WHATS WRONG WITH THE ROKUHAN C-005 eTRAIN CONTROLLER

ZOPTIONS Nov 23, 2020

  1. ZOPTIONS

    ZOPTIONS New Member

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    Hi all, HELP!
    I have been looking at this controller for the DC analog SOUND application. The controller is going into a deep discount phase - down $100 and more. Other than Garth's input 2017, there is virtually nothing on Google and ytube entries are all in Japanese. Anyone have any practical working experience with the c-005 good - bad indifferent? Your thoughts would be appreciated!
    Thank You
    Mac
     
  2. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Functionality:
    I don't have one, but for what you are actually getting, to me, it's the equivalent of a Sprog 3, where you need a cell phone to run the Rokuhan, you need a laptop to run with the Sprog 3. In other words an incomplete DCC solution that requires something everyone else usually already has, a phone or a laptop, or a throttle.

    Fit and finish:
    It's another ugly box reminiscent of an automobile module mounted under your car's hood just like the Sprog, instead of a finished and attractive solution like the Digitrax Zephyr or NCE Powercab.

    Price:
    It was excruciatingly overpriced at $360, and is now competitively priced at $140, but not a bargain by any longshot for what you get.

    Power:
    It's only a 1.5A DCC component, where everything else out there is in the 3 to 5 amp range, so limited to a small home layout. It would be suitable for someone who builds small T Trak Z modules and has a home loop, and delights in using all Rokuhan components for uniformity and consistency, and there is something to be said about having an all Rokuhan, or all Marklin layout.

    Sound:
    Sound can be fun. The phone app lets you select sounds to associate with locomotives, and trigger them on the phone, to make the little speaker inside the C005 beep or tweet.

    Summary:
    Overall, if you go with the complete Rokuhan system, it can be fun, but to me, it's a collection of me too, I can do that too features. It just don't have the quality of a collection of more premium dedicated DCC components I myself would want. I prefer more power to control more DCC devices, higher sound quality than a single small speaker can provide, and the better WiFi radio control than a bluetooth only radio control can provide. It's a personal preference, but to some, the Rokuhan solution is good enough.
     
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  3. ZOPTIONS

    ZOPTIONS New Member

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    Robert, Hey, Thank you for the input ad overview. The initial "attraction" was sound and since I am DC Analog, I thought this might be a solution. Still, I think your overview has given me what I need. I will start looking for stand alone modules or boards that I can adapt. I was trying to stick with Rokuhan controllers for the present - maybe will change that too. Thanks Again. Mac
     
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  4. ztrack

    ztrack TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

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    Hello all! Rokuhan overstocked the C005 which is why you are seeing a price drop. We did a review on the C005 in the September/October 2017 issue of Ztrack. Here is a link:

    https://www.ztrackmagazine.com/product/september-october-2017-volume-23-5/

    I found the unit to be nice and simple to operate DCC locos. I would not recommend it for analog. I have some customers who are purchasing the C005s just to operate their turnouts now that the price has dropped.

    Rob
     
  5. ZOPTIONS

    ZOPTIONS New Member

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    Thank You Rob. Since it was advertised for DC analog as well, I tried to track down and verify that claim. I was looking for off-board sound. You have given that direction. Just a quick note. Three (3) Japanese language vids on ytube, to date, explaining the use and operation of the C005, is not exactly a ringing endorsement of a then high priced component. I was looking for solid verification. Thanks to all for the input. Mac
     
  6. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    The Pi Sprog 3 is a similar option. It is designed as an expansion card ("Hat") for a Raspberry Pi (credit card size Linux computer) to form a DCC command station/programmer. The Raspberry Pi runs JMRI for programming or running DCC trains. Just to run trains, all you need is a smart phone with a throttle app, and a VNC or SSH app to shut the R-Pi computer down safely. To program decoders with it, you need a keyboard and monitor, or another computer that has those (PC, Mac or Linux). The Raspberry Pi can be set up to run it's own WiFi Hotspot, or connect to your existing WiFi network (or Ethernet network).

    However, the Sprog products do not run DC trains.

    The Pi Sprog 3 is the system I have for N scale trains on hollow core door layouts, and I am very happy with it. A turnkey Pi Sprog 3 system is $190. It is about the size of a stack of two packs of cigarettes.

    TCS is coming out with a DCC command station, with WiFi for throttles/apps. TCS has a really nice WiFi throttle too.

    A little larger option is the Digitrax Zephyr and Digitrax's WiFi interface for throttles (the Zephyr console has a throttle too, and has a USB interface to a computer to run JMRI, etc).

    And of course, the NCE Power Cab, and the NCE USB interface to a computer, also work well. The computer can run JMRI and use WiFi throttles. There is also a third party WiFi interface for NCE systems.
     
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  7. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    I also just realized that the Rokuhan C-005 eTRAIN Controller only uses their own proprietary throttle apps (available for free), not the Wi-throttle compatible ones that JMRI serves. It does not look like JMRI is currently compatible with Rokuhan products either.

    No JMRI support would be an absolute deal-killer for me. The former would be a nuisance, and a potential risk for future support.
     
    rray likes this.

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