+SmartHand™ is a novel, high-power handheld railroad control system designed for use with TrainController™. +SmartHand™ is well-suited for a single operating person as well as operating sessions with multiple users. +SmartHand™ can be used on small or on large layouts. It is compatible with all digital systems supported by TrainController™.

+SmartHand™ offers much more than conventional manual controllers. +SmartHand™ also exceeds by far the control with normal computer keyboard, mouse or joystick. All handheld controllers of the +SmartHand™ system are easy and comfortable to use, thanks to clear, graphic displays and a clearly arranged, intuitive menu system. With +SmartHand™ you will have all important operating functions of TrainController™ firmly under control. This includes not only all locomotive functions such as speed, direction or additional functions, but also the operation of turnouts, signals and routes. With +SmartHand™, the reservation of blocks, execution of schedules and even the start of trains with AutoTrain is possible. Display elements such as speedometer (of course based on km/h or mph) and odometer are not missing, either. Finally, if the simulation of the fuel consumption is turned on, locomotives can only be driven with the throttle when its coal and water supply is refreshed on time. You cannot control a model train more realistically!

A high-sophisticated system of privileges and customization options allow adaption of each individual handheld to the skills (novice, expert etc.), role (engineer, yardmaster, dispatcher, etc.) or status (layout owner, club member, visitor etc.) of the particular handheld operator. The selection of trains or other objects, which can be operated with a particular handheld, can be restricted. In multi-user sessions this feature provides interesting possibilities. For example, it is possible that a dispatcher located at the computer assigns a particular train to the handheld of another person, who is acting as engineer. The handheld can be configured to enable the person to control only this assigned train like an engineer. Useful for childs and visitors. In another example, the person responsible for a particular switching yard is provided only with control over those turnouts and routes, that are located in this yard. The possibilities are virtually unlimited.

It is even possible to send short text messages or orders from the computer to individual handhelds and to request a short acknowledgement from the handhelds.

Up to 31 handhelds can be connected simultaneously at arbitrary locations on the layout.

There are two types of handheld controllers:

+SmartHand™ Mobile handheld controllers are based on industry standard smart phones, tablet computers, PDAs, netbooks or similar mobile devices that are connected via network (usually wireless, LAN or even WAN also possible) with the computer running TrainController™.
TrainController™ provides a built-in Web server, where mobile devices can connect to by entering the address of the computer running TrainController™ in the Web browser of the particular device. It is not necessary to install any specific software on the device.
Mobile devices with network access, an appropriate Web browser and touch screen are generally suited as +SmartHand™ Mobile handheld 1). Moreover, also netbooks, notebooks and even desktop PCs can be used as additional operator stations for TrainController™ in a simple manner.

+SmartHand™ Mobile handheld controller provide an easy to read graphic display on the touch screen. The train window is completely shown on the screen like in TrainController™. The track diagram is also shown as in TrainController™.

+SmartHand™ Mobile devices are furthermore very useful when being used as a handy device for maintenance and testing purposes, on or below the model railroad layout.

+SmartHand™ Classic handheld controllers are special devices offered as separate accessories2). These controllers are connected to the system by plug panels, that are mounted at arbitrary locations of the model railroad layout. The controllers can be removed any time during the current operation and plugged in at another, distant place in order to follow the movement of trains or to operate objects far away from the computer.

+SmartHand™ Classic handheld controllers have a spacious, illuminated and easy to read graphic display. Clearly structured control panels with a total of 20 push buttons are used to control all important operating functions of TrainController™. The speed of locomotives can be set with a rotary knob. This knob is also used for quick selection of objects and triggering of specific functions. The symbols for the display of locomotive functions can be customized by the user. A schematic track diagram enables the control of turnouts. The main and distant signal calculated by TrainController™ for the currently controlled train are displayed in color. The signal indication can be adapted to the country- or epoch-specific signaling system of the layout. Objects can be selected by name, by user assigned numbers or from the self-generated list of favorites. Plug panels, which are available as separate accessories, can be mounted at any location of the layout and up to a distance of over 100m from the computer.

+SmartHand™ Classic- and Mobile handheld controllers can also be mixed and used together in any combination.
Why is +SmartHand™ so unique? The difference between smart and conventional control devices:

Conventional handhelds and throttles are connected directly to the track via the digital system. For this reason such devices cannot respond intellegently and appropriately to the current traffic situation. If a locomotive is standing still in front of a red signal, because the next block is occupied or because a turnout is not yet thrown accordingly, and if the user turns the throttle of such device in this moment, then an accident may happen. With a simple keystroke to such device turnouts can be thrown even if they shall be locked in a route - with incalculable consequences. This is especially dangerous, when children or visitors, who are not very familiar with the layout, shall take part in the operation of the layout. A conventional control device combines the engineer, dispatcher and yard master in one case. However, which engineer may throw his own turnouts?

The handhelds of the +SmartHand™ system, on the other hand, are connected with the computer, which again controls the digital system and the layout (see adjoining diagram). Thereby the handhelds of the +SmartHand™ system can benefit from the intelligence of the computer. They become intelligent themselves ("smart handhelds"). The intelligent handhelds of the +SmartHand™ system can always respond appropriately to the current traffic situation on the layout. Unexperienced or even mischievous operators are no longer able, to get a locomotive to ignore a red signal. Turnouts in routes remain locked as required. Running trains are decelerated and stopped, when block securing enforces this. +SmartHand™ ensures safe operation of the layout, even when children or visitors take part.
How to turn a driver's cab into a switchboard control panel in no time at all:

If desired you have certainly always access to all control functions of your layout and you can control all objects with your +SmartHand™ handheld.

But how about if you or one of your teammates plays the role of an engineer, who has to control "his" engine and who has to follow the guidelines and orders of the dispatcher? To accomplish this each handheld can be individually customised to the role of its operator. In the extreme case the handheld may control only one object - e.g. the locomotive, for which the operator is responsible as engineer - and the selection of other objects is locked.

Another handheld can be configured for control of turnouts, signals, routes and blocks in a certain station. This handheld would be the optimal control device for the station inspector. In this case it is even possible to configure the handheld in a way, that it may control only the locomotives in his sphere of influence. When a train enters the station, then the station inspector may take over control of this train. When the train has left the station, the operator has no access to this train anymore. This flow of authorization is performed automatically during operation!

In this context another strong point of the +SmartHand™ system has an effect, namely the possibility to connect up to 31 handheld devices: this feature is not only useful for owners of big layouts, that are operated by several operators, but provides a subtle possibility also for owners of small layouts, even if only one person operates the layout. The handheld with number 5, for example, can be configured as a handheld for an engineer; e.g. for control of all passenger trains. The handheld 15, however, which is not at all connected to the system, is configured as "virtual" handheld for operation of the switchboard panel of a station. Since the configuration data of both handhelds is stored on the computer rather than in the handheld itself, it is possilbe to turn the handheld from a driver's cab into a switchboard control panel in no time at all by simply changing the address of the handheld from 5 to 15 and vice versa. In this way you are provided with up to 30 "virtual" handhelds beside the one physical device, that can be activated at any time.
Display of Signals

Experienced users of TrainController™ may know, that signal aspects (Stop, Go, Slow) are calculated for all trains running under control of the computer. These signal aspects indicate as home and distant signal, whether and how the train may leave its current block and enter the next block. This is also possible for train watched by the computer, but actually controlled manually.

This feature is utilized by +SmartHand™ for display of these signal aspects on the handheld device. This keeps the driver informed about the main and distant signal currently valid for "his" train. Another unique feature, that no conventional control device can provide so far.

In case of +SmartHand™ Classic these signal indicators consist of two groups of 4 multi-color LEDs. One group displays the home signal, the other the distant signal.

These signal indicators can be freely configured to match the era and signaling system applied on the real layout. +SmartHand™ is furthermore delivered with some predefined, frequently used signaling schemes (the diagram shows the scheme of the german Bundesbahn); it is also possible, however, to define customised schemes, too.
Comprehensive information can be found in the +SmartHand™ manual, which can be downloaded free of charge.

Install the free demo programs for +SmartHand™ Classic and +SmartHand™ Mobile on your computer today! With the virtual handheld controller a +SmartHand™ Classic handheld can be simulated on the computer screen. This demo can be downloaded for free before purchase. It allows to try all functions of a +SmartHand™ Classic controller by simulation on the screen.

The different variants of the +SmartHand™ Mobile apps can also be tried out for free. When using the Windows version no separate mobile device is necessary, Testing can be done on the existing computer screen.

The demos are also useful to become familiar with the broad range of possibilities of the +SmartHand™ before the system is installed on your system.

Turn your computer with TrainController™ and +SmartHand™ into an active player! The variety and unique combination of features never offered before make +SmartHand™ a revolutionary, powerful handheld control system for model trains. +SmartHand™ Product Characteristics:

+SmartHand™ Classic handhelds additionally provide the following features:

By entering the address of the computer, where TrainController™ is running, into the Web browser of a mobile device a +SmartHand™ Mobile handheld is established.

1) Important Note for +SmartHand™ Mobile:

Due to the unmanageable plurality of mobile devices, system variants and versions we do not warrant proper function of our +SmartHand™ Mobile on each mobile device, operating system or Web browser. This is also true, if the device is declared as suited in general. The warranty is limited to the possibility to use those mobile devices as +SmartHand™ Mobile handhelds, which comply with the requirements of +SmartHand™ Mobile. A mobile device, on the other hand, complies with the requirements, if +SmartHand™ Mobile runs appropriately on that device. We recommend to verify this compliance by performing a trial-run.

2) Note for +SmartHand™ Classic:

Due to the special concept for device drivers of Windows 8/64 bit, +SmartHand™ Classic does not offically support Windows 8/64 bit. By using the advanced startup option Disable Driver Signing Enforcement of Windows 8/64 bit it is possible to enable use of +SmartHand™ Classic on Windows 8/64 bit, too. But we do not provide offical warranty for this approach.