Signal strength

The dcs signal is higher further away from the TIU and weaker closer to the TIU. When I tested it the signal further away was 8 or 9, when closer it was mostly 1or 2 or none. What could cause this? This has happened with several locomotives but not all. 

I did test it with a tether with no improvement. 

I run ver. L and 6.0 on both the TIU and handheld. 

Thanks for your help,

Dave

Original Post

Loose power connections to the track in the weaker section.  Dirty track.  Some accessory or item on that section of track that is degrading the signal,  G

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I added some drops and another ground to no avail. Could the channel be weak or bad?

no accessory or the like is installed on the track. But why would the signal be stronger at the furthest distance.

 

 Btw I use superO and the wiring is in a star pattern

Dave

Is it convenient to try a different TIU channel and see if same results?

Is this something that just happened recently, or just after you changed anything?

What is your power source?  I assume this is not passive mode?

How big is your layout?  Is is a "simple" loop?

Have you tried the Protocast mode to play music or whatever as an engine goes around a loop?  It's an alternative way to narrow down to very small sections of track for problems.

It's a simple loop with a 5 yard section and no I did not add anything. My layout is 16x4

I use a ZW FOR POWER. No it's not in passive mode. 

If I change it to another channel do I have to turn on that channel or something else. 

Thanks,

Dave

I assume you have the ZW just hooked to Fixed 1 Input and your track to Fixed 1 Output.

To operate on Fixed 2, you must apply power (red/black) to Fixed Input 2 and move the track wires to Fixed 2 Output.

I suggest the easiest is to run two jumpers from Red to Red and Black to Black on the Inputs.  This way, the TIU has a source of power to run its internal electronics which it normally gets from the Fixed 1 Input.

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Why not test the tiu's dcs signal  by putting the channel in fixed mode and using a small test track and a know good engine.  Should be able to get a perfect signal... 10

Too many track feeders can also cause signal problems.... Here's an example.. 30 feet of track divided into three  10 foot blocks might  yield a signal of 5 & 6s.  One set of feeders to the same 30 feet might yield a perfect signal of 10. 

In this case other blocks were on the same channel.

Have you tried the "magic bulbs"".at the tiu out put or on a terminal block  if using one.  

You may have excess drops.    How close are they and what size wire?  Listen to Gregg.

 

 

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Drops are closer than they should be.  Disconnect every other drop and see what you have.  It will be better than what you have now.  If that helps and you do not see a 10 signal, disconnect two in a row.  It matters.

 

 

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If you have a problem, hit my email.

 

 

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Gregg, I'm not so sure OP has insulated joints, unless I missed something.  He should.  And if a simple loop, without joints he'd be getting signal from 2 directions, which would be most simultaneous the furthest away from the TIU

Seems you're getting a dcs signal of 1 & 2s close to the tiu...  Making blocks (just the center rail) might  increase the signal at that location.  With dcs I don't like to stick my neck out tooo far but I'm sure blocks will help.

 

 

 

There's the issue.  Multiple drops cause signal issues.  Create blocks with separate drops, or if loop is small, put a single insulator far away from tiu.  Having one drop per block, or, on a small loop, installing an insulator so no loco gets signal from both directions, has long been recommended.

With all you guys help I finally solved the problem. I gapped the center rail about half way on the layout. I am now getting 9's and 10's. 

I never knew that could have been the problem. You taught an old dog a new trick. 

thanks again guys,

Dave

 

Blocks matter, as others have said. I have not had an MTH TIU/DCS/Remote/Engine, etc. error since I added them to my layout over 3 years ago. It all works perfectly now (and I have also added Legacy) and it did not work perfectly before, which was with a much smaller layout. Made a believer out of me!!

I found a few other locations where the signal was weak. Removed several power drops and added the light bulb trick and know the entire layout is a 10.

Never realized too many power drops could effect the dcs signal. Thanks Marty!

Thanks again guys for all your help and tips,

Dave

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