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opinion on SPROG DCC?

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opinion on SPROG DCC?
Posted by LEOFUTURE on Thursday, January 14, 2021 4:53 PM

anyone has experience with SPROG DCC? Pi-SPROG 3 Full System     at $190, is it mainly for tiny test track or small layout?

http://sprog.us.com/sprog.html

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  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, January 14, 2021 6:23 PM

I have one ( a Sprogg II) that I use exclusively in my shop for the test track and initial decoder programming. It works flawlessly when married to JMRI Decoder Pro.

Sprog 3 will have a little more power (up to 2.5A ?) and you could run several more locomotives with it.

Good Luck, Ed

 

  • Member since
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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 14, 2021 7:47 PM

 It was sort of limited, and if you didn't like using a phone as a throttle, you were pretty m,uch out of luck. But now there is the ProtoThrottle and the TCS UWT-100 that will work, making it a much more attractive option.

                                            --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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  • From: Coatsville, PA
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Posted by gshin on Thursday, January 21, 2021 8:57 AM

I've been using a SPROG 3 in my shop for several years.  I use it with JMRI Decoder Pro to program and test locomotives.  The test track is about 8 feet long so I can run things back and forth for testing.  I use the throttle built in to Decoder Pro on my computer to run the locomotives, but I have also used the phone with it.

All-in-all, I would highly recommend it for this use.  I'm not sure about trying to run anything but a small railroad with it as the primary DCC system.

Regards,

Greg

Greg Shindledecker Modeling the =WM= Thomas Sub in the mid-70s
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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 21, 2021 9:47 AM

 Since it's all driven by JMRI, there is no absolute limit on the number of trains you can run (limited by power, but you can connect as many boosters as you need). Given that the Raspberry Pi's processor is many times more powerful than that used by the command stations from the mainstream DCC system providers, there should be no issues running lots of trains. Throttle limit, since they are all Wifi connected, is limited only by the capacity of the access point used - a typical home one can theoretically support 255 connections, but most clog up with less than half that - still 100 throttles, that's a pretty big layout if you need 100 throttles in use! One can always use small business level equipment that supports more users (and of course costs more) if you have THAT big of a layout/

 If the avaialble throttle choices (JMRI on-screen, WiThrottle/Engine Driver on smartphones, TCS UWT-100, and Proto Throttle) are sufficient for your needs, I see no reason why the Pi-SPROG system couldn't be used on any size layout. Once TCS releases the simpler knob throttle, UWT-50, there will be another choice. 

                                 --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    December 2012
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Posted by aj1s on Monday, January 25, 2021 4:31 PM

I have the Pi SPROG 3 system on my N scale HCD layout, and I like it a lot!

There may not be a limit to the number of trains JMRI can run, but the Pi SPROG 3 has a loco stack with (I believe) 32 slots. So you can simultaneously run up to 32 total locos & Advanced Consists (of any number of locos each), within the 2.5A capacity.

Note that consists created with WiFi throttles are NOT Advanced Consists. The SPROG allows you to program Advanced Consists while "Programming On the Main (POM)" in JMRI Panel Pro, or using Decoder Pro.

I chose it over the Zephyr and the Pro Cab because I could run trains with a wireless throttle app less expensively, and not have to use my laptop to do so. I am also very comfortable with the Linux OS on the R-Pi. Absolutely no regrets!

And I sure wouldn't want to program decoders without JMRI!

I use my laptop to VNC into the R-Pi to run JMRI Decoder Pro to program decoders, but I don't need the laptop just to run trains, with a throttle app and a VNC app (both free) on my phone, the latter app just to properly shut down the OS prior to shutting off power to the R-Pi. Some people just kill power, and it usually shuts down just fine. I know better. JMRI Panel Pro and the WiFi throttle server auto-start on power-up of the R-Pi, so it is ready to run trains by just turning it on.

There are very few DCC systems that will connect wirelessly to your existing home network, and they are expensive, except when using JMRI on a computer (including the R-Pi, no matter what command station you connect it to.) This way, I do not have to switch my phone or computer to a different WiFi network hosted by the DCC system's WiFi interface. I can also update the OS, JMRI, etc. more easily since it also has internet access wirelessly.

By the way, TCS is now accepting pre-orders on their mini wireless throttle (with a nice throttle knob!), to start shipping no later than July 30, 2021. It is compatible with the JMRI WiFi throttle server SW.

Hope this helps...

-- Andy - Arlington TX

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 7:53 AM

 The TCS UWT-100 has a new in-throttle consisting that would work if using it with Pi-Sprog, which gives a very convenient setup similar to how NCE does it with a lead and trail loco plus any in between, and easy reversal at the end of the line.

                       --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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