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I am wondering if my new WIU is defective.

I have a WIFI set up on layout # 1 and it runs without problems. Equipment is Z 4000, Rev L TIU upgraded to 6.1, DCS WIFI set to MTH setting, handheld upgraded to 6.1, and an iPhone 11. I bought an iPhone 7 as an extra device. Everything works fine with all the handhelds and both phones.

I am trying to duplicate the setup on layout #2 elsewhere. A Z4000, upgraded TIU and handheld and a new WIU are the equipment in place. Once set up I could add only one engine with difficulty. After adding the engine I tried adding another and kept getting “timed out”, or “interrogating engines” followed by timed out, or TIU/WIU not connecting and a prompt to check if the phone is connected to the correct WIFI. Basically nothing was working through the WIFI system.

On layout 2:

The system works fine with the handheld.

The same problem occurs with either phone.

The same problem occurs with MTH or HOME mode.

I have reset the WIU.

I have repowered the system.

The  phones are connected to the correct WIFI system and the WIFI signal icon is strong.

I have reloaded the WIFI app.

The small downward pointing arrow under the battery icon fades in and out in intensity. I don’t remember seeing this when using the phones onlayout 1.

All the WIFI  lights are on as they should be.

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated. My thinking is that the WIU is the problem. It’s equally possible that I am missing something simple and obvious. When I get back to layout 1 I’ll swap out the TIUs to try and isolate the problem. I’ll do the same when I get back to layout 2.

Thank you so much in advance.

Ed Kazarian

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Thanks Joe.

TIU is brand new.  Layout 2 has good DCS signal strength. TIU is powered through the auxilliary power. Do not have an extra cord with me but will try that on a return trip. I did add one engine before the system stopped working so there must have been some connection. Power to the rails is from a Z 4000 through Variable 1 and Variable 2.

Ed

Sorry, it's always tuff to guess at what's going on. I just throw out some suggestions. It's even tougher here for you, as you are traveling and not doing it at home. All I can guess at, is to always take extra stuff so you can troubleshoot better. You may not wish to expose your equipment to other's layout though?

I read a post here where it was suggested to swap out the cords as a first step. So I reposted that.

I personally experienced issues when the signal wasn't good, so I shared that too.

Beyond that, stay open to ideas of troubleshooting everything. I've learned in R&R, if it can fail, it will fail!

In toy trains integrated with modern tech, this tech can always be challenging at times. Certain devices like IOS ones for me, can throw a curve at me. I run all android so I don't have the best ideas here. I have read here, where certain IOS devices operate differently. Nothing wrong, just differently!

Thanks guys. Evidently the version is 1.0 as that is what the number is on the back of the WIU. I assumed it was the latest version because it was new. Guess I’ll have to take the WIU home and figure out how to upgrade it. There was a small, local,outside train show here in New England this morning and one of the local techs said  he could do it. Maybe that is the problem. Will check the version of the WIU thats works fine on layout 1 when I get home.

Ed

@MrMoe50 posted:

I don’t think you can upgrade the WIU firmware through the DCS app.  You need a web browser connected to LUCI to perform the upgrade.

Either will work, albeit the laptop is a little easier.  All you need to do is connect to the MTH WiFi then use Safari and enter the URL 192.168.143.1.  Next enter the secret password,  mthdcs, and you are in Luci.

Last edited by Danr

Added an engine today but then the WIFI system started again with all the problems already mentioned. Seems like I am not getting a good or consistent connection between the WIU and the TIU. Does anyone know what it signifies when the small down arrow under the battery icon fades in and out? I wonder if it is an indication of a poor connection between the WIU and the TIU.

Ed

The flashing light indicates a poor connection.  Possibly interference from another router nearby using the same channel. Bring up Luci and try a different channel.

Mr Moe - You need to download the Wi-Fi file from MTH to your phone.  iPhone will put the file in the “files” folder.  When you open Luci, go to SYSTEM and follow the instructions in the manual to flash the firmware.  It really does work.

@Danr posted:

The flashing light indicates a poor connection.  Possibly interference from another router nearby using the same channel. Bring up Luci and try a different channel.

Mr Moe - You need to download the Wi-Fi file from MTH to your phone.  iPhone will put the file in the “files” folder.  When you open Luci, go to SYSTEM and follow the instructions in the manual to flash the firmware.  It really does work.

As I have already stated, I know how to use a web browser to connect to LUCI and update the firmware using the file downloaded from MTH.  I guess I have not been clear as to what I have been asking you....

Your first post above said “all you need to update it is the App on your phone.”

My question is/was where in the MTH DCS App on your phone is the ability to upgrade the WIU firmware if that is all that is needed?  Connecting to LUCI with Safari is not a function built in the app, therefore has nothing to do with app itself, and no need to even have the app installed to perform the update.

I know how to use Safari on my phone, connect to LUCI, select the file downloaded from MTH and update the firmware on the WIU, but your statement about only needing the app on my phone to update peaked my curiosity as to where in the app that can done because I cannot find it.

I suspect this is just a misunderstanding, so I am trying to be clearer.

Hi Ed,

You do need to update the WIU to version 1.1 firmware.  You should also check the firmware in the TIU.  Like with the WIU, just because it's new in the box doesn't mean it wasn't sitting in the box for a long time.  You can use the DCS remote to check that the TIU is running v6.1.  If not, you'll need to upgrade it as well.  However, the fact that you were able to load an engine into the phone at all is a good indication that the TIU's firmware is at least v6.0.

I agree that changing the WiFi channel is a good option.  If you or someone else on site has an Android phone, you can install a WiFi analyzer app and see which channels are already in use. (such app are not available for iOS).

Another thing worth checking is the serial link between the WIU and TIU.  Just because the WIU is able to hand shake with the TIU, which causes the WIU's purple light to turn on, doesn't necessarily mean the connection is stable.  A good test is to try a different USB cable.  If there's no change, remove the USB cable and use a USB/serial adapter instead.  If the communication becomes more reliable, the USB chip in the TIU maybe damaged.

Thanks again to everyone for the help.

I upgraded the TIU to 6.1. If I remember right, I had to use the USB port to do that so I'm hoping it's not defective. I'll have to figure out what a USB/serial adapter is. Got back home to layout #1 and noted that the WIU is v.1.0. Haven't tried swapping out equipment yet in an attempt to isolate the problem but everything worked perfectly with WIU v.1.0 with both iPhones. I'm going to try hard to figure this out as I can't be the only one who has had this problem.

Ed

Hi Ed,

You're not the only one to have issues like this for sure.  It takes a little investigating to narrow down the cause, but you'll get there.

Here's a good USB/Serial adapter.  The adapter allows you to connect from the WIU's USB port to the 9-pin serial port on the TIU.  This is how you have to connect Rev. G through Rev. I TIU's that don't have a USB port, and it's a good option for connecting Rev. L TIU's on layouts with heavy app traffic.  There are many USB/Serial adapters available.  The key features of the unit I linked to above are the Prolific PL2303 chipset and thumb screws so you can connect directly to the TIU's 9-pin serial port.

The WIUs for both layouts 1 and 2 have a sticker or stamp on the back indicating they are Version 1. The layout 1 WIFI system worked perfectly and was easy to install. The second WIU on layout 2 has been a mess. I'm going to swap parts out tonight on layout one if I get a minute so I can get you guys more details. Upgrading the WIFIs to Ver 1.1 might be a technical challenge for me but you guys have given me some ideas I'd like to try.

Ed

Here's an update. Brought the WIFI and TIU units home from layout 2 to layout 1. Hooked up the layout 2 WIFI and TIU to layout 1 where everything worked fine before. Seemed to have similar problems of no connectivity. It was late at night so I decided to start fresh the next day. Everything seemed to work much better but probably not perfectly. I was careful to let the WIFI unit have time to send out a signal ( blue light ), turn the tracks on with the handheld, make sure the iPhones 6 and 7 were connected to the MTH WIFI, and then brought up the WIFI app on the phone. The system was at least functional. I had to hit the refresh button to put an engine into the active list more frequently than I remembered doing before. I had to delete and then add back in the two engines I was working with and after all that it was working pretty well.

Maybe layout 2 has some interference in the house. Seems it would help if I can upgrade the WIFI to ver 1.1. I'll be curious to see if things run better when I get back to layout 2. Not sure I did anything differently except make sure the system was all booted up before bringing up the WIFI app on the phone.

Thanks again for everyone's continued help.

Ed

Back to layout 2 this weekend. Same equipment that worked well on layout 1 is not working well at all on layout 2. I am pretty sure everything is hooked up correctly. Was able, after many tries, to add one engine. Most of the time I got repeated WIU/TIU not found, or connection failure, or connection timed out messages. Went into advanced features/system settings/TIUSettings and sometimes got No active TIU found. Sometimes I got to chose a TIU. When chosing it the problems persisted.
Seems like it is a problem with the 3 different iPhones I tried having trouble connecting with the TIU through the WIU. Perhaps the cause is the need for an upgrade of the WIU to 1.1. Everything worked fine on layout 1 with 1.0. Also, the handhelds worked fine on layout 2 tonight.

Ed

Worked on this problem a little more today. I added one engine to the system on layout two. Seems I could run this engine most of the time by hitting the “read” cicular arrow and moving the engine to active. When going to ‘more’/advanced features/system settings/TIU settings I could chose a TIU. That seemingly means I was connected.

Whenever I tried to add an engine all connections to the TIU were lost. If I reset the TIU then I could run the one added engine. Hopefully that might be a problem with WIU version 1 and will be corrected if I can install version 1.1. 1.0 worked fine on layout one. Maybe some layouts are different enough that it makes a difference. Seems like DCS layouts have their own, unique personalities.

If I’m the only one with this problem, then the rest of you are thankfully fortunate. If this thread helps anyone else think through similar problems then that will be great. This is usually a very easy set up.

Ed

I can understand why people keep trying stuff when they get some success.

There's a reason that MTH released the updated software. Some times it's just to take advantage of certain new releases. In this case, there were issues. So rather than sorting stuff out over and over, fix the obvious stuff. Update to 1.1!

Troubleshooting with known flawed software, is problematic. You can't rule out stuff as easily.

I remember several times when users did not wish to upgrade their DCS TIU and remotes to newer versions. Many new releases had bugs. So upgrading brought in a new bag of worms. Several users got fed up. I got frustrated myself. We all had work arounds for different issues or lived with the problems.

However when the bugs are finally cured, why keep using a known, flawed piece of software? This was solved years back.

02/01/2016
V1.10

DCS WIU Firmware

I got my WIFI from Ray's Electric train works. I am impressed that he updates things and fixes flaws before shipping. He has helped me for well over a decade now with all sorts of issues and product ordering. His site is full of fixes and helpful advice. It's not all perfect, but he's always moving forward.

He helped us with DCS long before any DCS rules were ever published.

Little update.

Checked one of the WIUs through LUCI. Looks like it has version 1.1. The sticker on the box reads version 1.0 but this WIU is brand new and is 1.1. I re-added 1.1 anyway. This is one of the WIUs that was giving me trouble on layout 2. Seems like I'm running out of options to run WIFI there. Will try again with the reload when I get back to layout 2 this weekend. Also will check the other WIU's when I'm more awake.

Ed

Wanted to give a follow up the the WIFI issues on layout 2. I figured out what was the problem but not why.

The WIFI system works fine now so I doubt there is a defect in it. Only problem is that whenever I try to add in a specific engine, 30-4155-1E, the WIFI system crashes. The system runs fine before attempting to add it into the WIFI. When trying to add in that engine I get "timed out", " no TIU found" etc. messages. If I reboot the WIU, the system is back to normal running. The 30-4155-1E is the only engine giving me this problem. If it's on a powered up track and controlled with the handheld there are no WIFI issues. Problem occurs only after trying unsuccessfully to add it in.That engine works fine with the handheld. I've added and run Proto 2 and Proto 3 engines into the WIFI system without problems.

That seems to be the " what" part of the problem. I can't figure why this one engine is causing the issue. If anyone else is having similar, mysterious WIFI problems, then perhaps it would be helpful to determine if it's a particular engine causing the issue.

Ed

first thing that comes to mind is maybe an address issue? or signal problem. I'm thinking it's a device/ app issue. Probably nothing with the WIU.

1) using the remote which you stated runs the engine, how strong is the track signal?

are you adding it on a test track with nothing else drawing power on it?

Does it show any other issues like missing the watchdog start-up issue?



2) what address is in the engine using the remote?

Is this address open in your IOS device app?



3) Can you easily reset your app in your IOS device and re-add your engines?

I had problems with missing software in an older Android and my DCS app kept crashing. I used another new device and that app worked fine. That old phone is finally had it with running my trains I guess. I had deleted stuff because the phone's memory was full. Now it doesn't work fully. I got tired of resetting the app trying to cure the issue as a workaround.

Last edited by Engineer-Joe

Great thoughts Joe.

I'll check on the address in the handheld when I get back to the Cape. It is probably the only address it has as it's in only one remote and never got in to the iPhone 7. Overall it's not a big problem if everything else continues to function as it should. I mainly just use that engine as a "sacrificial lamb" when testing curves and clearances on a new layout. I'll just run it with the handheld.

By the way...congratulations on the Bill's victory. Glad one of us is happy.

Ed

one more thought, make sure the battery is good and fully charged. It can't change the address if the battery is dead.

I've had engines seem like they don't want to change address? The app doesn't tell you what's wrong. It usually responds back quickly with some generic message like "no TIU found". The DCS remote usually keeps trying and trying.... to change it.

Last edited by Engineer-Joe

This will probably be the final update on this issue unless someone comes up with something brilliant like I thought Joe did. Problem is not a defective WIFI setup. Just one engine, 30-4155-1E, seems to be the problem. The engine was factory deleted and I made sure all other engines had the proper ID numbers in the remote and the iPhone and that the problem engine's ID in the remote was not already in the WIFI system for another engine. No duplicate or improper numbers. Everything else works fine except the ability to add this engine which works normally with the handheld remote. I'll just run that one engine with the remote. I just wanted to get this "on the record" in case someone else has similar problems.

More annoying, unfortunately, is that Joe's Bills look like they are for real.

Ed

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