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There is the distinct non-zero probability that all model trains go to some form of wireless control. If only there was an entity like Lenz with DCC that would let their standard become open. Or just DCC commands over Bluetooth as a baseline.

TMCC is stuck with a certain PIC microprocessor family. DCS got stuck with its polarity problem, and issues with the signal propagating down the track. Batteries are getting better and better. I guarantee batteries will see a doubling of energy density, there is WAY too much money behind it. I could see how the track becomes a way only to charge batteries and keep the lights on in passenger cars.

Another thought came to my mind.

The MTH website has previous PS2 and PS3 files available so anyone can download and install them into their engine. Assuming Atlas starts making their own PS3 files under the license, will these new files be available for all?
My reasoning is as follows: What if someone needs to replace a board in a "new" Atlas PS3 engine (and thus needs a sound file) or someone wants new sounds in one of their diesels?

I know I am thinking very far in advance but someone has to ask these questions.

Bryce

Last edited by Oscale_Trains_Lover_

There is the distinct non-zero probability that all model trains go to some form of wireless control. If only there was an entity like Lenz with DCC that would let their standard become open. Or just DCC commands over Bluetooth as a baseline.

TMCC is stuck with a certain PIC microprocessor family. DCS got stuck with its polarity problem, and issues with the signal propagating down the track. Batteries are getting better and better. I guarantee batteries will see a doubling of energy density, there is WAY too much money behind it. I could see how the track becomes a way only to charge batteries and keep the lights on in passenger cars.

I disagree.  LEGO train operators that do big show often lament the use of batteries.  There biggest complaint is the need to constantly be changing and chargin batteries.  I think going to all batteries all the time would be a mistake.  just my opinion

This is fantastic! The announcement was for "all passenger cars" but then goes on to name specific passenger car molds. No mention of the premier Pullman bi-level gallery cars (Metra).

Those things are like gold right now. Can't buy them for literally any less than a down payment on a new Toyota. Would be nice to see more of them enter circulation just to bring these stupid prices to something more reasonable.

For those that don't watch, they literally sell for around 300 to 400 dollars PER CAR at the moment. 1200+ for a 4 car set, 800+ for a 2 car set. I'm a buyer at a third of that.

Agreed.  I'm shocked by those used prices on auction.  I'm glad I have some sets.  If they are made again, not only Metra but green/gold CNW and the red Rock Island would be nice.  Beautiful cars and fun to run.

Batteries are getting better and better. I guarantee batteries will see a doubling of energy density, there is WAY too much money behind it. I could see how the track becomes a way only to charge batteries and keep the lights on in passenger cars.

So now we get to add a consumable to our engines that guarantees the need for replacement in the future. Everyone says batteries are the future and the future for most of the batteries is the landfill, that is not very environmentally friendly. MTH dropped batteries when it went to PS3 electronics because people hated changing batteries when the super-cap does a better job for the life of the product with zero maintenance.

So we are still powering the track to run everything else, plus charge the battery so the battery can run the engine???  Here's a better way, dump the battery and run the engine off of track power, because it's already there for everything else.

Last edited by H1000

I didn't see anyone post what might be the BEST news related to the Atlas move:

In the USA, Atlas is the second oldest manufacturer to Lionel.  Also I THINK they are still family-owned.  From this one might assume that the Atlas people have a grip on the trends.  IF so- you could surmise:

1.  No matter how little that investment might be NOW as compared to what it might have been to buy all of MTH as an entity a few years ago, the fact that they were willing to invest ANYTHING in O and that a very knowledgeable group of people are willing to "put their money where their mouth is" says they think that O is NOT dead.   If they really thought the O hobby (or even the MR hobby as a whole) was totally "dead"- they would not have spent ANY money on it.  Therefore one might assume that they think there IS a future on O Scale.  But that is and will still remain a fragment of the business available in HO and N.

That's the good news.

2.  The fact that they did not buy the RailKing ("traditional") sized line, tells me that they see O SCALE as being the part of the hobby remaining long-term, but not the O Gauge part.

They are and have been a scale model producer, in every scale.  The MTH line gives them a big line of O Scale.  And immediately a big line of accessories for all of the O market. 

Regarding control systems- most likely, Atlas will phase out of Lionel Legacy/TMCC, etc., and move on with DCS, as it IS more similar to DCC than it is to the Lionel systems. Whereas, Lionel SEEMS to be moving toward "non-handheld" methods of control??  That is the bad news for those of us committed to Legacy and TMCC.

Another thought came to my mind.

The MTH website has previous PS2 and PS3 files available so anyone can download and install them into their engine. Assuming Atlas starts making their own PS3 files under the license, will these new files be available for all?
My reasoning is as follows: What if someone needs to replace a board in a "new" Atlas PS3 engine (and thus needs a sound file) or someone wants new sounds in one of their diesels?

I know I am thinking very far in advance but someone has to ask these questions.

Bryce

I would be surprised if Atlas creates its own sound files, rather they will ask the MTH spinoff to create them. Otherwise they would have to hire someone with the expertise in MTH DCS.

Pete

Another thought came to my mind.

The MTH website has previous PS2 and PS3 files available so anyone can download and install them into their engine. Assuming Atlas starts making their own PS3 files under the license, will these new files be available for all?
My reasoning is as follows: What if someone needs to replace a board in a "new" Atlas PS3 engine (and thus needs a sound file) or someone wants new sounds in one of their diesels?

I know I am thinking very far in advance but someone has to ask these questions.

Bryce

Well once the engine reaches the consumers hands, the sound file can be downloaded to a computer and distributed by way of the internet even if Atlas doesn't make their files public. This is assuming that Atlas doesn't have a modified PS3 board/firmware that does not allow the sound file to be downloaded with the normal Consumer software package from MTH.

@jhz563 posted:

I disagree.  LEGO train operators that do big show often lament the use of batteries.  There biggest complaint is the need to constantly be changing and chargin batteries.  I think going to all batteries all the time would be a mistake.  just my opinion

It would be trivial to add a charging circuit that uses track voltage on certain parts of a layout (to avoid issues with reversing loops on 2-rail setups) to intermittently charge the batteries.  I think two unit lash-ups would work well here.  One locomotive with sounds, wireless/command, and motors; the other with motors and battery.  Steamers could do battery in tender.

@H1000 posted:

Well once the engine reaches the consumers hands, the sound file can be downloaded to a computer and distributed by way of the internet even if Atlas doesn't make their files public. This is assuming that Atlas doesn't have a modified PS3 board/firmware that does not allow the sound file to be downloaded with the normal Consumer software package from MTH.

True.
I highly doubt that Atlas will modify the board/firmware to prevent the sound files being downloaded. It is very nice and convenient to have all the PS2/PS3 files on MTH's website.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that those who work at Atlas will see this and decide to do the same thing that MTH has done for their customers.

Bryce

@MikeH posted:

Man, the hobby veterans do howl when the subject of battery power comes up!  I'd take battery power in a heartbeat.  No more fried circuit boards, no more wiring track, and no cleaning track.  If this wasn't such an old guy hobby, it would've happened long time ago.

You don't have to be an "old guy" to be completely uninterested in battery power.  Believe me I'm not that old and the last thing I want to do is make sure what I want to run is charged.  NO thanks.

@MikeH posted:

Man, the hobby veterans do howl when the subject of battery power comes up!  I'd take battery power in a heartbeat.  No more fried circuit boards, no more wiring track, and no cleaning track.  If this wasn't such an old guy hobby, it would've happened long time ago.

Batteries that have to be recharged often, batteries that have to be charged under supervision because they are serious fire hazard, the only way to power operating cars is with more batteries, replacing batteries that will definitely go bad over time only for most the used batteries to end up in the landfill, batteries that leak and ruin expensive circuit boards.........

Last edited by H1000
@MikeH posted:

Man, the hobby veterans do howl when the subject of battery power comes up!  I'd take battery power in a heartbeat.  No more fried circuit boards, no more wiring track, and no cleaning track.  If this wasn't such an old guy hobby, it would've happened long time ago.

Mike, I am one of the younger guys in the hobby and am not a fan of batteries. Both sides of the argument have pros and cons but at the end of the day, everyone has their personal preference.

Bryce

As I posted elsewhere, I, myself, am very excited about the Atlas purchase and the Atlas licensing of DCS. I am hoping to see many more Premier-level (or whatever Atlas calls them; maybe GOLD) engines in new paint. I am hoping for the P42 in the new schemes or the ES44’s in new Canadian National heritage paint. I am looking forward to March 24 for the first announcement.


As far as DCS, I am thinking that the group holding on to the DCS tech has a few secrets. With Atlas rumored to be making a big DCS push (I believe according the a Mr. Muffins message), it seems that DCS has a future. And I could see that whomever holds onto the Railking and Steam lines using DCS also. I can’t wait to see where the DCS group takes the system.

The next few weeks will be very interesting and exciting.

@MartyE posted:

There is no saying that even though you can download a new file for your Atlas engine, will you be able to for free?  Who will hold the library?  I assume the new DCS tech group would and will they still offer them for free?  Some unknowns yet.

Marty I scraped the MTH Website a while back and grabbed EVERYTHING. Manuals, schematics, and every single sound file. People talk about 100's of MTH sound files, it's more like 10's of thousands. The MTH sound Library is currently free and public, If you are worried, go get em now I say.

However, I don't see why they would stop offering them for free, think of the backlash this new company would get from the start. Plus it's not like MTH can stop the flow of information of theses files being shared on the internet from other sources.

@H1000 posted:

Marty I scraped the MTH Website a while back and grabbed EVERYTHING. Manuals, schematics, and every single sound file. People talk about 100's of MTH sound files, it's more like 10's of thousands. The MTH sound Library is currently free and public, If you are worried, go get em now I say.

However, I don't see why they would stop offering them for free, think of the backlash this new company would get from the start. Plus it's not like MTH can stop the flow of information of theses files being shared on the internet from other sources.

You just never know. I don’t think they will either but things change.

Definitely on the same boat as all you guys about the news. I have about a dozen or so Atlas products at the moment, and because of how much I love the variety of stuff they have and how well-detailed they are, I absolutely want to get more as time goes on. Hearing that they bought a reasonable amount of MTH's Premier toolings (and yes, I was hoping they would get the steam locomotives and electrics too), this makes me believe that they could only improve on what MTH has done already. I agree the prices may possibly go up for these new things compared to their MTH counterparts, but I think it might be worth it. Overall I think this is a major step in the right direction in terms of keeping MTH's legacy alive. Of course now we just got to see what happens with the rest of MTH's products, including Railking and One Gauge.

@H1000 posted:

Marty I scraped the MTH Website a while back and grabbed EVERYTHING. Manuals, schematics, and every single sound file. People talk about 100's of MTH sound files, it's more like 10's of thousands. The MTH sound Library is currently free and public, If you are worried, go get em now I say.

Great minds think alike!

I have downloaded all the sound files I wanted/needed for personal use, manuals for engines I have, and all the catalogs. It all comes to a cool 9.42GB. I have backed this up on two thumb drives and a 2TB solid-state external drive. I have one of the thumb drives at a relatives house heaven forbid there was a fire or some major catastrophe.

Bryce

Mike, I am one of the younger guys in the hobby and am not a fan of batteries. Both sides of the argument have pros and cons but at the end of the day, everyone has their personal preference.

Bryce

@MikeH posted:

Man, the hobby veterans do howl when the subject of battery power comes up!  I'd take battery power in a heartbeat.  No more fried circuit boards, no more wiring track, and no cleaning track.  If this wasn't such an old guy hobby, it would've happened long time ago.

39 here.  I'm in the camp who'd like to see a move towards Direct Radio Control (Railpro) where track power can continue to be used (cause batteries add extra issues) but where the signal is delivered direct to the locomotive(s) without having to deal with issues related to the track.  This eliminates the command base and communication with the base - as well as relying on clean track to communicate a signal.   Lionel has toyed with this with their Lionchief locos - but certainly not approaching the capabilities of Railpro.   I however- am not crazy about Bluetooth.  I think it's evolving too quickly for it to become the standard.   



Last edited by Jacobpaul81

DCS has always been MTH’s albatross. If Atlas could re engineer DCS to be as reliable as Legacy they could easily part ways with their TMCC/Lionel licensing agreement and become a real competitor. If Atlas could acquire the steam tooling I believe Lionel would be forced to step up their game and we’d all be elbow deep in quality trains again.

It's funny, but I always avoided full DCS because of what I perceived as it being complicated and and prone to problems. I've only had small, temporary layouts, sometimes with switches.

But the remote commander, and the new DCS explorer, have been completely and totally reliable for me. If MTH had simply unlocked a few features on the app, like subway sounds, for example, I would have gladly paid for those upgrades and been very happy to stick with the Explorer forever. As it is, I'll be running one or two MTH locos going forward as I always have--via Explorer, or most likely remote commander, and subways using the transformer commands in automode. Combined with LionChief and LC+, and sometimes conventional running, this makes for a perfectly workable layout.

My only concern is my DCS Explorer dying, or the transformer controller. The hardware. Which means, I suppose, I should buy backup hardware, like an extra Explore, transformer controller and remote commander.

Speaking of the Explorer, here are two suggestions to any possible future DCS company.  Firstly, include the power supply (wall wart) for the Explorer in the purchase, as was true for MTH sets, but not for the separate sale Explorer.  Or at least specify a few inexpensive power supplies in the 10-20 dollar range. Suggesting the Z1000 is a non-starter and borders on bizarre in terms of both overkill and expense.

Secondly, either include printed instructions with the device,  or the web address where you can download the .pdf instructions.  I've never previously purchased an electronic device that failed to include at least "quick start" type directions.  Don't cheap out or stay half-baked going forward.

@pdxtrains posted:

It's funny, but I always avoided full DCS because of what I perceived as it being complicated and and prone to problems. I've only had small, temporary layouts, sometimes with switches.

But the remote commander, and the new DCS explorer, have been completely and totally reliable for me. If MTH had simply unlocked a few features on the app, like subway sounds, for example, I would have gladly paid for those upgrades and been very happy to stick with the Explorer forever. As it is, I'll be running one or two MTH locos going forward as I always have--via Explorer, or most likely remote commander, and subways using the transformer commands in automode. Combined with LionChief and LC+, and sometimes conventional running, this makes for a perfectly workable layout.

My only concern is my DCS Explorer dying, or the transformer controller. The hardware. Which means, I suppose, I should buy backup hardware, like an extra Explore, transformer controller and remote commander.

Pdx, I also initially avoided dcs because of some of the comments I read here. But it’s like reading restaurant reviews on Yelp - some people love it, some hate it, and the only way to tell the truth is to try it out for yourself. I’m glad I finally did 15 years ago. I’ve never had any problems with it and all my command and conventional engines run superbly, and I’m far from an electrically proficient individual. My layout is in a 10x14 foot room, has four levels, over 20 blocks and sidings, and all are connected to the tiu with excellent results. I think dcs is even better for smaller layouts like ours. The explorer doesn’t give you nearly as many features as the full dcs for subways. As a fellow subway fan, I can tell you that you don’t know what you are missing, being able to control mixed consist subway trains, easily operating station stops, programming your own out and back loops, and all the other great subway features with dcs.  I regularly run seven or eight different engines at the same time on my subway themed layout and dcs really makes it work flawlessly. I have conventional tracks that run my conventional engines as well via dcs. It’s truly amazing. Ignore the noise and give it a try like I did. You’ll never look back and now that you can see that dcs has an afterlife, the decision should be even easier.

Last edited by Strap Hanger

Pretty sure Atlas won't be making dcs components like TIUs and remotes. MTH has spun off the DCS group into its own organization to continue the production of DCS  components. Atlas will be a reseller and licensed oem provider of these parts.

As for the eBay prices, that's all supply and demand. If you want a better price there are other more obscure sources that require some searching to find. I bought an unused TIU and remote set with an AIU last month for $375.... Not on eBay. While this price is rare and a real gem to find, they are out there.

eBay is the last place to look for a good deal on this stuff.

Last edited by H1000

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