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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I am fimiliar with the MTH DCS system....I have a 20x15 layout in o scale in my basement. It works great. Ok, I have spent a year putting G scale track (almost a year to buy track as well!!) in the rubber road bed with all rail clamp jointers for a good connection.
I read the MTH DCS manual and it says you can use the 10A 0-24V DC LGB jumbo transformer and it says in fine print to only used the fixed input and output. AC power supply is for VAR1 adn VAR2. I might not sound correct so fix me if I am wrong.
I have about 200FT of outdoor Brass Track. When I power the track to just the Jumbo, it is plenty of power to get any engine around smoothly. The problem is I have bought about 4 MTH engine PROTO 2 engines.
I have two leads to the tracks (not insolating the (+) rail. Should I insolate the two blocks and power them from the same power supply? Do I need to isolate the two power leads?:
The track does not recognize any MTH engine, it says "No MTH engine to add!!". I tried the engine both ways in case of a polarity problem, no luck. So I said, let me try this only on a programming track of 10FT. Still same message. I have read in other forums that the Jumbo is not good with the MTH DCS and I should get a Bridgewerks MAG15 with some sort of throttle control. Also, the Light bulb trick (24V .17) A light bulb at the output of the TIU.
This might sound stupid, but how do I hook a light buld with two wires?

On a side note, the aristro craft g scale switch machines suck. They barely move, I hav e them hooked up to the MTH 1000 power supply accessory output. That might not be enough power.

Any help would be gertaly appreciated, I am in deep with cash and would like to try to get the MTH system working outside.

Thanks!

Mark
 

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First off, the light bulb should go between the red and black outputs on the TIU. Its polarity does not matter. If you have the polarity incorrect going into the TIU, the system will never recognize a locomotive, no matter which way you put it on the track. Try reversing the Jumbo's output, then try the locomotive in both directions on the track. It should work then.

I am not familar with your MTH 1000 transformer, but you need plenty of voltage to get the switches to work well. Can it put out 24 volts?
 

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Oh, and another thing. Reset the system by pushing the "read" button on the remote. Make sure the remote sees the TIU. Then add the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, I will try the light bulb b/w the red and black output and getting 24V supply for the switches.

Can I use a DC transformer with the DCS? I said so in an older manual I read in fact the Juimbo was listed as an approved power supply and I just went online and it was not on the approved list. I am a little confused.
 

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" Can I use a DC transformer with the DCS? I said so in an older manual I read in fact the Juimbo was listed as an approved power supply and I just went online and it was not on the approved list. I am a little confused."


Mark,
that is one of the great features about the DCS system, is that, it will work either on AC or DC voltage. I use an MRC "G" controller, it is DC. But you can also use an AC contoller. The system is designed to run on both. Just don't go over 24 volts.

Cliff
 

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Do not use AC for anything but MTH engines. Non MTH engines will be destroyed by AC. With that caveat, yes you can use it. I use AC to power the switches, and DC to power the locomotives - all from the same Bridgewerks power supply.
The Jumbo is off the approved list (if I recall correctly) because it can have significant voltage spikes, which can confuse the DCS signal. I used one for a while, and it worked ok. I did find the pure DC transformers like Bridgewerks worked better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the questions answered so quickly. I am going to get the bridgewerks transformer for the TIU and get the AC accessory output for the switches. Maybe they will work better. Any reccomendations on a Bridgeworks Transformer? My outer loop is about 200ft to 200ft and the inner loop is much shorter at about 100ft. I have two jumbo's unfortunately, one wroks fine for the inner loop. Does the two track Bridgeworks 15amp transformer work well?

Mark
 

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Let me clarify this; If you have a NON MTH engine or Loco, but it has been CONVERTED to DCS, then you can use AC power with it. But ONLY ones that have been converted . Otherwise, you will watch your engines go up in smoke. Go to this website and you will find what Ray recommends for the MTH system, I know personally that he uses a Bridgeworks transformer. You can also find information on how to get the switches to work with the DCS remote. Ray has done ALOT of R & D on this subject.
http://www.rayman4449.dynip.com/DCS_Install_Services.htm

Also, you will want to use an in-line fuse holder ( like the ones sold at automotive stores or in the Walmart automotive section ) on the positive wire from the transformer to the TIU. If the engine should jump the track for some reason, the fuse will blow and not the one in the transformer. ( this makes the fuse easier to replace )
A 5 amp fuse is good for 2 or 3 engines running the DCS system.

Cliff
 

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I have two leads to the tracks (not insolating the (+) rail. Should I insolate the two blocks and power them from the same power supply? Do I need to isolate the two power leads?:

Only if you want the trains to run the opposite direction of each other but then you can't cross over from one line to another if the track polarity is different from one line to another.

Getting the No MTH Engine To Add message is usually either a polarity issue and/or a dirty track issue...then to top it off some MTH loco's have a polarity switch that'll make it even harder to add an engine into the remote. I had a MTH Big Boy that would run fine in forward but in reverse the remote would lose it..here the polarity switch was thrown the wrong way..how the DCS ever found & addressed that loco was beyond me. After getting the polarity issue resolved that Big Boy operated just fine.

I'm with John Allman on using Bridgewerks power supplies, they're the best and they'll clear up issues with DCS signals. I think it has something to do with the type of clean DC power they produce.

Raymonds website is the best on the net when it comes to MTH DCS!

Cliff is wise with suggesting a inline fuse to protect things..I just finished repairing a custom DCS install in a K4 that a guy shorted out...I told him when I sold the K4 to him that a inline fuse at the TIU is a must. I had to replace brush holders, wiring, wiring traces & electronics at over $400.00!! A $5.00 fuse & holder is cheap insurance.

The light bulb trick is a must!

After you get everything up & running under DCS then you should upgrade to 4.0 or 4.01..it really is a nice update!
 

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MArk,
Go to this page on Ray's website, it will give you all the information you need as to which power supplies are good and why.

http://www.rayman4449.dynip.com/DCS_Tips.htm#Type_of_Power_Supply:_(Linear_vs_Switching)

When you get to the bottom of the page, just clik on "homepage" and it will take you to the Main page on his website. this guy has spent ALOT of tima and money researching all this. He is known here as rayman4449.

Cliff
 

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Caveat - your results may vary.

I only have one block on my 300' loop. I DO have the DCS signal going to 4 places on the track. There was no reason for me to isolate the tracks into blocks, so I did not. Without the 4 leads going to the track, the signal seemed to fade when was 150 from the TIU. Once I added the extra leads, the DCS signal is much stronger. ( I used 12g wire for the power leads) If I clean the track with the LGB track cleaning loco, I get a 10 signal strength everywhere. If I don't, sometimes the locos will not start up in command mode, or there will be places on the track where the signal is not strong enough to be read. (this usually happens after weeks of not running) When clean, the DCS system has always worked for me. Raymond uses SS track. That is significantly less conductive, and if you use it, you may need more leads from the TIU to the track. You should only use the Fixed 1 output and connect all the leads to that. The varible outputs are for AC power. The fixed 2 could be used for a second compleletly isolated track - though I have never tried that.

So for your track, I do not think you need blocks unless you are going to run so many locomotives that you will draw too much power. (in which case you have other issues beyond the basics of DCS control) The entire point of DCS is you do not need blocks at all.

I have used split jaw clamps for years, and I recomend some kind of clamp. You must have good connections, and this is one of the best ways to ensure that.
 
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Also remmember that DCS powered locos draw far less amps than regular analog powered locos, so you can more with less power..:D/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif
Nick
 
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