Author Topic: Finally did it.  (Read 5722 times)

Josephbw

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 139
Finally did it.
« on: December 26, 2015, 02:19:25 PM »
I finally got to the point where I am almost ready to lay some track, so I placed my order today for the system and 3 decoders. I'll eventually need a lot more, but this will do for now.

I'm at the point of laying homasote now, so at least I can put some temporary track down and see it work. I have a long way to go, but then I don't have much other stuff to distract me, at least until we get some snow.  ;)

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and have a Great New Year.  ;D

nodcc4me

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 613
  • RailPro Fan
Re: Finally did it.
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2015, 04:25:36 PM »
Congrats on your move to RailPro. Temporary track will be a good starting point to learn the system.
Al

Run your train, not your brain. Get RailPro. It's a no-brainer.

William Brillinger

  • Dispatcher (Admin)
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1119
    • Precision Design Co.
Re: Finally did it.
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2015, 04:52:58 PM »
Fantastic! I hope you enjoy the system as much as I do!
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

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


Josephbw

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 139
Re: Finally did it.
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2015, 05:01:45 PM »
I'll give a first impression post after I get it.  ;D

Josephbw

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 139
Re: Finally did it.
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2015, 10:43:15 AM »
I was amazed that the order was delivered today at 11:30am, 2 days after I ordered it. NJ to western Ohio in 2 days, including Sunday. I was also amazed at the size of the HC, that may be problematic for me as I have a tendency to drop things that are slippery.  :-[

I'll get a decoder installed, and hook it up and continue the review later.

hirailer

  • Engineer
  • ***
  • Posts: 59
Re: Finally did it.
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2015, 03:18:53 PM »
Installing RailPro is pretty straight forward, simply follow the instructions in the manual. If you encounter any problems, let us know, we are here to help.

I have a tendency to drop things too, but in the two years I've had RailPro I haven't dropped the my HC-2 yet. Perhaps I handle this expensive controller a little more carefully than other  things. 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. 

Cheers
Mel

Having more fun with RailPro

William Brillinger

  • Dispatcher (Admin)
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1119
    • Precision Design Co.
Re: Finally did it.
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2015, 03:41:28 PM »
I don't find the HC's to be slippery, but I think a few strips of hockey style grip tape on the back would fix that.

- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

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


KPack

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 666
Re: Finally did it.
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2015, 06:33:28 PM »
When I'm not actively controlling with the controller it goes in my pocket or on the layout/fascia.  It's big yes, but I don't notice that anymore.  To me it now feels natural.

Hopefully your installs are quick and simple.  I just did another install last night that was a complete hardwire in a rather tight space (GP7u).  It took some time but works like a charm.  Love Railpro.

-Kevin

Josephbw

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 139
Re: Finally did it.
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2015, 10:37:16 AM »
Yesterday afternoon I installed one of my sound decoders in a Walthers RS-2. It was a tight fit, but I got it in there. Then last night I put another one in an Athearn SW1500 (new style), it was also tight, but went in. The RS-2 may have room for a speaker, but the SW1500 is going to be a real challenge.

Both of them run and the lights work. The only issue I had was the SW 1500 took a lot more power to respond. After tweaking the start voltage I was able to MU them together. Right now I only have a 15' test track down for trials. When I get to the 4th or 5th piece of flex track I sometimes get a "Low track voltage" caution. I used an eraser to clean the brand new rails, and the occurrences dropped by about 50%. The engines would continue to run either by themselves or MU'd. After checking the track voltage with a digital meter, I got the same reading on every piece of track. Is this a common issue?

I need to order some speakers and plug adapters, as I forgot when I ordered the system. Overall I'm very pleased with the system. It's going to be hard to go back to the club and operate with the Digitrax system we have there.  :(

KPack

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 666
Re: Finally did it.
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2015, 11:04:17 AM »
If the track isn't soldered together or feeders going to each rail then you may be experiencing momentary power loss between track sections.  The LM-2 modules can pick up the slightest drop in power and report it as a fault, even though it is not enough to cause a hiccup in running or sound.  Just because the fault comes up doesn't mean that the locomotives will stop working.  Think of it as a warning....or even a hint that there may be something you can improve: feeders to track, powered frogs, clean wheels, keeping wheels on the track, etc. 

For the speakers look into "sugar cube" speakers and make your own enclosure from styrene.  They are small enough that you could probably put fit one in either locomotive, maybe even up in the roof of the cab.

It's also normal for different locomotives and manufacturers to require different voltages to operate.  Athearn RTR and blue box usually require quite a bit to get them started.  Genesis can be the same.  Atlas and Kato usually require less.  My best running locomotives are Atlas and they require very little starting voltage to get them to creep.

-Kevin

William Brillinger

  • Dispatcher (Admin)
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1119
    • Precision Design Co.
Re: Finally did it.
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2015, 11:20:38 AM »
Quote
It's also normal for different locomotives and manufacturers to require different voltages to operate.  Athearn RTR and blue box usually require quite a bit to get them started.  Genesis can be the same.  Atlas and Kato usually require less.  My best running locomotives are Atlas and they require very little starting voltage to get them to creep.

That said, they should still MU properly without adjusting the start voltage as long as you did the Motor Full Load Current setup.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

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


KPack

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 666
Re: Finally did it.
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2015, 12:17:44 PM »
That said, they should still MU properly without adjusting the start voltage as long as you did the Motor Full Load Current setup.

That's correct.  The starting voltage is adjusted for individual locomotive operation, but won't affect MU capabilities.

-Kevin

Josephbw

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 139
Re: Finally did it.
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2015, 05:00:58 PM »
The Full Load test was the first thing I did with both engines, but the SW1500 required about 30+% throttle to get it to move, whereas the RS2 only required about 6%. I guess I'm going to have to check for binding in the drive train. It is a brand new engine though, as is the RS2, so maybe it just needs to be run in for a while. I guess I'll build a loop of track and turn it loose and see if it lessons the load.

As to the track, it was just 5 sections of flex track with joiners and clip cords to the power supply. But the thing that puzzles me is that the voltage didn't drop off more than .04V from the power supply to the end of the track. And it didn't matter whether I was running one engine or MU'd 2 of them.

BTW, both engines are current production models, not the old BB.

One other question, the IB says to use 16 ga wire for a bus. I'm going to have a large layout and will probably need 4 power supplies. 16 ga seems pretty light after using 12 ga for years at the club. Is there any problem with using 12 or 14 ga. wire for the bus line? Or is the current demand that much lower than what Digitrax requires?

Josephbw

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 139
Re: Finally did it.
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2015, 05:05:40 PM »
Just had a thought, I wonder if the multiple times that the system shut down in the beginning somehow erased the stats from the start up test.

Prostreetamx

  • Fireman
  • **
  • Posts: 27
  • Modern BNSF
Re: Finally did it.
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2015, 05:12:43 PM »


I need to order some speakers and plug adapters, as I forgot when I ordered the system. Overall I'm very pleased with the system. It's going to be hard to go back to the club and operate with the Digitrax system we have there.  :(


One big advantage of RailPro is that you can still use your engines on a DCC layout but non of the DCC stuff will work on yours. You will still need to bring your HC-2 though. You fellow club members will probably be jealous.
Modeling modern BNSF on 20x20 freelanced double deck layout under construction.