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Reply to "MTH R&D status"

Wow, where to begin?  First, thanks for the kind words of appreciation and support.  I truly appreciate it.

I am compelled to try and provide some insights from, well, the inside.  As you all know, it is so easy for these topics to go full mushroom cloud.  There is just a lot of misinformation out there.  It's understandable.  When there is a void, some people try to fill it.  And, just for housekeeping, I'm not Jon or Mike.  I’m Dave.

  • MTH DCS controls TMCC and Legacy engines using TMCC and Legacy commands.  These commands are published by Lionel. TMCC commands are in the back of the first manual ever shipped and Legacy commands are available on their website today.  No license required.
  • Atlas has a license for DCS.  They are purchasing DCS hardware to install into their engines with our support.  Also, they will be retailing DCS equipment which, only makes sense given some of their models will contain the system.  Go Atlas!
  • As I always say, nearly anything is possible with enough time and money.  We are able to run TMCC/Legacy engines because these systems provide simple serial access and do not require a response from the engine or base.  DCS is bi-directional.  Many features require communication from the engines.  The effort required for Lionel to integrate DCS control is commercially untenable.  I don’t think this is something we will ever see.  Lou1985 did a fine job clarifying this.
  • DCS runs conventional, PS2&3, TMCC, Legacy, TAS, in any gauge available.  A one-stop solution is already available.  Further, the WTIU will run conventional DC engines as well.  So, something for the G ga and 2-rail folks as well.  Sorry, I had to.
  • TMCC/Legacy can control MTH DCS engines in conventional mode.  You need to make some equipment investments.  Also, it gets interesting integrating all of those pieces of gear for such a limited amount of functionality.  Not a common use case.
  • Dave Hikel had a DCS license in exchange for app development.  That didn’t work out and we moved on.
  • To my knowledge, Lionel has never approached MTH requesting a license for DCS technology.  Nailed it Mellow Hudson Mike.  And, please tell Ryan and Dave (Lionel Dave) hi from me.  They are both good guys I enjoy hanging out with.
  • For MTH to develop the hardware required to apply Lionel’s signaling scheme directly to the rails is certainly doable, assuming no patent issues or obtaining a license, but, we have no intention of doing so.  We passed on enhancing DCC back in 1998 when DCS development started because one-way communication is too limiting for what we intended to do.  It still is.  You wouldn’t have track signal quality feedback, firmware updating, odometer, chronometer, music down the rails, simple adding of engines with unique features to the system, or a host of other features without bi-directional DCS.
  • A new Wi-Fi DCS Remote would, like all DCS equipment, be upgradeable via commonly available means.  The original TIU has this capability and it was released 20+ years ago.  Man, I’m getting old!
  • Oh, and yes, the RJ connector on the Z4K can absolutely be used for communication and control.  We made a product years ago called the Z4K Remote.  A pager sized box (showing my age again) connects to the Z4K port and a hand-held remote talks to it.  This is also true of the existing DCS remotes.  That is, the DCS remote can talk to the Z4K remote receiver.  The issue is, finding one.  Hang tough, we’re heading back that way.

Please forgive me for not elaborating further on any of these topics.  It’s Friday evening after a long week and it's time for quaffing a chilled beverage.  So, thanks again to all of you for your interest and support of MTH.  I will sincerely try to be more communicative with you all.  You are the hearts and souls of DCS.  You are who we had in mind when developing DCS.  It’s been and continues to be my pleasure.   

Have a great weekend.

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653