Author Topic: Ring does not like this RailPro user group  (Read 2012 times)

HBW1412

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Ring does not like this RailPro user group
« on: January 04, 2019, 05:29:38 PM »
I really wanted to install RailPro into my Norfolk Southern layout this winter.  Unfortunately, I have a satellite based internet service provider, Hughesnet.  Hughesnet uses NAT444 and will not allow a download from servers like Ring Engineering uses.  If they will, they did not tell me that when I talked to Hughesnet Customer Service.  I emailed Ring about this issue and got a response back that I thought clearly shows his disdain for this RailPro users group.

I had previously emailed Ring about not being able to download from his servers.  He sent me an email back with basically the instructions on the Ring website about how to install his programs. 

In response to that email I sent him this about the NAT444 issue I am having.

Mr. Ring,

Thank you for responding to my concerns so quickly about my inability to download programs from the Ring Engineering servers.  Unfortunately, after trying all of your suggestions I am still unable to download from your server.

Searching online for help led me to the Unofficial RailPro Users Group at https://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php.  A user or users on the forum has created a UDP Test for RailPro.  After using this program I have learned that my Internet Service Provider (Hughesnet) uses NAT444 and blocks all download traffic from servers like yours.

Apparently, this is more common than I would have thought considering there are several other members on the forum experiencing the same issue.  It seems the only way around this at this time is to use another internet service provider.  That would be difficult for me as I live in a rural community in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with no internet access other than satellite based service providers.

After giving it some thought, I’m forced to conclude that at this time I will have to wait on installing RailPro on my layout until this issue is addressed.  I am quite disappointed about this because I have waited several years to see how RailPro was received by the model train community.  I was prepared to install RailPro in all of my locomotives this winter. 

You have created a wonderful product.  One in which I think could very well bring in an entire new (younger) generation of model railroaders into this hobby.  That’s something I think is desperately needed.
 
My questions are…

1.   Do you have any plans to change the way your programs are downloaded to address the NAT444 issue?
 
2.   Do you plan to release a HC-3 that has a removable panel on the back to access a user replaceable battery?
 
3.   Do you plan on providing a link on your site to the Unofficial RailPro Users Group?  It is an absolute treasure-trove of information and help for RailPro users and I urge you to point your  potential customers to the forum.

Thank you,

Heath
RPUG ID: HBW1412

_______

It is the following response from him in what I feel is a rather condescending tone that has pushed me away from RailPro.  Please read his entire response.  I used the copy/paste function.  Here is the response I got back today. 

Hi Heath,

We are sorry that you have had a problem.  Thank you for your feedback. 

We have multiple user that have Hughesnet as a provider and use our software without a problem.  Further, we have not had any Hughesnet customers that were using RailPro contact us and recently and tell us that they have a problem now. 

We did have one Hughesnet customer that told us they contacted Hughesnet to help them correct a connection problem but in that instance, by his description, it sounded like it was in his personal Hughesnet router.   

We have only one other customer that has told us that they needed to contacted their ISP to make changes to their account to allow access to our server.  Their actions may or may not have been necessary.  We talk to customers everyday that use our software.  You say it that there is several others with the same issue.  How many is several (less than 10).  Statistically speaking, most likely, 99% of then have a antivirus, firewall, admin privilege, or other Windows issue and may have been lead to believe it was something  more. 

We are sure there are a majority of instances of useful help from the RailPro Users group but we have seen multiple instances of incorrect information too.  The RailPro Users group people have no access to the design, source code, or implementation of our internet server, or any of our products so they are are not properly informed to make suggestion in many instances.  You should take the information for what it is.   

You said you ran a program that a user created?  Be careful about running a program form just some guy.  When you run a program on your PC  it could install a virus on your PC.  We know one of the user on the user group is a criminal.  We know that he has violated both copyright law and EULA license agreement laws in the past. 

We have made changes in the past to improve our internet access and plan to continue to do so in the future. 

We asked do you have McAfee on your PC and you did not answer this questions. As we mentioned, one other Hughesnet customer did tell us that he asked Hughesnet for help and Hughesnet helped him solve his connection problem so you may want to contact  Hughesnet.

Thank you for contacting Ring Engineering!

___________

So, he tells me that at least one of you on here is a criminal and that I should take the information on this site for what it is.  Well, is it just me or does his response lead any of you to think that maybe Mr. Ring doesn't appreciate his customers the way he wants us to think he does?

From my brief discussions with Ring Engineering, it seems to me that the company does not intend to grow.  I'm really thinking he has found a way to turn a hobby and some engineering abilities into a way to make money until he retires. 

When he dies or just decides to quite, what then?  All Ring Engineering customers will be out of luck.

Oh, and Mr. Ring - if you are reading this you should know that the moment your patent was published for RailPro and your first few units were sold there was some ten year old kid in China reverse engineering your blessed RailPro.  It tickles me that you do not realize that some kid is walking around Beijing with your precious source code on his Iphone.

I genuinely wanted to use RailPro on my layout.  I have been looking at it and saving my money for years.  I have 22 HO scale Norfolk Southern themed Kato SD80MACs I was going to install RailPro into this winter.  I was going to invest nearly $3000 of my hard earned money into additional RailPro products.  I already have several of their powered trucks I use for interior lighting and some end of train devices.  Those items work great on a DC layout.

I joined this forum seeking help with downloading the programs from Ring.  I read the majority of the posts on this entire forum in every category.  There seems to be a lot of issues that can only be resolved if you go thru Ring Engineering directly - and doing so is no guarantee the issues will be resolved.  I want a product that will last me until I die or can be repaired by another company in case Ring is no longer in business so that it will last me that long.  I no longer believe RailPro is that product.  For now, I will be sticking with my MRC 9950. 

I am extremely disappointed.   :( :( :(




« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 05:47:47 PM by HBW1412 »

nodcc4me

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Re: Ring does not like this RailPro user group
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2019, 06:02:18 PM »
Heath, I'm sorry you did not have a good experience in your quest for help with RailPro. I have been using RP and dealing with Tim Ring for almost seven years now. Although I have had one or two past issues downloading files, and other issues with the modules and software, Tim had been nothing but helpful. He has answered every email I ever sent (there have been many) and I have had many phone conversations with him. All of them were pleasant and helpful. I really don't think he has anything against this forum or he would be hesitant to do business with Bill. I can't explain why he does not participate here, but on a personal level, he has been overwhelmingly accommodating, at least for me. Because so many RP users are able to download and run RP files using the system that is already in place, I wouldn't expect TR to be able to solve every problem that a minority of folks are having with their internet providers. There has to be a reason he developed this system, which we all know is not perfect, but a heck-of-a-lot better than anything else out there.

I would like to extend a big thank you to our own Tim (G8B4Life) for all the help he has provided for us, and to all the other members who have input their knowledge and experience to help make RP better for all of us.

I hope you can resolve your internet problem and give RP a chance. You will not regret it.
Al

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

William Brillinger

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Re: Ring does not like this RailPro user group
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2019, 06:26:19 PM »
Heath,

Yes, Tim Ring has no love for the user group or our resident tech guru - It has always been so, and unfortunately Mr. Ring can come across as abrasive or condescending.

Putting all of that aside, I would still suggest that you CALL him and get him to attempt to help you with your connection problems. Every user in the past that has had connection problems that has emailed him has come away frustrated. The ones that have followed my advice to call him have mostly been satisfied. 

For awhile the connection problem was like an epidemic with new users but I haven't heard of many at all in the last year.

I would encourage you to pick up the phone and talk to Tim Ring and see what can be resolved.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

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


HBW1412

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Re: Ring does not like this RailPro user group
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2019, 06:27:30 PM »
nodcc4me - Thank you for the encouraging words, but I don't see how I can resolve my internet problem.  At this point, my only option would be to drive into town (20 miles one way) and try to use the wifi at McDonalds in order to use Rings server.  I'm not willing to go thru that much trouble.  I have liked RailPro from the moment I first saw it on KPacks YouTube videos several years ago.  I would truly love to become a RailPro user, but I can't do that without connecting to the Ring server.  I live so far out that satellite internet is my only option to get online.  Tim Ring doesn't seem to care about that because as he said, 99% of everyone else has no issue using his server so, people like me get pushed aside as insignificant by people like Mr. Ring.

I feel that Ring Engineering could take over the Model Railroading control market easily, but Mr. Ring doesn't seem interested in doing that.  To me, he seems happy with his current customer base and if your issues with RailPro aren't easily fixed he ignores your problem because the loss of a customer here or there is no big deal.  After all, 99% of everyone else doesn't have an issue.

For now I'll continue using his powered trucks and end of train devices.  I think they are second to none.

HBW1412

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Re: Ring does not like this RailPro user group
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2019, 06:33:33 PM »
William Brillinger - I may still call Mr. Ring, but for now I'm going to contact Hughesnet again tomorrow and try to talk with someone else.  Perhaps it is an issue with my router, but I don't see how it could be.  I've checked everything and I've never had this problem with any other download.

His response just rubbed me the wrong way is all.  I have found these forums to be of considerable help and appreciate all the contributions. 

Sooooooo, which one of you fellas is a criminal?   ;D

Just kidding - I don't want to know.

Alan

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Re: Ring does not like this RailPro user group
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2019, 06:58:21 PM »
A few points I would make about his response...
  • He definitely does not like this forum. That has been obvious for a long time.
  • Telling a customer that the other 99% don't have problems is extremely unprofessional. Basically saying the customer is the problem.
  • Labeling a person as a criminal is also unprofessional and possibly even libel.
  • I have no doubt many of our discussions about RP contain incorrect information. We are attempting to solve problems with scant RP knowledge. If Ring participated here not only would he correct us but also fill us in on more details so we can better help other users. I place blame for most of our errors on his absence.
  • Show me an Internet forum that does not contain bad information Mr. Ring. Take your time looking, I'll wait.

The best thing Ring could have done is simply reply to you "Sorry to hear you are having problems. Please call me at (219) 322-0279 when it is convenient for you and we will solve them together."
Alan

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

William Brillinger

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Re: Ring does not like this RailPro user group
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2019, 07:01:02 PM »
"His response just rubbed me the wrong way is all. " - I've had that experience myself.

Let us know how it works out with Hughes.

You may want to read through these other Hughes related threads too:
https://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php/topic,321.msg2279.html#msg2279
https://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php/topic,378.msg3956.html#msg3956
https://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php/topic,551.msg4236.html#msg4236

As for TR's assertion that we have a criminal in our midst, let's just say that he didn't like one of our members looking under the hood of his software in order to figure out what is going on and help users who are in the same boat that you are in right now.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

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


William Brillinger

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Re: Ring does not like this RailPro user group
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2019, 07:01:55 PM »
Quote
The best thing Ring could have done is simply reply to you "Sorry to hear you are having problems. Please call me at (219) 322-0279 when it is convenient for you and we will solve them together."

Amen.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

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


KPack

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Re: Ring does not like this RailPro user group
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2019, 07:14:37 PM »
Well, that was an unfortunate response.  I know he has no love for the forum, but that won't stop me from participating and helping members in any way I can.  I will also continue to steer new users here so they can benefit from working with other Railpro users.

At some point in the future when Tim Ring decides to retire or whatever, I would think that one of us (or a group of us) step in and purchase the technology and keep producing Railpro.  I do love this system.  If I did not have Railpro I honestly would not be into model railroading.  It has changed the way I enjoy the hobby so that I almost can't enjoy it without Railpro.

-Kevin

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Re: Ring does not like this RailPro user group
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2019, 07:17:11 PM »
HBW1412
I have the same problem of not being able to download Ring’s programs.  I am not a computer programmer so I have no idea why I can’t download RailPro programs/updates just as easy as my Windows programs are downloaded or updated: just start the Wizard and follow the prompts.  Sometimes, I have to restart my computer to allow the updates take effect but that is it.  I move around a lot so one consistent reliable download method is vital.

I have been doing a lot of research and have decided that I am going to have to use the Digitrax EVOD Evolution system.  I will use Loconet, Accutrack II Speedometer, and JMRI to do speed-matching.  I realize that it is not as quick or exact as RailPro but I don’t seem to have a choice and I have lots of time. 

I just wanted to gently reply to assure you that you aren’t alone with this issue.  I have decided from Ring’s reply that he has no intent to modify his downloads to Windows Wizard style.

My system consists of Windows 10, Firefox, using an iPhone 5s as a Personal Hotspot.
   
Respectfully,
LeRoy


Retired, Homeless, and full timer RVer.  I live in my truck camper and roam the USA, Canada, and Alaska.  I sold my home to my son but I still have full access to the entire lower level.  I have somewhat of a HO bench plan designed.

darryl.trains

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Re: Ring does not like this RailPro user group
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2019, 08:19:02 PM »

 My effort to show and display RP was received with mixed results. A couple members that do N scale might have gone with RP but since N modules are not available, they quit asked me. Some of the HO guys ask me once in awhile but that too is fading away. I am also tired of promoting RP when Ring should be doing more, maybe he just doesn't care?  So it seems the RPUG or N is not important to Mr Ring. What a way not to do business. I really like using RP but since I purchased just about everything I will ever need, there will not be any more orders at least for a very long time if ever. Sorry Bill... I might ditch everything and go back to O with Lionel-MTH as I have quite a bit of it too.  Going to the sidelines for now. Happy training to y'all. #### Darryl

Alan

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Re: Ring does not like this RailPro user group
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2019, 08:45:41 PM »
I understand why no N scale LM. I'm sure it is not for lack of want. When you see how tightly packed together the components of an LM are inside it is easy to understand how doing the same in N size space must be a big technological challenge. There is a lot more processing going on inside an LM than any DCC decoder is capable of. The penalty RP pays for having that processing power is a limit to miniaturization.
Alan

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

Tom

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Re: Ring does not like this RailPro user group
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2019, 06:09:35 PM »
It was a little disturbing to read the comments on this string.  The Ring response to Heath came across to me as more defensive and disdainful of RPUG than anything else.  Ring says “We know one of the user on the user group is a criminal.  We know that he has violated both copyright law and EULA license agreement laws in the past.”  That could be true or not, but to indict the entire forum seems not to serve any purpose other than to alienate the most avid supporters of his products.

On the other side, I do not have the Hughesnet problem, so do not totally understand it.  But, if one trip “to use the wifi at McDonalds in order to use Rings server” is what it would take to download the RailPro Assistant software which could then be used to via Hughesnet to then download sounds, lights pictures, etc. to an HC-2, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Homeless by Choice

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Re: Ring does not like this RailPro user group
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2019, 01:23:31 PM »
It was a little disturbing ...

On the other side, I do not have the Hughesnet problem, so do not totally understand it.  But, if one trip “to use the wifi at McDonalds in order to use Rings server” is what it would take to download the RailPro Assistant software which could then be used to via Hughesnet to then download sounds, lights pictures, etc. to an HC-2, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Tom,
I was infected by a computer virus about 10 years ago.  All my credit card numbers, bank account numbers, passwords, etc were acquired.  It was a key stroke saving program that sent all my information for who knows how far back to Russia who then sold them to the bad guys.  The amount involved exceeded $50,000.  It took an IT guy a long time to find all the elements of the virus in my computer.  I had boo coo problems getting everything fixed.  My credit card companies absorbed the $50,000 costs because the numbers were used off shore and by the time they noticed it, my credit cards were way over my limits.  What a financial relief but what headaches it caused trying to get my bank accounts changed and my credit rating re-established.  I am very gun-sigh.  Since I will never use a public WiFi network again, I have no method of downloading Ring Engineering programs.

I only mention this so as others are aware of the reasons for my refusal to use a public non-secure WiFi connection,

Thank you,
LeRoy
Retired, Homeless, and full timer RVer.  I live in my truck camper and roam the USA, Canada, and Alaska.  I sold my home to my son but I still have full access to the entire lower level.  I have somewhat of a HO bench plan designed.

nortoneye

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Re: Ring does not like this RailPro user group
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2019, 04:11:05 PM »
I'm the one other customer who had to make changes with my ISP to get connected with RE.  It boiled down to Carrier Grade Network Address Translation (CGNAT) and the requirement that RE can communicate with my ISP only on a fixed port (80)  There seems to be a difference of opinion with TR and my ISP regarding IvP4 addresses and he is not complementary to some of the discussion we have on RPUG.  There is a long thread on this with detailed explanations on the "diffiuculty connecting" thread. In any event I did talk to TR on 2-3 occasions and he was accommodating and spent plenty of time with me trying to get a work around.  My connection is fiber optic, so I cannot comment on the satellite connection. The more I work with RailPro, the more I like it.