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Battery powered control systems and power systems are the way to go with our scale.

Battery technology has been proven reliable and safe with the appropriate circuitry onboard the battery pack. The technology is available to everyone at a reasonable cost. 

The battery and control system can be contained within the locomotive, and I have even managed to fit it all in an MTH S2.

With battery and Kadee couplers switching is a breeze.  I will install Kadees on a car with hirail wheelsets - although I’m shifting more toward scale wheelsets. 

That is the fun of model railroading. There are so many choices and our scale makes it easy to accomplish that. 

Below is my Lionel Camelback all battery powered with a suethe smoke unit. Lots of fun! Layout is now at the club where I can fill that place up with smoke. 😎

Have fun everyone! That’s what it’s about!
LarryF9B1B8CA-A412-4FEA-AFA9-1222F497300C

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I'm eagerly following this thread! 

MTH is going away, and probably long-term support for their proprietary control system too.  My main concerns are whether DCC and Legacy can operate on the same track at the same time, without interfering with each other.  Also, whether DCC can extract the slow-speed performance out of a loco like MTH's Protosound-2 can (i.e., without the benefit of a tach sensor on the motor flywheel.)  Following!

@Ted S posted:

 

My main concerns are whether DCC and Legacy can operate on the same track at the same time, without interfering with each other. 

No, see above comments.

Also, whether DCC can extract the slow-speed performance out of a loco like MTH's Protosound-2 can (i.e., without the benefit of a tach sensor on the motor flywheel.)  

Yes, BEMF can control a locomotive’s crawl without a flywheel and sensor.

 

@Ted S posted:

My main concerns are whether DCC and Legacy can operate on the same track at the same time, without interfering with each other. 

Not completely.  Electrocouplers on Legacy won't work (And possible will overheat and burn out.).  Also, on parallel tracks the Legacy signal can get blown out when a DCC train passes the Legacy locomotive.

Now, if you do as above and switch your track between a Legacy and DCC signal they'll run just fine.  It's when both Legacy and DCC are on the track at the same time then the Legacy signal suffers.

@Ted S posted:

Also, whether DCC can extract the slow-speed performance out of a loco like MTH's Protosound-2 can (i.e., without the benefit of a tach sensor on the motor flywheel.) 

If you are talking about MTH PS-3 locomotives, just like I understand with DCS, I have found my locomotives don't run well until 3-4smph.  Now if you do a DCC upgrade that will be different.  I upgraded a Lionel conventional Dockside 0-6-0 locomotive to DCC with a LokSound L v4 decoder and without adjusting any CV's it runs super duper slow and smooth.

Last edited by sinclair

As has been pointed out many times, two track based signal systems (TMCC/Legacy & DCC) at the same time will most likely not work. Switching between them is one effective solution. The second is to use a wireless system for DCC which will operate independently from the connected track based TMCC system. If you are considering the addition of DCC for your OGauge layout, the wireless approach might be the simpler way to proceed with less technical difficulty.

I'm not surprised that your Atlas switcher runs well.  That one was conceived as a scale model from the very beginning.  It's designed like a scaled-up HO diesel, and is well-regarded in the 2-rail O scale community.  On the other hand, a lot of 3-rail locos are geared absurdly tall, so the back-EMF would have to work very hard to maintain scale speeds.  If someone has converted an early MTH steam loco, I would love to see a video, and to know if you're satisfied with the results.

What does it cost to convert a Lionel post war diesel or steam to dcc?

what equipment do you need to control the engine?

I am trying to see if I want to stay conventional or get TMCC on my Lionel O gauge. if Dcc is cheaper and just as good i may go that route.

I don't have TMCC or any rempte control except for a steam and a diesel Loinchief to see what the noise is about.  I love the sounds but can live with transformer control of the engines.

I can't say that TMCC/Legacy can't operate while powered with DCC track power, but I will say that doing so negates one of the engineering principles intended to produce error free communication. The data packets are transmitted during zero crossing of the AC supply voltage. That is the communication occurs when track voltage is zero. With 60 Hz power this occurs 120 times per second. DCC is an entirely different frequency.

What does it cost to convert a Lionel post war diesel or steam to dcc?

what equipment do you need to control the engine?

I am trying to see if I want to stay conventional or get TMCC on my Lionel O gauge. if Dcc is cheaper and just as good i may go that route.

I don't have TMCC or any rempte control except for a steam and a diesel Loinchief to see what the noise is about.  I love the sounds but can live with transformer control of the engines.

As for which one costs less, it really depends on the number of locomotives you are going to convert.  The TMCC command base and remotes are cheaper, by almost a factor of 3, then DCC.  But the basic electronics to convert the locomotive to DCC is cheaper.  The only thing is that the locomotive has to have a DC can motor in it.  If it's got an AC motor in it then TMCC is the only option for you for command upgrade.  But it does not take much to make a DCC conversion to cost the same as a TMCC upgrade.

For the equipment, for TMCC you need a command base and remote for the layout, and then electronics in each locomotive.  For DCC you'll need a remote, command base, and booster for the layout.  Locomotives also need electronics.  And then there is programming involved to get the locomotive to preform as you want.

If you are considering DCC, there are two distinct approaches which differ technically. First, there is the track signal based approach which has been discussed in a previous post. Second, there is the newer wireless based approach, either RF or bluetooth based. Wireless has some advantages. It can operate completely independent of an installed  TMCC or MTH setup. Also, battery power becomes an available option with wireless. Overall cost for either approach is quite similar.

Bryan, hi. Why did you choose ESU over the others?

Steve

I can't speak for Bryan, but I can tell you why I went with ESU.

1) They have decoders that they market just for large scale (The LokSound L and XL decoders.).

2) They offer a keepalive either on the decoder (V5) or as a separate plug and play item (Older decoders.).

3) Completely customizable sounds, aka you can make your own sound sets for the locomotive.

4) Multiple customizable outputs, meaning you can set the output as lights or other features like smoke and remote couplers.

5) My brother and his friends use the brand for their N scale locomotives so I had a local ready resource to help with issues I may come across.

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