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Prodigy Advance woes!!!

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irishthump
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As I mentioned on the layout forum, my Advance 2 died on me a couple of weeks back (the culprit was a faulty power supply). Hattons agreed to replace the whole system no problem but I had to wait as they were out of stock.

I'm on a weeks holidays from work so you can imagine my excitement when the postman turned up this morning with a parcel for me! Wired it up, plugged it in and.... NOTHING! No power to the base unit at all. Little green light is on the power supply is on, so checked the power connection to the unit - seems ok.

Move the wire a little and power comes on, then goes again! Hold the base unit at 90 degrees to the horizontal and the power stays on enough to run a loco. Return it to it's original position on the table and it goes again. Needless to say something is not right.

 

A frantic call to Hattons, who in all fairness are great to deal with and they tell me to send it back to them for a replacement or refund. Now I like the

Prodigy a lot, but I'm not sure I'll be able to trust one after all this. I may well go for the Powercab when all is said and done.

 

END OF RANT!

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Go DC altogether, it's never given me any grief, way cheaper, and makes the telly nice and fuzzy for the missus.

[i'll get me coat]

 

I tell you man, I was pretty close to throwing me hat at it this afternoon! If I had'nt bought my sound decoders I would be sorely tempted to go back.....

And to think it was DCC that got me back into the hobby in the first place!

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Before this problem came was the Advance 2 a good controller as I have my eye on one for my new layout :)

 

That's the part that's killing me, I loved the Advance 2. It's very simple to use and worked like a dream up until the power supply died. It also had more than enough power at 3.5A.

I'm actually in 2 minds as to what to do. If they have a replacement in stock I may well give it another go.

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Power Cab the only way to go :-bd

 

I think so, Anto.

 

The only thing I'm worried about is the fact that the Powercab is 1.5A and the Advance was 3.5A.

I could be running up to 4 sound equipped locos at once. I would also have a few coaches/wagons euipped with lights.

Would you say the Powercab would cope with that?

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You would need nearly 5amps to cover those with a good margin, I don't understand why controller manufacturers are producing products with such a small current output, 10amp transformer is very cheap. I know they want you to buy a bigger power supply to expand, but we all spend a lot on controllers to begin with.

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I think so, Anto.

 

The only thing I'm worried about is the fact that the Powercab is 1.5A and the Advance was 3.5A.

I could be running up to 4 sound equipped locos at once. I would also have a few coaches/wagons euipped with lights.

Would you say the Powercab would cope with that?

 

 

Yes the Power Cab starter set should handle it no problem and if you want you can always add on to the system with an SB3a which will give you 5amps.

 

The only down side to the starter set is you only get 2 recalls but when you add the SB3a you get 6 I've also added the CAB06 which is a small second controller which gives you another 6 recalls and I now have 12 in total.

 

I can't fault the system and as your layout grows and you budget gets bigger over time you can buy tons of add ons.

 

When you get a refund for the Advance what would your budget be for a new system

Edited by Anthony
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Yes you will need a 14-18v AC or a 18-24 DC. I got mine from DCC supplies when I bought the SB3a as it was handy to do all in the one transaction but shop around

 

 

This is the one I got

 

http://www.dccsupplies.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=2991

 

Sounds like a plan!

 

I sent the Advance back to Hattons this morning. Not 100% sure what I'll do just yet, if they have another one in stock I might take a

chance on it. I mean what are ther chances of getting 3 dodgy ones in a row?!

 

But thanks for the info, Anto.

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Sounds like a plan!

 

I sent the Advance back to Hattons this morning. Not 100% sure what I'll do just yet, if they have another one in stock I might take a

chance on it. I mean what are ther chances of getting 3 dodgy ones in a row?!

 

But thanks for the info, Anto.

 

I wonder are the European Progidy power units produced by Gagemaster or MRC , I tend to avoid American built power units and use a locally sourced 75Va transformer for powering my command station?

 

The build quality seems to be pretty variable with a lot of DCC equipment even from companies with quite good names such as MRC & Digitrax.

 

I have had to return a number of faulty throttles, decoders and accessories to the manufacturers.

 

Its not to bad in Europe as the retailer will usually arrange an exchange, but goods bought in the US are usually returned to the manufacturer or importer for repair rather than a direct replacement.

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You have already got 2 dodgy ones from the same retailer which makes me think they could have a bad batch in stock.

If it was me I would get my money back and go to another retailer and buy whatever system you want to go for

 

I get where you're coming from, Anto.

I was onto Hattons this morning and since they have them in stock I've decided to give the PA one more go.

If it goes wrong you can all tell me "I told you so"!

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I have the advance over a year now and love it.

I considered lots of units including the power cab

however the prodigy from Hattons at 199 was a good

buy as I know a good few lads who have them and even

after years of considerable usage got great back up from

guagemaster when hand held units wet a bit wonky.I am

very happy with mine.

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I have the advance over a year now and love it.

I considered lots of units including the power cab

however the prodigy from Hattons at 199 was a good

buy as I know a good few lads who have them and even

after years of considerable usage got great back up from

guagemaster when hand held units wet a bit wonky.I am

very happy with mine.

 

That's the reason I'm willing to take another replacement. It was at a great price and I found the system a real joy to use.

Have you tried the free software for the Prodigy Advance? I have it on my laptop but hav'ent gotten round to buying the PC interface for it yet.

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I only have experience of Gaugemaster's DC stuff, but it has all been faultless - it tends to look like it was make forty years ago, and that's no bad thing, before people thought they knew how near the bone they could take things..

 

Well Hattons said that they rarely get Gaugemaster stuff being returned faulty. I know the Prodigy is a MRC product which Gaugemaster buy in and then re-badge, but

it's obviously good enough for them to stand over it. Like you say their DC controllers are incredibly hard wearing.

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