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    • 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.

    • August 1, 2020 1:14 PM EDT
    • I have four USAT GP-9's, one F-3A/B set, one NW2, and two moguls. Out of those engines, I have two GP-9's converted to Airwire with Drop-in boards and Phoenix P-8's and 14.4v battery packs.

       

      Airwire ain't cheap at all to convert to battery power w/sound even after the initial cost of the T-5000 transmitter. I've been reading the G-scale Facebook pages lately, and quite a few railroaders already have RailPro or are converting over from Airwire and Revo. Never thought I'd ever say this, but I'm starting to think that RailPro is the better choice of systems and I'm thinking seriously about converting over. Primary consideration is the cost. Secondary is functionality and ease of use while still maintaining throttle control with a knob. Third is the ability to synchronize loco consist speeds with ease. Fourth is the ability to run both track and battery power. Railpro has the decoder and sound built into one module as opposed to the Airwire needing a G3/G4x Drop-in decoder and a Phoenix sound card and a battery pack. And if Railpro runs both on track and battery power, the battery can wait until you're up and running with track power (and still have sound). And I understand that it's DCC compatible now, so that's good. The support from Ring Engineering seems pretty good too as they're coming out with new sound files, especially steam-powered ones, as we speak. There's quite a bit of pros and not too many cons to this thing, so I'm looking at it closely for consideration.

    • August 1, 2020 11:56 AM EDT
    • Don Sweet said:

      Hi Richard, here is another idea. If you use the RailPro single module, Radio, Control & Sound,  you can fit the module into the boiler. You can use track or battery power. The battery is mounted on the back wall of the cab. Connect the lights and smoke directly to the RailPro module.

       

      I am intrigued by the battery that mounts to the back of the cab...what kind/size is it and what kind of run time?  The current RC system I'm trying to install includes a Phoenix P8 for sound.  Perhaps you can email me setup and quote that will work.

      Thanks,

      Richard

       

    • August 1, 2020 9:32 AM EDT
    • Hi Richard, here is another idea. If you use the RailPro single module, Radio, Control & Sound,  you can fit the module into the boiler. You can use track or battery power. The battery is mounted on the back wall of the cab. Connect the lights and smoke directly to the RailPro module.

       

    • August 1, 2020 7:23 AM EDT
    • LGB forneys have a large weight in the boiler and there is not enough room for multiple boards and these need to be somewhat narrow.

      I am DCC track power and put the decoder in the boiler and the speaker in the fuel bunker. 

    • August 1, 2020 1:12 AM EDT
    • I'm thinking of going to Airwire for an LGB Forney that I've been struggling to convert.  Has anyone done this??  If so what decoder is the appropriate one??

      Richard

    • August 1, 2020 8:32 AM EDT
    • Dan Padova said:

      Can the chuff rate be adjusted on the 65000 steam module ?

      Dan Padova - Did you get your LGB Sound Module chuff rate adjusted.  You need either a DCC system to do so, or, a Massoth PC Interface Module that's only powered by a 2 Amp DC power suipply.  Also, since you're running Analog power, the LGB 65011 Power Storage Unit that plugs into your LGB Sound Module helps to operate the sounds better which needs a minimum of 6 volts to work.  So the Power Storage Unit powers the sound unit a lower voltage (lower loco speed) and when your loco comes to a stop, it powers the sound unit for about 25 seconds.  I sell the LGB 65011 on my Website; I also sell Massoth DCC components and am an Authorized LGB Service Center if you need any assistance.  Below is a photo of an installation I completed for a customer of an LGB 65001 American Steam Sound Module into his LGB Mogul Tender.  Website:  https://www.olddominionrailways.com/  

       

    • July 20, 2020 8:30 PM EDT
    • HJE is the brand sold by RLD Hobbies where I purchased from. I’ve also seen them on the Reindeer Pass site. I’ve thought about it just purchasing future batteries through Tenergy. But I’ll check out Don Sweets site

    • July 20, 2020 7:53 PM EDT
    • Not that it matters, but who is HJE?  I see a lot of dealers sell this brand, but can find no manufacturer info.  I buy MTO batteries from Don Sweet, RCS of New England. MTO has a website with technical data on their packs which can be helpful.

    • July 20, 2020 1:44 PM EDT
    • Thanks Jon!!  I think I'll heed your advice and leave it all alone.  In the meantime I'll search for a different battery so I can get this engine up and running again.

      Richard

    • July 20, 2020 1:08 PM EDT
    • Short answer: No.

       

      The cells inside are spot welded to metal bus bars which in turn are soldered directly to the PCB.   To split the cells you would need to un-solder the PCB from the cells and completely re-wire. Not something I would suggest for someone with no experience.

       

      That 8 cell pack would give you a very long run time.  If a pack half that thick (same width) would fit without modification, then you would do just fine with a 4 cell pack.  I run 4-cell 3500Mah packs and I get many hours (sometimes days) of runtime from various locos.  If you are roundy-round you would get less time than me as my trains sit idling more than they move, but still should be good for 3-4 hours of continuous operation from a 4 cell pack. One made with the same cells would be about 3350 Mah.

    • July 20, 2020 11:35 AM EDT
    • This is the battery I was hoping to install in the 3 truck shay tender.  The original NiMH batteries were two 7.4 volts put in series...each battery was slender and was siliconed at a slight angle against the side walls of the tender.  This allowed space for the speaker.  So my question is can I split this battery in to two parts and but not touch or mess with any of the wiring or circuitry?  I'd Shrink wrap the two pieces again and install like the original two batteries...The key point for me is not touching the wires, rewiring, messing with any of the PC board stuff...

      Thanks,

      Richard

    • July 18, 2020 8:25 PM EDT
    • Thanks.  I did the remote wiring on my Shay. 3 cells in the boiler and one cell in the air tank.   Worked perfect on the bench, but when I took it apart to put in the loco, I triggered something on the PCB and it wouldn't work. Ended up finding a way to reset the PCB, then all was good.

       

      When my Porter batteries eventually give up the ghost, I will change to one of the 4 cell balancing PCBs.  For now, I won't fix what I can't see (cell voltage variation).