Controllers?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by inversnecky, Mar 28, 2021.

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  1. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    Can the learned TS cogniscenti please educate me about controllers and their differences, pros and cons? :)

    I am aware of Raildriver and a new ATS variant, that seems a lot simpler, but I've no idea if it is to be preferred? I know it's a low production item, but approx £250 seems a lot for such a thing.

    Do any/all come with DSD pedals too?
     
  2. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    AFAIK only the ATS version has an optional DSD pedal - strange how people want that but also know how to isolate it

    The slight problem with the ATS and the RailDriver controls is the linier movement
    Use the controls to drive a modern Emu and you are ok but would you drive the 37 or the 86 with that handle?
    And it controls the power/brake from the same handle but locos don't have that style of control

    There are a lot of people who like the RailDriver but it has to be configured each time for the type of train you drive
    I think the ATS is similar in that respect.

    Some people have used flight sim controls for driving the game and you have the number you want

    I think Peter Hayes has a flight sim control - I might be wrong
     
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  3. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    Well observed, Peter. The idea of having one is attractive - but you're basically driving everything the same way as with an F4 HUD, albeit in 3D. More and more I think you get more of a feel for each train by using the mouse to manipulate its individual controls.
     
  4. ntypeman

    ntypeman Active Member

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    I thought the same too... at £270 its a bit steep, I know it's handbuilt but I dare say if I get that much money together I may end up getting one... I feel as though one is being slightly extorted though by being charged an extra (approx) £30 for 2 extra control handles, and again I know they are optional extras but if you are paying that much what's an extra 30quid anyway...???

    I can get a 2 way wobble joystick switch (for a horn) for about a fiver on a well known auction site, in fact I have a similar 4 way switch fitted to my classic mini that works a cheapo set of 2 tone air horns!!! Sounds quite good when entering & exiting tunnels...!!! :cool::cool::cool:
     
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  5. ntypeman

    ntypeman Active Member

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    Dan at TS Controllers has done a 66 cab set up... I dread to think what that would cost...

    Have a look at this:



    Eric

    Apologies... didn't realise it was for TSW... My point is that there is a 66 controller out there... shouldn't be that hard for it to be adapted to work on TSxx...
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
  6. ntypeman

    ntypeman Active Member

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    I'd like to see a "generic" locomotive power and brake handles & I'm sure they could be made for less than £270... You'd need a set for diesel locos, electric locos & a HST... The HST in my opinion would "make do" for the 89, 90 & 91...

    The 73, well that's a separate entity on its own and you'd also need a vaccuum brake handle for DMU's, that alone would make game play easier than a keyboard but then we are looking at things like a gear change & power handle...

    Please don't jump down my throat... they're just my thoughts / opinions...
     
  7. Peter Hayes

    Peter Hayes Active Member

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    P749
    I used to use a Flight Sim controller using XPadder and it worked OK.
    I used Rail Driver using CobraOne's software (UKTS) - OK but fiddly to set up.
    So nowadays I just use a X-Box controller, keyboard and Mouse - they are pretty universal.
    Simple.
    pH
     
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  8. ntypeman

    ntypeman Active Member

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    Xbox controller (shudder)... That's why I gave up TSW on the xbox...
     
  9. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    CobraOne's software is what I use and apart from the occasional unconfigured lever/button on an AP loco/enhancement which I then either Alt+Tab the game and add it to the button list (very easy and not at all as fiddly as PH seems to think) and continue, or I just press the keyboard (I mean the thing is still right there on my desk, it hasn't been relegated to the attic or anything) or more often than not (and I actually enjoy driving like this) using the mouse on the actual lever or button/switch on screen, especially now I'm moving away from having the HUD permanently displayed (I tend to flick it on then straight back off to remind me of an upcoming stop or line speed change distance).
    So..
    AP cold starts are 100% done via the on-screen buttons/levers/switches (I will add this is made even easier due to using TrackIR).
    Drive PBC style with the raildriver (with CobraOne's software) using the PBC lever as intended.
    Drive 37/47/56/66's and any other separate power and brake levered loco/MU's again with the RailDriver but reconfigured so that the dynamic brake lever becomes the power throttle lever, with CobraOne's software this is very easy to set up and once you've ran the RailWorks data extractor (and set the lever options when you first set up the software) then switching between the two types is automatic when you choose that type of train to drive in-game, literally no extra setup is required.
    I even have a working DSD pedal, again thanks to CobraOne's software (and my Logitech G27 steering wheels pedal set) which I have to keep depressed until I get a warning buzzer whereupon I release and depress to reset it.

    It's not perfect and I don't think the lever quality is all that great on my RailDriver if I'm honest but it works well enough for me, if I had the money I would buy the ATS stuff and I mean all of it, the PBC, the door and DRA control box and the AWS button, and as for that class 66 controller by TS Controllers... Oh my god! I nearly wet my pants when I saw that!. I'd love a more authentic footplate switch/pedal too but I'm not a rich man so I'll make do for now. :D
     
  10. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    How does the ATS one compare to the Rail Driver?
     
  11. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    It seems to be a better build quality, but remember I'm only going by YouTube videos, I think they've tried to make it more rugged and utilitarian whereas the RailDriver is tbh plasticky and more toy like.
    It sounds like I'm slating the RailDriver I'm not I'm just trying to give you a genuine as possible answer, I have spent over three decades doing manual labour intensive jobs, people think being a lorry driver is just sitting on your big behind eating Yorkie bars and fry-ups all day everyday, I'm not one of those, I work in a specific niche within my industry and I have to be physically fit and strong to do so, so with that in mind, the RailDriver has thus far survived my ham-fistedness for the last eight months so I can't fault it for that.
     
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  12. tsonboard

    tsonboard Member

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    I will be buying a TS Controller PBC, I have the AWS and door button box and really enjoy using them. Yes it’s expensive but it’s cheap compared to a decent steering wheel and pedals set up for sim racing
     
  13. ntypeman

    ntypeman Active Member

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    Is this Reef...???

    :D:D:D
     
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  14. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    Part of the reason I posted this was because of the following video, where he too says the controls seem plasticky:

     
  15. ntypeman

    ntypeman Active Member

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    Yes it is plasticky as I have one & can vouch for it, however what you have to bear in mind is that it is around 15 years old & at the time was pretty cutting edge...

    I seem to recall complaints that people were managing to snap the levers & especially the horn lever due to their plasticky nature...
     
  16. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    That only applies if you drive using the F4 HUD - I use the F3 or nothing and control with the keyboard
    How do you drive the Class 86 with the F4 Hud?
     
  17. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    So would you have two sets of controllers, one for emu/dmu with a combined handle and a second with separate power and brake?
    What about locos that don't fall in the that category like the 86?
     
  18. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    I meant just in general. I always try to use the mouse on on the control, or the keyboard if tricky.
     
  19. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    There's a gap in the market!

    I could throw together one for you, for, let's say £500 :) And that's a bargain!
     
  20. ntypeman

    ntypeman Active Member

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    Sorry Peter... the way I put it was a bit poor...

    I suppose what I should have said was to have a standard [locomotive] train brake handle (as most are pretty standard regardless of class) then a separate power handle for diesel or electric locomotives...
     
  21. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    It would be interesting to know how the people that have these controller drive the locos that don't fit in the general catergory
     
  22. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    Haha, god that ad"s a blast from the past. :D
     
  23. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    I assume you're talking about the PBC distributed through ATS? Having watched Alans launch video of it I understand you can set it to a different style operation via the software, you can set the PBC handle to be a full range throttle and the horn lever (providing you specced and paid extra for the horn lever of course) becomes the train brake (like in the 66) you can buy different handle end knobs/grips too.
     
  24. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking more about locos that don't have a normal style of control - like the Class 73 and Class 86
    They are not HST style of open the handle and go - you have drive them :)
     
  25. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    So If the Horn becomes the Train Brake I presume you are back to the Keyboard for the horn?
    The ATS system is really for those people who want to drive a modern Dmu/Emu with a single Power/Brake control
     
  26. DIFFLOCK

    DIFFLOCK Active Member

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    xbox 360 controller - I have plenty with rechargeable packs, so it was a no brainer for me to use it along with keyboard & mouse. Kind of glad I didn't stump up the cash for a raildriver despite how cool it looks. Curious that no one has mentioned any steam loco controllers if indeed there is such a thing which isn't a one-off custom job.
     
  27. mr2mark

    mr2mark Member

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    I use a xbox one controller and love it, i previously had a logitech but it had no rumble feature on it.
     
  28. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    How do you control some of the more technical locos with an eggs box?
     
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  29. ntypeman

    ntypeman Active Member

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    Why do you need a rumble feature... To let you know when you've derailed...??? ;)
     
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  30. ntypeman

    ntypeman Active Member

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    That's why I said you'd need a separate controller for electrics & the 73...
     
  31. westcastlerail

    westcastlerail Active Member

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    Hi everyone

    I have one of the ATS Powerbrake handles (with horn) for a week or so now. (along with a Doorbox and AWS button)

    I brought it with the intention of adding immersion to the timetable scenarios I have built, so I can drive a Pendilino / Voyager/ APT / Class 350 /up and down the entire West Coast Mainline from Glasgow to Euston.

    I can now drive all real life timetabled scenario southbound from Glasgow based on the current timetable (albeit scaled back for Covid!)

    All I can say is on the ATS handle is WOWWWWW! .... what a fantastic bit of kit. It takes driving these trains to a whole new level or realism.

    I have not tried it with a HST or Class 86/87, and not entirely sure I want to.

    If I do, I do not intent to use the horn function as a brake, (its too much fun as a horn!)

    I do have a flight sim throttle, that hopefully one day I can set up as alternative to the keyboard for a brake when driving a HST or Class 86/87, but for driving my Pendlino / Voyager etc the ATS handle adds immersion way beyond what I expected.

    Having seen the recent review of the Raildriver on Youtube on this thread, Im so pleased I have the ATS one based on routes and locos I personally like to drive

    .
     
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  32. DIFFLOCK

    DIFFLOCK Active Member

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    LOL I like that! It adds to the immersion when your train goes over some pointwork or crossings too! :cool: I suppose the rumble feature is in the sim because the devs could implement it, however, I believe that for more immersion on some (most! ??) locomotives that one's entire chair and gaming desk should bounce around :D
     
  33. Peter Hayes

    Peter Hayes Active Member

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    Differential (Limited Slip)
    In the days when I was into FSX I purchased a "BUTTKICKER" for my gaming chair - it was OK , but it didn't always bounce in time to any turbulence real or imagined - disconcerting. https://thebuttkicker.com/buttkicker-gamer2/. Not really my thing to have my rear end vibrated.
    I never used it for TS.

    Peter 749
    I use the XBOX controller for both the Class 73 and 86/87 in COMBINATION with the Cab Controls via the mouse and keyboard, and that works quite well. There's one or two early DTG locos (Class444/445) that you have to be careful - in a couple applying the brake lever - you get emergency brakes and not easy to remove. Funnily enough the Logitech game pads can be "programmed" to avoid that. AP locos some functions work others don't but gain with a Logitech game pad you can programme AP stuff to work OK.
    Some of the early German Locos especially those from TaD were quite tricky!
    In the Class 86 you use the left trigger (accelerator) to emulate the tap changer and by squeezing/tapping appropriately it works effectively. Likewise you 'tap' or squeeze the left button to reduce amps or rundown as the case may be.
    You can also use various function keys to emulate a gear change in locos that need it.
    Steam Trains work also. You can use a key to emulate the "E" key press on a Jinty for example.
    In "stopping" the DSD to alarm you can press the "A" key just as you have passed the signal block on the track and before you reach the actual signal. This has to be done for every signal to work, but you don't need to turn the DSD off.
    The X-Box controller is versatile and robust and the Logitech variants (no rumble unfortunately) can programmed to emulate most functions of a loco.
    pH
     
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  34. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    Keyboard and mouse FTW
     
  35. fatnslo#7264

    fatnslo#7264 New Member

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    I bought a Buttkicker for sim racing years ago and it works perfectly for train sims. It adds a lot of immersion for me. It matches the vibration of the train and the tracks perfectly and matches the vibrations coming out of my Raildriver. Would not play without it.
     
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  36. Peter Hayes

    Peter Hayes Active Member

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    Controllers for TS20XX

    There seems to be a lot of pseudo snobbery :) to those of us great simmers who use an X-Box Controller in TS20XX. So, let us look at the various methods of controlling TS DLC.

    All rely on being able to emulate a key press in TS 20XX. There are no "AXES" per se operational in TS20XX, so repeating keystrokes, or moving triggers, switches, buttons, levers, etc emulate axes. All need power or batteries, etc. WiFi includes BlueTooth. IMO Flight Simulator controllers represent what is available in the real world.

    1. Cab controls via keyboard – (Plastic but robust) Operating a train can be done but looking down to find a particular function you may take your eyes off the track ahead and may miss something important. No keyboard that I ever seen remotely looks like a cab in the real world. Programmable keyboards can be useful. Cheap to Expensive. USB/WiFi.

    2. Mouse similar to keyboard – not all controls easily emulated by the mouse – may depend on the type of mouse. Cheap to Expensive. USB/WiFi. Combination Mouse and Keyboard works better.

    3. Xbox Controller. Plastic but robust. No Xbox controller that I ever seen remotely looks like a cab in the real world. Easy to set up, works out of the box. Most DLC (DTG) works faultlessly. Fast operation and no need to take your eyes off the road ahead. Uses triggers and buttons (some toggle/directional) to operate a train. Rumble Sounds with some controllers. Logitech Game Pads can be programmed for versatility. Approved/recommended controller by DTG. Cheap to Expensive. USB/WiFi. Works with Mouse and Keyboard.

    4. Rail Driver. Plastic but robust. No Rail Driver that I ever seen remotely looks like a cab in the real world. Not too difficult to set up, care needed in installation to place the relevant files in the correct spot. Fast operation and no need to take your eyes off the road ahead. Uses levers, switches (some rotary) and buttons to operate a train. Rumble sounds. Digital Speedometer. Not all DLC work as expected. Cobra One Software enhances the experience. Not recognised by Microsoft Windows as a "game controller", so the interface with TS20XX is more complex than with an Xbox controller. Expensive. USB only. Programmable for versatility. Works with Mouse and Keyboard. Comes with a useful dll file for changing Raildriver script.
    Note: Cobra One software and Raildriver software interaction
    5. Joystick - Some experience needs good software, did not suit my method of running TS20XX. Once install operates similar to X-Box controller.

    6. Alan Thomson Sim – No comments as I have no experience with them.


    I've probably missed some features, but the above seems to cover most aspects of these controllers.

    I am also coming out of the cab, and stating publicly that I use the F4 Hud (F5 in Steam). I realise that pundits will be appalled, and I will have to face a lengthy lonely exile by stating this. Woe is me!
    pH
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2021
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  37. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    With keyboard and mouse, it depends so much on the train. Some controls are easy to manipulate with the mouse, some fly all over the place or are hard, hence keyboard required.

    But even now I still find I mix up the ; and ' for the brakes, and accidentally go into emergency when I mean to take the brakes off.

    Most trains will adject the throttle at the tap of A or D, but many MUs require it to be pressed for half a second or more before the notches change: why I have no idea, but I’m forever finding I’m not changing speed because I didn’t press long enough.

    I fear I’ll have to be very good this year to deserve a controller from Santa!
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2021
  38. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    Exactly what a loser would say...:D:D

    I jest, I jest.. ;)
     
  39. ntypeman

    ntypeman Active Member

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    Be careful Reef...

    People might get a bit upset at your comments and may want to shove a Yorkie where the sun don't shine... :)

    Ooooh Matron... :o
     
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  40. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    Given the amount of people I regularly upset they'd need to form an orderly queue.. :D
     
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  41. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Mar 31, 2021
  42. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I say keyboard and mouse, but now I think about it... I mean keyboard. I never actually use the mouse to control the train... I just use it to look around. WHen it comes to controlling the train, I just use the keyboard (unless there is no key assigned).
     
  43. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    The ATS controller is only useful for new gen stuff that has a combined brake and throttle. None of them actually feel like the real thing or offer any real advantage, and the ridiculous Raildriver thing looks like no actual train I've ever seen (and also looks like an incredibly cheap child's toy). It's not like a flight sim where a decent flight yoke and throttle actually DO make a difference... or a driving sim for that matter. Waste of money all of them.
     
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  44. ntypeman

    ntypeman Active Member

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    Trouble is there are so many different locomotives, each with their own unique controls, I doubt you'd ever be able to replicate them with their respective hardware let alone if they were commercially available then again, I very much doubt anyone would be able to afford every piece of kit and that's just for UK stuff... You then have continental, US & Asian stock, the mind begins to boggle...

    I remember back in the days of MSTS when Raildriver first came out, PI Engineering (who make RD) spoke about a "modular" system whereby they'd make the bits individually for people to create their own cab / desk... Seems like a sensible option but alas it didn't come to fruition...

    Incidentally the RD is loosely based on the controls of newer US locos, like that of the AC4400 or the SD60 onwards (generally most locos with the wide or safety cab)... I'm not being exact with my quote here as there will always be anomalies but most new US locos now have controls like that of the Raildriver...
     
  45. Peter Hayes

    Peter Hayes Active Member

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    Garfield's Teddy Bear Head
    I said:
    You said:
    Pffft..... to you too!!:) I was talking about looking down for a cab function that you might want to use the mouse not necessarily the keyboard to operate a function, and my typing skills equate to around 2 wpm. I also need to look down to make sure the keyboard is still there, and the keys are still in the right place!
    pH
     
  46. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    Show off! :mad::D
     
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  47. DIFFLOCK

    DIFFLOCK Active Member

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    Hopefully not - a pre-owned XBOX 360 controller "should" be cheap enough to enjoy better train simming before Christmas (no need for an XBOX 1 controller).
    Yes, not all locos respond to a trigger press for increasing or decreasing the throttle in the same timespan (brakes too). Sometimes a quick tap is all that is required, other times, a longer, more determined press is needed.
     
  48. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    Another video put up:

     
  49. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    I guess if you were really into modern EMUs, a PBC would be a must buy, but otherwise it's not exactly emulating driving a Class 37, for example.
     
  50. tsonboard

    tsonboard Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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