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Mrc Wireless

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Mrc Wireless
Posted by glsummers on Friday, February 8, 2008 12:09 AM
I would like to know if anyone out there has the new MRC wireless and have been having problems with it? Thanks Larry
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Posted by jfugate on Friday, February 8, 2008 3:24 AM

 glsummers wrote:
I would like to know if anyone out there has the new MRC wireless and have been having problems with it? Thanks Larry

Yes, here's a detailed review by someone who owns the system and has it up and running. I encourage you to post any questions over there you have about it, and he can probably answer them.

Joe Fugate Modeling the 1980s SP Siskiyou Line in southern Oregon

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Posted by fmilhaupt on Friday, February 8, 2008 6:51 AM

It has been reported that there is a software glitch in the first batch of the Prodigy Advance^2 Wireless that causes difficulty calling up certain (seemingly random) locomotive addresses, but it sounds as if MRC has a handle on it and is addressing it. See http://www.tonystrains.com/tonystips/2008/020408.htm

Overall, MRC's Prodigy Advance and Advance^2 have been received much better than their decoders.

-Fritz Milhaupt, Publications Editor, Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc.
http://www.pmhistsoc.org

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Posted by dadret on Friday, February 8, 2008 7:07 AM
I plan to convert my Prodigy Advance to the new wireless but it sounds like it might be a good idea to wait a while.  MRC says you can convert both Prdigy Advance and Advance 2 with the same wireless version.  There was a pretty good review of the system in February issue of this magazine.  Micro-Mark is selling them for $179.00.
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Posted by Tilden on Friday, February 8, 2008 10:09 AM

I got the MRC wireless upgrade for my PA system.  It works great and I have not had any problems with it.  The operating range is very good, as I can use it from anywhere in the house.  I have run the unit for over 4 hours and still had juice in the batteries.  You can get higher amp hour batteries, which will extend operating time (and also charge time).  I have not encountered the 4 digit addressing problems.  Appearently they are in a range of numbers in the 15_ _ series and I don't have any locos numbered in that range.
I don't understand the comments on consisting.  If you want the various functions to follow the consist address, you simply adjust CV21.   Of course, you need a decoder that has this function.
All in all, I think the MRC wireless will work for most users and is a good deal for the price.

Tilden

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Posted by jfugate on Friday, February 8, 2008 10:46 AM
 Tilden wrote:
I don't understand the comments on consisting.  If you want the various functions to follow the consist address, you simply adjust CV21.   Of course, you need a decoder that has this function.

Tilden

If you are referring to Jerry's review of the MRC wireless system and his comments about consisting in his review, what Jerry is referring to is the very simple but powerful consisting that NCE does in their system.

For decoders that have CV21, then yes, adjusting CV21 helps a lot in getting functions in consists to work right. But NCE has gone the extra mile and created "smart" consists in the command station.

NCE smart consists allow you to refer to the consist with a 4-digit address. The command station converts the 4 digit address to a two digit consist number internally (the CV19 value), which is very nice.

NCE smart consists also will replicate the function key presses to the individual loco addresses so even if CV21 isn't set, the functions will still hit the other locos. This works very slick.

Finally NCE smart consists are automatically double-ended. This means you can address either end of the consist and the front of the consist becomes the end you address. Headlight behavior associated with the front loco changes, as does the reference point for "forward" on the throttle.

All-in-all, NCE smart consists are a great step forward in leveraging the computing power of a command station when running trains on DCC. Unfortunately, all other DCC systems just do general you-create-the-consist functionality (CV19 consists or command station consists) but few of the NCE smart consist features -- and the new MRC Prodigy Advance squared system is no different. Basic consisting features are there, but none of the NCE smart consisting.

NCE smart consisting is *very nice* and you only have to create a consist with NCE to get it. It is an example of what DCC systems ought to be doing to enhance the DCC operating experience, and NCE was the first to come up with it. I hope to see this kind of "smart" feature behavior increase as DCC system manufacturers move beyond the pure "plug a single CV at a time" mentality with their systems. 

The hope was as a brand new system coming on the market, that MRC would notice things like NCE's smart consisting and also offer it in their new system, or even do it one better. But it looks like MRC has not thought outside the box as much as hoped with their new system release. 

Joe Fugate Modeling the 1980s SP Siskiyou Line in southern Oregon

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Posted by jwils1 on Friday, February 8, 2008 11:27 AM

I've had no problems with my MRC wireless.  There are certain 4-digit addresses that won't work but MRC has a no-charge fix to correct it.  I'm still using 2-digit addresses so not a problem for me.

Joe is correct about the excellent NCE consisting features.  I've used them and they are slick.  For me, the MRC consisting works okay for my simple home layout where I don't do a lot of heavy duty consisting.

I think MRC fits very well for the small to medium home user, especially where price and ease of use are prime factors.  You can see a nice picture of the wireless cab on the back of the March 08 Model Railroader.  The keys are clearly marked and on-screen instruction are very easy to follow. 

DCC system choices are getting more and more difficult.  The systems are getting better all the time.  I think the choice between NCE and MRC is a difficult one.  But careful consideration of end use requirements will probably make the decision more clear.  There are many other consideration besides radio performance and consistiong, so one needs to carefully look at all of them, and ask lots of questions.  

I decided to try MRC because I've heard such good reports about its radio performance, and I have a fairly simple setup.  It does perform well, but then again so does the updated NCE version. 

So many system....and so little time! 

Jerry

Rio Grande vs. Santa Fe.....the battle is over but the glory remains!

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Posted by Tilden on Saturday, February 9, 2008 5:48 PM

Joe,

  The NCE consisting option does seem like an easier way to run accessories in multi-unit lash-ups.  I would think the more options, i.e. sound, the more convient it becomes.

Tilden

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Posted by n2mopac on Sunday, February 10, 2008 7:56 AM

I upgraded my PA to wireless over Christmas and the upgrade works great on my 17'x17' N scale layout.

Ron

Owner and superintendant of the N scale Texas Colorado & Western Railway, a protolanced representaion of the BNSF from Fort Worth, TX through Wichita Falls TX and into Colorado. 

Check out the TC&WRy on at https://www.facebook.com/TCWRy

Check out my MRR How-To YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/RonsTrainsNThings

 

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Posted by glsummers on Sunday, February 10, 2008 7:40 PM

I am glad someone is having success with their MRC wireless. I sent the first handheld back becauce it would bring up the addresses after about five minutes of running with it teathered to the Prodigy Advanced2. I just got the new one back this past Thursday and It was working fine for about three minutes and all of a sudden I could not stop or recall any of the engines I have programmed in. Any one have any suggestions? Thanks Larry

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Posted by jwils1 on Sunday, February 10, 2008 9:30 PM
 glsummers wrote:

I am glad someone is having success with their MRC wireless. I sent the first handheld back becauce it would bring up the addresses after about five minutes of running with it teathered to the Prodigy Advanced2. I just got the new one back this past Thursday and It was working fine for about three minutes and all of a sudden I could not stop or recall any of the engines I have programmed in. Any one have any suggestions? Thanks Larry

You may want to post this on the MRC Yahoo Group site.  Maybe someone there can help you.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MRC-DCC/

 

Jerry

Rio Grande vs. Santa Fe.....the battle is over but the glory remains!

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Posted by CSX Robert on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 9:33 AM
 glsummers wrote:


I am glad someone is having success with their MRC wireless. I sent the first handheld back becauce it would bring up the addresses after about five minutes of running with it teathered to the Prodigy Advanced2. I just got the new one back this past Thursday and It was working fine for about three minutes and all of a sudden I could not stop or recall any of the engines I have programmed in. Any one have any suggestions? Thanks Larry


I wonder if you could be having some sort of interference issue. According to what I have read, the wrireless throttles only communicate wirelessly, even when plugged in(plugging in only charges the batteries). Maybe the interference just happened to go away after about five minutes and that is when the throttle started working. Another possiblity: if the RF circuit in the throttle is affected by the battery voltage, maybe your throttle can only overcome the interference when the batteries are at their peak charged.


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Posted by jwils1 on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 10:43 AM

 CSX Robert wrote:
 glsummers wrote:


I am glad someone is having success with their MRC wireless. I sent the first handheld back becauce it would bring up the addresses after about five minutes of running with it teathered to the Prodigy Advanced2. I just got the new one back this past Thursday and It was working fine for about three minutes and all of a sudden I could not stop or recall any of the engines I have programmed in. Any one have any suggestions? Thanks Larry


I wonder if you could be having some sort of interference issue. According to what I have read, the wrireless throttles only communicate wirelessly, even when plugged in(plugging in only charges the batteries). Maybe the interference just happened to go away after about five minutes and that is when the throttle started working. Another possiblity: if the RF circuit in the throttle is affected by the battery voltage, maybe your throttle can only overcome the interference when the batteries are at their peak charged.

I assume that Larry has called MRC to talk about his problem or gone to the MRC Yahoo Group to get input.  An MRC representative monitors the Yahoo Group and often responds with help.  It would be helpful to others if Larry would report back what MRC told him about it.  What do they think is causing it?  What is their recommended fix?  Also, has he tried relocating his receiver unit to different positions and locations?

 

Jerry

Rio Grande vs. Santa Fe.....the battle is over but the glory remains!

  • Member since
    January 2004
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Posted by Tilden on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 9:59 PM

  It seems something else is going on.  I took my wireless handheld to every room in the house and it controlled trains fine.  This included the garage and backyard (sound units are great for this kind of stuff).  The unit was not fully charged but that wasn't a problem.
  Do try the users group.

Tilden 

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