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Barry's book of DCS is the reference most of us go by.

I have tried Ray's wiring pattern and it didn't work for me. I do follow the rest of his advice.

I'd guess that it's the wiring messing up the signal. That's just a guess. We aren't there and only get what you give us to work with.

I'd say you need filters at the track block connections, and that's just a guess. I take my main loops and divide them into quarters. One pair of wires goes to each quarter at one end. A filter is placed at the other end if an older TIU is used. Too much track or too many joints can wreak the signal (and the power). Too many wire connections and/or using the wrong wire can also wreak the signal (and the power).

 You may have a bad or weak TIU channel. You reported back that you got a signal of ten with a piece of track so I have to guess that the TIU is ok. Something else is wrong here.

You could divide the layout and use more than one TIU channel to it. If you use one power pack, you just use jumpers on the TIU input side.

Make sure you are powering the TIU properly. Make sure you are using a proper (for DCS) power supply to the track.

What exactly are you using for power?

What is the exact engine model number?

Have you removed everything else from power?


 Jim, you mentioned in an earlier post that when you set up your programming track. You had no trouble adding   your engines and you had a track signal of 10 on that 1 piece of track.
 Is there anyway you can come up with at least a 3 ft. Length of track on your layout that you can totally isolate from the rest. A few feet more may even work better. Leave it connected. Just isolated. Whatever channel you used when you programmed the engines. Leave the rest of the layout hooked up to the other channels. Run your wires from that channels output directly to that 3 ft. section. Just use the 2 wires. Nothing else. Sort of like a programming track within your layout.

 Your engine should start up as that 1 channel is only feeding that small isolated section. Get it moving and then quickly get it into the test for your track signal. Before it hits the rest of the layout. Even if your signal goes south to say a 1 or 2. The engine will stay at the same speed as long as it sees voltage. Keep watching your track signal. You may even get a few spots that the signal strength isn’t that bad.

Engineer Joe...

you posted 

.................Also, you need to break a loop of track in at least one spot so that the signal doesn't double back on itself.

I must have missed that in the “destructions”. 
I have a reverse loop of MTH track that is putting the DCS signal back on itself. 

I have three reversing loops-that are putting the DCS signal back on itself, plus two loops, putting the DCS signal back on itself. 

What kind of issues could this be causing?

Because I am having some occasional “Ghost in the machine” occurrences- 

which I thought were just the nature of DCS. 


In response to Dave C.,I put in 90 inches of test, totally isolated it, got 2 different engines recognized with a signal of 10. Soon as it went into the main, I got a no RF signal on the remote after it went on the main for a foot or two. I'm not more than 3 feet away from the tiu,it has power,I've put 2 sets of batteries in the remote. I keep thinking it has to be something simple. I've ordered the parts for buffers and have hope. This system can't be this problematic or nobody would use it. Anybody life in or near Fort Wayne, In?

 Jim, as your engine enters the mainline. Is the mainline divided into blocks ?  If you put the first block you enter on whatever channel you were using for your simulated programming track. Your engine should continue on and run fine with good track signal. The one TIU channel should handle about 150 ft. Of blocked trackage.
 I went through this myself as I was one of the early adopters of DCS. Sometimes you just have to deal with one section of trackage at a time. Get that one working well and then move on. Looking at the whole layout at once and trying to get it running can be daunting. Keep at it. Eventually it will all come together.

One half of my track is on fixed 2 the other on fixed 3 via jumper from 2. Each is divided again to quarters, center rail cut on both ends and each has a drop. Each side of some cuts continue to display continuity and I know I cut deep away from ends. I think the tiu is rev13. I assume it is older ,but it seems ok on the test track. Each side has 110 feet of track. I'm going to do as you say and connect the next to the test track. Thank you all for your helpIMG_2579IMG_2580


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Here we go again. I have rechecked all continuity, Steady voltage segment to segment with almost no drop. I made 4 filters and hooked them up per instructions.5452 runs like the wind in regular mode but just sits with no response. Remote shows it as inactive but will not activate it now. Remote stopped working with engine on test track. Could the remote be the problem? Again thanks for all the suggestions. Jim

if the remote wont talk to the tiu, could be same problem. either the transmitter board in the tiu or remote transmitter may  have come loose inside the tiu or remote reseat both the tiu transmitter and reseat the transmitter board inside the remote. once there reseated try to use remote again and due a read button on the remote should come back with tiu found!



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