Am I the only person to purchase the MRC Prodigy DCC System?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Rusted, Feb 4, 2003.

  1. Rusted

    Rusted Member

    I would love to compare notes with another user of this system.

    I've been running it for about a year now and have some thoughts.
  2. jwmurrayjr

    jwmurrayjr Member

    Yes, Rusted, I think that you are the only person in the whole world that has purchased the MRC system. ;)

    Every one else has Digitrax...or maybe know the story. :p

    I use the sometimes maligned Atlas system, but I would like to hear what you have to say about the MRC system. I'm assuming Prodigy.

    MRC has a really good auto-reversing module and I just read the they have a new "universal voltage reducer" AT880 that I can't get any info on.

    Please "say on" about the MRC system and you'll probably get some response that is more useful than this.:eek:

    I think the Atlas Forum at may have more MRC users. Just a guess.

  3. alkcnw

    alkcnw Member

    I have the Command 2000 by MRC with walkaround, its ok, great for just starting out. When I move up it will be to a Digi-Trax system, so much more you can do with them. I also looked into the Prodigy system by MRC but every one I talked to said it would be like taking a step backward. As far as first hand knowledge of the system, I have none!!!!!!!!!!!:eek:
  4. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    I am using the Digitrax Chief Radio. It is my first DCC and probably the only one. I am completely satisfied even though I haven't yet begun to program decoders and other accessories. Running 3 and 4 trains at a time with the 1 handheld DT400 is a challenge. :rolleyes: I have to get another throttle. But whatever system you use DCC is the way to go:) :) :)
  5. Rusted

    Rusted Member

    I bought the MRC Prodigy system a year ago and have installed decoders in 8 diesel locomotives and use two tethered controls.

    Operating likes: The hand held throttles are just fine. You dial up your engine number, press the forward or backward button and off you go. The throttle knob is smooth with plenty of travel. Building and tearing down consists is a sinch. The emergency stop everything button is great too.

    Operating dislikes: mmmmmm, nothing to compare it to - beats my past experience with DC. Several buttons on the controller for additional functions but no stock decoders that use them.

    Programming likes: simple push button programming - top voltage for example, dial the throttle to a position proportionate to your top voltage then hit the top voltage button, very simple. Reverse polarity is great - you can do back to back consists, etc.

    Programming dislikes: two digit addressing - we use the last two digits on some locos, the first digit on another loco, etc. If you neared the max on the number of possible locos (32) you'd be in trouble unless you re-numbered everything. (I have more, I won't ramble.)

    Decoders - buy the right ones and good luck figuring out what you'll be getting. Skip the 305s and be sure to get the 315s. Beware of plug problems as well. I want 8 pin plugs and have received 9 pin-plug for the decoder, not for the loco units. I complained and MRC sent me plugs that I soldered (not without great difficulty and problems running). My one LENZ decoder does not respond to MRC's push button programming for max voltage, momentum, etc.

    Overall though, great value - I've got less than $300 into it with all the decoders and we still manage to have a great time.
  6. txcavgr

    txcavgr Member

    Hi Rusted
    I have Prodigy and like it. I have found that most guys who have it don't talk about it because there is a tendency to slam those of us with it. I pretty much gave up posting about it on the big board, i had one person in particular who liked to follow up every postive thing I said about MRC with a slam and a plug for digitrax. I would venture a guess that DCC is the most polarized thing in our hobby right now.

    Its a good system and easy to get used to, I have had a couple of friends over and they picked it up in about a minute and were running trains.

    The low number of channels could be a problem but on my 3 x 20 N layout, its just fine. Not being able to use road numbers for programming is the only pain in the butt I have with the system.

    I have played with all kinds of throttles and only Lenz has one that comes close to being comfortable for me and my hands.

    Its a great system to get started with and you can make it as complicated as you want, with a software receiver programmer you can do just about anything with it. For a small layout you cant really go wrong, if you like the system features.

    From here, I will be going to Lenz. No regrets with MRC though.
  7. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    it hurts
    :D :D :D
  8. jwmurrayjr

    jwmurrayjr Member

    I say a bumper sticker that said:


    Not really, but I think it's true. All systems are great compared to the alternative (For folks that want DCC...This is NOT a slam on DC). :eek:

    You is hard to say anything right about this topic.

    Enjoy your DCC and have fun, :)
  9. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member


    I plan to eventually go DCC, along with the rest of the world, I suppose. When I do, I'll likely be going with the MRC system. Why? I am currently using an MRC powerpack to run my trains. This powerpack has been running flawlessly now for almost 40 years.

    Also, I don't plan to need to run 100 locomotives, and the handheld throttles are a super feature.
  10. scoobyloven

    scoobyloven Member

    well as for me i have the digitrax chief 2 i also have the computer interface that i will be running the whole thing with as soon as i finsh the add on but i looked into this unit alot befor i got this one becouse i wanted something that could keep up with changing times and a growing empire of locos i like this unit i can access over 9000 loco address and 999 switch address and it also has 9 special operation modes that lets me program on the fly with out stoppong and isolating locos. but to all his own like my dad he is still stuck in dc with a 18 x 20 ho layout.
  11. TampaTrainDude

    TampaTrainDude New Member

    I plan on buying the MRC Prodigy system due to how much easier it is to learn. This is my first big train layout (had a 4 x 8 as a kid), and I want to start relatively easy. Besides if I decide after a while that I HAVE to have more features, its not like ive thrown away a huge amount of money. Just my $.02 though.
  12. txcavgr

    txcavgr Member

    It is easy to learn, all the instructions for running, programming, and consisting are printed right on the back of the handheld. I have had two guys over to operate, and both picked it up in about a minute.

    I think the most important thing with DCC is to get into it, all of the stuff out now will be obsolete in five years (or less!) anyway. I am happy with my setup, and even though I am ready to move upwards, it is still plenty to keep my trains rolling and me happy.
  13. capt_turk

    capt_turk Member

    I've got the Prodigy and am very happy with it. I will never run more than four trains on the layout at one time. Not any room for more in a 31' RV. I know the other systems will run a boodle of trains at one time, but are alot more money. All I can say is, if you don't need the extra horse power, why waste the money.
  14. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    I have the MRC Prodigy. Bought it a year ago. Very simple to operate, very user friendly. I didn't want to spend my time reading a big book and trying to figure things out. The Prodigy did everything as advertised, and it did it well.

    I'm now looking at upgrading with the Prodigy Advance. Now that have some experience under my belt, I would like to be able to program more in depth.

    My Prodigy is for sale.
  15. 13Mtrainer

    13Mtrainer Member

    CN1 what condition is your prodigy? how many trains can your run on it? are decoders and hand throttles included? how much is it? is it easy to use?
  16. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    I had a Prodigy. It was easy to use and worked just great until 1 day it let out its magic smoke. Now the warranty on it was great, but it took MRC 10+ weeks to get it back to me from the day I sent it to them Priority Mail. In 10 weeks I had converted my layout back to DC; and it still is DC. I have already sold my unit and all my decoders and modules and such, so don't ask me how much I want for them. The time I had it it worked fine, but DCC isn't for me. I just enjoy the flipping of the switches and operational challanges on a DC layout too much. It's more fun for me to run DC. And fun is what its about. Fred
  17. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

    The Plunge Has Been Taken...

    Well, I now have the Prodigy Advance system on the way to me, and will look forward to using a simple DCC system. I forewent the Prodigy as I had heard that there were Broadway Limited sound function issues...which have been rectified with the Advance system.

    I'm looking forward to using DCC, although am not too enthused about installing DCC decoders into locomotives that aren't DCC friendly - such as the Bachmann On30 2-6-0. :eek:
  18. ic&e_modeler

    ic&e_modeler New Member

    rusted i bought the mrc prodigy dcc system and i havent been able to figure out how to wire it and block it and dial up locos any help would be appreciated thanks.

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