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Topics - G8B4Life

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RailPro Discussion & Help / RailPro Proxy | CGNAT workaround
« on: February 16, 2020, 05:32:30 AM »
Well as alluded to by Bill and later confirmed by myself I have been working on a workaround for the RPA CGNAT issue. I've had a ball getting the workaround up to this stage (but for the wrong reason; forced unpaid leave from work due to serious downturn caused by do-gooders so lot's of time to fill).

Anyway, the workaround is at stage where I believe the software is stable enough for others to test with. I've tested here quite successfully and without issue but there are things I just can't test myself, mainly I don't know if the workaround will work on 64bit versions of Windows, or any of the later versions of Windows for that matter.

As with everything there is a list of pros and cons to the workaround. I'll start with the cons:
  • It will be slow. Not only are you going to contend with how slow Rings servers are anyway you'll also have to contend with your communication with Rings server having to go halfway around the world and back. This will add time. It may make communication so slow that RPA thinks it can't communicate with the server. That shouldn't happen though.
  • Only one person at a time can use the proxy. This is due to the combination of how Rings server works with it's fixed source port and the fact that I only have one IP address to use for the proxy.
  • When someone else is using the proxy I can't use RPA myself to download from Ring's server (see above point).
  • There is probably bugs I haven't found and fixed yet.
  • If you have very cool freinds or very understanding relatives who are not CGNAT'ed you could set a copy of the proxy up at their place, all you'd need is a Raspberry Pi and a copy of the proxy code*

The software was only supposed to be proof of concept of the various parts of the software and then I was going to code it in a more modern framework. I got carried away and kept on going in the old framework I was programming in. If the softwware works I probably won't redo it in the modern framework.

If anyone, CGNAT issue or not would like to test the workaround let me know and I'll let you know by PM where to download the workaround software from.

- Tim

* your technical ability on setting up a Raspberry Pi and configuring port forwarding in your friends or relatives router would be the limiting factor

RailPro Software Updates / HC Simulator 2.10 released
« on: January 03, 2020, 07:56:58 PM »
HC Simulator 2.10 released.

Known changes since v2.05:
  • Installer is now a self extracting archive, not a separate installer and downloaded package as before so CGNAT no longer affects the download of HC Simulator.

The above list of changes was a cursory look only, I did not load up an LM etc.

- Tim

General Discussion / Happy New Year: Locomotives icons
« on: December 31, 2019, 08:36:39 AM »
Happy New Year to you all.

It ticked over to 2020 just over an hour ago here and while my start to 2020 was not happy at all I thought I'd post something for the rest of you.

I'd stumbled onto this website some time back and forgot about it. It has some nicely done pictures of loco's that while designed for a screensaver are just about the perfect size for RP.  They would make excellent fill in's for while your waiting to take your own photo, or if you can't take a photo. They are GIF format but that can be easily converted with almost any graphics program and the "canvas" size would need to be increased as well to the size that RP needs. Note, the backgrounds are not black with a grid as you see the pics on the webpage but it is transparent, which will be white after conversion. You save the linked zip files to get the pics.

 [ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
(As others are talking about the ScaleTrains Dash 9 right now the top one is a Dash 9 I wish they'd do).

Note too, that there are two sizes for many of the pics; the old size (60px) and the new size (120px). The new size are the ones that you'll want.

Please respect the authors wishes and only use them privately for yourself.

- Tim

... and congratulations to Bill for attaining 1000 posts  ;)

RailPro Discussion & Help / A new page on
« on: November 21, 2019, 06:56:34 AM »
I don't recall seeing this the last time I was on the RE website though I don't know how new it actually is, it could be a few weeks old and nobody else reported it (it's not particularly newsworthy).

TR has put up a page on the Direct Radio+Net component of RailPro (or more correctly why WiFi and Bluetooth were rejected for RP):

Nothing in there that we users don't already know but it does confirm that modules in a consist talk directly to each other. Try that DCC!

- Tim

RailPro Software Updates / RailPro Assistant 4.01 released.
« on: October 26, 2019, 11:14:53 PM »
RailPro Assistant 4.01 released.

Known changes since v3.21:

  • Filename renamed to RingEng Assistant.
  • Installer is now a self extracting archive, not a separate installer and downloaded package as before.
  • Username and password no longer needed to access RE file server.
  • All features now free. No longer required to pay for enabled features
  • Size of offline storage increased from 32 Megabytes to 128 Megabytes.
  • RailPro Assistant no longer uses port 80 *.

* While RailPro Assistant no longer uses port 80 preliminary tests indicate that it still uses a fixed port on the source (end user) side. Whether the server has been changed to respond to any source port or not remains to be tested. Update: See below.,930.msg7121.html#msg7121

Note: Any custom work (sounds, pictures, accessory projects, lighting effects) you had in any previous version of RailPro Assistant is not carried through to the new version. Correction. See next two posts below.

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / UDP Test tool updated - again
« on: September 28, 2019, 03:19:00 AM »
Recently I'd been playing around with development of the RailPro CGNat proxy (quite successfully too) more so because I'd like to see the project through as a personal accomplishment than anything else and I came to realise how bad the UDP test tool and associated test webpage were when it came to displaying test results. I never intended for users to try and self diagnose with the tools and the test results were probably to many people the same as it would be to me looking at a scientific journal - gibberish, but self diagnose is what people have tried to do.

To that end because there is no end in sight for the issue (been what, 9 months since TR finally admitted the problem was his with still no fix?) over the last couple of days I've been improving the test tool and the test webpage to give much more meaningful test results to anyone who uses the tools to self diagnose their connection problem if they can't connect to RE's file server. This is likely the last time I'll do any maintaining of the tools.

I've also updated the Running Tests and Getting to know the software threads accordingly. If your interested to see, the Running Tests thread has the screen shots of webpage and test tool test results for the PAT Test (formally known as Connection Test) , which is test results I improved.

- Tim

Forum Management / The Great Big For Sale thread clean out.
« on: September 04, 2019, 07:10:30 AM »
While moving a for sale post today I noticed that we have a few very old for sale posts still in the for sale thread. Due to their age and their inactivity the old for sale posts have been removed. This affects Kevin, Carter and Graham54.

The for sale posts are not permanently deleted yet and can be restored however we'll only hold the old posts for 7 days before making the deletion permanent. If your for sale post was still valid and you'd like it restored please let myself or Bill know by PM.

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Sound samples now online
« on: August 31, 2019, 10:17:59 AM »
Another one snuck through. Sound samples now available on Rings site:

Not everything is there yet by the looks of it (and reading the notes at the bottom) and apparently the full range (all notches) are not present in the samples but it should give you a very good indication without having to download the sound first. Yay!

- Tim

RailPro Software Updates / EMD 567-16 ULT Prime mover available
« on: July 03, 2019, 08:07:48 AM »
When did this sneak in?

Noticed today there is now an EMD 567-16 ULT prime mover file available.

- Tim

RailPro Software Updates / LM-3S, LM-3S-G revision 2.12 released
« on: June 14, 2019, 12:10:14 PM »
LM-3S-G v2.12 was released a week or so ago.

LM-3S v2.12 just released in the past couple of days.

No idea what fixes or new features are included.

Edit: From Rings website "These new programs add support for the unique Shay locomotive sound!", so there is also a new Shay sound out as well.

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / To RMA or to not RMA
« on: May 16, 2019, 04:30:18 AM »
Now dispensing with the Shakespearean references, for those that don't remember last year I had an issue with weird behavior with my HC-2b after updating to revision 2.08. Not long after that I had to pack the HC away, along with everything else for an impending house move.

Figuring it to be a software issue from the update and because it was packed away I decided to wait until the next software revision came out and try that first before contacting TR (due to the issues he has with me personally).  This was stupid I know as I completely forgot how long these updates take to come out but if you put yourself in my shoes you'll understand.

Well 2.09 came out the other day and upon seeing it I went and dug the HC out of storage and updated. Unfortunately I'm sorry to say the problem remains. I mustered up the courage and sent TR an email with a description of the problem. To my genuine surprise he answered about the problem and suggests it should be returned for fixing and didn't tell me to fob off or just ignore me, though there was no "Thanks for contacting..." in the reply.

So the likely issue I've been told is a crack in the display. I've not heard this before but apparently a crack in the display (as it's a touchscreen) can cause the ghost button presses and sometimes non responsive display that I experience.

What have peoples experiences with returning stuff to Ring for repair been like? Technically the HC is out of warranty now (by only a few months) even though the fault happened while under warranty (see, stupid >:( ).  I can get the screen from DigiKey ( easily enough and could probably replace it myself.

The other thing I don't know is if the screen would need calibration or not, and then there's the question of what if it isn't actually the screen. I've looked the screen up and down with a 20x magnifier and can not see a crack, not that doesn't mean there isn't one, I guess it could be hidden.

I'm at a bit of a crossroads with this, to post the HC to Ring will cost a bit unless I can get the weight down to under 500g (you thought USPS was bad on post charges!). Then there's what he'll charge for the repair if he deems it not a warranty issue, and then post back if he decides to charge for that to. Just buying the screen would likely cost a lot less.

Am I overthinking this or am I just going bonkers?

- Tim

RailPro Software Updates / HC-2 and HC-2b revision 2.09 released
« 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

After giving this some thought, I've decided to shelve the RailPro Internet Trainer and CGNAT Proxy Server project to work around the CGNAT issue. There are a few reasons for this, namely people must be happy they can not connect to and download from Ring Engineering as no "can not connect" people came forward to help test it; either that or TR has gotten everyone scared of me with the things he has said.

The other reasons are to be able to run the proxy 24/7 instead of a few hours per day I'd have to build a low power server (electricity is expensive) and I'm not willing to spend money on that if it won't get used; and as Rings server is only IP address based for connections instead of what it should be only one person can use the proxy at a time (as the proxy would only have a single IP address itself). I'd have to dream up some sort of "log in system" (which might mean a completely different proxy mechanism) so not more than one user could use it at the same time, which is likely a much bigger headache to write than it sounds.

Although I invested quite a bit of time writing the trainer software and working out a rough but usable proxy it was fun to do it and see that it worked, so it does leave me sorry not to continue with it but the low power server and the "log in system" are not something I see as surmountable at this time.

Hopefully for everyone what should have been for TR a "10 minute" job to fix the RP software and server will get fixed sometime this year!

- Tim

This topic has been moved to RailPro Discussion & Help.

Reason: RailPro help enquiry, not a RailPro installation

RailPro Discussion & Help / Wanted: One CGNAT user...
« on: February 14, 2019, 09:35:51 AM »
Wanted: One CGNat user who would like to test a CGNat workaround.

As Ring is being somewhat slow on fixing the CGNat issue I'm working on a potential workaround, which so far in my testing has worked very well. As I don't have the CGNat issue myself I need a user with the issue who would like to test the workaround.

To be the chosen tester:
  • You need to be able to run the workaround software as administrator.
  • You should know how to turn off / disable your antivirus if needed (the software could trigger a "false positive" for dangerous behavior).
  • You will need to be available at a time that suits me to run the test (sorry, that's just how it is). I can not leave the proxy/relay that's used for the workaround running continuously while absent / asleep etc and for reasons I have not worked out yet the proxy/relay needs to be reset each time a RP program establishes a new connection to it.

My times would be Saturday and Sunday mid afternoon to mid evening (that's about 3pm to about 8pm).

If you can be available at a specific time during those times (I won't just sit around and wait for you to show up at "sometime") I'd love to hear from you. For your reference US time zone conversion below.
  • EST is 16 hours behind me.
  • CST is 17 hours behind me.
  • MST is 18 hours behind me.
  • PST is 19 hours behind me.

If this post sounds like a horrible employment advertisment, it's not meant to.

- Tim

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