Author Topic: MRC Prodigy Advance Squared Wireless  (Read 2322 times)

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tom mann

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MRC Prodigy Advance Squared Wireless
« on: October 06, 2007, 10:45:14 AM »
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Does anybody here have this?  How does it compare to the Digitrax system?  I like the Analog knob on the MRC handhelds, and some reviews I've read also point out how easy it is to use.

Micro Mark has this for $359.95 in their recent catalog.

wm3798

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Re: MRC Prodigy Advance Squared Wireless
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2007, 11:21:00 AM »
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I've got the straigh Prodigy Advance, but from what I've read about the wireless, I'm definitely considering it.
The main difference I can see from the Digitrax (aside from the price) is that you can do EVERYTHING from the wireless, including programming and consisting.  Digitrax requires a plug in for that.  I'm sure there's more, but that's the main thing.

Lee
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tom mann

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Re: MRC Prodigy Advance Squared Wireless
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2007, 01:09:34 PM »
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Is 3.5 amps enough for On30 or larger scales?

Using the wired vs. wireless at John's has me hooked on wireless, for sure.

amato1969

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Re: MRC Prodigy Advance Squared Wireless
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2007, 05:10:39 PM »
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Is 3.5 amps enough for On30 or larger scales?

That really depends on how many locos you want to run, and how efficient the motors are.  Small switching layout or multi-unit lashups?

tom mann

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Re: MRC Prodigy Advance Squared Wireless
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2007, 05:55:06 PM »
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Is 3.5 amps enough for On30 or larger scales?

That really depends on how many locos you want to run, and how efficient the motors are.  Small switching layout or multi-unit lashups?

I can't imagine running more than two at a time on a small layout.

bsoplinger

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Re: MRC Prodigy Advance Squared Wireless
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2007, 06:15:01 PM »
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The big disadvantage to the MRC system is that its a closed system. There really aren't any expansion options.

For a small 1 person layout or even one that might have a second operator this isn't a particularly big disadvantage. And you can be cheap and get that second operator a teathered Prodigy Express system and use its little booster/controller as a dedicated programming track booster and use the cab on your Advance system.

It also can have issues with not being able to program some sound locos. It isn't nearly as finicky as Digitrax systems but it isn't a foolproof as NCE systems. For programming standard locos and most sound locos it will be just fine.

You might look around to see if the NCE radio system is on sale somewhere as it runs about 200 more than the MRC system you're looking at. That said, the NCE system supports a computer interface, as does Digitrax. And both are designed to allow for expansion. MRC has said they were going to have a computer interface "right after we release the radio in the spring" as Springfield this year, but I've yet to see any hint that they really have an interface available or even in the works.

ñiao

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Re: MRC Prodigy Advance Squared Wireless
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2007, 09:35:19 PM »
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It isn't nearly as finicky as Digitrax systems

Would you mind to elaborate on that? I'm asking out of curiosity, as I have planned to go with Digitrax

bsoplinger

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Re: MRC Prodigy Advance Squared Wireless
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2007, 07:09:09 AM »
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It isn't nearly as finicky as Digitrax systems
Would you mind to elaborate on that? I'm asking out of curiosity, as I have planned to go with Digitrax

Just that in my experience Digitrax systems require an add on box, like the PowerPax to get reliable programming. Not a big deal, just another thing to add to the setup. Here's a link to the product info at Tony's Train Exchange: http://www.tonystrains.com/technews/powerpax.htm

A simple 1K resistor across the rails may be enough to get reliable programming. I think there are enough variations in the components used that this will work or not work for the same model (says a DCS100) simply depending on your luck.

John

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Re: MRC Prodigy Advance Squared Wireless
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2007, 08:27:28 AM »
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I have never experienced this programming issue, and I have used my Digitrax since 2001. The key is to use short wires, good solder connections.

ñiao

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Re: MRC Prodigy Advance Squared Wireless
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2007, 08:56:05 AM »
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Ah, that one. Yes, I've heard of that.
That doesn't scare me off.

Thanks for the hints.

Walkercolt

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Re: MRC Prodigy Advance Squared Wireless
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2007, 02:13:49 AM »
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One big plus to the Digitrax sytem is you never have throw away anything or put it on a shelf collecting dust. You can use a Zypher as an auxillary thottle if you buy an Empire Builder or a Super Chief. Most programming issues can be eliminated with a 1K resistor across the track or running short heavy wires to the programming track. We use 16gauge "bus wire" on our N-TRAK layout on a 60'x90' layout with little problems, without boosters(which we should have). I do understand some sound chips have some problems with Digitrax systems, but they also have problems with other systems also. The "standards" for sound chips are not as well defined as the ones for DCC, at least at this time. I have several On30 locomotives and most draw less than 1 amp at stall. Only my MMI K-27 draws a bit more, about 1.5 amps at stall. Many On30 guys use the tiny Lenz(rated at 1/2 amp) chip on the 0-4-0 tank engine with no problems. NEC and MRC systems are good, but they have their own "quirks" as does Digitrax. Don't even ask me about EasyDCC...the experinces we've had with it have been less than satisfactory, to say the least. IMO, Keith Gutirrez(sp?) got alot of free advertizing from MR on his system.