New RailPro HC-3 Wireless Handheld Controller
By Ring Engineering
(Photos Provided Courtesy of RLD Hobbies)
Ring Engineering has released the new HC-3 Wireless Handheld Controller. This controller takes the place of the HC-2 handheld controller. Below you can see a comparison of the HC-2 (to the right) and the HC-3 (to the left).
One of things you will notice right away is the overall size of the controller (Slightly shorter and thinner than the HC-2). You might automatically think with the size of the controller shrinking that the screen size shrunk as well. You’ll be happy to know (and as you can see in the comparison photo) the screen size hasn’t changed.
You will also notice the addition of physical buttons (four total directly below the screen) to the HC-3. The buttons are marked as being customizable which means you should be able to map functions you would typically use the touch screen for to the buttons. A good example would be mapping your horn/whistle and bell to individual buttons.
One of the items that did get smaller with the HC-3 is the control knob. Despite being slightly smaller (To make room for the buttons most likely) it doesn’t look like it will hinder the controller.
The last thing you will notice is the inclusion of a lanyard tether on the bottom of the HC-3. This will most likely be a very welcome addition to most RailPro users as the HC-2 required being sent back to Ring Engineering to have a lanyard tether added.
The below info is directly from the Ring Engineering website:
- HC-3 Wireless Handheld Controller with Color Touchscreen
- Now with Four Real Buttons (Customizable) and Soft Grip Knob for the Ultimate in Train Control!
+ Much More!!!
- Lanyard Eye Ring
- Significantly Smaller Size**
- Significantly Lighter Weight
- 2x Storage Memory**
- Better Battery Retention When Powered Off
- Compatible with all Older RailPro Products
**When Compared To Model HC-2
The HC-3 will come in two different models (Just as the HC-2 did). The standard HC-3 for indoor use and the HC-3-SUN for outdoors. The HC-3-SUN being different as it includes an extra bright screen so it doesn’t get washed out when using in direct sunlight.
The MSRP on the HC-3 is listed as $299.99 and the HC-3-SUN is listed as $329.99 which seems to be inline with the pricing on the HC-2 and HC-2-SUN. Both models are expected to ship by the end of February per the Ring Engineering website although it does seem a few have already made it to resellers.
Although not listed as in stock (as of the date of this article 01/27/2024) RLD Hobbies does have the HC-3 listed on their website already.