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Messages - G8B4Life

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RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: Frog Juicers compatible with RailPro?
« on: January 30, 2016, 09:46:56 AM »
The "DCC only" part for the waveform could be on the track side; it might not be able to detect and switch properly if it see's a constant +v or a constant 0v. The power supply side get's rectified as soon as it enters the board (all those components don't work on AC) so the PWR-56 should work on powering it up. Whether it would switch frog power correctly though who knows.

Edit: On the bottom of Tams website it says this.

"Will DC damage the frog juicer?  No- although they will not power the frogs, they will not be damaged by DC so feel free to run your layout in DC mode with the frog juicers attached." which gives some weight to the above theory, or similar theory anyway.

What switch machines are you using Joel? Although you said "Tortoise like" Tortoise can apparently switch frog polarity.

As to what else is out there, well all I can really say is research research research, because I don't know. I have one of these. Mine is an older version of A004 set (without DCC the set would be A002). These are of course complete turnout control sets but they are made for DC in the first instance.

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: Battery replacement
« on: January 28, 2016, 08:58:22 AM »
I seem to recall that the controller uses temperature to work out when the batteries are fully charged, hence the instructions on the temperature range for charging and why not to put the controller on anything that generates heat when charging.

I'm at a bit of a loss on the description of a power supply and then fitting replacement batteries. Did you only have this supply attached while you fitted the new batteries? I can't think of a reason to do this. I'm pretty sure the HC1 and 2 don't have anything stored in volatile memory except for what you might be immediately doing, such as turning the throttle, blowing the horn, Everything configuration wise should be saved in non volatile memory. Pictures of what you've done would definitely help.

As to the batteries, I imagine the brand and capacity is largely up to what Ring has on hand on any particular day, the batteries in my HC2 are Rayovac 2500mA. Better quality batteries which the Panasonic Eneloop might be (only seen 2500mA, not 2550mA) probably won't give you any more run time as such but should help make them last for more recharges.

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / New products coming from Ring Engineering
« on: January 20, 2016, 07:35:03 PM »
For those that have not seen this, Ring has updated the "What's new" page. Completed and awaiting production is a computer interface and another project not named.

The interface could be very interesting.

- Tim

General Discussion / Re: New Auzzie Member
« on: January 13, 2016, 07:43:47 AM »
Hi Graham,

Welcome to the forum. I think I have seen posts of yours before (the name Graham rings a bell) questioning RailPro possibly over on Railpage. If it was you then I wondered if you would eventually show up here.

Anyway, I'm almost as far south of you as one can get without leaving the mainland, down in Victoria. I think we might be the only 2 RailPro users in the country.

Hard luck on 2 failed controllers, and disappointing that the warranty wasn't honoured the second time. I don't think anyone here's heard of a failed screen before though.

- Tim

RailPro Installations / Re: Jacob's RailPro YouTube Videos
« on: January 01, 2016, 08:03:41 PM »
I have sound, both within this page and viewing directly on YouTube.

Al, the sound in the video isn't very loud so if your volume is set low it might sound like there's no sound. Just a thought.

- Tim

General Discussion / Re: Finally did it.
« on: December 30, 2015, 08:09:06 AM »
I don't know how much weight a rubber protector would add, probably negligible but it certainly would increase the size! It's been a while since I had the HC-2 open but it might also be possible to add an adjustable wrist strap, similar to the ones controllers for some gaming consoles come with. Any such modifications would most likely void the warranty though.

- Tim

I have a rubberized "otter box" protector for my cell phone that has proved it's worth many times over. Maybe in the future such a rubberized protector for the HC-2 might become available. It would certainly add more weight to the controller which might be a detriment. 


RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: iphone4s speakers [recovered topic]
« on: December 22, 2015, 05:27:34 AM »
Thanks Mel,

I'll get some foam tape and see if it helps. I'll also try looking at the levels of the audio file as I said.

For everyone else that didn't get to read my post before it got accidentally deleted with the thread, I installed some iPhone speakers into a couple of installs. Being in a hurry to get this done so I could trial/show off RailPro the next day I simply left them on the weight. I possibly taped them down with Kapton (I'll have to open them up to see). Now, when I use the horn there is a lot of resonance which causes a very audible vibration to the body shell. Never having had anything with sound in it before I was wondering if anyone else has had such resonance (RailPro or not) and what different things they have down to circumvent it.

- Tim

Thanks everyone.

I don't own one of those helping hands devices, many I've seen are not that great quality and I've used them with little success on other projects at work; however I do like Mel's idea of the hair clips with the heatshrink for grip, this would overcome the problem of not so great quality alligator clips not being able to hold the thin wire we use. Looks like I'll be hunting for a quality set of helping hands and a few other supplies.

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Soldering techniques for hardwiring installs
« on: December 17, 2015, 07:10:13 AM »
Just wondering what techniques / ideas others have for soldering wires to each other when hardwiring an install. Specifically, I really hate trying to join two wires end-on (eg, pick up wires); and then adding the harness wire as well. Please note miniature connectors aren't really an option.

Previously (back when I installed some DCC decoders) I tried having a small piece of vero board and soldering to the traces on that which worked ok but even that is no good anymore expect for a few certain wide body loco's now that I'm using sound.

Any good techniques / ideas / tips anyone?

- Tim

General Discussion / Re: Forum Suggestions
« on: November 29, 2015, 12:39:31 AM »
This is one of those things that has points for both arguments, for instance, the same as Robert had said, if Jacob (from memory) hadn't bought RailPro up on the Free-mo (which uses DCC, not RailPro) Yahoo! group then I doubt I'd know about it and I'd still be sitting around thinking what better things I could be doing with my life than trying to co-exist with DCC

I think if one can prove to themselves that what they want to post is not a competing system and they want to tell everyone so they can convert too but is an enhancement to RailPro use and enjoyment that's not from Ring Engineering then that should be ok given it's own section and rules. In reality it is probably not as simple as that but it is worth considering. I don't know if control panels would fit the rules but there are topics already and most likely in the future that do fit.

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: First install and impressions
« on: November 23, 2015, 07:57:29 AM »

I wasn't advocating that the handheld controller should be able to be charged from the USB so my apologies if I didn't make that clear. In theory it might be possible from a USB 3 port (USB 1 and 2 probably not). With reference to the output of the batteries below I don't know why the charger is 6v and not 5v but I'm no genius when it comes to charging physics.

But powering from the USB so you don't use the batteries while downloading etc, the three batteries in the controller only put out 3.6v so USB can provide the voltage, the only thing we don't know is the current draw but I suspect it shouldn't be near the 500mA that even a USB 1 or 2 port can provide.  I really don't want to go out on a limb here but I'm guessing it just wasn't  important enough to design the circuitry in.

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: First install and impressions
« on: November 22, 2015, 08:10:06 AM »
Hi Bill,

I actually did that whole discharge and charge cycle a month or two ago. Maybe I need to do it again however the indicator bar wasn't the

I made sure the HC-2 was charged, then I proceeded to download a couple of files (prime mover), which of course took ages and ages, and the
battery kept on going down. I then uploaded the files to an LM-2S and deleted old files from the LM-2S (more time!). I then downloaded another file and went to upload that to the next LM-2S and bang, the message across the screen of the HC-2 - "Battery too low".
There was some use between the downloads and uploads but nothing drastic, changing some buttons etc.

The software that worked out to display this message is probably tied to or the same as that runs the indicator bar so it might have relation to the indicator bar problem. I had two or three bars left when it gave me the message.

Still, performance wise, three downloads, two uploads and I think three deletions and the batteries are basically dead. Not real great hence my saying these things need to be designed not to use the batteries when another power source is plugged in, that being either the charger or the USB connection (if possible, I think it would need a high power port).

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / First install and impressions
« on: November 22, 2015, 04:52:58 AM »
Well, the procrastination came to an end last Friday, I've owned RailPro since January but I finally got the first 2 modules installed into something useful (but not what I had actually wanted to get them installed in all this time). Nothing like the potential opportunity to try it on a layout, which I did (but only as a 5 minute test unfortunately), to light a fire under one's self.

So from that test and the install I've learned a few things:

RailPro is everything it's cracked up to be, and other than the hardwire install setting everything up was a piece of cake.

Hardwiring today's models can be a real pita, and I really hate joining decoder wire end on end.

The next version of the handheld controller needs to be powered from the USB when it's plugged into the computer. Most, if not all computers and hubs have at least one high power USB port. The battery life just isn't good enough for the speed of Ring's "downloads".

The next version of the hand held controller certainly needs to be able to be used while it's charging; any current day personal electronic devices of the complexity of the HC-2 can already do so.

The software needs a complete rewrite and update to the latest FTDI drivers (seriously who is still using Windows 2000?).

All in all though I'm happy and impressed as much as I thought I'd be back when I purchased it. Now I have to get more 9 pin to bare end harnesses, more modules ...and a layout to run on.

- Tim

Welcome Ian,

Yes, too late to be counted for the proposal but certainly not too late to continue having fun with RailPro.

From the video and the account given by Bill you guys had a great time having relaxed fun, and I rekon RailPro had a part to play in that.

Your in the prime position for RailPro, no existing control system that you've already bought and about to start wiring plus you've been able to use it hands on so jump straight in and ask any questions and whatnot, we're here to help.

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: Long Term Prospects of RailPro
« on: November 05, 2015, 08:59:21 PM »
Hi dfisher71 (sorry, we don't know your first name yet),

Welcome to the user group.

Ring Engineering has been around for 11 years, his RailPro system I don't know how much of that but it is in it's second generation so I don't think Ring is going anywhere soon. I can understand you being hesitant, heck I'm probably one of only two people in this country using Railpro so I'm even more stuck if things went bad, but after reading everything I could and watching Kevin's videos (another shameless plug) I still jumped straight in; I saw the benefits outweighed the risks in spades.

As for market share, well yes that isn't in our favour right now, but the more users we and the more we get it out there in the public and modellers eyes get the stronger our position will be.

Designing your layout for RailPro wouldn't really be any different than designing your layout for DCC or even DC. The track wiring should be virtually the same for RailPro, DCC or DC. If you ever had to change systems then adding anything extra that another system might need should be fairly simple if the layout design is well thought out.

- Tim

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