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We recently re-wired our basement 3-rail layout to improve overall DCS operation and signal strength.  We also upgraded our 4 TIU's and 4 Remotes to Ver. 5.0.  All has been working fairly well.  However, a few weeks ago two (2) of our Remotes stopped working.  After checking everything we discovered that they will only work connected to a TIU.  I read in the forum that their RF modules may have been jarred loose.  If that is the case, how do we open the Remotes to check for that problem???  Or do they have to go back to MTH?  I sent an e-mail to MTH with the same problem description but have not received a response so far.  Last time I talked to them, when the girl at their end finally allowed me to talk to service, I was told they are down to one tech only (?)...!  Can anyone shed some light on the Remote problem?

Thank you,

Robert L. Hammershoy

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Robert,

From pages 160-162 of The DCS Companion 3rd Edition:

Communications Problems 

If the DCS remote cannot seem to communicate with TIUs, first press Read on the DCS Remote. If the DCS Remote fails to find TIUs or DCS engines, proceed as follows: 

  • First, ensure that the TIU's ID# is present in the DCS Remote. Learn the TIU's DCS ID# by turning off power to the TIU and then turning it back on again while observing the red LED. The LED will blink from 1 to 5 times before it comes on steady. The number of blinks is the TIU's ID#. 
  • On the DCS Remote, press Menu then scroll to SYSTEM and press the thumbwheel to select it. 
  • Scroll to TIU SETUP and press the thumbwheel to select it. 
  • Scroll to ADD TIU and press the thumbwheel to select it. 
  • A list of all TIUs not currently in the DCS Remote is displayed. If the TIU ID# of the TIU is not present, the TIU is already in the DCS Remote. 
  • If the TIU ID# of the TIU is present, scroll to it and press the thumbwheel to add it to this DCS Remote. 
  • Turn off power to the TIU and the DCS Remote and then turn power on again. 
  • When the DCS Remote completes its start up sequence, press the Read key and observe if the TIU is found. 

If the DCS Remote still cannot find the TIU, the problem may be due to a floating transceiver board in the TIU or the DCS Remote. 

The process of determining if the transceiver board in the TIU or the DCS Remote has floated out of its socket is as follows: 

  • First, connect (tether) the DCS Remote's Programming (TIU Connection) port to the TIU's Remote Input port using a 4-conductor telephone handset cable. 
  • Press the Read key on the DCS Remote.
  • If the message TIU ERROR appears in the DCS Remote's screen, it may be because one of the pins inside either the DCS Remote's Programming (TIU Connection) port or the TIU's Remote Input port is bent or shorted to another pin. Inspect these ports and straighten any bent pins before continuing. If the message TIU ERROR persists, the TIU or the DCS Remote may be damaged. 
  • If the TIU is found, the problem most likely is that the transceiver board in the TIU or the DCS Remote has floated out of its socket. 

Since reseating a floating transceiver board in the TIU is considerably easier than reseating the transceiver board in the DCS Remote, it's suggested to check the TIU first by proceeding as follows: 

  • Remove all connections to the TIU. 
  • Turn the TIU over and remove the 6 Phillips head screws that hold it together. 
  • Turn the TIU right side up and remove the top half of the case. 
  • Facing the channel input ports, the transceiver board is on the lower right side of the case. It will have a short black wire connected to it. This wire is the antenna. 
  • Press down gently on the transceiver board to reseat it. Also ensure that the black wire antenna is lying flat. Do not under any circumstances lift up on the transceiver board or antenna! 
  • Place a piece of soft, nonconductive spongy material above the transceiver board so that it will hold the board in place when the top of the case is replaced. 
  • Replace the cover, turn the TIU over and replace the screws. 
  • Turn the TIU right side-up and reconnect all wires to the TIU.

Check if the problem is resolved. If not, proceed to reseat the transceiver board in the DCS Remote as follows: 

Opening the DCS Remote can be extremely difficult and can cause problems with the DCS Remote! You should consider having this done by an authorized MTH service center! 

  • Open the battery compartment door on the back of the DCS Remote and remove the batteries. 
  • Remove the Phillips head screw inside the battery compartment. 
  • Before opening the DCS Remote's case, note that when the DCS Remote is opened, there will still be a black wire connecting the two halves of its case. 
  • Begin to separate the two halves of the DCS Remote's case by pushing outwards from inside the battery compartment while squeezing the bottom portion of the top of the DCS Remote. This requires considerable patience, particularly when opening a DCS remote's case for the first time. 
  • Once the bottom of the shell begins to separate, gently continue to separate the two halves of the case and open the DCS Remote like a book, taking care not to damage the wire connecting the two halves of the case. 
  • The transceiver board is located at the top of the DCS Remote behind the LCD screen. Do not under any circumstances lift up on the transceiver board or black wire!
  • Press down gently on the transceiver board to reseat it. 
  • Place a piece of soft, nonconductive spongy material on top of the transceiver board so that it will hold the board in place when the DCS Remote is reassembled. 
  • Carefully line up the two halves of the case and gently but firmly snap them back together. 
  • Replace the Phillips head screw, the batteries and the battery compartment door. 

 

 


DCS Book CoverThis and a whole lot more is all in “The DCS Companion 3rd Edition!"

This book is available from many fine OGR advertisers and forum sponsors, or as an eBook or a printed book at OGR’s web store!

Thank you gentlemen.  I appreciate your input.  Barry, I do have your 2nd edition book; although I haven't tried looking up the info in your book yet.  I guess it is time to order the 3rd edition for the club.  I was lazy, however, and thought I would try the forum first  for a fast easy solution.  The book has helped us solve a lot of problems.  I will open the TIU first as you have described to check it out.  If the TIU is okay, I will attempt to open the hand-held Remotes observing the precautions you have mentioned. 

Again, thank you all!

Robert L. Hammershoy

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