DCS INSANITY

I just segregated the number 2 track/loop connected to tiu fixed out 1, it found the engine then moved 6 inches and totally shut down,  now no DCS engines found.  It is set at 21 volts .2 amps draw.  So the malfunction is the same on both tracks both of which read good track signal three weeks ago before this nightmare ensued.  I will try both tracks on a different TIU out, but these kind of problems have been  happening off and on for the last eight years it's absolutely nightmarish.  The fact that there is good track signal and that the same issue arises on both the tracks I've checked would tend to indicate there is not a track or wiring problem but YET ANOTHER TIU defect.    I will try it with a different tiu when I get them back but this is really not so good.... it's a problem when with a fairly simple layout you have to spend more time f*cking around with the control system trying to get it to work as advertised than you do enjoying your trains that you spent 40 or $50,000 for.  

And unfortunately it's not just a problem with the TIU/DCS that can be in any way easily identified and resolved.  MTH PS2 engines regularly develop problems, shorts or malfunctions that unless you have a degree in computer science you cannot solve as a consumer.... which means that you have to spend the money to send them back to MTH and then $45 an hour to resolve the issues or go to a local authorized dealer--which in my experience is far from acceptable.... 100's of miles away, delays of months in getting the work done and charges that run close to $200 per engine to diagnose or allegedly repair.   If the problems were just mechanical I think I could figure out how to diagnose and resolve them with new parts as needed, but when you get a DCS failure or engine misbehavior or non response that presents a whole different can of worms.  What is really frustrating is that I have regularly had these problems on engines that are properly maintained not run that much and still develop malfunctions within 2 -3 years.... outside of any one year warranty but having spent $700 or more on an engine you're just stuck.

 

A good example is a Genset UP that just suddenly developed an internal malfunction which indicated a short and huge amp draw every time it was placed on the track.  I spent an hour on the phone with MTH technical but all they could say is you better get it serviced or send it back.  Frustrating to say the least.

 

 

The other thing I might mention is that all of the tracks were thoroughly cleaned both manually with a pad and cleaner as well as with a track cleaning module using alcohol.  While I'm sure the track is not pristine it operated perfectly well a few weeks ago and now none of the tracks work for DCS.   Also the track signal was 7 to 10 on the two largest tracks/loops when I checked after rewiring everything

KevinH posted:

How do I tell if the two transformers are in phase?  All four tracks were working fine a few days ago.  Each of the four outputs from the two Transformers go into a separate TIU channel

Measure the voltage on each side of the center rail  insulated pin separating the  channels.... Yep measure center rail to center rail. . There should be little or no voltage if in phase... if out of phase the voltage will be high, probably around 38/40 volts.

KevinH posted:

The other thing I might mention is that all of the tracks were thoroughly cleaned both manually with a pad and cleaner as well as with a track cleaning module using alcohol.  While I'm sure the track is not pristine it operated perfectly well a few weeks ago and now none of the tracks work for DCS.   Also the track signal was 7 to 10 on the two largest tracks/loops when I checked after rewiring everything

Ok we know the remote and tiu are communicating with each other and the Tiu is putting out a decent  dcs track signal.

Make's me  think about poor electrical pick ups  either with the track or engine... I would jumper the outside rails together  as a first step .

Proto2/3 engines carry  on with the last command given even if the dcs track signal is lost. That's why I think  the layout may  be the problem.    Engines is stalling due to lose of track power?  Battery in proto-2 may be weak or dead and the slightest interruption in the power supply and the thing drops into neutral.

Did you try jumpering the outside rails?

 

Gregg posted:
KevinH posted:

The other thing I might mention is that all of the tracks were thoroughly cleaned both manually with a pad and cleaner as well as with a track cleaning module using alcohol.  While I'm sure the track is not pristine it operated perfectly well a few weeks ago and now none of the tracks work for DCS.   Also the track signal was 7 to 10 on the two largest tracks/loops when I checked after rewiring everything

Ok we know the remote and tiu are communicating with each other and the Tiu is putting out a decent  dcs track signal.

Make's me  think about poor electrical pick ups  either with the track or engine... I would jumper the outside rails together  as a first step .

Proto2/3 engines carry  on with the last command given even if the dcs track signal is lost. That's why I think  the layout may  be the problem.    Engines is stalling due to lose of track power?  Battery in proto-2 may be weak or dead and the slightest interruption in the power supply and the thing drops into neutral.

Did you try jumpering the outside rails?

 

Since I can't switch the TIU until I get my other ones back I tried the number one  track again confirmed 20.3 voltage with voltmeter and new PS3 engine this time was recognized and responded to commands.  No changes to wiring or connections at all

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