Review: Märklin mobile crane 46715

My Märklin mobile crane 46715 arrived this week. As reported by others, it is on the noisy side and somewhat faster than it could have been, but overall its a nice model.  Trying to operate it by selecting different functions and getting the motor direction is not very friendly, so I created a control screen in my software - and it provides a much easier method of controlling the crane....

The crane can be operated using the mouse or by the arrow keys for slewing left and right and raising and lowering the hook. PageUp and PageDown will raise and lower the boom. Full bidirectional communication with the Intellibox is supported, meaning that if you make any changes on the Intellibox 'by hand' those changes are also reflected on the computer.

In order to help you see what you are doing on the Intellibox, changes to the functions that matter are reflected on screen using a blue highlight. So for example, if you pressed the F3 function button, the screen will indicate that the crane is now in 'hook' mode...

If the motor is activated either from the Intellibox, or from the PC keyboard or mouse, the action is indicated as can be seen in this example where the crane is being slewed to the right:

User interface design and images are Copyright Dale Schultz 2007

It is believed that the Fire train crane 46716 will also be controllable in the same way.

Update 2018

When attempting to reprogram a decoder in a locomotive using the mainline, I inadvertently reprogrammed the crane decoder! Testing of the locomotive functions then also operated the crane which resulted in the boom and hook being pulled up to their limit and they would not come down. I thus had to open the cab and rotate the wheels to give relief to the threads. Here are some pictures of the inside...

All reassembled and working again!