Broke down and picked up the New Roco HO DCC ready crane. This thing has
to be seen to be believed! It's based on an American crane shipped to
Europe after WWII. (see Debbie Ames TT trains website for more info) The
only details on the crane that are non-American are the bumpers and some
German markings. Slid some Kadee # 17 couplers into the European style
pockets in just seconds. Couplers sit a bit high. The unit comes
programmed for address # 8. I have a Digitrax Chief system. So my report
is based on this system.
First, I put the crane on the tracks, programmed address # 8 into my
DT100 trottle.(Had to set the decoder to 14 step speed setting) Then I
went to activate the F0 and F1 keys on the throttle. You can control the
following functions with the Throttle using F0 and F1.
1. Raise and lower the boom
2. Raise and lower the hook
3. Rotate the boom 360 degrees
I thought the unit was self propelled, but it is not. The unit has a LED
light on the roof. (looks like a rotary beacon) As you toggle
combinations of the F0 & F1 functions, the LED blinks differently to
indicate which mode your in.(lowering boom, hook or rotating boom) If
the LED is solidly on, you can move the hook, if the LED has a slow
blink, you can move the boom up and down and if the LED blinks fast,
then you can rotate the boom. You can only do one function at a time.
The movement of the boom and hook can be controlled very very slowly.
You control the speed of the movement through the speed knob on the
DT100. I also have Winlok software and the computer interface from
Digitrax. I was able to control all of the above functions with my
computer!!! neat stuff. This item is the beggining of the DCC movement.
I look forward to many other items to follow. An optional spotlight and
magnet (in place of the hook) are items to follow from Roco.