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@davehall83 posted:

Is there a way i can wire my layout for all of them so i can run DCC , DCS, TMCC, Legacy and other lionel stuff? That way i can get the wire ready so i can essentially tap into all the wiring at once by doing some splices and just turn on the controls i need at the current time IE i run something that will work with DCC then i use that. Or maybe i just have DCC does some layout animations or controls or sounds while running LCS etc?

You can wire so that any of these control systems would be viable, just keeping in mind when you've switched to running DCC, you will be unable to run DCS or Legacy/TMCC at the same time.  OTOH, running DCS  and Legacy/TMCC together at the same time on the same tracks is no problem, I do it all the time.

As Pete says, doing the STAR wiring for DCS is probably the best idea, that will be compatible with any of the control systems.

@necrails posted:

It isn't an emotional preference for tmcc or legacy, it is the hard fact the on board electronics that plat nicely with tmcc and legacy dont play with dcc.  Why would i want to gut all of my locomotives to switch?  I see no value at all.  Ill stick with the lionel platform, easy set up, easy to upgrade conventional locomotives and a wide selection of locomotives.  Off topic but i wonder why atlas decided to shift to dcs, my existing atlas locos that are tmcc are among my favorites.  Im sure im not alone in my resistance to buying multiple control systems.

Because whether all you that say Lionel is so easy and should be the only control system there are people who still love DCS and there is a market for it. I like Both control systems they both have their quirks. I usually buy Lionel Steam because of the sounds and features and I purchase diesels from MTH or 3rd rail because of the fixed pilots i can get for that scale look.
Plus Atlas gets the benefits of using the MTH factory which so far has proved they can get the products out quicker than with there old factory.

They have not completely gone PS3 I believe in the recent catalog release they have TMCC equipment in there.

Last edited by Shawn_Chronister
@A. Wells posted:

James,

In regards to "Although apparently almost nobody in this Forum uses DCC...", there were a few members who made replies to this topic (in favor of Legacy none the less) who in fact do use DCC with 0-gauge!  Don't believe me??? check out the "DCC: 2-rail or 3-rail" topic.



Re your above comment, I edited my post to say "Although apparently very few {edited} members of this Forum uses DCC to run 3-rail O-gauge . . . ".

Question 1:  Do you have any way to GUESS, how MANY 3-railers in this forum use DCC ??

~~~~~~~

Question 2: Re your comment, "check out the "DCC: 2-rail or 3-rail" topic":   I think you mean this one, right ??

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...cc-o-vs-2-rail-dcc-o

Thanks.  - Jim Ingram

It’s absolute malpractice to recommend to a new guy in the hobby that they immediately go to DCC. Dave (OP) go with Legacy or DCS or both. I would tell you though, you don’t need both to enjoy the hobby. Good luck! I have twenty locomotives and counting from one company and one control system. You can find plenty of variety in sticking with either Legacy or DCS.

The only thing is when it comes to major locomotive purchases. Make sure you understand what the warranty and repair program for that company. A locomotive is a sizable investment if you can’t get it fixed under warranty. Research and then choose.

Re your above comment, I edited my post to say "Although apparently very few {edited} members of this Forum uses DCC to run 3-rail O-gauge . . . ".

Question 1:  Do you have any way to GUESS, how MANY 3-railers in this forum use DCC ??

~~~~~~~

Question 2: Re your comment, "check out the "DCC: 2-rail or 3-rail" topic":   I think you mean this one, right ??

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...cc-o-vs-2-rail-dcc-o

Thanks.  - Jim Ingram

James,

Regarding Question 1: Not at this time, but I think there is a silent minority that has grown somewhat larger with the mess surrounding the MTH DCS and now Lionel Legacy systems.

Regarding Question 2: That is correct.  I assume you're familiar with the ESU Lok Sound 5L?

Anthony

Re switching between Legacy and DCC, I just saw this post on the other forum that @A. Wells mentioned, at https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...0#158251952107475460

This guy joedaddy appears to be already doing  it22A10-forum

My aim is to take that one step further and run DCC, DCS and Legacy on the same track at the same time.  I really need to go full on BORG and start assimilating others to function as auxiliaries to finish my projects.

Not advocating for any particular control system here, and like many who've been silent thus far, I think it would be great if there were ways to incorporate additional compatible control systems into 3-rail O gauge.

This discussion led me to wonder why exactly DCC and TMCC on the rails are electrically incompatible.  While searching, I found this reply from @gunrunnerjohn in this other topic TMCC and DCC which I think explains the electrical incompatibility fairly well.  That discussion continues and more is revealed about the whys and why nots for anyone interested.

The end of the thread left open the possibility of using bluetooth or RF wireless DCC concurrently with TMCC on the rails, but at present, there is no conclusive follow-up in that thread on the results of testing.

@BOB WALKER and @sinclair do you have any updates to the question of Wireless DCC compatibility with TMCC?

It is interesting (to me), that the problem seems to be with DCC having too much power on the rails. That answered a fundamental question I had, how could DCC signals corrupt TMCC or Legacy given they generate their command signal over house wiring. I could see it interfering with DCS signal, since both are put through the rails (though operate differently, I don't know if DCC is 2 way the way DCS is).

Anyway, you learn something every day on here. Me, personally, given that it isn't that hard to wire for legacy, and DCS isn't rocket science, if I want to run engines from both I'll put in both *shrug*.  The OP could also just install DCS and wire it to a Lionel track interface unit, and control both sets of engines (albeit not fully using legacy commands....). DCC to me doesn't make much sense given the context of three rail O as it stands.

To avoid the often cited incompatibility issues with track based DCC vs track based TMCC or DCS, as one of the forum members mentioned, a wireless DCC system could be an effective workaround. As reported earlier in this thread, my work with DCC was with a wireless system and it performed flawlessly. I was able to keep all of my other layout operating systems intact. I could not avoid being impressed with what DCC brought to the party. Over the past few years, I have tested and compared a number of different wireless based operating systems and DCC stood out. I am not suggesting that anyone tear out their existing operating system in order to implement DCC. My intention was to point out that there is another option, which when properly implemented can provide some really high level results.

@BOB WALKER posted:

To avoid the often cited incompatibility issues with track based DCC vs track based TMCC or DCS, as one of the forum members mentioned, a wireless DCC system could be an effective workaround. As reported earlier in this thread, my work with DCC was with a wireless system and it performed flawlessly. I was able to keep all of my other layout operating systems intact. I could not avoid being impressed with what DCC brought to the party. Over the past few years, I have tested and compared a number of different wireless based operating systems and DCC stood out. I am not suggesting that anyone tear out their existing operating system in order to implement DCC. My intention was to point out that there is another option, which when properly implemented can provide some really high level results.

Do you have any information or demonstration of this wireless DCC set-up?

@davehall83 posted:

Is there a way i can wire my layout for all of them so i can run DCC , DCS, TMCC, Legacy and other lionel stuff? That way i can get the wire ready so i can essentially tap into all the wiring at once by doing some splices and just turn on the controls i need at the current time IE i run something that will work with DCC then i use that. Or maybe i just have DCC does some layout animations or controls or sounds while running LCS etc?

This has been an interesting thread to say the least. I'm probably one of the few forum members who has all three (DCC/DCS/Legacy) systems on their layout (not that it's any special accomplishment). Unfortunately you can't have DCC and DCS/Legacy active on the rails at the same time even though the wiring to the track is common to all three. I select between DCC and DCS/Legacy via a toggle switch.

I also model in HO and already had a Digitrax system. Long story short I ended up with a new Digitrax system and my old Digitrax Empire Builder was put in retirement. During the rebuild of my O scale layout I decided to pull the old Digitrax system back into service. I am perfectly happy with DCS and Legacy. Both have their individual pros and cons but I enjoy using either of them.

My motivation for adding DCC was:

1. I already had a spare system

2. Most of my former model railroad club friends are in HO scale and all either own Digitrax systems/remotes or are very familiar with their operation. When they visit they don't have to worry about learning a new system. The HO club I was in had a large Digitrax system.

3. I have a ProtoThrottle by Iowa Scaled Engineering that I wanted to use on a few of my O scale engines. Those engines have the stock control boards removed and TCS WoW Sound decoders installed. They are then strictly DCC.

I like the fact that my PS3 engines have an on board DCC decoder. It's not the greatest and isn't as customizable as most other decoders but we still operate with them. They don't have a brake function and I find setting their speed steps to be difficult so I don't use them with the ProtoThrottle.

Knowing how you want to operate your layout and how much powered rolling stock you hope to acquire will go a long way in determining the type of system you end up with. A few engines, or sticking only to engines equipped with a PS3 board and DCC is definitely doable. If you hope to have shelves full of locomotives or only buy Lionel then DCC will be a little more difficult because you have to switch out the control boards. There's a bit of a learning curve there but if I can do it anybody can do it!  

I like DCC and it is my preferred control system to use but if I hadn't had a spare system sitting on a shelf I doubt I would have purchased one to add to my layout. We can argue all day about how things "should" be but at the end of it we're forced to deal with things how they are. Good luck with whatever system you decide on and rest assured that when/if you run into a problem someone around here will be more than willing to help you solve it.

Joe Shipbaugh

My DCC testing program incorporated BlueRailTrains DCC for wireless control. Included were SoundTraxx, TCS and ESU DCC decoders. The test program included track power and battery power operation. Details regarding the BlueRailTrains control module including a wiring diagram were published in an article in OGRR magazine Run314 Oct./Nov. 2020. All DCC decoders tested performed well, the major difference between decoders was the variation in CV programming methods. The adjustable CV's is one of the major unique features of DCC, but takes some time to fully understand.

My two cents, get a used TMCC set which are fairly inexpensive, hook up the one wire that will control your whole layout, buy a TMCC or Legacy loco or two and have fun! I'm not necessarily a Lionel over MTH guy but TMCC still after all these years delivers the most bang for your buc and for the little effort needed to get much satisfaction. Railsounds even on the older TMCC models are still pretty fantastic.

If you want get more technical down the road, go for it!

@BOB WALKER posted:

My DCC testing program incorporated BlueRailTrains DCC for wireless control. Included were SoundTraxx, TCS and ESU DCC decoders. The test program included track power and battery power operation. Details regarding the BlueRailTrains control module including a wiring diagram were published in an article in OGRR magazine Run314 Oct./Nov. 2020. All DCC decoders tested performed well, the major difference between decoders was the variation in CV programming methods. The adjustable CV's is one of the major unique features of DCC, but takes some time to fully understand.

Sigh.  I should have known someone would have already thought of the concept and implemented it.  Very good choice for the full bridge for the 5 Amp version.  I try to add to my collection of the L6205's every year before they reach EOL.  Looks like we chose differently for the full bridge chip for the 2 Amp version.  I wonder if this add-on is not more popular and well known because of the blue tooth aspect.  (BT is the work of Satan as far as I'm concerned.)  I see a few other minor differences from my spec and I doubt very much BRT intended to support RailCom.  I was intending just to shove something on the end of the ESU Controller output and have it "decoded" and RFed to the appropriate locomotive to start with.

I don't see any for sale though.

Oh well, I can put this aside and move on to something else now.

Anthony

thank you Gerry.. here is what I have going right now..and from this point ..all suggestions welcome. I have a small 1033 transformer. After speaking with some I guess the perfect use for that will be accessories. I just got a ZW that was all rebuilt by a local train guy here where I live. From what I've been told this will have enough power to run the layout. I was told by my local "O" dealer that the TIU needed to run my MTH engine is out of stock, bloated prices on the secondary market and sometime in spring a new platform will be released that will be the TIU, a wireless system and the platform will use a smart phone or tablet..no hand held is spoken of at this time. All of this said.. I can run conventional with the ZW.. I want to know more about the TMCC that you speak of. And, I guess I'll see what happens in the spring with this new Atlas/MTH platform. Thank you for your reply Gerry.. it's greatly appreciated.. oh by the way.. I have about all the track that I need for my complete three loop track plan. I'll be posting a video about that announcement in a few days on my YouTube channel.

Last edited by OTS

I just saw this too with the Lionel Base 3 & Cab3 and the fact they are integrating a bunch of technologies in one and making it the all in one solution with the Cab 3 is awesome, i think this is my goto setup for controls at least "1" of my setups lol

I do wonder what is this feature that they mention "The Cab3 App will open doors for brand new features like our 4 digit addressing feature - available for the first time on our new Vision Class A"

I wonder what a Vision Class A is and what addressing feature will mean IE address of remote switches of all vendor types, maybe some DCC similarities here or DCS?

One other question i have if i buy the Base 3 Lionel system how does the track power work? What power bricks do or can i buy from lionel the powerhouse ones, the legacy ones , the zw-l ? With all that i am trying to understand where you hook it up to the base 3 system and i did see the have a power distribution module for it as an LCS module but that doesn’t answer my question really because that’s just LCS if i want to use the other features lion chief , tmcc etc etc how do you hook the power up and this thing control it

Last edited by davehall83
@davehall83 posted:
One other question i have if i buy the Base 3 Lionel system how does the track power work? What power bricks do or can i buy from lionel the powerhouse ones, the legacy ones , the zw-l ? With all that i am trying to understand where you hook it up to the base 3 system and i did see the have a power distribution module for it as an LCS module but that doesn’t answer my question really because that’s just LCS if i want to use the other features lion chief , tmcc etc etc how do you hook the power up and this thing control it

Track power doesn't change at all with the BASE3 addition.  It doesn't handle any power, other than low power for the LCS stuff.  Track and accessory power will be handled exactly the same as with the original TMCC or the newer Legacy command systems.

Track power doesn't change at all with the BASE3 addition.  It doesn't handle any power, other than low power for the LCS stuff.  Track and accessory power will be handled exactly the same as with the original TMCC or the newer Legacy command systems.

So i have always been confused on this particular idea i know how conventional power taps and bus wiring works but how do you hook the power up with these systems ie tmcc lcs cab and all that? Is it just wire the transformer to the track and this controller somehow controls those transformers?

@davehall83 posted:

So i have always been confused on this particular idea i know how conventional power taps and bus wiring works but how do you hook the power up with these systems ie tmcc lcs cab and all that? Is it just wire the transformer to the track and this controller somehow controls those transformers?

Dave - I think you're thinking of the Lionel Powermaster's.

Since you're just starting out, in my humble opinion, I'd get one 180W brick and a TMCC Lock-On.  (If you purchase a Fastrack terminal section, you may or may not have to buy a different attachment "cable".  I can track the part number down later.)  The U wire from the CABn conroller goes to a screw terminal in the TMCC Lock-On.  I found this route a good method to feel comfortable with what I was doing.  I did notice the TMCC Lock-On's have went up in price but once your comfortable with everything, you can always sell it.  FYI: The TMCC Lock-On's have short circuit protection.  While the 180W bricks also have protection, I find the Lock-On triggers before the brick.

This is all just my opinion.

Anthony

I'd forget the TMCC Lockon.  It really doesn't bring anything to the party, the PH180 brick has an excellent circuit breaker.  In addition, the TMCC Lockon kills the DCS signal, if you plan on running MTH DCS equipment, it's a really bad choice!

Finally, a long time ago, I was actually using the TMCC Lockon with my bricks.  Indeed it would trigger before the bricks, and it even triggered when it shouldn't!  To dispel the notion that it was just a defective lockon, I tried three of them, all had the same issue.  Out of a couple dozen TMCC & Legacy locomotive (and one MTH DCS model), it would trip on four of them when the locomotive passed close to the connection point of the lockon, but not other track drops that fed off of it.  There was nothing wrong with the engines it was triggering on.  It was an equal opportunity failure, a couple were factory new Legacy, one was a TMCC upgrade using ERR components, and one was a factory PS/2 engine.  This didn't happen every pass, just once about every three or four times by.  When we found out at the club that the TMCC Direct Lockon was killing our DCS signal, that was the last straw, I sold all mine, and I removed all the lockons at the club.

I'm confused by the difference between PowerMaster and the 'Direct Lock On' also.   Do they accomplish basic the same thing?

Not even close!  The PowerMaster controls track power.  It takes in a constant voltage, typically 18 VAC, and under command control it varies the voltage from 0 to 18VAC.

The TMCC Direct Lockon is a glorified circuit breaker, and IMO not worth the money.

@davehall83 posted:

So what your saying is take the power house bricks and solder wires to the track correct ? Do the power house bricks connect to the base system first then go to the track or just take wires and wire to track ?

For a TMCC/Legacy only setup, you can route the PH180 power directly to the track.  The TMCC/Legacy command system signal post is then simply connected to the outside rail anywhere on the layout.  The command base signal post carries no power, it's just a command signal.  Any power has to go directly to the track.

Obviously, if you run MTH DCS and have a TIU, there are other considerations to wire the TIU into the picture.

Not even close!  The PowerMaster controls track power.  It takes in a constant voltage, typically 18 VAC, and under command control it varies the voltage from 0 to 18VAC.

The TMCC Direct Lockon is a glorified circuit breaker, and IMO not worth the money.

For a TMCC/Legacy only setup, you can route the PH180 power directly to the track.  The TMCC/Legacy command system signal post is then simply connected to the outside rail anywhere on the layout.  The command base signal post carries no power, it's just a command signal.  Any power has to go directly to the track.

Obviously, if you run MTH DCS and have a TIU, there are other considerations to wire the TIU into the picture.

Does that apply to this new base 3 hub for lion chief and LCS or is that different ?

@davehall83 posted:

Does that apply to this new base 3 hub for lion chief and LCS or is that different ?

The BASE3 is the Legacy command system on steroids.  The LC and LCS stuff is tacked onto the Legacy command base functionality.  As for LCS, it appears they have integrated the functionality of the LCS SER2 module and the LCS power supply cord into the BASE3.  As for LC and LC+, I think the big takeaway is you'll be able to run them from your command system remotes or the new CAB3 software for the phones.

Truthfully, we probably won't know all the in's and out's of the BASE3 until a more complete description of it surfaces.

One thing is certain, it has zero power handling capability and doesn't impact at all how you connect and manage power on your layout.

Oh I see, our collection is mostly TMCC, pre-Legacy, but we have a few MTH, mostly original Protosound, and I'm considering a powerMaster, just to run the the MTH trains conventional with the remote.  Was just intrigued by that Lock On, because it comes in that little building., but looks like I'm going to have to figure out a place to put the powermaster.

The BASE3 is the Legacy command system on steroids.  The LC and LCS stuff is tacked onto the Legacy command base functionality.  As for LCS, it appears they have integrated the functionality of the LCS SER2 module and the LCS power supply cord into the BASE3.  As for LC and LC+, I think the big takeaway is you'll be able to run them from your command system remotes or the new CAB3 software for the phones.

Truthfully, we probably won't know all the in's and out's of the BASE3 until a more complete description of it surfaces.

One thing is certain, it has zero power handling capability and doesn't impact at all how you connect and manage power on your layout.

How many watts of power does a layout need ? For example the one double daz setup for me

@davehall83 posted:

How many watts of power does a layout need ? For example the one double daz setup for me

How long is a road Dave, it's a similar question?

The power required is entirely based on what you intend to run and the specific track layout.  Also, the power requirements will depend on how you organize your power districts.

I have about 500 foot of track, and I power mine with four 180 watt PowerHouse bricks.  I'm sure I have more than enough power for the whole layout.  My mainline is 140 feet of track, and it is powered by one 180 watt brick.  I've run three trains with smoke and two sets of lighted passenger cars on the mainline without issue.  The other three bricks power yards, my turntable and access loop, and the two smaller loops on the bi-level end of the layout.  They're also probably overkill for the power required, but I just really like the PH180 bricks and their excellent circuit protection.

I'm confused by the difference between PowerMaster and the 'Direct Lock On' also.   Do they accomplish basic the same thing?

Hey Cathryn,

I see you are new to the forum - Welcome, and I hope you have great fun with you and your father's trains!  The folks on this forum are very helpful and will steer you in the right direction with your questions. 

have a great day - JHZ563

@jhz563 posted:

Hey Cathryn,

I see you are new to the forum - Welcome, and I hope you have great fun with you and your father's trains!  The folks on this forum are very helpful and will steer you in the right direction with your questions.

have a great day - JHZ563

Agreed.  A warm welcome is in order.

We're all pleasant people here, and easy to work with -- well, most of the time.

Please don't hesitate to ask away.  We're here to help each other.

Mike

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