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I'm going to jump right in here with a question or two even before my friend gets back home.

Ron brought his brand new MTH engine to our club meeting to see if we could 'program' the beast because he doesn't have anything running yet except on straight variable DC. His new engine works on DC but of course it doesn't do all the sound stuff. Engine and smoke and that's it. Although he did say it had a horn when demoed at the store.

So we hooked it up to a standard DCC just like my -9 for example and nothing happened. Indeed, it shorted out the Digitraxx system.

Now my questions:

1. Is the MTH control system THE ONLY system that will run MTH engines?

2. If he invests even more $$$$ in the MTH control system can he use the MTH system to run other engines as well? Aristo, USAT, LGB etc.

3. If it is an MTH operation only, can the 'decoder' be replaced with a universal DCC decoder and then will it run with all the usual functions?
Probably silly sounding questions but I have never run MTH stuff on my layout in fact it's the first MTH engine I ever saw. Very nice except for these questions. Any help will be much appreciated and I'll give Ron the link.

Dave
 

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Posted By dawinter on 03/25/2009 11:24 PM


I'm going to jump right in here with a question or two even before my friend gets back home.

Ron brought his brand new MTH engine to our club meeting to see if we could 'program' the beast because he doesn't have anything running yet except on straight variable DC. His new engine works on DC but of course it doesn't do all the sound stuff. Engine and smoke and that's it. Although he did say it had a horn when demoed at the store.

So we hooked it up to a standard DCC just like my -9 for example and nothing happened. Indeed, it shorted out the Digitraxx system.

Now my questions:

1. Is the MTH control system THE ONLY system that will run MTH engines?

2. If he invests even more $$$$ in the MTH control system can he use the MTH system to run other engines as well? Aristo, USAT, LGB etc.

3. If it is an MTH operation only, can the 'decoder' be replaced with a universal DCC decoder and then will it run with all the usual functions?
Probably silly sounding questions but I have never run MTH stuff on my layout in fact it's the first MTH engine I ever saw. Very nice except for these questions. Any help will be much appreciated and I'll give Ron the link.

Dave




Hi Dave,

Sorry I've been kinda offline for the last month and only just saw your question. It sounds like you probably got your question answered but just in case... You don't have to program DCS engines like you do with DCC in order to get them to run. There are no CV values, speed voltage charts etc to set. When the sound file is loaded to the engine (at the factory or if you load a different file after you get it to change the sounds etc) you are good to go. Put the engine on the track and go, that's it! Now there can sometimes be speed matching differences if you try to use another sound file but usually most (99.999%) never change them because they like what it came with.

I assume that by not all the sound stuff you mean that you are hearing no sound. When running under straight DC/AC adjusted throttle power (with no TIU for full wireless digital command control) only the engine sounds and automated cab chatter works. To access the rest you need to use the TIU and remote ($250 for both) If you are hearing no sound at all then you need to turn the sound volume knob on the engine up. This sound volume control is only utilized when you are running under non-DCS digital control (straight DC/AC power). When running under DCS control all volume is controlled via the remote.

Hmmm that is curious that it shorted out the digitrax system. I wouldn't attempt to operate it under a DCC power. They can run under standard DC or AC power but I wouldn't try to operate it with the modified AC waveform DCC puts out.

Yes, to control under digital control you have to have the MTH TIU and remote. It's no different than any other control system out there. Only DCC based systems can control DCC equipped engines, DCS only control DCS etc etc.

The DCS system (TIU and remote) adds a digital signal to the track power that the DCS board in the DCS equipped engine recognizes and uses that for control. It is just like DCC, you won't be able to get full digital control with the remote unless the engine is outfitted with DCS board (or DCC board for DCC).

DCS is a fully integrated Control & Sound system. In otherwords, you can separate the two. When you take out the DCS board you take out the control, the sound and light control. You can certainly pull the DCS board and replace it with a DCC board but you would want to buy a sound card for it. As you found, I don't know how the DCS board would handle the modified AC power from the DCC system. You could try to just use the DCC board for motor control and leave the DCS for sound but you wouldn't be able to trigger the bell or whistle. I would either just run the DCS under DCS when you want to run it or remove the DCS board and replace it with a DCC board and sound card.

Hope this helps.

Also, see my website if you want to read up on how the DCS system functions. I have a full video demo that goes through most of the functions and a lot of photos. Also there is a big User Tips page to use as reference.


Raymond
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Raymond

That was a great deal of help. Kept everything down to the basics.

I was under the impression that all engines - in any scale - were converting to PandP or were coming already equipped with a DCC compatible system. I expect Ron was as well. A 'one of a kind' system - start to finish - was the last thing I would have thought of in this day and age.

Anyway, I passed your replay on to engine owner Ron and also to John who tried his Digitrax on it. Needless to say, neither the engine or the Digitrax were happy with the experiment.

Your reply was very much appreciated and Ron has some thinking to do about the future.

Dave
 

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That is the risk in selling an engine with a preinstalled control system, you either love it or hate it.

Remember too, DCS is really a control system and when you compare it to most control systems on the market for largescale few to none can control each other when you think about it. So most are one of a kind, it just depends on what you want to go with. It's not like a sound-only board which have to be made to be triggered by external or 3rd party systems/methods.

DCS was developed some time ago for the O gauge world to compete with Lionel's TMCC and they carried it over with just a couple modifications to handle the higher amperage of Largescale. The target release of the new Protosound boards that will have built in DCC decoders is currently end of 2009, so DCC control of a protosound engine is coming. It's currently in place in their HO line of engines. (Protosound 3 boards)

Well, I do have one correction, DCS can control TMCC engines (Lionel's control system) but it's not really relevant here cause no one is using TMCC in Largescale that I know of.

You bet! Glad it was of some help. Let me know if you need anything else.


Raymond
 

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Raymond


I respectfully disagree. Any Zimo, Massoth, MTS, NCE, MRC, .... (sorry for those I might have forgotten) can control any of the DCC compatible Loco decoders and accessory decoders. They might not utilize all the functions (e.g. MTS is very limited compared to Zimo or Massoth) and some of the base stations are also weak(er). But for the core functions there are no issues. Of course a Zimo wireless unit doesn't control a Massoth station or Massoth handheld neither controls NCE. That is more than expected and wanted, otherwise the better systems would have to cater to the lowest common denominator. That is a good thing - that is called competition.

Now I would like to say that DCS' proprietary technology is like Apple versus PC. In the 80's the PC won that race for one single reason: OPEN ARCHITECTURE - everybody was able to offer add-ons for it. In that case it didn't matter that the Apple was percieved to be a better technology than the PC - the compatability was deciding. DCS is in this regard in the same boat as Maerklin is (was) with iits proprieatry control system, which I heard they tried to acctually also put into their LGB line (a fatal mistake).

I think personally that a railroad manufacturer should manufactuer rolling stock and only if there is no other solution for a particualr item could they make an attempt to create that add-on.
 

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Axel,

DCC is it's own control system type and all of those companies selling DCC control systems are generally compatible, yes. I was talking about comparing control system types DCC, Aristo and others. Not mfgs within a single control system type. DCS is also it's own control system type. There are many out there and few to none are can control each other.


Raymond
 

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Posted By Axel Tillmann on 04/01/2009 7:57 PM
Raymond


I respectfully disagree. Any Zimo, Massoth, MTS, NCE, MRC, .... (sorry for those I might have forgotten) can control any of the DCC compatible Loco decoders and accessory decoders. They might not utilize all the functions (e.g. MTS is very limited compared to Zimo or Massoth) and some of the base stations are also weak(er). But for the core functions there are no issues. Of course a Zimo wireless unit doesn't control a Massoth station or Massoth handheld neither controls NCE. That is more than expected and wanted, otherwise the better systems would have to cater to the lowest common denominator. That is a good thing - that is called competition.

Now I would like to say that DCS' proprietary technology is like Apple versus PC. In the 80's the PC won that race for one single reason: OPEN ARCHITECTURE - everybody was able to offer add-ons for it. In that case it didn't matter that the Apple was percieved to be a better technology than the PC - the compatability was deciding. DCS is in this regard in the same boat as Maerklin is (was) with iits proprieatry control system, which I heard they tried to acctually also put into their LGB line (a fatal mistake).

I think personally that a railroad manufacturer should manufactuer rolling stock and only if there is no other solution for a particualr item could they make an attempt to create that add-on.








Hello Axel,

I agree with you on the PC Vs Apple analogy. Greg and I had a parallel discussion earlier in the year on a different thread. However and with due respect, drawing analogies with the demise of Maerklin is somewhat bias and distorts the concepts behind this thread.




As for open architecture, yes !

Did you know that Apple is expanding its market share via being able to operate both on its own platform and that of the PC ???


they even provide free file transfer from the PC to their platform !


OOPS... do I see a parallel here?

Apple is far from out of business.



Enjoy


gg
 

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Hello GG:

I see what you mean, it reads "weired" of what I was trying to say and probably the sentence could lead to the conclusion that I played on the demise of Maerklin. Sorry for that, but I feel about the Maerklin proprietary system as I feel about BetaMax, HD-DVD and God knows how many more historical examples (Ahh here is one out of my old world - CDMA vs GSM). Sometimes even the better technology looses in favor of the consumer, because imagine, you had in the US 110V, 130V, 140V, 160V ... and all the appliance manufacturers would either pick and choose which Voltage they wanted to support, what a nightmare


Can their be functionality competition with a standard - of course - look at the cell phone market. But back to our market there are strong technological difference among the various DCC manufacturers. And the good news about this standardized market is, that even if a company goes out of business, most of your equipment will work with somebody else's; or you can upgrade your base station from one manufacturer to another; or add-on software is available that works with multiple systems; and even the freeware community chimes in.
 

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Posted By Axel Tillmann on 04/01/2009 7:57 PM
{snip...}[/i] In the 80's the PC won that race for one single reason: OPEN ARCHITECTURE - everybody was able to offer add-ons for it. {snip...}[/i]

Yes and then IBM Corporate got involved and slammed the door shut with the PS/2, smart move eh. That ol' Proprietary/Market Share demon is really hard to keep in check.
 

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Yes Axel, your comments are valid however you are missing the mark here.

DCC requires fiddling to sync everything.

DCS is "plug'n play", simple as that.


PC Vs Apple simple as that. I doubt that DCS will go by the wayside as the concept is actively used in Industry as a 2 way digital platform.

I guess we could labor this thread to the 9'th and I do suspect that this discussion has happened before. My final comment would be that there is room for both concepts as they both cater to the needs of various market segments.


Regards,

gg
 
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