Author Topic: Now This Is Weird - A Major MRR Supplier Dissin' Another on Their Website  (Read 8971 times)

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C855B

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I was researching a DC power situation for our club, and wanted to see what MRC currently offered in smaller power packs. It led me to this:

  http://www.modelrectifier.com/product-p/aa300.htm

To save you the trip, here's the footnote that got my attention:

Quote
ATTENTION: MRC has proudly manufactured Power Packs since 1947 and has sold more than 1 Million products to satisfied customers in North America without any issue during this time. Evidently, Rapido Trains, a relatively new train manufacturer has allegedly not made their locomotives suitable for use with MRC's 1300 & 1370 Power Packs, which have used the same tried and true technology for the last 25 years with UL Certification.

 :o WTF?!?
...mike

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wcfn100

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Goes both ways.

https://rapidotrains.com/ho-scale-absolute-rdc-support/

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Do NOT use MRC 1300-series DC controllers with any of Rapido’s locomotives. The RailPower 1300 is notorious for voltage spikes and it WILL destroy your locomotive. There is no “if” about it. We will try to help you if we have the parts, but we are not responsible for locomotive damage due to voltage spikes in your power supply. As well, we will not repair any locomotive damaged by an MRC 1300-series controller (or any other “train set” DC controller) unless you have retired the controller. Otherwise the damage will soon reoccur. “Train set” DC controllers should not be used with any modern model locomotives.

Jason

Joetrain59

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I would tend to believe Rapido.
 Joe D

wcfn100

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Both can be true.

Jason

AKNscale

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Can’t hate Rapido if it’s true, I’m sure there’s a reason for it being posted...

peteski

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I find it funny that MRC brings up the UL certification as an indication that their product is safe and reliable. That certification would not even look for voltage spikes on the low-voltage side, unless they were caused by a voltage leakage from the 120VAC to the secondary (low-voltage) side. But spikes on the low-voltage side can be (and probably are) coming from something on the low-voltage side. I wish there was some more detailed technical info provided by Rapido.

Of course this also might indicate that the the decoders used by Rapido (are those ESU?) are more sensitive to over-voltage than other brands.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2018, 02:47:53 AM by peteski »
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C855B

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Goes both ways.

https://rapidotrains.com/ho-scale-absolute-rdc-support/

Ah. Didn't know that. A pi**ing contest, evidently. The forthright person he is, I'll betcha Jason threw the first punch, and undoubtedly reported the support issue with ample product support history and diagnosis. MRC has a point in that the affected Rapido model's electronics might not be as robust as they could be. OTOH, old, established companies have a long history of resting on reputation, that's the way we've always done it and our vast experience should speak volumes, right? Hmm.

Nonetheless, interesting dirty laundry being aired here.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

Never trust anyone lacking a sense of humor.

narrowminded

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It is specific to the "1300 series".  I assume they have others?  :|

Maybe there is something to it and maybe both could take a lesson from the experience.  Assuming there's truth to both sides, maybe one could try to make a part to stand the spikes and maybe the other could make a part that doesn't have the spikes. 8)
Mark G.

Ngineer

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As well, we will not repair any locomotive damaged by an MRC 1300-series controller (or any other “train set” DC controller) unless you have retired the controller. Otherwise the damage will soon reoccur. “Train set” DC controllers should not be used with any modern model locomotives.

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“Train set” DC controllers should not be used with any modern model locomotives."

What about the (blue) Kato DC controller? It IS a train set DC controller.

Will it damage a Rapido loco?

Any loco?

   Javier

Point353

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First Rapido states "Do NOT use MRC 1300-series DC controllers with any of Rapido’s locomotives. The RailPower 1300 is notorious for voltage spikes and it WILL destroy your locomotive."

Then they state: " This only affects DCC/Sound models running on DC layouts. It does not affect silent DC models."

Which is it?

Is the issue only with decoder-equipped locos running in dc-compatible mode, or does it apply to the decoder-less locos, as well?

peteski

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0
First Rapido states "Do NOT use MRC 1300-series DC controllers with any of Rapido’s locomotives. The RailPower 1300 is notorious for voltage spikes and it WILL destroy your locomotive."

Then they state: " This only affects DCC/Sound models running on DC layouts. It does not affect silent DC models."

Which is it?

Is the issue only with decoder-equipped locos running in dc-compatible mode, or does it apply to the decoder-less locos, as well?

It does not affect silent DC models.  (DC silent model is a conventional model with no decoder installed).
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ednadolski

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Would love to see a scope trace of these 'spikes'.

Ed

coosvalley

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Coming Sunday Sunday Sunday, all out grudge match. In this corner, the goofy Canadians, and in the other corner, old reliable MRC. Two will enter, only one will leave...

Seriously though, play nice kids..


Rossford Yard

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While I could argue the tone of the Rapido message, I read this and think it's not really surprising that older, low end technology might not be compatible with new and "improved" N scale locos.  Backwards compatibility is usually a goal, but not always achieved without sacrificing improvements that could be made.  And, even back in pure DC days (say, pre 2000) I recall debates on forums about the advisability of using pulse power from these packs.

I love MRC, and use it in DCC and still have the old packs, Train Power 5, etc. from the DC days.  However, the old "we have done it this way forever" argument doesn't change the fact that one of their oldest surviving products might not be the best tech out there.  For someone who knows, what is the age of the 1300, and has it been improved since it's introduction many years ago?  (just trying to be precise myself)

It might not fit well with a new, DCC loco, but apparently one with some backwards compatibility to DC.   I can see why MRC keeps the 1300, and why they use older stuff for their affordable line. Would it make sense to re-engineer a cheap pack for today's high end locos? Doesn't seem like it would be possible and maintain affordability.

In many ways, I think MRC does differentiation their packs in advertising, but maybe they need a stronger re-branding process, similar to Atlas, with an MRC equivalent to Train Man, Classic, Silver, Platinum, Gold, whatever level products.  Or, I could see Rapido re-wording their statement to be a little more precise.   :)

C855B

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While I could argue the tone of the Rapido message, I read this and think it's not really surprising that older, low end technology might not be compatible with new and "improved" N scale locos. ...

I agree on both counts. Rapido could be a little more circumspect by calling-out "older technology DC power packs" in general. The specificity of "1300-series controller" states the problem is endemic to a particular product, and other DC-only packs sort of get a generic pass just because there may not be nearly enough to show up on their radar to name names. MRC packs are the gold standard for HO'ers, so as the first step past a "train set controller" I would go so far as to think that they would outnumber other makers 10:1 or more.

OTOH, MRC thumps "25 years" in their retort. Uh... a lot of technology has passed under the bridge in that time. The old-school designs may actually be an issue. Also, I noticed that both the 1300 and 1370 are "out of stock" at MRC, yet no indication (on the site, at least) of restock, or successors. Maybe Rapido did them a favor by calling their bluff and MRC's EEs may be burning the midnight oil to get something electrically cleaner out the door without pricing issues. Big challenge these days in small-production electronics. I feel for them.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

Never trust anyone lacking a sense of humor.