Author Topic: Programming hiccups??  (Read 4146 times)

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Programming hiccups??
« on: October 09, 2015, 10:14:44 PM »
Originally posted by Shawn Hogan on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Sep 12, 2015

Hello group!
I've not yet purchased any Rail Pro product but I was wondering if anyone could comment on a question I have about this control system.
I am following some other discussion groups here on yahoo and I'm amazed at the seeming complexity that one must go through to get a decoder "right"!!
Has anyone using Rail Pro lost a function say a whistle or similar while "tweaking/re-mapping" etc? Is such activity necessary or even possible with Rail Pro? I believe you call them "modules" instead of decoders, correct?


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Re: Programming hiccups??
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2015, 10:14:55 PM »
Originally posted by kpack05 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Sep 12, 2015

Shawn,

I have never had a problem like what you described with Railpro.  I used to be in DCC and had issues a few times with locomotive's addresses being chnaged on their own.  I also experienced more than once my locomotives showing up showing up on someone else's throttle while I was controlling it....therefore losing control and causing accidents.  Aggravating to say the least.

Never lost a function with Railpro, and I'm not even sure it's possible.  There are no "CV's" as there are in DCC so we don't have to deal with any of the issues that might arise with CV's.

There is plenty of tweaking you can do with Railpro but it is niether complex nor difficult.  Alternatively you can just plug the module in, run the simple full load motor current test, and use the locomotive without ever doing anything else to it.

For me, I like to tweak settings in order to have everything running exactly the way I want it.  I enjoy doing it, but other might not.

-Kevin

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Re: Programming hiccups??
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2015, 10:15:06 PM »
Originally posted by Shawn Hogan on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Sep 12, 2015

Thanks for sharing that, Kevin! I don't mind tweaking to suit myself or operating habits, it just seemed to me in reading some of the DCC threads that it's a necessary evil. Don't want to paint with to broad a brush but having to keep track of all those CVs seems to me to be "rain on the parade".



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Re: Programming hiccups??
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2015, 10:15:23 PM »
Originally posted by LK&O on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Sep 12, 2015

I share Kevin's experience. Have never lost any module settings. This even includes a rather abusive process when I was testing my electronic circuit breakers where I repeatedly shorted out a short section of track a loco was running on. Each time the loco resumed correct operation when the short was removed and the breaker reset. That same testing session would have given DCC decoders fits.

The only adjustment I often make is momentum for accel and decel. I like to adjust it according to train length for more realistic train control. I do this on the fly.

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Re: Programming hiccups??
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2015, 10:15:34 PM »
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Sep 12, 2015

I too will echo Kevin and Alan's experience. I have never lost settings
on a Railpro controller or module.

Railpro was specifically designed to overcome the complexity and
challenges of maintaining and using DCC, and as far as I can tell, it
has succeeded.

- Bill

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Re: Programming hiccups??
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2015, 10:15:45 PM »
Originally posted by Shawn Hogan on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Sep 12, 2015

Thank you all for sharing your experiences. Nothing like personal referrals! :)
I almost want to tear my hair out reading some of the DCC threads and I don't even own any system. I have bought a couple locos with it factory installed but that was mostly because I wanted the loco not the decoder!
Now to gather the funds to make it happen...
Shawn


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Re: Programming hiccups??
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2015, 10:15:54 PM »
Originally posted by picturemaker22 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Sep 13, 2015

It was all those threads with people having all these problems with DCC that kept me away for quite a few years. I would sooner stay with straight DC and have some fun, not headaches.

RailPro came along and it seemed to have all the things that I was looking for, and it does just that.

In the two years I have been running RailPro, I have not lost any settings.

Mel

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Re: Programming hiccups??
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2015, 10:16:03 PM »
Originally posted by gregzygadlo on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Sep 13, 2015

I'm one who in the last year has gotten back in the hobby and have been looking at DCC.  When looking at the Walthers catalog I saw railpro and it caught my eye because it looked so much easier.  Currently I buy all my engines as DC because I didn't know if I was going to stay straight DC, but seeing no MFG offer engines with RailPro modules in them, I will continue to do that.

Once I have my track laid down I will be buying a railpro system.  Granted it a little pricier than DCC systems, but from what I can see some of the programming headaches go away.



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Re: Programming hiccups??
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2015, 10:16:21 PM »
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Sep 13, 2015

Greg,

Welcome to the Railpro Users group, I'm sure you will enjoy your RailPro system.

Everyone,

The statement "RailPro is a little pricier than DCC systems" is something I see and hear often, but I don't understand it.

The RailPro starter kit is $299 US (YankeeDabbler)
    This kit includes a power supply and a wireless controller.

A comparable digitrax system is:
    5A Empire builder Wireless starter set: $508

I say this is comparable because it comes with the power supply, and a wireless radio that can be used for programming. It's the fewest pieces needed to get to the functionality that RailPro offers out of the box.

or start cheaper for About $375+
    Zepher Starter Set: $160
    Wireless receiver: $114
    Basic Wireless throttle: $103 (or advanced: $190+)

RailPro Decoders are $46 to $75.
Digitrax Decoders are $20 to $55.

So for a large fleet of locos, I can agree DCC decoders can be less expensive, but to get started with wireless control (not infrared), I don't see it.

Am I missing something? Is Wireless DCC really less expensive than RailPro?
   
- Bill

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Re: Programming hiccups??
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2015, 10:16:31 PM »
Originally posted by LK&O on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Sep 13, 2015

Adding additional throttles is where RailPro gets pricey compared to DCC.

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Re: Programming hiccups??
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2015, 10:16:38 PM »
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Sep 13, 2015

ok, I missed that one.  I just bought a second starter set, since that gave me an extra "booster" at the same time.

- Bill

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Re: Programming hiccups??
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2015, 10:16:53 PM »
Originally posted by TS on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Sep 13, 2015

I don't think it's pricey to add additional throttles compared to DCC.
It's easy just to compare prices without looking at what's really
comparable.

Seeing as we're talking radio control let's look at the prices.

RailPro HC-2 list price $299.99
Digitrax DT402D list price $250.00
NCE Procab-R list price $249.95

So to a comparable radio throttle (we cannot compare to non radio
throttles, that's not fair) it's only about fifty dollars more
expensive.

It's also cheaper to get into radio control with RailPro as well. A
quick look at comparable starter sets (radio) sees NCE at $699.95
for the PH-Procab-R set and DigiTrax at $665.00 for the SCFXD Super
Chief Xtra 5 Amp Duplex Radio Equipped set. Both you still have to buy
a power supply for which is about $60 from the manufacturer.

So figuratively speaking if you bought a starter set, additional
throttle and power supply (where needed) for each system you'd be out
in front quite a bit with Railpro (by at least $277.00; That's almost
enough for a third throttle).

Now, this isn't part of the debate but just imagine you had to buy a
command station for each DCC throttle you wanted.

As for decoders, well again that's a comparing the actually comparable.
It's no good comparing prices of basic DCC decoders to RailPro
modules with so much more features. I really don't know what's good to
compare against a standard LM-2 price/feature-wise but for the LM-2S
I think you'd have to compare against something from ESU Loksound
and the prices between the two are pretty close.

Tim


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Re: Programming hiccups??
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2015, 10:17:17 PM »
Originally posted by LK&O on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Sep 13, 2015

RailPro has no option for a basic operators throttle. A UT4D can be had for around $100. Not all operators at a session need or want a full featured throttle. Just sayin'.

The investment in a control system represents a relatively small percentage of the overall investment in a model railroad so to my mind cost shouldn't be a significant purchase criteria. If one cannot afford the control system of choice then likely they have picked the wrong hobby. Priced new release locomotives lately?

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Re: Programming hiccups??
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2015, 10:17:32 PM »
Originally posted by TS on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Sep 13, 2015

Absolutely right, RailPro has no option of a basic throttle which is why
I don't think it's fair to compare to the non existent. You are correct
that not every operator wants a full featured throttle but for RailPro
the hardware wouldn't be any different between basic and full (basic
still has to be it's own "command station") and the software running on
it is nothing in the equation really so I can't see Ring maintaining
two versions of the HC-2 software.

I think we are also looking past the fact we're trying to price
compare two different technologies, one very old stuck in having to set
bits and a single command station has to do everything and one modern
with everything done in software and each controller is it's own
"command station", but both exist concurrently. I don't think we can
really price compare the two properly in that respect. Going by the
old vs modern argument I think DCC is way overpriced for it's age in
technological years.

Priced Australian prototype new locomotive releases lately?

Cheers,

Tim

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Re: Programming hiccups??
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2015, 10:17:42 PM »
Originally posted by gregzygadlo on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Sep 13, 2015

When I referred to it being pricer than DCC I was looking at some of the entry level starter systems, but from my reading RailPro is kind of like a basic and advanced starter system all in one.

There are two things that are going to send me down this path.  The first is there is no programming track and no CV's.  Second is the fact that it has a touch screen and with the new software they released gives you a lot more control.

Now its time to get the track down so I can get my system and get some trains running.