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I've got a PS3 engine and a Lionel 3356 Operating Livestock Car. To my understanding, when I'm in DCS mode the voltage on the track is about 16 volts DC and not AC like the classic or when in conventional mode. Given this fact is it possible to run an accessory like the livestock car and corral since it is based on 11-14 volts AC? I have the 2004 model of the stockyard.

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Thanks for the reply Dan, may I inquire as to why an AIU would make a difference? My understanding is that an AIU is just an accessory interface that supplies accessories with power. My real problem is that when I am in DCS mode the track voltage is fixed and is using DC instead of AC power but the corral and livestock car use AC to function and based on the wiring diagram they use track power to complete a circuit, see picture attached. So from my vantage point if the track is on DC power then I cannot run any AC accessories of of the track. I'm also assuming that if I run the engines on AC in conventional mode there is no way to use DCS functions like turning off and on the smoke. I also have the option to use the DCS Commander, Remote Controller, or Explorer TIU but I don't have the full blown TIU and AIU setup.


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AC in, AC out. The TIU does not convert track AC voltage to DC.

Yep, that makes sense. For others running into this issue, it looks like my best bet with the equipment I've got will be utilizing AC power through the DCS Explorer. This allows me to run AC accessories off of the track and remotely control the smoke, speed, bell, whistle, etc. It just doesn't provide an easy way for the kids to push buttons.  I wish there was a way to just put signals on the track separate from the track voltage, that way you have the flexibility to run the trains however you want.

For anyone else, here is what I found out when looking into these options.

50-1028 DCS Commander Controller - Can handle either DC or AC coming in but AC input gets rectified to flat-line DC going out so you won't be able to use any AC accessories on the track.

50-1033 DCS Remote Commander - Designed for AC power in and sends AC power out!!! So this works with AC on the track and DCS control functions. Downside is this only controls one engine and not able to cycle the smoke on and off so no go. But the kids like the buttons so I may end up back with this and just turn off the smoke altogether.

50-1035 DCS Explorer TIU - Designed for AC or DC in and can send AC power out!!! So this works with AC on the track and DCS control functions. Downside is there are no big buttons for the kids to push, they have to use an iPad or iPhone to control the train.

Last edited by James Ford

You are missing the AIU option initially suggested:

Replace the switch with the AIU. Instead of powering the accessory from post TIU power, take it from a variable power source. You end up with something like this (compatible with standard TIU and Track Power Supply, or any other power/command systems for track power with common ground):

This is just like what is shown on page 8 of the AIU user guide linked.


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Last edited by bmoran4

Here is what I ended up with. The track power is supplied by a constant AC voltage from the MTH DCS Explorer and variable voltage to regulate the stock car and corral is handled by a separate transformer. Since the stock car utilizes the outside rail as ground the ground must be tied back in to both track power and the transformer.


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@bmoran4 posted:

I thought you wanted to control the accessory via DCS?

If not, what you have done works very well!

Apologies for the confusion, I wanted to be able to control the engine via DCS and leverage the stock car and horse corral. My main issue was that my previous setup utilized the DCS Commander which I didn't realize rectified all output to DC so it just wasn't working. Then when Chuck mentioned AC in AC out I figured maybe something else I had on hand like the DCS Remote Commander or Explorer could do the same at as luck would have it, they both do. I just wish there was a way to use both the small remote commander and explorer, this would allow the kids to play with the engine but I haven't figured out a way to do this.

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