Author Topic: RAILPRO LONGEVITY  (Read 1583 times)

Tom

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RAILPRO LONGEVITY
« on: August 11, 2018, 05:33:12 PM »
I selected RailPro without much investigation into DCC for a small startup HO model railroad because it seemed to be more technologically robust.  Much has been posted here about RailPro vs. DCC and one of the more significant negatives is concern with how long Ring will stay in business, tempered with the suggestion that the downside is minimal in that without Ring one may eventually be forced to buy a DCC power supply and/or DCC controller to keep running LM modules.

I have no recollection of how I even ran across RailPro while looking for options, but I obviously did:

ē   I am wondering how Ring markets RailPro products since I have not noticed any advertising and often the products are omitted from generalized internet searches that should identify them?

ē   And, since existing RailPro users would seem to have a vested interest in seeing it grow, I am curious as to what RPUG members do, or could do, beyond word of mouth to promote their own interests?  A very large portion of model railroaders are heavily invested in the old DCC, resist new technologies (possibly due to marginal gains vs. expense), and definitely promote their interests (I have experienced it).

Tom

Alan

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Re: RAILPRO LONGEVITY
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2018, 06:55:12 PM »
A RailPro module is essentially no different than a DCC module with respect to interoperability and basic functionality. Therefore, Ring going out of business would be no different than Digitrax or NCE going out of business. Ring has been in business a long time although years in business means very little. As an example I direct you to General Electric or Sears.

I am doubtful RailPro owners, regardless of how hard they may try, can positively impact Ring's sales in any meaningful way. Sure, suggest it to a buddy or show it to the club but even if everyone you speak to about RailPro bought a system your contribution is but a drip in the ocean of sales Ring needs to remain a viable business. The product is strong. Few who try it abandon it. Ring's customer service is personal and second to none. As long as Ring continues to introduce new products and features I believe the company will do well.

Tim Ring is an engineer. He is not a marketer or promoter. It appears he doesn't allocate a lot of time or money to marketing. He does advertise in Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine. It is quite possible he is very happy at his current sales volume. More is not always better.
Alan

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

darryl.trains

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Re: RAILPRO LONGEVITY
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2018, 12:22:47 AM »
 I too, have wondered about the lack or little advertising. I just happened one day not too long ago to read an article about RailPro. I was thinking how come I never saw anything even though this system had been around for quite a spell? I have subscribed to a good number of model train magazines but missed the ads because I wasn't aware or even looking for something better with control of everything on a layout or at least most of it. I was getting kind of miffed at the limitation of DCC but no other place to go.  I have found of the many years of my life that some folks are great at developing products but do not seem to figure out how to promote the product or maybe don't care or satisfied as it stands? For instance I know there would be a big market for N scale modules as I have been asked by members of the club I belong to plus others that are their own. Maybe N scale modules can't be made?

Oh well, "it is what it is".

 I am very happy here that I was lucky to find RP and this website.

  TOF in Arid-Zona for the most part.  :) 8)

Dean

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Re: RAILPRO LONGEVITY
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2018, 04:27:54 PM »
I have a lot of money tied up in DCC equipment. When I started reading about RailPro I decided to add it to my DCC system. You can really tell how in inferior DCC is when you run it side by side with RailPro.
I think other DCC users would add RailPro if they knew they could run it alongside inferior DCC.
Dean

emd_16645

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Re: RAILPRO LONGEVITY
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2018, 12:45:34 PM »
I think Dean hits the nail on the head for most DCC users.  Those who have made significant investments into DCC are reluctant to abandon that investment.  At this point, I have not invested significantly in Railpro, I have far more locomotives equipped with DCC than Railpro.  I also have DCC command stations.  For now, I am mostly using RP as a means to upgrade locos with sound, then running them side by side with DCC.  Over time, the DCC chips will be replaced with RP as funding and use allows or dictates.

Currently I am preparing to dismantle my layout prior to moving.  I am developing a modular layout for my next residence.  For cost savings I plan to continue the DCC/RP combo, but the total roster will be much smaller than my previous layout concept, so full RP conversion could happen sooner than later.  Right now, the big deterrent for me actually is investing in a HC-2 (or two).  Hopefully I can pick one up soon, anyone looking to off load one cheap?  :P
Chris Bellows
Somerset Junction, 1980
somersetjunction.blogspot.com

KPack

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Re: RAILPRO LONGEVITY
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2018, 05:29:07 PM »
I am wondering how Ring markets RailPro products since I have not noticed any advertising and often the products are omitted from generalized internet searches that should identify them?

Similar to what has been said above, I don't Tim Ring is looking at this time to have Ring Engineering become a large company.  In business there is a point where in order to expand you need to increase overhead by hiring additional staff and working from a larger space.  It seems like where Ring Engineering is at right now is comfortable for Tim and is growing fast enough.  I can tell you that there are far more Railpro users now than there were only two years ago.

Currently I think he advertises mainly in MRH, not sure about other publications.  I don't read many of them, and I honestly don't read much of what comes out on MRH.  At this point in life I rarely have time to spend reading through the many articles in any magazine.

And, since existing RailPro users would seem to have a vested interest in seeing it grow, I am curious as to what RPUG members do, or could do, beyond word of mouth to promote their own interests?  A very large portion of model railroaders are heavily invested in the old DCC, resist new technologies (possibly due to marginal gains vs. expense), and definitely promote their interests (I have experienced it).

This forum is an excellent example of what we as Railpro users do in order promote the product.  Bill has been kind enough to host this venue for us, and we have many very knowledgeable and active members who willingly share info.  We have been able to help many new and potential Railpro users since this forum came online several years ago.

Videos and sharing Railpro first-hand are some of the best ways to promote the system.  Myself and a number of others have made videos that are easily found on Youtube, and many of us here have brought Railpro to clubs or friend's layouts to have them use it.  Magazine advertisements are great and all, but that can't compare to actually holding the controller in your hand and using the system for yourself.  Videos are the next best thing because people can see it in action.  I'd rather not have Tim spend too much on paper advertising and have him spend more on R&D (especially acquiring new sounds).  As a community we are more effective advertising than anything that appears in MRH.

-Kevin

William Brillinger

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Re: RAILPRO LONGEVITY
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2018, 06:59:30 PM »
Quote
As a community we are more effective advertising than anything that appears in MRH.

Yes, I think this community is invaluable to RP too, but... don't sell MRH short.

MRH has enough eyeballs on it that a single well placed ad (such as in the email list that goes to 90,000 people can swamp a business in no time. I know this from experience. MRH is a good value for ones advertising dollar and it's hard to justify the prices to advertising in MR in light of what MRH can do for 1/3 the cost.

Quote
Hopefully I can pick one up soon, anyone looking to off load one cheap?

Chris, I don't have any used ones, but I can usually swing a little extra discount for orders over $500. Contact me when you are ready to pick up a pair of HC's and we'll see what we can work out.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 07:01:09 PM by William Brillinger »
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

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


emd_16645

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Re: RAILPRO LONGEVITY
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2018, 07:09:00 PM »
Quote
Hopefully I can pick one up soon, anyone looking to off load one cheap?

Chris, I don't have any used ones, but I can usually swing a little extra discount for orders over $500. Contact me when you are ready to pick up a pair of HC's and we'll see what we can work out.

Thanks for the offer, Iíll be in touch when itís time.
Chris Bellows
Somerset Junction, 1980
somersetjunction.blogspot.com

KPack

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Re: RAILPRO LONGEVITY
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2018, 10:38:49 PM »
Quote
MRH has enough eyeballs on it that a single well placed ad (such as in the email list that goes to 90,000 people can swamp a business in no time. I know this from experience. MRH is a good value for ones advertising dollar and it's hard to justify the prices to advertising in MR in light of what MRH can do for 1/3 the cost.

Good point.  And you would certainly know! 

Though I would like to see Ring mix up the ad itself.  Been looking at the same ad with the same locomotives in the background for years.

William Brillinger

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Re: RAILPRO LONGEVITY
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2018, 10:43:12 PM »
Quote
Though I would like to see Ring mix up the ad itself.

YES!!
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

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


TwinStar

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Re: RAILPRO LONGEVITY
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2018, 09:23:45 AM »

Currently I am preparing to dismantle my layout prior to moving.  I am developing a modular layout for my next residence. 

Chris:

Where do you live and where are you going? If you were to build all or some of your modules to the Free-mo standard there could be a lot of opportunity to set up with other modular builders and operate a much larger layout. I just returned from the NTS in Kansas City where we setup a 150' X 100' Free-mo layout.

Jacob Damron
Modeling late 1950's Dallas Union Terminal in Proto-Rail modules

Texas Railway Modeling and Historical Society trmhs.org
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emd_16645

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Re: RAILPRO LONGEVITY
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2018, 01:15:55 PM »

Currently I am preparing to dismantle my layout prior to moving.  I am developing a modular layout for my next residence. 

Chris:

Where do you live and where are you going? If you were to build all or some of your modules to the Free-mo standard there could be a lot of opportunity to set up with other modular builders and operate a much larger layout. I just returned from the NTS in Kansas City where we setup a 150' X 100' Free-mo layout.



Jacob,

I live in Maine, and will be staying in the same general area. Iím mostly getting out of a house I canít really afford, money wise or time wise.  Right now Iím at a point where Iíd rather pay someone else to worry about maintenance.

Iíve been looking at the Freemo standards and trying to decide if they work for what Iím trying to do.  So far it looks like mini-mo modules might be the way to go for me. I am planning to also build an interface module that works with a local club (they arenít to freemo spec) as well. 

Chris
Chris Bellows
Somerset Junction, 1980
somersetjunction.blogspot.com

TwinStar

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Re: RAILPRO LONGEVITY
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2018, 01:21:15 PM »
Chris:

It isn't a flawless module specification but it's pretty close. Building one or two to the spec if the space didn't allow for them all would be very versatile. There's a pretty active Free-mo bunch up your way. One of our guys at the NTS was from Maine.

Jacob Damron
Modeling late 1950's Dallas Union Terminal in Proto-Rail modules

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