I do not believe that Piko's MTS system is compatible with LGB's. If it is, would someone who knows set me straight?
I do know that the Piko American steam sound system is superior.
Most of the PIKO system is made by Massoth who made most of the LGB MTS system. Compatible is a relative term (MTS was relatively compatible with generic DCC). There are multiple generations of LGB & Massoth decoders, remotes & central stations with different capabilities (most notably serial or serial & parallel capable and the maximum number of Loco ID's available - and some functions are unique to LGB.
LGB's MTS included both Serial (series of slow signals to get a function) & Parallel (one fast signal for all functions). Massoth handles both Serial & Parallel. I have LGB and Massoth (& Digitrax & MRC & NCE & some others). Since the PIKO system uses a Massoth made Navigator, I am sure it would also be compatible with LGB's MTS Serial and Parallel decoders. I am sure that the PIKO Central Station can program parallel but don't know about programming MTS Serial equipment (most LGB Serial Remotes & Central Stations could have been upgraded to Parallel (mine were) then they could handle serial & parallel).
So far, I do not have PIKO but a friend will probably order it soon. I would expect my LGB Loco & Universal Remotes and my LGB Central Stations II & III and Massoth 1200Z & Massoth Navigators would all be able to run any PIKO loco & decoder (perhaps with some limitations) but I would only expect to be able to program a PIKO decoder with the Massoth Central Station and Navigator (or PIKO). The others might or might not program
a PIKO decoder well (I don't know - I never tried it). I think some PIKO decoders are not made by Massoth but I may be mistaken. I have never seen or tried any PIKO electronics (no opportunity).
PIKO decoders are NMRA DCC standard unlike older LGB decoders which were not NMRA DCC standard (they could be Serial or Serial and Parallel and all functions might not be the same).
Unless you have a older decoder with only Serial capabilities, you should find a lot of compatibility with LGB (Parallel) and DCC systems until you get into programming the decoder (there are other limits in how many Loco ID's various decoders & central stations are capable of etc.).
35010 Digital Central Station 20 V / 5 A
The Digital Central Station is the core of the PIKO G digital system. It provides 20 V and up to 5 amps of power to the track. That is enough power for concurrent operation of several trains. The Central Station conforms to the NMRA DCC standard and can be used with DCC compatible decoders from other manufacturers.
Conveniently located STOP and RESET buttons ensure easy operation while LEDs indicate operating status. You can quickly and securely hook-up to the power supply and the layout through 4 reliable clamp connectors. Navigator Remotes (#35021) can be wired directly to the Central station or can be connected wirelessly with the help of the Wireless Receiver (#35022).
Your question is more complex than it appears to be.
Someone who can set you straight is Mahommed
at All About LGB
Hours of operation:
Monday - Friday: 10.00 AM to 6:00 PM EST
Saturday & Sunday: closed
3539 Newland Road
Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
To place an order: [email protected]
For all other inquires: [email protected]
Another highly competent source is Jonathan
at PIKO America
PIKO America, LLC
4610 Alvarado Canyon Road, Suite 5
San Diego CA 92120 USA
Email: [email protected]
Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 5:00PM Pacific
Either can give you very highly qualified answers to your questions. You pretty much need an expert (not me - I'm just a customer) to give you answers to the specific questions you may have but the intent is for Piko, LGB and Massoth to work together as much as possible (probably more so than other brands).
I am sure there are others including PIKO dealers who could also help. The above two happen to have a history both with LGB and Massoth and Jonathan is now with PIKO. I just happen to have no personal experience with PIKO as my focus has been on LGB and Massoth. PIKO (Like LGB) normally has a 5 amp limit but this can be raised with 5 amp boosters. Massoth offers a considerably more expensive 12 amp Central Station and Power Supply. I think PIKO might be working on a more powerful central station but for most people that may not be important.