Wednesday, August 20, 2014

There are days

When this hobby really gets under my skin.
If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you'll know that I own a number of Proto 2000 F7s and a trio of Proto 2000 SW-8s. They are all equipped with DCC and sound. All use QSI decoders.
For the most part I'm very happy with the decoders. They sound great and display the unique audio characteristics of the prime movers they represent.
My only real complaint with them is that QSI uses a peculiar method of addressing the CVs when you want to really fine tune some of the features that the decoders are capable of. QSI uses what they call an extended addressing system.
Rather simply calling up a 2 digit address and changing it's values, you have to perform a certain amount of voodoo to get to say CV 24.80.96 and hopefully change the value to what you want without reprogramming other features within the decoder. I've never been successful with this process, probably because I couldn't find the requisite amount of virgins to sacrifice or I burnt the wrong species of herb.
So I left it all alone until after my last ops session when I really wanted to change the speed curves on the F7s. Coincidentally a new product appeared on the market. The Sprog3 . This device, working in conjunction with Decoderpro is supposed to greatly ease the task of programming decoders and is designed to work with the latest operating systems.
Great I thought. I immediately ordered one. Set it up, installed the software, grabbed an F7, parked it on the programming track, banged away at a few parameters, put the loco back on the layout and...
No changes
At all.
Called the fine fellows at Sprog. "QSI" they said."Yeah our stuff doesn't work with their decoders. Sorry."
Fine I thought. I'm not easily beaten. I know what I want and I want it now. I contacted those fine fellows at Tony's Train Exchange. I've always had great experiences with those guys, they've helped me out many times.
They said "you'll have to buy the QSI Quantum Programmer. It will do everything you want it to." "Fine" I said, "send me one." "We're out of stock right now, but we expect more in a week". "Perfect" I said "here's the credit card info."
A month went by and nothing.
I called Tony's yesterday. "Where's my order?" I asked. "We have no stock and don't know when we're getting more. Sorry."
Today I tried calling QSI. Got through twice, once to sales, once to customer service. Both times an automated receptionist said " Thanks for using our automated service. Goodbye."
Send an email, no response all day.
Through the website I tried 3 hobby shops looking for stock. 4th times a charm. Found one. It's ordered and on the way.
Why do companies make it so hard for me to give them my money?

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