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Hi all, I have two handhelds and my trusty TIU has lately been very slow to respond to either. Buttons must be pressed multiple times, before it seems to recognize commands.

If I reset the TIU and I have to add engines back, can they all be on the same track, or must I isolate them, and haul them there one at a time? Also, any other ideas short of a reset of handhelds (which I;ve done already) and TIU? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Robert

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Thanks to your help I think I am narrowing it down.

1. Both 2 remotes have been reset.

2. The TIU has been reset.

3. The layout for this purpose is one three foot test track wired direct to TIU.

The precise problem: The TIU is slow to respond to both remotes. A whistle command may cause the whistle to stick at on for ten seconds. A start up may take 5 seconds for a battery backup engine to hear the command and a shut down or move forward may also balk before responding. All engines have same problem.

So, given that it unlikely both remotes would begin to act faulty at the same time, that only leaves the TIU, as I see it. Do you agree? Is this a problem others have experienced? This, my only TIU is about 18 years old. Is it time to replace TIU?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Robert, (even though I am listed as "Atlas O Dad" i prefer Ross track

When I had this issue, it was a signal problem. That was years ago and I struggle to remember it fully. I have an older TIU that still works fine! So it may not be age as much as what it's gone thru.

Several DCS versions over the years had bugs. Those kept me on my toes and improved my troubleshooting skills! We have to narrow down the problem further.

For further help, we need more details.

What version of DCS software is in each component?

What is your power supply?

Do you have any bulb or filter attached to the track or TIU output yet?

Does the lagging go away if the units are tethered with a 4 wire phone cord?

Last edited by Engineer-Joe

Thanks for the reply, I really want to get the layout going again. As I mentioned above, the layout for this test is one 3 foot section of track. This produces the same problem as on the layout, so it eliminates the layout. It is on a portable board with leads for it and it only going to channel one fixed output. This is a new problem, the layout as functioned well regarding the DCS for about 20 years.

In answer to questions, Z-4000. No bulb, but track signal a 10 mostly on layout. Again we have eliminated layout through this isolation test I believe.

I will try teathering and let you know in a couple of hours.

I have reset TIU and handhelds. I speculate the TIU is toast, but how does one know. Hate to buy another one if not necessary. It is interesting that you say that it is not so much the age of a TIU as what it has been through, I have certainly had my share of derailments and z-4000 auto power cuts over the years. I feel the solution might be right in front of me, unless the TIU is really toast.



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Thanks for those ideas. I tethered the remote directly to the TIU with the single 3 foot test track only connected to the TIU. The TIU still takes 10 to 20 seconds to respond to handheld. I tried "read" per your good suggestion, the TIU only  has one address in use. Could the TIU be stuck on some sort of memory loop? Again, it has been reset. WE've eliminated the remotes. Your ideas appreciated.

@Atlas O dad posted:

Thanks. I tried the isolated track and it worked fine. Now, I wonder what could have happened, I did not do any wiring changes. I'll try leaving the right half of the z-4000 off to isolate that. Any other ideas to find why the track suddenly causes the TRI to run slow?

@Atlas O dad posted:

Thanks to your help I think I am narrowing it down.

1. Both 2 remotes have been reset.

2. The TIU has been reset.

3. The layout for this purpose is one three foot test track wired direct to TIU.

The precise problem: The TIU is slow to respond to both remotes. A whistle command may cause the whistle to stick at on for ten seconds. A start up may take 5 seconds for a battery backup engine to hear the command and a shut down or move forward may also balk before responding. All engines have same problem.

So, given that it unlikely both remotes would begin to act faulty at the same time, that only leaves the TIU, as I see it. Do you agree? Is this a problem others have experienced? This, my only TIU is about 18 years old. Is it time to replace TIU?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Robert, (even though I am listed as "Atlas O Dad" i prefer Ross track

I got confused trying to follow your posts and reverted to the very basics. Since you won't agree that anything has changed, I have to guess here. You admit that you reset both the remotes and the TIU.

If you lived close by to a friend or shop with DCS, I'd say let them test your TIU. Since you already ordered a new one, wait until it arrives and see how it does. Please report back.

I believe that the system is struggling for some reason. The remote waits for a proper response from the TIU. The TIU needs to get that from the engine(s) first. So it's hard to guess at what failed here.

Was there some event that happened like a derail or short to the system?

What prompted you to reset everything?

Did any wiring get changed?

@Atlas O dad posted:

Thanks for those ideas. I tethered the remote directly to the TIU with the single 3 foot test track only connected to the TIU. The TIU still takes 10 to 20 seconds to respond to handheld. I tried "read" per your good suggestion, the TIU only  has one address in use. Could the TIU be stuck on some sort of memory loop? Again, it has been reset. WE've eliminated the remotes. Your ideas appreciated.

I really appreciate all your thoughts. What prompted me to reset was the delays I am experiencing in communication between the DCS/TIU/engine. Yes indeed, the system seems to be struggling, much like a slow running or looping computer.  Derails have happened, many in fact in two decades and that causes the z--4000 to remove power, and I fix derailment and power up.  No wiring changes, and the problem is the same with the three foot isolated test track. I am hoping that gunrunnerjohn is right this 18 year old TIU is tired.

Good idea about testing the TIU elsewhere but I am a full day round trip with ferry rides from support as we live in a small town. Ill get back to you when the new TIU is here. There is nothing left to try I think.

So that you don't do damage to your new TIU, I would add some protection between the TIU and the Z4000. I think the breakers on the Z4000 don't trip as fast as they should.

You can fry electronics on a simple derail. I have simple 10 amp auto blade fuses between the 2, on every TIU channel input. Maybe not the best, but it helps.

There's plenty of posts here about adding protection. GRJ and others can help.

Thanks, I will do that. As a practical matter for my participation in the Forum, when searching for say "TIU fused protection" do I go in under "MTH Forum - General Topics?  When I go there I do not see a search engine for topics. I end up scrolling. I hate to start a new thread, but don't seem to be able to avoid it often. Also, should I start all topics under MTH since that is what I run? I

So that you don't do damage to your new TIU, I would add some protection between the TIU and the Z4000. I think the breakers on the Z4000 don't trip as fast as they should.

I have seen this often and maybe it's because the Z-4000 transformer has 12 amp breakers. If you use the Z-4000 with the side receiver, the transformer will drop to zero output over 9 amps.



The Z-4000 has fold-back current limiting that acts quite quickly.  Mine happens to be buried in a pile of train stuff right now, but in the past I've tested the overload capability and the response has been very quick.  The external circuit breaker should rarely trip on the Z-4000, normally the fold-back current limiting should kick in and light the overload light first.

In conclusion, the new TIU arrived from Pat's Trains in the usual fast shipping time of two days across country.

I replaced the old TIU and added every engine into the handhelds separately on a test track. All came up immediately and TIU worked flawlessly for all ten engines. Then I attached the layout. All continues to work perfectly. I think Gunrunnerjohn was right that the 18 year old TIU was past prime. Thanks to all for your  thoughts during this journey. One final thought, would it be worth it to send the old TIU in for repair, or just consider it done?

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