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As Alan Posted, and Atlas' e-mail announced, Atlas has acquired the MTH diesel and rolling stock tooling. This means that we'll be seeing future releases of the locomotive models offered in the Premier line. Hopefully this also means that Atlas will continue offering 2-rail versions. I'm hoping that the 2/3 feature is carried over into the product line. Comments? (Please be nice)

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Last edited by AGHRMatt
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@RJR posted:

There is a BIG question.  MTH says Atlas will produce PS3 locos.  Who will produce the PS3 hardware?

I'm guessing they will figure it out since the components of PS 3 and DCS system is part of the license Atlas acquired.

"

Atlas has also acquired a license for the MTH Proto-Sound 3 Sound & Control Electronics Boards, which adds realistic sounds to locomotives and also allows control via DCS (Digital Command System). Part of the license will give Atlas the option to sell DCS components as well."

David, we don't know if the license gives the power to produce, or only to use, DCS.  If the former, Atlas probably doesn;t have an in-house electronics department and thus will need to team up with both an electronics engineering firm and a production company.  Hopefully, they'll keep this in USA.  If the latter, the future of DCS is still up in the air.  Certainly, if Atlas becomes the source for DCS components and parts, I'll become a customer

as info atlas has purchased many other companies in the past in the HO world and has been very slow to produce them and some have never appeared. not trying to jinx things but I have watched this before. I was hopping more for the steam and electric locos as I am not a diesel fan . but the DCS licensing will be a big help for all the MTH fans out there.

@MartyE posted:

I wish we could just get 1 thread going. So hard to pick one to post to.

Good luck to Atlas. Glad to see the tooling get used!

Even though they licensed PS3 that still leaves one to wonder who will get DCS. Without DCS PS3 isn’t a big deal. I would assume since they are licensing PS3 then DCS components have a future.

Marty,

Just after the first announcement of Mike’s retirement there was a press release that said MTH created a new venture to keep DCS,  and maintain and improve on it.

What it didn’t say was the this new venture would also to license DCS out.

https://mthtrains.com/news/659

DCS/Proto-Sound Lives On



June 9, 2020 - With the scheduled closing of M.T.H. Electric Trains next year, support for the DCS Digital Command System and the Proto-Sound 3.0 onboard locomotive systems will continue through a new independent company headed up by current M.T.H. staff once direct M.T.H. support for the systems concludes on June 1, 2021.

The new tech company will continue to manufacture and provide support including any necessary software updates to the DCS hardware or DCS WiFi App. In fact, new and exciting product ideas are currently under development.

The DCS System controls any Proto-Sound 2.0 and later equipped locomotives and first debuted 18 years ago. It has been an integral part of the M.T.H. product line family since its inception and its continuation beyond the closing of M.T.H. is an important part of the transition envisioned by retiring M.T.H. president Mike Wolf.

As the retirement transition process moves forward, more details about the new company's creation and ongoing development of M.T.H.'s technology packages will be announced. Stay tuned.

Last edited by Craignor
@Craignor posted:

Marty,

In the first announcement of Mike’s retirement the release said MTH employees created a new venture to keep DCS and maintain and improve on it.

What it didn’t say was also to license DCS out.

https://mthtrains.com/news/659

DCS/Proto-Sound Lives On



June 9, 2020 - With the scheduled closing of M.T.H. Electric Trains next year, support for the DCS Digital Command System and the Proto-Sound 3.0 onboard locomotive systems will continue through a new independent company headed up by current M.T.H. staff once direct M.T.H. support for the systems concludes on June 1, 2021.

The new tech company will continue to manufacture and provide support including any necessary software updates to the DCS hardware or DCS WiFi App. In fact, new and exciting product ideas are currently under development.

The DCS System controls any Proto-Sound 2.0 and later equipped locomotives and first debuted 18 years ago. It has been an integral part of the M.T.H. product line family since its inception and its continuation beyond the closing of M.T.H. is an important part of the transition envisioned by retiring M.T.H. president Mike Wolf.

As the retirement transition process moves forward, more details about the new company's creation and ongoing development of M.T.H.'s technology packages will be announced. Stay tuned.

But we really haven't heard much since.  It would be good for Atlas and all those wanting new PS3s if another mention of the progress of this new tech company.

100% awesome news

Atlas has outstanding track record of bringing excellent O scale products to market. DCS is a great platform, very excited to see atlas continue using it

Hopefully Atlas O will be provide more competition to Lionel, this hobby needs better quality control

Special thanks to Jarrett Haedrich, COO of Atlas and the Atlas team for making this deal happen

The ATLAS O scale Evans Product plug door box cars have molded in doors.

The PREMIER O scale Evans Products double plug door box cars have operating doors.

Most of the real railroad paint schemes have been made.

The regular WISCONSIN & SOUTHERN scheme has not yet been produced.

The PREMIER version is more durable and that factory is up and running, so that box car would be made there instead.

Andrew

We won't ever know, but it would be interesting to know the terms of the agreement.  Seems unlikely to me a big capital expenditure was involved, given the state of the market. I'd guess this is a licensing agreement that allows Atlas to produce MTH products at the Chinese factory or factories currently producing these products.  Based upon production numbers, not outright purchase of tooling most likely.  Thus if the first production runs don't do well, we may not see much in future.  Just a consideration for those who want to see this succeed. Buy the first production runs if you want to see future production runs. Not rocket science .

A longtime fan and customer of 3rd Rail, I'd be surprised to see Scott pick up MTH steam.  Scott's always been into brass, with few die-cast offerings.  Certainly within the realm of my interest, he's done in brass most of the locos that MTH has done in die-cast.  While there would be a significant opportunity in the second-tier market with the RailKing steam tooling, that's not the market that 3rd Rail concentrates on.  The opportunity for 3rd Rail is increased quantities on the items they do, not alternative product that could detract from the resale value of what they've sold and irritate customers.

@Landsteiner posted:

We won't ever know, but it would be interesting to know the terms of the agreement.  Seems unlikely to me a big capital expenditure was involved, given the state of the market. I'd guess this is a licensing agreement that allows Atlas to produce MTH products at the Chinese factory or factories currently producing these products.  Based upon production numbers, not outright purchase of tooling most likely.  Thus if the first production runs don't do well, we may not see much in future.  Just a consideration for those who want to see this succeed. Buy the first production runs if you want to see future production runs. Not rocket science .

This isn't a licensing agreement.  The exact wording from the press release is:

"Hillside, NJ – Atlas Model Railroad Company, Inc. is proud to announce the purchase of a variety of tooling in the M.T.H. Premier O Scale Locomotive and Rolling Stock lines from M.T.H. Electric Trains of Columbia, MD."



What Atlas did license is the Proto-3 electronics.

Rusty

Last edited by Rusty Traque

"This isn't a licensing agreement."

You're correct. What I should have written is that I'm guessing Atlas has"purchased" the exclusive rights to use the MTH tooling.  And that the purchase agreement isn't likely a straightforward capital acquisition but rather a royalty per use to avoid upfront expenditure of millions or tens of millions of dollars to literally purchase the tooling rather than the rights to use the tooling.  Licensing is not the correct term for what I'm guessing is happening.   At least  that's what I'd do to minimize risk in case the market isn't there for adequate volumes. 

There's a good bit of uncertainty which will only be clarified when Atlas announces its intentions. And those may change over time and experience.   One or two locos to begin with?  An actual catalog?  DCS, TMCC or both?  The devil is clearly in the details here.

I see steamers going 3rd Rail. As stated, Railking to bachman, the rest going to Lionel. The DCS components and controls will be owned by the mth employees who agreed to buy it as originally announced.

While 3rd Rail would be a good landing spot for some of the steam, I'm not sure that Scott would be all that interested in opening that can of worms.

@Landsteiner posted:

We won't ever know, but it would be interesting to know the terms of the agreement.  Seems unlikely to me a big capital expenditure was involved, given the state of the market. I'd guess this is a licensing agreement that allows Atlas to produce MTH products at the Chinese factory or factories currently producing these products.  Based upon production numbers, not outright purchase of tooling most likely.  Thus if the first production runs don't do well, we may not see much in future.  Just a consideration for those who want to see this succeed. Buy the first production runs if you want to see future production runs. Not rocket science .

I think the truly under-valued aspect of this deal is Atlas' acquisition or access to the MTH production facilities.  A few years ago, Atlas acquired a number of Weaver molds, tooling, and products - we've yet to see anything from that.  Maybe the access to MTH factories will actually result in shipping product (what a concept!  ).  So far, Atlas has only demonstrated their ineptness in this regard.

As for acquiring DCS, I've no idea why they would spend money on that. To my mind, it would be a much smarter move to offer the very pretty MTH locomotives as either conventional ("command ready") or TMCC equipped.

I doubt that Atlas' or anyone else's TMCC licensing agreements with Lionel expressly prohibit the licensee from acquiring a competitive train control system, but annoying Lionel in such a way doesn't strike me as particularly advantageous.

George

@c.sam posted:

Does MTH (or Lionel even) actually own their tooling in the Chinese factories? Seems I remember somewhere that once a tool is created over there, you lose ownership of it to the Chinese companies? Not certain if I'm correct here...

They own it,  they just cannot remove it from China.  If they did not own it they would not be able to make multiple runs because the Chinese recycle tooling to make more money from the tooling once a run is complete and so it cannot be pirated.

Maybe what Atlas actually got is a working factory to actually make stuff for them.

Atlas in the past has done a lot of scale equipment for 2 rail.    This includes the Zephyr passenger  cars which were based on prototypes, and hence were models.     In reading the announcement, it looks like a lot of stuff that Atlas has purchased or gotten access to, are more in the toy train realm.    I am not familiar with MTH diesels as they have done nothing I want to buy in 2 rail, but there may be some more prototypical stuff there.    The passenger cars are based on real prototypes for the most part.     So they may expanding their 3 rail line considerably and dropping out of 2 rail.

@G3750 posted:

I think the truly under-valued aspect of this deal is Atlas' acquisition or access to the MTH production facilities.  A few years ago, Atlas acquired a number of Weaver molds, tooling, and products - we've yet to see anything from that.  Maybe the access to MTH factories will actually result in shipping product (what a concept!  ).  So far, Atlas has only demonstrated their ineptness in this regard.

As for acquiring DCS, I've no idea why they would spend money on that. To my mind, it would be a much smarter move to offer the very pretty MTH locomotives as either conventional ("command ready") or TMCC equipped.

I doubt that Atlas' or anyone else's TMCC licensing agreements with Lionel expressly prohibit the licensee from acquiring a competitive train control system, but annoying Lionel in such a way doesn't strike me as particularly advantageous.

George

Weaver wagon tops and troop cars have already rolled out in Atlas boxes. I'm sure there have been others. The Bradley coaches were offered up at one point too. Theyve done something with it. Maybe not all of it, but its not like they buried it all.

As for PS3, it would be stupid not to. ERR makes available like 5 generic sound files. By licensing PS3, they get access to hundreds of more accurate files, files with variation, and the potential for upgrades or improvements to the system done by whoever is taking over DCS.  Why would you not do that? They'd be smart to dump TMCC at this point, as the limited options are far outclassed and the system is essentially dead technology. A license to use the DCS environment is a first, and is a massive upgrade over a TMCC sound file that is basically "Generic GE" or "Generic Alco", etc... noise.

Not to mention, PS3 has DCC onboard. As much as I am not a fan of using PS3 as a DCC decoder, the factory can continue to deal with a single wiring harness, regardless of whether its 2 rail or 3, which probably means the continued ability to sell these things with a 2 rail option. I'm here for it.  Since the wheels are interchangable, they can continue to offer the 2 rail locomotives with PS3 so that the 3RS people who are buying them dont have to worry about the engine being DCC only, such as if they put ESU Loksound in it.

Weaver wagon tops and troop cars have already rolled out in Atlas boxes. I'm sure there have been others. The Bradley coaches were offered up at one point too. Theyve done something with it. Maybe not all of it, but its not like they buried it all.

As for PS3, it would be stupid not to. ERR makes available like 5 generic sound files. By licensing PS3, they get access to hundreds of more accurate files, files with variation, and the potential for upgrades or improvements to the system done by whoever is taking over DCS.  Why would you not do that? They'd be smart to dump TMCC at this point, as the limited options are far outclassed and the system is essentially dead technology. A license to use the DCS environment is a first, and is a massive upgrade over a TMCC sound file that is basically "Generic GE" or "Generic Alco", etc... noise.

Not to mention, PS3 has DCC onboard. As much as I am not a fan of using PS3 as a DCC decoder, the factory can continue to deal with a single wiring harness, regardless of whether its 2 rail or 3, which probably means the continued ability to sell these things with a 2 rail option. I'm here for it.  Since the wheels are interchangable, they can continue to offer the 2 rail locomotives with PS3 so that the 3RS people who are buying them dont have to worry about the engine being DCC only, such as if they put ESU Loksound in it.

Ding, ding, winner. With PS3 Atlas can reduce production costs. Now there will be one wiring harness and board set for both 3 rail and 2 rail that will operate with a major 3 rail control system (DCS) and a 2 rail control system (DCC).

.

As for PS3, it would be stupid not to. ERR makes available like 5 generic sound files. By licensing PS3, they get access to hundreds of more accurate files, files with variation, and the potential for upgrades or improvements to the system done by whoever is taking over DCS.  Why would you not do that? They'd be smart to dump TMCC at this point, as the limited options are far outclassed and the system is essentially dead technology. A license to use the DCS environment is a first, and is a massive upgrade over a TMCC sound file that is basically "Generic GE" or "Generic Alco", etc... noise.

Not to mention, PS3 has DCC onboard. As much as I am not a fan of using PS3 as a DCC decoder, the factory can continue to deal with a single wiring harness, regardless of whether its 2 rail or 3, which probably means the continued ability to sell these things with a 2 rail option. I'm here for it.  Since the wheels are interchangable, they can continue to offer the 2 rail locomotives with PS3 so that the 3RS people who are buying them dont have to worry about the engine being DCC only, such as if they put ESU Loksound in it.

Atlas has managed to get a few items produced, but that's way less than the stuff they're sitting on.

As for TMCC, it has several overwhelming advantages over DCS:

  1. Reliability.  And reliability trumps all else.  What good are "cool" features when the train won't respond?  TMCC works and its small number of issues have proven solutions, unlike DCS with its 5 TIU hardware versions, countless software revisions, book of spells and incantations, and thousands of "Engine not found" posts.  The numbers don't lie.  Any objective comparison of problems between systems over the past 15 years prove TMCC's reliability over DCS without any doubt whatsoever.
  2. Open to 3rd Party innovation.  By putting the TMCC codes into the public domain, Lionel sparked innovation from 3rd party entrepreneurs such as IC Controls, Digital Dynamics, Electronic Railroad, TrainAmerica Studios, and Z-Stuff.  And licensing provided us with TMCC equipped locomotives from K-Line, Weaver, Atlas, and 3rd Rail.
  3. Upgrade path.  If you really need all of the sophisticated "bells and whistles", there's Legacy.  And the sound in those locomotives is superior to anything else around.

Have a nice day,

George

Last edited by G3750
@G3750 posted:

Atlas has managed to get a few items produced, but that's way less than the stuff they're sitting on.

As for TMCC, it has several overwhelming advantages over DCS:

  1. Reliability.  And reliability trumps all else.  What good are "cool" features when the train won't respond?  TMCC works and its small number of issues have proven solutions, unlike DCS with its 5 TIU hardware versions, countless software revisions, book of spells and incantations, and thousands of "Engine not found" posts.  The numbers don't lie.  Any objective comparison of problems between systems over the past 15 years prove TMCC's reliability over DCS without any doubt whatsoever.
  2. Open to 3rd Party innovation.  By putting the TMCC codes into the public domain, Lionel sparked innovation from 3rd party entrepreneurs such as IC Controls, Digital Dynamics, Electronic Railroad, TrainAmerica Studios, and Z-Stuff.  And licensing provided us with TMCC equipped locomotives from K-Line, Weaver, Atlas, and 3rd Rail.
  3. Upgrade path.  If you really need all of the sophisticated "bells and whistles", there's Legacy.  And the sound in those locomotives is superior to anything else around.

Have a nice day,

George

1. Just because DCS doesn't work for one person does not mean it's "unreliable". I've had 0 issues with DCS or TMCC. All I did in setup was read the instructions that came with my TIU, wired it how I was instructed to, and it has operated perfectly since day 1. Yes all you have to do with Legacy/TMCC is hook up one wire and you're good to go. Being that it uses radio signal there are people who have issues with the system getting interfered with by their house wiring or layout setup. So even Legacy/TMCC isn't a perfectly reliable system

2. The only reason DCS doesn't have the same things is because MTH never licensed it. They might now, and then there could be aftermarket products.

3. The only real "upgrade" path to Legacy is to buy a new Lionel locomotive. Lionel doesn't make Legacy upgrade kits available to the consumer. Want Legacy in an older locomotive? You have to make your own kit by ordering boards from Lionel and building your own wire harness. You can get older TMCC kits but in diesels you only get 4 RPM sound levels, steam needs extra hardware for 4 chuffs and puffing fan smoke.  PS3 kits gets you all those features, plus remote couplers, out of the box without additional parts. Plus you get a locomotive that has the same features as a brand new PS3 locomotive out of the box. In addition there are hundreds of sound files that can be added to a PS3 locomotive, plus existing files can be modified and by the end user with programs like ADPCM. ERR upgrades give you limited files, nothing locomotive specific, and you can't change them. As far as Legacy Railsounds being the best around that's debatable. There are sounds in DCC that blow Railsounds out of the water.

I own PS2, PS3, TMCC, and Legacy locomotives. Quite honestly for those who want to operate their trains in a prototypical manner with the correct sounds (whistles/horns/bells) or be able to change them when they want DCS is the better, more advanced system.

Last edited by Lou1985

George, I might agree with you if Lionel licensed the LEGACY sound and control package to the likes of Atlas.  But I absolutely disagree with your assessment if Atlas continues to use TMCC with the very dated and very generic RailSounds packages.  I don't know about you, but a lot of us here aren't very excited about purchasing $500, $600, or $700+ locomotives with outdated (and often incorrect) engine sounds...even if they do have TMCC control.  Certainly not with what's available with Legacy or PS3 today!

I own several Atlas locomotives, from some of their early stuff right up to their most-recent releases, and the sound packages are terrible when compared to current Legacy or PS3.  They were fine way back when Atlas first started using them, but they simply don't cut it today.

I don't know if you own any Atlas TMCC/RailSounds and MTH PS3 locomotives, but if you do, I urge you to run them one right after the other.  I'm confident you'll agree that PS3 blows the RailSounds away...without any doubt whatsoever.

Last edited by CNJ #1601
@G3750 posted:

  1. Reliability.  And reliability trumps all else.  What good are "cool" features when the train won't respond?  TMCC works and its small number of issues have proven solutions, unlike DCS with its 5 TIU hardware versions, countless software revisions, book of spells and incantations, and thousands of "Engine not found" posts.  The numbers don't lie.  Any objective comparison of problems between systems over the past 15 years prove TMCC's reliability over DCS without any doubt whatsoever.

George

And George wins the Internet today!  ("[B]ook of spells and incantations!"  Hah!  LOL, etc.)

I carry no candle for TMCC or Legacy--I have had my problems with both, more the engines themselves than the control system.  I have no desire to install a system as complex, as touchy, and as high maintenance as DCS.  I'm going in the other direction:  back to conventional.  Push the handle, the engine moves.  Pull it back, the engine stops.  Push a button, the whistle sounds.  Darned hard to mess up and relatively easily fixed if you do.

Interesting news.

I am most interested in the continuation of the Premier steam line with 2-rail option. I am glad that Atlas didn't acquire those products.

Why?

In HO, the product lines they purchased have taken years to get to market, and then only a small percentage of the models have seen the light of day.

And in N, which I dabble in, the Atlas quality has become hit and miss - with much more miss.  More than half of my last 10 Atlas N locos were dogs. Some went right back to Atlas. One they could never get right. For now, Atlas N locos are off limits for me. Not worth the risk.

Let's hope the MTH quality is maintained... and that we will get 2-rail models with pure DCC electronics.

Hopefully the MTH/Atlas transaction will be beneficial to Atlas and the modelers.

Rob

Good news I guess for some.

I.M.O. I see several undesirable items in the mix.

I would think someone will pick up the 50’ PS-1’s F3’s, FM’s, RS-1, RS-3, 44 ton, Subways, MU’s, SW1, NW2 or GP35’s. I know Atlas has offers some of these so they were probably avoiding conflict in the choice.

As a Fallen Flags operator, I see nothing in that list to buy. I have em all. New molds need to be made if anything.

@CNJ #1601 posted:

George, I might agree with you if Lionel licensed the LEGACY sound and control package to the likes of Atlas.  But I absolutely disagree with your assessment if Atlas continues to use TMCC with the very dated and very generic RailSounds packages.  I don't know about you, but a lot of us here aren't very excited about purchasing $500, $600, or $700+ locomotives with outdated (and often incorrect) engine sounds...even if they do have TMCC control.  Certainly not with what's available with Legacy or PS3 today!

I own several Atlas locomotives, from some of their early stuff right up to their most-recent releases, and the sound packages are terrible when compared to current Legacy or PS3.  They were fine way back when Atlas first started using them, but they simply don't cut it today.

I don't know if you own any Atlas TMCC/RailSounds and MTH PS3 locomotives, but if you do, I urge you to run them one right after the other.  I'm confident you'll agree that PS3 blows the RailSounds away...without any doubt whatsoever.

It's a fair comment.  I wish Lionel had licensed Legacy.  It's a bit short-sighted.  I was in the grandstand at York when Jerry Calabrese was introduced to the OGR meeting by Neil Young (how cool was that?).  Mr. Calabrese seemed to regret the licensing of TMCC to the other train makers.  He also (from what I could tell) did not comprehend or appreciate the absolute brilliance of that move.  At that point in time, in one fell swoop, Lionel guaranteed its dominance in control systems (K-Line, Weaver, Atlas, 3rd Rail accepted) and put MTH under pressure to deliver a competitive system.  As history has shown, Lionel retained Legacy as a closed system and focused all its efforts on features there.

Personally, I think not licensing Legacy was a mistake.  Maybe Lionel will counter the situation by licensing Legacy to the other remaining 3-rail train manufacturers - Williams, 3rd Rail, even Atlas.  That would be a huge game-changer.

George

@palallin posted:

And George wins the Internet today!  ("[B]ook of spells and incantations!"  Hah!  LOL, etc.)

I carry no candle for TMCC or Legacy--I have had my problems with both, more the engines themselves than the control system.  I have no desire to install a system as complex, as touchy, and as high maintenance as DCS.  I'm going in the other direction:  back to conventional.  Push the handle, the engine moves.  Pull it back, the engine stops.  Push a button, the whistle sounds.  Darned hard to mess up and relatively easily fixed if you do.

Hmm.  The whole internet you say?  Wow, what should I do first with that?     

George

@Lou1985 posted:

1. Just because DCS doesn't work for one person does not mean it's "unreliable". I've had 0 issues with DCS or TMCC. All I did in setup was read the instructions that came with my TIU, wired it how I was instructed to, and it has operated perfectly since day 1. Yes all you have to do with Legacy/TMCC is hook up one wire and you're good to go. Being that it uses radio signal there are people who have issues with the system getting interfered with by their house wiring or layout setup. So even Legacy/TMCC isn't a perfectly reliable system

2. The only reason DCS doesn't have the same things is because MTH never licensed it. They might now, and then there could be aftermarket products.

3. The only real "upgrade" path to Legacy is to buy a new Lionel locomotive. Lionel doesn't make Legacy upgrade kits available to the consumer. Want Legacy in an older locomotive? You have to make your own kit by ordering boards from Lionel and building your own wire harness. You can get older TMCC kits but in diesels you only get 4 RPM sound levels, steam needs extra hardware for 4 chuffs and puffing fan smoke.  PS3 kits gets you all those features, plus remote couplers, out of the box without additional parts. Plus you get a locomotive that has the same features as a brand new PS3 locomotive out of the box. In addition there are hundreds of sound files that can be added to a PS3 locomotive, plus existing files can be modified and by the end user with programs like ADPCM. ERR upgrades give you limited files, nothing locomotive specific, and you can't change them. As far as Legacy Railsounds being the best around that's debatable. There are sounds in DCC that blow Railsounds out of the water.

I own PS2, PS3, TMCC, and Legacy locomotives. Quite honestly for those who want to operate their trains in a prototypical manner with the correct sounds (whistles/horns/bells) or be able to change them when they want DCS is the better, more advanced system.

WRT 1:  You are correct.  One person's problems aren't enough.  But that's not the case with DCS.  Many, many modelers (some very well known) have had trouble getting it to work consistently or work at all.  Five TIU versions and dozens of software upgrades in 20 years - doesn't look like a reliable system to me (and I built reliable systems for a living).  Over on the DCS sub-forum you have a legitimate rocket scientist (PhD EE from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory) who's had to diagnose and fix a number of DCS issues.  Doesn't sound like a case of simple user error or reliability, does it?

2.  Yeah, but MTH didn't do that, did they?

3.  As I have said above, I wish Lionel did license Legacy and did offer easy upgrades.  They should, but that's not saying they will.  Who knows?  Maybe now they will.

George

@G3750 posted:

WRT 1:  You are correct.  One person's problems aren't enough.  But that's not the case with DCS.  Many, many modelers (some very well known) have had trouble getting it to work consistently or work at all.  Five TIU versions and dozens of software upgrades in 20 years - doesn't look like a reliable system to me (and I built reliable systems for a living).  Over on the DCS sub-forum you have a legitimate rocket scientist (PhD EE from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory) who's had to diagnose and fix a number of DCS issues.  Doesn't sound like a case of simple user error or reliability, does it?



What's the basis for a reliable system? I'd say good hardware and following correct wiring. Every time I've personally seen issues with DCS on layouts it's caused by nightmare wiring or not wiring according to the instructions that came with the system. There is  A LOT of issues cause by end users. In the same breath DCS isn't engineered to idiot proof status, which in all honesty most things should be to be considered super reliable. Design it for the lowest common denominator so it just works all the time. Updates are just that, things to correct issues and update the software. Happens all the time with PCs or any other device. Heck I have to update the operating system on my phone more often than DCS .

DCS is like DCC, in the way that the end user has control of sounds and other modifications to locomotives. The customer can't even accomplish those basic things with Legacy, because it's all proprietary. Want to change the whistle in you Legacy steam locomotive? You can't. Lionel has locked the end user out of any modifications. DCS and DCC are more user friendly for the operators who want to get the most out of their systems. Legacy is take what you get and be happy, because Lionel gave the end user no means to update or change things in Legacy locomotives.

If the number of software upgrades is indicative of quality, what about the frequent upgrades to my computer software?  As to the number of versions of TIUs, my computer hardware differs somewhat from my 1990 computer.

My wife has frequent software issues.  She won't be reading this post, so I'll dare to say it's most often operator error.

Bottom line really is that people have differing preferences.  Some people like to drive Fords or GMs; others prefer to push Yugos or Fiats

@Lou1985 posted:

Ding, ding, winner. With PS3 Atlas can reduce production costs. Now there will be one wiring harness and board set for both 3 rail and 2 rail that will operate with a major 3 rail control system (DCS) and a 2 rail control system (DCC).

Lou,

I agree with you, continuing DCS is a beautiful thing. I have owned and operated DCS, TMCC, and Legacy for 10 years, and I find both systems have their pros and cons, and I don’t find one to be superior than the other.

DCS certainly has some quirks and is more sensitive to signal interference such as dirty track. With that said I find DCS to be reliable for the most part. MTH has come a long way with its PS 3.0 locomotive hardware and I have had yet to have a board fail. I find DCS to be easier to set up, the two way communication system is great, and the ability to piggyback DCS onto Legacy is an excellent feature.

Bottom line is TMCC and DCS are both great systems, and it would be a enormous loss on the hobby to lose one

@Oman posted:

It's ironic that the DCC purists and the TMCC lovers are showing their disdain for Atlas planning to put DCS into newly acquired MTH tooled locomotives. For those that do not like DCS, you lose nothing. Where's the beef?

I’ve never understood the beef, or the argument at all. I have had them all. DCC is the way forward for me if for no other reason than the MTH and Lionel remotes are usability design disasters.

The thing that’s drawing me from 3-rail to 2-rail for my next O layout is that I am all-in on DCC and the extensibility it brings.

I am not judging and not arguing. We all have our preferences and I respect that.

Rob

@rdunniii posted:

They own it,  they just cannot remove it from China.  If they did not own it they would not be able to make multiple runs because the Chinese recycle tooling to make more money from the tooling once a run is complete and so it cannot be pirated.

Maybe what Atlas actually got is a working factory to actually make stuff for them.


Getting tooling out of China isn’t impossible, its just difficult. The company I work for has had several injection molding dies made in China and has successfully brought them to the US. It really depends on who you partner with in China and you have to run production parts there for a while. Once they get a sufficient return on the investment, it becomes possible to get the tooling released.

Model train tooling really has no reason to come back to the US though, too cost prohibitive to build trains here: especially highly detailed scale models.

@Lou1985 posted:

What's the basis for a reliable system? I'd say good hardware and following correct wiring. Every time I've personally seen issues with DCS on layouts it's caused by nightmare wiring or not wiring according to the instructions that came with the system. There is  A LOT of issues cause by end users.

You might have an opinion as to reliability, but I know.  I built reliable systems (99.999%) for a living.  Some are 20+ years old and still running reliably.

5 hardware revisions in 15 years is not an indicator of "good hardware".  It's a red flare.  Think of new h/w as a RECALL.  It indicates problems in search of an answer.  You can't compare software revisions to hardware replacements (or recalls, if you will).  DCS was advertised as needing only the initial set of hardware and that all new features would come in software.

DCS is like DCC, ...

  No, it absolutely is not like DCC.

DCC was created to a publicized standard, rigorously tested, maintained and upheld.  DCS was rushed into production, is proprietary, and its primary problem resolution still depends on its own end-users, "beta-testers", and "champions".  A whole cottage industry has sprung up out of making DCS function properly.  And when all else fails, a favorite tactic is to blame the user.

I'm finished talking on this subject.

George

@G3750 posted:

I'm finished talking on this subject.

George

Read the whole of what I said about DCS and DCC:

"DCS is like DCC, in the way that the end user has control of sounds and other modifications to locomotives. The customer can't even accomplish those basic things with Legacy, because it's all proprietary. Want to change the whistle in you Legacy steam locomotive? You can't. Lionel has locked the end user out of any modifications. DCS and DCC are more user friendly for the operators who want to get the most out of their systems. Legacy is take what you get and be happy, because Lionel gave the end user no means to update or change things in Legacy locomotives."

Legacy sounds can not be modified by the end user. DCS and DCC sounds can be. Legacy is a closed system to the end user. Also in 20 years I'm sure there's been no revisions to any DCC hardware, only DCS 😉. Atlas going to PS3 saves them money, because the only need one board setup for 2 and 3 rail. With TMCC (which is NOT DCC compatible) they need two different setups.

Legacy/TMCC is best for the end user who doesn't want to modify anything about their locomotives . You like the new sound set in the latest Lionel Legacy Big Boy but have a 4 year old one? Cool. Sell it and buy the newest Big Boy. Like the newest sound set in latest PS3 Big Boy but have a 4 year old PS3 Big Boy? Cool download the newest sound file (for FREE) and load it into your 4 year old Big Boy. Seems an awful lot DCC like to me 😉.

And DCC is even better than DCS. When DCS eventually goes completely away I'll probably gut out all my PS2/PS3/TMCC/Legacy locomotives and go to that system.

@trainbob posted:

Thank you Atlas for stepping up in these trying times

Atlas got into the game.  Stepping up to the plate is yet to come.  I see this transition as a work in progress.  It can be long and somewhat painful.  As a user of mostly Lionel and MTH, I have shied away from Atlas.  Logistics and meeting delivery times seems to be a struggle.  I think of the Burlington F units I purchased last year.  These were pre-ordered a very long time.  Cencellations made some available.  That's where I cam in and swooped.

I think Atlas is up to it.  Wether or not they recognize the costs for this type of growth is up to them.  If they want to stretch out margin at the expense of "blocking and tackling", they will have a hard time.  Let's hope they put in the physical and human capital to take on this challenge.  You can't be the old stodgy company short on delivery and sitting on track and switch sales for this to succeed.  I for one, look forward to their first catalog offerings.  I will give them a try and see how they do.

@G3750 posted:

Maybe Lionel will counter the situation by licensing Legacy to the other remaining 3-rail train manufacturers - Williams, 3rd Rail, even Atlas.  That would be a huge game-changer.

George

I'd be just as happy having 3rd Rail have access to Legacy as much as I would DCS. I'll take either one. Perhaps Atlas adopting DCS will cause Lionel to change their stance. I doubt that WBB will use either.

@G3750 posted:
You might have an opinion as to reliability, but I know.  I built reliable systems (99.999%) for a living.  Some are 20+ years old and still running reliably.

This doesn't make sense... You build 99.999999999999% reliable systems but only some made it to the 20+ year mark and are still working...??



@G3750 posted:
DCS was advertised as needing only the initial set of hardware and that all new features would come in software.

I have an 18 year TIU that is still working perfectly, and through software updates, I  receive all operating features as newest TIU built today. it has never been serviced, and it's reliability is well... 100%.



@G3750 posted:
Think of new h/w as a RECALL.

Really??? so every time Ford came out with a new version of the F-150, they were really saying the old ones were bad and should be recalled??? Why didn't MTH "recall" the older TIU's to be repaired or destroyed?? How many different Hardware versions are there of the Postwar ZW, are you saying that every ZW before the type R were also terrible and should be recalled?

Last edited by H1000
@H1000 posted:

This doesn't make sense... You build 99.999999999999% reliable systems but only some made it to the 20+ year mark and are still working...??

Some have been in the field less time.  Given 'em a chance.  They'll get there.

I have an 18 year TIU that is still working perfectly, and through software updates, I  receive all operating features as newest TIU built today. it has never been serviced, and it's reliability is well... 100%.

You're a rarity.  Good for you.

Really??? so every time Ford came out with a new version of the F-150, they were really saying the old ones were bad and should be recalled??? Why didn't MTH "recall" the older TIU's to be repaired or destroyed?? How many different Hardware versions are there of the Postwar ZW, are you saying that every ZW before the type R were also terrible and should be recalled?

I didn't say that.  You got that from what I wrote.    Somehow.

@G3750 posted:
I didn't say that.  You got that from what I wrote.    Somehow.

This is what you wrote:

@G3750 posted:
Think of new h/w as a RECALL.

New an improved designs are coming out all of the time by everyone. Look at how many h/w releases there have been of railsounds and how many more there will be. That doesn't mean that all the older ones are "recalls". I mean even the latest  Legacy Mogul was a new h/w release of the older tmcc version made years ago..... What an improvement that was...

When Ford builds a new h/w version of the F-150, they don't "recall" the older ones. There is nothing wrong them, they just took an existing design and improved on it.

Last edited by H1000
@GG1 4877 posted:

For me personally, I hope that Atlas continues to provide pure DCC for their 2 rail locomotives.  DCS in 2 rail is a compromise when using a DCC system.

It never entered my mind that they would. Man, I hope they don't drop DCC ... would be kind of a stab in the back to all their long time 2-rail customers ... having to buy a DCS system to run their engines going forward. I'm well invested in DCC components and knowledge ...from both O and HO.

I was kinda hoping their MTH Premier engines would be offered with a DCC option. Wishful thinking.

@G3750 posted:

....Five TIU versions and dozens of software upgrades in 20 years - doesn't look like a reliable system to me (and I built reliable systems for a living).  Over on the DCS sub-forum you have a legitimate rocket scientist (PhD EE from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory) who's had to diagnose and fix a number of DCS issues.  Doesn't sound like a case of simple user error or reliability, does it?

.....



George

So what did you say about the upgrades and the system?

Let me preface this by saying I am a huge MTH fan.

H1000, you are lucky. Back when I was a 3 Railer I pre-ordered the first gen DCS system. It cost $300 at the time. I also ordered the AIU. I forget how much that was. I had a small layout at the time and the system worked okay. Unfortunately, one day I had somewhat of a short. It must have been pulling about 7-9 amps (just guessing) and the circuit breaker never tripped on my transformer which was a postwar ZW. Well, that let the smoke out of the TIU. I guess it was my fault for not using a more modern transformer but I felt the TIU should have been designed with circuit protection from the get go. Looking back maybe the CB in the transformer was faulty. If it was I didn’t realize it was faulty so it may have just been bad luck that the TIU got fried. The original remote also broke and this was not my fault. The wire going to the antenna board broke. I tried to fix it but a couple of traces came off the circuit board. Years later I sold the set for $15 to fellow forum member who wanted to mount it on a display board for some kind of presentation. The remote still worked but only if tethered. I still got the AIU and it still works perfectly.

I did buy another DCS set years later when the added the USB port. I still have it and have used it sparingly over the years for both the occasional 3 rail train or a PS3 upgrade I did. Even after all of this I am still a huge MTH fan. Hey, no train company is perfect.

About 16 years ago I spent double what I spent on my first DCS system to buy the NCE DCC system (and eventually had to spend more money on a power supply—initially I used the same ZW) but it hasn’t been upgraded, hardware or software in all the years I have had it and it still works perfectly.

Since Atlas will be using PS3 it can be controlled by DCC as Matt mentioned. I am not sure about the diesel side but a lot of my MTH steam engines have the same exact whistle. I like the sounds but I hope that whoever does the sounds for PS3 in the future will continue to upgrade and create a higher variety of the whistles and horns.

I also hope that PS3 upgrade kits will continue to be produced. I haven’t seen anything mentioned about the upgrade kits.

Last edited by Hudson J1e
@AGHRMatt posted:

Actually, since Proto3 includes DCC, you still have a DCC locomotive.

While this is mostly correct, there is more flexibility and functionality to assign CVs to a true DCC decoder and there are more options for controllers.  Proto-3 also intentionally limited some of the DCS functions to DCC users as a way to sell more DCS systems.  Just an opinion on my part.  I prefer open architecture systems over proprietary ones.

@Hudson J1e

Well am I lucky or am I good?

I got my first REV G. TIU in 03 and I didn't just plop it on the layout right away. I did some studying on the internals and critical thinking about how my KW transformer could kill this thing.  Long before MTH issued a news flash about placing a fast blow fuse between the TIU and Transformer I decided to put a 7 Amp circuit breaker between my KW and TIU from the get go.  This old TIU has seen many shorts and derailments and while it is not on the main layout anymore it still sees regular use on one of the portable layouts.  The PSX-AC replaced the 7 amp circuit breaker for better protection as soon as I heard about it.

I'll fault MTH for lack documentation due to not putting the early model through some real world situations. But with proper Circuit & TVS protection, that TIU should last a very long time.

Last edited by H1000

I think you need a person with a huge drive to make a O scale train line work in todays market.

You need a guy who is a maven in industry, a person with a vision of what needs to be done, a person who is not afraid to throw large sums of money into a project.

This person has to have great knowledge of electronics.

He also has to have a mechanical mind.

You need...Elon Musk.

Last edited by John Pignatelli JR.
@Cogen1981 posted:

Lou,

I agree with you, continuing DCS is a beautiful thing. I have owned and operated DCS, TMCC, and Legacy for 10 years, and I find both systems have their pros and cons, and I don’t find one to be superior than the other.

DCS certainly has some quirks and is more sensitive to signal interference such as dirty track. With that said I find DCS to be reliable for the most part. MTH has come a long way with its PS 3.0 locomotive hardware and I have had yet to have a board fail. I find DCS to be easier to set up, the two way communication system is great, and the ability to piggyback DCS onto Legacy is an excellent feature.

Bottom line is TMCC and DCS are both great systems, and it would be a enormous loss on the hobby to lose one

I find the biggest issue with DCS to be when using a remote the software doesn't always give you an accurate message to the situation.

Many times it will say "Out of Range" when actually the handheld remote isn't out of range at all, rather that the TIU and Engine have lost touch with each other. Seems when they went to the Wifi and app work on the remotes software stopped.

One of the coolest features of DCS is the fully automatic forward, reverse, or crossing horn/whistle sequences. Yet when you place two engines in a consist, you lose the crossing sequence capability. That has got to be the  "Worst Feature Ever"

Hopefully this will be a great move for Atlas and help all the current MTH operators as well.

Last edited by BobbyD

You need a guy who is a maven in industry, a person with a vision of what needs to be done, a person who is not afraid to throw large sums of money into a project.



You need...Elon Musk.

With with the best case scenario being zero return on the investment with the more likely a loss on the investment. That's why there is so little new tooling made these days; there is no return on the investment with little prospect on getting return on the investment.

Elon gets return on his investments and everything he does is for eventual massive returns on his investment be it Tesla, SpaceX or Bitcoin. BTW, his investment in Bitcoin is already worth billions more than he exchanged for it.

@WBC posted:

With with the best case scenario being zero return on the investment with the more likely a loss on the investment. That's why there is so little new tooling made these days; there is no return on the investment with little prospect on getting return on the investment.

Elon gets return on his investments and everything he does is for eventual massive returns on his investment be it Tesla, SpaceX or Bitcoin. BTW, his investment in Bitcoin is already worth billions more than he exchanged for it.

And y’all wonder why threads get deleted,....🙄...lemme give ya a little hint,....nonsense like this,...

Pat

I'm glad to see a number of MTH models will now be made by Atlas. I'm especially hopeful this development, and apparently Atlas' access to MTH's former factory, will allow Atlas to resume making it's own designs. As between an Atlas design and MTH, I choose Atlas first. I think some folks, especially those who've come into the hobby in the last ten years or so, think of Atlas as a marginal and sporadic supplier. But in the ten or so years after Atlas entered the O market in 1998, it regularly announced and regularly delivered innovative new models. I found Atlas typically came closest to its announced delivery dates, usually having the model to dealers within a month or two of the announced arrival date.

I do wonder how some models made it "in" to the sale but not others. Presumably Atlas has no interest in tooling that duplicates its own models. But why Atlas would want, for example, the SD40-2 tooling is beyond me. That one's just not a terribly accurate rendition of the prototype and not up to Atlas standards. Other late MTH designs, like the SD45-2T, SD50, or AC4400, among others are better detailed and more accurate but aren't on the list. So I wonder if other tooling was spoken for, or if the tooling was sold in lots or something else. At any rate, this all is great news, especially if Atlas resumes regular production.

RM

@WBC posted:

With with the best case scenario being zero return on the investment with the more likely a loss on the investment. That's why there is so little new tooling made these days; there is no return on the investment with little prospect on getting return on the investment.

How does that explain 3rd Rail's offerings which are all new tooling with just a few exceptions?

I do wonder how some models made it "in" to the sale but not others. Presumably Atlas has no interest in tooling that duplicates its own models. But why Atlas would want, for example, the SD40-2 tooling is beyond me. That one's just not a terribly accurate rendition of the prototype and not up to Atlas standards.

The main problems with the MTH (as well as Lionel) SD40-2 are the undersized fuel tank and wheel base.  These should be easy fixes as they are separate from the body.

Other late MTH designs, like the SD45-2T, SD50, or AC4400, among others are better detailed and more accurate but aren't on the list. So I wonder if other tooling was spoken for, or if the tooling was sold in lots or something else. At any rate, this all is great news, especially if Atlas resumes regular production.

If I had to venture a guess, based on a comparison to imported toy lines, I’d wager a sum that certain molds are tied to a particular company/factory over there in the Pacific.

In the world of Transformers (the toy not the electrical component) Hasbro imported various models from different Japanese toy companies, and rolled them into one product line for the US market.  Some of the transforming robot toys were made by Takara (two separate toy lines in fact), while others were made by Bandai/Takatoku.  

@GG1 4877 posted:

How does that explain 3rd Rail's offerings which are all new tooling with just a few exceptions?

Yeah, I agree.  I’m not even sure why tooling costs go up in price.  Look all all the different things made out of plastic available for peanuts on Amazon.  The wheels, gears, and truck side frames are probably a bit more costly I guess.  Anyway, all of that requires injection molds to be made, and manufacturers change the cases on products on a whim to suit aesthetics.  I’ve seen many products with the exact same internal guts, just with an updated case.

I'm glad to see a number of MTH models will now be made by Atlas. I'm especially hopeful this development, and apparently Atlas' access to MTH's former factory, will allow Atlas to resume making it's own designs. As between an Atlas design and MTH, I choose Atlas first. I think some folks, especially those who've come into the hobby in the last ten years or so, think of Atlas as a marginal and sporadic supplier. But in the ten or so years after Atlas entered the O market in 1998, it regularly announced and regularly delivered innovative new models. I found Atlas typically came closest to its announced delivery dates, usually having the model to dealers within a month or two of the announced arrival date.



This was my experience as well with the locomotives I ordered from Atlas during those days. I call it the “Jim Weaver” era. Post Jim Weaver era was a different story. I hope Atlas has someone in mind who will manage the O scale side of things for them like Jim did. I think it’s great that they have the MTH factory to start making models but they also need someone at the helm to make sure things go right.





Last edited by Hudson J1e

I believe it was in the mr.muffin email. I know I heard it somewhere.

In the email I got from Mr. Muffin, there were two sentences after Atlas's press release and the second one read, "Atlas also announced they have licensed MTH's DCS technology and will be using it in their future products."  It could be interpreted to mean DCS only (which I agree is likely) but it also could mean that it will be available in addition to TMCC.   The situation would have been clarified by writing either that they "will be using it exclusively in their future products" or by saying it would be an additional option in future products.

Last edited by PGentieu

I doubt that Atlas will produce both TMCC and DCS locomotives. I also think that Atlas will consider the DCC capability of PS3 as their DCC offering. One version of command control can serve xx% of the market. Or they can offer

DCS

TMCC

DCC plug in

AC (let's not forget the traditional 3 rail guy)

That's 4 versions vs one. I know what I would do if it was my company.

@PGentieu posted:

In the email I got from Mr. Muffin, there were two sentences after Atlas's press release and the second one read, "Atlas also announced they have licensed MTH's DCS technology and will be using it in their future products."  It could be interpreted to mean DCS only (which I agree is likely) but it also could mean that it will be available in addition to TMCC.   The situation would have been clarified by writing either that they "will be using it exclusively in their future products" or by saying it would be an additional option in future products.

IMO, it's a bit early to expect Atlas to make a final decision on how the control systems will play out.

@Keith L posted:

Tooling costs for a diecast model are extremely high--much more than for a brass model--and require many more units to be produced and sold before those costs can be recouped.



3rd Rail's brass offerings are limited and have been for going on 10 years.  The main business model is plastic shelled diesels with road specific detailing and to the floor plan accurate aluminum car sets.  This year there is only one scheduled brass model to go forward, while at three to four newly tooled diesels will be arriving depending on production schedules including the Krauss Maffei, the GP7/GP9s, and the SD40-2s.  There may be another one, but I suspect it will push into early next year.  Typical run is about 500 units and not all of them have been rerun in the 10 years that 3rd Rail started in the injection molded diesel market.

To the topic I just hope that Atlas can get their act together and deliver.  Preferably Atlas designs for me like the SWs and the AEM7/ALP44 which is still most accurate one on the market.  The MTH tooling Atlas acquired is it a lot tools that go back to the 90's.  However, I'd like to see the F40 produced with the front pilot corrected and the P42 to go with my Viewliners.

Pure speculation, but it seems that Atlas bought the tooling to simply get access to a better factory which they have had issues with for sometime.  DCS is the real prize in the deal. 

@Keith L posted:

Since you would like to learn more, you can research this easily. Share with us what you learn...

Clearly you know a lot about the subject, so why not share with the rest of the class??.....your first reply was as if you have first hand knowledge,.....so do you?...or is this internet speculation??...because if it’s on the internet, it has to be true,....right??..

Pat

@GG1 4877 posted:

To the topic I just hope that Atlas can get their act together and deliver.  Preferably Atlas designs for me like the SWs and the AEM7/ALP44 which is still most accurate one on the market.  The MTH tooling Atlas acquired is it a lot tools that go back to the 90's.  However, I'd like to see the F40 produced with the front pilot corrected and the P42 to go with my Viewliners.

Pure speculation, but it seems that Atlas bought the tooling to simply get access to a better factory which they have had issues with for sometime.  DCS is the real prize in the deal.

I too think factory access and DCS are the keys. Some of the models need updating / better trucks, lowering model etc. Let’s hope access to the MTH factory can resurrect some of the great Atlas models with superb details we’ve loved in the past. Be interesting to have them now with DCS 😜

@trainbob posted:

It would surprise me if Atlas dropped TMCC for the simple reason that it would keep a lot of people who only use Lionel’s command control from buying their locomotives. Why would I pay for a command control system that I will never use. To this day I have never bought a MTH locomotive.

Well, they can bring in buyers that prefer DCS. I have both Legacy and DCS. However, until now, Atlas only has TMCC, not Legacy. I'll take DCS.

I am not familiar with TMCC.  I wonder if it's possible to design a loco that all function wires terminate in a socket, into which either TMCC or PS3 could be plugged.  The TMCC or PS3 need not utilize every terminal on the socket.  This could save Atlas considerable money on inventory.  Buy an ATlas loco, and have the dealer plug in a PS3, TMCC, or conventional reversing unit.

@RJR posted:

I am not familiar with TMCC.  I wonder if it's possible to design a loco that all function wires terminate in a socket, into which either TMCC or PS3 could be plugged.  The TMCC or PS3 need not utilize every terminal on the socket.  This could save Atlas considerable money on inventory.  Buy an ATlas loco, and have the dealer plug in a PS3, TMCC, or conventional reversing unit.

Unlikely. The only common item is LED lighting. Couplers, speaker impedance, and motor tach are different.

Pete

Last edited by Norton

Atlas builds models. They have always used 3rd party electronics. Best hope for TMCC only users is they continue to offer it as an option. Maybe they will offer engines with no electronics and let the buyer install whatever they want. DCC, PS3, and ERR are not that difficult to install especially if you start out with an empty space.

Pete

I don’t think Atlas is licensing DCS not to use it. The new DCS entity will be making the product. I don’t believe the DCS entity is interested or cares about TMCC.

It’ll be up to Atlas what command control system they desire to put inside their locomotive. And again, they wouldn’t license DCS if they didn’t plan to install it.

Since everything is BTO now, maybe they can offer both plus conventional control.

Last edited by Traindiesel
@Lou1985 posted:

1. Just because DCS doesn't work for one person does not mean it's "unreliable". I've had 0 issues with DCS or TMCC. All I did in setup was read the instructions that came with my TIU, wired it how I was instructed to, and it has operated perfectly since day 1.

Although I do think it’s unreliable, I believe it’s more likely to be unreliable on larger layouts. How big is your layout?  

Yes all you have to do with Legacy/TMCC is hook up one wire and you're good to go. Being that it uses radio signal there are people who have issues with the system getting interfered with by their house wiring or layout setup. So even Legacy/TMCC isn't a perfectly reliable system

2. The only reason DCS doesn't have the same things is because MTH never licensed it. They might now, and then there could be aftermarket products.

3. The only real "upgrade" path to Legacy is to buy a new Lionel locomotive. Lionel doesn't make Legacy upgrade kits available to the consumer. Want Legacy in an older locomotive? You have to make your own kit by ordering boards from Lionel and building your own wire harness. You can get older TMCC kits but in diesels you only get 4 RPM sound levels, steam needs extra hardware for 4 chuffs and puffing fan smoke.  PS3 kits gets you all those features, plus remote couplers, out of the box without additional parts. Plus you get a locomotive that has the same features as a brand new PS3 locomotive out of the box. In addition there are hundreds of sound files that can be added to a PS3 locomotive, plus existing files can be modified and by the end user with programs like ADPCM.

That’s if you don’t get engine error, engine not found and out of rf range  first  



ERR upgrades give you limited files, nothing locomotive specific, and you can't change them. As far as Legacy Railsounds being the best around that's debatable. There are sounds in DCC that blow Railsounds out of the water.

I own PS2, PS3, TMCC, and Legacy locomotives. Quite honestly for those who want to operate their trains in a prototypical manner with the correct sounds (whistles/horns/bells) or be able to change them when they want DCS is the better, more advanced system.

Interesting that you would tout operating your trains in a prototypical manner yet you're running  3 rail 😂

A couple of observations about DCS.

If you like updating sounds files, software and electrical engineering than DCS is for you.

That DCS remote feels like it’s gonna fall apart in your hands. The remote could use a serious upgrade.

I have both Legacy and DCS. I love my MTH locos but I want reliability in operations, everything else is secondary to trains running reliably.
Depending on the future support/service of DCS will determine whether or not my current roster of MTH engine get retro fitted with TMCC. I’ve been at my wits end more than once with DCS and it’s unreliability. Depending on it’s future will determine  whether I send a pile of MTH engines to Alex Maliae for TMCC conversions. Let’s wait and see

One item not considered with this licensing is if it there is an exclusivity clause in the agreement that prohibits the use of TMCC.  I don't have a speculation either way, but it is entirely possible.  However from a manufacturer's standpoint it is logical to use a single command system in general to minimize complexity.  I will continue to watch and see what happens.  Personally the only command system that matters to me is DCC in 2 rail.  I don't see much benefit between DCS or TMCC in 3 rail as long as the system is reliable as mentioned above.