MRC Prodigy Advance And Sound...

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by Lighthorseman, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

    While I'm NO DCC expert by any means, I have a sort of overall grasp of the idea. I'm looking to eventually pick up a DCC system, and really liked the MRC Prodigy. I had spoken with people, however, who said that it would NOT be a wise purchase, and that I should go with a Digitraxx Zephyr instead.

    Now MRC has come out with the Prodigy Advance. Here are my questions, if someone might indulge me.

    First Off... I'm running a single track main narrow gauge On30 layout, with a small branchline, resulting in certainly no more than about 3 or 4 locos running at one time.

    Secondly... Since getting my hands on a BLI C-16, sound will be a big priority. It's really important that my future DCC system is sound compatible, and that I can make use of all the sound features of a typical "Quantum" system, or available sound units for both locos, and static sound features.

    Thirdly... The biggest reason I initially liked the MRC system was that it had a walk-around handheld controller. My layout would absolutely require one of these, and with any other system, I'd have to separately purchase one...or two. I can't see myself wanting to upgrade to infrared control later, so a plug-in type is fine.

    So, my questions... are as follows. Will the MRC Prodigy Advance be a good choice for a layout such as mine? Are there any issues with regard to sound? Does this system have some sort of "memory" feature so that I can unplug my controller, walk to the other side of the layout, and plug it back in...without the train stopping?

    ...Anything else anyone can think of?

    Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this, and especially to those with answers. :)
  2. SteamerFan

    SteamerFan Member

    Ok, every system out there should be able to handle that.

    Not sure how the New MRC handles sound, as no ones really posted a test on it yet.

    You do know that the NCE system comes with a hand held walk around too, right?

    I'm sure the Prodigy Advance will handle your needs, hopefuly the sound ones too.As for the memory feature, i sure hope so, I like it on my NCE, which is older, so I'm betting they put it in as well.
  3. CN1

    CN1 Active Member


    The MRC Prodigy (original) is a good value for the money. It handle some sounds but can't control the volume.

    The MRC Prodigy ADVANCE is a different beast. It handles sounds completely and handles everything a DCC system suppose to do.

    It's a very user friendly DCC system, yet very, very capable.

    Go for it!
  4. CN1

    CN1 Active Member


    Preview of "Prodigy Advance" System

    MRC is knocking at the back door of the major DCC manufactures with the introduction of the "Prodigy Advanced" DCC System.

    "Sophisticated Yet Simple" is MRC's motto. Here are the features:

    • 2 or 4 digit addressing (0-9999).
    • Realistic 14-28/128 speed steps.
    • Run up to 32 throttles using plug’n'play technology.
    • Program on the main or program track.
    • 19 accessory functions for Broadway Limited® and advanced sound units.
    • Easily upgradeable to any future NMRA protocols.
    • LCD readout for operating and programming.
    • Advanced Consisting.
    • Complete CV programming range.
    • Read-back programming.
    • 16 Slot recall feature.

    "Prodigy Advance" comes complete with Handheld (Cab/Throttle), Base unit (DCC Command Station and Booster) and input power supply. List $289.98, Tony's here. Expected delivery is in August 2004. Tony's is now accepting advanced orders.

    Our initial evaluation supports MRC's motto. We found the system very easy to operate in all aspects. Our techs were up and operating, programming and consisting in minutes!

    Most of the operating instructions are printed on the back of the throttle which also supports the user friendly claim. To some extent, the "Prodigy Advance" operating format is patterned after NCE Corp's Power Pro series of advanced DCC systems that are also recognized as being very user-friendly. The LCD display is quite large and easy to read for us older folks.

    The System is rated for 3.5 Amps and we actually operated it at about 5 Amps for 10 minutes with no thermal cutoff. As expected, the track voltage dropped from a nominal no load of 15VDCC to about 10VDCC. Also, we operated 6 Broadway locos with no power issues.

    Here are pics of prototype unit we tested. Note, some of the throttle nomenclature shown in pics is pre-production, hand applied, development labels.




    Note: This is a preliminary evaluation. There are many aspects of DCC operations that we have not tested yet including NMRA compatibility and consisting function access and control. We will release this info, if applicable in the future.
  5. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Sounds like a pretty great system!

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