Raildriver Early Feedback

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by paul.pavlinovich, Dec 21, 2020.

  1. johntay

    johntay Member

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    https://www.walthers.com/raildriver-desktop-cab-controller

    Give these folks a try i got mine to the uk for on $51 £36 shipping and the now there is $20 off the orginal price so it a win win.
     

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  2. paul.pavlinovich

    paul.pavlinovich Well-Known Member

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    You might like my tutorial
     
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  3. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    The 101 is becoming one of my favorite trains to drive!! Amazing because I spend most of my time on American freight. But the Raildriver makes it such an easy drive. I tried it long ago with the keyboard and mouse and I found it to be a real pain, so I abandoned it. Now, I can't get enough of it!! I'm anxious for the 166 to come online. DMU's are fun.
     
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  4. paul.pavlinovich

    paul.pavlinovich Well-Known Member

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    It is fun Crosstie because it keeps your hands busy doing things. By the time you get it up to cruising speed its time to start slowing down again!
     
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  5. raretrack

    raretrack Active Member

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    I completely agree. 101 / RD on a stopping service is so immersive. For me, it's even more so than PZB/SIFA for keeping you on your toes!
     
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  6. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    I use some of the mods so I can drive the 101 in full BR blue. I agree the train is immersive due to the gears, I'm no expert at it but it is fun.
     
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  7. paul.pavlinovich

    paul.pavlinovich Well-Known Member

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    When we do get the ability to bind our own keys and buttons in the future and maybe levers if we're really lucky TrainSim-Matt can we please make sure that we can import them into each loco - having to set them as desired for every loco would be quite horrible for people with a lot of DLC. Configuration files or a configuration interface that allows copy to a loco or save as a loco would be highly appreciated. Something for the future list please :).
     
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  8. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Oh, yes, absolutely. I have every loco available and it would be very hard work to program each one individually.
     
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  9. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    It would be great if we could have this thread got stickied? TrainSim-Matt , is there any more news on RD support for the preserved routes. For me it is the 166 and HST 125. I've said in the past I would buy the BML and Cathcart and I now have the BML. And now the 313 is here and with the Cornwall route sounding interesting I will get those too if the RD came for those two Loco's.

    Can't say fairer than that surely?
     
  10. jackthom

    jackthom Member

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    That looks good but there is no mention of VAT at the checkout so I suspect the final price will be considerably higher.
     
  11. Vograx

    Vograx Member

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    Is getting a RailDriver worth the price of $170-200+ ? I watched some reviews / unboxing etc and the controls seem rather cheap, plastic'y and toylike. At least compared to flight simulator peripherals which I am more accustomed with (rail simming is a new thing for me)
     
  12. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    The main issue is that you COULD do these things with a couple of joysticks and a few buttons, but they would take up half a desk. The thing may be smaller than many expect, but its the analogue aspect of it that makes it worthwhile.
    If there was a direrct API that people could use standard joysticks on it would do for trains what they do for planes
     
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  13. LeadCatcher

    LeadCatcher Well-Known Member

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    Totally the opposite on the build, I would compare the quality to my Honeycomb products for flight simming. Many have used the Raildriver for years with no problems. As if it is worth the cost, I ran TSClassic for 7 years using only keyboards and mouse, today, I rarely will drive a locomotive that does not support Raildriver in TSW2. I do wish DTG would either gives us the ability to map the controls ourselves or come up with a consistent mapping scheme. In TSClassic, I use Cobra One’s software which allows you to make and customize the key mappings.
     
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  14. Vograx

    Vograx Member

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    So not all locomotives can be driven with the RailDriver in TSW2? I figured it was a generic setup (whichever keybind a function uses is directly linked to raildriver buttons / levers?).

    I'm very on the fence about this. It would be great to not have to use mouse+keyboard (I know how significantly a proper controller changes the experience in flight sims), but impressions from reviews on quality and that it's not supported on all locomotives is a tough argument against getting one.

    I have used a software called Joy2Key in the past to "force bind" certain keybinds to a controller in software that doesn't recognize controller inputs (last I used it was in FSCloud to force-bind the "push to talk" button in FSCloud to a button on my throttle handle).

    Guess I'll have to look a bit more into this (like how many loco's are unsupported and whether those are ones I actually drive).

    Anyways, thanks for the reply!
     
  15. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    As I've pointed out many times, if you own a Raildriver you would know that it is in fact very sturdy and robust. Many units have been in constant use for 20 years.
    However, there's no good reason to pay more than about $200 plus reasonable shipping for the unit if you order from the manufacturer. The taxes, of course, are beyond anyone's control.
     
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  16. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    No, the preserved team haven't got round to some of them yet

    And it's not a generic keybind. Think about it, when you hold the A key down on your keyboard it adds one click onto the A count, the keyboard repeat (a built in hardware function for keyboards) keeps repeating the A until you let go of the key
    With the analogue sticks on an RD you set the level to a particular setting (say 65%) and the lever will send "65%" as a value rather than as a number of "As". Move the lever down to 45% and it will send 45% rather than a number of Ds, so it really does work very differently
    This is true for power (or combined power brake controllers) train brake and loco brake handles as well as reverser, lights and wipers (all of which have their own rotary switches)

    The RD does have a load of function buttons at the bottom (two rows of blue buttons) and it's these that people want to map specifically. In the 32bit days RD themselves provided a remapping tool, in the 64 bit days a 3rd party app was used, in TSW2 DTG map them, hence the "all over the place" feel of using an RD when moving between trains
     
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  17. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    True, to some extent. But there is a commonality for many locos. I can pretty much control any new train, like the 313, using the levers and the buttons, without an individual loco guide now, after about a year of use with TSW2. However I would recommend Paul Pavlinovich's excellent loco strips, especially for new owners.
     
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  18. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure it's only some more "advanced" or unusual features which move around nowadays.
     
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  19. jackthom

    jackthom Member

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    I’ve just splashed out £285 which was £229 plus VAT and around £8 postage.
    This was from Keyboard Specialists (in the UK). I’ll report back when it arrives.

    Although it’s much more than I wanted to pay, I’m really tired of looking for a sensible priced unit and TBH wasn’t keen on buying direct from the US with the uncertainties of additional costs and delays etc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2021
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  20. Veryfatbloke

    Veryfatbloke Member

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    I bought my Raildriver in February 2005 and it's still going strong, your concerns about the quality are completely unfounded.
     
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  21. jackthom

    jackthom Member

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    Took two days to arrive, delivered by FedEx this morning.

    Calibration was very straightforward and have had a couple of runs with the 313 and 377. So far all working as expected and it does feel like a sturdy little unit.
     
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  22. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    I hope new users think that RD brings something enjoyable to TSW2. I love driving the class 101 with the RD. Going by the stream what Adam said in reference to the RD support on the preserved Locos made me quite hopeful bar 6 I think. But then he spoilt it by saying they are fixed but don't know when they will be released, obviously not Adam's fault.
     
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  23. davidh0501

    davidh0501 Well-Known Member

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    Over the years I had as much fun programming my Thrustmaster gear as I did flying.
    It's surprising how engrossing tweaking your setup to gain maximum results can be.
    A bit like customising your rpg character to achieve optimum dps.
     
  24. LeadCatcher

    LeadCatcher Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree, the 101 came alive for me once it supported Raildriver. The shifting of gears no longer felt contrived and much better control over the non-lapped brake system. I also look forward to the releasing of the work the preserved collection group has completed on the older locomotives, but having plenty of Raildriver aware locomotives on the newer routes so am more than busy enough :)
     
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  25. jackthom

    jackthom Member

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    On the BML class 377 and 387 I've noticed when AWS is triggered and I hit the Raildriver 'Alert' button there is almost 2 sec delay before the yellow button on the dashboard registers the press and the AWS is reset.

    If I'm not on the ball this can easily result in the emergency brake being applied.
    Is this just my setup causing the delay or is this happening to everyone?

    On other trains where this is mapped to one of the 28 blue buttons the AWS cancellation happens immediately.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2021
  26. raretrack

    raretrack Active Member

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    No, it's not just you. It's at least me too! I've gone back to using Q on the keyboard where I know I haven't been quite quick enough to risk a penalty brake application.
     
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  27. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't one of the buttons on the bottom two rows do this also? Could be wrong.
     
  28. Vograx

    Vograx Member

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    Depends on train. Every train has its own button configuration. Some use the same keys for the same functions, e.g. the up/down/left/right dial on the far right for opening doors and such.

    I've not had issues with the Alert button. It needs a long press to work, but I'm fine with that. My hand is resting right next to the button anyways while driving (as it should when driving :P)

    Been using the Rail Driver for a day now. Got it yesterday.

    The main issues I have with it;
    1. Can't customize the buttons on the front of it. I'd like to have the same functions on the same buttons across all trains (e.g. door opening, cameras, first person, hud removal and whatnot). Train specific buttons I'd like to have on their own set of keys as well, like MU-2A and such.
    2. Three stage switches for wipers and lights seem rather finnicky. By that I mean they don't reliably operate the lights and wipers on all trains. E.g. the class 37 it's a pain to get the wipers back to parked mode. They just switch off right in the line of sight on the window. A bit hit and miss with the function of those three stage switches (note; switches themselves are fine as switches, just the functions they are supposed to execute seem a bit off).
    3. Even though the levers are analogue a lot of trains have fixed indents for the power and brake settings. On those trains you often get some weird animations as you move the power or brake levers as the analogue lever is giving the game a sort of "in between" value and the animations start flickering back and forth between two settings. Not a huge issue, but can be a bit distracting.
    4. Horn lever feels extremely fragile. I'm not heavy handed at all, but I feel like great caution has to be used for that one. Not sure why they skimped on the quality for that switch. Accidentally nudging it and I'm positive it will snap off.
    I find that I get the most fun with it in freight trains and older trains with multiple brake systems and such. Having reverser, throttle, train brake, loco brake and handbrake all operational from the Rail Driver is great fun. A bit less fun in trains like the Stock 1972 on Bakerloo with just a single handle to move back and forth. Likewise with the two trains on the London Commuter route.

    Class 37, 40, 45, 47, 66, 101, 150 and 166 are quite fun though :) Not even started trying it out on Sand Patch and Oakville, nor the German lines. So excited for that next!
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2021
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  29. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    The RD works with the 166? I didn't think it did.
     
  30. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    You must have a very special edition Raildriver, because mine is compatible with only the 37/5, 47, 101 and 150 from your list. The others I'm still waiting for the Preservation Team to add.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2021
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  31. johntay

    johntay Member

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    You enjoying the new unit. I was surprised with how quick it came and very little tax had to pay towards it. Getting direct from the makers was so expensive for delivery and tax they we adding to get it to the uk. Was a lucky find that i came across this company i got mine from.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2021
  32. Illegal Prime

    Illegal Prime Member

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    One issue I find is that the raildriver levers can be a little inconsistent with how the movements are interpreted, I want slight movements to do slight adjustments, however oftentimes those movements do nothing, then I move it a little more and have moved three notches, it often requires a lot of finicky movement which I would hope would be mitigated with each loco having it's own setup.
     
  33. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    That's the hardware limitations rather than software. If the movement of the stick isn't being read by the hardware in a sensitive fashion then the software doesn't get a chance to react in the fashion you want
     
  34. bpbill96

    bpbill96 New Member

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    I took the plunge and bought a Raildriver recently. I'm focused on the L2B route at the moment and the one thing that's really annoying me at the moment is the alerter button on the raildriver doesn't work, so I have to reach over to Q on the keyboard. Apart from that it's great.
     
  35. Callum B.

    Callum B. Well-Known Member

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    It does work, but curiously it is very delayed. I tend to reach over for the Q button too, especially for time-sensitive systems like Sifa.

    Cheers
     
  36. jackthom

    jackthom Member

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    Yes it does work but there’s a delay of around two seconds.

    I haven’t yet played around with the rail driver software as it isn’t needed for TSW but I’ve been wondering if there was some way of monitoring the button presses in Windows to find out where this delay might be introduced.
     
  37. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    Even though there is a 2 second delay does it work or does the alarm sound? I still think it is poor by DTG not to address this and not to introduce where we can configure the RailDriver ourselves even if it is just the two rows of buttons.
     
  38. jackthom

    jackthom Member

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    In my experience the alarm button does cancel the warning in time, provided the driver responds reasonably quickly.

    On the trains where an alternative blue button is programmed for this there is no delay at all.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
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  39. dhekelian

    dhekelian Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I noticed this as well but do not understand why. The Alerter button and the blue button would both simulate a 'Q' key press no, so why the delay?
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2021
  40. bpbill96

    bpbill96 New Member

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    Thanks for the Alerter information so much better now I know I have to just keep it pressed.
     
  41. johntay

    johntay Member

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    Has anyone else tried Sherman Hill with the raildriver mines seems to only go to notch 3 with the throttle. Just wanted to see if that's a problem on my end or not.

    Many thanks
     

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