Skip to main content

Hello group,

I am frustrated and need y'alls help...I am finally in the process of connecting my track, Ross Track, to power.

I have MTH Z4000 and a brand new TIU.

My remote as been recently updated. I believe to version 6.1.

My problem is I am not able to get my Photo 2 engines to add to my remote.

"No engine found" and "Out of RF Range" is all I get on the remote.

How do I go about fixing this?


Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

The remote has been updated to 6.1, can I assume the TIU has also been updated?

How are you powering the TIU? (AUX power Port or FIXED VOLTAGE IN1)

Is the TIU added to the remote with the proper address?
The red light on the TIU will blink any where from 1 to 5 times when first powered up to indicate the address number assign to that TIU. Make sure that your remote is configured properly to interface to the corresponding TIU Address as indicated by the TIU.

When you apply track power form the z4000, do the engines remain silent and dark or do they start up?

@1Irishrover posted:

Hello group,

I am frustrated and need y'alls help...I am finally in the process of connecting my track, Ross Track, to power.

I have MTH Z4000 and a brand new TIU.

My remote as been recently updated. I believe to version 6.1.

My problem is I am not able to get my Photo 2 engines to add to my remote.

"No engine found" and "Out of RF Range" is all I get on the remote.

How do I go about fixing this?


If it's just the proto 2 engines, that maybe a hint.

Check polarity on everything. PS2 needs it correct.

Charge the batteries. Dead or low batteries cause havoc.

Make sure both the remote and the TIU are on the same software version.

The BIG problem with the MTH remotes is the RF board working loose. If the remote is dropped or bumped (it will happen), the board works loose. Undo the screw between the batteries and gently pry the remote apart. Reseat the RF board and put a small piece of soft foam on top of it, then re-assemble the remote. The board will remain seated. My remote is from the original release back in 2001/2002 (interesting story behind that) and works fine, though the display is wearing out.

First, if you have loaded 6.1 in both TIU and Remote, you can test communication with remote by addressing TIU via menu and see if you can read software, change TIU channel.  IF that is all working and communicating you have eliminate that.

Now the question is the TIU communicating with the engines.  The remote told the TIU find an engine, can the TIU do it.

LED on and flashed proper time for TIU address?  Polarity to track right?  Track have power?  Just one engine at a time?  If it can't find engine, does engine work conventionally?  If so, do a recover engine via menu?  If it finds it, move on to the next.  If not you may have a tiu fault.  You can try a different channel like fix 2, but you need to still power fix 1 or aux power to get tiu power and the Red LED on.  But some tiu casualties effect all channels.  If the engine stays quiet when track power applied via tiu you at least have the watch dog signal making it out and keeping engine shutdown, but it may not have the strength to load an engine or receive communications back from engine.   G

First of all, I'm not an expert but have been running DCS on my layout for close to 20 years along with Lionel Legacy, close to 10 years. In the beginning, I had tons of problems. Thank goodness for the internet & the OGR forum. Occasionally I'll run into a glitch, but I can say I run close to 100% problem free most of the time.

It's frustrating when you are experiencing basic set up problems, especially if you are new to DCS. My following suggestions have worked for me every time to help isolate problems. You may not have extra components to set up a test track, extra TIU, power source, etc. but before you take anything apart, try to set up an isolated test track section (not connected to the layout), with everything hooked up properly including the suggestions mentioned above.

If you do set up the test track, before placing an engine on the track, do a track read with the remote. You should get a message saying TIU 1 found (if not, note which TIU it is), no AIU found, no engines found. Add 1 engine to the track. Do another read, should still say no engine found, then do an add MTH engine. It should find the engine if everything is functioning properly. Remove the engine, add a different engine, then repeat the read and add engine sequence. Hopefully you will be successful.

If you are successful, try the sequence above on your layout with only one of the engines now showing in your remote.

If you can not set up a test track, remove all engines from your layout, as suggested above & try the sequence with one engine on the track.

I'm giving these instructions from memory & some of the wording may not be 100% correct, but should be very close.

Good luck,


Hey guys,

I apologize for the delay in responding to each you.

Unfortunately, I had to put my 13 year old dog "to sleep" last week and I have not had any motivation to get back to my trains.

Thank you all for much for responding to my question. I am planning to get back into my train room this weekend.

Thank you again.


PS I will let you all know how it works out. I already feel more positive with all the suggestions.

Thx again!

Last edited by 1Irishrover

I finally  got back into my train room. I changed the batteries in the remote. Verified the TIU address, and my current remote is 6.1

I used, ironman1, suggestion about using a single test track. It did work. I was caught be surprise because the remote for the engine first said, "out of RF range".

Then the engines started up and I quickly did an ad engine(s) on the remote.

As to what I was missing in the procedure, I am not certain.

Thank you all for the suggestions and the support.


Hi Richard,

So glad I was able to help.

Awhile back I was experiencing a number of layout issues. I have multiple remotes & TIU's, but only have one TIU hooked up at a time, I never paid much attention to the versions of the TIU & Remote matching. I ran my trains regularly without to many problems, frequently using 2 remotes with a single TIU successfully, not all the same version. I had an engine that my Grandson wanted to run but for some reason I was not able to run it in DCS. Every time I tried to add it, I'd get the "out of RF range", no engine to add, etc. messages. It would run conventionally only, which was not what I wanted. I did a factory reset conventionally & was convinced that if it ran ok that way, I had some other issue.

Forum members recommended upgrading everything to DCS version 6.1, which I did. Still having problems, I decided to set up an isolated test track. Finally I was able to locate the engine in DCS and add it into my remote. It has been running fine ever since.

The whole point of the story is, as I mentioned, I have multiple TIU's, one for my main layout, one for my Xmas layout & 2 others as backup. So what made sense was to number the TIU's 1, 2, 3, 4. That went smooth enough until I started adding engines into TIU's 2-4, getting those pesky messages. Ironically, if I waited long enough, the engine would finally add. I received many suggestions how to rectify this. Things were getting too complicated for my enjoyment. Since I only use one TIU at a time anyway, I just named them all TIU 1. I can now add engines without problems an run them.

One other thing of note is, as your roster grows or you start creating lash-ups, keep track of the ID number that each is & never duplicate that number in another remote. When you first start adding engines, DCS assigns the next open number in the remote. As you delete engines that leaves a gap in the sequence. The next time you add an engine, DCS will choose that open spot which will create a conflict if using another remote with that number assigned to another engine. The good news is, DCS allows you to rename an engine or address, so you could have 2 of the exact same engines by just renaming them. I use a note pad trying to keep track as I go along.

I hope I didn't confuse you. I had many problems in the beginning when DCS first came out. The very first TIU & remote I purchased was defective & I spent many hours struggling before that became apparent. Thankfully my local dealer exchanged the unit & first try it worked! I still have a hick-up now & then & I attribute that to rushing to get trains running & my early wiring mistakes which I refuse to hunt down. The next layout I'll be more methodical, testing as I go along.



Mr. Richard (@1Irishrover),

I had the same issue when I was constructing the control system for the layout. When I bought the TIU (a Proto 2 TIU) at Legacy Station, the store I buy most of my trains from, they said it was new. However, it turned out to be used and here's why:

The reason is linked to the "OUT OF RF RANGE" label that came up every now and then. I inspected the TIU and it turned out that there was no red light on the TIU which turned on to indicate that the TIU was ready for the signal. So, the TIU was not working.

So, one thing I would suggest you look at is your TIU. See if you turn on the layout and a red light appears. If not, that's probably the reason why.

Hello Joe, Ironman1,

Thanks Joe for your note and comments from 2-1-21.

I apologize again for not responding any sooner to your post.

(On a very person note, I only get down to my train room on the weekends. I have a muscular disease which leaves me, at times, too tired physically to go up and down the stairs, and under the bridge work, during my work week.)

Anyway, what you described Joe, is exactly what is happening with me. I appreciate you sharing your experiences with DCS. It's not so frustrating to know someone else has had the same issues.

I just got back into the hobby after 8 years of relocating various times for work.

Previously, I was using Lionel Fastrack. Now I am using Ross Custom Switches and Track. And that, has opened up more questions and frustrations.

Do you have any pictures of your layout's wiring system that you could share with me? If you do not care to share photos, I understand.

Or, if anyone else on this feed cares to share any pictures of their layout, I would enjoy seeing them as well.

Thank you again,


Hi Richard,

It certainly can be difficult to do even the things you enjoy, when you have chronic health issues that run you down. I'm 64 & have arthritis in my hip knees & back & I certainly can sympathize with you. I dread going up and down stairs & my layout has 2 duck under's. I hope to rebuild a walk into layout in a couple years. I wish I made that choice 20 years ago.

So, to answer your question, I'd love to show you pictures of my wiring if I was a real solid success story. Unfortunately 20 or so years ago when I built my layout, I couldn't wait to get trains running! In the beginning of DCS, a lot of people were experiencing teething  problems, especially myself. I struggled trying different solutions offered on the web. You may have read about the magic light bulb trick. That got me over the hump, but along the way I probably created some wiring conflicts that I never really figured out. I got my trains running consistent enough that I was content & just keep going.

My layout is 14' x 24' with 2 basic loops that interconnect at one point, a passing siding, a couple industry sidings, a reverse loop & a small yard, fairly simple. Because I experience a hick-up every now & then I chose not to progress any further on my layout. For now, with 2 Grandsons, I'm happy just running trains. When I do have engine issues, I always believe its the layout & not the engines first, & I head to the work bench & test there as I suggested earlier in this thread.

I'm curious, is your layout built or are you just starting? One thing I honestly can suggest, take your time, be consistent with your approach & test as you go along. Ross products are great & that's a real good start. There are many knowledgeable people on the forum & I hope someone will help to give US some solid suggestions to follow!

I love to build bench work, scenery, buildings & weather my models & want to focus on that! I think when I build a new layout I'll seek out someone who will help me do the wiring the right way first!

Keep in touch,


Hi Joe,

This is what I am currently working with for my layout. Originally, the bench work was planned to go around the perimeter of the room, attached to the walls. I built several sectional pieces with that in mind. I quickly realized, that plan maybe come difficult to work with later in the future.

With this 6x12x9 layout, I can have more access, in and around to the layout. The plan is for this to be a lower section, "in the holler"  with surrounding hills.

Then there will be a raised layout above this track with hills and woods. The scenery will be similar to the hills and woods of Kentucky and Southern Virginia.

The name of my layout is Duffy's Cut 57 (instagram #Duffyscut57) in honor of 57 Irishmen who died, and then were murdered, during a Cholera outbreak while working on the early Pennsylvania RR.

Since when these photos were taken, I have weathered the Ross Custom Switches.

I too, enjoy working on scenery and look forward to just running the trains!




Images (2)
  • IMG_8703
  • IMG_8698

Hi Richard,

Looks like you're off to a good start with a fun & attractive layout planned! One thing I've found out the hard way in recent years, is the importance of easy access & maximum reach.

One purchase that you can't go wrong with is "The DCS Companion 3rd Edition", by Barry Broskowitz, & probably can answer almost any question. I believe it's still available from MTH and for sure on Amazon. Personally, I prefer watching how to video's & take notes as I go along. Rich Battista's videos of his Black Diamond RR offer a lot how to information on building a complete layout & the video quality is top notch. The Forum is always a good place to start for suggestions & direction to go, although not everyone always has the same opinion. If you read the following thread on the forum, you'll see what I mean, "Does the DCS signal still need star wiring or can we do buss wiring?"

That particular thread may not be your answer to how to wire your layout but how many different opinions are out there.

The MTH terminal block below is a good place to start to help keep your wiring organized. I have 2 on my layout.

I can't stress enough to work neatly & carefully, testing as you go along. I started having issues when I added my switches. I used Atlas O exclusively & there early switches have always given me problems & eventually replaced most of those with Ross.

Since wiring is probably my weakest link in the hobby, as I come up with other suggestions where to find help, I'll pass the information along.



Images (1)
  • MTH 50-1014 12-Port Terminal Block

Add Reply

The DCS Forum is sponsored by
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
Link copied to your clipboard.