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Messages - G8B4Life

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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

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: How Many Notches (vs notching sound)
« on: November 05, 2015, 07:21:40 AM »
I think you might be right there Bill, bogged down not lower RPM, though the document I read did say lower.

I did find a video that demonstrates this bogging down with one of those 6-567 prime movers. It's noticeable at about 1:17 and quite noticeable at about 2:40, both when starting off.

Maybe this bogging down is not distinguishable enough for most loco's to be included in sound files so they make idle and notch 1 the same.

As for the up and down movement of the throttle well I can't say I've ever seen that. Different control stands perhaps?

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: How Many Notches (vs notching sound)
« on: November 05, 2015, 05:32:27 AM »
It will be interesting to see this video Bill. I was never a driver but have been in cabs a few times and I remember 8 power notches.

What I have read (from info on LokSound) and thinking about it I can pretty well confirm what was written, is that the prime mover RPM in notch one is actually lower than in idle as the prime mover loads with the generator. It's really noticeable with one of our loco's that had 6-567 and 6-645 engines fitted.

This might explain why the RailPro file, and all the LokSound files I tested only had 7 notches.


RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: DCC ready plug
« on: November 02, 2015, 10:47:39 PM »
While replying to Bob I remembered a question I had asked Tim Ring once, and got a "you can get an adapter harness" reply, which really is of no help given the circumstances. Not that I hold Tim Ring in any less regard for that comment, he simply wouldn't know.

I basically have to hardwire everything and make modifications to weights/ frames for what I model. No Australian prototype model has ever been made with a 9 pin JST in it. Everything has been designed for 8 pin directly on board (ie, no harness) decoders, and now the latest craze being built into our models is the 21 pin MTC.

What I had asked Tim was if he was going to consider other form factors for the plug, which lead to the adapter harness reply. I know the 9 pin JST is not going away anytime soon but given the advances in the hobby (somewhat stalled last time I looked) with tighter form factors such as 21 MTC, and PLuX 8/16/22 is the 9 pin JST going to end up a headache for us, with us having to hardwire everything or try and fit adapter harnesses in if we don't embrace what's coming? Thoughts?

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: DCC ready plug
« on: November 02, 2015, 10:11:43 PM »
Don't worry Bob, ask away; we're here to help.

The LM-2  (and LM-2S and the old LM-1) plugs directly onto the 9 pin JST connector. I don't have a loco with the 9 pin built in on board so I can't provide a photo.

There is a 6 pin JST on the module as well but this is for function output and input and (LM-2S only) the speaker output. The 6 pin harness is included with the LM-2S but must be purchased separately for the LM-2. The 6 pin is not needed to use the loco module unless you want to use functions (I think) 5 and 6, the inputs (which don't have a use yet) or the speaker output.

- Tim


Although I voted some time ago I just reread the document.

Given that there was some confusion over the word cancelled I wonder if it might pay to change the word cancelled to overridden in the combined auto & manual notching part before submission to Ring.

- Tim

RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: current version
« on: October 14, 2015, 06:37:12 AM »
Ok, I just did the (usual) very slow download from Ring and updated the program. It's still version 1.03e.


RailPro Discussion & Help / Re: current version
« on: October 14, 2015, 05:32:08 AM »
I also have 1.03e, which was downloaded when it was made available on Ring's website. I've not seen any notice of further updates.

It would be nice for Tim Ring to put the version number up on the website, or even as part of the filename. I guess the only way to tell would be to download the software package and either try installing it or compare the file info against the known 1.03e download package.


General Discussion / Re: Getting the word out
« on: October 10, 2015, 11:02:01 PM »
That sounds good to me Bill.

With MRH's wide reader base and the move to a forum instead of a Yahoo! Group hopefully we can attract more current and potential users.


RailPro Installations / Re: Railpro installation video
« on: October 09, 2015, 09:43:33 AM »
Oh don't be modest Kevin, A videographer maybe not but a great salesman most definitely  ;D

I think you should post here your RailPro review video as well, and it be made sticky. It was the only video I needed to watch to take the plunge. Much better than the official videos IMHO.


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