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  • Topic: Airwire or RailPro

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    • January 8, 2020 12:38 PM EST
      • Georgetown, Texas
         
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      Airwire or RailPro

      I have a small collection of Aristocraft locos (3 steam and 4 diesels).  I am wanting to convert them to battery / remote control. I have been looking at Airwire and RailPro. I would like to know peoples thoughts on these or other platforms of R/C control.. 

      The following parameters are under consideration

      Automation in not an issue.

      Don't want cost to be priority over function.

      Ease of installation

      Compatibility with Aristocraft locos (steam and diesel)

      Reliability

      Responsiveness to controller

      Thank you for your time and consideration of my issue.

      ____________________________________

      Tim Boswell

      G Scale Railroading

      Georgetown, Texas

    • January 8, 2020 12:51 PM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Other;

      first the controllers have buttons, some need a dial and go elsewhere, but I've never heard a bad thing about these;

      https://www.gscalegraphics.net/store/c1/Featured_Products.html#/

       

      His wife has the Graphic side of the site....

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • January 8, 2020 2:17 PM EST
      • Marysville, Kansas
         
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      I use Airwire on my locomotives.   It was pretty simple to hook up and isn't to hard at all to run, easily controls my loco's sound system.   I've also had very good luck with Airwire's customer service.   I have no experience with RailPro so I can't give you a comparison. 

       

      I would highly recommend you try and find local people who use RC and ask them to run their trains to get some idea of how each system is to operate.

      This post was edited by Chris Kieffer at January 8, 2020 3:43 PM EST
    • January 8, 2020 2:44 PM EST
      • Kittery, ME
         
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      RailPro has a lot of nice features and benefits.  The reason I won't go near it is that the receiver only has 6 outputs for lights, etc.  With AirWire, you can use DCC function decoders to do whatever you like.  RailPro also won't let you sync chuff sounds with a pulsed smoke unit or trigger with an kind of axle sensor.  There is an input line on it, but it's not clear what it's for.  Perhaps in the future, this will allow external triggering.

    • January 8, 2020 2:55 PM EST
      • Litchfield, NH
         
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      Tim,

      I am curious have you managed to get your hands on or try both systems?  I myself have been installing RailPro and battery power into all of my engines which is coming up on 14 now.  I like railpro as to me it is a less expensive system with a lot of features.  Mind you the remote is a lit costlier but you only have to buy one and then its only buying a single decoder for each engine you install into and the decoders are less than $200.  Where as airwire you need decoder and then you need to go buy a sound decoder as well and that can run you over $300.  As for ease of installation you should no in G scale since there is no standard everyone adopted that is just plug a play you do usually need to cut and solder wires at times.  I believe aire wire does have drop in boards which do ease some of the installation but again that adds to cost.  I prefer the visual touch screen of the RailPro controller myself as I can see a picture and easily select loco's and I find no issue with responsiveness.  Only issue you can have is when you put in a metal steam engine where you range can drop a lot.  Engine will still continue on even when you loose signal and will reacquire once back in range but that is one thing I have seen.  Either system is going to be compatible with the engines.  If you have any other questions or want to know anything else just reply. 

    • January 8, 2020 6:36 PM EST
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
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      If cost isn't a problem...

      I would say use a Protothrottle with Martin Sant's DCC Widget...

       

      But that's the $500 Protothrottle cost plus Martin's widget plus a DCC decoder. But you won't get a more realistic way to control your trains.

    • January 8, 2020 9:36 PM EST
      • Columbia, Maryland
         
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      I have Airwire, but I have also have used Railpro. I think Railpro is a much better system if you have the money. The speed control is very smooth, the touchscreen display is very straightforward and easy to use, (no DCC functions to worry about), and the sound selection and sound quality is very good. 

       

      Another nice thing about Railpro is that anyone can add sound files to their sound file library. That means there are almost unlimited possibilities for sound files of any loco or self-propelled railcar that you may want.  If there isn't, you can always upload your own file to their library. 

      This post was edited by Joe Loll at January 9, 2020 9:20 AM EST
    • January 9, 2020 6:37 PM EST
      • Rooster Works "Area 69" ,
         
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      Welcome to LSC Timothy!

    • January 9, 2020 9:27 PM EST
      • Charlottesville, Virginia
         
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      One thing, not sure if this is a consideration, but Airwire is very 'hackable' for lack of a better term.  It is DCC over the air on the 915Mhz ISM band, so for the most part, it's kinda 'open source' if you are so inclined.

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