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FWIW, Rich, below is a picture of a 4x8 I've put together for a grandson/granddaughter.  It's lying against my train room wall awaiting their parents making space.  Uses Gargraves track with some 60-year old 022 Lionel switches.  Divided into 8-10 toggle-switch blocks.  022 lanterns and controllers converted to LEDs.  Uses 2 MTH Z500 bricks for power.  Uses DCS.

TH&SG RR

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  • TH&SG RR
  • TH&SG RR

MartyF,

    I believe it was you long ago that influenced me into purchasing the 14 Gauge Stranded wire, for my larger 30' x 14' L shaped game room/office multi level layout.  When I found the wire on sale at the same price as the 16 gauge stranded, I quickly purchased a big spool of it.  It ran my DCS layout perfectly, and I appreciate you advise on this matter.  Whether it would have run just as well with 16 Gauge Stranded I will never know, now even my smaller living room Christmas multi level layouts, use the good 14 gauge stranded wire.  It maybe over engineering, however it works great.

PCRR/Dave

Last edited by Pine Creek Railroad

Rich, I recommend avoiding O-27.  The curves are very sharp, making for poor appearance, flips at reasonable speeds, and difficulty is backing trains through the curved portion.  One reason I have a large stock of 022 switches is that I've went to Gargraves O-72 and 100" switches on my layout when I built it in 1991.

There is one power district:  the layout DCS unit is fed from a single Z500 brick.  There are 7 toggled blocks, so if he & she get a second loco, they can park it stone dead.  A second brock powers the switches and any lighted buildings they should erect with my son.  Reason for these bricks is that one came with the set I bought them for Christmas, and I had another.  The DCS unit will be the remote commander that came with their set, and if that doesn't work out, a Rev G TIU and a remote from my stash.

I used Gargraves track so I could bend it to the maximum radius that would fit. 

I had the layout up and running in my workshop, then dismantled it into components.

RJR, thank you so much for the information, tips and help.  I would like to continue this conversation off the forum so as not to monopolize the topic.  I picked a nice track plan and wanted to get your take on wiring before I started.  SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) even likes it because of two train operations.  My email is available on my profile.

I too am new to DCS. I'd like to run my MTH p2 & p3 engines via DCS so I'm looking to buy the TIU and hand held set.  I keep seeing a reference to the new version vs old version. I would like to buy the most current version available. How do I know what that is?  Thanks for your help. I'm basically an old postwar guy finally making the jump to the new world.   Thanks, Mark

Newest version TIU will have a sticker on the bottom that says Rev L.  No way to tell vintage of a remote; they haven't changed (other than a revised thumbwheel knob groove pattern.  Software is upgradeable.  Latest version is 5.0.  5.0 will run on any version TIU & remote.  Bote remote and TIU must have the same software version.  If you're basically able to run a computer, upgrading software is a do-it-yourself project.  Hobby shop should e able to do this for you if they're selling the set to you.

Mark,

   I recommend you purchase your full DCS unit form a reputable MTH approved store, getting the MTH Warranty, ask for the Rev L version of the DCS, as RJR advises you may have to have it upgraded to 5.0 after you purchase it, depends on how long the store has had the Rev L in the store.  You can either have Barry do it at York or send it to GGG or MartyF or Guns, here on the OGR forum, when you decided to have it done.  

Welcome to DCS & Legacy have fun!

PCRR/Dave

Last edited by Pine Creek Railroad

Mark,

You can purchase the TIU separately, if that's what you prefer.

However, while you don't need the remote, be aware that there're  many features and functions that the remote can do that the app cannot do at present. The app won't be close to as capable as the remote until the Pro version of the app is released in its entirety, which won't be until later this year. Exactly when it will be released, and if it will be released in stages of functionality or all at once, is unknown at this time.

 

Last edited by Barry Broskowitz

Mark,

    Barry is being kind with his wording, IMO purchase the DCS Hand Held Remote Control, someday you will want Legacy also, and 95% of the Legacy can be controlled with the DCS TIU & Hand Held RC full package.  Wifi has a long way to go, maybe some day full operation control will be attained using it, however it's going to be a long time coming.

PCRR/Dave

Thanks so much!   Great information!!!  I'll be getting the complete set this week!

Ok, please tell me about the Accessary unit.   Can I really run all my accessaries with it?  I'm talking about postwar accessaeies as well as switches, lights, etc. Are you using the AIU as well? Just trying to understand the AIU.  

Mark

Marek,

please tell me about the Accessary unit.   Can I really run all my accessaries with it?  I'm talking about postwar accessaeies as well as switches, lights, etc. Are you using the AIU as well?

I have 10 IUs on the layout. I use them to operate 100 switch tracks, 50 accessories (most of them postwar), 8 Routes, and 3 Scenes.

If you want a very detailed scission off how to use the AIU with a wide variety of accessories and switch tracks, as well as Routes and Scenes, pick up a copy of The DCS Companion 3rd Edition.

 


DCS Book CoverEverything that you need to know about DCS is all in “The DCS Companion 3rd Edition!"

This book is available from many fine OGR advertisers and forum sponsors, or as an eBook or a printed book at OGR’s web store!
Last edited by Barry Broskowitz

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