New Legacy user needs help

First I would like to explain my layout as it pertains to the questions I have.

I have two loops of track one outer loop designated TRACK ONE and an inner loop designated TRACK TWO. Track two is powered by a Lionel 135W power house which is connected through a TPC-3000 a TMCC base. The poin of this was to run both TMMC and non TMCC engines mostly MTH. Track one is a totally separate loop and is powered again by a separate Lionel 135W powerhouse connected to the track though a Lionel TMCC Power Master. This arrangement worked fine even after purchasing a Lionel Legacy steam engine. So I could run the legacy engine on track one or Lionel TMCC and MTH on track two. I have now purchased a Legacy 990 control system that I would like to replace all of the TMCC (maybe)

My questions are:
Lionel says you only need one Legacy Base per layout so in my case this begs the question "what is the definition of a layout" based on my experience so far is my layout is actually two layouts since I cannot control the track power to the track that does not have the ground wire connected to the track. So is my only solution to connect the two loops or is there another solution.

One other question is there and method to turn off the legacy base other than pulling the power cord out. I have all my power supplies connect to a power strip and when I am finished running the I simply shut the power strip off. I tired plugging the base in the same power strip it doesn't power us.

Original Post

You have one layout.  All the outside tracks should be common throughout the layout, that way it'll all work.

The NJ-HR club has a 185' x 30' "layout", and they use one Legacy base to control it.  They have a ton of loops and eight or ten transformers!

If you want Legacy available on both lines, you just connect the outer rails together for the 2 loops.  This allows them to retain the ability to have different voltages on the center rail, but the outer rail common connection lets Legacy or TMCC exist on each when desired.

Normally you need to be concerned with making sure the transformers are both in phase with one another when doing this, but the 135 Watt Bricks likely are built the same.  (there were issues with some 180 Watt bricks many years ago where some were made out of phase with respect to others).

As to your power strip question, you may have an issue with it, but there are also some conditions that cause some power strips to not work properly with Legacy or TMCC bases.

You could try another one or 2, but you may have to plug the base into the wall.


Thank you for your help. I did replace the power strip and that solved that problem.  I don't understand how I would connect the outer rails together for the two loops. Do I just daisy the ground wire from the legacy base between the two track? If not can you provide direction on how i would. Also I  can run the legacy engine on track one using the legacy remote but I assume that's because it is communicating directly with the engine.  The legacy remote does not shut down power to track one with the aux1 0. The other thing i noticed since my original post is there is no activity on the power master  when using the Legacy remote. However the TMCC cab one will communicate with track one.

To use an original PowerMaster with the Legacy remote, you will need a PowerMaster Bridge.

See link here for a manual describing this device (and why it is needed), and here for some good descriptions/video.  It basically converts the Legacy commands to old CAB-1 TMCC commands (there is more to it than that, but that's the gist at a top level).


To answer your question about the ground, let's call it the base wire, yes daisy chain it to the other loop. I just connect the bases of all my Power Masters together. Simplifies the wiring.


Dumb question (but related)..if you use a common ground to the entire layout (basically a ground bus), can you connect the legacy wire to the ground bus wire? Or does it need to be run to the rail directly in parallel to the bus wiring? I can't see any reason why I would need to do that, just wondering? (Not in the phase where I am wiring the layout, just wondering). 

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

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Alan Mancus
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