Author Topic: Improvements to the Hand Held Throttles  (Read 6942 times)

G8B4Life

  • Signalman (Global Mod)
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1119
  • I'll think of a catchy tag line one day
Re: Improvements to the Hand Held Throttles
« Reply #60 on: August 14, 2021, 11:08:11 AM »
I thought that the ease of setting up a consist was supposed to be major advantage for RailPro compared to DCC!

It was and still is, the problem is dealing with it when you want to change it. There is no way to just subtract one unit, or swap ends (the load sharing works best when the lead unit is actually in the lead) without breaking the whole consist apart and rebuilding it. Note, that DCC isn't any better in that regard as far as I know.

I also wonder at times how much time TR has (does he do something else besides RE?). Things seem to move at a glacial pace. I've covered his server before so I won't go into it again here.

RailPro is not ahead of the competition anymore as far as I'm concerned, overall on par I'd say. For the most part we still have the lead in technology, the other side has the lead in the user experience. We can fix the ux, but I think it will be an uphill battle. I am eagerly awaiting Lee to come back and post the comments from TR.

Bill, I understand the reason, what I'm saying is the risk outweighed by the convenience? Ok, so you've locked the screen so visitors can't get out of the control screen easily so now you can't exit out to estop the train, or does the lock not affect the on/off/main page button? 

Also, unless I'm misunderstanding you the indicator on the top line only indicates if RF communication is present or not, it does not indicate any of the other faults.

- Tim

William Brillinger

  • Dispatcher (Admin)
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1272
    • Precision Design Co.
Re: Improvements to the Hand Held Throttles
« Reply #61 on: August 14, 2021, 11:41:26 AM »
Quote
Ok, so you've locked the screen so visitors can't get out of the control screen easily so now you can't exit out to estop the train, or does the lock not affect the on/off/main page button?

Nothing should block access to the estop button or the power button on the HC.
Again, Status could be combined with the round info button.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


Gibs

  • Engineer
  • ***
  • Posts: 66
Re: Improvements to the Hand Held Throttles
« Reply #62 on: August 14, 2021, 04:23:23 PM »
My two cents worth.
No removal of loco image, rather two seperate modes of operations for the HC.
The way I see it working the best is in a new model of the HC. HC-3, on this version you would install a small slide switch in the all new battery access area to select either Setup Mode or Operations Mode.
Now you get a dedicated screen layout for Ops that is user customisable. There can also be either a physical big red E-Button or a Virtual one depending on the community preferred option.

End of two and five cents worth. 😊
Cya Down The Line.

ron045

  • Engineer
  • ***
  • Posts: 70
Re: Improvements to the Hand Held Throttles
« Reply #63 on: August 15, 2021, 07:03:51 AM »
While more customizable buttons are a plus, I don't want a bed of completely blank buttons for every new install.  I like having a standard set up to run outta the box.  Then allow me to add/delete/move.

What might be handy is some kind of button setup replicator.  After you get diesel #1 setup with all the sounds, lights and buttons you want.  Then duplicate that setup for Diesel engine #2 so you do not have to reprogram all the buttons from scratch.

I don't understand all the comments about lanyards.  Mine came with one.  Did I just get lucky?
Ron

IMG_20210815_074641882.jpgIMG_20210815_074636420.jpg

Mike3326

  • Brakeman
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Improvements to the Hand Held Throttles
« Reply #64 on: August 24, 2021, 11:53:57 PM »
I agree with the lanyard idea / option. Another suggestion would be to increase the range on the HC-2 (as someone else mentioned before). I run into problems with range on a 70í layout (length). My batteries die pretty fast in my HC-2, so being able to switch them out would be beneficial or operate then HC-2 while plugged in. Along with improvements to the HC-2, it would be nice to be able to connect smoke units to the module and run it from the HC-2.  Thatís all I have.  I love the system as itís easier to operate than my original NCE pro-cab.

William Brillinger

  • Dispatcher (Admin)
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1272
    • Precision Design Co.
Re: Improvements to the Hand Held Throttles
« Reply #65 on: August 25, 2021, 06:13:53 AM »
Quote
I run into problems with range on a 70í layout (length).

The PWR-56 can be configured as a repeater, but you have to enable it.

Quote
My batteries die pretty fast in my HC-2, so being able to switch them out would be beneficial or operate then HC-2 while plugged in.

The indicator goes to Red? or the indicator shows the battery is low?

Most people get 8 or more hours of actual run time from the HC regardless of what the indicator says.
If the indicator is not showing RED then you probably have a lot more run time than you think and the battery meter is out of sync.

If your HC is older and actually needs replacement batteries, contact Ring and they will change them for you. When I did this, there was no charge for the service.
Ring can also install a lanyard kit for you at the same time.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


William Brillinger

  • Dispatcher (Admin)
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1272
    • Precision Design Co.
Re: Improvements to the Hand Held Throttles
« Reply #66 on: August 25, 2021, 06:17:12 AM »
Quote
While more customizable buttons are a plus, I don't want a bed of completely blank buttons for every new install.  I like having a standard set up to run outta the box.  Then allow me to add/delete/move.

Unused buttons on the HC do not show. You wouldn't see any blank buttons.
The standard button setup out of the box would not change.
Add or delete as you desire is what I am proposing, but on a more flexible button layout.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


G8B4Life

  • Signalman (Global Mod)
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1119
  • I'll think of a catchy tag line one day
Re: Improvements to the Hand Held Throttles
« Reply #67 on: August 25, 2021, 08:38:52 AM »
If your HC is older and actually needs replacement batteries, contact Ring and they will change them for you. When I did this, there was no charge for the service.

But who paid the freight there and back Bill? I would be very surprised if Ring covered that.

- Tim

William Brillinger

  • Dispatcher (Admin)
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1272
    • Precision Design Co.
Re: Improvements to the Hand Held Throttles
« Reply #68 on: August 25, 2021, 11:25:48 AM »
Quote
But who paid the freight there and back Bill? I would be very surprised if Ring covered that.

I'm not saying you shouldn't replace the batteries, or that the process shouldn't be easier but at least Ring took care of it.
I paid shipping one way.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.


faithie999

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 136
Re: Improvements to the Hand Held Throttles
« Reply #69 on: August 25, 2021, 06:06:24 PM »
it is probably heresy to recommend changing your own batteries, but I've done it a couple of times.  the only glitch is that Ring designed 4 stand-offs that properly position the screen in the enclosure.  the standoffs are not attached to anything, so they will fall out when you take the HC apart.  then after changing the batteries, you position the standoffs in the bottom half of the enclosure, position the screen properly on top of them, then put the front half of the enclosure on and put the screws back in.  when I replaced the batteries, I used the highest-capacity Everyready rechargeables I could find. IIRC they were 2800 maHours.

ON28

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 220
Re: Improvements to the Hand Held Throttles
« Reply #70 on: August 29, 2021, 05:56:19 PM »
How about enabling the HC for video? Seriously, I had a vision (!) today of putting a camera in-engine, and seeing the output on the HC in real time. Lionel tried this decades ago but the tech is far better today. Actually, I'm surprised no one's done this with a phone.

gcarter1945

  • Fireman
  • **
  • Posts: 31
Re: Improvements to the Hand Held Throttles
« Reply #71 on: September 04, 2021, 05:08:38 PM »
My 2 pennies worth on the subject...

I would like to see a slider switch on the body of the HC that would select the operations mode or the set-up mode, and, possibly the accessories mode (although I don't have any accessories and/or turnouts to control); thus alleviating the bummer of accidentally switching to a screen that you don't want at the most inopportune time.  You could still have the option of setting up the buttons on the screen you choose whether that be 4, 8, 12, or 16 buttons per screen  even if more that 8 were spread among two or more pages.  The placing of the slider should be in an ergonomic sensible location.

For what its worth, I like the loco picture on the main screen.  It would be a boon if there was a graphics conversion element to the RailPro Assistant program so one could modify a photo and see what it would look like on the HC before going to the trouble of having to load it onto the HC/LM first.

Geoff
Too soon old, too late smart.
Too soon old, too late smart.

Gibs

  • Engineer
  • ***
  • Posts: 66
Re: Improvements to the Hand Held Throttles
« Reply #72 on: September 04, 2021, 07:19:25 PM »
Geoff
That's how I see it being done as well, as I made mention before up above, a Main HC that does it all, the HC-3. But I also had a thought later on, what if there was also a new HC just for Operator's, the HC-3O (Operator ONLY) like you sorta get with the small Digitrax controller. All this smaller version can do is Operate any loco that the operator needs too from the Loco list. Heck it can even be of the " Hammer" design with a slightly smaller screen in the Head of the Hammer. It could also have a lanyard point and be USB chargeable and have a E-Stop Button (nice big red one).

10cents worth now.
Cya Down The Line.

G8B4Life

  • Signalman (Global Mod)
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1119
  • I'll think of a catchy tag line one day
Re: Improvements to the Hand Held Throttles
« Reply #73 on: September 04, 2021, 11:33:19 PM »
For what its worth, I like the loco picture on the main screen.  It would be a boon if there was a graphics conversion element to the RailPro Assistant program so one could modify a photo and see what it would look like on the HC before going to the trouble of having to load it onto the HC/LM first.

You are aware that RPA does let you preview the loco picture you create? Not previewed with all the HC stuff around it but still a preview.

...But I also had a thought later on, what if there was also a new HC just for Operator's, the HC-3O (Operator ONLY) like you sorta get with the small Digitrax controller.

The problem with a "smaller" operator only HC is that it'd still cost about the same as the full fledged HC as it'd require all the same components (just in different sizes) to work; it'd still require a case, it'd still require a knob, it'd still require a touchscreen (not as expensive as you'd think) and it'd still require the same brains. I honestly couldn't see anyone buying them when the cost would be about the same as the full fledged HC.

- Tim

William Brillinger

  • Dispatcher (Admin)
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1272
    • Precision Design Co.
Re: Improvements to the Hand Held Throttles
« Reply #74 on: September 05, 2021, 06:39:43 AM »
Quote
Not previewed with all the HC stuff around it but still a preview.

This is something that I could incorporate into the bitmap builder.
One day when my programmer needs something to do, I think we'll make this happen.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

Modeling the BNML in HO Scale, owner of Precision Design Co., and RailPro Dealer.