Author Topic: New user, I could use a hand with a few things....  (Read 2079 times)

Sparky Rail

  • Fireman
  • **
  • Posts: 4
New user, I could use a hand with a few things....
« on: February 07, 2017, 05:57:19 PM »
Hello all-

Beginning model railroader and new user here. Just getting started with a RailPro RPK-1 which I picked up at the national show in Indy last summer. I have installed decoders in two locos now (an Athearn HO GP-38 of mine; LM-3S, and an American Models S gauge FP-7; LM-3, belonging to friend, who would like to give RailPro a try).

I have both engines operating under RailPro control on some test track, and I can tell that I am really going to like this system. I have a used DCC a couple of times while visiting some layouts, and I really do prefer the RailPro interface. I am having some trouble with a few things though, and hope that somebody can help. I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I thought it might be best if I listed most of my problems at once, in case they are related.

First, I am unable to install the most up to date program in my HC-2. After selecting the file, and going thru all the steps, I get a "Cannot Connect!" message when clicking the RE-to-internet-to HCI button. I have confirmed that the internet status is "connected" and also that the USB status is "connected". I have repeated the process at least 20 times with no luck. Keep in mind I was able to connect and successfully load other files.

Second, I'm having problems with pictures. I took pictures of both locos using my Iphone. I then sent them to my desktop, opened them in GIMP 2, cropped and scaled per Ring instructions, and exported them back to the desktop as a bitmap file. I did not touch any color options whatsoever. All good, and they look fine on my computer screen. The image is centered nicely and the color looks fine. However, when I load the image files into HC-2, the colors are all what appear to be opposite of what they should be. The FP-7 is the correct PRR red on my computer, but shows up as bright green on the HC-2. The GP-38 colors also fine on the computer, but are all the opposite of what they should be on the HC-2. Also, the image of the loco on the HC-2 is shifted to the right, such that about 5% of the right side of the image is cut off. That portion which is cut off then shows up as a sliver on the left side of the frame. Even stranger, the 5% cut off portion of the image has the correct color, while the bulk of the image is the bright green. I  was able to load the funky FP-7 image into the decoder, and I can pull it up off the Locomotive page on the HC-2 just as it should. On the GP-38, the funky image is loaded into the HC-2, but refuses to load into the module. I was able to load sounds into the GP-38, and they work fine.

I think that sums it up for the most part. Thanks to anybody still reading, and thanks in advance for any guidance-

-Tom

Alan

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 1025
    • LK&O Railroad
Re: New user, I could use a hand with a few things....
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2017, 07:25:06 PM »
For your image color problem see this thread: http://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php/topic,23.msg74.html#msg74
Alan

LK&O Railroad website

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

KPack

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 679
Re: New user, I could use a hand with a few things....
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2017, 08:14:42 PM »
Tom - for the "Cannot Connect" message do this: unplug the HC from the computer, turn off the HC.  Plug it in again, THEN turn it on.  Sometimes if you plug the HC into the computer while the HC is on it will show connected but won't actually transfer anything. I have no idea why.  Turning on the HC while it is already plugged in seems to solve this problem.

The above linked thread from Alan will solve your color issues.

Let us know how it goes!  And welcome to this great community as well.  Railpro is the best control system, hands down, and we have a very active peer community.

-Kevin

Sparky Rail

  • Fireman
  • **
  • Posts: 4
Re: New user, I could use a hand with a few things....
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2017, 06:43:54 PM »
Kevin and Alan-

I was hoping at least one of you guys would be around. I've lurked here for a while, spent a lot of time on the LK&O site, and watched all of the videos on youtube. You two guys inspired me to get out of the chair and actually begin to move forward in the hobby. I wanted to be sure of my control system right up front, so I didn't become one of those guys who say they have "way too many engines to change now".

I tried turning on the HC-2 after it was connected via usb, no joy. Tried it again, still nothing. Third time, success. The controller now has updated software. Thanks!

I tried to do as suggested in the color problem thread, but that did not pan out. When I "export as", there is no export box that pops up as described in the thread. I then tried searching for a "do not write color space information" box anywhere else in the program, and could not find one anywhere on the screen. I'm assuming the GIMP 2.8 might be a newer version than was out when that thread took place?

I Googled "do not write color space information" along with "GIMP 2.8" and found some chatter, from guys who sound waaaay smarter than me, complaining about that part of GIMP being a known problem? I have never used picture editing software before, so I am clueless here.

What are you guys using for this? Should I buy an editing program, rather than bang my head trying to use a free one?

Alan

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 1025
    • LK&O Railroad
Re: New user, I could use a hand with a few things....
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2017, 07:20:36 PM »
The option should be in the Compatibility Options in the Export dialog. The known problem with GIMP and bitmaps I am aware of is how GIMP creates non-standard headers that other image programs do not handle well. GIMP is not a professional tool so accept its limitations and quirks. Can't complain about free!

If you still have issues, send me the file and I will strip out the BMP header for you. LKOrailroad at gmail dot com. It's the least I can do for a reader of my blog.  :)
« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 07:24:08 PM by Alan »
Alan

LK&O Railroad website

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

Alan

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 1025
    • LK&O Railroad
Re: New user, I could use a hand with a few things....
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2017, 07:45:53 PM »
So there is no confusion...

The BMP format used in RailPro is the old Windows BMP ver 4 file format. Not to be confused with the more common abbreviation for a generic bitmap image. Tim Ring is obviously an old school Microsoft guy.
Alan

LK&O Railroad website

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

Sparky Rail

  • Fireman
  • **
  • Posts: 4
Re: New user, I could use a hand with a few things....
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2017, 08:21:38 PM »
"So there is no confusion..." Yep... That ship has sailed!   ;D

I am exporting it as a "Windows BMP image". Is that correct?

I think I have just about worn out my mouse clicking away on GIMP looking for the compatibility options drop down and/or the elusive color space information box. I just can't find them.

I've decided to take you up on your offer, and will be sending you my image file. Thanks again!

nodcc4me

  • Conductor
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
  • RailPro Fan
Re: New user, I could use a hand with a few things....
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2017, 09:54:32 PM »
Sparky, don't feel too bad. I tried to use Gimp, and even had instructions from Tim Ring, to no avail. So I just continue to send him my pictures to format for RailPro. He also puts them on the site for others to use. Nice of Alan to help you out though.
Al

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

William Brillinger

  • Dispatcher (Admin)
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1141
    • Precision Design Co.
Re: New user, I could use a hand with a few things....
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2017, 07:13:36 AM »
Have you tried using the windows paint application to save your image?

Finish it up the way you want in gimp, copy the entire image and paste it into MS paint.
Then save that as a BMP.

Or, just use MS paint for the entire process: http://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php/topic,194.msg1052.html#msg1052
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

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


Sparky Rail

  • Fireman
  • **
  • Posts: 4
Re: New user, I could use a hand with a few things....
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2017, 07:59:13 PM »
Thanks for all the help guys, I have had all kinds of success tonight.

Alan, the third file option you sent was the one that worked for me (windows bmp R8 24 bit). Bill, I used your paint advice for my second loco, and that went perfectly. Al, thanks for chiming in with your experience with GIMP, I was getting a bit frustrated, glad to know maybe it wasn't just me...

Then I went on to delete all of the unused buttons to clean up the loco screens. Now I just have to figure out how to rearrange them and I will be all set.

Finally, I mocked up an AM-1 with a tortoise, and that went well too.

I think it's time to order another loco module, I'm on a roll!!!

William Brillinger

  • Dispatcher (Admin)
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1141
    • Precision Design Co.
Re: New user, I could use a hand with a few things....
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2017, 09:17:22 PM »
Glad to hear things are going better!
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

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