I have a problem with an MTH challenger that is perfectly described in this recent post.    https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...ps-responding-to-dcs 

So it seems pretty clear that I need to update the unit’s chain file.  However, from the instructions that I’ve read, a PC is needed near the TIU and a powered track to be able to perform the update.  My problem is that my PC is 2 floors away, I don’t have a laptop and for most tasks, I use an IPad.  So my question — is there any way to use the DCS WI-FI to perform the update?  I’m afraid that I know the answer but I’m hoping there is some alternative.  

Original Post

No you need a computer.  Moving TIU to the Computer is easy.  Small piece of track with a small transformer is all that is needed to power up for the Load.  G

Yeah the answer isn't the one you'd like. Right now a  PC is the only way to run the software needed to upgrade the TIU. 

Here is another idea.

I have used these with a few customers at work and had pretty good luck with them: USB EXTENDER

You can extend a USB connection up to 150 feet using a cat5 Ethernet cable. Perhaps you can connect your TIU to your PC after all?


Thanks to both of you.  I was hoping to avoid moving the TIU, transformer, and setting up a short track.  The extender may be an option.  I just have to figure if overcoming the distance and obstacles is easier than the first option.  Stay safe!

While the USB extender may work, I think it's very beneficial to have the locomotive and computer in the same place when doing updates, so I'd bite the bullet and just carry them to the computer.  It it really that difficult to pack a couple feet of track, the TIU, and a transformer up there?


It is a bit of tight quarters near the PC and the challenger is large and unwieldy as you know.  I thought about it some more and the extender is not going to work.  So I will make it work by moving everything to the PC as you noted.  Given how our world is moving toward or already has moved to wireless, I was kinda hoping that there could be a way to use wifi.  Thanks for the insight.

John does raise a good point. We are talking about a pretty sensitive data transfer and the USB extender is somewhat of an unconventional method. I've mostly used in situation where if the data transfer would fail or if problems occur there is no possibility of "bricking" a device (or locomotive in this case).

The consumer loader program doesn't take much of computer to operate. You could pick up a used laptop with OS windows XP or newer for $50 or so to get the job done.

No laptop.  I considered borrowing my son’s but that won’t be for a while as he is considered ‘essential’ at his job and he stays away from us until this thing passes.  Maybe I’ll just wait until then.  BTW, I have a PC and an Ipad.   


That makes a lot of sense and you may have hit upon the ultimate solution for me!  And it would be nice to have that capability in the train room.  Thanks for the idea!

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