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I purchased two Lionel N&S SD80MACs (which I love) with the intention of doing a lashup to pull my coal train.   I then discovered (my bad) the Lionchief App does not support lashup, and the Universal Remote only for the exact same product number.   Since my NS engines are 7219 and 7217 running a lashup with out Legacy control is not an option.    So I only see two options at this time. One is to acquire another N&S SD80MAC and run both same road numbers together with the Universal Remote, the other is bite the bullet and get started  with Legacy control.

The problem I see with option one (two of the same number while still workable) is no individual control of features like couplers or lights.  The main question on Legacy lashup is, will one of the units become the primary so lights and couplers can be individually controlled on each unit?   I'm looking for how does the lashup work with Legacy.



Have to note I do like the simplicity of the Bluetooth remotes which are easy for the grandkids and visitors to operate which is why most of my stuff is Lionchief except for my older transformer items and the two new LC2.0 SD80s.    At the moment we're mostly carpet runners with a loop to loop and staging yard is in the TV room.   Additional carpet routes get setup with routes down the hallway, into the bedrooms, under the beds, etc,..  Summertime will see the staging yard moved to the empty half of the garage with modules and bridges quickly setup in the garden and patio.   Not keenly interested in the complexity of a Legacy system nor do I plan on having other lashups. 

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The Legacy system really isn't that complex, especially compared to most DCC control systems if you are familiar with HO. It's like comparing Apple to Windows (Legacy vs. DCC). The Legacy system allows you to pick the lead unit and then the headlight comes on for that unit when going forward. The tail lights then come on the trailing unit when in reverse. You also pick the orientation of the units (front to back) and which units can emit sound (both is an option). Its very intuitive and once you set up the lashup you never have to do it again so no problem with the kids running it whenever they want.

I’m a firm supporter of LEGACY I know the Cab-2 looks intimidating but it’s really not bad when you get the hang of it. Like mentioned before you could also get a Cab1L system with I think might fit your needs better. It’s cheeper and if you ever want to go full Legacy the Cab-1L will talk directly to the Legacy base. I think the basics of command control have already been covered. It should work like a charm and to hook up the base only 1 wire to the outside rail and your done!

Mike, I think the gentlemen above summed it up pretty well. But I want to offer perspective from someone who wasted money upgrading through the systems over the years. We started with conventional trains many years ago... and then we upgraded into CAB1 control and lionmaster TMCC engines. (LC2.0 is the modern equivalent.) Then as our interest grew we moved onto the Legacy control system. We were addicted. There is just nothing like a Lionel Legacy engine. Properly lubricated and on clean track Legacy engines just run so buttery smooth and sound incredible. I once said the same thing you did, that I only need 1 pair of engines for a lashup. I was quite wrong! lol As I type this, I have 4 Legacy EMDs pulling 41cars. 3 engines at the front, 1 at the back. The sound as the front engines pass by is just incredible. I almost never run diesels alone anymore.

Anyway we sold the CAB1 system and almost all of the TMCC equipment years ago. Moral of the story is we paid to get into each tier of the hobby and then upgraded out of it. It would have been more cost effective to go straight to Legacy. Now all that being said... I can't say big Legacy trains are very kid compatible. If I was you... I'd go for the Legacy for yourself and keep the LC trains around for the grandkids.

I want to thank everyone for their responses and suggestions.   Now comes decisions decisions on how to proceed which most likely involves getting a new Legacy control system.    Since I run in multiple rooms and outside in the summer I'll have to consider the range and if any extensions are needed.  I know about adding a high gain antenna and remember a blurb somewhere about using WiFi.    Again thanks to everyone for the assistance.

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