I thought I was exclusively Lionel on my new layout but there is a new MTH engine I'm interested in. Can I run it on Legacy through the remote? Thanks.
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You can run an MTH in "conventional mode" with the addition of a Lionel Legacy powermaster through the Legacy remote.
This will allow conventional operation via the Legacy handheld , which also allows control of the whistle, bell, electrocouplers from their respective buttons/controls, as well as access to some of the PFA's via keystrokes outlined in the powermaster owners manual.
I have operated MTH PS2 locos conventionally via the older Lionel TPC unit which the Legacy powermaster replaces. MTH locos ran very well, and once under way it was hard to tell they were being operated in a conventional environment. Smoke volume is adjusted through a smoke potentiometer screw on the loco, and they smoke just as well as under DCS.
The BCR in the newer MTH as well as the batteries in the older models prevents the sound drop outs during conventional direction changes.
You can technically run command-equipped Lionel locos through the DCS system in TMCC mode, provided you have a Legacy/TMCC system, and the cable that connects them. However, since I haven't personally tried it, I'm not sure how well this actually works.
Rick's response above is correct and very doable. You can also invest in the DCS system and hook it up next to your Legacy system, the two work very well independently on the same track. Legacy cannot operate a DCS locomotive probably because MTH would not release their technology like Lionel did 20+ years ago. If for some reason you would want to operate your Legacy locomotives with the DCS remote, their is a DCS/Legacy cable available from MTH which makes that possible. It was great when Lionel only had the TMCC system as MTH designed their DCS system to fully access the TMCC system. However, Lionel changed their game a bit and offered us a TMCC on steroids known as Legacy. The DCS remote cannot access many Legacy features such as the quillable whistle but it can access many other features. MTH would have had to redesign their remote with a button similar to Lionel's sprung loaded lever. They do have a quillable whistle also but it is more cumbersome to operate and cannot access Lionel's. I hope this is helpful.
Thanks for the good information. Since I'm new to this I want to keep it simple and stick with what I have, Legacy, for the time being, before launching into a new operating system.
I think I have read that the MTH app (phone/tablet/etc) can access most of the Legacy features now. Is that true or is that an overstatement?
As for @GenesisFan99 comment, it does work quite well and quite easily! Just be sure to get the proper cables for connecting to the TIU and you're all set. I am using a Base 1L (6-37156), BTW.
If you have a Lionel ZW-L transformer, you can also control MTH locomotives in conventional mode with Legacy. That is how my club runs our MTH locos at setups, and they work quite well this way. You still have access to whistles/horns, bells, and the elecrocouplers.
OK, so the MTH electronics would be an easy add to a Legacy system, but there are no DCS components -- TIU and remote -- available online (except large price on ebay) that I can find so it's a moot point until someone figures out the future with MTH.
Good observation. For now just get the Legacy Powermaster and use your CAB-2 to control your proposed MTH loco in conventional mode. Minimum expense, and it allows you to wait until the smoke clears before you consider adding DCS alongside your Legacy.
Stupid question from a relative newbie (just yearly under the tree loop). In order to activate turn on a ps3 loco, I would need to block off a siding in order for me to not have it constantly running? From my understanding of control systems, you can run legacy engines with tmcc or legacy without blocking your layout. Thanks