RadioReference on Facebook   RadioReference on Twitter   RadioReference Blog
 

Go Back   The RadioReference.com Forums > Service Specific Monitoring > Railroad/Railfan Monitoring Forum


Railroad/Railfan Monitoring Forum - This is the place to discuss monitoring railroad communications.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-09-2017, 3:30 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: New York North Carolina and all points in between
Posts: 2,225
Default Opinion of Ritron Clean Cab

Our agency is looking at new Clean Cab radios. There is the Quest Rail,Railcom, Ritron and probably some others, but I am looking for input from users (Railroad Engineer types) of the Ritron Clean Cab. I just went over there programming manual and it appears to be pretty descriptive as to what the radio is capable and not capable of. We don't need 90% of what is in the radio, no need for DTMF or any other tone signalling except PL so what I am looking at what others think of it's ease of use, receive volume and clarity, display, built in microphone gain and noise rejection on analog mode only, also changing channels on the fly and the use of Home channels instead of AAR presets.

I would prefer to hear from actual users rather than hearsay or sales people.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-10-2017, 7:29 PM
nickwilson159's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 33
Default

I worked for a shortline that was using GE 12RII clean cab radios when I got there. They had poor range, were very susceptible to intermod, and the audio wasn't the best. I polled some engineer friends at CSX, NS, and CP, and all seemed to like Motorolas the best, followed by Ritrons. We purchased two Ritrons to test, and were told that the audio was better (louder & clearer), better reception, and the intermod issue disappeared completely. We eradicated the GEs with more Ritrons and some used Astro clean cabs from CSX. Didn't have any complaints about ease of use as compared to the GEs or Motorolas. Can't comment on home channel use since we didn't use them. Display is clear & bright.

With that said, the Ritrons' weakness is noise rejection. In older, loud, rattling locomotives, you don't hear much besides cab noise.

Full disclosure: part of the range issue was probably due to the Motorola HT750s being used when I got there as well. These were replaced with Kenwood TK-2180s.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2017, 6:28 AM
Member
  RadioReference Database Admininstrator
Database Admin
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Iowa County, Iowa
Posts: 1,758
Default

The GE 12RII I use have a couple issues. The main one is the PTT will stick. People have resigned over what was said when that PTT was stuck. Its fairly common problem with our fleet. I have confirmed with engineers/conductors on other railroads and they have experienced the same issue. Next is a no receive issue. The display will say "NO RCB DETECTED". When this is occurring the radio is basically useless until re-started. The radio doesn't beep or signal that something is wrong with it. Both of these issues have been reported for the last 9 years. Our mechanical forces change out the remote head, but the problem still occurs.

We utilize the home channels. It great just hitting channel up or down. We use 2 channels often and switch back and forth. Not very often we have use the "AAR" button. We do have one home channel that has PL encode, it works just fine. The TX/RX audio is great. Good noise cancelling and even better when use the phone style microphones.


We also have a fleet of Ritrons. To me, they are the replacement to the Motorola Spectra. Similar design and radio operations. Speaker is loud. The internal microphone will pick everything, best to use a handheld style mic to get rid of the background noises. Home buttons are what we mainly use. The only bad thing I have seen with them was during a engine start up. It seems during the start up the radio locked into TX mode. I'm suspecting low voltage during the engine turning over, but not for sure. Those radio's were TXing for days before someone finally found them. They were hot, but they still work today.

Tim
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 10-12-2017, 7:37 PM
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Old Lyme ct
Posts: 279
Default

When i worked for Whelen 1996 we used the little ritron data radio in the large outside siren. They were not bad radios. some were goofy some were not.

But look at how many Aerotron radios the Railroads have used over the years
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 10-13-2017, 12:17 PM
W9BU's Avatar
Lead Wiki Manager
  RadioReference Database Admininstrator
Database Admin
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Brownsburg, Indiana
Posts: 4,767
Default

Seems like one of the available clean cab locomotive radios is actually a Kenwood mobile in a clean cab box with a power supply and modified user interface. Is that correct?
__________________
Lead Wiki Manager and Forum Moderator.

"The whole world's living in a digital dream. It's not really there, it's all on the screen." -- WB6ACU
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 10-13-2017, 9:00 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 73
Default Ritron CCR

Hi Radioman,
Sent you a PM.
Bill
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 10-16-2017, 2:40 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 205
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by W9BU View Post
Seems like one of the available clean cab locomotive radios is actually a Kenwood mobile in a clean cab box with a power supply and modified user interface. Is that correct?
Either a Kenwood or ICOM mobile radio guts, yes.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 10-16-2017, 6:07 PM
PJH's Avatar
PJH PJH is offline
Global Database Admin
  RadioReference Database Admininstrator
Database Admin
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 3,424
Default

I've used the GE's, the JEM, Motorola and RITRON.

What Tim said on the GE's. Avoid.

JEM has a Kenwood or ICOM core, though I think they have mostly went to Kenwoods. They work, but the display is small and runs together. I am not sure if any custom display names can be had, but I don't care for them - but that's all that are bought.

The RITRON's I've played with in the field and at IWCE in the past. Nice loud audio and nice bright display screen. As stated above, seem to be the one to go to as a Motorola replacement.

When I spoke to the factory reps at IWCE moons ago, they stated they built theirs from the ground up, whereas most others are just a mobile radio with the custom clean cab head (Motorola, Nexterma/JEM). I am not sure if GE's are repackaged as well or not.

So, unless you need alpha display names, the RITRON is a very good radio, straightforward and simple to use.
__________________
If you have received a PM from me about a submission, kindly reply within 5 days with requested information or your submission may be rejected. Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 10-17-2017, 4:35 AM
Member
  RadioReference Database Admininstrator
Database Admin
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Iowa County, Iowa
Posts: 1,758
Default

I would use the GE radio over the JEM crap. We only get the JEM stuff on foreign power. Takes forever to just change a channel.

Tim
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 10-25-2017, 11:35 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: New York North Carolina and all points in between
Posts: 2,225
Default

Thanks to all we now have one in the shop for a one to one comparison with the Railcom.
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 10-26-2017, 7:34 PM
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Old Lyme ct
Posts: 279
Default

For what you guy do ever think about just building your own
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 11-08-2017, 10:07 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: New York North Carolina and all points in between
Posts: 2,225
Default

Not my call, I will evaluate what is produced out there, also there is the matter of liability, our agency likes to have someone else be responsible.

I have built some very special radios for our in house FD/EMS (an APX VHF/UHF in a Pelican box with battery, also a CDM-1250 in a Pelican box for use in the tunnels where a portable doesn't always cover) and a jump box radio for Amtrak to use when in our territory for Giants Stadium runs back when we were adding channels last year.

I also did come up with a solution for the Spectra coach version (a Spectra Clean Cab mounted in a box with a AAR connector on it) radios back in 2012 that were not narrow band capable by actually building a CDM-1250 into the casing replacing the Spectra chassis that was capable of up to 16 channels remotely controlled (more than we needed). My boss was very impressed, but he said we got money and let someone else be responsible if it fails.

Quote"
When I spoke to the factory reps at IWCE moons ago, they stated they built theirs from the ground up.

Not true the Ritron has a Kenwood radio in it. Ritron isn't capable of building a radio from scratch. Overall all the Clean Cab radios are mobile radio chassis with a custom interface for a head/display.

Last edited by radioman2001; 11-08-2017 at 10:23 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 11-09-2017, 8:29 PM
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Old Lyme ct
Posts: 279
Default

here is a weird one
The valley bought nx-200 and nx700 about 2012
the nx200 are really showing there age
we went back to analog

Here is the funny thing
i bring down my loaner fleet for the christmas train 6 xpr6350 6 cp200d
Motorola to Motorola fine
when the kenwoods key up there were getting a little delay on the RX on the Motorola

I turned off the battery saver and adjusted some timing in the MDC

the Motorola are running MDC on dekey
I would on the kenwoods as well but they use DTMF for crossing activation
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 4:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
All information here is Copyright 2012 by RadioReference.com LLC and Lindsay C. Blanton III.Ad Management by RedTyger
Copyright 2015 by RadioReference.com LLC Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions