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    • September 19, 2021 11:22 AM EDT
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      RailPro Install

      Having never done anything like this before, I jumped in with both feet. After seeing a 5 part video series on how to install a RailPro controller and battery power. The victim, my first locomotive, a USA Trains GP38-2 . in the video the guy strips out ALL the factory electronics and starts fresh, so I ripped out all the parts, including the smoke generators, I dont like them so away they went.  That was the easy part then comes the part where i got nervous, wiring and soldering things. The guy (Jon) and another (Cody)both were big helps when I ran into the gaps in his videos, Cody and I have had several phone conversations to clear up issues and differant questions, plus Robbie from RLD was helpful too.

      figuring out where it can go and what orientation is best

      Below Testing how the wires reach. after a bit I realized I had turned the body the wrong way ... OOPS, like I said first time doing this!

      my nephew is a UP engineer, so I got his normal work atire and painted the engineer up , and gave him a nice conductor, his wife Heather.

      Mounted the module up high for better reception and to get some distance from the speaker magnet, which they mentioned to me.

      all the front light wires are plugged in to the module, next part is going to be interesting, soldering, last time i did any was with a gun on 12 gauge wire back in high school, this may take some time and hopefully since i wll go slow and keep things labeled I will get this done in a few weeks. The sound is really good. I will attempt to post a video of it soon.

       

       

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      The Babs River Railway

      We can do that, but its gonna cost you... a lot more

       

    • September 19, 2021 4:48 PM EDT
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      Pete, if there's one important thing to remember, it's this. And it comes from Robbie at RLD, other Face Bookers, and from Mr. Ring himself:

       

      Suspend the Railpro LM-3S module high inside the shell, preferably sideways. DO NOT allow any obstructions around the parameter of the module (with exception to the shell of course). Two reasons. To allow maximum transmit/receive distance with the radio module and.......temperature. Though I haven't experienced it myself, evidently for some, on hot days the module can get very warm and shut down. There's a guy on Facebook who sells 3D printed brackets with fans mounted on them for 20 bucks. The fans are optional. 

    • September 19, 2021 5:58 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Not to argue with your advice Michael, but I have violated all of those "rules" on several installs with no issue.   In my C-19 the board is mounted vertical to the speaker enclosure with the battery over top under the plastic coal load.  I was running today and left it parked in direct sun for about 15 minutes. Before I moved it, I checked the module temp on the info screen and it was fine.  My range is acceptable to me. I walk with my trains so I'm usually within 10 feet. Today I had several engines 30 some feet away with no issue. Engines in a tunnel are another story

       

      EDIT to add: I don't run roundy-round so the heat/range issues might be more of a concern if running continuous on a large loop.

      This post was edited by Jon Radder at September 27, 2021 7:28 PM EDT
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    • September 19, 2021 6:29 PM EDT
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      Jon, as I said, I have not experienced any temperature issues with the RailPro module in my USAT GP-9. But while the climate out here in the Bay Area is nice and "Mediterranian like", in other areas it's hotter and more humid. I speak for the G-scalers out there in the hotter climates who have complained. And just last week, one guy on Facebook complained that he was getting very short distances with his radio. The immediate reply was to mount the module high up off the floor of the chassis and don't allow any obstructions. Just passing the word. Your mileage may vary of course, but it doesn't hurt to "get it right the first time" just in case. 

    • September 19, 2021 6:30 PM EDT
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      Jon, as I said, I have not experienced any temperature issues with the RailPro module in my USAT GP-9. But while the climate out here in the Bay Area is nice and "Mediterranian like", in other areas it's hotter and more humid. I speak for the G-scalers out there in the hotter climates who have complained. And just last week, one guy on Facebook complained that he was getting very short distances with his radio. The immediate reply was to mount the module high up off the floor of the chassis and don't allow any obstructions. Just passing the word. Your mileage may vary of course, but it doesn't hurt to "get it right the first time" just in case. 

    • September 19, 2021 6:30 PM EDT
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      Jon, as I said, I have not experienced any temperature issues with the RailPro module in my USAT GP-9. But while the climate out here in the Bay Area is nice and "Mediterranian like", in other areas it's hotter and more humid. I speak for the G-scalers out there in the hotter climates who have complained. And just last week, one guy on Facebook complained that he was getting very short distances with his radio. The immediate reply was to mount the module high up off the floor of the chassis and don't allow any obstructions. Just passing the word. Your mileage may vary of course, but it doesn't hurt to "get it right the first time" just in case. 

    • September 19, 2021 7:06 PM EDT
      • West Glocester, Rhode Island
         
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      Taken from page 3 of the Model Railroad Locomotive Module (LM-3S-G)

      https://largescalecentral.com/FileSharing/user_2332/General/Railpro_mounting.JPG

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    • September 20, 2021 9:43 AM EDT
      • Fort Worth, Texas
         
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      I always take out all the original electronics including the lights, unless they are LED's, then I will in most cases use them. RCS of New England will give you a module standoff to mount the module when you buy from him, it works great and you won't have to make one out of wood blocks. I think you will be totally happy with the Rail Pro system, it works better then I thought it would. 

      trainman

    • September 20, 2021 7:26 PM EDT
      • South Central , PA
         
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      Jon Radder said:

      Not to argue with your advice Michael, but I have violated all of those "rules" on several installs with no issue. 

       

       

       

      Rooster has reported Jon Radder to the moderator for saying: Violated

       

       

       

       

      This post has been edited by:  Rooster  (It's all good and LSC Rules as it always has )

    • September 23, 2021 1:25 PM EDT
      • Chicopee, MA
         
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      Don Sweet of RCS New England suggested using heat sinks adhered to the top of the receiver module,  as that helps for heat dissipation. I get them from Digi-Key, PN 345-1075-ND, about $2.65 each.

      I also installed fans into my USA GP38-2, and use an inline thermostat, PN 1862-1116-ND, $5.63, to turn on the fans when the internal temperature gets to about 105f.

    • September 24, 2021 9:16 PM EDT
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      Well dang!! Got the lights all soldered up and tested. Went to assign a button to the cab lights and the number boards and the controller screen froze up. After trying everything I pushed the reset button , gave it 5 minutes and now it cannot “see” the locomotive or the module. Called a friend and we ran through some tests and tried deleting the locos d it still will not see it. We came up with there is a glitch in the module( he had one do it also) so I will call  Ring next chance I’m home during business hours. Arrrggh!

      my friend doesn’t think it’s anything I did wrong.

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      The Babs River Railway

      We can do that, but its gonna cost you... a lot more

       

    • September 25, 2021 8:29 AM EDT
      • Penacook, New Hampshire
         
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      Hi Pete, I do not know what actually happened but do this. Take your vol meter and with the module on, measure for 5V from the +5V to common. Next measure the +v to common. If no voltage the internal fuse popped. It needs to go back to Ring. If you have proper voltage and cannot find the module,  call Tech Support at Ring.  219-322-0279.

       

      Don

    • September 26, 2021 12:04 AM EDT
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      Thanks Don, I will check that in the morning and see what it says.

      Ted , Where did you get the fans? since I am in AZ, they might come in handy, thanks, Pete

      Side note question, the blocks of wood I am using to rasie the module up higher, do y'all think that is blocking too much of the bottom of the module, I doubt this has any bearing on my current issue, but since its probably going to be sent away O thought it would ask. I can probably just use one block to hold it up if the 2 are too much.

      This post was edited by Pete Lassen at September 26, 2021 10:42 AM EDT
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      The Babs River Railway

      We can do that, but its gonna cost you... a lot more

       

    • September 26, 2021 10:10 AM EDT
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      Don, only place I get a reading is from the +V to common. I am also sending an e-mail to Ring 

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      The Babs River Railway

      We can do that, but its gonna cost you... a lot more

       

    • September 27, 2021 7:27 PM EDT
      • South Central , PA
         
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      Pete,

       I personally hope you get this worked out and I know you will!

       

       

       

    • September 29, 2021 9:21 PM EDT
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      After taxing my electrical abilities, and a friends patience over the phone( I never quite learned how to read a volt ohm meter, but figured a few things out. My module has suffered some kind of “event” so it’s in the mail back to Ring, if it’s their fault , free. My fault (probably) it’s about $40 plus shipping to get it fixed. They figure a week or 2 and I should have it back. Everything just needs plugging back in and setting the lights to the proper wires. 

      ____________________________________

       

       

       

       

       

       

      The Babs River Railway

      We can do that, but its gonna cost you... a lot more

       

    • September 30, 2021 10:33 AM EDT
      • Penacook, New Hampshire
         
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      Hi Pete, the sensitive part of the RailPro loco module is when you use the +V and Common screw terminals. It is fused against shorts , however, it is a internal surface mount fuse that you and I cannot change. That is why you need to return the module for repair.

      If in doubt about your wiring I use a 1 amp, must be a 1 amp glass fuse quick blow connected to the +V to test my wiring. I rarely need to use the +V terminals. But they come in handy,  but you must be careful not to short the +V and common.

      USA engines do not provide the complete "DCC" wiring, which provides two wires to each light and isolate the motors. When you modify USA engines wiring issues can happen if you do not fully understand the wiring.   Ask us for advice.

      On USA engines I have a set procedure for my installs.This is a shortened summary of steps for using battery power. Track power steps would be different.

      1. Turn over and remove all body screws.  Working on the bottom. Then remove the 4 track pick up wires attached the end of each motor block if on battery power. Remove the sliders.  The outside wires to the motor block pins are motor power. Leave in place. 

      2. Remove fuel tank and mount the on/off switch and speaker. Mount charge jack in fuel tank side or rear end of engine near coupler. Or where you prefer. 

      3. Upright engine, remove shell and work on the inside of engine. Looking at the USA lighting board, unplug both motor connectors, the 2 wire red/black cables from the USA lighting board and the four wires plug for track pickups. Now the lighting board is out of the circuit. 

      4. I mount the RailPro module over the rear weight with the screw terminals going towards the cab end.  This way heat rises up thru the fans or you can add a 5V fan to exhaust heat.

      5. Connect motor wires directly to the RailPro module. Cut off black plugs from rear motor and connect the red/blk wires to the M2 screw terminals. Use red wire for +.  The front motor wires will be short. To lengthen reuse the removed 4 wire track pick up cable and plug into the short motor wire plug. Connect the red/blk wires directly to the RailPro M1 and M2 motor terminals.  This time connect the red to minus. Because, the USA motor blocks are mounted 180' opposite. Or you can swap the wires below on the motor block if you forget.

      5. I always do a test here to make sure the battery powers the system. Connect the red/blk wire from the on/off switch to the track input screw terminals on the module. Turn on. Next Link the hand controller to the module to test the radio by pressing the find button. Select the no name loco and run the motors. If all is good, now you know that your wiring and the radio works. 

      6. Next tackle the lights.  That is a lengthy conversation for the next installment. Or contact me at at do[email protected]

       

      Don

       

    • October 1, 2021 12:51 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Don - That 1A glass fuse during testing is great advice. Probably would have saved the AM-1 that I blew up (probably just an internal fuse) when experimenting with inputs and outputs.  My error was trying to get the module to do things it wasn't designed to do and somehow shorted an output. A $70 mistake including shipping, but Tim upgraded me to a 1S on the exchange

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    • October 1, 2021 1:16 PM EDT
      • Penacook, New Hampshire
         
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      I guess it is called "the learning curve". At least you got a little more in return.

      Tim originally suggested a 2 amp. When that blew the module he said, " well that's on me". Better use a 1 amp. We were testing a MTH smoke unit.

      Don

    • October 1, 2021 6:17 PM EDT
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      Thanks Don, I had pretty much followed your steps for my installation, I did not remove the wiper wires off the axles, but will do that this weekend. I had tested as I went , just to make sure things were working properly. Something happened when I soldered the cab light and was testing it when everything went bad I will recheck all my wiring before I reconnect the module when it is returned. Thanks for the help , if you wish to email me the light wiring you can @[email protected] Would using a 9v battery to test the lights harm the LED bulbs? 

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      The Babs River Railway

      We can do that, but its gonna cost you... a lot more

       

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