News for mrc prodigy owners

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by planeshavings42, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Hello all, I contacted MRC to see if there was any truth to what I have been hearing about a computer interface for Prodigy Advance, and here is their reply.

    "Sorry for the delay in my reply, I was away at a trade show. We are working on a wireless computer interface that will be usable with the Prodigy Systems. I'm hoping that it's ready by the mid fall. You may have to have your system updated in order for you to run the computer interface, as it is wireless. Keep your eyes open on our website for further information.


    Wireless is ok with me, as I have been seriously thinking about upgrading anyway, as I do love my Prodigy Advance System.

  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    ireless is a great way to operate. No cords to trip over!
  3. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    I truly wish MRC were doing a non-wireless computer interface (USB would be great). Pricing I'm seeing on the wireless is in the $200 neighborhood. Even a SPROG - a stand-alone DCC system that links to your computer through JMRI only costs $120. NCE and Digitrax computer interfaces are on the order of $50, or are built-in.

    2nd part of the requirement is that the interface is compatible with JMRI programs - at the very least Decoder Pro. To accomplish that requires MRC software engineers provide information to the JMRI project - again at the very least. I don't see much point to a computer interface otherwise.

    The computer interface issues are my primary reason for not jumping into the MRC DCC camp with both feet.

    my thoughts, your choices
  4. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    HEEELLLP, what is computer interface?
  5. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    A computer interface allows your DCC system to connect to a home computer.

    Software on the computer allows the computer to read/write to decoders, serve as a DCC throttle, and other functions through the interface. The most commonly used software is JMRI (an open source project where programmers donate their time and code to the public), which includes Decoder Pro and Panel Pro.

    Decoder Pro can maintain a record for every DCC decoder you have, including your chosen CV (configuration variable) values. When connected, Decoder Pro easily and graphically allows you to read and write all available CVs tothe decoder and maintains a record of what is written.

    Panel Pro can serve as a computer throttle and a whole lot more.

    JMRI software is available for both Windows and Linux computers; I'm not sure about Mac.

    hope this helps
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Some of the guys in the modular club I belong to have started to use the JMRI Decoder Pro to program their locomotive decoders. They report that the system which uses drop down menus to give choices for cv's, speed tables, and addresses is much easier to use than any of the systems provided by the manufacturers of the various dcc systems.
  7. Russ, this is very helpful information, I will keep it recorded, and when MRC comes out with their Interface "SOMETHING I AM VERY INTERESTED IN" I will use your info then. Thank You for taking your time and knowledge and input.

  8. Stu McGee

    Stu McGee Member

    I also hear that MRC is going to have decoders for Con Corr's Aero Train and Burlington Zephyr. Does anyone know about this or any other decoders for these two "trains" or for a doodle bug?
  9. Reply to Stu's Question

    :cry:Sorry Stu, I haven't heard anything on either Con Corr's Aero Train or Burlington Zephyr., however someone else here on the gauge may have, good luck, hope you find out what you need.

  10. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    Duane, i am sorry to go a little "off topic" here:oops: , but since you mentioned it in a response to Stu...

    I have BOTH, the Burlington Zephyr, and the Aero train, in HO:winki: ,
    the Zephyr, there is enough room in this engine to put an elephant in there:eeki: . ANY decoder or sound decoder will fit in it with TONS of room to spare. i have MRC #1636 sound decoder installed in mine.

    the Aerotrain, now thats a whole other ball game:roller: , there is next to no room for anything in those. i have yet to find a sound decoder thats fits in them yet. a really, really small regular decoder might possibly work, but i only use sound decoders, so no luck for me yet. with the paperwork that comes with that engine, Con-Cor says they have a decoder that you can get from them that fits it, but i have so many "other" projects ahead of that, i haven't contacted them yet.

    **Duane, though for me, computer interface is just overkill, i DO have MRC's PE and PA, and am VERY HAPPY with both:thumb: . on my next layout though, i do want to upgrade to MRC's most current system at that time.
  11. Stu McGee

    Stu McGee Member

    Hey Daune,
    I was talking to my local shop owner: Bruce at Sattler's about the questions. Bruce said he had talked with Con Cor who said they were talking to MRC and so we come full circle. Thanks for the information on the MRC 1636, sounds like a trip to Sattler's is in order.
  12. Twiget

    Twiget Member

    You think Bruce and Ed have an update. I need to get over there and pick up some stuff I ordered.:twisted::twisted:
  13. Stu McGee

    Stu McGee Member

    They might. I need to get up there too and get back in the swing. Too much pool and summer. maybe I should lay more track and steam up a loco or two!

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