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MTH lost me as a customer when they announced they were discontinuing the DCS remote. Like Gunrunnerjohn, I have a good supply of spare remotes, as well as 2 spare TIUs, which hopefully will last a spell. 

 

They have no choice since the components needed are not being manufactured anymore.  Seems silly to hold something against them they have zero control over. What other digital electronic device do you have from 18 years ago which is still manufactured?

Also component obsolescence is most likely  why the new WTIU won't work with the remotes either.

Last edited by TexasSP

It's pretty simple: like many others here, I don't want to run trains with my phone. 

I'm no electronics expert, but component obsolescence seems like a weak argument when Lionel is still making it work. The impression I have gotten all along is not "we can't do it," but rather "we won't do it" when it comes to production of a designated  DCS remote, essentially forcing their customers to use a phone if they want to run using g DCS. I still like the MTH products I currently own, and have invested a good amount of money in their products since catching the command control bug nearly 3 years ago, but without a designated remote, I see no reason to continue buying their products. 

They have made their business decision, and I have made mine. 

Last edited by BlueComet400

Not enough eye rolls for how silly these responses are and how utterly detached from reality. Lionel last I checked doesn't produce TMCC anymore and even tried to get rid of electric RR before Scott Mann swooped in.  Even Lionel had issues sourcing Legacy remote parts not so many years ago. 

Parts obsolescence exists and is real whether you choose to believe it or not. 

You can certainly make your own choices for your own reasons but at least don't be so detached from reality and hold animosity over a company for something they have zero control over.

I have been running my trains with DCS on I-Pads for at least three years…. The app works much better – is faster to move between trains – and I don’t get any errors like "no train on track", etc. Last Saturday, I had 34 trains running at the same time on one I-Pad. I couldn’t do it on a remote….. BTW – I don’t like running trains on a phone either – too small - but love it on my I-pad…. I still have remotes - I just don't use them.

@Doug-Sr posted:

just for information lionel does still us tmcc in there lionchief 2.0 engines read the 2020 catalogs volume two also theres no such words as can't only won't

Accepting the command protocol is not the same as using the original components. 

But hey, it's easy so why don't YOU do it? Sounds like it must be a huge money making venture ripe for the picking that MTH isn't doing just to rain on your parade.

I have been running my trains with DCS on I-Pads for at least three years…. The app works much better – is faster to move between trains – and I don’t get any errors like "no train on track", etc. Last Saturday, I had 34 trains running at the same time on one I-Pad. I couldn’t do it on a remote….. BTW – I don’t like running trains on a phone either – too small - but love it on my I-pad…. I still have remotes - I just don't use them.

Steve....I'd like to buy one of those remotes you don't use....

So controling conventional engines one the same track as command ones. Is this literal? Will one track with 18 volts constant run both a command and conventional engine or andy do you mean one constant channel and one variable channel is easily switch between the two via the app on our smart device. Kinda like lionel does with a tpc or powermaster. I may be missunderstanding something here. How does two engines one command and one non command work one the same track together while keeping the voltage at 18 volts? 

Btw glad I ordered new remotes and parts for them. Now I may be set till I die. 

 

 

@VonFrank posted:

I wonder what the price of this unit will be? 

One thing that has always held me back from investing in DCS has been the price tag. Up here in Canada it's a whopping $550 for the TIU + WIFI combo. 

Perhaps since everything is in one unit now the price will be a bit lower?

I know your pain, devalued dollar and VAT. The first 56 years of my life were in Canada. I'm seeing $389.95 at my local train shop, so that's going to be about CDN$520.

@MartyE posted:

I realize that but they are still available at a lot of dealers to be had.  It's not like they all just went poof.  If you already have a TIU, I would look for a WIU before I purchased the combo.

Ok fair for sure they will not go away immediately, I thought perhaps you missed that part of the announcement.

I would expect dealers to run out quickly as a month ago I needed a tiu and wiu and finding stock was very hard.

So controling conventional engines one the same track as command ones. Is this literal? Will one track with 18 volts constant run both a command and conventional engine or andy do you mean one constant channel and one variable channel is easily switch between the two via the app on our smart device. Kinda like lionel does with a tpc or powermaster. I may be missunderstanding something here. How does two engines one command and one non command work one the same track together while keeping the voltage at 18 volts? 

 

The track doesn't stay at 18V.  The engines equipped with DCS will run at anything over 10V, the motor driver is just limited to a certain amount which limits the top speed.  As long as you aren't running the DCS locos at 80+ MPH it should have enough juice between 10 and 18 volts to be able to control the conventional loco with the transformer or variable channels.

I'm not sure how well it works, but it's possible to do.

@TexasSP posted:

They have no choice since the components needed are not being manufactured anymore.  Seems silly to hold something against them they have zero control over. What other digital electronic device do you have from 18 years ago which is still manufactured?

Also component obsolescence is most likely  why the new WTIU won't work with the remotes either.

Really, why are they doing a second run of the redesigned remote??   I have the app, I hate the app, I don't use the app.  Two many bugs. 

@Rich883 posted:

Ok fair for sure they will not go away immediately, I thought perhaps you missed that part of the announcement.

I would expect dealers to run out quickly as a month ago I needed a tiu and wiu and finding stock was very hard.

No worries.  From what I can see, the remotes are the biggest seller, followed by the TIU, and then the WIU.  I suspect you will see these all go sooner than later but I think you have the best chance of finding a WIU than the other 2.

I gotta wonder how much new users that are tight for cash (like me) affected the decision to drop the remote. It was cheaper to buy the full app for my phone than it was to get a remote. Plus I can recycle my old smart phones and put the app on those for when friends come over. Those friends wouldn't ordinarily run trains at all but now I can put a smart phone in their hand and say "let 'em rip tater chip!"

I definitely understand the argument for it being nice to hold something besides a phone but I'm just glad to see DCS living on in general!

@superwarp1 posted:

Really, why are they doing a second run of the redesigned remote??   I have the app, I hate the app, I don't use the app.  Two many bugs. 

There are probably enough of the discontinued parts right now that the Remote and TIU use to do these "last runs" and maybe even a handful extra.  That said, it's a bad idea to build a business around a part that distributors are telling you is discontinued.

If you are buying a new car, would you rather them put a transmission in it that will have parts available for the next 20 years, or do you want them to put an older transmission design in it that uses some parts that the manufacture has announced their discontinuation?

Could they do a completely new remote and TIU that use newer non-discontinued parts?  Probably - but there is a lot of expense involved in that.  There was probably a considerable amount of R&D that went into the current systems and right now it doesn't make business sense to start a brand new design.  From what I've read, the WTIU has been in development for quite a while, so this is what is using current parts and what will be available, and what can still run your trains for the foreseeable future.

Maybe the DCS spinoff company that has been rumored will see fit to offer a "WiFi" remote that works with the WTIU in the future.  There is a mode of WiFi called WiFi Direct that supports communication between two devices without the need for any other special networking equipment.  That could be a potential opening for a future remote.

I am VERY glad that MTH has FINALLY introduced this new WTIU!! I've been waiting for this announcement for several years!!! I still use my hand held and will continue to do so until I purchase the new WTIU. In electronic parts...they all have a end of life cycle. The company that I work for has discontinued several of their electronic locks for the same reason.....no available parts being manufactured. The public (most) wants electronic devices that are quicker and smaller. MTH is no different....and eventually the same thing will happen with Lionel's legacy handheld. It's just the way things are.....we are a throwaway nation!!!!!

 

Nobody knows the true situation with the remote and obsolete parts.  However, I worked in aerospace for many years, and many of our designs faced parts obsolescence.  That didn't stop us from producing product, you just have to plan for it. It's very rare that you have to completely redesign a product for one or two parts that go out of production, normally it's a much smaller task to continue the product production.

I personally have used both the Lionel and MTH smart device applications, and I still prefer the remote.  One thing that you can't do well, or at least most of us can't, is run one-handed with the phone or tablet.  I also can't use tactile feedback on the remote, so I'm looking at the phone instead of looking at the train.  When I'm running trains, I really don't want to stare at my phone all the time.

This announcement is nothing new! MTH has been dropping hints for some time indicating that they were going to discontinue the handheld! Remember Protosound 2?? As I can recall, MTH had the SAME PROBLEMS with getting parts for the proto 2 boards! That is the reason why they switched to proto 3....part availability, more functions that can be programmed into board and smaller size. When the proto 3 boards was released, that enable MTH to make SMALLER engines!! I know some of you don't like this announcement, but it is what it is.....and....if you still want to use the older technology, you can....it still works....but you may want to get a few extra TIU's and handhelds to last you for the future..................

@ROGERW posted:

MTH had the SAME PROBLEMS with getting parts for the proto 2 boards! That is the reason why they switched to proto 3....part availability, more functions that can be programmed into board and smaller size.

Apples and oranges.  They replaced the PS/2 boards with a fully compatible replacement.  That's not what is happening here.  In order to make that a similar case, they have had to replaced the remote with an upgraded remote, not a smart phone or tablet from a 3rd party.

FYI, some of the parts on the PS/3 boards are already obsolete, try buying the common mode chokes on the boards for the ones that fail...

Nobody knows the true situation with the remote and obsolete parts.  However, I worked in aerospace for many years, and many of our designs faced parts obsolescence.  That didn't stop us from producing product, you just have to plan for it. It's very rare that you have to completely redesign a product for one or two parts that go out of production, normally it's a much smaller task to continue the product production.

I personally have used both the Lionel and MTH smart device applications, and I still prefer the remote.  One thing that you can't do well, or at least most of us can't, is run one-handed with the phone or tablet.  I also can't use tactile feedback on the remote, so I'm looking at the phone instead of looking at the train.  When I'm running trains, I really don't want to stare at my phone all the time.

Of course there's a huge difference in the dollars allowed in aerospace for this contingency and the need to plan and cover parts obsolescence which really isn't applicable at this level.  The real question is while yes it can be done what's the cost to design and make a remote with current parts which will work with the original TIU's and WiFi?  Then what is the real market here for it, could you even begin to recoup the costs?

Unfortunately this is felt harder in the 3 Rail O world do to the smaller and fragmented command markets that exist.  You can see this same problem though in the DCC market as well.

As an FYI this whole issue is something I dealt directly with at a previous employer so I have a fair amount of experience here.

Last edited by TexasSP
@TexasSP posted:

Of course there's a huge difference in the dollars allowed in aerospace for this contingency and the need to plan and cover parts obsolescence which really isn't applicable at this level.  The real question is while yes it can be done what's the cost to design and make a remote with current parts which will work with the original TIU's and WiFi?  Then what is the real market here for it, could you even begin to recoup the costs?

Unfortunately this is felt harder in the 3 Rail O world do to the smaller and fragmented command markets that exist.  You can see this same problem though in the DCC market as well.

You assume facts not in evidence.  Truthfully, the cost to do last time buys of parts was a minor part of the costs of doing business.  The planning ahead was the key component in the equation.   There isn't unlimited money in any business, including the aerospace business.  Most of the parts we had to stock cost peanuts, it was just that we had to carry the inventory of obsolete parts for the projected lifetime of the product.

You assume facts not in evidence.  Truthfully, the cost to do last time buys of parts was a minor part of the costs of doing business.  The planning ahead was the key component in the equation.   There isn't unlimited money in any business, including the aerospace business.  Most of the parts we had to stock cost peanuts, it was just that we had to carry the inventory of obsolete parts for the projected lifetime of the product.

Are you not doing the same then? Assuming they didn't plan for this? Economies of scale still a factor too. I had one of the largest CNC control manufactures in the world run into this same issue. At some point the end comes.

These types of responses or resistance to change is what you normally get when someone is comfortable with what they have! They don't want to embrace change...and they don't want you too either!! Change is inevitable!! There is nothing you or I can do about it!! Life will go on with or without you!! The choice is either embrace the new technology coming.....or use what you have!............It's not rocket science..............its only model trains!!!!

 

I am glad I was able to buy spare DCS remotes and TIUs. As I've stated before on other threads, and not withstanding technological challenges, I believe it is short-sighted decision, and frankly, a bit nervy, on MTH's part to go exclusively towards "Smart" handheld devices to run trains. There's just too many operators, myself included, who are challenged using "swipe" screen applications. Plus, using the DCS remote is fun! It bridges the digital age with analog push-button nostalgia. 

Hopefully, Lionel will not pursue a similar path with Legacy, as I also find the Cab I and II's fun to use! 

 

 

@TexasSP posted:

Are you not doing the same then? Assuming they didn't plan for this? Economies of scale still a factor too. I had one of the largest CNC control manufactures in the world run into this same issue. At some point the end comes.

TexasSP, Some will get it, some won't!! Notice how its always (most of the time) the older generation that is resistant to change!!!!!.............Life goes on with or without them................

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