Might be a silly question but I have to ask.

I'm going to be purchasing an Atlas ALP-44 locomotive.  Other than the LionChief sets which come with their designated remote, my MTH Tri-Rail set is my first foray into the remote control of O Gauge trains.  I don't have either a MTH or Lionel operating system yet (I use that of my clubs and the Ready to Roll hobby store when I run the train) but I do know that unlike HO/N where the DCC is one standard that all manufacturers adhere to, the Purple Box and Orange Box systems are proprietary and what one chooses typically dictates what future locomotive power that they will purchase.  I'm 52/48% right now on probably going with DCS system when I do purchase a system so that's why I'm asking the question here in this sub-forum.

Finally to the question.  What happens in the case of Atlas, Weaver, Williams, etc.  I don’t recall seeing an non-conventional operating system for those locomotives.  How does one run these trains?  Are there non-DCS option buttons on the remote?   Would I need the full DCS Digital system or can I use the Commander or Explorer versions? Thank you for your help.

 

Original Post

Atlas would be run in conventional with DCS.  To remotely control with DCS you would need to upgrade engine to PS-3.  A search would help you learn the different systems and how to operate them.  Lionel TMCC/Legacy/LCS. Pure conventional, and DCS. G

MTH Authorized Service Center

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Thank you GGG.

Looks like it will be conventional for me.  Depending on the cost and work involved, in the future, I would probably upgrade the engine to PS-3 or just purchase an MTH ALP-46.

Kevin,

Will the ALP-44 have TMCC? If so, you can operate it with a DCS remote in TMCC  mode, provided you have a TMCC Commend Base, a TIU, and the proper cable between the 2. Rather a round about way to do it, but it can be done. If no TMCC, then I agree completely with GGG: You are limited to conventional mode.

 

Chris

LVHR

Atlas routinely incorporated TMCC for three rail locos for most of the last 20 years. 

Same was true of Weaver, but it will vary from loco to loco. 

Williams has no command capability. 

As noted, you can use DCS to emulate TMCC/Legacy by connecting a Lionel command base to a DCS TIU with the appropriate cable.  You can then use the DCS remote to control TMCC/Legacy locos in command mode. 

LionChief and LC+ and LC+ 2.0 locos will operate from dedicated remotes (included with LC and LC+) in command mode on a DCS layout.  Some of these later Lionel locos also have Bluetooth as a command option using a smart device (phone or tablet), the Lionel universal remote, or the remote that comes with the loco for LC and LC+.

Installing PS3 on a TMCC loco is probably the most expensive approach, and to me, at least, only makes sense if you are MTH DCS only on your layout.  One simple approach is have both DCS and Legacy/TMCC available on your layout if you plan mostly on command locos.  Your LC, LC+ locos will function well in any of these environments with their own independent command functions.

It's possible to run both DCS and TMCC/Legacy on the same layout without issue. Myself and many others do it. I have the TMCC base on my layout hooked to my TIU and run everything from the DCS remote. You don't have to limit yourself to one control system.

Santa Fe, All the Way

Landsteiner posted:

One simple approach is have both DCS and Legacy/TMCC available on your layout if you plan mostly on command locos.  Your LC, LC+ locos will function well in any of these environments with their own independent command functions.

Probably more simple in concept than in execution. Having both systems is fairly expensive - obviously it requires the purchase of the components of both DCS and Legacy. Also, the installation - especially the DCS - will be more complicated.

All the O gauge manufacturers except MTH use Lionel's operating system, TMCC and Legacy. These include Lionel, of course, and Atlas O, 3rd Rail, K-Line and Weaver (the last two no longer in business but a lot of their engines are still around). Lionel has replaced TMCC with Legacy and the LionChief line, but Legacy controls will operate TMCC (even better than TMCC controls, in fact), and Lionel LionChief engines are compatable as well.

In addition to usingTMCC, for cruise control Atlas O and 3rd Rail use EOB and in more recent years ERR (owned by Lionel) components, all of which operate with Lionel TMCC and Legacy. Weaver used TMCC, which again used the Lionel system. With DCS, only MTH engines can be run. However, with a certain mix of components (or full installation of both systems), DCS can be used to run TMCC engines and Legacy also, although not all Legacy features may be accessible. MTH engines cannot be operated with Legacy.

It can seem complicated. While the simplest method is to run Lionel, Atlas and all the others with Legacy, and MTH with DCS, it is possible to run both TMCC/Legacy engines and DCS engines on one layout by either installing both complete systems, or else by mixing certain Lionel and MTH components, although not all Legacy functions may be accessible in that case. 

Thank you all for your responses. 

Breezinup, I wasn't aware that most of the other makes were designed to work with Lionel's system. That may be the tipping point.

Amfleet25124 posted:

Thank you all for your responses. 

Breezinup, I wasn't aware that most of the other makes were designed to work with Lionel's system. That may be the tipping point.

Amfleet remember you do not have to do it all at once. Having both systems give you the best of both worlds. Another thing to consider is what it take to run accessories, switches and other things remotely if you choose too. I like the DCS for that because the AIU is cheaper then the multiple items needed for the Legacy system. I have both and I get the best everything. 

Shawn Chronister

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