo are constantly updating there product adding better technology. Although not specific to Zimo I am really interested in the asymmetric brake sections. This sounds ike a great way to automate DCC without using third party computer control.
I am in NSW and have had a look at the Z21 while up in Mittagong at All Aboard Models. It looked really good but I didn't realise it was compatible with ther manufacturers throttles. Maybe worth a re-visit.
After playing with the ESU decoders and the Lokprogrammer I love the flexibility the European manufactures build into there products. For me the hobby has expanded even further, this however is not helping me build the layout!
I will give Orient a call and get the low down.
You know, if NCE updated their hand held, it would make it alot more attractive. The smaller rotary knob NCE hand held (can't remember product number) in my opinion looks like a Dick Smith electronic kit, starter one at that!
More research to do. Thanks for your help and letting me know about Orient Express.
Orient Express 08 8271 7861 - You probably could find that yourself, but I just happen to have their business card in front of me, I have to order some gear through them tomorrow too.
I think asymmetric is linked to the decoder function not DCC system. I have some Lenz asymmetric modules here, and a stop module, but I have not implemented them yet. There's a bunch of other functionality I need to implement with higher priority.
For me at least, DCC - and the electronics behind it, are a separate hobby by themselves, I can spend hours taking apart (not literally) new developments in the DCC world investigating how XYZ manufacturer does this or that and trying to reimplement my own method of the same.
I am no fan of NCE, maybe it's the clientèle and market but I subscribe to LOTS of DCC forums and user groups - it's an occupational hazard when you're trying to make compatible products and the NMRA having dropped the ball of spec maintaining are seemingly refusing to chase it down and pick it up. Consequently, I have to try and keep track of the market myself watching what all the biggies do. The number of faults, questions and issues presented on the NCE forum leaves me amazed, my inbox is perpetually full of 'my radio cab doesn't work', 'my procab won't do something', 'my booster has no light on it'... Drives me nuts.
RailCom for example is properly cool, I love it and have built my own detectors etc, but with it's implementation came an entire rewrite (well a partial one) of all of my decoder software to keep them from passing out during the 'no track volts' period. NCE is effectively entirely incompatible with RailCom, to the point where I have 'banned' their decoders from my club layout. With RailCom enabled NCE decoders just sit there, not even a hint of action.
The new RailCom Plus looks terrific, I really wish they'd get off their butts and implement it, that will make automation awesome, feedback not just if there is something in the section, but feedback of what is in the section, which direction of travel, proper timetabling with a dispatcher nowing exactly what's going down and where. - Loksound and LokPilot from v.4 on are fully compatible too. You will be able to pull up at a coaling facility, take on water at a stand or fill up on diesel then go for a drive, RailCom will listen in to the BEMF of the decoder and calculate 'usage' and report back to your throttle so you'll know when you need to stop for supplies again.