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RailPro => RailPro Discussion & Help => Topic started by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 09:47:37 PM

Title: DCC Ready or DC?
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 09:47:37 PM
Originally posted by chessie8171 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Aug 19, 2015

My layout is still in the bench work phase so I only own a few loco’s at this point. So looking at future purchases with plans to use a Railpro system should I stick to buying DCC ready units from now on? Or am I better to just buy DC only units? I gather from other post, units w/DCC and sound are not the way to go as you have to remove the factory installed decoder and speakers.

Title: Re: DCC Ready or DC?
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 09:47:49 PM
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Aug 19, 2015

Greetings Chessie8711 ??

DCC Ready will allow you to plug the Railpro Module directly into the locomotive, DC will require you to do some wiring to finish the install, but both are acceptable choices.

Buying locos with DCC installed is just wasting the extra money if a DCC ready version is available.

Cheers!
- Bill

Title: Re: DCC Ready or DC?
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 09:48:03 PM
Originally posted by kpack05 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Aug 19, 2015

Like Bill said DCC-ready is the easiest way to go.  Railpro modules plug right into Athearn DCC-ready locomotives, though on the smaller EMD units it may be difficult fitting the module on top of Athearn's DCC-ready board with the old RTR/BB motor they use.  Other brands like Kato are easy, but you will need a harness to convert from 9-pin to 8-pin. 

If you stick with DCC-ready locomotives I would at least remove the factory plastic clips that hold the wires to the board and solder them on.  Anything you can do to increase reliability always helps later on.

For myself it doesn't really matter if I get DCC-ready or straight DC.  Most of the time I remove all the factory electronics anyways and hardwire all my own electronics.  I do this to free up space for multiple speakers and all the wiring the comes with those and LEDs.  I just find that the factory boards take up way too much room and make sound installs difficult.

-Kevin
Title: Re: DCC Ready or DC?
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 09:48:12 PM
Originally posted by chessie8171 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Aug 19, 2015

Thanks Bill and Kevin,

So I gather from your other post you have quite a bit of experience with RailPro, so if you had it to do all over again would you still go that route? I felt since I'm starting from scratch I should pick an operating system before I start laying track. Doing a log of complicated wiring or programmng isn't my favorite aspect of the hobby so from what I've read here and around the web it sounds like Railpro is the way to go. Plus I really hope mu consisting is as easy as Ring's website makes it look.

Craig

Title: Re: DCC Ready or DC?
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 09:48:21 PM
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Aug 19, 2015

Craig,

When I came back to the hobby several years ago, I had no investment in DCC to consider so RailPro was a no-brainer for me.

I love my RailPro and I would not look back.
And yes, consisting is as easy as it sounds, and it works as advertised.

- Bill

Title: Re: DCC Ready or DC?
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 09:48:30 PM
Originally posted by picturemaker22 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Aug 19, 2015

Craig, Like Bill, I had no investment in DCC prior to going with RailPro.  I wanted a system that was easy to install and operate without elaborate programming, test tracks and complicated CV's. I have never been sorry that i went for RailPro, it doe exactly what the manufacturer claims and then some. Consisting locomotives can be done in seconds! I love my RailPro too.

Mel


Title: Re: DCC Ready or DC?
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 09:48:41 PM
Originally posted by kpack05 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Aug 19, 2015

I agree with Mel and Bill.  If I had to go back and do it all over again I would go Railpro all the way.  I've done DCC and once I moved to Railpro I have never looked back.  The ONLY, and I mean the only, thing that DCC has going for it at all is the advancement in sound.  Loksound is quite impressive.  But control with Railpro is so much better and so much easier.  If you've ever had to spend time messing around with CV's you know what I mean.  You want an exercise in frustration?  Try speed matching two different manufacturer's locomotives with DCC so they work in either direction.  After the first couple hours of trying you will understand why we all like Railpro so much.

Railpro is easy to use, but most of all it is fun.  I enjoy using it, whereas working with DCC felt like a chore.  Working on a 1980's calculator for a throttle was not for me.  Yes you can use a smartphone linked through JRMI, linked through a wireless router, linked to the DCC command station, but that is just a band-aid fix.  That doesn't fix the point that DCC still requires working with CV's and that it is exceptionally user-unfriendly.  Working with Railpro was refreshing and it made sense!  It really doesn't take a lot of effort to figure our how it works.

If you haven't seen it yet, check out the Ring Engineering Railpro Review on Youtube.  I made it years ago, so many things are different on Railpro now, but you can see the basics of the system.  Pay attention to the last couple minutes when I consist 6 locomotives from 5 different manufactures.  It took literally seconds to consist them and you can see how well they all run together.

-Kevin


Title: Re: DCC Ready or DC?
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 09:48:50 PM
Originally posted by Shawn Hogan on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Aug 19, 2015

I'm following this thread with great interest because I'm exactly where Craig is.
My layout will be modeling a branchline where double headed locomotives will not be used. However it will be steam; so what about the sound?
Any of you reading this thread have Rail Pro steam? Does the user friendliness outweigh any perceived imperfections in sound? I do realize that sound is subject to the hearer.
Shawn Hogan

Title: Re: DCC Ready or DC?
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 09:48:58 PM
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Aug 19, 2015

Shawn,

While I have not tried any of the steam sounds, at the very least, for me, function outweighs sound for now.

Why? Because sound is merely software and is already improving, whereas the complexity and interface of a typical DCC system isn't changing any time soon.

- Bill

Title: Re: DCC Ready or DC?
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 09:49:07 PM
Originally posted by chessie8171 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Aug 20, 2015

Thanks for pointing me to the YouTube videos,obvious from watching those and reading the post here that those who try RailPro are glad they did. I also found the install video very insightful about how easy RailPro is compared to DCC. It cleared up a misconception I had that the LM-2S came with a speaker. In the video you mention you'd already replaced the speaker, could you have used the factory installed speaker?

Has anyone found one type or brand of speaker that works better with RailPro than others?

By the way to Shawn if you search YouTube for RailPro videos there's one out there that is of a steam locomotive with sound using RailPro.

Title: Re: DCC Ready or DC?
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 09:49:26 PM
Originally posted by chessie8171 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Aug 20, 2015

Disreguard the question on which speakers are bette;r just noticed there is a whole thread on that topic. I'll have to check that out this evening.

Title: Re: DCC Ready or DC?
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 09:49:37 PM
Originally posted by kpack05 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Aug 20, 2015

Yes you could use factory installed speakers, but if it has speakers installed then it also has DCC sound.  Get DCC-ready or DC to save money.  In the install video the locomotive did not come with a speaker.  I was saying that I had installed my own speaker prior to making the video.

Any speaker that is 4-16 ohms will work fine with Railpro.  Speaker brand isn't necessarily the deciding factor of whether or not it produces good sound.  Appropriate baffles and enclosures are what make all the difference.

-Kevin
Title: Re: DCC Ready or DC?
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 09:49:45 PM
Originally posted by kpack05 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Aug 20, 2015

Shawn - I don't have any steam locomotives but I have tested all the steam sounds.  There are a couple videos of Railpro steam floating around on Youtube, but they are of the old steam sounds and are not well synchronized with the wheels.  There are some new steam files that are much better and include quite a few automatic/random sounds.  Lots of new bells and steam whistles as well.  They are much better than they used to be.

I don't have much experience with products like TCS WowSound, so I really can't give you a comparison.  The sound may be better, it may not be. 

Like Bill said, sound is software and easily upgraded.  Hardware is not.  Railpro's hardware and control capabilities are what set it apart.  The sound may not be yet where DCC is at, but that is quickly changing.  With time and help from the community Railpro's sound will eventually be on par with or surpass any DCC offering.

-Kevin

Title: Re: DCC Ready or DC?
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 09:49:56 PM
Originally posted by Shawn Hogan on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Aug 20, 2015

Thanks to Craig for letting me "hi-jack" this query a bit!
Kevin, watched your intro video on YouTube over lunch break- very well done! And best of all shows what can be accomplished with Rail Pro. I'm content to let the software for handling sound come up to speed. I think the Rail Pro community will be a big part of making that happen both by request and by(hopefully) making some quality recordings that Ring Engineering can format to use in their hardware.
I was amazed by how well the "blue box" Athearn behaved alone and mu'd!!
Shawn
Title: Re: DCC Ready or DC?
Post by: Prostreetamx on December 04, 2015, 11:55:10 PM
I've been buying a lot of new engines lately and normally go for the DCC ready wherever possible. I usually end up deleting the factory board anyway since I like LED lights that I can control seperatly. Even a DCC ready engine does not always support this option. My MTH ES44ac's were DCC ready and I left the factory board even though the ditch lights seem to be connected together. I adde the speakers in the locations provided and have no issues with these. My Kato have the factory board removed since they did not support ditch light control at all. My Fox Valley SD40 had a euro 21 pin so out came the entire factory DCC ready board. It's tough to make some of these decisions in advance without seeing the inside before you buy but in many cases you only have 2 choices. DCC already installed with speakers or either DC or DCC ready. Most manufactures do not offer either/or DC or DCC ready, it's one or the other. Bottom line is don't pay extra for a decoder equipped engine just to pull it all out unless you buy used at a discount. I've even removed the boards in my Athearn DCC ready units.