Author Topic: News from Ring  (Read 1669 times)

Antoine L.

  • Engineer
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
News from Ring
« on: January 19, 2016, 01:48:52 PM »

I wanted to share information I received from Ring engineering after writing a small email to them. They answered within 3 hours.


Hi Antoine,

Thanks for the complement!

Digital electronics are more sedative to older DC locos.  We included information below that can help you both understand and improve your locos performance.  We do have a keep alive project under development but it would be best find and address the actual cause of the problem.  i.e bad connection from the wheels to the LM-2.

We just updated our Whats New.  We have been very busy. 
Working on two new longer development RailPro projects.
 CI-1 computer interface is complete and expect to be in production soon!
 Another exciting RailPro product has been completed also and expect to be introduced and in production soon!
 Have acquired all new circuit board assembly line to keep up with our constantly growing needs to produce circuit boards for our products.
Converting non-DCC Ready Locomotives to RailPro
Almost any locomotive can be converted to RailPro.  Older DC only locomotives (ones that have no DCC plug) can be converted to RailPro by using the RailPro locomotive wiring diagram and wiring in a 9 pin DCC wiring harness to plug the RailPro module into.  When converting DC locomotives to RailPro you need to look out for motors or lights that are connected to the frame.  The motor and lights will need to isolated from the frame because often the frame is connected to the track electrical pickup (thought the wheels on one side) and if these connections are not disconnected, the RailPro locomotive module could be damaged. 
Beside that you should consider that running a locomotive with a module (microcontroller inside - like RailPro or a DCC module) the electrical connection to the track needs to be good.  If the power is interrupted for even a short time the microcontrollers stop to function and need a 1/2 second or so to restart.  This is not really the case with a DC loco that only has a motor.  If the power is interrupted briefly, the motor slows down but may continue to spin.  For example if the wheels and track are dirty, then you get interruptions in power which a DC locomotive may coast through but a locomotive with microcontroller inside may stop and restart.   So to get good operation from an older locomotive you may need to make some improvements to the electrical pickup. This need for better connection is basically the same for the typical DCC module or a RailPro module.  In fact, most of our customers tell us that when they run their RailPro locomotives on DCC layouts, that the RailPro modules go over dirty track better than their DCC equipped locomotives. Because good electrical connection is needed for locomotives with microcontrollers inside, we only recommend using locomotives with at least 8 electrical pickup wheels. Some older, lower cost locomotives only have 4 wheel electrical pick up (two wheels per side) and they are less likely to run well.  Further, it is important to be sure the wheels and track are clean.  Also, you will want to remove any debris (such as cloth fibers) from the wheel axles if you see any.   
For example one popular locomotive commonly converted to run RailPro is the Athearn blue box locomotives.  These need the motor and lights isolated.  But also we recommend the following modification to improve the connection form the track to the locomotive module.  Removing the strap across the top of the motor and soldering wire to each side of the truck frames and connecting them to the red and black wires as shown in the RailPro module wiring diagram.  Therefore the truck side frames will be directly wired to the 9 pin harness so the module is not depending on the sliding contact points which make poor connection for module electronics.  The wire used should be flexible stranded wire so the trucks can turn with little resistance from the added wire.  You will need to be sure the wire coming up through the frame from the trucks will allow the trucks to turn freely.
Most information out there for converting a locomotive to plug in a 9 pin DCC module can be used to install a RailPro module because RailPro follows the same wiring as the DCC standard.  Whatever information you use, just be sure to check the final installation with the instructions provided with the RailPro locomotive module. 
If you do the few tips we provided you can get older DC locomotives to nearly run as well as the modern DCC ready locomotives.  Almost all newer DCC ready locomotives have all wheel electrical pickup and hardwired connections from the truck frames to the DCC plug. 

Please let us know if you have any more questions.

Thank you for contacting Ring Engineering!


On 1/19/2016 9:35 AM, Antoine Prince-Lescarbeau wrote:
I have been a happy owner of railpro since november and I like it, when striaght from DC to railpro. Its awesome.
However your system is way more sensitive to dirty track and i find my locos to  stutter and sound to reset many times even if the track and wheels are spotless to the naked eye. Is there any keep alive capacitor add-on  in your project book?
Also I notice nothing is new on your website since september 2015, I hope your business is alright.


That's it.

Modeling a mix of CN / Wisconsin central on a 12x15 freelance area.


  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 140
Re: News from Ring
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2016, 05:00:44 PM »
Thanks for posting this Antoine. You just saved me from frying my new decoder. I wasn't aware that you had to isolate lights from the frame, and my current project does just that.

Thanks, Joe