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MRC Prodigy Express

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  • Member since
    May 2023
  • 1 posts
MRC Prodigy Express
Posted by dually94 on Monday, May 1, 2023 1:24 PM

I have been into model railroading in DC for years. I just inherited a Prodigy Express from a friend who never user it and have no experience with DCC at all. I was told that it is possible to hook your PC to the Prodigy with a cable and use a Java Program(JMRI?) to set CV'S. Is this true and where do I get the correct cable for Windows 10?   Thanks

  • Member since
    December 2015
  • From: Shenandoah Valley
  • 9,094 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, May 1, 2023 7:17 PM

Welcome to the forum.  As a newbie your posts get delayed in moderation for a while.

Can we infer that you want to get into DCC?

There is a Prodigy Express and a Prodigy Express 2, I don't know if they have the same capabilities. 

There is cable, which MRC lists as out of stock.  Supply chain problems are common through out the hobby.

This thread may or may not help.  It doesn't answer the question of Prodigy 1 vs 2.  Two of the posters Randy and RR Mel are no longer with us, but were very knowledgeable.

I have been following the JMRI forum at groups.io.  It has an amazing number of things it can do but I think I am at an age where it is too complex for me to want to learn and I used to be a tech guy.  I don't think MRC is a good pathway into DCC nor JMRI, but there are MRC fans here so they can speak for the product.

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

  • Member since
    October 2007
  • From: Fullerton, California
  • 1,364 posts
Posted by hornblower on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 5:26 PM

Although I am not directly familiar with the MRC Prodigy Express DCC system, I am thoroughly familiar with both the original MRC Prodigy Advance and Advance2 systems.  While MRC earned a pretty bad reputation with their line of DCC decoders, their DCC systems are first rate and are NOT dead end systems.  The MRC systems are also easy to expand, again in direct contrast to what you regularly hear from users of other brand systems.  My current layout is powered by an MRC Prodigy Advance (not squared) system and includes the command station/booster, a second booster, a throttle bus constructed from basic Cat5 components (very inexpensive), two tethered throttles, two wireless throttles with the wireless conversion unit, and an MRC WiFi module which allows the use of up to 8 smart devices as wireless throttles.  Everyting is plug and play, too.  I have been using this system since 2007 and I have yet to have a single component fail.  I did have to send in the command unit to MRC when I bought the wireless throttles only because the older firmware would not talk to the much newer wireless throttles.  Turnaround was fairly quick and and the updated command station works beautifully with the wireless throttles.  

Regardless of whether you decide to keep the MRC Prodigy Express unit for the long term, I would suggest you use it to learn about DCC and also make a better educated decision as to what brand system upgrade you eventually want.  The real advantage of the MRC system is that it is so easy to use that a computer interface really isn't necessary.  Most of the important CV's are included in the basic programming routine.  You press the "program" button once to program on a programming track or twice to program on the "main."  The BIG throttle display then prompts you with several options including "address," SV (starting voltage), ACC (acceleration momentum), DEC (deceleration momentum), TV (top voltage), and CV# (whatever other CV you need to program).  Once you've programmed your loco addresses, acquiring a loco requires pressing the "loco" button, entering the desired loco address, then pressing "enter."  Consisting is equally easy with the throttle display prompting you in English each step of the way.  Give the system a try and don't worry about a computer interface until you absolutely decide you must have one.

Hornblower

  • Member since
    October 2007
  • From: Fullerton, California
  • 1,364 posts
Posted by hornblower on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 5:27 PM

Although I am not directly familiar with the MRC Prodigy Express DCC system, I am thoroughly familiar with both the original MRC Prodigy Advance and Advance2 systems.  While MRC earned a pretty bad reputation with their line of DCC decoders, their DCC systems are first rate and are NOT dead end systems.  The MRC systems are also easy to expand, again in direct contrast to what you regularly hear from users of other brand systems.  My current layout is powered by an MRC Prodigy Advance (not squared) system and includes the command station/booster, a second booster, a throttle bus constructed from basic Cat5 components (very inexpensive), two tethered throttles, two wireless throttles with the wireless conversion unit, and an MRC WiFi module which allows the use of up to 8 smart devices as wireless throttles.  Everyting is plug and play, too.  I have been using this system since 2007 and I have yet to have a single component fail.  I did have to send in the command unit to MRC when I bought the wireless throttles only because the older firmware would not talk to the much newer wireless throttles.  Turnaround was fairly quick and and the updated command station works beautifully with the wireless throttles.  

Regardless of whether you decide to keep the MRC Prodigy Express unit for the long term, I would suggest you use it to learn about DCC and also make a better educated decision as to what brand system upgrade you eventually want.  The real advantage of the MRC system is that it is so easy to use that a computer interface really isn't necessary.  Most of the important CV's are included in the basic programming routine.  You press the "program" button once to program on a programming track or twice to program on the "main."  The BIG throttle display then prompts you with several options including "address," SV (starting voltage), ACC (acceleration momentum), DEC (deceleration momentum), TV (top voltage), and CV# (whatever other CV you need to program).  Once you've programmed your loco addresses, acquiring a loco requires pressing the "loco" button, entering the desired loco address, then pressing "enter."  Consisting is equally easy with the throttle display prompting you in English each step of the way.  Give the system a try and don't worry about a computer interface until you absolutely decide you must have one.

Hornblower

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