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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting tired of bringing my Zephyr Express over to my computer to do programming, so I want to get something basic that I can just leave by my computer for programming locos with JMRI and that's it. The smaller the better. Any recommendations?
 

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My suggestion would be to go to a Goodwill Electronics store, if there is one near you. You might be able to get a small used laptop fairly cheaply there. A lot of businesses donate there used equipment there when it gets replaced, so a 4 or 5 year old laptop is fairly easy to find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My suggestion would be to go to a Goodwill Electronics store, if there is one near you. You might be able to get a small used laptop fairly cheaply there. A lot of businesses donate there used equipment there when it gets replaced, so a 4 or 5 year old laptop is fairly easy to find.
Actually, I want to keep using the same computer that I'm already using, I just don't want to use my Zephyr Express anymore to interface with it (since I constantly have to unhook it from my layout and bring it over to the computer, which is a desktop). So just looking for something other than the Zephyr Express to hook up to the computer. Something that I will only program locos with, so it doesn't need to be a command station.
 

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Before I'd spend $95 (plus shipping, tax, etc.) on the PR4, which looks to be a "limited-use" device, I'd buy a Digikeijs DR5000, which is one of the most fully-featured dcc "boxes" out there. It even has built-in wifi so you can connect to it wirelessly.

Costs $210 from amazon:
(no financial connections to seller)

This will work with JMRI (of course).
You can also use it with the FREE Roco z21 app (runs in both Android and iOS from any phone or tablet).

There are some functions that the z21 makes VERY easy, such as setting engine numbers, etc.
So now you'll have TWO choices for programming and diagnostics -- either JMRI or the z21 app.
 

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Another vote for the PR4. You can get USB cables that are fairly long, have you thought about that, or are you rooms away?
 

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I would go with the PR4, it would go between your programming track, and the computer, you would still use JMRI.
 

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Before I'd spend $95 (plus shipping, tax, etc.) on the PR4, which looks to be a "limited-use" device, I'd buy a Digikeijs DR5000, which is one of the most fully-featured dcc "boxes" out there. It even has built-in wifi so you can connect to it wirelessly.

Costs $210 from amazon:
(no financial connections to seller)

This will work with JMRI (of course).
You can also use it with the FREE Roco z21 app (runs in both Android and iOS from any phone or tablet).

There are some functions that the z21 makes VERY easy, such as setting engine numbers, etc.
So now you'll have TWO choices for programming and diagnostics -- either JMRI or the z21 app.
Except that he has ready has a Digitrax Zephyr, so what on earth would he want with ANOTHER DCC unit? Come on, Dude! Get real, and offer USEFUL suggestions. "Don't spend $95 on the PR4, spend more than twice as much for something that will duplicate 95% of the functions you already own." Please. At least have the wit to understand the issue before yiu go off on your slobbering fanboy sales pitch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, it's in another room so I would rather not run cables through the hallway. I did see the PR4 online before I posted but I didn't necessarily need to have a Digitrax device since I won't be hooking it up to my command station, only to my computer and a foot long programming track I have sitting near it. It sounds like you guys are still recommending the PR4 though, so maybe that's what I will get.

JAlbert, thanks for the recommendation but I don't need all the extra bling, just something small and basic like the PR4. I already have a command station, so it would just be extra money wasted.
 

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My suggestion would be to go to a Goodwill Electronics store, if there is one near you. You might be able to get a small used laptop fairly cheaply there. A lot of businesses donate there used equipment there when it gets replaced, so a 4 or 5 year old laptop is fairly easy to find.
I was at a salvage place in Philadelphia picking up some wrought iron railing.
They had laptops stacked up 6' tall on pallets.
 

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I use the pr4 as a stand alone to my programming track (not connected to my layout) It works great for me and it’s a whole lot cheaper than a full dcc command station to just program a locomotive
 
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