Hardware to run PR1

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I want to get the Digitrax PR1 Software. What is the barebones hardware (laptop preferred) needed to run the program reliably. I am thinking of buying a junker laptop on ebay or from a electronics place that refurbishes old machines, what should I be shopping for and how much should I expect to spend for the hardware?

-- John Gibson (gibson@pdqnet.com), January 11, 2003


Some people have been successful with the PR1, many have not. In fact the failure rate is so prevalent that Digitrax offers a purchase refund if you cannot make it work.

That said, here is probably the best write up on how you can be successful with a PR1. (None of this helped me by the way.) Here's the link. http://home.neo.rr.com/mrwithdcc/pr1help.html

Hope it helps you. Dale.

-- Dale Gloer (dale.gloer@sympatico.ca), January 13, 2003.

I went the PR1 route with limited success. A 286 would run the software. The trick is getting PR1 to work. Don't sweat the computer so much as making sure your programming track gets PURE DC voltage. There can be absolutely NO noise on the line or PR1 won't work right. Using one of those wall-wart power supplies offered enough AC "ripple" that my PR1 did not work. I ended up making a pure DC supply using two 9-volt batteries in series (18V DC). I put it in a little plastic Radio Shack box along with a switch, an LED, a limiting resistor for the LED and about 18 inches of hook-up wire. You may need to fiddle with the COM port settings as well. PR1 likes one particular baud rate. Not sure what it was as I am writing this.

If you have pentium/celeron laptop hanging around, I would run, not walk to the JMRI Java program called DecoderPro along with the Digitrax MS100 interface instead. Sure is a lot easier and best of all, the software is free!

I hope this helps.

-- Doug Fraser (dfraser1951@rogers.com), January 13, 2003.

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