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Messages - G8B4Life

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General Discussion / Re: Not very much going on here?
« on: October 16, 2020, 11:20:58 PM »
Well we have picked up several new members (some new to RP as well) over last few of months, many of them large scalers which is interesting. RP seems to be finding a good market there.

However I imagine many, like me, have been badly hit (financially and mentally) by the economic effects of the virus and simply don't have the same level of income or a mind free enough from worry about their future to engage themselves in the hobby.

Anyway, going on previous trends it's still only autumn over there and traditionally winter is the most active time of the forum, thought that is becoming less and less the trend as time goes on.

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: PBM-2 Installation
« on: October 01, 2020, 01:27:44 AM »
The adapter board is not available yet as far as I, or probably anyone, knows. Ring seems to have gone very quite since the release of the PBM-2 (pandemic related?).  Your best course of action might be to email Ring and ask when he thinks it'll be available.

While I don't have any PBM-2's (waiting for the exchange rate to significantly improve) I too am waiting to see the adapter board.

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: UDP Test tool updated - again
« on: September 30, 2020, 11:47:39 AM »
Was Tim Ring ahead of his time

No, he wasn't. HTTP/3 is (broadly) using QUIC (HTTP over UDP) as the underlying transport layer, which was initially developed by Google around 2012 (earliest page I can find for RailPro is 2011, but can't find a page for the first "internet access" program for RP) however there is significant differences in how the plain old UDP that Ring uses and QUIC / HTTP/3 operate. Maybe I should do a graphic  :D

Ring would have chosen UDP as it's very simple to program compared to TCP (though that actually isn't too hard these days), though you have to build in your own packet error checking else you will likely end up in a world of pain when it comes to transferring things like compiled code.

HTTP/3 as a file transfer method is something I'd like to experiment with but they aren't working on that part yet.

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: Sudden motor overload errors
« on: September 25, 2020, 10:44:53 AM »

Thanks for chiming in and confirming what I had written was correct, that measuring resistance directly across the terminals isn't the way to do it (apparently it is the way to do it with much bigger motors, like 110 / 240v and three phase motors). I was going to send you a PM on the method I found for measuring the resistance of our small motors to see why I couldn't make heads or tails of what I was seeing it but I think I worked out why (it's simply Ohm's law on the running or stalled motor but they added resistor in series which I think was throwing out the calculation they gave).

Anyway, without easily measuring the resistance to compare against a good motor to see if it's going bad (which I hoped would be the easiest test for KiloWhiskey to do, why I suggested it) measuring the current draw, which is ultimately the number that matters to an LM is probably the best next thing.


RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: Sudden motor overload errors
« on: September 25, 2020, 08:10:27 AM »
Hmm, I'm not sure either of those numbers are correct for the Kato motor or not, I can't even make a comparison to what you've measured as I can't get a stable reading using my Multimeter, and from what I've been reading directly measuring the resistance across the motor terminals isn't the correct way to measure our small hobby motors. I've tried measuring another way I've found online but that's just raising more questions as the results don't make sense (still experimenting with it).

Perhaps the easiest thing for you to do would be to put the DC blanking plug back in, put your multimeter in between the power supply (presuming the PWR-56) and the track and measure the current draw (starting, running and stalled and don't forget to subtract the current used by any lights that are lit when it's running). This would tell you if the motor is drawing too much for the LM.

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: Sudden motor overload errors
« on: September 24, 2020, 01:06:20 AM »
I removed the module, and tested it with a test motor and it operated fine.
The loco, when I removed the 8pin connector, reinstalled the DC pins and put a 9v battery to it and the loco motor started running.

This would be expected. A 9v battery is only good for testing if the motor actually works by turning over, not if the motor is consuming more current than an LM can safely provide. A battery is not a protected device like the LM is so the motor will just consume as much as it can from it which is limited by the battery make up (eg, the make up of a 9v battery limits it output to about 1A max which is all the motor will get, even if it's trying to consume 2A).

I still suspect that the motor has/is developing a fault (possibly low resistance?). That a test motor worked fine with the LM supports that. You need to find out how much current the motor is trying to draw. Do you have a multi-meter?

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: Is it just me?
« on: September 18, 2020, 09:55:15 AM »

Just re-read that thread. Your effort earned you a gold star in the department of friendship.


I know you didn't want your first post to be starting off with woes but I wouldn't have worried about that, we have more than a few first posts that are just a woe and asking for help to solve it, and we certainly don't have any rules that state that first posts must be warm and fuzzy and going on about "how much fun" RailPro is.

Anyway, analysing your extra info:

DigiTrax DCC as the track power. This should be ok in principal; they've been around a long time and their stuff is solid but there is a chance, though very remote, that it could kill an LM. The longer the electrical path (either rail or wire bus with feeders) from the track output on the booster to the end of the electrical path the more susceptible DCC is to voltage overshoot. There is info and oscilloscope traces on the net showing this over shoot to nearly 30v from memory. That can and does / has killed decoders and would probably kill an LM as well. Again, I say it's likely a very remote chance as the case, you usually need a very long electrical path for it to happen.

I've only got one Kato, but I've never opened it up (and it's packed away in storage at the moment though easily accessible) nor do I own any P2K or Atlas so I can't give much info on them but keep in mind what I'm about to say for all of them.

Depending on how recent the P2K loco is it might have RF suppression built onto the motherboard. LM's absolutely hate RF suppression and it causes very erratic and lousy performance. Many DCC decoders don't have this problem with RF suppression and perform flawlessly so I'd be checking all the loco's you had trouble with for RF suppression on the motherboards.

As for Loco E and the static, is the static like white noise or more like crackling/distortion? and it is a single speaker install isn't it?

I'd still try turning the volume down and see if it clears up and also checking that the connections are solid. If possible I'd also try it on pure DC as well to see if that makes any difference.

It's not a overly helpful suggestion I know but when this virus disaster is behind us sufficiently that you could visit, if your close to Ian perhaps you can get together and do an RP install together, Then you can have two sets of eyes on the install and make sure it works on yours and his HC etc.

- Tim

New Users Start Here / Re: Introduce Yourself...
« on: September 18, 2020, 02:43:59 AM »
Welcome Leon.

You might get a response (we have quite a few large scalers here now) if you ask your question in the RailPro Discussion and Help Thread, which is the primary thread to get help (this one is basically to say "hello, this is what I do" so I imagine not everyone reads it).

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: Is it just me?
« on: September 18, 2020, 02:28:46 AM »
Welcome Traylor,

I don't think it's just you but there could have been things you did or didn't do that's made RailPro life not a very sweet experience for you. We'll see if we can work any of them out. I'm taking from your post that you only have one loco with an LM in it.

About a year later I got one loco going but had problems with a second. Thinking it was the loco I reinstalled the module (both LM-3S) in another loco which promptly blew the lights out. Tried a third loco, nothing at all but pretty much destroyed the loco during installation and removal. (My bad)

So I read from this you've tried 4 loco's in total:

You had a successful install in one loco (we'll call it Loco A). You did a second install (Loco B) but had problems which you thought were the model so tried the LM from Loco B in third loco Loco C which blew the lights. You then tried that same LM in a forth loco (Loco D which you call the third above) which you got no response at all. Is that correct?

Do you remember what Loco's B, C and D were and how you wired the LM up to them?

What was the problem that you thought was the model for Loco B?

With Loco C, What type of lighting did it have? The LM puts out near track voltage (about 14.6v for the RailPro PWR-56) to the light outputs so grain of wheat / grain of rice type globes and LED's need resistors to prevent them burning out.

I sent the module to a friend who tried everything he could to revive it but couldnít even detect it if I recall correctly.
I attempted to send it back to Ring but was told to try several things of which none were successful.

You didn't mention if your friend has any RailPro equipment so how did he try to revive / detect it?

It is possible that there was a short when you used it on Loco C and blew the lights that fried the LM but we'll never know now.

So fast forward now to the zombie apocalypse going on, I decided to dig out the one loco with a module in it and give it a run to show some friends via the iPad.

Not sure why your mentioning the iPad. Were you trying to control the loco in DCC mode using the iPad or were your friends watching remotely through your iPad?

I hit the start engine button and got more static than engine sounds. Thinking the speaker was pooched or had picked up debris I replaced it with another. No help.
I then tried a brand new out of the package speaker to no avail.

This sounds like the speaker is being over-driven, which can damage it and/or the LM though if it's just a single speaker install it's hard to imagine this is the reason. You can try reducing the volume and seeing if the "static" goes away. Also check that the connections between the LM and the speaker are good and solid.

Iíd really like to give this one more try as Iím into this for well over a G note, which buys a heck of a lot of Loksound decoders as my friends like to point out. LOL
Sorry for being long winded and somewhat gloomy here.

You can have a lot of problems with a heck of a lot of Loksound decoders too if things don't go your way! I'm not trying to sound smug or anything like that but if you had posted way back when you had these issues we may have been able to spare you some of the pain or steer you in the correct direction if we had identified a wrong direction being taken. Of course we may not have been able to either (and may not be able to now) but I'm sure that would still have been better than sitting on it for as long as you have.

We might be able to get a better idea of what's going on if you tell us:

- Whats your power and control setup
- What make and model this one working loco is
- How you installed and hooked up the LM to the loco.

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: Sudden motor overload errors
« on: September 18, 2020, 01:02:40 AM »
If everything in the drivetrain is free and all wires are checked it sounds like a motor that is developing a fault (yes, even Kato motors can go bad). The LM could be developing a fault too so also check that out as well.

To start troubleshooting I'd start the loco moving while watching the info screen and see what current it's drawing (I wish that info screen would give a number and not just a bar meter!). You can then raise the motor load value manually and see if the overload warning disappears. If that works don't just leave it raised though without positively identifying the cause as leaving it raised would just be masking the symptoms which could lead to a much quicker motor death and is not a good idea.

If you can remember what it was set to previously I'd also check and see that the motor load value has not somehow been magically altered or reset.

If you have another Kato you could try and measure the resistance across the windings of each and see if they differ greatly (eg, known good motor was 30 ohms and overloading motor was 10 ohms) but it is a bit difficult to get a stable reading anyway so it might not be much help.  I've also read of a convoluted way by measuring current draw and voltage and applying ohms law but that would require removing the motor from the model for testing.

And of course if you have a spare LM around try that too just to rule out the LM having problems.

- Tim

New Users Start Here / Re: Introduce Yourself...
« on: September 11, 2020, 06:17:07 AM »
Welcome Noah,

We're getting quite a few large scalers on here now which is good. You've got a good hobby to share with your son, fingers crossed his interest lasts a lifetime.

- Tim

General Discussion / Re: Micro Mark Switch Tender question
« on: September 06, 2020, 12:41:28 AM »
No, you will not harm the motor that way.

In a general sense, you will not hurt a device by under-driving it (supplying less than the devices rating) though it might not perform well, or at all by being under driven but you can hurt a device by over-driving it (supplying more than the devices rating).

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: LM-3S-G
« on: August 29, 2020, 01:28:36 AM »
This would be so much easier if Ring would make his installers request the proper permissions when run instead of getting the user to right-click and run as administrator. Sigh!

I click "yes" to the do you "run this program as an administrator"

This is asking you conformation that you have "Run as Administrator" when you launched the installer. It does not make the installer run with administrator permissions for you. Bill has given you what you need to do but I'll expand the procedure to cover everything, even if you know how to do some of it already.

Download and save the installer to somewhere like your desktop (or any place on your computer that you can easily find). Do not let your browser run the installer, you must save it to your computer. To save the installer right click on the installers download button on Rings website and select "Save as" or "Save link as" depending on what your browser presents to you.

Once downloaded locate the installer in the place you saved it to. Right click on the installer and select "Run as Administrator".

When the "Do you run this program as an administrator?" dialog box pops up click yes

When the software license agreement pops up click yes

Everything should now install properly without error. This is the same procedure for RailPro Assistant as well which you'll also need to install if you haven't already had it installed.

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: LM-3S-G
« on: August 28, 2020, 03:15:11 AM »

That's interesting that they list alphabetically now. I haven't used my HC-2 in a very long time; all my testing in months has been with HC Sim and I haven't noticed that doing the alphabetical thing.


There should not be any issues these days using the CI-1, the big bug that affected use for some users was fixed quite some time ago. The internet connection problem that affected users leaving RailPro Assistant unable to connect to Ring Engineering was also finally fixed this year so if your having issues let us know what they are and we'll try to solve them as well.

While you might think satellite is slow in reality the download is not really going to be any slower than it is for anyone else, Rings download speed is regulated and in the order of only a few bytes per second.

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: LM-3S-G
« on: August 26, 2020, 10:37:58 AM »
Awesome news.

You said you removed the locomotives one by one but just for me to be sure, out of interest, did you use the "Remove All Products" function or did you remove each locomotive one by one by selecting the Locomotive category? If you did one by one and removed 8 locomotives by selecting the Locomotive category without using the Remove All Products function then it wouldn't have been a ghost, but possibly some other data corruption in the locomotive list; though that would also be rare too.

- Tim

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