Author Topic: Any RailPro Problems?  (Read 3949 times)

TwinStar

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Any RailPro Problems?
« on: July 19, 2016, 09:28:39 PM »
RPUG:

Have any of you experienced loss of control/communication, uncommanded movement, or runaway trains while using RailPro?

I haven't nor have I heard of any such event. Given that our user group here has expanded considerably I wanted to pose the question.

Thanks.

Jacob Damron
Texas
Jacob Damron
Modeling late 1950's Dallas Union Terminal in Free-mo+ modules

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Josephbw

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Re: Any RailPro Problems?
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2016, 09:56:02 PM »
The only problem I've had is my first HC-2 developed a bunch of horizontal lines across the screen. I sent it into Ring, they promptly repaired it and sent me 2 pair of wired trucks for my cabeese for free, for my trouble. They said it was a manufacturing defect, and was not caused by me.

Very impressed with Tim and the gang.

Joe

KPack

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Re: Any RailPro Problems?
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2016, 11:40:28 PM »
With release-candidate software I've experienced no issues, ever.  When beta-testing software I've run into things....and that's what beta-testing is for.  All the issues get cleared up before the software is released globally.

I've only had good experiences with Direct Radio.  Much faster response than DCC (especially "wireless" DCC), smoother control, and no dropped signals in my experience.

-Kevin

William Brillinger

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Re: Any RailPro Problems?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2016, 06:59:38 AM »
I've had "loss of control" but that was from 45' away from the loco I was running and around a corner and with a power supply between the loco and the controller. Once I moved about 5ft closer it was all good again. Now that I changed the orientation of the power supply I can be even further away without problems. I got the idea to look at the power supply after reading one of Alan's posts here on the forum.

I had an HC-2 appear dead after sitting unused for a long time. After about an hour on the charger when I checked it, I started to get worried, but it came back after being left on the charger for a several hours. When the battery goes completely flat it can take hours on the charger before it begins to respond again.

The only other problem I've had was a loco picture and name disappearing from the HC but it's space still being occupied. This happened after renaming a locomotive. It couldn't be selected or removed. I sent the HC in to Ring Engineering and it was back in short order, all fixed up. Excellent service from Tim!
« Last Edit: July 20, 2016, 07:01:54 AM by William Brillinger »
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

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


G8B4Life

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Re: Any RailPro Problems?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2016, 07:47:57 AM »
I think I know where this question is coming from. Jacob will correct me if I'm wrong.

There has been quite a bit of discussion by the Free-mo people about wireless throttle issues; loss of control, uncommanded movement, runaways etc etc. All of these wireless issues are on the DigiTrax system that Free-mo uses. Now the issue (for me anyway) is after Jacob mentioned that he's not ever seen any of these types of issues with RailPro some have dragged RailPro down by stating that it would suffer the same problems anyway just by being wireless, even though none of these people have ever used it.

Unfortunately I don't think we can say with complete certainty that RailPro wouldn't have issues; we've never had a whole bunch of them use in the same place before, all competing for bandwidth at the same time; along with any other devices present in the same radio spectrum.

I wonder if Ring's ever done any tests along these lines?

- Tim

William Brillinger

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Re: Any RailPro Problems?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2016, 08:10:36 AM »
Quote
Unfortunately I don't think we can say with complete certainty that RailPro wouldn't have issues; we've never had a whole bunch of them use in the same place before, all competing for bandwidth at the same time; along with any other devices present in the same radio spectrum.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe there is a fundamental difference in the way the wireless of these 2 systems works. Other DCC systems are talking back to a single base station, whereas RailPro is actually a Network of devices all talking to each other and acting as repeaters, none of them relying on a single processor. This is an inherently stronger architecture.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

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


nodcc4me

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Re: Any RailPro Problems?
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2016, 08:18:23 AM »
Several years ago, I had an old AHM Rivarossi GG1 locomotive that was giving me runaway problems. It was one of my first conversions and I was using an HC-1 at the time. I sent the loco to Tim, who added some capacitors to the motor and that solved the problem. Today, that engine is one of my best runners and one of my favorites.


Like Bill, I also had a picture disappear from my HC-2, which I also sent to Tim. We still don't know hat caused that to happen.


I have also experienced some beta testing oddities which were resolved prior to the release versions.
Al

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Antoine L.

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Re: Any RailPro Problems?
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2016, 08:36:39 AM »
No wireless troubles here.

I even use the horn and bells when the locos are on the other side of the dry wall in the other room, to know where it is.

"choo choo" Ah.. there you are! And then it comes out of the tunnel portal all glorious and proud.

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

G8B4Life

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Re: Any RailPro Problems?
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2016, 08:55:42 AM »
Quote
Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe there is a fundamental difference in the way the wireless of these 2 systems works. Other DCC systems are talking back to a single base station, whereas RailPro is actually a Network of devices all talking to each other and acting as repeaters, none of them relying on a single processor. This is an inherently stronger architecture.

I believe you are correct on the technology of the DCC wireless. As far as I understand RailPro doesn't act as the full network like you describe, unless I'm reading your reply wrong. Only the PWR-56 has the repeater capability (with a limit of 4, which isn't a good number for large setup's like Free-mo meets unfortunately). LM's have, from what I understand the ability to talk to each other for the purposes of MU's. HC's can only talk to each other for the purpose of emergency stopping trains. I don't think the other devices - AM's, Reverser or PWR-56 can talk to each other (or LM's in the case of AM's and reverser) to be repeaters.

It would still be interesting to know if you had a room full of HC's operating, say 20 of them which I guess wouldn't be an unreasonable comparison to the number of wireless throttles that could be operating at something like a Free-mo meet or a public train show could there be any issues that could cause unexpected train handling or loss of control.

- Tim





William Brillinger

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Re: Any RailPro Problems?
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2016, 09:17:35 AM »
Quote
Only the PWR-56 has the repeater capability (with a limit of 4, which isn't a good number for large setup's like Free-mo meets unfortunately). LM's have, from what I understand the ability to talk to each other for the purposes of MU's. HC's can only talk to each other for the purpose of emergency stopping trains. I don't think the other devices - AM's, Reverser or PWR-56 can talk to each other (or LM's in the case of AM's and reverser) to be repeaters.

ok, I went and checked the manuals, you are correct, only the power supply has the repeater function. Somehow I had thought the AM's did too, but I was incorrect.

Where did you find a limit of 4 PWR-56's I don't see a limit discussed in the PWR-56 manual.
Or is it that you can only have control of 4 PWR-56's with a single HC?
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

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


G8B4Life

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Re: Any RailPro Problems?
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2016, 09:39:21 AM »
My bad Bill, that is indeed only 4 PWR-56's under control of a HC (wonder why this limit). You can of course have as many powering the layout as you like. It's this limit of 4 that's the unfortunate bit for large setup's that I was talking about however it's not the end of the world in that respect as all these meets use DCC anyway, so no PWR-56's connected in the first place and you follow your train around so no repeaters should not be an issue.

- Tim

hirailer

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Re: Any RailPro Problems?
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2016, 11:11:03 AM »
I have had no loss of control in the last three years that I have had this system. I can relate one incident last year when I was messing around with the controller in my living room and suddenly my wife thought she could hear trains running in the layout room. Sure enough, a loco was creeping along down the main line. My layout is at least 40 feet from my living room and the signal would have had to travel through two walls. No more armchair railroading for me!

Mel
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TwinStar

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Re: Any RailPro Problems?
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2016, 09:48:50 PM »
Quote
Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe there is a fundamental difference in the way the wireless of these 2 systems works. Other DCC systems are talking back to a single base station, whereas RailPro is actually a Network of devices all talking to each other and acting as repeaters, none of them relying on a single processor. This is an inherently stronger architecture.

Only the PWR-56 has the repeater capability (with a limit of 4, which isn't a good number for large setup's like Free-mo meets unfortunately).

This is not a limiting factor for Free-mo or anyone else as I see it. While a Free-mo layout may cover 100' x 100' there is no plausible or realistic need for someone try to operate a locomotive from that far of a distance. Operators should be with their trains and not twenty yards away. The repeater capability should serve as an auxiliary channel for communication and not for trying to act as ham radio operators.
Jacob Damron
Modeling late 1950's Dallas Union Terminal in Free-mo+ modules

Texas Railway Modeling and Historical Society trmhs.org
trmhs.org