G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
259 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have had an ongoing problem with my MTH DCS remote claiming to be " out of range" not only while running my train on our club layout but also on my TEST Track at home. I could be standing right next to the TIU and when I would try to send a command to the engine, it would tell me that it was " out of range". I discussed the problem with Raymann4449 and he suggested it might be that the radio reciever board might have come loose.
I took the cover off the TIU and, yes, the reciever board was comming out of it's socket. So, I pushed the board all the way back in and then cut a peice of 1 3/4 inch thick foam, just big enough to cover the board, over the board and re-installed the cover.
After reconnecting the TIU to the track, and applying power, the system was working just like NEW again.

NOTE**
The reason I had this problem is because I have only one engine with DCS in it and I take it to most of the train shows that our club attends and runs trains at. The TIU is not made for traveling and constant handling. So, if you are going to be using your DCS system at train shows and handeling it a lot, I HIGHLY recommend you make this improvement to your TIU, It will save you alot of frustration in the future.

Cliff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
I've heard a quick test for this is to tether the remote to the tiu with a cord if your having this problem. If connecting fixes it than this maybe the problem. If not than the message indicates another problem finding something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
938 Posts
I would have to look at my TIU again to see if the RF boards originally had an adhesive pad like the remote does to keep the RF board in place. (The RF board in the remote is pretty hard to get out because of the adhesive pad) When we removed your RF board to add the antenna it may have caused the pad to lose it's adhesiveness, but I need to check to see if the TIU board even has them..

Overall the TIU is very solid and I think is definitely made to be handled and I never had issues with mine coming loose until I added that antenna, so I think we may have really been at fault for causing this problem to occur. I found the antenna it inadvertently gets pulled on (especially when carrying it to shows) which can loosen the board.

This is a great idea to do if you ever find you have this issue and find out the board is loose!

If you are getting Out of RF range messages and are standing right next to the remote, this is the first thing to check. (Should be noted that anytime you get this message on the remote, it means the remote isn't getting return confirmation signals from the TIU so this is a Remote to TIU communication issue.)

Great job Cliff on coming up with the idea! I'm going to check mine and see if they are adhered in or not and add some sort of pad if not to hold it in place.

Thanks for sharing!

Oh and I just realized that this might be good for those who are running battery power and have stuffed a TIU in a box car to check and make sure it doesn't get jostled loose from the handling.


Raymond
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
411 Posts
Cliff,

I would be carefull with the foam over the receiver board as this could cause a heating problem.. Might use a dab of silicone or pliobond adhesive to hold the board in place.. Stay away from the pins & socket.. Any thing to allow air to flow freely around the board..

BulletBob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
938 Posts
Thanks Bob for the warning.

Cliff, I did just check and myTIU RF board DOES in fact have and adhesive pad on the bottom to keep the board in place, so this is a problem really created by its' removal to add the new antenna. (i.e. our fault) I just noticed my board came out easier because the pad wasn't as sticky.

I have since with the last couple of TIUs I've added longer antennas to, just added on to the existing wire so I didn't have to remove the RF board. So hopefully with that plus hotglueing the antenna wire to the back of the plastic part of the audio port in the TIU before going up and out of the case should ensure this problem will never come up again.

Raymond
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
259 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Ray is right, in that the TIU is a very SOLID unit and the problems I encountered are from us making modifications to it. I didn't have a problem with it till I had Ray add the external antena. We were both in hurry to have it done/ and get it done before a show. Ray dose NOT do shoddy work. We weren't being careful enough to make sure that the modifications were not going to makany problems in the future.

Bob,
The TIU has enough air vents in it to prevent overheating. The foam I used is very light and airy, and it is not being crushed that much, just enough to put light preasure oon the RF board.

Cliff
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
991 Posts
Gents:

The MTH DCS system has what range between the wireless cab and the TIU? I hear only 50 feet? Why the installation of extra antenna?

Communication in this system involves one rail between the TIU and the receiver on the loco? Does this system have any practical experience on outside track? Can there be communication issues?


If I have an inner and outer track system with one power source can I run the outer loop train in one direction and the inner loop train in the opposite? (The one "communication rail" issue here)


I really like the features of the MTH system. I believe proto-sound 3 will soon be available for G scale which means that this system could run DCC decoders?

Regards,


gg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
938 Posts
Posted By GG on 01/13/2009 3:40 PM
Gents:

The MTH DCS system has what range between the wireless cab and the TIU? I hear only 50 feet? Why the installation of extra antenna?

Communication in this system involves one rail between the TIU and the receiver on the loco? Does this system have any practical experience on outside track? Can there be communication issues?


If I have an inner and outer track system with one power source can I run the outer loop train in one direction and the inner loop train in the opposite? (The one "communication rail" issue here)


I really like the features of the MTH system. I believe proto-sound 3 will soon be available for G scale which means that this system could run DCC decoders?

Regards,


gg





Hi GG,

Without modification and with the TIU outside with you, the communication distance between the TIU and wireless remote is greater than 50ft. I don't recall the max distance offhand as it's been a while since I originally modified mine.

In my case I was getting 50ft or in some cases less because I was mounting my inside the house. My original plan was to run trains completely around the house so that's what originally prompted me to look into modifiying the range. From my front yard there was a ton of metal and structure between me and the TIU so it was challenging. At any rate, I found that adding extra length on to the TIU antenna allowed me a much greater range with it still mounted inside and achieve my goal. As time has passed, the addition of the wire on the TIU to enhance the range is becoming a standard little mod for folks just to make sure their system has as good a range as possible... even those who don't have immediate range issues.

Communication is wireless between the remote and TIU(two-way) and via the track between the TIU and engine(s) (which is also two-way).

I've been running DCS outside for the last 3-4 years with great success. See my website for more info. There can be communication issues, just like with any remote control system. There are a few key things to observe to minimize issues which again, I'll direct you to my website where I have writeups on everything I've done along with tips and tricks.

You can do what you are wanting. Each engine has a polarity switch (I think some early engines may not have but all recent runs should) that allows you to correct the polarity to the engine so you can run the engine under DCS control.

After getting familiar with the DCS for a month or so with my original Challenger engine I was completely sold on the system. It does require that an engine have a flywheel already in the drivetrain or have one added in order to operate. That is the biggest issue with installing it in an engine. I haven't run across an engine yet that can't have DCS installed but have gotten to the point where if I do run across one I'll probably either not buy it or sell it.

Protosound 3 refers to the actual board that goes in the engine and will allow engines with that board to be controlled via existing DCC systems. As far as I know, I don't believe you will be able to control a DCC engine with the DCS remote and system. I could be wrong and that could be still in the future.

Let me know if this covers what you needed.


Raymond
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
991 Posts
Now Ray... that was good info...

What you are saying.... can correct polarity... keep tracks clean like DCC... and if MTH goes out of business buy DCC controls systems to take over the loco?

And.... bring the TIU and power source out with you to the yard when running... (neat little carrier tray project)

ummmm...:)

Now for dealers in Alberta with someone who can set up the "ultimate".... hard to find.

Suspect I will need to source my first loco ex the famous USA ! (c/w 3" speakers etc) Do it right the first time ! ( Does the tender car come with a sub woofer? :) )

gg

PS: not sold quite yet however.... heck... I LOVE the sound and simplicity of ordering up effects out of the box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
938 Posts
On the clean track, I would say it would need to be as clean as with any other track power engine.

Well if MTH goes out of business you would still have your remote and TIU to control your engines. However with the recent announcements of new HO offerings etc I don't think they are going anywhere but of course you never know. They are one of the two major players in the O gauge world and I don't see that changing. If they were hurting for cash, they wouldn't be rolling out so much new product or venturing into new scales. But you sure could use DCC equipment could take over if you needed it.

I would say you don't need to bring it outside unless you wanted to, but if you have to bring the power supply then I would bring the TIU for sure.

Good luck with your decision, there is a lot to consider.


Raymond
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
259 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
By GG;
"And.... bring the TIU and power source out with you to the yard when running... (neat little carrier tray project)

ummmm...:)


GG,
Most people that run track power outside usually keep thier power supply and controller inside to keep moister out of it. They just bring outside when they want to run trains. I would HIGHLY recommend this so the TIU doesn't get moisture in it. Ray has his mounted inside the house, and puts his trains on the track while inside and then runs them outside, It is a very cool setup.

I think it would depend on how far away from the house your layout is going to be. Cliff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
938 Posts
I agree with Cliff, you wouldn't want to leave your TIU or Power supply outside because the elements will destroy it. If you just wanted to carry them outside each time you wanted to use them then of course you're fine.


Raymond
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top