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Reply to "DCS Novices"

Hi Arnold, it's been awhile.

I've been running DCS for 6 years on my two layouts.  One TIU for the table layout and one for the overhead.  Both are powered with PWZW's,  and both use the AUX power for the TIU's.  Both are plugged into a power strip that I shut off when done running trains.   I use the handheld remote, only.  Seems more intuitive.

My overhead runs 4 MTH engines, pulling an average of 25 cars each, along two 100 foot mainlines.  The power draw is large with all that consist to pull.  One thing I did to help that issue was to replace all the passenger car lamps with GRJ's device that allows you to use LED light strips instead of the incandescent bulbs.  Each mainline has a bus wire, and is only connected in the four corners.  I've never had an issue with signal loss.

That layout has five switches, which are separately controlled and rarely used.  Since it goes around the rec room ceiling, I mostly run it every two weeks during poker games.  I'm mostly a looper.  The boys love watching the trains go by during happy hours.

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The larger table layout uses DCS on only two of the 7 mainlines.  The upper three levels utilize Lionel LCP+ engines and one Z4000.  Two of the lines are for conventional trains only, using one PWZW.

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This layout is much more complicated than the overhead.  I still don't do much switching, but the DCS system allows the MTH NH and UP engines the ability to go up and down between levels without those, otherwise dramatic, changes in speed. 

My motive for DCS is two-fold.  First, I wanted to be able to run multiple trains on the same long mainline.  Second, I wanted to maintain consistent speed on inclines, declines, and corners.  All the features of DCS are cool.  The sound capabilities are great, smoke is great, PSA's are great.  Like many of the guys, I don't use all these features often.  Best is the portability of the remote in a large room.

Of course, I'm familiar with your layout.  You should have no trouble with your DCS power and setup as you describe it.  BTW, I finally was able to add a Yankee Stadium to my layout!!  Haha, the only thing is, I had to build an N scale layout over the pool table to accomplish it...

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Regards to all,

Jerry

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  • 20210218_105425
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