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Well, since nobody has one, it's not possible to answer that with 100% certainty.  However, I will say with 99.99% certainty that it will indeed be fully compatible with your older TIU's, it should have functionality identical to the existing remote.

While I've mixed version 4.x, verion 5.x and version 6.x TIU and remote software, it's advisable to have them all at the same version.  This is something that quite possibly could cause some compatibility issues.

@superwarp1 posted:

Just thinking out loud here.  With Mike walking out the back door.  You think there's any chance the new regime will open the DCS system up?  So I can control MTH engines in a command environment with my Cab2 like we can with the DCS system controlling TMCC/Legacy??  One can dream.

This would be great and a long time coming if we could finally control MTH engines with the Cab2.  

@RJR posted:

Obsidian, unless it failed, I would never consider "upgrading[?]" a PS2 to a PS3.  I find the former to be a more solid performer, and by using a supercap, I have eliminated the battery.  That said, what would be the market for DCS equipment---boards, remotes, TIUs, AIUs without also having a loco line?  I would not in passing that for persons who operate only conventional, like postwar Lionel, a TIU plus a remote gives you walkaround control.  I had that for several months before getting my first PS2 loco back around 2002, and it was a drastic improvement in operating.  I didn't have any AIUs then, but adding AIU(s) to a conventional layout would mean that you can turn blocks on-and-off and throw switches, without being tied to a control panel

RJR, to each his own.  PS2 was a revolutionary improvement over PS1 (if you value command control).  I agree with all of the advantages command control (DCS) you noted.  PS3 is more of an evolutionary improvement.   Better sound sets (improved board memory can store higher quality sound).   As you mentioned, PS3 does not require rechargeable batteries.  Also, OEM engines get Rule 17 led lighting.   If the DCS company part of MTH does not succeed AND my TIU/WIU fail then the only way I'll be able to command control my MTH engines is via DCC.   PS3 has DCC, PS2 does not. 

 Just got a PS3 upgrade kit in the mail today, will be upgrading my PS1 upgraded to PS2 N&W 611 Class J.   Looking forward to quilling that wonderful steam whistle.   Upgrade is super easy since its really just swapping out the control board.   I did all of the hard work earlier when I upgraded my Class J from PS1 to PS2.   As a bonus I'll have a perfectly good PS2 board I can upgrade a PS1 engine.

IF DCS company fails to launch then as a precaution I am downloading the PS3/PS2 sound sets for all of my existing (and perhaps wanted) engines.  Also there are/will be in the future more used MTH PS1/2/3 engines than I can afford to collect or store/run on my layout.   I'll miss MTH new offerings - was really hoping they'd make a new Acela or Western Maryland 1309 Mallet articulated steam.

 

…..

 "Just got a PS3 upgrade kit in the mail today, will be upgrading my PS1 upgraded to PS2 N&W 611 Class J.   Looking forward to quilling that wonderful steam whistle.   Upgrade is super easy since its really just swapping out the control board.   I did all of the hard work earlier when I upgraded my Class J from PS1 to PS2.   As a bonus I'll have a perfectly good PS2 board I can upgrade a PS1 engine."

I'm sure you know. Just so it's clear for others reading this and using the PS3 diesel kit, remove any resistors that you attached to the LEDs that were to the head and tail lights, ditch lights, etc. for the PS2 board set. Leave markers alone I believe? … and the polarity of the wires gets reversed from PS2 to PS3.

Last edited by Engineer-Joe

…..

 "Just got a PS3 upgrade kit in the mail today, will be upgrading my PS1 upgraded to PS2 N&W 611 Class J.   Looking forward to quilling that wonderful steam whistle.   Upgrade is super easy since its really just swapping out the control board.   I did all of the hard work earlier when I upgraded my Class J from PS1 to PS2.   As a bonus I'll have a perfectly good PS2 board I can upgrade a PS1 engine."

I'm sure you know. Just so it's clear for others reading this, remove any resistors that you attached to the LEDs that were to the head and tail lights, ditch lights, etc. for the PS2 board set. Leave markers alone I believe? … and the polarity of the wires gets reversed from PS2 to PS3.

Nope. PS3 steam upgrade kit uses a PS32 board (PS3 diesel board with a top board containing PS2 3V connectors added). It's set up to run incandescent bulbs. Adding LEDs is the same between a PS2 and PS32 board: https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...h-locomotives?page=1

Last edited by Lou1985

Despite some failings, I really like and appreciate the DCS handheld remote. Being able to see the train's speed in actual scale MPH is a fundamentally useful and fun thing. To my knowledge, no one else has managed to accomplish this, ostensibly due to a patent.

If any new company can somehow finagle a future command control system that operates all the command controlled equipped engines using the basic DCS handheld platform with scale MPH it'd be a welcome product, at least to this old fart.

 

Last edited by Paul Kallus
@Paul Kallus posted:

Despite some failings, I really like and appreciate the DCS handheld remote. Being able to see the train's speed in actual scale MPH is a fundamentally useful and fun thing. To my knowledge, no one else has managed to accomplish this, ostensibly due to a patent.

If any new company can somehow finagle a future command control system that operates all the command controlled equipped engines using the basic DCS handheld platform with scale MPH it'd be a welcome product, at least to this old fart.

 

I agree.  I like the handheld remote and the scale mph feature.

…..

 "Just got a PS3 upgrade kit in the mail today, will be upgrading my PS1 upgraded to PS2 N&W 611 Class J.   Looking forward to quilling that wonderful steam whistle.   Upgrade is super easy since its really just swapping out the control board.   I did all of the hard work earlier when I upgraded my Class J from PS1 to PS2.   As a bonus I'll have a perfectly good PS2 board I can upgrade a PS1 engine."

I'm sure you know. Just so it's clear for others reading this, remove any resistors that you attached to the LEDs that were to the head and tail lights, ditch lights, etc. for the PS2 board set. Leave markers alone I believe? … and the polarity of the wires gets reversed from PS2 to PS3.

Nope. PS3 steam upgrade kit uses a PS32 board (PS3 diesel board with a top board containing PS2 3V connectors added). It's set up to run incandescent bulbs. Adding LEDs is the same between a PS2 and PS32 board: https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...h-locomotives?page=1

Santa Fe, All the Way

 

Ooops! You are right lou1985

I always buy the diesel kits and forgot about the 32 board. I'll edit my post.

Last edited by Engineer-Joe

I have several PS1 diesel sets (such as the PRR centipede) that have dual motors in each unit.  Upgrading to PS3 requires 2 kits (one per 2 motor engine), whereas PS2 upgrades allowed for a slave board to control the second engine.  This was available at a reduced cost and it would be great if such an option were made available once again.  It also simplified operation because I didn't need to worry about issues associated with a lash-up.

@ScottM posted:

I have several PS1 diesel sets (such as the PRR centipede) that have dual motors in each unit.  Upgrading to PS3 requires 2 kits (one per 2 motor engine), whereas PS2 upgrades allowed for a slave board to control the second engine.  This was available at a reduced cost and it would be great if such an option were made available once again.  It also simplified operation because I didn't need to worry about issues associated with a lash-up.

Well, I have one PS/2 diesel upgrade and one PS/2 slave kit, drop me a line if you are interested in it.  I bought them quite a while back to upgrade an A-B-A, but never did it, and now I don't think I'll be doing DCS for it, probably TMCC.

MTH patented the ability to control and display in scale MPH.

MTH introduced DCS in 2002, and probably obtained this patent sometime prior to the introduction date. Someone with the time could investigate the actual date this patent was granted, but since patents are valid for 20 years, it's seems reasonable to assume the expiration date will occur within the next two years. 

The broadest MTH patent on speed control would be extremely unlikely to be held valid under current patent law, and in any case is set to expire this year.

There is a narrower patent expiring in 2026 that might have a better chance of being valid, though still questionable. However, that patent only covers a system with two-way communication through the track power signal.

 

Last edited by Professor Chaos

As I recall from my patent prosecution classes, a US patent runs for 20 years from date of application not grant.  To sort of extend that legal monopoly patent holders will file successive patents that cover additional designs not in the original patent.

I have not reviewed any of the MTH patents.  So I can't  say that some or any of the grant is illegal or  overreaching.

Moderator suggested these questions belong in one of the on-going threads, so here I go.

Couple of questions (realizing some answers might require speculation):

1. It appears there are no more TIUs on order with China and that, short of finding one still on a dealer's shelf or aftermarket, we can only hope for the new DCS company to build new ones, right? To me, this seems like the biggest worry should the new DCS company not survive.

2. DCS remotes are coming "on the water" but will probably be hard to come by. I'm not a fan of using a smartphone or tablet for train operating but am thinking about buying the WIU in case my lone DCS remote would fail. For that reason, I'd love to find a 50-1036 kit, but don't see that happening any time soon. Seems like WIUs are plentiful...make sense to buy one to protect operating? Can I run the DCS system with just a smartphone and WIU (or DCS Explorer) without a TIU?

3. Engine parts worry me less than the DCS system components. In a total worst case scenario, one could find someone else's dead engine, convert a DCS engine to TMCC via ERR, install DCC or some future control system, make it conventional, sell it for parts or even make it a display piece, but the whole layout and collection doesn't become inoperable with the failure of a single engine. Sound right?  Because of this, I'm still planning to take September delivery of a Rail King engine.

4. What about non-tech parts availability in the future? This seems like the least of concerns/risks to me, and I imagine repair parts will be somewhat available much like K-Line parts. 

I realize we can't know everything, and I realize these are small, first-world problems during a pandemic and recession, just trying to understand insuring my investment and hobby.

You raise valid and important questions, but I think the definitive answers to almost all of them are unknown,  and won't be known for many months, perhaps years.  Everyone is going to have to make their own calculations about what risks they are willing to take in future purchases of MTH locos at this point, and their long term commitment to DCS,  as time goes on.  Unfortunate, but as you say, fairly minor stuff compared with our current crises. Caveat emptor and carpe diem both seem particularly applicable right now.

The only question you ask that we know the answer to is that you need a TIU to make the WIU function.

Last edited by Landsteiner

I don't think anyone really knows what the future holds as far as DCS and the equipment.  Other than the announcement on the MTH site, DCS/Proto-Sound Lives On, it's difficult to envision how this new entity will survive with no product to put their electronics in.  I can see the price of DCS components getting way more expensive, but obviously that's just an opinion based on limited real knowledge of the future plans.  They say they're going to continue manufacturing, but I can't even get PS32 boards now, never mind when the company closes down!

I have a small layout, only needing one TIU and one remote.  I'm like Raising4daughters, I didn't like using my phone, so I sold the WIU and have a new remote on order.  Now I am thinking of getting a second TIU for spare as well.  Almost all my engines are PS2, so the DCC option doesn't help.  If boards go in the engines, I can replace with ERR.

@Landsteiner posted:

"Well, you can run PS3 through DCC so there are options."

Would this mean that if converting a layout to DCC, it would mean retrofitting all TMCC/Legacy/LC/LC+/PS2 command locos with DCC decoders?  I didn't know that DCC can happily co-exist with other systems operating. No personal experience.

If you're running DCS, I can assure you, you ain't running stuff like TMCC!   Obviously, you can switch between the two, but you can't run them together like you can with DCS and TMCC/Legacy.

People keep trotting out the DCC red herring to solve this problem, but for the vast majority of folks posting here, that isn't a solution unless they want to spend massive bucks converting to a new command platform.

@shorling posted:

I would think if there is no long term hardware or software support for DCS  after MTH closes that in the long run DCS is over.

Well, they're "promising" that manufacturing and development will continue.  However, I have a real problem visualizing how that can actually happen and support a real enterprise without having locomotives to put the product in.

@Landsteiner posted:

"Well, you can run PS3 through DCC so there are options."

Would this mean that if converting a layout to DCC, it would mean retrofitting all TMCC/Legacy/LC/LC+/PS2 command locos with DCC decoders?  I didn't know that DCC can happily co-exist with other systems operating. No personal experience.

A club member has converted a few engines to DCC. He will confirm you can't run DCC with DCS at the same time. He does say DCC by itself works well in 3 rail engines.

A few weeks ago a few dealers still had DCS sets available. Not sure thats still the case but if I was concerned about future availabilty I would get a backup set now.

Pete

If you're running DCS, I can assure you, you ain't running stuff like TMCC!   Obviously, you can switch between the two, but you can't run them together like you can with DCS and TMCC/Legacy.

People keep trotting out the DCC red herring to solve this problem, but for the vast majority of folks posting here, that isn't a solution unless they want to spend massive bucks converting to a new command platform.

Why is it a red herring to state a simple fact? There is nothing misleading or not factual about my statement.

I don't know if DCC can run on the same track as Legacy or TMCC and I never stated such. However PS3 can be run and this is done successfully with DCC.  It's an option, there are certainly others.

There are many DCS only users who could use this approach.

The whole DCC thing is kinda off topic for this, IMHO, but I do have experience running 3R DCC.  MTH states you can not run DCS and DCC at the same time, and you can possible damage the board if it's set to the wrong thing.

Personal experience running TMCC and DCC at the same time, it does not work!  The TMCC locomotives either ignore all commands, or shoot off at full speed.

Personal experience running Legacy and DCC at the same time, it does work with some caveats, in fact I was running both on the same track just last night.  Smoke units work okay, but not the best, so I just leave them off.  The main issue is electrocouplers.  Out of all my locomotives, only one will fire the couplers when DCC is on the track, most will not fire.  But the main issue is I do have a couple where they don't fire until I cut power to the track, which means they were engaged the entire time from pushing the button to cutting the track power.  If not noticed you'll burn the coil out.  So I don't fire couplers.  Remember, in S gauge, the Legacy locomotives are also DCC, and the upcoming hybrid 4-4-0's from Lionel are Legacy/DCC.

Back to the topic on hand, IMHO, seems silly to keep DCS alive if there are no new locomotives for it to go in, unless they are planning to go full into command upgrades as a competitor to ERR.

@sinclair posted:

 

Back to the topic on hand, IMHO, seems silly to keep DCS alive if there are no new locomotives for it to go in, unless they are planning to go full into command upgrades as a competitor to ERR.

No sillier than someone making reproduction parts for 100 year old Lionel engines or Model A or Model T Fords. A PS3 kit or associated parts can bring just about any MTH locomotive back to life including PS1. How many engines did MTH make over the past 30 years? I suspect more then enough to support a supply of parts. And that support doesn't even have to a full time profession. Just someone smart enough to know where and how to make them and design replacements when components become obsolete.

Pete

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