New layout: 19 x 13 with 7 x 11 extension (L shape)
- I have several postwar ZW’s, a new ZW-L, and a new Z-4000 for power supplies
- I have Cab-1 (TMCC), Cab-2 (Legacy), a TIU w DCS controller, and a TPC 300
- I am using Lionel tubular track and switches, except the CTA loop which is Super O with two switches.
- There are 19 switches total (includes two Super O)
- There will be most of the postwar accessories and several modern accessories
- Three loops with connections via switches and sidings (loop 1 connects to loop 2, loop 2 connects to loop 3).
- There is a separate siding off of loop 1 for the Lionel coal tipple.
- A spur off loop 1 for an Atlas turntable and Lionel transfer table.
- An independent elevated loop with a siding for the CTA subway using Super O
- I’m very comfortable with TMCC
- I understand using insulated tracks and 153IR to trigger signals/accessories
- I don’t understand relays other than they are DPDT switches. I’m trying to understand how to wire them to run two trains or more, on one loop.
- I am comfortable with soldering and fixing postwar. I love the Jim Barrett DVDs
- I would like the option to run my prewar and postwar engines, but they are not my main runners
- I have a majority of TMCC engines and a few Legacy engines
- With MTH leaving the hobby, I’m contemplated converting my two PS-2 engines to TMCC and just running the PS-1 engines (three) as traditional engines.
- Is there any advantage in using the TIU?
- Does TMCC run better with DCS?
- Does Legacy run better with DCS?
- Should I just sell my DCS equipment?
- I have several TMCC modules (SC-1, SC-2, AMC, OTC, AVC)
- Can/should I use any of my TMCC modules with the LCS iPad option?
- Do I need to invest in LCS modules and sell my TMCC modules?
- I’d like to upgrade to Lionel LCS. I ‘m particularly drawn to the iPad option which I feel makes running trains easier (not having to recall engine numbers, switch numbers, route numbers). I also believe this will be a big draw for young people.
- I’m planning on a 14 awg stranded bus with 16 or 18 awg feeders. Do you recommend 12 awg?
How would you suggest I wire the layout? Bus wire vs star wiring? Separating loops as blocks? One continuous loop? How to accomplish two train operation on the Super O loop? Can you send a drawing or two?
I know this is a lot, but I’ve spent weeks reading books (Peter Riddle, David Greenwald) and online articles. Most are dedicated to either DCS or TMCC. I haven’t found a great source for LCS. And even less with iPad experience. Perhaps I should write up my experience and share it!