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Hi Chris
I imported my MRC Prodigy Advanced system from the USA (Scaledstructures) and have had no problems wth it what so ever. At the time I paid £136 incl. P & P and there was no import duty either! (Now selling at £139.99 incl P & P) All this was just before Gaugemaster announced thay were to market the same units rebadged! You can now buy the GM version for around £199 but importing will save you around £60!
I can recommend Scaledstructures (EBay seller) Scaledstructure Prodigy Advanced and they are good on sending items too - Goods received 8 to 10 days after ordering if you pay by PayPal or credit card etc.
All that has to be done is cut off the US mains plug and fit a UK 3 pin plug with 3amp fuse fitted. Or use a UK/US adaptor plug.
The only down side is that if at anytime repairs are needed you will have to return to MRC the manufactures Though I think this is most unikely and if really needed it isnt the end of the world to do!
Good luck and enjoy...
 

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QUOTE ..............And if you want to upgrade the software that will also mean a return to New Jersey - that also includes the Gaugemaster version as MRC say Gaugemaster Controls are not able to do upgrades.
Not sure what your point is here David???
Any software upgrades for DCC systems that don't have the ability to download from the internet will be on a 'return to manufacturer' basis and this will almost certainly be at your cost. Your local model shop who sold you the unit wouldn't be interested and most likely by that time the warranty will have expired anyway! So, there's always a personal cost and small inconvenience involved, as far as I can see!
At the time I purchased my import and as far as I was concerned the saving over the newly launched GM version was not to be sneezed at - £135 against £225. Saving £90.
Well worth the very small risk. OK, so now the GM version has come down in price but you can still save £60.
 

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QUOTE I'll think you'll agree the Prodigy is not such a good buy as made out!Actually, no I don't!

Post repair return shipping back to the customer is normally at the cost of the manufacturer or included in their overall costs.
There is no duty payable on any 'returned for repair goods' no matter where you live!
As for paying £25 for an upgrade I personally wouldn't bother!
As it wont make the unit any more improved in its functioning other than perhaps work with a specific decoder better. Best not to buy the decoder thats the problem, I think!

I consider your reasons stated for not buying are therfore somewhat poor and as a committed Prodigy user I have no problems what-so-ever with the unit as sold. As for up grades, I seriously doubt if one is really needed??
 

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With some UK model railway outlets now selling the Gaugemaster version at £179.99 plus P & P I would now buy in the UK rather than import! Unfortunately when I purchased mine the GM version was only just being released and being sold for £225 (which I think GM are still quoting!).

As for ac or dc input to the base unit. This really isn't any issue, as you would always use the power supply unit (PSU) supplied with the kit. In fact the base unit will convert any ac into dc anyway and then voltage stabilize it for use by its processors etc.

The exporters mark the packages as "Toys" which for all intense and purposes they are! Toys carry no import duty.

I contacted MRC to find out exactly what the up grade was and was it really necesary? According to MRC it's only to allow the unit to work fully with the 28 functions used on some decoders for sound. ie. This upgrade will also conform to the upcoming N.M.R.A. protocols dealing with accessory functions F13 to F28. So not an essential upgrade really. The cost, if the up grade was to be chosen, is £25 ($50) including return P & P to the UK.

As the UK versions are now, at some outlets, selling at such a low cost the case for improrting isn't any longer offering a real long term savings.
 

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David
I can understand the need to upgrade if your locos are equiped with the sound decoders effected.

The cost of post to US is the senders responsibility.
Even if GM do manage offer the up grade eventually, I bet they will make a charge for carring it out and you would still have to pay postage to send the base station to them.
MRC are charging for the upgrade so I really cant see GM offering it for free!


Besides the upgrade issue (Which won't worry me as I dont want my locos making sounds) I have found the PA to be a very good system.
 

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QUOTE So, whats the problem with paying for an upgrade then ?
As far as I know none


I think somehow this thread has become slanted towards upgrades???
Not sure why as I guess most sytems that are produced for more than three or so years will at some point need an upgrade if you want to operate the latest 'zimo' offered etc.
 
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