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You were invited thats funny I went back through all the posts and never once saw @Madockawando please come join us so you can tell us how great lionel is and how it all mth's fault you cannot run there engines with the Cab3. Just saying!!!!

Yes Shawn, If you refer back to the first post made by @MTH RD, Jon includes my quote so I would be automatically notified of his post. He didn't have to to that when he posted but he did. @ is how you notify people of a thread or post and its a way of inviting someone to the thread. I asked a sincere question and gave clear reasons why I was asking it. Instead of seeing it as an opportunity to inform me more about DCS or swing me over to your way of thinking you have been unwelcoming and called me a troll. You and the other "Anti-Ambassadors" here have made a poor impression on behalf of your favorite train company. 

Please see below:

Oh okay. Interesting. You are right there is a lot of information out there.

And, a lot of misinformation as well.  Rumors of our death have been greatly exaggerated. 

Hi everyone.  MTH R&D here.  Jon Grasson, formerly with MTH, who posted earlier in this thread told me about this discussion.  I've been a little busy but, wanted to take this opportunity to reply to the OP and maybe clear up some things.

MTH R&D is alive and well in MI.  We're a little thinner on staffing given it's only a couple of us now.  I'm learning to really appreciate all the support we’ve had over all of these years.  So, please be patient as things are moving a little slower these days.  In addition, we had to wind down the previous version of MTH and that transition distracted some of us for a while.  Then there is this little thing called Covid.

In direct response to the OP regarding the app(s), they were recently fully updated for compatibility with current versions of both iOS and Android.  This review and update process was our first step in moving forward.  Stated plainly, we brought the apps up to speed with current mobile operating systems.  We will be releasing them within the next month or so.  We are in the testing and debugging phase at this point.

Looking forward, we, Mike Wolf and I, are indeed going forward with continued development and production of digital model train controls and supporting products.  As you are all likely aware, we've announced the WTIU or, Wi-Fi TIU.  This is a complete hardware redesign of the original TIU with integrated Wi-Fi.   

This redesign was necessary to bring the hardware up to date.  Many components were at or reaching obsolescence.  The hardware redesign is complete and we are testing and working on firmware.  With the firmware comes many new features.  Not the least of which are emulation of the Luci web interface for Wi-Fi configuration (custom network name, password, etc.) and firmware updates to the WTIU and WIU.  Also, you’ll be able to stream audio directly from whatever music service you have directly to the engines.  Further, file loading to the engines directly from our website.  So, updating sound files or engine firmware can be done directly from the app.

Other more practical features include variable DC track power, DCC pass through (think DCS Commander), Device Sync so all devices reflect the current state of operation, and a whole lot more.  But, first things first.  We want to get the new hardware and updated app that supports the new WTIU out first.

As you may have heard, we’re in a supply chain crisis.  Although, there are those in government that deny this, I can attest.  We are having difficulty getting parts to build engine boards.  Some components of the new WTIU are not available until late this fall.  We could have delivered this new product sooner but, it’s tough to make bread without flour.  We are doing everything we can to help ourselves but, there are a few small companies like Apple, Samsung, GM, Ford, etc., that seem to get priority over us.  The nerve.

In terms of other development, we have, at last count, about 18 new product ideas in the queue.  It seems obvious to add voice control.  This is a relatively simple one from where we are so, book it Danno.  A few that are not quite as easy are a new WZ4K.  Yes, you read that right, a Wi-Fi Z4K. How about an updated Wi-Fi DCS remote for those of you that prefer the dedicated tactile hand-held?  It will be compatible with the existing WIU, the new WTIU, and the WZ4K (way down the line).  There are more but, that’s enough for now.  Of course, these are substantial development efforts and are down the road a spell but, these are the kinds of things that are in the hopper.

There are a lot of other points in the thread that I could address but, alas, every minute I spend here is a minute I’m not spending getting these products developed and built.  So, please keep that in mind when you experience the deafening silence to new questions or posts.  I would really like to be readily available but, I just cannot be so, forgive me.  But, the fact is, we’re here and investing dollars.  On that note, I will respond to one poster who mused that MTH hasn’t invested enough in DCS and technology.  I think I can say with certainty that MTH has invested more in technology over the past 20 years than any other model train manufacturer.  I just think there is a general underestimation of what it takes to get this stuff done.  Our MIT engineers are expensive and in high demand.

Again, please be patient with us.  We’ll try to provide updates a little more often.

By the way I don't think that MTH R&D post was made by Jon, but perhaps it was made by Dave Kriebel (sp?), the initial designer behind DCS.  It would not be surprising if he is the driving force behind the spinoff company that controls DCS.

Maybe someone who knows him, or Mike W., Rich F. or Andy E. can ask one of them about whether third parties will be allowed to develop apps or handheld remotes that can talk with the existing TIUs and forthcoming WTIUs? Or maybe even Mike R., the parts tsar.  Seriously.

No emoticons were harmed in the crafting of this post.

Last edited by Landsteiner

Yes Shawn, If you refer back to the first post made by @MTH RD, Jon includes my quote so I would be automatically notified of his post. He didn't have to to that when he posted but he did. @ is how you notify people of a thread or post and its a way of inviting someone to the thread. I asked a sincere question and gave clear reasons why I was asking it. Instead of seeing it as an opportunity to inform me more about DCS or swing me over to your way of thinking you have been unwelcoming and called me a troll. You and the other "Anti-Ambassadors" here have made a poor impression on behalf of your favorite train company.



First off I am not an ambassador for any train company. I do how think people should think before they post things such you asking MTH to make a control function more than they already have for a product for one not even released and the fact no way they can add the proprietary hardware to their system to do that....

The same could said for you Mr Fanboy.... In the way you come off on this forum I think @RickO said it best when he stated "You would not want to ruin your reputation on the forum". So I am not the on one who sees it.

I think both companies make great products and I choose which ones I support.

I chose DCS because I needed one unit to run DCS and conventional. Where with TMCC/Legacy I needed a powermaster two brick cables that exceeded the cost of the DCS system to do the same thing. I did use DCS with a TMCC base to control my TMCC engines awesome product feature that again MTH took into account. I am sorry Lionel chose not to and still chose not to do that.

I have lots of both companies products but that is going to change with the new pricing I am still buying form the new catalog just not near as much and I am tech junkie.

I think Atlas has great opportunity here and I hope they seize it.

Last edited by Shawn_Chronister
@Landsteiner posted:

By the way I don't think that MTH R&D post was made by Jon, but perhaps it was made by Dave Kriebel (sp?), the initial designer behind DCS.  It would not be surprising if he is the driving force behind the spinoff company that controls DCS.

Maybe someone who knows him, or Mike W., Rich F. or Andy E. can ask one of them about whether third parties will be allowed to develop apps or handheld remotes that can talk with the existing TIUs and forthcoming WTIUs? Or maybe even Mike R., the parts tsar.  Seriously.

No emoticons were harmed in the crafting of this post.

Yes, it was Dave Krebiehl.  Not me!  I’m just the messenger.

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In terms of other development, we have, at last count, about 18 new product ideas in the queue.  It seems obvious to add voice control.  This is a relatively simple one from where we are so, book it Danno.  A few that are not quite as easy are a new WZ4K.  Yes, you read that right, a Wi-Fi Z4K. How about an updated Wi-Fi DCS remote for those of you that prefer the dedicated tactile hand-held?  It will be compatible with the existing WIU, the new WTIU, and the WZ4K (way down the line).  There are more but, that’s enough for now.  Of course, these are substantial development efforts and are down the road a spell but, these are the kinds of things that are in the hopper.

There are a lot of other points in the thread that I could address but, alas, every minute I spend here is a minute I’m not spending getting these products developed and built.  So, please keep that in mind when you experience the deafening silence to new questions or posts.  I would really like to be readily available but, I just cannot be so, forgive me.  But, the fact is, we’re here and investing dollars.  On that note, I will respond to one poster who mused that MTH hasn’t invested enough in DCS and technology.  I think I can say with certainty that MTH has invested more in technology over the past 20 years than any other model train manufacturer.  I just think there is a general underestimation of what it takes to get this stuff done.  Our MIT engineers are expensive and in high demand.

Again, please be patient with us.  We’ll try to provide updates a little more often.

Thank you, @MTH RD.  I appreciate your time in making this response.  I look forward eagerly to these developments.  As an aside I'm a software engineering professions, well versed in testing with a manufacturing background - if you anticipate a need for Alpha Testers and Beta Testers, put my on your list.  I've also been subject to an NDA or 2 over the years.Good luck and good profits.

Last edited by Rob Johnston

Thank you, Madickawando.  I appreciate your time in making this response.  I look forward eagerly to these developments.  As an aside I'm a software engineering professions, well versed in testing with a manufacturing background - if you anticipate a need for Alpha Testers and Beta Testers, put my on your list.  I've also been subject to an NDA or 2 over the years.

Good luck and good profits.

Rob, just to clarify, that's not @Madockawando's post. He re-posted this content from MTH R&D who is actually making these developments.

First off I am not an ambassador for any train company. I do how think people should think before they post things such you asking MTH to make a control function more than they already have for a product for one not even released and the fact no way they can add the proprietary hardware to their system to do that....

The same could said for you Mr Fanboy.... In the way you come off on this forum I think @RickO said it best when he stated "You would not want to ruin your reputation on the forum". So I am not the on one who sees it.

I think both companies make great products and I choose which ones I support.

I chose DCS because I needed one unit to run DCS and conventional. Where with TMCC/Legacy I needed a powermaster two brick cables that exceeded the cost of the DCS system to do the same thing. I did use DCS with a TMCC base to control my TMCC engines awesome product feature that again MTH took into account. I am sorry Lionel chose not to and still chose not to do that.

I have lots of both companies products but that is going to change with the new pricing I am still buying form the new catalog just not near as much and I am tech junkie.

I think Atlas has great opportunity here and I hope they seize it.

That does not excuse your behavior. I asked a legitimate question for a legitimate reason. And @MTH RD tagged me in his post. People should be able to ask questions.

Last edited by Madockawando

No, but I might have a suggestion or two.

Do you at all understand that after nearly a year of your negative posts concerning MTH that it seems a bit disingenuous to some that you have legitimate questions concerning MTH products?

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that perhaps you do have interest in running both Lionel and MTH motive power like I do.  If that's the case you should jump in and get yourself a DCS command set and try out the system.  I tend to run my Lionel with the Cab2 and MTH with the DCS controller.  That's what works well for me right now.  As technology evolves I'll be trying out the other available options.  Both of these system have strengths and weaknesses.  Would probably be more productive for all if we discussed these rather than pledging ourselves on one side or the other.

I think it's great news that both Lionel and MTH are moving their control products forward and developing new products for us to enjoy.  As a side note, I'll be running Legacy and DCS tonight on the same tracks... If the systems can get along maybe we should try to do the same.

@MichRR714 posted:

Do you at all understand that after nearly a year of your negative posts concerning MTH that it seems a bit disingenuous to some that you have legitimate questions concerning MTH products?

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that perhaps you do have interest in running both Lionel and MTH motive power like I do.  If that's the case you should jump in and get yourself a DCS command set and try out the system.  I tend to run my Lionel with the Cab2 and MTH with the DCS controller.  That's what works well for me right now.  As technology evolves I'll be trying out the other available options.  Both of these system have strengths and weaknesses.  Would probably be more productive for all if we discussed these rather than pledging ourselves on one side or the other.

I think it's great news that both Lionel and MTH are moving their control products forward and developing new products for us to enjoy.  As a side note, I'll be running Legacy and DCS tonight on the same tracks... If the systems can get along maybe we should try to do the same.

Hold on, I don’t make “negative” posts about MTH. I post about quite a few different subjects.  And yes, I do buy “from all manufacturers”. I even posted that if MTH made the Central Maine and Quebec AC4400 I would buy two.

I most likely would not have thought about coming  back to the thread except I was tagged. But in any case, stop trying to make it about me,  Take my question at face value. If you can’t answer it, then don’t snark on it. Do you realize that you and others have created a hostile perception that makes people intimidated from asking any questions about MTH?

All I wanted to know was: Is is possible that the capability to run DCS through the Base-3 can be developed? It’s a simple , honest question.

That does not excuse your behavior. I asked a legitimate question for a legitimate reason. And @MTH RD tagged me in his post. People should be able to ask questions.

You are right I have been a complete *** and I can say it takes one to know one.

As far as you having a suggestion or two.

How is it you can have a suggestion about a product you do not operate because its more complexity than you could handle I believe you said?

The above question is sincere and not trying to stump the chump...

Last edited by Shawn_Chronister
@MichRR714 posted:

Do you at all understand that after nearly a year of your negative posts concerning MTH that it seems a bit disingenuous to some that you have legitimate questions concerning MTH products?

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that perhaps you do have interest in running both Lionel and MTH motive power like I do.  If that's the case you should jump in and get yourself a DCS command set and try out the system.  I tend to run my Lionel with the Cab2 and MTH with the DCS controller.  That's what works well for me right now.  As technology evolves I'll be trying out the other available options.  Both of these system have strengths and weaknesses.  Would probably be more productive for all if we discussed these rather than pledging ourselves on one side or the other.

I think it's great news that both Lionel and MTH are moving their control products forward and developing new products for us to enjoy.  As a side note, I'll be running Legacy and DCS tonight on the same tracks... If the systems can get along maybe we should try to do the same.

Well said! And to ad to this comment, the animosity between MTH & Lionel exists way more between their respective customers and these online forums.  In the real world, these two companies have been getting along with each other quite well for some time now and the hard feelings from years ago is now water under the bridge.

Last edited by H1000

Hold on, I don’t make “negative” posts about MTH. I post about quite a few different subjects.  And yes, I do buy “from all manufacturers”. I even posted that if MTH made the Central Maine and Quebec AC4400 I would buy two.

I most likely would not have thought about coming  back to the thread except I was tagged. But in any case, stop trying to make it about me,  Take my question at face value. If you can’t answer it, then don’t snark on it. Do you realize that you and others have created a hostile perception that makes people intimidated from asking any questions about MTH?

All I wanted to know was: Is is possible that the capability to run DCS through the Base-3 can be developed? It’s a simple , honest question.

This question has been answered multiple times by people who understand what your asking but you refuse accept this is up to your Big L manufacturer extraordinaire to accomplish for you and not MTH.

They may not be outright negative posts but alot of people see the intended bias in them.

Last edited by Shawn_Chronister
@breezinup posted:

Well, you're very up to date! What's old is new again. Tube amps are still being made, and among the newer ones there are many high dollar brands which are some of best amps there are. Many audiophyles prefer the smooth sound of tube amps over solid state. And vinyl has become very hot over recent years, with many companies designing and building extremely nice turntables to meet the demand. Many prefer the sound of vinyl. It's interesting to see the similarity, in that, there are many model railroaders who prefer trains - and their operating systems - from an earlier time.

Very true, and if people think their trains are expensive.......the audiophile end of this is mind boggling expensive, specially built 15k turntables, People buying silver wire for speakers that is like the price of a cheap car, just amazing *lol*. I have a modern tube amp, love it to death, just cause it is cool to look at, and I like vinyl, too.

I am just glad to hear MTH DCS is alive and well, and it is kind of unfortunate that the changes with MTH happened in the middle of a pandemic that has disrupted so much, doesn't surprise me at all the the MTH folks are having a hard time getting components when the auto industry is literally at half production because of shortage of chips and other electronics devices are having issues as well, they are having trouble getting chips in china for the cars made there.

Fortunately time isn't a consideration for me, given how slowly my layout build is going along, and unlike MTH I don't have all that many good reasons so by the time they are ready with DCS the next generation, I might have something to hook it to

@bigkid posted:

Very true, and if people think their trains are expensive.......the audiophile end of this is mind boggling expensive, specially built 15k turntables, People buying silver wire for speakers that is like the price of a cheap car, just amazing *lol*. I have a modern tube amp, love it to death, just cause it is cool to look at, and I like vinyl, too.

Guilty as charged! I've settled into a system I love the sound of so I just buy the occasional album.

Now my money goes to trains.

This question has been answered multiple times by people who understand what your asking but you refuse accept this is up to your Big L manufacturer extraordinaire to accomplish for you and not MTH.

They may not be outright negative posts but alot of people see the intended bias in them.

I think you have a very active imagination.  I thanked people who gave me a legitimate answer, then responded when someone had an additional comment.  That is how a discussion forum works.

Wow, where to begin?  First, thanks for the kind words of appreciation and support.  I truly appreciate it.

I am compelled to try and provide some insights from, well, the inside.  As you all know, it is so easy for these topics to go full mushroom cloud.  There is just a lot of misinformation out there.  It's understandable.  When there is a void, some people try to fill it.  And, just for housekeeping, I'm not Jon or Mike.  I’m Dave.

  • MTH DCS controls TMCC and Legacy engines using TMCC and Legacy commands.  These commands are published by Lionel. TMCC commands are in the back of the first manual ever shipped and Legacy commands are available on their website today.  No license required.
  • Atlas has a license for DCS.  They are purchasing DCS hardware to install into their engines with our support.  Also, they will be retailing DCS equipment which, only makes sense given some of their models will contain the system.  Go Atlas!
  • As I always say, nearly anything is possible with enough time and money.  We are able to run TMCC/Legacy engines because these systems provide simple serial access and do not require a response from the engine or base.  DCS is bi-directional.  Many features require communication from the engines.  The effort required for Lionel to integrate DCS control is commercially untenable.  I don’t think this is something we will ever see.  Lou1985 did a fine job clarifying this.
  • DCS runs conventional, PS2&3, TMCC, Legacy, TAS, in any gauge available.  A one-stop solution is already available.  Further, the WTIU will run conventional DC engines as well.  So, something for the G ga and 2-rail folks as well.  Sorry, I had to.
  • TMCC/Legacy can control MTH DCS engines in conventional mode.  You need to make some equipment investments.  Also, it gets interesting integrating all of those pieces of gear for such a limited amount of functionality.  Not a common use case.
  • Dave Hikel had a DCS license in exchange for app development.  That didn’t work out and we moved on.
  • To my knowledge, Lionel has never approached MTH requesting a license for DCS technology.  Nailed it Mellow Hudson Mike.  And, please tell Ryan and Dave (Lionel Dave) hi from me.  They are both good guys I enjoy hanging out with.
  • For MTH to develop the hardware required to apply Lionel’s signaling scheme directly to the rails is certainly doable, assuming no patent issues or obtaining a license, but, we have no intention of doing so.  We passed on enhancing DCC back in 1998 when DCS development started because one-way communication is too limiting for what we intended to do.  It still is.  You wouldn’t have track signal quality feedback, firmware updating, odometer, chronometer, music down the rails, simple adding of engines with unique features to the system, or a host of other features without bi-directional DCS.
  • A new Wi-Fi DCS Remote would, like all DCS equipment, be upgradeable via commonly available means.  The original TIU has this capability and it was released 20+ years ago.  Man, I’m getting old!
  • Oh, and yes, the RJ connector on the Z4K can absolutely be used for communication and control.  We made a product years ago called the Z4K Remote.  A pager sized box (showing my age again) connects to the Z4K port and a hand-held remote talks to it.  This is also true of the existing DCS remotes.  That is, the DCS remote can talk to the Z4K remote receiver.  The issue is, finding one.  Hang tough, we’re heading back that way.  https://mthtrains.com/40-4001


Please forgive me for not elaborating further on any of these topics.  It’s Friday evening after a long week and it's time for quaffing a chilled beverage.  So, thanks again to all of you for your interest and support of MTH.  I will sincerely try to be more communicative with you all.  You are the hearts and souls of DCS.  You are who we had in mind when developing DCS.  It’s been and continues to be my pleasure.   

Have a great weekend.

@MTH RD

Thank you for the update and corrections!!!

In to your comment of the Z4K receiver:

Oh, and yes, the RJ connector on the Z4K can absolutely be used for communication and control.  We made a product years ago called the Z4K Remote.  A pager sized box (showing my age again) connects to the Z4K port and a hand-held remote talks to it.  This is also true of the existing DCS remotes.  That is, the DCS remote can talk to the Z4K remote receiver.  The issue is, finding one.  Hang tough, we’re heading back that way.  https://mthtrains.com/40-4001

I was referring to the DB9 port located on the Z4K Receiver (Pager) box itself.

Thanks again!

Last edited by H1000
@MTH RD posted:

Wow, where to begin?  First, thanks for the kind words of appreciation and support.  I truly appreciate it.

I am compelled to try and provide some insights from, well, the inside.  As you all know, it is so easy for these topics to go full mushroom cloud.  There is just a lot of misinformation out there.  It's understandable.  When there is a void, some people try to fill it.  And, just for housekeeping, I'm not Jon or Mike.  I’m Dave.

  • MTH DCS controls TMCC and Legacy engines using TMCC and Legacy commands.  These commands are published by Lionel. TMCC commands are in the back of the first manual ever shipped and Legacy commands are available on their website today.  No license required.
  • Atlas has a license for DCS.  They are purchasing DCS hardware to install into their engines with our support.  Also, they will be retailing DCS equipment which, only makes sense given some of their models will contain the system.  Go Atlas!
  • As I always say, nearly anything is possible with enough time and money.  We are able to run TMCC/Legacy engines because these systems provide simple serial access and do not require a response from the engine or base.  DCS is bi-directional.  Many features require communication from the engines.  The effort required for Lionel to integrate DCS control is commercially untenable.  I don’t think this is something we will ever see.  Lou1985 did a fine job clarifying this.
  • DCS runs conventional, PS2&3, TMCC, Legacy, TAS, in any gauge available.  A one-stop solution is already available.  Further, the WTIU will run conventional DC engines as well.  So, something for the G ga and 2-rail folks as well.  Sorry, I had to.
  • TMCC/Legacy can control MTH DCS engines in conventional mode.  You need to make some equipment investments.  Also, it gets interesting integrating all of those pieces of gear for such a limited amount of functionality.  Not a common use case.
  • Dave Hikel had a DCS license in exchange for app development.  That didn’t work out and we moved on.
  • To my knowledge, Lionel has never approached MTH requesting a license for DCS technology.  Nailed it Mellow Hudson Mike.  And, please tell Ryan and Dave (Lionel Dave) hi from me.  They are both good guys I enjoy hanging out with.
  • For MTH to develop the hardware required to apply Lionel’s signaling scheme directly to the rails is certainly doable, assuming no patent issues or obtaining a license, but, we have no intention of doing so.  We passed on enhancing DCC back in 1998 when DCS development started because one-way communication is too limiting for what we intended to do.  It still is.  You wouldn’t have track signal quality feedback, firmware updating, odometer, chronometer, music down the rails, simple adding of engines with unique features to the system, or a host of other features without bi-directional DCS.
  • A new Wi-Fi DCS Remote would, like all DCS equipment, be upgradeable via commonly available means.  The original TIU has this capability and it was released 20+ years ago.  Man, I’m getting old!
  • Oh, and yes, the RJ connector on the Z4K can absolutely be used for communication and control.  We made a product years ago called the Z4K Remote.  A pager sized box (showing my age again) connects to the Z4K port and a hand-held remote talks to it.  This is also true of the existing DCS remotes.  That is, the DCS remote can talk to the Z4K remote receiver.  The issue is, finding one.  Hang tough, we’re heading back that way.  https://mthtrains.com/40-4001


Please forgive me for not elaborating further on any of these topics.  It’s Friday evening after a long week and it's time for quaffing a chilled beverage.  So, thanks again to all of you for your interest and support of MTH.  I will sincerely try to be more communicative with you all.  You are the hearts and souls of DCS.  You are who we had in mind when developing DCS.  It’s been and continues to be my pleasure.   

Have a great weekend.

Thank you very much for taking the time to put this response together. It’s what I was looking for earlier when I asked about the potential to run DCS locomotives through the CAB-4 app. It looks like I will not be running DCS soon. However, as a I stated earlier, if MTH can squeeze into their busy special runs a Central Maine and Quebec AC4400 #1006 and #1001 I will purchase them. And, in the spirit of goodwill, if MTH makes the Central Maine and Quebec locomotives, I will buy the DCS system to run them. They are beautiful locomotives!

Again thank you!

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