Author Topic: RailPro with ProtoThrottle  (Read 1117 times)

Alan

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RailPro with ProtoThrottle
« on: April 21, 2020, 08:49:21 PM »

A question I do have on RailPro, if you are running on DCC with the RailPro modules does the RP load sharing still work, or does DCC take over the "speed table"?

-Andrew

If you are on a DCC layout and using HC1 and only RP locos in consist then yes, RP load sharing works. If you are using a DCC controller or there are DCC locos in the consist then no, load sharing does not work. 
Alan

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When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

Smoke

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Re: RailPro with ProtoThrottle
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2020, 07:35:41 PM »
Thanks for the concise info Alan.

So if I wanted to buy all the components (And spend allot of money in the process), I could use RailPro modules and run with RailPro, and then use the Proto throttle on the DCC side of it as well (albeit a stripped version of the . Would be expensive and I would have two full control systems, but it would allow me to use a proto throttle with Railpro, albeit a DCC-limited Railpro.  ;D
-Andrew

Alan

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Re: RailPro with ProtoThrottle
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2020, 09:27:28 PM »
So if I wanted to buy all the components (And spend allot of money in the process), I could use RailPro modules and run with RailPro, and then use the Proto throttle on the DCC side of it as well (albeit a stripped version of the . Would be expensive and I would have two full control systems, but it would allow me to use a proto throttle with Railpro, albeit a DCC-limited Railpro.  ;D

Yep. But not quite 2 full control systems. You could dispense with the RP power supply. DCC power supply / command station will run the layout in either mode. And you don't need to buy DCC throttles. Still, a pricey route. What you doing with your stimulus check?  ;D
Alan

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When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

Smoke

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Re: RailPro with ProtoThrottle
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2020, 11:58:55 AM »
So if I wanted to buy all the components (And spend allot of money in the process), I could use RailPro modules and run with RailPro, and then use the Proto throttle on the DCC side of it as well (albeit a stripped version of the . Would be expensive and I would have two full control systems, but it would allow me to use a proto throttle with Railpro, albeit a DCC-limited Railpro.  ;D

Yep. But not quite 2 full control systems. You could dispense with the RP power supply. DCC power supply / command station will run the layout in either mode. And you don't need to buy DCC throttles. Still, a pricey route. What you doing with your stimulus check?  ;D

Yeah, that is a good point and I would only need the DCC power supply/command station.


I did some additional research on using the Proto Throttle, and it appears you can use it without a full DCC system. I have inquired with ISE to see if that is really true or not, or an error in their documentation. I will post what I find in the Proto Throttle thread once I hear back.


My stimulus check is reserved for buying a washer/dryer/refrigerator for the new house. :) Once we get moved in the layout will begin, so I do have some time to figure out the approach I want to take with RailPro and the Proto Throttle.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 12:13:10 PM by Smoke »
-Andrew

William Brillinger

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Re: RailPro with ProtoThrottle
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2020, 01:02:48 PM »
Quote
I do have some time to figure out the approach I want to take with RailPro and the Proto Throttle.

Call Tim Ring at Ring Engineering and tell him you want to have an interface for the ProtoThrottle. It can be done. The PT software is all opensource - he just needs to build software that would connect it to the CI-1.
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Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


KPack

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Re: RailPro with ProtoThrottle
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2020, 11:35:53 PM »
Quote
I do have some time to figure out the approach I want to take with RailPro and the Proto Throttle.

Call Tim Ring at Ring Engineering and tell him you want to have an interface for the ProtoThrottle. It can be done. The PT software is all opensource - he just needs to build software that would connect it to the CI-1.

Now that is interesting.  Though I suggest we move further discussion to the Protothrottle thread so we don't clutter up the intro thread too much.

G8B4Life

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Re: RailPro with ProtoThrottle
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2020, 12:42:23 AM »
Mod note: Split off from Introduce Yourself thread to keep things tidy.

G8B4Life

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Re: RailPro with ProtoThrottle
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2020, 01:12:16 AM »
I did some additional research on using the Proto Throttle, and it appears you can use it without a full DCC system. I have inquired with ISE to see if that is really true or not, or an error in their documentation. I will post what I find in the Proto Throttle thread once I hear back.

It depends on what's meant by full. What you read probably means is that you don't need the DCC system's native throttles and associated throttle bus / throttle radio system; you do need the command station; and the ProtoThrottle receiver for the brand of command station that you have.

Call Tim Ring at Ring Engineering and tell him you want to have an interface for the ProtoThrottle. It can be done. The PT software is all opensource - he just needs to build software that would connect it to the CI-1.

I think it might need a bit more hardware too; the receiver that would be specific to RailPro. I haven't opened up a CI-1 nor looked inside a HC-x for a long time but I don't think RailPro uses XBee which is what ProtoThrottle uses for wireless comms. That said a Raspberry Pi with an XBee module, a CI-1 and the conversion code running on the Pi could make for a cheap receiver instead of those purpose built units that ISE sells.

- Tim

Smoke

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Re: RailPro with ProtoThrottle
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2020, 12:14:43 PM »
I contacted ISE to inquire about using the Proto Throttle without a DCC station, and you DO need one.  Some documentation made it seem like you could just use JMRI, but that is not the case.

I emailed Mr. Ring about the possibility of using Proto Throttle with RP in the future, we will see what he says. It would be really nice to be able to have the added interface that the proto throttle has, even though i'm sure most RP users wouldn't use it.

Something I am looking into is the ability to use the Proto Throttle with DCC++, which would be a cheap way to have a DCC system to run the proto throttle. I don't know much about DCC or DCC++ yet, but I guess I'll have to start learning to use the proto throttle. In any case, having native proto throttle support from Railpro would be the best, but I don't think it will happen any time soon (if ever).
« Last Edit: April 26, 2020, 12:20:19 PM by Smoke »
-Andrew

Alan

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Re: RailPro with ProtoThrottle
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2020, 12:58:35 PM »
It would be interesting to know how many Protothrottles have been sold to date. Anybody know?
Alan

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When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

William Brillinger

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Re: RailPro with ProtoThrottle
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2020, 03:58:30 PM »
More than a hundred...  :D

Sorry I couldn't resist. That's an in joke from the AML.

I think they are somewhere around 500 units now.
If it would interface with RailPro, I'd have at least two.
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G8B4Life

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Re: RailPro with ProtoThrottle
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2020, 10:05:20 PM »
Hmm, I already split the existing RailPro and ProtoThrottle conversation from "Introduce Yourself" to it's own thread and now we've ended up in the old ProtoThrottle thread. Oh well.

I emailed Mr. Ring about the possibility of using ProtoThrottle with RP in the future, we will see what he says.

Our own TomO, who it appears to be, did that a while ago. The response looks like it wasn't "very favourable". From the second post on this thread: http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=52367.

Quote
I was running Dead Rail with batteries in a dummy and using the RailPro controller and decoders. But, I left it. I wanted to buy a ProtoThrottle and RailPro was not interested in working with the ProtoThrottle.

- Tim

Smoke

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Re: RailPro with ProtoThrottle
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2020, 09:53:08 AM »
Hmm, I already split the existing RailPro and ProtoThrottle conversation from "Introduce Yourself" to it's own thread and now we've ended up in the old ProtoThrottle thread. Oh well.

That's my fault, I saw you split it and then when I went to post again I thought you had moved it to the already existing PT thread. :-[ Feel free to move it again, I'll pay more attention this time.  :)

I emailed Mr. Ring about the possibility of using ProtoThrottle with RP in the future, we will see what he says.

Our own TomO, who it appears to be, did that a while ago. The response looks like it wasn't "very favourable". From the second post on this thread: http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=52367.

Quote
I was running Dead Rail with batteries in a dummy and using the RailPro controller and decoders. But, I left it. I wanted to buy a ProtoThrottle and RailPro was not interested in working with the ProtoThrottle.

- Tim

If enough people ask for it, it would make sense for Mr. Ring to at least consider adding in the functionality. We may never reach the interest level in the community, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

To me, I see two options for development of using RP with the PT:
1. Ring releases the communication protocol and ISE develops a PT that will work. I don't see this happening.
2. Ring develops the hardware and software required to interface with the PT. I see this as a viable option as the proprietary information does not have to be shared externally, and everything can still be updated as usual. I am sure that Mr. Ring would have the knowledge on how to interface with the PT, but it may not be something he is ever interested in. I did notice on the RP DCC page that the radio consisting with load sharing is noted as "maybe a future program update", so maybe there is hope that it will work with a PT at some point.
-Andrew

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Re: RailPro with ProtoThrottle
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2020, 10:55:48 AM »
That's my fault, I saw you split it and then when I went to post again I thought you had moved it to the already existing PT thread. :-[ Feel free to move it again, I'll pay more attention this time.  :)

All good, it happens sometimes. The other topic went off on a tangent on UX and UI so to try and keep all the RailPro with ProtoThrottle posts together I have split and merged the topics again,  this one can be for using RailPro with ProtoThrottle and the other we can leave as a general ProtoThrottle topic.

Quote
If enough people ask for it, it would make sense for Mr. Ring to at least consider adding in the functionality. We may never reach the interest level in the community, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

To me, I see two options for development of using RP with the PT:
1. Ring releases the communication protocol and ISE develops a PT that will work. I don't see this happening.
2. Ring develops the hardware and software required to interface with the PT. I see this as a viable option as the proprietary information does not have to be shared externally, and everything can still be updated as usual. I am sure that Mr. Ring would have the knowledge on how to interface with the PT, but it may not be something he is ever interested in. I did notice on the RP DCC page that the radio consisting with load sharing is noted as "maybe a future program update", so maybe there is hope that it will work with a PT at some point.

Sure, there certainly is no harm in asking and I wasn't trying to discourage you but over the years I've pretty much come to the conclusion TR isn't really interested in supporting the competition, ie DCC, when he goes to the length to almost trash talk it down and why he invented RailPro to overcome DCC's shortcomings. I think the DCC functionality we have now may have even been begrudgingly added (there's still a couple of flaws with it).

Now, I agree with No. 1, I don't see that happening. ISE could license the communication protocol (I saw that licensing was an option in and old RE document, forget where though) but I don't see happening either.

No. 2 is more doable but I wonder how it would work between them as ISE makes the adapter units for the command stations, not the command station manufacturers, not sure if ISE would give up that part. Even though ISE's code is open source I haven't looked at it so I don't know exactly how "open" it really is. The code for the PT itself might be open source but the code for the adapter might not be; again I haven't looked at it to see.

It will be interesting to see the response you get. TomO asked a couple of years ago from what I've gathered. Perhaps TR is more receptive to the idea now than back then. We'll soon see I suppose.

- Tim
« Last Edit: April 27, 2020, 10:57:37 AM by G8B4Life »

Smoke

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Re: RailPro with ProtoThrottle
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2020, 01:01:32 PM »

Sure, there certainly is no harm in asking and I wasn't trying to discourage you but over the years I've pretty much come to the conclusion TR isn't really interested in supporting the competition, ie DCC, when he goes to the length to almost trash talk it down and why he invented RailPro to overcome DCC's shortcomings. I think the DCC functionality we have now may have even been begrudgingly added (there's still a couple of flaws with it).

Now, I agree with No. 1, I don't see that happening. ISE could license the communication protocol (I saw that licensing was an option in and old RE document, forget where though) but I don't see happening either.

No. 2 is more doable but I wonder how it would work between them as ISE makes the adapter units for the command stations, not the command station manufacturers, not sure if ISE would give up that part. Even though ISE's code is open source I haven't looked at it so I don't know exactly how "open" it really is. The code for the PT itself might be open source but the code for the adapter might not be; again I haven't looked at it to see.

It will be interesting to see the response you get. TomO asked a couple of years ago from what I've gathered. Perhaps TR is more receptive to the idea now than back then. We'll soon see I suppose.

- Tim

I don't see the Proto Throttle as being the competition (DCC), but rather being something that could convert people to RailPro. It does run on DCC currently, but that is only because that is what the masses use. When I asked ISE about it, Nathan's response was that they can't develop anything for it because it is proprietary, but they get asked that question from time to time. I got the feeling that if they could develop something for it they would. I wonder if ISE contacted Ring to see about a solution for moving forward if TR would consider developing something. 


It would be interesting to know how many Protothrottles have been sold to date. Anybody know?

As of Oct 2018 they had sold 240 throttles (Mentioned at 20:45):
« Last Edit: April 27, 2020, 01:15:18 PM by Smoke »
-Andrew