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Occasionally and especially recently with the purchase of MTH Tooling, I will come across posts hoping Lionel will integrate DCS into their locomotives.

For those of you with that dream, I am here to burst your bubble. At 47:57 in the latest Ryan and Dave show, Ryan Kunkle Director of Production at Lionel bragged about bringing 3 different control systems to the Rail King Genesis rather than the one "dying control system".

This not so veiled attack on DCS from a prominent higher-up at Lionel makes clear the company wants nothing to do with DCS – and likely never did. I have seen similar jabs in the past particularly with the star wiring required to operate DCS.

MTH did so much for this hobby, I wish Lionel officials had some more hubris. I don't know whether this is some machismo rivalry thing, but to me the comments are pompous and unnecessary.

If Lionel really wanted to kill DCS, Legacy would have been the operating system in Atlas for years. But something tells me Lionel didn't want that either. For me, I plan on continuing my use of DCS, and I raise my cup to cheer on its new life as its own company. What do you think?



SEE THE DAVE AND RYAN SHOW HERE:

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I think it’s a shame that egos, corporate pride, and corporate greed have resulted in 3-rail operators being forced to use several different, unwieldy, and incompatible digital control systems. It’s a system of forced brand loyalty, and it is very short-sighted.

The HO scale manufacturers realized a long time ago that what was best for long term survival of everyone in the business was to adopt a standard digital control system (the NMRA Standard DCC System) across the board.

Sadly the die is now so firmly cast in three-rail that we’re stuck with systems that are loaded with silly gimmicks and far too many buttons on the controllers, but are very short on reliability, easy installation and basic functionality for just running trains.

Last edited by Rich Melvin

I never thought there was a chance of Lionel doing anything with DCS, they have exactly zero incentive to do so.  AAMOF, it's probably negative incentive for them to even consider DCS.

While it would have been great to have a single command system across the board in O-gauge, I've learned to live with reality.  The poor souls that rail against reality are just fooling themselves and working on an early ulcer.  It simply ain't gonna' happen.

Why in the world did anyone think Lionel was going to do anything with DCS? Seriously?  Lionel has Legacy and it works quite well with their trains.  MTH has DCS and it works well with theirs.  I never thought for a moment that Lionel would do anything with DCS.  MTH and Mike Wolf still own it and it is exclusive to them and their licensees.

I heard the comment and personally thought it was uncalled for and petty.  As far as control systems I am predominately Legacy but have DCS and use it and enjoy how it operates my DCS trains.  I think the 2 camps are silly.  We should be one camp who enjoy different control systems or both.  Our hobby is too small to be like this.

Let's be clear here, MTH has also made comments in the past about Legacy and TMCC so it's not all one sided which is a shame that these 2 companies even have to stoop that low.  As far as either one moving to a DCC standard that ship has sailed for anything made previously from Lionel.  Maybe in the future.  Flyers seem to be DCC capable.  Yes MTH did include this in PS3.

The last few days on this forum have been an embarrassment with the way some of these threads are going. The 2 camps nitpicking and making sly trolling comments.  Wow maybe Ryan is the least of the offenders.  This board was like this years ago and it seemed to have settled down for a long time but it seems like we have some new folks that want to make snide remarks just so they can bait people and boy do they take it.  Too bad.  Like I said we are too small of a hobby to bicker about how we enjoy running our trains.  Jeez be happy we still have O Gauge.

Last edited by MartyE
@SeptaTony posted:

Occasionally and especially recently with the purchase of MTH Tooling, I will come across posts hoping Lionel will integrate DCS into their locomotives.

For those of you with that dream, I am here to burst your bubble. At 47:57 in the latest Ryan and Dave show, Ryan Kunkle Director of Production at Lionel bragged about bringing 3 different control systems to the Rail King Genesis rather than the one "dying control system".

This not so veiled attack on DCS from a prominent higher-up at Lionel makes clear the company wants nothing to do with DCS – and likely never did. I have seen similar jabs in the past particularly with the star wiring required to operate DCS.

MTH did so much for this hobby, I wish Lionel officials had some more hubris. I don't know whether this is some machismo rivalry thing, but to me the comments are pompous and unnecessary.

If Lionel really wanted to kill DCS, Legacy would have been the operating system in Atlas for years. But something tells me Lionel didn't want that either. For me, I plan on continuing my use of DCS, and I raise my cup to cheer on its new life as its own company. What do you think?



S.T.,

You seem to be enjoying raining on someone's parade.  I say this because your posting contains a huge dose of drama.  However, I'm not sure that either side in this "war" is actually a party to it.

Owning a number of products from both manufacturers, and loving them, and being mostly satisfied with both DCS and TMCC/Legacy I have no vested interest in either side "winning".

From my vantage point then it looks a lot less dramatic.  I see simply benign tolerance, one for the other, being practiced on both sides.  With all due respect, are you sure that there's actually a real tussle underway and that it's worthy of the drama?

Mike

I'm like those who have already posted here, I can embrace any of the manufacturers and their products.  I started into command control with DCS, but later bought a refurbished TMCC base and controller from GunrunnerJohn even before I had a TMCC or Legacy engine.  Now I own one with TMCC, 2 with Legacy, and one to be upgraded to ERR.  I still like my DCS because I'm used to it and have about a dozen engines with PS2 or PS3, but TMCC/Legacy are nice too.  One thing nice about embracing both systems, If I'm invited to someone else's home or club, I can operated either system if they only have one.

I think this is long settled history and folks have made their choices to use one system, both or neither.  Nothing that happens in the next few years is likely to change this one iota.  Ryan was probably engaging in a little bit of humor, but with a nugget of truth.  DCS's future is less certain than it was when MTH was a full line, full speed ahead train company, so it's also a little marketing hype.  Hubris means excessive pride, so wishing Lionel to have more of this is probably not what was intended.  I think humility is the asked for quality and it's always in short supply in the world.

My take on Ryan's comment, having witnessed the train wars and control system conflicts of the last 20 years is this is pretty mild stuff and not to be taken too seriously.  Nothing Ryan or Lionel does or doesn't do is, in any case, going to affect the successful transition of DCS/PS3 to whatever is envisioned by the new company.  There is exactly zero chance Lionel would choose to install PS3 or PSx in its locos.  If MTH/DCS Is Us were to make their technology accessible to third parties, I'm sure Lionel would think about enabling TMCC/Legacy/LionChief to control PS3 and PS3 locos in command mode.  That hasn't happened in the first 20 years of DCS, but who knows. Stay calm and carry on.

Last edited by Landsteiner

S.T.,



From my vantage point then it looks a lot less dramatic.  I see simply benign tolerance, one for the other, being practiced on both sides.  With all due respect, are you sure that there's actually a real tussle underway and that it's worthy of the drama?

Mike

hey Mike,

No animus here. I run both legacy and dcs and think there’s good and bad in both.

Did you watch the clip?

The point of this post was to call out behavior I thought was really ugly.

@Rich Melvin posted:

I think it’s a shame that egos, corporate pride, and corporate greed have resulted in 3-rail operators being forced to use several different, unwieldy, and incompatible digital control systems. It’s a system of forced brand loyalty, and it is very short-sighted.

The HO scale manufacturers realized a long time ago that what was best for long term survival of everyone in the business was to adopt a standard digital control system (the NMRA Standard DCC System) across the board.

Sadly the die is now so firmly cast in three-rail that we’re stuck with systems that are loaded with silly gimmicks and far too many buttons on the controllers, but are very short on reliability, easy installation and basic functionality for just running trains.

100% agree we'd all be ahead if 20+ years ago Lionel and MTH just adopted the DCC standard every other scale uses. But 3 rail has to be special.

Also people complaining about the cost of having both systems are being a bit silly. 10 years ago the cost to have both Legacy and DCS on a layout would be about $550, so the price of one locomotive. When someone with 100 locomotives and a large layout complained about the "cost" of the other system it was basically a brand loyalty argument.

"100% agree we'd all be ahead if 20+ years ago Lionel and MTH just adopted the DCC standard every other scale uses. But 3 rail has to be special."

Some history for you young folks.  When TMCC was developed in the early to mid-1990s there was no DCC equipment on the market that could handle 5-10 amperes of current and it was hellaciously expensive. You needed multiple boosters to supply a layout because power and command signal are integrated with DCC. Not so with TMCC, which functioned independent of the power supplies and thus was much more cost effective and well suited to high current AC open frame motors as well as modern can motors.  Neil Young and the team developing TMCC wanted to make sure they could adapt 100 years of Lionel locos and their ancient technology to more modern command control.  Sure enough, at least two companies (Ed Bender's Train Brain and Bob Krivacic's Engineer on Board (EOB) marketed by Mike Reagan's Train America Studios) sold and installed aftermarket TMCC command modules for existing non-command locos.  A great success story.

At that time 1996-1999, Mike Wolf was dismissive of command control and said unflattering things about Lionel and TMCC.  Take my word for it or search the web.  Then he started losing sales and started developing PS2 and DCS, the latter of which arrived in 2002, the former in 2000.  At  that point, MTH apparently chose not to license TMCC, so it was MTH's call not to use TMCC, not Lionel's as far as is publicly known and they had many reasons for not doing so.  For much of the decade 1996-2006 MTH and Lionel were engaged in what might have been a life or death corporate struggle. No one won.  Lionel, for various reasons, probably mostly selfish, licensed TMCC, but not the later Legacy system. Atlas, K-Line, Weaver and 3rd Rail all chose to license TMCC in about 2002 or slightly later.

That's why and how we don't have DCC as the standard in 3 rail O gauge, not because of a conspiracy on the part of Lionel and MTH to annoy us . Firstly there were substantial technical and cost obstacles, and then there was intense corporate competition that made it unlikely that the two major players (Lionel and MTH) were going to co-operate in any way, shape or form.

Last edited by Landsteiner
@SeptaTony posted:

Occasionally and especially recently with the purchase of MTH Tooling, I will come across posts hoping Lionel will integrate DCS into their locomotives.

For those of you with that dream, I am here to burst your bubble. At 47:57 in the latest Ryan and Dave show, Ryan Kunkle Director of Production at Lionel bragged about bringing 3 different control systems to the Rail King Genesis rather than the one "dying control system".

This not so veiled attack on DCS from a prominent higher-up at Lionel makes clear the company wants nothing to do with DCS – and likely never did. I have seen similar jabs in the past particularly with the star wiring required to operate DCS.

MTH did so much for this hobby, I wish Lionel officials had some more hubris. I don't know whether this is some machismo rivalry thing, but to me the comments are pompous and unnecessary.

If Lionel really wanted to kill DCS, Legacy would have been the operating system in Atlas for years. But something tells me Lionel didn't want that either. For me, I plan on continuing my use of DCS, and I raise my cup to cheer on its new life as its own company. What do you think?



SEE THE DAVE AND RYAN SHOW HERE:

You asked for my opinion.  Here’s my opinion:

DCS has five years.  After that it will be gone. There will not be enough volume to support it.  Personally, I don’t care one way or the other.  I’m new to O scale.  Last year I was all set to buy MTH trains and then the announcement came. I’ve been in the manufacturing sector and understand what it means to wind down a business.  MTH has an obligation to supply parts for their products for 48 - 60 months after production.  After that period of time they are free to go their own way.  

Atlas cannot save DCS.  Atlas may not be able to save itself.  In 15 years, if current attrition rates remain the same there will be 60% fewer people participating in this hobby.  Lionel knows this, Mike W. knows this.  They may tell you otherwise but the market is shrinking year over year.  

This is my opinion and I stand by it but, I will not argue about it.

After seeing this video, I see no mention of  DCS. I'm not sure what the issue is. BTW, thank you OP for posting this video. 

BTW , check out Lionel's Facebook page. They have posted a short video to the song "I'm so excited." What is really cool is that the video has some great shots of Lionel 's new office space.  The office space looks new, very sharp, spacious, modern with touches of orange and blue.

@Rich Melvin posted:

I think it’s a shame that egos, corporate pride, and corporate greed have resulted in 3-rail operators being forced to use several different, unwieldy, and incompatible digital control systems. It’s a system of forced brand loyalty, and it is very short-sighted.

The HO scale manufacturers realized a long time ago that what was best for long term survival of everyone in the business was to adopt a standard digital control system (the NMRA Standard DCC System) across the board.

Sadly the die is now so firmly cast in three-rail that we’re stuck with systems that are loaded with silly gimmicks and far too many buttons on the controllers, but are very short on reliability, easy installation and basic functionality for just running trains.

Well said!

I have both systems and enjoy them both.  I do like Lionel's Cab-2 handheld better, but that is probably because I have large hands.

It took the HO community years to standardize on one system, and I believe it was more important in that scale because there were multiple competitive incompatible systems, not just two compatible systems.  Command Control was first developed in 1964, with multiple systems in use by 1978.  However, it wasn't until 1994 when they came up with the current DCC standard.  I believe one reason Lionel went their TMCC route was DCC couldn't handle the O gauge electrical requirements.

TMCC was around years before DCS, so why didn't MTH negotiate with Lionel for that system?  When DCS finally came out, TMCC was well established and for Lionel to move to DCS would have orphaned all their earlier stuff.  DCS looked great on paper, and that is why I bought it.  However, I find I only use maybe 25% of its capability.

You do need both systems if you want to run MTH and all the other manufacturers TMCC based trains.  My layout is TMCC controlled with the TIU connected to run DCS engines.  I do need both handhelds because MTH never released its code.  Those of you with MTH controlled layouts are a little better off because you can control Lionel trains though the DCS handheld (thank Lionel for that).

I use to do bicycle club races and the animosity between those that used the Campagnolo components and those that used Shimano components was unreal, and it is the same here.  And it is just not DCS vs TMCC, it is MTH vs Lionel.  Some of you picked a side and will never change.  And I haven't even added in the conventional worshipers.

We have two compatible systems (three if you count conventional), and it is not going to change.  Your complaining has not changed anything in 20 years and it will not now.  Pick one and stay with it, or go with both like many have.  Then enjoy the hobby.

Last edited by CAPPilot
@Landsteiner posted:

"The point of this post was to call out behavior I thought was really ugly."

Consider yourself fortunate that you didn't have to read the advertising copy or lawsuits of yesteryear (broadly speaking between 1996 or so and say about 2008).  This is a walk in the park with close friends by comparison .

Thank you for putting this into perspective, I’m glad to hear things have improved. @MartyE mentioned mth folks has said similar things in the past. I had no idea, but I’d like to think I would have disapproved.

I actually didn’t expect this post to blow up like this. Nor am I “trolling” anyone. I own equally as much Lionel as I do MTH. I’m glad there are any options at all.  The video just rubbed me the wrong way.

Egos? Corporate pride?  Corporate greed?  I’m not trying to be argumentative, but those are some very pointed and personal accusations (these weren’t mega companies - they were closely held - such accusations clearly attach to readily identifiable people, not “faceless corporations”). Are you sure a universal solution for all scales was turn-key for O gauge in the early ‘90s and was shunned purely for such nefarious reasons?  Maybe so, I wasn’t around until much later, but the guys leading the companies at the time seem to be remembered more fondly than as you suggest. Again, not being argumentative, just surprised to hear this take. I always understood it to be a Beta vs VHS thing.

Last edited by Rider Sandman
@SeptaTony posted:

Thank you for putting this into perspective, I’m glad to hear things have improved. @MartyE mentioned mth folks has said similar things in the past. I had no idea, but I’d like to think I would have disapproved.


Of course, as would any reasonable person.  Both technologies have their pros and cons, thank heavens they operate alongside one another reasonably well.  There’s no room for bashing by the manufacturers, it will just alienate 50% (roughly) of their customers.

I actually didn’t expect this post to blow up like this. Nor am I “trolling” anyone. I own equally as much Lionel as I do MTH. I’m glad there are any options at all.  The video just rubbed me the wrong way.

Same here.  I own and operate both brands and both control systems.  I like them both and I like both brands.  But that isn’t going to stop me from calling a spade a spade when MTH releases a Military themed item in lime green or when Lionel paints a steam engine pastel green.

@SeptaTony posted:

Thank you for putting this into perspective, I’m glad to hear things have improved. @MartyE mentioned mth folks has said similar things in the past. I had no idea, but I’d like to think I would have disapproved.

I actually didn’t expect this post to blow up like this. Nor am I “trolling” anyone. I own equally as much Lionel as I do MTH. I’m glad there are any options at all.  The video just rubbed me the wrong way.

Tony my comment weren’t aimed at you. The last few days though have been an uptick in folks just trying to get a rise out of people.

@CAPPilot posted:

I have both systems and enjoy them both.  I do like Lionel's Cab-2 handheld better, but that is probably because I have large hands.

It took the HO community years to standardize on one system, and I believe it was more important in that scale because there were multiple competitive incompatible systems, not just two compatible systems.  Command Control was first developed in 1964, with multiple systems in use by 1978.  However, it wasn't until 1994 when they came up with the current DCC standard.  I believe one reason Lionel went their TMCC route was DCC couldn't handle the O gauge electrical requirements.

TMCC was around years before DCS, so why didn't MTH negotiate with Lionel for that system?  When DCS finally came out, TMCC was well established and for Lionel to move to DCS would have orphaned all their earlier stuff.  DCS looked great on paper, and that is why I bought it.  However, I find I only use maybe 25% of its capability.

You do need both systems if you want to run MTH and all the other manufacturers TMCC based trains.  My layout is TMCC controlled with the TIU connected to run DCS engines.  I do need both handhelds because MTH never released its code.  Those of you with MTH controlled layouts are a little better off because you can control Lionel trains though the DCS handheld (thank Lionel for that).

I use to do bicycle club races and the animosity between those that used the Campagnolo components and those that used Shimano components was unreal, and it is the same here.  And it is just not DCS vs TMCC, it is MTH vs Lionel.  Some of you picked a side and will never change.  And I haven't even added in the conventional worshipers.

We have two compatible systems (three if you count conventional), and it is not going to change.  Your complaining has not changed anything in 20 years and it will not now.  Pick one and stay with it, or go with both like many have.  Then enjoy the hobby.

I’m excited that Lionel will be making some the former MTH locomotives.  I have avoided buying them because the company is going away and I wasn’t going to invest $300-400 on a DCS (dying control system) just to run a couple of locomotives.  Now those locomotives I wanted may be coming with LionChief Plus 2.0, which has 99% of what legacy can do in a smaller non-scale format.  

@RixTrack posted:

You asked for my opinion.  Here’s my opinion:

DCS has five years.  After that it will be gone. There will not be enough volume to support it.  Personally, I don’t care one way or the other.  I’m new to O scale.  Last year I was all set to buy MTH trains and then the announcement came. I’ve been in the manufacturing sector and understand what it means to wind down a business.  MTH has an obligation to supply parts for their products for 48 - 60 months after production.  After that period of time they are free to go their own way.  

Atlas cannot save DCS.  Atlas may not be able to save itself.  In 15 years, if current attrition rates remain the same there will be 60% fewer people participating in this hobby.  Lionel knows this, Mike W. knows this.  They may tell you otherwise but the market is shrinking year over year.  

This is my opinion and I stand by it but, I will not argue about it.

Well said from a neutral perspective. As for Ryan of Lionel: It’s safe to say that he has a better feel for where the O gauge market is right now and where it is going than 99% of OGR posters. If Ryan felt comfortable saying it in a public setting, it’s because he believes it to be true.  

I use both DCS and Legacy.  IMO DCS is way better, and I run my Lionel trains with it most of the time.  To hear the Lionel folks make such arrogant comments, ****es me off.  Lionel has more than 3 ways to run their trains now, which are incompatible and down right stupid.  They should not be throwing stones in a glass house.  Maybe Lionel should try to figure out a way to make $2000 engines work when you open the box for the first time.  That would be more productive.

I use both DCS and Legacy/TMCC.  I find that Legacy is much easier to setup and use on both my home layout and on my club's layout than DCS.  Legacy/TMCC is also more reliable on my layouts.

I can't tell you how many times I get the dreaded "engine not found" or "engine not on track" DCS messages.  "Engine not on track" is especially frustrating because the engine is sitting on the track right in front of me.  Both my club layout and home layouts are star wired for DCS and I use BCRs in all my PS-2 engines.  

I applaud people that have great success using DCS but that isn't me.  Legacy/TMCC engines sometimes have problems.  I can usually trace those problems to a poor antenna or ground that I can fix.  When a DCS engine is "not found", however, I have no clue how to fix it.  My locomotive fleet is about half Legacy/TMCC and half DCS.    

I wish that the 3-rail community had a standard command control system that was used by all the manufacturers.  NH Joe

Put me in the Legacy camp. All my engines are either Legacy or TMCC, As for my home layout…….I don’t have one. I run my trains at my train club. My first club the Black Diamond Society of Model Engineers had both DCS and Legacy. My second club the Delaware Seaside Railroad Club in Shelbyville Delaware has both DCS and Legacy so I have used both systems, in fact I have the DCS apt on my cell phone….in fact Mike Wolf put it on my phone at York the year they introduced it. To be honest at the Delaware club we did need GRJ’s Legacy signal booster which greatly improved the Legacy signal especially in the tunnel. One thing Legacy never told me is “you train is not on the tracks” other than that both systems have worked fine together. I see no need for DCS or DCC in a Lionel engine.

JohnB

@JohnB posted:

One thing Legacy never told me is “you train is not on the tracks” other than that both systems have worked fine together. I see no need for DCS or DCC in a Lionel engine.

That's because TMCC/Legacy doesn't know if your engine is on the tracks or not.

I could easily say, "One thing DCS never did was send one engine flying while the other is dragging it's wheels in a lash-up."

Again, each system has pros and cons.  Nitpicking over the details to make yourself feel better about which one you've chosen to become a fanboy of is a sad way to enjoy the hobby.

I'd just point out that brand allegiance has less to do with Operating System allegiance than timing.  If you were quick to embrace the new technology, you had TMCC.  I installed mine in early 1997.  And once I had it, I wasn't about to buy, install, and run a second system that basically did the same things.  And at that time I had never heard of DCC except that there were these guys at shows with glasses and pocket protectors who walked around layouts plugging in to jacks all over the place.

And the separate operating systems might have exacerbated  the brand wars... as folks (like me) look at Operating Systems like the way we look at track: something that's necessary, but not worth spending a lot of money on... which is why I still have some 1940's era switches.

I'm guessing that internal Lionel customer research shows that folks would buy A command system ONCE... like a transformer.  That's why they went to the LionChief(Plus)(2.0) model.

Jon

Last edited by KOOLjock1
@rdj92807 posted:

I use both DCS and Legacy.  IMO DCS is way better, and I run my Lionel trains with it most of the time.  To hear the Lionel folks make such arrogant comments, ****es me off.  Lionel has more than 3 ways to run their trains now, which are incompatible and down right stupid.  They should not be throwing stones in a glass house.  Maybe Lionel should try to figure out a way to make $2000 engines work when you open the box for the first time.  That would be more productive.

rd,

Q1: Define incompatible.  Specifically what are the more-than-three incompatible methods?  How are they incompatible?

Q2: In what way(s) is DCS "way better" than Lionel's offerings?

(I'm asking so that we, and in particular newbies, might learn from your experience.)

Mike

It would be nice to have a single system across all O gauge, but that is not how we do it in America, haha. 

I personally have stuck with Legacy, only because I loved the whole integration with their LCS system and Command switches, etc. and it is a nice eco system.  Just my preference.  I did give MTH's DCS a try but did no like it as much.   But one of the main reasons I stuck with one system was to keep my spending down!  HAHA.  By sticking with one control system it cut my spending on engines down.   What is everyone worried about though?  There is a lot of DCS control system inventory, that will probably always be available somewhere, like eBay.  Most engines have been done to death, so you can probably find any engine you are after on the secondary market in DCS.  For me it is kind of cool, because I may see some MTH tooling I always wanted now in Legacy.   So we will see.  Either way both systems will be around a long time I think.

Plus I am not sure how they would squeeze both control systems inside the same engines?  Not sure it is physically even possible.  And it would certainly not be cost feasible to make the same engine in 2 different flavors for such a small, small  market.

I made a choice 20 years ago that Lionel was getting to pricy for me at that time and I thought MTH had a nicer product detail wise less to looking and chose the MTH option as I mostly bought Rail King product line. I have progress to the Premier line and have looked at the high end Lionel stuff just not sure I want to make the transition at this point I have nothing negative to say about Lionel's system as I do not use it or own any locomotives that use it. I have a pretty good collection of Post War and will always be a Lionel Post War guy as that is what I grew up with. I chose  MTH and DCS for price reasons at the time as I thought Lionel was to expensive for me at that time. Never gave any thought to using both.

@Oman posted:

This isn't any different than smack talk between sports teams; no big deal.

I think it’s more akin to unsportsmanlike conduct. I don’t recall Nick Foles (go birds) talking about how old and irrelevant Tom Brady was after winning Super Bowl LII.

Then Brady took his teams to victory in LIII and LV. Maybe, DCS will surprise us🤷🏻‍♂️

Last edited by SeptaTony
@SeptaTony posted:

I think I it’s more akin to unsportsmanlike conduct. I don’t recall Nick Foles (go birds) talking about how old and irrelevant Tom Brady was after winning Super Bowl LII.

Then Brady took his teams to victory in LIII and LV. Maybe, DCS will surprise us🤷🏻‍♂️

I think he spoke the truth as he sees it. And if he said at Lionel, then I suspect that many others at Lionel have come to the same conclusion.  Does it come across as arrogant? Perhaps, but in a way it is refreshingly honest. We have many people here that are deeply invested in MTH: hobbyists with $$$ and emotional capital in locomotives and DCS , we have people who have done work on behalf of MTH, and we have dealers who earn a living selling MTH product.  There is nothing wrong with any of that and to each his own. But all of that has limited the ability to really look with clarity at how our hobby, and MTH, are changing.

The other thing to keep in mind is that as MTH continues to slowly downsize, these kinds of discussions are probably not going away.  We have crossed the Rubicon and the hobby is very different now then it was a couple of years ago. I personally think we are going to be fine and that the O gauge market will grow again.  ( I bet York numbers will go up this year!)

But some changes are going to be difficult for some.

Peace

I think he spoke the truth as he sees it. And if he said at Lionel, then I suspect that many others at Lionel have come to the same conclusion.  Does it come across as arrogant? Perhaps, but in a way it is refreshingly honest. We have many people here that are deeply invested in MTH: hobbyists with $$$ and emotional capital in locomotives and DCS , we have people who have done work on behalf of MTH, and we have dealers who earn a living selling MTH product.  There is nothing wrong with any of that and to each his own. But all of that has limited the ability to really look with clarity at how our hobby, and MTH, are changing.

It seems we have people deeply invested in Lionel as well, and sometimes they tend to get a little overbearing in their commentary on the topic.

My collection consists mostly of MTH locomotives as MTH has produced far more product in Boston and Maine/Maine Central liveries than Big L ever did.  So my primary operating system is, and will continue to be, DCS.  Coupled with TMCC, I can also run my Lionel and Atlas locos with my DCS handhelds.  It's worked well for me for decades now and I see no reason to change it.  

In the second post in this thread, I said, "...3-rail operators...use several different, unwieldy, and incompatible digital control systems. It’s a system of forced brand loyalty, and it is very short-sighted..."

Many of the posts further down in this thread have reinforced that point. Look how many posters have said, they are "...heavily invested..." in DCS or Legacy. We should be heavily invested in the hobby as a whole, not individual loyalties to one brand or another.

RixTrack stated that he figured DCS had five years left before fading away. I think he may be on to something there. Now that much of the MTH tooling has been purchased by other companies, the amount of new product coming to market with DCS installed is going to dwindle rapidly. With a shrinking user base, and fewer products licensed with DCS, there will be little if any profit to be made by whoever is supporting DCS. No profit = no company. Follow the money.

@Rich Melvin posted:

In the second post in this thread, I said, "...3-rail operators...use several different, unwieldy, and incompatible digital control systems. It’s a system of forced brand loyalty, and it is very short-sighted..."

Many of the posts further down in this thread have reinforced that point. Look how many posters have said, they are "...heavily invested..." in DCS or Legacy. We should be heavily invested in the hobby as a whole, not individual loyalties to one brand or another.

RixTrack stated that he figured DCS had five years left before fading away. I think he may be on to something there. Now that much of the MTH tooling has been purchased by other companies, the amount of new product coming to market with DCS installed is going to dwindle rapidly. With a shrinking user base, and fewer products licensed with DCS, there will be little if any profit to be made by whoever is supporting DCS. No profit = no company. Follow the money.

I thought they said MTH retained 80% of their tooling.  Seems likely until they either sell it or scrap the remaining tooling, they could use it and make trains for the foreseeable future with DCS.  I would think the bigger driving point for DCS to "go away" is the cost of continued development in the way of keeping current designs valid with changing parts and outdated components.  Again this depends on the willingness and money for someone to actually want to be an O Gauge manufacturer / importer.

Last edited by MartyE

Hmm… maybe. But I notice that you are not disagreeing with me! 😉

Au contraire, I'm not agreeing with you.

You spend an awful lot of time in threads trashing MTH in general and DCS in particular.  I don't agree with your stand on that, so please don't tar me with the same brush.  I realize you're a huge Lionel fanboy, but they're not the only train manufacturer, and all of the hobby suffers when a major player exits the scene.  Truth be told, I have a lot of MTH locomotives and rolling stock, even a few accessories.  Many of them are superior to similar offerings from Lionel.  I also have a ton of Lionel stuff, and I'll likely have more in the future, and they make some great products as well.

That being said, it's not a cause for celebration when another maker is downsized or exits the market.

So we've established that Lionel will not be supporting DCS.  I never expected them to, so it's not news to me.  What I'm wondering is are they going to be supporting the current CAB-2 Legacy remote any longer?  I've been mulling over getting one since I now have a few Legacy locomotives in my roundhouse I can actually use the features of the system.  I have the original TMCC remote and base and it worked well enough for my older Lionel and Atlas TMCC locos.

However, I can't find the 990 Legacy Remote and Base set in stock anywhere, and it seems as though inventory on that item has been thinning for quite sometime.  Is Lionel going to do a run of these soon?  Or maybe release a new remote?  Or is their plan to go to the iCab app and LCS WiFi module similar to how DCS has gone to the new WTIU + DCS App.

@rplst8 posted:


However, I can't find the 990 Legacy Remote and Base set in stock anywhere, and it seems as though inventory on that item has been thinning for quite sometime.  Is Lionel going to do a run of these soon?  Or maybe release a new remote?  Or is their plan to go to the iCab app and LCS WiFi module similar to how DCS has gone to the new WTIU + DCS App.

Lionel does have a full run coming.....   in October.  Just as with many electronics in all walks of life, it's been a component supply issue.

Truth be told, I have a lot of MTH locomotives and rolling stock, even a few accessories.  Many of them are superior to similar offerings from Lionel.  I also have a ton of Lionel stuff, and I'll likely have more in the future, and they make some great products as well.



Ding. People who don't actually work on their trains have no idea about the mechanical differences between manufacturers. About half my locomotives are Lionel, a little more than half MTH. I'm not brand loyal, I'm railroad loyal. I only buy ATSF and SP locomotives. MTH has made more Premier ATSF steam locomotives, so I have more MTH locomotives. Unless we're talking made in Korea early 2000s TMCC scale steam Lionel's steam locomotives are mechanically inferior to Premier steam locomotives. Smaller motors, unnecessarily complex gearboxes, and less robust drivelines, especially on their latest Legacy offerings. But most people just put the locomotive on the track and run it till something goes wrong, so they never know.

I have the latest release Legacy ATSF Northern and I ripped out the garbage Canon motor and replaced it with a Pittman. Now if I could only do something about that gearbox....

Au contraire, I'm not agreeing with you.

You spend an awful lot of time in threads trashing MTH in general and DCS in particular. I don't agree with your stand on that, so please don't tar me with the same brush.  I realize you're a huge Lionel fanboy, but they're not the only train manufacturer, and all of the hobby suffers when a major player exits the scene.  Truth be told, I have a lot of MTH locomotives and rolling stock, even a few accessories.  Many of them are superior to similar offerings from Lionel.  I also have a ton of Lionel stuff, and I'll likely have more in the future, and they make some great products as well.

That being said, it's not a cause for celebration when another maker is downsized or exits the market.

Wait minute. Please stop right there. I don't "trash MTH" nor do I "trash DCS." I most certainly dispute that.  I do however, comment on the state of the hobby, and how it is evolving in real time.  Right now, the real driver on those changes is a downsizing MTH. That's just the way it is and  it will continue to hold everyone's interest. The other point I would make is I am by far not the only one here on OGR with the same level of interest or sentiment on how the hobby is evolving.  I would invite you to read Rich Melvin's comments above. As he suggests "Follow the money."

And I would like also to say, I do enjoy reading your posts!

Cheers!

Wait minute. Please stop right there. I don't "trash MTH" nor do I "trash DCS." I most certainly dispute that.  I do however, comment on the state of the hobby, and how it is evolving in real time.  Right now, the real driver on those changes is a downsizing MTH. That's just the way it is and  it will continue to hold everyone's interest. The other point I would make is I am by far not the only one here on OGR with the same level of interest or sentiment on how the hobby is evolving.  I would invite you to read Rich Melvin's comments above. As he suggests "Follow the money."

And I would like also to say, I do enjoy reading your posts!

Cheers!

Yeah, you do,…sorry, gotta call it like I see it,….your posts are all but fanatical about driving the last nail in the coffin,…seems like you can’t wait,….😕

Pat

That being said, it's not a cause for celebration when another maker is downsized or exits the market.

Well said.


The vast majority of my equipment is MTH but I did invest in the Legacy system last year and 1 Legacy engine.  For a lot of reasons I am pulling for MTH.

I would like to see our hobby continue to flourish and attract new people, if for no other reason to keep volumes up and the fixed cost per unit down.  The fact that no invester purchased MTH in its entirety suggests to me the volumes have been going in the wrong direction for the last several years.

I am more of a DCS guy, but recently have acquired some Legacy locomotives and also have some TMCC engines.

I have a Legacy Command Base, an MTH TIU, a Lionel SER2, and an MTH Wifi unit on my layout.  I run both systems through my phone as though they are one system (including the quilling whistle on the Legacy locomotives).  I have mellowed with age and am enjoying running both.

The back and forth about brand loyalty serves no purpose to me.  I buy what I like in road names that are specific to the locale and era that I'm modeling.  That means I have both Legacy and DCS locomotives.  I suspect that will be the case for me for the foreseeable future.

At present MTH is pumping out special runs in roadnames that appeal to me.  All equipped with DCS.  I think it remains to be seen what the plans are for the tooling MTH retained.  I do know that there are additional special run engines that have been announced that will be delivered well into next year.

Last edited by MichRR714
@Lou1985 posted:

100% agree we'd all be ahead if 20+ years ago Lionel and MTH just adopted the DCC standard every other scale uses. But 3 rail has to be special.

Also people complaining about the cost of having both systems are being a bit silly. 10 years ago the cost to have both Legacy and DCS on a layout would be about $550, so the price of one locomotive. When someone with 100 locomotives and a large layout complained about the "cost" of the other system it was basically a brand loyalty argument.

Definitely agree with your first statement - it's one of those things where hindsight makes me shake my head and wonder why we let it happen.

Re your statement about "cost", I agree that the dollars are inconsequential compared to what we pay for a locomotive, but I disagree with your conclusion.  To me, "cost" doesn't refer to money - it refers to the hassle of having extra wiring, extra remotes with different buttons, remembering which engines are Lionel vs. MTH, and possible electrical interference and other considerations.   

@Mallard4468 posted:

Definitely agree with your first statement - it's one of those things where hindsight makes me shake my head and wonder why we let it happen.

Re your statement about "cost", I agree that the dollars are inconsequential compared to what we pay for a locomotive, but I disagree with your conclusion.  To me, "cost" doesn't refer to money - it refers to the hassle of having extra wiring, extra remotes with different buttons, remembering which engines are Lionel vs. MTH, and possible electrical interference and other considerations.   

I can see how that can be an issue for some people. For me it wasn't. I didn't need any extra wiring to have both systems. I actually just run all my locomotives (PS2/PS3/TMCC/Legacy) from one remote, so that makes it easy for me as well. I get some people don't want to take the extra steps and it's fine. But complaining about the up front cost of having to buy two systems is silly, especially when it's less than the outlay for a locomotive. That was just a brand loyality battle, plain and simple. 

rd,

Q2: In what way(s) is DCS "way better" than Lionel's offerings?

(I'm asking so that we, and in particular newbies, might learn from your experience.)

Mike

Well I can answer this one a couple of ways. This is my opinion (and everyone has one) but there are a couple key ways DCS is better:

1. I can upgrade/change sound files at home, on my own. If a locomotive has an incorrect whistle from the factory (Lionel never makes that mistake ) I can put the correct whistle in a PS2/PS3 sound file and load it onto my locomotive in about 20 minutes at home. Is there a problem with a PS2/PS3 locomotive firmware? I can download the software fix and install it in the locomotive at home in 20 minutes. No need to send the locomotive off to Lionel for a new sound board to get the correct whistle (if they even acknowledge it's wrong) or reprogram a RCMA. I can do that at home. I have a huge issue that Lionel's control system doesn't allow this option. It's a decision on Lionel's part to do that. They could have easily allowed the consumer to do those things but they decided not to.

2. PS2/PS3 has some nice sound functionality built in TMCC/Legacy lacks. For example it has whistle commands pre-programmed in. The locomotive will automatically play a forward signal, reverse signal, and crossing signal with the push of a button. Can't do that on a Legacy remote. Also I can change the chuff rate on a PS2/PS3 steam locomotive with the push of a button. Again not possible with Legacy.

I run mostly semi-scale engines and some scale engines designed for smaller curves. I liked that you could get MTH's best electronics package in a value based product like Railking.  Not to mention the number of Railing Steamers that I have upgraded with quilling whistles on my own workbench for free.  Other than Lionmaster, Legacy electronics were and still are are only available in their top of the line models.

I do credit Lionel for adding TMCC in the LC2 line up, that did get me really interested in some of those models and they are good runners. However, the LionChief versions before LC2 were of little to no interest to me as those systems are missing many key operating features that I use regularly which are present in my Railking PS2 / PS3  and TMCC locomotives.

Last edited by Rich Melvin

I don't suppose anyone wants to hear about the issues where Legacy/TMCC/LionChief are superior to DCS/PS2/PS3?

Because that would be seen as celebrating MTH's demise or crazed brand loyalty?  .  And justification to invoke reasons that the opinions offered reflected irrational fandom rather than facts?  And thus entirely justify personal criticism rather than discussing the issues?

Good to see that the double standard is still alive and well.  Have a good afternoon from another irrational, unfair, cruel fanboy.

@Landsteiner posted:

I don't suppose anyone wants to hear about the issues where Legacy/TMCC/LionChief are superior to DCS/PS2/PS3?

Because that would be seen as celebrating MTH's demise or crazed brand loyalty?  .  And justification to invoke reasons that the opinions offered reflected irrational fandom rather than facts?  And thus entirely justify personal criticism rather than discussing the issues?

Good to see that the double standard is still alive and well.  Have a good afternoon from another irrational, unfair, cruel fanboy.

I can tell you that one. One wire hookup, no special layout wiring.

My question was meant as rhetorical.

My point was that there are a tiny number of individuals on the forum who cannot stand to have their opinions contradicted.  When they are, these individuals resort to personal abuse and predictably classify the other person's opinion as that of a "fanboy" or "brand loyalist."   Whereas their opinion is totally objective and factual. Not.  I have had my intelligence questioned as well as my objectivity.   Even my ability to do long division.   Hurts my feelings as I'm a sensitive soul. . Total rubbish and shouldn't be tolerated.  Also an indication of a deficiency of the ability to discuss things with intelligence and clarity .   Focus on the facts of the post, not the person making the post, please.

Last edited by Landsteiner
@Lou1985 posted:
The locomotive will automatically play a forward signal, reverse signal, and crossing signal with the push of a button. Can't do that on a Legacy remote.
I personally hate that one button push for those functions.  You have to look down at the remote and find the correct button, even though I have put all three on the first page.  The Cab-2 slider for the horn/whistle is one of the best things either company has done.  Yes the Cab-2 is large, and I do have large hands, but I can work all the basic Legacy/TMCC functions for the engine without looking at the remote.  And don't get me started on either companies' WiFi; I have both WiFi systems and I don't use them.  The remotes (both DCS and Cab-2) are the way I run my trains.
Last edited by CAPPilot

There are loyalists here who celebrate the demise of importers other than the importer they support. While some will say they agree it is best to have competition, those comments are veiled in scores of comments to the contrary. I had to read twice who was posting in the quote above where it says, "there are a tiny number of individuals on the forum who cannot stand to have their opinions contradicted." The pot calling the kettle black came to mind immediately. Grating persistence is not a substitute for substance.

Last edited by Rich Melvin

"The pot calling the kettle black came to mind immediately. "

You'll have to find a single post I've made where I have addressed the personality, loyalties or other characteristics of the poster,  as opposed to the substance of the post.  If you find my opinions persistently grating, I suggest you ignore them rather than  spectacularly misinterpreting them. Use that ignore button. No hard feelings.

Last edited by Landsteiner
@Lou1985 posted:

I can tell you that one. One wire hookup, no special layout wiring.

No special wiring?  That depends on what type of layout you are building.  I am building a operating layout with lots of switching capabilities (and yes, loop running too) with Ross/Gargraves trackage for the greater flexibility I get with that.  I chose Lionel's LCS as my control system.  The PHs, PMs, ACS2, BPC2, CSM2, SER2, sensor track, and all that special cabling is not only expensive, but not fun hooking it all up.

There are loyalists here who celebrate the demise of importers other than the importer they support. While some will say they agree it is best to have competition, those comments are veiled in scores of comments to the contrary. I had to read twice who was posting in the quote above where it says, "there are a tiny number of individuals on the forum who cannot stand to have their opinions contradicted." The pot calling the kettle black came to mind immediately. Grating persistence is not a substitute for substance.

You must be a mind reader.

@Landsteiner posted:

"The pot calling the kettle black came to mind immediately. "

You'll have to find a single post I've made where I have addressed the personality, loyalties or other characteristics of the poster,  as opposed to the substance of the post.  If you find my opinions persistently grating, I suggest you ignore them rather than  spectacularly misinterpreting them. Use that ignore button. No hard feelings.

I for one welcomed constructive, factual responses to my posts. Sadly, there are very few. So please, if you disagree agree with the facts and assumptions in my posts, then share your thoughts and facts. Sadly, it seems the best I get is: “you trash MTH” followed by the poster hiding. Not very interesting or enlightening.

I for one welcomed constructive, factual responses to my posts. Sadly, there are very few. So please, if you disagree agree with the facts and assumptions in my posts, then share your thoughts and facts. Sadly, it seems the best I get is: “you trash MTH” followed by the poster hiding. Not very interesting or enlightening.

Your response to every post is basically, "these are the signs of a company that is going to die" or "all of the best tooling has been purchased by other companies, how could they possibly succeed?" or "a catalog is a sign of stable and healthy company."

Like a company has never gone through a restructuring before, or discontinued antiquated methods of communicating about their products, or obsolete advertising channels.

Maybe the lean and mean MTH decided to sell off the dead weight, and refocus on new tooling in a few years.  Who knows.  I wouldn't count out the company that reinvented 3-rail O-scale, just like I wouldn't count out the oldest name in the business, Lionel even though they circled the drain several times through the years.

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