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    • August 5, 2020 7:24 PM EDT
    • From the Ring Engineering website (of course they're not going to state any negatives):

       

      Is the Handheld Controller comfortable to hold?

       

      "YES. The handheld controller has a rounded back and corners to feel comfortable in your hand. Since the handheld controller only weighs about 4 ounces more than the typical cell phone, it is heavy enough that you know it is built well, yet light enough and easy to hold for all day fun."

       

      To be fair, the controller has to accommodate a radio, an easy-to-view color graphics touchscreen, a large control knob, rechargeable batteries, and USB port There are up to 10+ pages to navigate through, and I'm sure the intention was to have the graphics (locomotives/settings/buttons) easy enough to view on the display at a +/- arms length distance.

       

      But I think if one has arthritis or other affliction that affects holding the controller for a long period of time, then all bets may be off with this one..... 

    • August 5, 2020 5:27 PM EDT
    • Michael Kirrene said:
      Richard said:

      Jon no one else has said anything about size of the railpro I have one and found it hard to load but the size of the hand held got to me it just to big for me to hold for to long.

      Richard

      So 6.1 long x 3.4 wide x 1.5 inches thick is too big for you?  I know it's a little bigger than a Revo or Airwire transmitter, but you must have small hands. Using a laptop or iPad as an alternate would probably be out of the question                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't have gorilla hands but I do have arthritis in my lt. that size is the size of a 2x4 and I don't like walking around with a 2x4

      Richard

    • August 5, 2020 3:35 PM EDT
    • I've recently got a lanyard for one of my controllers and I really like it.   Do you think something like that might help?

    • August 5, 2020 3:23 PM EDT
    • Richard said:

      Jon no one else has said anything about size of the railpro I have one and found it hard to load but the size of the hand held got to me it just to big for me to hold for to long.

      Richard

      So 6.1 long x 3.4 wide x 1.5 inches thick is too big for you?  I know it's a little bigger than a Revo or Airwire transmitter, but you must have small hands. Using a laptop or iPad as an alternate would probably be out of the question for you. 

    • August 5, 2020 2:31 PM EDT
    • Jon no one else has said anything about size of the railpro I have one and found it hard to load but the size of the hand held got to me it just to big for me to hold for to long.

      Richard

    • August 2, 2020 5:32 PM EDT
    • What was this thread about again?

    • August 2, 2020 4:57 PM EDT
    • Jon Radder said:
      Bruce Chandler said:
      Don Sweet said:

      Jon, years ago you posted to me and prefaced it you are getting crotchety in your old age. But we still love ya!

      What's Jon's excuse for being crotchety  earlier?   It's not like he's old now

      Earlier - not sure. Sometimes I'm just crabby by nature!  Lately it's COVID Cabin Fever!  Werkin' on fixing that - bringing the camper on-line for a few quick trips.

      Just remember you are among friends!   After all, there is THIS:

      A favorite of mine!

       

    • August 2, 2020 4:27 PM EDT
    • Bruce Chandler said:
      Don Sweet said:

      Jon, years ago you posted to me and prefaced it you are getting crotchety in your old age. But we still love ya!

       

      What's Jon's excuse for being crotchety  earlier?   It's not like he's old now

       

      Earlier - not sure. Sometimes I'm just crabby by nature!  Lately it's COVID Cabin Fever!  Werkin' on fixing that - bringing the camper on-line for a few quick trips.

    • August 2, 2020 3:33 PM EDT
    • Don Sweet said:

      Jon, years ago you posted to me and prefaced it you are getting crotchety in your old age. But we still love ya!

       

      Three years ago I had to read the RailPro assistant manual to get started. It is very well written with step by step instructions and call outs for Tips. As of today I have installed over 600 engines with RailPro. I can offer you short cuts to enjoy using the entire system.

      As an installer there could be always an easier way to do things. But it becomes routine.

      The coolest RailPro Product is the Simulator. For $32 you can do anything the hand controller does on your PC. That is how I load sounds, photos, updates and set up engines. Then I load all the setting in the hand controller by pressing the find button. It takes about 1 minute. 

       

      Jon once you are comfortable with the software you can change the sounds based on what you desire. Not a programmed selection. I had a customer show me how to create a Trolley sound effect and load them into the RailPro. We are here to help each other.

      Don

      What's Jon's excuse for being crotchety  earlier?   It's not like he's old now

    • August 2, 2020 3:19 PM EDT
    • Jon, years ago you posted to me and prefaced it you are getting crotchety in your old age. But we still love ya!

       

      Three years ago I had to read the RailPro assistant manual to get started. It is very well written with step by step instructions and call outs for Tips. As of today I have installed over 600 engines with RailPro. I can offer you short cuts to enjoy using the entire system.

      As an installer there could be always an easier way to do things. But it becomes routine.

      The coolest RailPro Product is the Simulator. For $32 you can do anything the hand controller does on your PC. That is how I load sounds, photos, updates and set up engines. Then I load all the setting in the hand controller by pressing the find button. It takes about 1 minute. 

       

      Jon once you are comfortable with the software you can change the sounds based on what you desire. Not a programmed selection. I had a customer show me how to create a Trolley sound effect and load them into the RailPro. We are here to help each other.

      Don

    • August 2, 2020 3:05 PM EDT
    • Michael -  I was looking for the owner's manuals. After a fair bit of searching, I did find them.  They still didn't have the answer that Don gave above. There are absolutely no specs as to the load capabilities or voltage of the triggers. I can only guess from the diagram that they are ground sinks. Does not say if bulbs are supported and or what current the triggers can handle.  I know how to calculate the proper resistor for an LED. It requires knowing the specs of the LED.  I don't know of a loco manufacturer that will give you the technical specs, or manufacturer's part number, of an LED built into thier product.

       

      I just find it odd that a system that retails for several hundred dollars higher than, say Revo, is not better documented, nor has a website that isn't partially broken (sound samples missing).

       

      And Don - Thanks for chiming in.  I'm still not ruling it out, but I'm not sold yet   I'm in no hurry to change. I still have enough hardware to do one more loco using my current system. Problem is that I have 4 or more locos that I would like to bring on-line some day!

       

    • August 2, 2020 2:10 PM EDT
    • Thanks, Don.

       

      Jon, I have no problem whatsoever navigating the Ring Engineering site. Piece o' cake. What do you need to know? There's a handheld controller and a locomotive module (Direct Radio RF transceiver with sound). If you want track power there's a power supply or you install a 14.4V or 18V battery pack for battery power. A few other small accessories, but essentially all you need is the controller and loco module and you're up and running! I also downloaded a few sound files (EMD 567-16 ULT, Leslie RS5T-ULT, and Nathan P5 ULT) with no problems at all. I use Windows 10 and Google Chrome. One guy on the Railpro message board uses Firefox and has had no problems downloading sound files. 

       

      I was on the Railpro message/info board for quite a while last night gathering information. Not a lot of Large Scalers, but I think the concept is the same for all scales. Check out the Youtube instruction videos by 'Kpack'. You had a question about LED's. Search here and you should find an answer amongst the experts:

       

      https://rpug.pdc.ca/index.php?PHPSESSID=n71a3a71aijtauvhvj0ql6o3v2&

       

    • August 2, 2020 1:59 PM EDT
    • Jon Radder said:
      Bill Barnwell said:

      Jon just wondering why you are not considering G scale graphics Railboss 4 being as you had the early version, I recently put 1 in my Mason Bogie and am very pleased with it

      I'm not a fan of buttons for speed control.  It's a nice system, but not for me. I want either a stick or a knob for throttle.

       

      So far my research into Ring Engineering is not impressing me.

       

      Their website, like their software is odd and hard to navigate. I was finally able to locate some information and it appears that support of external sound cards is non-existent. Light outputs require the user to calculate the correct resistor value for LEDS. This is fine if you are installing new LEDs, but figuring this out for an existing LED of unknown origin is a trails and error exercise at best. Why noy just have a current source output that will drive LEDs directly? It's old, simple technology.

       

      Trying to preview some of the sound files via their website was frustrating. I got one to play once, but could not repeat it or get any others to play. This could be a Firefox compatibility issue.  I downloaded the PC software thinking I could preview some of the picture and sound files, but no the software is only a transfer tool. No way to preview photos or files.  I was also frustrated in the fact that the software only supports drive C:\. My photos and sound files are located on other drives, so I could not select them.  The fact that only Bitmap (BMP) photos are supported is frustrating as well. Sure, I can convert a .JPG to .BMP, but I feel the software should allow me to browse ANY standard photo format and convert it on-the fly.

       

      A couple of other weird things about the software - it's not registered with Microsoft, so you need to A) run install as Administrator (dangerous) and B) ignore warnings from Windows and anti-virus software. It's not hard to get your install routines registered, why wouldn't they?  In general, the software is odd. It does not comply with windows standards, or use any windows functions, like File Browsing.

       

      I'm going to think long and hard before investing over $500 to equip my first loco.  The system does offer some very cool features, but it looks like overkill for me.

       

      EDIT to add:  I figured out the problem with the sound samples. It's not my browser, it's their website. About 50% of the steam files are MIA - give a 404 error if accessed directly.  They really need to spend some time and money on that website.

      Jon,

      I can certainly sympathize with your issues.   I am not certain at all the everything to control large scale seems proprietary in some manner.   For instance, while I DO like the Revolution throttle, I need to ask myself what if they went out of business and I needed a new throttle.   What could I get to work with my existing stuff?   I seem to be finding this true no matter WHO I buy a transmitter, or receiver from - there always seems to be a BIG IF!

    • August 2, 2020 1:24 PM EDT
    • Hi Jon & Michael

       

      Jon, Yes you can use your Phoenix with the 6 triggers. If you keep the Phoenix and not use the RailPro steam sound, just connect the trigger wires from the Phoenix to  the RailPro outputs. Keep the chuff trigger connected to the Phoenix. The 6 RailPro outputs can be used for lights and sound effects.  

      On the RailPro the sound is off until you press the icon of the steam engine to turn on the sound. The bell and whistle are always active if you pres the icons. As Eric mentioned, with this version of steam sound there is no external chuff trigger. There is a purple wire called input for this purpose. It is a firmware update coming soon.

       

       

      Michael, for consisting diesels or steam engines it takes 10 sec to set up. RailPro makes it automatic due to there unique current draw method. DCC still uses a 1980 version of speed/voltage matching.  The module runs on constant track power or battery or switchable.  You can even monitor the track or battery voltage.

       

      Don

       

       

       

    • August 2, 2020 1:03 PM EDT
    • Bill Barnwell said:

      Jon just wondering why you are not considering G scale graphics Railboss 4 being as you had the early version, I recently put 1 in my Mason Bogie and am very pleased with it

      I'm not a fan of buttons for speed control.  It's a nice system, but not for me. I want either a stick or a knob for throttle.

       

      So far my research into Ring Engineering is not impressing me.

       

      Their website, like their software is odd and hard to navigate. I was finally able to locate some information and it appears that support of external sound cards is non-existent. Light outputs require the user to calculate the correct resistor value for LEDS. This is fine if you are installing new LEDs, but figuring this out for an existing LED of unknown origin is a trails and error exercise at best. Why noy just have a current source output that will drive LEDs directly? It's old, simple technology.

       

      Trying to preview some of the sound files via their website was frustrating. I got one to play once, but could not repeat it or get any others to play. This could be a Firefox compatibility issue.  I downloaded the PC software thinking I could preview some of the picture and sound files, but no the software is only a transfer tool. No way to preview photos or files.  I was also frustrated in the fact that the software only supports drive C:\. My photos and sound files are located on other drives, so I could not select them.  The fact that only Bitmap (BMP) photos are supported is frustrating as well. Sure, I can convert a .JPG to .BMP, but I feel the software should allow me to browse ANY standard photo format and convert it on-the fly.

       

      A couple of other weird things about the software - it's not registered with Microsoft, so you need to A) run install as Administrator (dangerous) and B) ignore warnings from Windows and anti-virus software. It's not hard to get your install routines registered, why wouldn't they?  In general, the software is odd. It does not comply with windows standards, or use any windows functions, like File Browsing.

       

      I'm going to think long and hard before investing over $500 to equip my first loco.  The system does offer some very cool features, but it looks like overkill for me.

       

      EDIT to add:  I figured out the problem with the sound samples. It's not my browser, it's their website. About 50% of the steam files are MIA - give a 404 error if accessed directly.  They really need to spend some time and money on that website.

    • August 2, 2020 12:14 PM EDT
    • Jon just wondering why you are not considering G scale graphics Railboss 4 being as you had the early version, I recently put 1 in my Mason Bogie and am very pleased with it

    • August 2, 2020 11:15 AM EDT
    • This is a good and timely discussion. I am currently weighing my options for a future control system. My current system (RailBoss Enhanced w/2-stick) is long discontinued and I have not been able to locate any used units for new locomotive conversions.

       

      I have a question on RailPro and sound.  I currently have Phoenix sound in several locos and trail cars. IF I were to convert my R/C system to RailPro, would the RailPro receiver support my Phoenix sound boards that currently have up to 6 triggers on some locos?  If the answer is yes, I assume I can disable the built-in sound, correct?

    • August 2, 2020 5:06 AM EDT
    • I was about to go with 2 AirWire systems for my steam engines, main reason for AirWire is it is located within 50 miles of where I live and the reviews have been so far good that I have read on these forums. True, two AirWire equipped engines are going to cost me around $800, that's two systems, one battery charger and one throttle. I may now look in to Railpro and give it some thought, thanks for the input on it.

       

      trainman 

    • August 1, 2020 1:57 PM EDT
    • Not familiar with Airwire but VERY pleased with my Railpro.