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    • August 27, 2020 2:44 PM EDT
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      So are you going to share the answers to your questions from Don with the forum?  Sharing is caring!

       

      I've also found that this place is a good source of Railpro information:

       

      https://rpug.pdc.ca/

    • August 27, 2020 9:22 PM EDT
      • Fort Worth, Texas
         
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      Michael Kirrene said:

      So are you going to share the answers to your questions from Don with the forum?  Sharing is caring!

       

      I've also found that this place is a good source of Railpro information:

       

      https://rpug.pdc.ca/

      Don just sent me these pics of a RailPro install in a LGB 2063, a list of parts he used, and the cost to do the install.

      trainman

    • November 20, 2020 11:20 AM EST
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      I just dipped my foot in the Railpro waters.   I ordered the Computer Interface and a locomotive module from Don @ RCS of New England.  I'm going to get to know the system before investing $300 in the handheld controller by using the simulation software and the USB radio module (Computer interface) to load sounds and r/c control a loco on my indoor railroad from my PC in the train room.

       

      One caveat to this plan: The range on the computer interface is short, as it was only designed for programming locos, so I will either need to follow my train lugging a laptop, or limit my movements to a few feet in either direction.  Too bad they don't make an Android version of the software that could be put on a tablet. Probably don't want to go there as it could impact sales of the handheld.

      This post was edited by Jon Radder at November 22, 2020 7:14 PM EST
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    • November 20, 2020 11:15 PM EST
      • West Glocester, Rhode Island
         
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      Welcome to the club Jon!  I met Don about 4 years ago at a show and RailPro seemed to be just what I was looking for but I wanted to try it out without spending $$$.  At that time, the G scale board was not out yet so I bought the computer interface and an HO board.  Love it!

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    • November 21, 2020 8:35 AM EST
      • Fort Worth, Texas
         
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      Jon Radder said:

      I just dipped my foot in the Railpro waters.   I ordered the Computer Interface and a locomotive module from Don @ RCS of New England.  I'm going to get to know the system before investing $300 in the handheld controller by using the simulation software and the USB radio module (Computer interface) to load sounds and r/c control a loco on my indoor railroad from my PC in ther train room.

       

      One caveat to this plan: The range on the computer interface is short, as it was only designed for programming locos, so I will either need to follow my train lugging a laptop, or limit my movements to a few feet in either direction.  Too bad they don't make an Android version of the software that could be put on a tablet. Probably don't want to go there as it could impact sales of the handheld.

      Jon your right, the 1st investment for RailPro for me was around $600 for the controller, computer interface (which I didn't need) the engine module, battery, battery charger, speaker, and needed wiring harness. True I could have cut the price in half by using the computer interface and not the hand held controller ($300), but I figured I would be using it at sometime. It looks to me like each additional engine that I install RailPro in will cost about $300 to do it, still somewhat expensive, but I think I will only be doing a total of three engines, so I'm ok with that. I wanted a good and proven system and AirWire was the only other choice I would consider, but in the long run AirWire would cost more per engine then RailPro, plus I just liked the RailPro control system better. 

       

      trainman

    • November 21, 2020 8:50 AM EST
      • Penacook, New Hampshire
         
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      Hi Jon, I am pleased to report using the USB simulator sitting at my desk, I was able to control a loco 18' away on the floor in my garage.  Even went thru the wall.  I tried it with and without the USB extension cable.

       

      When you get your system let us know what is your range from the USB Simulator.

       

      Don

    • November 21, 2020 11:02 AM EST
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Will do Don.  That range is encouraging! Thanks for your help yesterday; I'm looking forward to a package maybe next week :)

       

      @John L  -  While it seems expensive on the front side, for any other system you would still need to invest in a battery and on-board receiver. I was spending about $90 each loco for the older Railboss system (using a 2-stick radio) and up to $200 for a Phoenix sound board.  Sound is very important to me. The basic sounds provided by Revo don't do it for me. On the Airwire side, something like a TCS WOW board gets you there, but that board is very expensive too. So, at $179 list for the Railpro  Loco Module, I'm hoping to get sound and control that meets or exceeds what I've been running at almost $100 less per loco.  The controller price is up there, but for me that will be a one time investment as I have no need for multiple controllers.

       

      Bottom line - this isn't a cheap hobby and you get what you pay for.

       

      If this lives up to my expectations I'll be putting several Phoenix boards and Railboss Hobby boards up for sale :) 

       

      I have one concern with the way RailPro is programmed.  If for some reason Ring Engineering would go belly up, one would only be able to program sounds etc. that have already been downloaded to your PC. I still need to confirm that RailPro Assistant software to will function without a internet connection to Ring Engineering.

      This post was edited by Jon Radder at November 22, 2020 2:51 PM EST
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    • November 21, 2020 12:10 PM EST
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      To me, the purchase of a RailPro HC-2-SUN handheld controller is essential and a no-brainer. The C1-1 is a computer interface, primarily used for programming and setting up the locomotives. I read on the Ring site that the controller can communicate with locos at 100 ft; guys on the Facebook pages are talking 50-75 ft. distances unobstructed. 

      This post was edited by Michael Kirrene at November 21, 2020 12:14 PM EST
    • November 21, 2020 1:35 PM EST
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Michael Kirrene said:

      To me, the purchase of a RailPro HC-2-SUN handheld controller is essential and a no-brainer. The C1-1 is a computer interface, primarily used for programming and setting up the locomotives. I read on the Ring site that the controller can communicate with locos at 100 ft; guys on the Facebook pages are talking 50-75 ft. distances unobstructed. 

      I completely agree Michael.  My reasoning for not purchasing the controller is that I want to audition the system without investing in the handheld.  If the sound and control functions live up to my expectations, then I will buy the controller. If not I've gambled around $200 which I could probably recoup more than half of by selling the components.

       

      I did do some testing today with the software only.  I disabled my internet connection then tried to send files I had on my PC to the controller simulator. The Assistant software warned about No Connection, but functioned. But, when I went to the Handheld Simulator it could not get the files because of No Internet. This concerns me because our market is very fickle. Manufacturers disappear all the time. I don't want to get nearly $1K invested in a system only to find I can no longer update anything because the Ring Engineering host server is gone.  The fact that they are in all scales makes me a little more secure that they will stay around, but I'd feel much better if I could load files saved on my PC to the controller without a connection to the host server. I assume that all that would be needed would be a change in the controller software to allow download from the PC without a connection to the host.

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    • November 22, 2020 2:00 AM EST
      • Fort Wayne, Indiana
         
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      I know I love my system! I use the Handheld sun control. I will be addMing two more locomotives to mine here soon. And I agree with the belly up situation if it ever happen would suck. 

      Jason

    • November 22, 2020 1:42 PM EST
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      Jon, I understand your concern. Previously, I had installed Airwire Drop-in decoders and Phoenix P8 soundboards in my USAT GP9's. The issue that put me over the edge to go with RailPro was my inability to buy additional P8 soundboards to compliment my Airwire installs early this year. I waited almost two months to buy another P8 as they were out of stock and Phoenix didn't have anymore. Then I read that others were unable to buy P8 boards at all. Before I switched to RailPro from Airwire, I looked into Ring's longevity in the business. They just celebrated their 16 year anniversary this year, providing products to model railroaders, especially HO scale. In the last few years, they've begun supporting G scale. 

       

      This was quoted by Tim Ring at Ring Engineering the other day:

       

      "Covid has impacted us as a company both good and bad.  Our sales are real strong now (some months probably close to 300% more than last year).  I think there are three reasons. 1) RailPro is growing the longer it is out there.  2) Our recently added G-Scale products have been a very significant addition. 3) Because of covid many are staying home and looking for something to do - clearly many are choosing to do more model railroading. Covid has caused us a lot of supplier-related problems and other problems that has detracted from our normal business. Due to the increase, a significant amount of our development focus has been on production.  We have made very significant  improvements in our production capacity recently."



      So, that tells me the company is going strong and will most likely provide support for years to come. I see there are a LOT of railroaders on the Facebook pages who have already converted or plan to convert to RailPro in the future. Check out the G-scale RailPro videos on YouTube. I'm one of the ones who has started converting and I love it! 

    • November 22, 2020 2:49 PM EST
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Thanks Michael. I read that over on the RPUG forum too.  I guess the valid question is, how old is Tim Ring?  We've seen lots of our suppliers retire over the last five or so years and these hobby businesses are not easy to sell, so many just go away. I'm no spring chicken, so if Ring stays in business for 10 or 15 more years, I'm likely not to care if it goes away!

       

      I've heard that about Phoenix from several other sources. No one really knows what is going on there.  Being the high price spread, they might be having problems staying afloat as strong competition from people like Ring and TCS. For your Airwire installs couldn't you use a DCC decoder with sound. The TCS WOW is pretty impressive.

       

      In any case, this isn't a deal breaker for me, just a concern.  I still think it would be advantageous to be able to load files you have saved on your computer to the handheld without having an internet connection.  A dealer at a show may not have internet, but could program LM's for clients on the spot with a laptop if this were the case.

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    • November 22, 2020 5:17 PM EST
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      Jon Radder said:

      I guess the valid question is, how old is Tim Ring?  We've seen lots of our suppliers retire over the last five or so years and these hobby businesses are not easy to sell, so many just go away. I'm no spring chicken, so if Ring stays in business for 10 or 15 more years, I'm likely not to care if it goes away! For your Airwire installs couldn't you use a DCC decoder with sound. The TCS WOW is pretty impressive.

       

      Yes! I thought of that too. Most likely by the time these businesses are ready to throw in the towel, it might not matter, as we'll probably be gone. The owner of Airwire, Keith Guiterrez, is still alive and kickin' too, but who knows how long he'll be around or if he'll hand off/sell the business to someone else for the long term. It's gratifying that company owners like Charlie Ro have a son that can carry on the family business and name. 

       

      I'm done with Airwire installs, I have two of those already with Drop-ins and P8's so don't need anymore anyway. It's full-throttle up with RailPro now.  

       

       

    • November 23, 2020 9:09 AM EST
      • Penacook, New Hampshire
         
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      Hi Guys, lots of good questions about Ring Engineering and the software.

       

      1. I have only talked to Tim Ring over the past 4 years and learned he is a family man his wife works for the business. My guess is he is in his mid 40's. Been in business for 14 years. I talked to him about the future of RailPro and how in G scale we have lost too many vendors. It took convincing to get a G scale module with vendors declining. As Michael stated his business is up and pleased with the G scale sales.  I interpreted that as great news for G scale. I believe we have a keeper here for many years to come.

       

      2. Jon you stated, " I still think it would be advantageous to be able to load files you have saved on your computer to the handheld without having an internet connection.  A dealer at a show may not have internet, but could program LM's for clients on the spot with a laptop if this were the case." Good news I can do that , and so will you. After the initial download of files from the Ring server, a copy is stored on your computer in the Ring folder. Using the USB simulator you can copy them at  any time into the loco module.

       

      Don

    • November 23, 2020 3:52 PM EST
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Don Sweet said:

      2. Jon you stated, " I still think it would be advantageous to be able to load files you have saved on your computer to the handheld without having an internet connection.  A dealer at a show may not have internet, but could program LM's for clients on the spot with a laptop if this were the case." Good news I can do that , and so will you. After the initial download of files from the Ring server, a copy is stored on your computer in the Ring folder. Using the USB simulator you can copy them at  any time into the loco module.

       

      Don

       

      Thanks Don.  That does not appear to be the case.  I downloaded a bunch of files via RailPro Assistant, then loaded some of them into the simulator.  Then I closed both programs and disconnected my PC from the internet.   Both programs load without a connection, but RPA gives an error 'Server Can't be Found' which can be cleared.  I am able to find the files I downloaded and can add them to the list to be transferred to the HC.  When I go to the HC, it allows me to do the Update Software, but then just spins endlessly "waiting for Internet".  If I shut everything down again, reconnect the PC to the internet and try again, everything works as it should.    Are you sure you have done this while off-line?

       

       

      This post was edited by Jon Radder at November 23, 2020 3:53 PM EST
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    • November 24, 2020 9:57 AM EST
      • Reedley, CA
         
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      I have been away from LSC for a few months and am happy to be able to get back on...

      I made the decision to go with Railpro about two months ago after a frustrating time with equipment from another vendor.  Too many parts and wires and it just wouldn't work.  With Railpro it took me about 30 minutes minus a little time some modifications to the cab to hook everything up and my engine was running.  I love the touch screen controller.  I plan to convert my older engines over time as money allows.

      I looked at Airwire but the new module wouldn't fit in the area of the engine I was converting.  

      Richard

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