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RailPro => RailPro Software Updates => Topic started by: G8B4Life on May 11, 2019, 08:57:55 AM

Title: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: G8B4Life on May 11, 2019, 08:57:55 AM
HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 is up.

Don't know what's fixed or new in this release, perhaps someone knows. Off to charge my HC's ready to update...

- Tim
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: BruceRogers on May 12, 2019, 07:01:51 PM
I've done all my HC-2/2b units. Cannot see any visible changes, no new button icons. Update was small taking only 10 minutes or less.
It might be possible that DB will work across the consist now, hoping test that this evening. I know it was in the works.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: BruceRogers on May 14, 2019, 09:38:37 AM
What update 2.09 included.
Added the ability to update the program in the AM-1S and a few other minor improvements.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: CPRail on May 14, 2019, 02:16:36 PM
Awww...
You had me all excited about getting DB to work across the consist.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: BruceRogers on May 14, 2019, 02:42:24 PM
I was too! Hopefully he'll do it soon.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: KPack on May 14, 2019, 06:36:19 PM
Just FYI, currently the dynamic brake button will partially work across consists.....what I mean by that is that pressing the button will drop all the prime movers down to notch 1, though only the lead unit's DB sound is played.

I've actually used this on my switching locomotives to simulate coasting.  I create a "silent" audio clip that has no sound, load it into each SD40-2's dynamic brake file, then when I press the button they both drop to idle, though the locomotives are still moving.  Works great for that, but I do hope that he'll eventually get real DB across consists, as well as a separate coast button.

-Kevin
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: CPRail on May 15, 2019, 08:42:38 AM
Now that is a neat idea! Thanks Kevin!
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: CPRail on June 22, 2019, 08:37:34 PM
Okay, this is weird. I went to update my tow HC-2bs tonight. One had about a half charge, while the other is full. Setup RPA for the download, plugged in the half charged one and away it goes. Part way through, my computer goes deedle deedle (sound of something connecting/disconnecting) and my HC-2b goes black screen.

Figuring that perhaps I over-estimated the charge and it was lower than half, I unplugged it, removed the update from RPA, reload the update, and plug in HC-2b #2. Sits there "waiting for internet" and does nothing.

Force disconnect it, wait for the HC-2b to say 'wah', close RPA, re-open RPA and start again. Same deal. Currently waiting for it to say 'wah' again from a forced disconnect.

Meanwhile HC-2b #1 is STILL black screen and won't light up, won't even charge.

I'm going to try HC-2b #2 one more time, but I'm doubtful. RPA shows all happy happy happy. I run high-speed internet from my Telco and the modem is all green.

What gives? Do I need to reset HC-2b #1? If I do that, do I loose everything on it (i.e. have to refind all the locos and reload all the sound files)?

Argh...
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: William Brillinger on June 22, 2019, 08:54:10 PM
Ian,

The reset will not lose the data. It's like a hard reboot.
But before you do that, leave the HC on the charger overnight and see if it wakes up.

If you are having trouble with both HC's it might also be the cord.
Make sure you are using the cord from RING.

- Bill
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: CPRail on June 23, 2019, 04:33:43 PM
Update:

Thanks Bill.

HC-2b #2 is fine and happy. Had to do a reset, but I've been running with it for the past 45 minutes. HC-2b #1 is sitting on the charger as per Bill's suggestion and we'll see what happens tomorrow. I still need to do the updates, but I'll wait until I know what HC-2b #1 is needing.

Always using the RP cords and plug ins, just to be safe.

Stay tuned for further updates.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: CPRail on June 24, 2019, 06:36:13 PM
Today's Update: HC-2b #1 is still dead. It sat on the charger for over 24 hours with no joy. I tried the reset button. I also tried holding down the reset button for a count of ten, still nothing.

What's next?
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: William Brillinger on June 24, 2019, 06:55:33 PM
Call Ring.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: CPRail on June 25, 2019, 08:40:57 AM
Sigh...was hoping to avoid that. I'll have to e-mail him, as his hours are right when I'm working. Maybe I'll get lucky and can try him on Canada Day.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: BruceRogers on June 26, 2019, 04:12:09 PM
I just had to send an HC-2b back to Tim that a friend had the same issues with. I'm not totally sure what went wrong but I suspect it was the same issue. The HC unit wasn't fully charged before the software update was started, and the batteries died during the update.
I believe it's necessary to ensure the HC units are fully charged before starting any updates to them. I updated all 7 of mine (mix of HC-2 & 2b) with no problems at all.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: CPRail on June 26, 2019, 04:42:46 PM
Bill has graciously offered to send it on to Ring on my behalf (I cannot stress how cool & helpful Bill is as a dealer!!), so we'll see what Ring says.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: TwinStar on July 01, 2019, 08:59:48 AM
Today's Update: HC-2b #1 is still dead. It sat on the charger for over 24 hours with no joy. I tried the reset button. I also tried holding down the reset button for a count of ten, still nothing.

What's next?

The reset button needs to be held in for an hour while on the charger. You can accomplish this with a short piece of tooth pick place under the HC making a 'half shelter' type of rig.

Somewhat related, this isn't supposed to be necessary with the newer hardware but it is. I got both of my HC-2's out which both have SW1021 2.06 installed. One showed a full red battery bar and the other one was dead. I left them charging overnight with no change. I had to do the one hour reset procedure to get them both back. I don't think the 'dead sleep' software is right on these yet.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: William Brillinger on July 01, 2019, 09:10:54 AM
Dang, Tim didn't suggest this for Ian's HC. It's on it's way in to Ring Right now. :(
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: TwinStar on July 01, 2019, 09:23:02 AM
Dang, Tim didn't suggest this for Ian's HC. It's on it's way in to Ring Right now. :(

I had to dig and find it. This technique was in an email from Tim back in 2015. Here's the text:

You might have a HC with the original software.  If that is the case you will need to do the following.

The reset button needs to be held in for up to an hour.  The way to accomplish this is like in the picture below.  You can cut off a toothpick to the length in the picture below and insert it in the reset hole.  Then gently press the handheld down until you hear or feel the reset button move.  It moves very little about 1/32 of an inch.  Please do not press too hard because you can damage the reset button.  Then leave the HC charging for an hour then remove the tooth pick (charger still plugged in).  The screen should light up and say charging.  It will not fully charge from a rest.  So after you use it a few minutes you will need to charge it again. After that it should be working as usual.  After it is charging and running a long time on a charge, then update the software to prevent this from happening in the future even if the batteries become very depleted.
 


Why this worked with my newer software (2.06) is beyond me but it did fix both of my different issues.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: TwinStar on December 30, 2020, 11:16:14 AM
Well, a brief followup.

We're hosting a small Free-mo setup in January and my friend Kevin got his HC-2 out to get some locos ready and his HC is dead. He followed all the steps and nothing. Tim said it's probably a dead battery and it's going back. 

So, I offered to loan one of my two and he accepted. I got them out last night to charge and one is dead and one is alive. Frustrating.

2 out of our 3 HC's are dead right before a setup.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: KPack on December 30, 2020, 11:26:47 AM
When was the last time you turned the HC's on or charged them?  I haven't had much time to run trains myself, but I turn them on occasionally and put the HC's on the chargers monthly. 

You could just pop the back and replace the batteries yourself, if you're so inclined.  Ring would disapprove for sure.  But as long as they are replaced with the same size and type battery, I don't see how there could be any harm.

-Kevin
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: TwinStar on December 30, 2020, 11:39:23 AM
When was the last time you turned the HC's on or charged them?  I haven't had much time to run trains myself, but I turn them on occasionally and put the HC's on the chargers monthly. 

You could just pop the back and replace the batteries yourself, if you're so inclined.  Ring would disapprove for sure.  But as long as they are replaced with the same size and type battery, I don't see how there could be any harm.

-Kevin

It's been several months and possibly more.

Aren't the batteries AA rechargeable? I haven't been inside the case in awhile.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: KPack on December 30, 2020, 12:01:36 PM
Yes, 4 AA rechargeable.  There's a picture floating around here somewhere on this site of the inside of the controller.  It was discussed whether larger capacity batteries could be used, but Ring was very against that idea (and highly discouraged opening the case altogether).  Opening the case will basically void any warranty you might have.  However, it's definitely doable.  Lee installed neck straps on all his controllers, and that requires taking the case apart to install the eyelet.  I've taken one of my controllers apart as well.

Two things to keep in mind.  If you do replace the batteries, make sure to get ones that are the same MAh as the old.  Second, there are four milled metal spacers that hold the boards in place inside the case.  They are held in place by friction once the case is put together.  They are kind of a pain to get lined up and keep them in place while the case goes back together.  Once the screws are back in your are fine.

-Kevin
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: TwinStar on December 30, 2020, 06:16:53 PM
Thanks Kevin. I've had them both apart (my two HC-2's) to install the lanyard rings but couldn't recall the number of batteries.

Both of my HC-2's are now alive. I did the long reset on the second one and it's back. I'm partitioning my Mac now and will spend this evening installing Win 10 and RPA and getting my HC's up to date.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: KPack on December 30, 2020, 06:31:30 PM
Nicely done Jacob.  Working with Mac's can be a pain....all my buddies in dental school with Mac's had to partition their drives in order to run any of the dental software.  Everything is Windows based.  But at least Apple lets you partition and run Boot Camp.  Otherwise you'd be really limited on what programs you have access to.

Good luck with the updating and let us know how everything performs when you run.  I can't recall if you have keep-alives installed in your locos or not.  Hopefully you do because it will make for a really nice run.

-Kevin
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: G8B4Life on December 30, 2020, 08:55:25 PM
Yes, 4 AA rechargeable.  There's a picture floating around here somewhere on this site of the inside of the controller.

Slight correction, 3 x AA batteries, not 4.

Funnily enough I was looking at those threads the other day (my HC-2 soon needs new batteries, they are 6 years or so years old and I won't be sending it back for the change out).

There was two threads about this. First thread (https://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php/topic,24.0.html (https://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php/topic,24.0.html)) had pictures and some battery size discussion. Unfortunately the pictures of the battery compartment side of the circuit board were external links which the pics are now dead links. Second thread (https://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php/topic,170.0.html (https://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php/topic,170.0.html)) no pics but more battery discussion.

The take from the threads is that Ring uses a variety of battery capacities, most likely what he gets the cheapest at a given time of purchase. Known capacities used are 2300 mAH, 2400 mAH and 2500 mAH across different brands of battery used. I don't see why larger capacities could not be used but I'm no expert on these things by all means.

As to voiding the warranty by opening it up and changing the batteries, that would be an interesting situation to watch. I don't know how things work in the US but here such a claim by Ring would be laughed out of the room by the consumer law authorities. "What, you can't change the batteries in your consumer device without sending it back?!!!"

- Tim
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: William Brillinger on December 30, 2020, 09:04:18 PM
I just sent an HC-2 in for battery replacement. It was throwing a charging error: "Volts Too High" whenever it was plugged in for charging.
I'll open it up when it comes back and get some photos of the current offering.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: TwinStar on December 30, 2020, 10:02:51 PM
It looks like I spoke too soon. One HC-2 will only turn on for 2 seconds and then powers off. These are both older units so I'm going to just order new batteries.

I did successfully install Windows 10 in Bootcamp along with RPA. I only had to call Apple Support once. One HC-2 is now current with 2.09
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: TwinStar on January 04, 2021, 06:42:22 PM
Yes, 4 AA rechargeable.  There's a picture floating around here somewhere on this site of the inside of the controller.

Slight correction, 3 x AA batteries, not 4.

Funnily enough I was looking at those threads the other day (my HC-2 soon needs new batteries, they are 6 years or so years old and I won't be sending it back for the change out).

There was two threads about this. First thread (https://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php/topic,24.0.html (https://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php/topic,24.0.html)) had pictures and some battery size discussion. Unfortunately the pictures of the battery compartment side of the circuit board were external links which the pics are now dead links. Second thread (https://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php/topic,170.0.html (https://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php/topic,170.0.html)) no pics but more battery discussion.

The take from the threads is that Ring uses a variety of battery capacities, most likely what he gets the cheapest at a given time of purchase. Known capacities used are 2300 mAH, 2400 mAH and 2500 mAH across different brands of battery used. I don't see why larger capacities could not be used but I'm no expert on these things by all means.

As to voiding the warranty by opening it up and changing the batteries, that would be an interesting situation to watch. I don't know how things work in the US but here such a claim by Ring would be laughed out of the room by the consumer law authorities. "What, you can't change the batteries in your consumer device without sending it back?!!!"

- Tim

I changed the batteries on one of my HC-2's today. The batteries removed were Rayovac 2400 mAh
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: G8B4Life on January 04, 2021, 08:19:33 PM
I changed the batteries on one of my HC-2's today. The batteries removed were Rayovac 2400 mAh

Annnnnnd how did it go? The HC kept all it's info during the changeover? The HC charged successfully with the new batteries in? No other problems to report from the changeover? You replaced like for like or the new batteries were a larger capacity (largest we've seen so far from Ring was 2500 mAH, we've always wondered if the HC could actually use larger capacity batteries such as 2850 mAH)?

Do tell us how it went.

- Tim
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: TwinStar on January 04, 2021, 08:38:00 PM
I changed the batteries on one of my HC-2's today. The batteries removed were Rayovac 2400 mAh

Annnnnnd how did it go? The HC kept all it's info during the changeover? The HC charged successfully with the new batteries in? No other problems to report from the changeover? You replaced like for like or the new batteries were a larger capacity (largest we've seen so far from Ring was 2500 mAH, we've always wondered if the HC could actually use larger capacity batteries such as 2850 mAH)?

Do tell us how it went.

- Tim

Sorry, I guess I was a little light on details.

I removed 2400 mAh batteries with 2400 mAh batteries. It powered up as soon as I put the new batteries in and showed approximately 20% power. I plugged it into charge and it charged to full capacity in short order. Off the charger it's performing like new again. No locomotives were lost in the change over.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: G8B4Life on January 04, 2021, 09:03:48 PM
Thanks Jacob. I had been particularly wondering how the HC would handle the charging of the new batteries as each of the new batteries could have had a significantly different charge right out of the packet. Looks like that might not a problem for the HC.

- Tim


Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: TwinStar on January 05, 2021, 08:25:21 PM
I replaced the batteries in my second HC-2 today and removed 1500 mAh batteries. Now, I bought this unit second hand off a guy who had bought an estate sale. I THINK they're the original batteries but I cannot be certain. Same as before, this unit fired up and performed flawlessly with no lost data.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: G8B4Life on January 06, 2021, 08:45:26 AM
That's a good outcome. Two for two. At 1500 mAH I'd hope those batteries were not the originals but ones the previous owner had put in, the run time would be shorter by a fair margin with that low capacity.

Now just to wait and see what Bill receives when he gets his gets back.

- Tim
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: faithie999 on January 06, 2021, 05:12:47 PM
last winter I tried to fire up my HC-2b which had been sitting for months.  black screen, and it wouldn't take a charge.  I didn't search to find the toothpick-for-an-hour trick.  I opened up the HC, removed the batteries (sorry, I didn't note the MAH capacity) and put them into a NiMH charger for a couple of hours.  put them back in the HC and it fired right up.  now I make sure I charge it every now and then when it's not being used (like most of the summer while there is yard and garden work to do!)
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: JRad on February 08, 2021, 09:17:50 AM
I have a question on determining the software version currently installed in an HC-2b.

I have two HC-2b-SUN controllers. One belongs to a friend who loaned it to me for evaluation of RP and a second that I recently purchased.

The older unit (my friend's) under Adjust Settings listed the version as 2.09 BEFORE the update.  I went ahead and installed the latest 2.09 update and it loaded with no issue. Still reads as 2.09.

My unit, about a year newer, reads program version 2.21!!  Both units have the same Program numbers SW1045 on that screen to the left of the version number.

I'm hesitant to load 2.09 on my HC-2b.  Anyone have any idea what's going on here?

Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: nodcc4me on February 08, 2021, 09:26:48 AM
Version 2.21 is not listed in RPA. I wonder if you got a beta version? I would call Tim Ring. He should have an answer.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: G8B4Life on February 08, 2021, 09:37:38 AM
That's definitely odd. We've never had that one here before. Al may be correct that somehow you got a HC with a beta version of the software on it. A call or email to Ring Engineering should sort out if that's the case or not. In any event if it's not beta I don't know if it's possible to downgrade the software to a previous version anyway.

I'll be splitting this topic to it's own thread as some point.

- Tim


Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: JRad on February 08, 2021, 11:22:33 AM
Thanks Tim & Al.

I emailed Tim Ring. I'll report back what I hear.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: JRad on February 08, 2021, 04:13:23 PM
I received a very quick, if not very personable reply....
Quote
IMPORTANT: You only update a handheld if the online version is a higher number then the one you already have.
Please do not update your handheld that 2.21 until you see an online revision that is higher than 2.21.
The Rev 2.21 accommodates for different hardware in the handhelds revisions in the handhelds and no there is no significant functionality difference in an handheld with older hardware at 2.09 and a handheld with newer hardware one at 2.21.

Please do not update a handheld that has the same version as on the internet site.  There is no reason to update a handheld that has rev 2.09 with 2.09. 


So, I was correct that I am already ahead of the updates on my newer controller.  I assume the reason that my HC has such a high version number is that the 12 revisions allow for breathing room when updating older hardware.
Title: Re: HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
Post by: nodcc4me on February 08, 2021, 05:11:15 PM
Good to know since we have never heard of that before. Thanks, JRad.