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Of late I have been wanting to power up some of my engines, and the remote display keeps giving me a communication that the engine is not on the track. When in effect, it is. My service tracks that some of these engines are on are isolated, but I make sure to turn on those tracks before I power up the transformer. And one engine is on a live track at all times.

Some of these engines have not been run for a number of days, does that have anything to do with it? Or am I setting up the engine wrong in the first place?

I am sure I will get a number of things to check, but I wanted to post this problem.  Thanks,

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Thanks for the suggestions I will try them out later today. When I get a new MTH engine, I put it on the track all by itself. And the remote finds it and enters it. Not sure I hit "read" all the time. Then with other engines on the layout and all are on live track, I pick my engine. But lately, I put them in a siding, and go to power one up, and I get the Engine not on track display. These engines may have sat for a week. I will try a fresh set of batteries; and someone mentioned lights on the TIU, I guess I never watched the TIU close up. Now to try and figure out, an inactive list, and how to fix, or explain why they are put on an inactive list.

I can't remember the last time I used the READ function, in normal operation it's not required.

FWIW, I really doubt this is the engine batteries unless they're very old.  The engines will work with no batteries, they just won't deal with even a brief power glitch unless the battery is at least partially charged.  Also, you didn't just get a bunch of bad batteries all at once, I think you're looking in the wrong place.  I'd be looking at signal strength issues.

Are these engines Proto 2 or 3 that are having issues ? Are there working engines with no issues on the layout ?

Do you ever get the problem ones to power up with the remote ?  If so. Are you deleting them and re adding them ? Or are you moving them to another piece of track ?

A piece of track with a bad signal can cause issues as well as a weak battery in the engine that will cause it to lose it’s memory. This can occur in a Proto 2. They can always be deleted and re added. But after sitting overnight. You have to go through the same sequence again.

So why should I have to re-program all my MTH engines everytime I want to run one? I did replace the batteries in the remote, with no change.  And not all MTH engines require a battery, or do they? I thought not. And then why do ALL the engines show up as not being on the track? I guess it must be a signal problem. I will also mention, I did reprogram a few, and they worked right away. But days later, I get the message.

If this is something always occurring after sitting I am not sure what to say.  If everything was in the remote and working fine before the few day shutdown, did something get changed? 

I would start with is the TIU started with LED on and is it the address I expected.  Does the remote communicate with the TIU.  Go to TIU in menu and see if you can read the software version.  If so that tells you the remote and TIU are talking.  Now did the trains stay dark and quite with power to the track.   If so they received the DCS watchdog, but may not be strong enough to operate engine, or TIU may not be receiving info.

As far as engine if PS-3 no battery so they should retain data.  If PS-2 with battery they could be weak enough to not retain data and have lost memory ID.

So test engine conventionally an then do what John said on a small test track.  G

Take your best working engine and remove the others from the layout along with any lighted cars. Do a track signal test on the entire layout with that one engine. Even the sidings. If there are trouble spots the one good engine should find them.

Still can’t tell if your dealing with a layout or a problem with just a few engines. You have to rule out something. Best to start out with the layout itself.

@Dave_C posted:

Take your best working engine and remove the others from the layout along with any lighted cars. Do a track signal test on the entire layout with that one engine. Even the sidings. If there are trouble spots the one good engine should find them.

Still can’t tell if your dealing with a layout or a problem with just a few engines. You have to rule out something. Best to start out with the layout itself.

OK, it just is surprising how so much operated and now there are problems, but I will pull engines and see, as time allows. Thanks.

OK, and the TIU is only a couple of years old, and remotes are last issue.

The Rev. L TIU's are the ones most susceptible to the low signal issue where the 74ACT244 driver chips start failing, one gate at a time.  Both of my currently in use TIU's are Rev. L, and both my bench and my layout TIU needed a replacement for a couple of the driver chips due to poor signal strength.

@drelo posted:

Check the remote to see if they are still in the active roster.

I now think I see the problem, I didn't realize that there are a bunch of engines, that somehow got into the inactive section of the remote. I have been trying to figure out how to get them relocated into active, but so far my instruction book (edition #5) has still got me stumped. Somehow I did get something to power up, but unresponsive to remote actions. Any ideas??

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