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Recently, I am noticing substantial changes in Legacy signal strength depending on when I run my trains.  I have not rewired or changed anything on the layout.  Sometimes trains run flawlessly but other times of day, some engines drop out (flashing headlight) at random places on the layout.  This always happened infrequently but now is becoming more common.  No real pattern that I can identify.  As our homes  and neighborhoods become more wired  could these changes be the culprit?  Phil

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Thanks for replies.  Bob, I will try turning off my AC tomorrow and see if that hel

Over the years, I have solved ground plane problems as instructed on this forum, as well as extended antennas on some engines, etc.  As a general rule, some engines  such as  large steamers worked better than others.  But this change has come about in the past few months and I have changed nothing in my train room such as C F L  lights, etc.   I did change out my Legacy Base and Remote with a new one I had as a spare and had the same result.  It has been suggested to me that have at least 15  small wall warts in my train room that may cause interference that could be an issue.  These supply various amounts of voltage for animations and lighting accessories made by Miller, Woodland Scenics, and Menards, etc.  They are all plugged into a 110 volt line that has its own circuit breaker .

About two years ago I upgraded my control panel with  25 Touch Toggles.  These work much like touch screens and allow control of turnouts using the tip of a finger that does not even have to make actual contact with a red or green LED shining up through a small hole.  These work well and look really cool.  But from time to time, and for no apparent reason, one will stop working and be fine an hour later.  In numerous conversations with the man who sells these we concluded that I have lots of random electrical fields of all sorts going on under my layout.  For instance, one way to get a touch toggle working properly again is to turn off the Legacy Base ,momentarily.  I mention this as it is an another unexplained random event.  Thjis man also  told me about the potential of wall wart s  being poorly shielded from sending out electrical fields.  MTH, Legacy, Alexa, Siri,  Routers, Microwaves, so much is going on!  I wonder how much the new cab three will deal with these issues?  Phil

From the trenches of running show layouts ...

1.  The Legacy Base's channel 9 is above most 2.4GHz frequencies used by WiFi, baby monitors, cams, etc.  If you have an issue with CAB2 communications with the base, try channel 9.

2.  2.4GHz devices in close proximity to the base can jam the signal.  Wireless routers that use channel bonding (the "gaming" routers) can wipe out CAB2 to base comms.

3.  A good ground connection from a 3-hole outlet is not assured.  Buy an outlet tester and confirm your outlet.

4.  TMCC RF assumes that the distribution of house wiring in the walls and ceilings of the layout room is sufficient and evenly distributed.  This is not the case, especially in show venues.  Extension cords laid around the layout may help poor signal areas.

Thank you all for the suggestions.  Tried all of them but signal still varies more than it did a few months ago.  Any thoughts on whether  the new Cab 3 will help this kind of situation.  I did try running trains with the Lionel app using  bluetooth and an Ipad and with no good results over longer distances.  My TV camera caboose worked only if I followed the train with my tablet.        I understand cab 3 will have much more powerful  bluetooth so that may help my situation.  The good news is that my MTH engines now work better than ever.  A little slower in start up and some of the commands were a little sluggish , but much improved.  I will try their new system when it arrives, but am hanging on to my old system components just in case.    Phil

Phil, although I find this topic fascinating, if I understand half of it, that would be a lot.

IMO, your layout is one of the most charming and one of the best in the World.

I don't know if the electrical fields you mention have anything to do with the magnetic field, but let's hope that the Earth's magnetic field, which makes life on this planet possible, is not affected.

Just kidding, Arnold

@phil klopp posted:

I understand cab 3 will have much more powerful  bluetooth so that may help my situation.  The good news is that my MTH engines now work better than ever.  A little slower in start up and some of the commands were a little sluggish , but much improved.  I will try their new system when it arrives, but am hanging on to my old system components just in case.    Phil

Improved Bluetooth will do nothing for track signal strength, apples and oranges.  Bluetooth is used for the remote to command base communication, it has nothing to do with the track signal strength.

@phil klopp posted:

The good news is that my MTH engines now work better than ever.  A little slower in start up and some of the commands were a little sluggish , but much improved.  I will try their new system when it arrives, but am hanging on to my old system components just in case.    Phil

The fact that MTH engines have less issues suggests the TMCC/Legacy track signal is weaker.  There is possible interaction between the Lionel and MTH track signals.  I think it's time to measure the track signal output of the Legacy command base, maybe that's where the problem lies.

@phil klopp posted:

Thank you all for the suggestions.  Tried all of them but signal still varies more than it did a few months ago.  Any thoughts on whether  the new Cab 3 will help this kind of situation.  I did try running trains with the Lionel app using  bluetooth and an Ipad and with no good results over longer distances.  My TV camera caboose worked only if I followed the train with my tablet.        I understand cab 3 will have much more powerful  bluetooth so that may help my situation.  The good news is that my MTH engines now work better than ever.  A little slower in start up and some of the commands were a little sluggish , but much improved.  I will try their new system when it arrives, but am hanging on to my old system components just in case.    Phil

Even if the Base3 has a different Bluetooth module, your engines still have the same BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) module and thus they are what limits the range, not the base or anything else.

No, again, we do not expect the base 3 to have some magically high TMCC/Legacy 455KHz transmit section to fix poor layout wiring or other signal conditions.

Base 3 is mostly combining existing products or tech. It's a Legacy base, orange universal remote, and LCS (Layout Control System) Wifi module combined into a single housing. Yes, in theory the firmware adds some features, but from a basic functional signal strength and other details- there are FCC limits and other standards and details- so no, it's not expected to be some cure all for range or other problems.

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