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My son has been saving and saving and will most likely be getting his first Lionel Legacy Engines (A-A units) this weekend.  I thought it would be a nice gesture to get a Legacy System so he can have fun running them.   We are all MTH DCS right now.

Is the Legacy 990 all we need to get started?  Is $350 is good price for a new system?  Any "must have" accessories we should consider immediately or can accessories wait until Birthday / Christmas this Winter?

Thanks!

Ron

 

Last edited by Ron045
Original Post

"Is $350 is good price for a new system?"  Probably OK, but if you are concerned with getting the rock bottom price, check Charles Ro and Trainworld for their prices.  Usually the lowest or amongst the lowest you will find. Shipping will be extra, obviously, by at least about $10.  If you have a local dealer would go with that price locally, for sure.

Get ready for lots of fun for yourself and your son, and if you also purchase the 993 Expansion Set, this will give you another remote and you can run trains with him. $350 is fair for brand new. The Expansion Set is less and both have built in chargers for the rechargeable batteries in the remotes. Begin with the 990 Legacy Set, and you’ll really enjoy your new control of your layout. Congratulations. 

As GRJ stated, upgrading firmware is easy if you have the writable "Black" module (part # 6-37125).  If the firmware is 1.6x, no need to upgrade.  Lionel updates firmware as they incorporate new features to Legacy and are needed to access all features of the latest equipment.  Firmware v1.5x is able to control most locos.

If you have an iPad, the LCS app is fun.  You need to add the LCS WiFi (6-81325) and LCS power+DB9 adapter (6-81499) for wireless devices.  Add LCS ASC2s to throw switches and the app nicely handles switching operations.

@Ron045 posted:

Seriously?  I have not had a Windows PC for 16 Years.

My condolences.

@Ron045 posted:

To do MTH upgrades I'm running Windows XP on a MacBook Pro.  Will that suffice for Lionel?

I don't know about XP, I haven't used that in years.  Let's see...  From the LSU documentation it appears that XP-SP3 will work.

A computer running the Windows XP operating system Service Pack 3 (SP3) or later, Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8

Make sure that it has been updated or has the latest version. 1.61 for the cab-2 and 1.60 for the base. Pretty sure that is the way the versions go. For some reason, one is not the same as the other but that is the current version.

The "bigger dealers" that stock the 990 should have ones with the newest software.

Having said that. Legacy will work just fine as long as its 1.3 or higher. I purchased mine years ago with 1.4.  I have yet to upgrade it and it works just fine.

 

True Rick, but it doesn't support some of the newer features, the AUX3 key, the LCS system, etc.  There's no downside to upgrading it to the latest version, it's been out for some time and is been pretty much wrung out pretty completely.  Why invite an issue when you stumble onto a feature that 1.4 doesn't support?

First let me say I run Mostly MTH but also have Legacy. You will enjoy running both. Unlike others I will list what Barry's Book and MTH say you need. Lionel #990 Legacy Command Set #6-14295,  Lionel LCS DB-9 Cable with Power Supply #6-81499, Lionel LCS Serial Converter 2 (SER2) #6-81326 and MTH TIU/TMCC Legacy 6' Connector Cable #50-1032. I originally did not add in the SER2 but trust me add it in as they suggest. This is the complete list they suggest. I would add in one more item. UPGRADE WiFi app from MTH to the premium app for $25. You can then run 99% of the LEGACY FUNCTIONS from your MTH WiFi App. You will enjoy running both immensely. I Also purchased the Legacy Crane Car but have not used it yet. You can also get Lionel Legacy Dinning cards with sound which is cool. You can, but I do not know why you would want to, purchase the Legacy Expansion Control Set but as I said you can use the MTH APP which is a whole lot cheaper even if yo had to go buy the WiFi unit and the app.

I am not knocking what others have said but we all tend to forget the cables and other items needed to make it work.

Enjoy your Legacy and continue with your Excitement and fun running ALL trains

 

"Lionel #990 Legacy Command Set #6-14295,  Lionel LCS DB-9 Cable with Power Supply #6-81499, Lionel LCS Serial Converter 2 (SER2) #6-81326 and MTH TIU/TMCC Legacy 6' Connector Cable #50-1032. "

Just to be clear, if you are happy restricting yourself to control Legacy locos from a TMCC or Legacy remote, you only need the first item,  or the economy version the Cab-1L and 1L command base.  The other items are needed only if you wish to control the Lionel locos through the DCS system/remote/wifi/app. 

Indeed, to repeat what has been widely discussed, if you buy a new Legacy loco from here on in, you don't need any of this equipment if you are content to control the loco(s) through the free Lionel app and smart device.  No additional equipment needed.  Or if you want a handheld, you can spend $40 on the Lionel LionChief universal remote.  This operates LionChief, LionChief +, LionChief +2.0 and newer Legacy locos that have been recently catalogued. Neither Bluetooth (the Lionel app) nor the universal remote (the LionChief system) control is available in older Legacy locos, so be aware of that if you purchase "new old stock."  Legacy locos with Bluetooth are labelled on the box with the Bluetooth logo and can be operated by the original TMCC system, the Legacy system, the free Lionel app and a smart device or the $40 universal LionChief remote.  Seems complicated, but it's cheap and simple potentially once you get all that clear .

@Ron045 posted:

Seriously?  I have not had a Windows PC for 16 Years.  To do MTH upgrades I'm running Windows XP on a MacBook Pro.  Will that suffice for Lionel?

Thanks all for the feedback and input.  

Ron

 

Something that you can do, when a new update comes up, is to call Lionel for the update via a module. The modules are not rewritable and only contain the latest update for both the base and remote. If I remember correctly Lionel does not charge for the modules nor for the shipping.

On the subject of accessories, I would definitely suggest getting the wifi module and the sensor track. As stated in another comment, the sensor track will make programming easier but it also has some fun features as well. For example, you can program it to automatically have any locomotive do a command when it goes over it, and also can be used as a tracker for your layout. On top of that, the wifi module is good to have because it allows you to operate your legacy locomotives through your smartphone. It can also talk with the sensor track and see where your locomotives are at. 

@Ron045 posted:

My son has been saving and saving and will most likely be getting his first Lionel Legacy Engines (A-A units) this weekend.  I thought it would be a nice gesture to get a Legacy System so he can have fun running them.   We are all MTH DCS right now.

Is the Legacy 990 all we need to get started?  Is $350 is good price for a new system?  Any "must have" accessories we should consider immediately or can accessories wait until Birthday / Christmas this Winter?

Thanks!

Ron

 

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Fredstrains

We drove through a monsoon yesterday to Nicholas Smith Trains in Broomall.  My son purchased the Nicholas Smith exclusive Lionel Reading FA's and a Legacy System.  They gave him an outstanding deal of the Legacy System since he was purchasing both at the same time.

When I told my son, I was planning on buying the Legacy System, he politely said, "Dad, you have purchased almost everything for the layout.  I'll buy this.  Besides, I'm taking it with me when I move out".

He's a hard working young Man and wants to work for the Reading and Northern next year when he graduates HS.

When we got back to town (It didn't rain a drop here and we really need it), I had to go to work.  My son hooked everything up and ran his new engines.

I got the preview today.  All I can say is WOW.  All the little extra details and the extra sounds are amazing.  It's a beautiful smooth running train.  I think he is absolutely in love with the quilling horn and likes the Legacy remote.  I like all of the minor sounds like the creaking and squealing as is slowly negotiates a curve.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and information provided.  I can't understand why we haven't purchased anything Legacy before this.  We have been so infatuated with DCS that we really never gave Legacy a thought until now.

Having Fun!

Ron

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@Ron045 posted:

 

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and information provided.  I can't understand why we haven't purchased anything Legacy before this.  We have been so infatuated with DCS that we really never gave Legacy a thought until now.

Having Fun!

Ron

One thing that's always been great about Legacy (to me, at least) is how easy it is to set up and operate. I took a look at Barry's 238 page DCS operations book, but decided I had no interest in making operating model trains that complicated. It looked like a 737 owner's manual. Being a KISS fan at this point in my life, Legacy was the way to go. I'm sure you'll continue to enjoy using it.

Congrats on coming over to the dark side Ron.   I think you'll find that Legacy and MTH both have nice products, it's just that going forward, you won't be buying the MTH line. 

Indeed.  I got a glimpse of the Lionel NS OCS F7's (or F9's if you read the decal).  Oh man do they look so much better than the MTH Premier version.  I would love to trade up from my MTH ABBA set to the Lionel version, but the ABBA is over $1,200.

Ron

 

Sincere congrats on moving up to the Legacy system.  Should be no regrets.

BTW, the IRV2 setup is a great idea - and pretty simple.  But, you'll need the latest Legacy OS installed to make it work.  As written above, upgrading the Legacy system is not difficult and gives a little peek at some attributes of the system.

Sound like your young man has been raised well.

@MartyE posted:

The first thing I would add after the 990 is a sensor track or the IRV2 setup depending on your track.  This will make it quicker to add future Legacy engines info into the Cab2 and provides some fun sequences.  It's not required to enter the info so no need to rush to get one.

Not to hi-jack Ron's thread, but what is the IRV2 setup? I've been running Legacy since it first came out and never heard of this. The little orange programming modules are great for the older Legacy engines...but newer engines require some naming and programming, not a terrible chore but if there's something that can streamline this I'd like to know. I have Ross and Gargraves track, fwiw. TANKS.

@Paul Kallus posted:

Not to hi-jack Ron's thread, but what is the IRV2 setup? I've been running Legacy since it first came out and never heard of this. The little orange programming modules are great for the older Legacy engines...but newer engines require some naming and programming, not a terrible chore but if there's something that can streamline this I'd like to know. I have Ross and Gargraves track, fwiw. TANKS.

It is the new sensor setup for track systems other than Fastrack.

IRV2 LCS Sensor

LCS SENSORTRACK 2 (IRV2)
SKU: 6-85296

 

 

 

Thanks Marty and John...so there must be a gadget on the bottom of Legacy engines that the sensor scans and sends data via radio waves and then the data is uploaded into the Legacy remote? I take it an operator still has to program desired road number. As I lashup just about every thing that I run I am not sure the IRV2 would reduce any programming time.

 

There's an IR LED (transmitter) on the bottom of newer diesels and on the tender of steamers.  It started for most models when the RCMC electronics came into use around 2011-2012, so early Legacy won't have the feature.  The exception is Vision Line engines, all of them from the beginning of Legacy had the IR transmitter feature.  Any new Legacy stuff you buy should have the LCS IR transmitter.

Clearly, you still have to program the locomotive road number as they all come with a default of #1.  However, after that, just run them over the sensor and all the other stuff is filled in.

Equally obvious is any MU configuration needs to be manually entered as you do now.

 

Clearly, you still have to program the locomotive road number as they all come with a default of #1.  However, after that, just run them over the sensor and all the other stuff is filled in.

 

I think John means the unique Legacy address and not road number. 

The sensor track in all variations will enter the road number that is on the side of the cab but will not select a unique address.  That is still done using the PGM / RUN procedure.  Basically anything the orange module entered into the CAB2, the sensor track does in it's place.

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