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Gaugemaster Prodigy Advance2


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Is Gaugemaster having problems with Prodigy Advance2 ?  the base unit is failing when sent back to

gaugemaster the reply is uable  economically to repair  the unit is shorting out, and cannot supply a replacement base

unit. Have any others had the same problems, where do you go from here??

Bryan

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The American manufacturer, Model Rectifier Corporation (MRC), have been out of stock of the Advance "squared" and Express "squared" for quite some time, so it's not surprising if Gaugemaster cannot get further supplies of these systems, or replacement parts.

MRC appear to only have residual stocks of the higher powered Prodigy Elite left.

 

In the absence of new replacement base units, it might be worth looking at second hand Prodigy systems (e.g. on a well known auction site) to obtain a suitable unit.

The alternatives are buying another system, or waiting to see if replacement units become available again at some point in the future, with the attendant risk that there may never be any more.

 

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It’s sad that having been taken over a while back the MRC DCC system seems to be withering on the vine so to speak. At first I assumed that everything was being appraised by the new owners and product lines might be revamped. Must be awkward for Gaugemaster, the uncertainty, unless they know but can’t say. 
 

Izzy

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Isn't this a sign of current times?  Imported items no longer able to offer a service or back up!

I'm rather surprised that GM haven't been allowed to produce their own PCBs under licence from MRC, especially if MRC are not able to supply components and PCBs etc. 

I suspect GM and with their large sales base, will sort some of deal out with MRC very quickly.

 

There are very few, If any DCC systems manufactured in the UK (other than ZTC, Hornby and SPROG)? That is assuming they are actually assembled or manufactured in the UK, which is often not the case!  So concerns around supply, repair and replacement of parts can quickly become an issue for any electronic items! DC or DCC.

 

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1 hour ago, Brian said:

Isn't this a sign of current times?  Imported items no longer able to offer a service or back up!

I'm rather surprised that GM haven't been allowed to produce their own PCBs under licence from MRC, especially if MRC are not able to supply components and PCBs etc. 

I suspect GM and with their large sales base, will sort some of deal out with MRC very quickly.

 

There are very few, If any DCC systems manufactured in the UK (other than ZTC, Hornby and SPROG)? That is assuming they are actually assembled or manufactured in the UK, which is often not the case!  So concerns around supply, repair and replacement of parts can quickly become an issue for any electronic items! DC or DCC.

 


There is also the Signatrak ACE 2. I believe that is UK designed and made. Seems to have very good reports from users. 

 

If my PA2 system fails then I think I would go for a Sprog3 powered by the new pi-400. I like wi-fi handsets so this might be the cheapest and easiest option with, perhaps, the most complete range of specifications and options. I’m looking at this anyway as an upgrade from my ancient Sprog2, which is still going strong. Hopefully though my system will carry on as it has until now. But I like having alternatives options to hand just in case. 
 

Izzy

 

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On 29/11/2020 at 20:28, Brian said:

.....There are very few, If any DCC systems manufactured in the UK (other than ZTC, Hornby and SPROG)? ....

 

Hornby's units are manufactured by Chinese (possibly in HK?) electronics company, SGAI Tech.

In fact Hornby don't actually "make" anything.

 

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On 29/11/2020 at 20:04, Sir TophamHatt said:

Maybe I will look at selling mine then  :/

Don't want to be left without any sort of help in a few years.

 

I wouldn't panic yet.

MRC might be sorting out their production contracts and supply issues (I understand most, if not all of the MRC stuff is made in China?) or even working on new developments?  Who knows?

As Brian has intimated, I wouldn't be surprised if Gaugemaster took on the product licence, or came to some alternative arrangement with MRC.

 

Despite the limited warranty on the Gaugemaster branded MRC systems, their track record on after sales support, even out of warranty, is anecdotally very good.

Subject to spares availability, I suspect they'll provide support for as long as they practically can.

Plenty of decent S/H units available, for anyone inclined to stockpile spares.

 

 

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I have a Gaugemaster Prodigy Advance2 and it has worked well for me, although flipping between loco control and accessory control (points) on the handset is a bit clunky.

 

However, going forward, I want computer control - and the PA2 is not so good for that. First, there is the £60 or so just for the computer connection cable. Second, the PA2 does not have a great story when it comes to occupancy detection and feedback.

 

So I am heading down the Digikeijs route for the future - I have had very good experience with their DR4018 point control units. The Digikeijs 5000 seems a very open kind of controller and they have computer control built in to their thinking. I have already acquired a Raspberry Pi 400 as the basis for my computer control and I am in the process of selecting a largish (22 inch or so) touch screen to go with that, which will become the control panel.

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On 29/11/2020 at 20:28, Brian said:

There are very few, If any DCC systems manufactured in the UK (other than ZTC, Hornby and SPROG)? That is assuming they are actually assembled or manufactured in the UK, 

 

SPROGs are manufactured in the UK :)

 

There are also Paul Harman's Signalist decoders, etc.

 

CML were a UK company, but I don't know where the manufacturing was done, nor can I recall who took over the range.

 

Megapoints, again I don't know where the manufacturing is done.

 

Any others? It would be interesting to compile a "buy british" list.

 

Andrew Crosland

http://www.sprog-dcc.co.uk

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Aren't we talking about DCC Control systems, not decoders or accessories which seem to have crept in?

But no matter, did I not say " That is assuming they are actually assembled or manufactured in the UK,"  

Many items are designed by UK companies, but are then out shopped for manufacturer in the far east or other low cost labour areas!  So not really UK made.  

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Brian said:

Aren't we talking about DCC Control systems, not decoders or accessories which seem to have crept in?

 

This is the internet :)

 

41 minutes ago, Brian said:

did I not say " That is assuming they are actually assembled or manufactured in the UK,"  

Many items are designed by UK companies, but are then out shopped for manufacturer in the far east or other low cost labour areas!  So not really UK made.  

 

Yes, that's why I tried to list those that might be made in the UK in the hope others would have more knowledge.

 

What's wrong with that?

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7 hours ago, Crosland said:

 

 

 

Megapoints, again I don't know where the manufacturing is done.

 

 

 

Pretty certain that MP stuff is made in the UK - he has videos showing his pick n place machine for assembling circuit boards.

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Thank to all who took the time to reply, this is the most I have ever had on any topic.

There is a bit of good news here, the base unit has been repaired with parts from rs component

at a cost of £12 with postage so it is economically to repair.

Thanks

Bryan

 

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That’s good to know. May I ask who repaired it please? It would be useful info for any Prodigy owner who hits this kind of issue. I assume it wasn’t Gaugemaster given their original response about repair being uneconomic, or was it?
 

Thanks,

 

Izzy

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Thanks Bryan. 
 

I think it’s great you managed to get it fixed and that repair was quite feasible economically for someone with electronics knowledge, just a bit of a shame Gaugemaster couldn’t thus undertake it. Not what I would have expected from Gaugemaster given my past experience with them re repairs. A warning for anyone with these systems to take note of, all may not be lost if you can find a decent alternative repairer. Very sad situation.

 

Izzy

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