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I am trying to setup JMRI with a Prodigy Express command station. Instead of buying the MRC USB interface chip i was trying to hook it up via. a Serial to CAT5 cable. For some reason i cant get it to communicate with the computer. I'm running windows XP and possible just am not installing the device drivers properly. Maybe I'm not configuring the correct COM port. Any help would be appreciated!!
 

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From how I understand it you need to first check your revision number on your system to make sure it has the correct software installed...then you need the computer interface from MRC so the prodigy system can talk to your PC. Likewise you will need a programming track booster for it properly program most newer sound decoders.

This is what I had to do for my MRC advanced squared.
 

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Looks like not having the correct interface from MRC is your problem. Email them if you insist in continuing doing it your way but I'm sure they'll tell you to get their interface.
 

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while the mrc uses a strandard rj45 end , it is not cat5 pinout ... there are four connections, power, ground, and two data, and the second four are 'reversed', as in 1 and 8 are ground , 2 and 7 are 5v power, to feed the handheld cab, 3/4 data, reversed on 5/6 etc.. ..i have no idea of baud rate, parity, stop, etc..
 

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Congratulations! You have discovered the one tremendous drawback to MRC systems -- they do not play nicely with computers out of the box. MRC opted for a proprietary computer interface rather than an open source one (I am sure they regret this choice now). I hear that it can be made to work (see post #2 above), but it's tricky.

And just for the record, I am a very satisfied owner of an MRC Prodigy Wireless system who has no interest in a computer interface.
 

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Also, apparently the MRC system uses a "proprietary" interface...
which (to me only) means that it won't talk via your own computer/laptop's ethernet connection.
It also, apparently, means that an off-the-shelf USB-Ethernet adapter won't work either.
Now... if I am WRONG on any of that, PLEASE let me know!
Because I am trying to do the same thing without having to shell out $50.00 or more for the MRC interface.
Also,... am I the ONLY one having trouble figuring out where MRC puts the other $40.00 into their MRC/JMRI interface? Looking at the pics online, I can't see $40.00 worth of engineering there.
Am I wrong on that too?
 

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Also, apparently the MRC system uses a "proprietary" interface...
which (to me only) means that it won't talk via your own computer/laptop's ethernet connection.
It also, apparently, means that an off-the-shelf USB-Ethernet adapter won't work either.
Now... if I am WRONG on any of that, PLEASE let me know!
Because I am trying to do the same thing without having to shell out $50.00 or more for the MRC interface.
Also,... am I the ONLY one having trouble figuring out where MRC puts the other $40.00 into their MRC/JMRI interface? Looking at the pics online, I can't see $40.00 worth of engineering there.
Am I wrong on that too?
Read my response immediately above. The proprietary interface and associated hardware is the one thing that is wrong with their systems.
 

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I use the MRC interface cable with my prodigy express and have had no problems with it BUT finding the cable was a chore, when my local dealer asked Walthers about it they told him it was "discontinued" but it was only out for 5 minutes!
I ended up buying a Hobby universal in Montreal.
I'm looking at buying the WIFI box so I can use my phone for train controls but it a while in the future
 

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I use the MRC interface cable with my prodigy express and have had no problems with it BUT finding the cable was a chore, when my local dealer asked Walthers about it they told him it was "discontinued" but it was only out for 5 minutes!
I ended up buying a Hobby universal in Montreal.
I'm looking at buying the WIFI box so I can use my phone for train controls but it a while in the future
Interesting...
what exactly is a "Hobby universal," and how much did it cost you?
Err... that is, what exactly does it DO, or allow you to do?
 

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Interesting...
what exactly is a "Hobby universal," and how much did it cost you?
Err... that is, what exactly does it DO, or allow you to do?
https://udisco.com/
Is a hobby shop in Montreal Quebec Canada
The cable I use is a uart cable but I would go with the wireless interface for using the comp because of the freedom to have the comp a little farther away from the layout
 

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If I remember correctly it's a Uart cable - thats what the driver calls it
USB with transmitter/receiver on one end cable then cat5 (rj45) connector on the other
MRC 1516 cable interface - about 3 feet long
MRC 1515 wireless computer interface - I've bought one but haven't tried it yet
 

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Wow, ok... hmmmmm...
something to research I guess.
Question: "Will only an MRC Uart cable work with thier stuff and JMRI?"
Answer: "Later, after much sleep."
 

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Wow, ok... hmmmmm...
something to research I guess.
Question: "Will only an MRC Uart cable work with thier stuff and JMRI?"
Answer: "Later, after much sleep."
To connect the MRC unit and the computer, yes.
 

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but after you hook up the computer you can use a dedicated router and smart phones through JMRI to control trains, program and tune decoders and if you get good enough use JMRI to control routing and signals - sorry i'm not that good yet
 

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When I say dedicated router it's only used for my trains not open to others
It was an old one I had laying around so I use on my trains
 
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