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How To Set Up The Roco Video Locomotive

John Chandler

JOHN CHANDLER tells us how to set up this exciting locomotive which allows you to use a Z21 to get a "drivers-eye-view" of your layout.


Roco have over the last couple of years introduced their Z21 Digital Control System, which allow you to control your layout from anything Apple- or Android-based directly through WiFi. They have also released their 'Next Generation' sets, which primarily were aimed at the younger model railroader and used similar technology but the WiFi router was inside the locomotive.

a startled cow

This technology has been taken further and now introduces a new type of starter set, of which RC51248 DBAG ICE2 Starter Set is a fine example. With a WiFi router and video camera inside the locomotive, this set allows you to have a 'drivers-eye-view' of your layout using the Z21 App.

Let's take a closer look at this set.


The set comprises a three car ICE set with an oval of track and a power supply. Nothing else!

In addition to the set, you will need smartphone or tablet capable of running apps and using WiFi; this is not included in the set!

Using The Set

Whilst there are instructions provided with the set, they do not seem comprehensive, so:

1. Assemble the track.

2. Connect power supply to track connection, but DO NOT switch on at your mains socket yet.

3. Locate a small label in the kit which contains SSID and Password details. (These are reproduced on the underside of the locomotive unit).

4. Assemble train on unpowered track.

5. Apply power to the track and wait about a minute for the train to wake up.

6. On your iPhone, iPad, iWhatever or Android device, go to the settings screen and check that your WiFi can see the SSID on the label found in Part 3 above.

7. If you've gotten this far, select the WiFi SSID indicated and enter the password given on said label. You should now be able to talk directly with the set.

Now you need to take control of the set and see its video, so, if you don't already have it, go to your App provider and install the Z21 App. I'm showing you a Samsung S6 on Android but this should work with other combinations. (The iApp may differ slightly from the Android App in appearance.)

8. Fire up the Z21 App.


How To Set Up The Roco Video Locomotive

Select "Settings"

How To Set Up The Roco Video Locomotive

then "Locomotive Settings"

How To Set Up The Roco Video Locomotive

Top right corner, hit the "+" key to add a loco.


How To Set Up The Roco Video Locomotive

Select "Video Locomotive", near the bottom of the list.


How To Set Up The Roco Video Locomotive

Select "#3 Video ICE"

and ensure the basic settings are OK.


How To Set Up The Roco Video Locomotive

Select "Configure Video-Loco".


How To Set Up The Roco Video Locomotive

Click "Start Video"

How To Set Up The Roco Video Locomotive

and the camera should spring into action.


How To Set Up The Roco Video Locomotive

Back-track to the opening screen and select Control Panel.

How To Set Up The Roco Video Locomotive

15. Select the Video ICE. Note that there is a WiFi symbol just above its stop button. Note also that there is an extra tab button to the right of the screen to show video. You should now be able to control this unit and view your layout from its camera by clicking the video button.

Having done this, I set my camera on to the shop's layout's tablet and put the locomotive in motion. If you have seen our shop layout, you will know that it exists on two levels and partially in tunnel.

Here's what our layout looks like from the inside!


This set reflects Roco's take on how Railway Modelling will progress in the (nearer than you may think) future. Personally, I cannot wait for this technology to be available in the smaller scales (TT, N, Z, [T?!] for example), but, given that this loco has within it a WiFi network hub, a z21 and a video camera, I suspect that this dream is a long way from nearby reality! However, I have already, at an exhibition in France a few years ago, seen a camera mounted on a flat wagon, being pushed around a Z gauge layout - so it's clearly not beyond possibility!

Manufacturers - It's over to you!

Fordhampton Kits
Graham Farish
Oxford Diecast
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Humbrol Paints
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