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I have one original TMCC BASE/CAB1 set, it's used on my York demo stand for my product display at the Henning's Trains booth. I have some two spare Legacy #990 sets, a #993 set, and on the layout I have two CAB2's and two CAB1L's. I also have two BASE1L's, one is on my workbench the other still in a box.
 

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It seems clear that most folks here have their command control needs met with current Lionel offerings. I'm not an "early adopter" on most tech. That's the way I see the Base3.

There are plenty of people who still use plasma TV's. Now LED is dominant but the plasmas still work. Why upgrade? Unless you demand 4K, just wait until it dies.
 

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Well I did order the Class A so I'm interested to see what the 4 digit is like as well as all the other features.

I realize it will become the staple but unless I get one, how is anyone else going to make an informed decision? ;)

Also if I can ever get a spot in the orange hall for the Legacy meeting I would like to try to get one for fall your to at minimal show.
 

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Honest question, if you are doing that much for Lionel and the community, why are you buying one VS them sponsoring you and providing you with one?
 

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Honest question, if you are doing that much for Lionel and the community, why are you buying one VS them sponsoring you and providing you with one?
The Legacy Group while always welcoming Lionel's participation always stood on our own. We would always get stuff to demo but as a loaner or more likely Mike Reagan and now Dave would bring it with them. I like to think we have a good working relationship with Lionel but I want don't want to have the impression that there are strings attached.
 

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Marty, I look forward to seeing it if you get one in the fall. I'll never say never, but right now I don't see a burning reason that I need the BASE3. Once it's fully documented and understood, it could change my mind. The announced features don't seem to do anything for me right now, so I can wait.

If the CAB3 really offers all the functionality of the CAB2 and will work with the current LCS WiFi box, I might try that if it runs on my older phone. I have my doubts about it working on the older phone since the LC App fails on my Galaxy Note 4 but runs on the Galaxy S21.
 

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Interesting how this topic took off. Must be a lot of you using this technology to create comments.

You guys speak this initialized language. I have little comprehension of what the alphabet stuff means. I would do a deep dive into the technology stuff which as I understand it is either a hand held device or a smart phone - if it would blow me away.

I’m 58. I try to limit my iPhone to phone/texting or communication. Not my hobbies. Having a cool gee whiz hand held device sounds fun and fine but as has been noted “a bit” above, let’s homogenize it.

MTH is out. Atlas isn’t likely to drop the money to be competitive with Lionel.

Does Lionel’s systems play nice with MTH, Atlas and purely conventional Williams? How do you guys run older stuff like post war Lionel?
 

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Interesting how this topic took off. Must be a lot of you using this technology to create comments.
There are 2 sides to this coin:
#1 People who have existing infrastructure and trains (they have a TMCC or Legacy base and remote set, possibly even LCS modules and equipment, existing engines and accessories). To them, the CAB3 needs to represent an upgrade in capabilities that they care about to justify the cost ($500 list) and the fact that then it replicates and makes their existing equipment now obsolete or redundant.
#2 people just starting out, or wanting to go command, and missed the boat so to say on the 990 Legacy set or Cab1L set, and this is what Lionel is advertising and selling as a very limited option.

So yes, people who have TMCC Legacy and those to desire to get TMCC or Legacy.
Conventional operators, well are you going to buy a CAB3 base, so you can use a Legacy powermaster. so you can drive a conventional engine with your phone?
You can, but that's a chunk of change to make that work.
 

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For another data point, I ordered a Base3 for my S gauge layout. Currently the layout uses a 990 base and three Cab2's plus two iPhones. No one uses the iPhones after trying the Cab2, even those under 20 years old. The layout is completely controlled with an LCS. It's possible I am the only S gauge operator to order a Base3. The Base3 seems to have some new features that may prove nice to have in the future.
Take a look at the S gauge catalog, there are only two Legacy engines. One is a re-release of the Y3 from 10 years ago for $1,000 more than I paid for the two I have, the other is more road names of the PA set with the same detail level as on my 1951 Gilbert PA. I have a new Y3 on order if they are actually made. The Base3 is cheap at less than 1/3rd the cost of the Y3 and what else is there to buy? We S gaugers do not have the option of Bluetooth control of Legacy engines. In place of Bluetooth we get Legacy engines with DCC compatibility. Likely a good decision by Lionel. I saw no downside to ordering the Base3 since there was nothing else new in S gauge catalog.
For a comparison with the more fortunate O gauge operators, I have at least one of every TMCC and Legacy S gauge engine made, I have more than one of some of the engines. That totals only 16 engines with three more on order but not yet delivered. I have another 23 ERR TMCC conversions of American Models engines. I wish there were more new Legacy items to compete for that $500 spent on the Base3.
 

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So... I'm just getting back into the hobby and essentially have nothing except a LionChief GP-38-2 locomotive (with the corresponding handheld remote), a Williams FP-45, and a hand full of rolling stock - and one of the original Polar Express sets with an expanded loop of Fastrack and the CW-80 transformer. I want to invest in digital operation of my layout, but don't want to purchase hardware that is going to be obsolete quickly. Is Base3 a good investment for me, or should I purchase an older, less expensive system? I also want to acquire a couple of newer MTH locomotives, can Base3 operate them as well so I don't have to purchase duplicate systems?
 

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So... I'm just getting back into the hobby and essentially have nothing except a LionChief GP-38-2 locomotive (with the corresponding handheld remote), a Williams FP-45, and a hand full of rolling stock - and one of the original Polar Express sets with an expanded loop of Fastrack and the CW-80 transformer. I want to invest in digital operation of my layout, but don't want to purchase hardware that is going to be obsolete quickly. Is Base3 a good investment for me, or should I purchase an older, less expensive system? I also want to acquire a couple of newer MTH locomotives, can Base3 operate them as well so I don't have to purchase duplicate systems?
You are starting out at bad time since its about impossible to find any new control systems other than maybe Lionchief or used which is now way overpriced. If you want to run MTH via remote you need to invest in a DCS system. New ones won’t have handhelds other than phones or tablets. the Cab 3 likewise except for a Cab1L basic controller.

Pete
 

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For another data point, I ordered a Base3 for my S gauge layout. Currently the layout uses a 990 base and three Cab2's plus two iPhones. No one uses the iPhones after trying the Cab2, even those under 20 years old. The layout is completely controlled with an LCS. It's possible I am the only S gauge operator to order a Base3. The Base3 seems to have some new features that may prove nice to have in the future.
Exactly what features are those that you think will prove to be nice? While I may eventually buy the BASE3, there is certainly no hurry in my mind. I already have the Legacy system, LCS, WiFi, etc. I'm still wondering what major advance the BASE3 is going to give me over my current operating environment?
 

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Some of the Base3 features that may be nice to have are, the ability to run the few FlyerChief engines I have, with a Cab2. Automatic Base3 updates with the Cab3 app. The ability to flash Cab2 update modules in the Base3. The programming control switches on the front of the Base3; the USB connection for a computer and the on-chip antenna that Lionel claims works better than a separate antenna. I hope so but not counting on it.
The final feature for me is the three PDI connections. Using two of these it appears I can take the WiFi module and 25 feet of PDI cable out of my 220 foot LCS and have two separate 100 foot runs with half of the LCS devices on each. This will allow removing two of the five (and maybe all 5) Joiner/Amplifiers in the LCS.
I am not in any hurry to get a Base3 and it may not change what happens when I turn on the layout to run trains. If Lionel had released a new S gauge Legacy engine, say a Hudson, I would have ordered several of those and likely not a Base3.
 

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OK, the FlyerChief engines make sense. I don't have any LionChief (or FlyerChief), so I glossed over that point.

The three LCS outputs are a minor point for me, but it would make the wiring a bit more convenient, I agree. As for the LCS Joiner, I've seen your descriptions, and I suspect very few people have that many LCS modules that it becomes an issue.

The CAB2 update modules can be programmed with the Legacy Base, so that's not an issue, at least for me.
 

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GRJ, I was more looking for some reasons so I could justify the purchase to myself than concluding a Base3 was a must have. I also wonder where Lionel will be continuing, and investing in, Legacy improvements and LCS components. I am concerned about future availability of LCS devices. I have at least one spare on hand for every type of device in my LCS except the WiFi Module. With a Base3 I am now covered. In five years of operation two ASC2's have failed and been replaced with spares. The failure mode was loss of programming when powered down. They would still work if I got under the layout and reprogrammed them each time I turned on the layout. That got old fast.
I can also see a time in the future when Lionel releases Legacy engines that only have Bluetooth for base communication. They could probably be sold cheaper. The Base3 supports this evolution.
 

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What irks me is that Lionel discontinued the IRV2, so sensor tracks are strictly in the realm of Fastrack users. They also discontinued the sensor cars so you have to buy a new Legacy locomotive to use that feature anyway. I have grave doubts about the longevity of the LCS system given the narrowing of the focus.
 

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I hear you. There never was a sensor car in S, I thought about buying an O gauge car and installing the guts in an S gauge boxcar. Unfortunately I have about 30 TMCC and early Legacy engines without the IR transmitter so it looked like an impossible task. The three sensor tracks I have were created by purchasing three O gauge FasTrack Sensor Tracks, removing the circuit boards and installing the boards under a sections of S gauge SHS track. Works perfectly.
Your concerns are what prompted me to buy LCS module spares while I could get them.
 

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No one uses the iPhones after trying the Cab2, even those under 20 years old.
Yep. My experience as well. I have two kids at home. Also, I have 8 nieces and nephews locally ranging in age from 8-22. They all want the remote (indeed, fight over it). In fairness to the manufacturers who push the apps, I used to have an old ipad mounted on the side of the layout. The kids did seem okay with that. But even then it was a 50/50 proposition.

I've mentioned this here before but I think it bears repeating, my kids ditched the Google Chromecast because it didn't have its own remote. They now use Amazon FireStick and Roku simply because they have a dedicated remote. Small sample size to be sure but I think it's indicative of the specious claims that remote-users are a bunch of oldsters and Luddites who just need to get with the program.

Do not listen to people who attempt to position this as an age issue. That is the leavings of a large farm animal.
 
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