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I would like to know what people think of this DCC system and if they would reconmend it , is making the functions work easy? Etc Etc.

Much appreciated , i did search before hand , so i appoligise if i have recreated an old thread
 

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It's a good system, very easy to use & well featured. Nice easy to read display & available in the UK from £180.00.

There was an issue with the el-cheapo Hornby decoders but that's now been resolved.
 

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Hi Nathan
Can highly recommend the Prodigy Advance.
I have been using an imported one for over 15 months now without any problems.
Does everything I want it to and lots more too.
Itsvery easy to route set or operate functions. Nice clear display.
Only possible down side is that there isnt any computer control avialable, but I don.t want this option anyway.
 

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have used the prodigy for the last 16 months with out any problems, easy to use , also if you have any technical questions gaugemaster are quick to answer,also the price has dropped to £180.00 if you shop around.
 

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Note that MRC have now replaced the Prodigy Advance with the Prodigy Advanced Squared.
I'm not sure whether Gaugemaster will continue to be supplied with their product or if there's a replacement model in the pipeline?

The only drawback I can see with the Prodigy, is if you wish to use computer control at any stage. It doesn't currently support a computer interface.
 

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Hi, I'm also considering the Prodigy Advance 2 system for my layout (when completed)

I was also wondering if anybody has used the Gaugemaster DCC20 or DCC21 chips. My locos are old Hornby, Lima & Airfix models with no lights etc, so I only need a basic (but reliable) decoder.

I also recently purchased a Hornby class 08 Diesel Shunter with is "DCC fitted". I & am wondering if this will work ok as I read about incompatibility with the Prodigy Advance controller. I have looked inside the loco & the decoder is hard-wired & only abount 12mm square, so not much room to install a replacement.

Any opinions would be appreciated

Thanks
 

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Hi Wayne
If you purchased a Prodigy Advance 2 this should be fully compatible with all DCC decoders and allow all possible sound functions to operate too.
As I dont know what part of the world you're living in, it may be easier for you to purchase the latest MRC offerings without too much trouble?
MRC who manufacture the Prodigy range have a firmware update which will also bring the original Advanced control system up to a higher spec.
Gaugemaster in the UK are also offering this upgrade to all of the units sold under their re badged brand name. There is a small charge for P & P, but that's all I understand.
I don't think the Advanced 2 version will be available in the UK from Gaugemaster for a considerable while yet as they need to sell on all their original stocks etc. Imported versions of the 2 will of course be an option to anyone wishing to use this latest version.
 

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Hello,
I have bought MRC Prodigy Advance from USA two years ago, and I can highly recommend it. It is simple to use and it is also possible to upgrade it to all the new MRC software versions. It has only one a little bug .... its display isn't lighted .....
If You want an easy to use DCC system, You can consider Prodigy Advance System.
Bye
Gianni
 

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QUOTE (Brian @ 22 Apr 2007, 09:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Gaugemaster in the UK are also offering this upgrade to all of the units sold under their re badged brand name. There is a small charge for P & P, but that's all I understand.
I don't think the Advanced 2 version will be available in the UK from Gaugemaster for a considerable while yet as they need to sell on all their original stocks etc. Imported versions of the 2 will of course be an option to anyone wishing to use this latest version.
Brian,
As of this morning, GM are advertising the PA2 for sale on their website and seem to have dropped the PA system - also where did you see the reference to the upgrade for PA?
 

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Hi David
So GM have moved on fairly quickly then.

The reference to them being able to upgrade the PA was via an e-mail I sent to GM asking about this very thing.
Copy of their reply...

Dear Customer

Further to the enquiry you have made about your Prodigy Advance.

We tested Prodigy Advance with the Hornby Select DCC system when it was introduced last year. As a consequence of a problem we found with 'runaways' on Hornby locos from their DCC sets we sent samples, including a loco and command module, to Prodigy's manufacturer, Model Rectifier Corporation in the USA, for a full check with the Prodigy system. It has to be said that during the fifteen months of testing Prodigy, prior to our introducing it to the UK market, we had absolutely no problem with any of the competing systems decoders we tested with Prodigy Advance at that time. This experience has been replicated in the 19 month period since we introduced Prodigy Advance to the UK market under our own branding, that is until the introduction of Hornby's DCC system.

Gaugemaster have been designing and manufacturing electronic controllers for thirty years - in spite of this, we did not feel it prudent to discount the experience and expertise that other organisations had built up in DCC and re-invent a DCC system for Gaugemaster to build and market. It was on this basis that our decision to rebadge an existing and proven product was taken. Prodigy Advance from MRC was our choice after fifteen months of researching and testing other competing DCC products.

The problem of 'runaways' was solved by a small reconfiguration to the CPU in the Prodigy Advance Base Unit, current production for the UK embodies this change - and yes, if you will return your Prodigy Advance Base Unit to our Technical Services Department, Gaugemaster Controls plc, Ford Road, Arundel, West Sussex. BN18 0BN we will fit another CPU embodying the reconfiguration necessary to avoid runaways with the Hornby decoders fitted to locos from their Starter Sets being supplied in November last year. The cost for this is £4.95 to cover return postage.

However, we must emphasise that this reconfiguration was solely designed to solve the problem of 'runaways'. Anecdotal material from the web and more importantly from other manufacturers both in the US and Europe that we met with at the recent Toy Fair in Nuremberg, indicates that we are not alone in having issues with the Select system and for these reasons cannot predict whether or not further problems may occur. For the moment we are recommending that the existing Hornby decoder (R8215) should not be used with Prodigy Advance. We have no reason to believe that any other DCC decoders will not perform properly with your Prodigy system.

Gaugemaster Prodigy Advance units (DCC01) with reconfigured CPU's carry the following identification R+ to the right of the symbols at the bottom of the reference label on the outer packaging. Prodigy Advance units not carrying Gaugemaster branding are excluded from this offer.
 

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QUOTE (Brian @ 23 Apr 2007, 10:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi David
So GM have moved on fairly quickly then.

The reference to them being able to upgrade the PA was via an e-mail I sent to GM asking about this very thing.
Copy of their reply...

Snipped
Thanks Brian,
I was hoping the upgrade would cover a bit more than just the Hornby runaway effect - like accessing the greater number of functions some US locos are coming out with.
 

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David
I'm not 100% sure it doesn't??
The reason is, I have an imported Prodigy Advanced and I wrote to MRC in the USA earleir this year to find out what the upgrade they are offering would give me over what I already have? Their reply, which at that time was also on their web site, stated the upgrade was to allow more functions to be available, especially for sound decoders. The cost of the upgrade was $50 (About £25GBP which included the return P & P to the UK, but I had to fund the outward P & P ).
So, I'm not really sure if the GM upgrade includes this too? As after all its the same suppliers - MRC!
Why not send GM an e-mail asking the question?
 

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QUOTE (Brian @ 23 Apr 2007, 11:22) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>David
I'm not 100% sure it doesn't??
Brian,
When I queried that same thing with MRC, they categorically stated GM were not capable of doing the upgrade !!
I then Emailed GM who said they were hoping to talk to MRC at the big German show and would get back to me - they never did.
So earlier this morning I emailed GM reminding them of our correspondence and asking what progress had been made - I await their reply
 

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QUOTE (David(UK) @ 23 Apr 2007, 11:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Brian,
When I queried that same thing with MRC, they categorically stated GM were not capable of doing the upgrade !!
I then Emailed GM who said they were hoping to talk to MRC at the big German show and would get back to me - they never did.
So earlier this morning I emailed GM reminding them of our correspondence and asking what progress had been made - I await their reply

Brian,

Well I got my reply back - doesn't look promising....
Quote ( including my post ):

Dear Sir, we are looking into this and will post the info on our website if it becomes available.

Greg Spears
Technical Department

Email: [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>
Web: www.gaugemaster.com <http://www.gaugemaster.com/>
Telephone: 01903 884488
Fax: 01903 884377

GAUGEMASTER Controls plc
Gaugemaster House
Ford Road
Arundel
West Sussex
BN18 0BN
United Kingdom
-----Original Message-----

Enquiry Subject : Technical enquiry about Gaugemaster Controllers
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Enquiry : Sometime ago ( around the time of the Nurenburg Show) I emailed you reference the possibiltiy of you doing the MRC upgrade to the Prodigy Advance system.
At that time, you said you would be having talks with MRC with a view to doing this service.
I have seen no further news on this and now I see you are advertising the PA squared version for sale.
What is the current version regarding us GM badged PA owners - seems a shame to have to pay out for the PA2 if a firmware upgrade is available.
Regards
David Butler
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