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Discussion Starter #1
From what I can tell MTH has used the product code 50-1001 for the DCS Remote Control Set since they first started producing it in 2000. I'm in the market to upgrade from conventional control to DCS as I have a lot of MTH trains. I've found a few older sets for a lot cheaper than the $350 new on auction sites.

My question is this. Say I have the opportunity to by one of the older versions for a cheaper price. Am I giving up anything other than the usb port by doing this? I'm perfectly fine dealing with the serial cable. As I've been researching this stuff I see a lot of forum posts on some other sites worrying a lot about the hardware versions and stuff and I can't figure out why. Any insight into what I might be loosing by buying an older version would be awesome.

Thanks
 

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DCS is upgradable and the upgrades are free. You will not lose any capability with an older DCS system. The Rev L TIU besides having the USB port has a little bit stronger signal to the tracks. Unless you have a very large layout, you should be able to get away with an upgraded older system.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info. Doesn't sound like a lot has changed in 15 years. I'll see if I can't win one of these.
 

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The modules in the engines have changed. I am not knowledgeable enough to go into great detail but to say that the Proto-2 engines require a battery that requires some maintenance (charging or????). The latest is Proto-3 engines that require no battery. There may be incompatibilities with the very first versions...I really don't know. Apparently the TIU may have been upgraded as well????

My point is that you really should check here with gunrunnerjohn who is one of the most knowledgeable on DCS as he is a repair station, as I understand it.

Nothing could be worse than buying up old DCS equipment to find out that it has serious compatibility issues with your existing engines or any current DCS equipment. As with computers my plan has always to by the latest that I can afford so as to extend the lifetime of the electronics uses for my needs. In computers, old computers begin to have serious limits. I suggest that DCS is in the same boat. Old DCS equipment might seriously limit your future purchases (???).

LDBennett
 

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The TIU versions from the original Rev. G (no version label), up to the current Rev. L will all run any PS/2 or PS/3 locomotive. However, I'd recommend you hold out for a Rev. L version, the earlier versions did have some deficiencies. In particular, the first version has no fuses, and also had undersized traces for the power. A very common issue was a track short would smoke one of the buried traces on the board, that is a non-repairable fault. I have one of these I use at the club for a programming track, it only killed one channel. I also have a parts unit here that also has the same failure, it took out all the DCS generators and the channel in question.

Be a little patient, I scored one of my TIU/remote sets for $125 in a forum purchase, and it was a Rev. L TIU.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all of the tips. How can you tell it's a rev L? Since the model number didn't change I'm not sure what to look for.
 

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For what its worth, I have 2 very old MTH DCS TIUs.
I purchased them both back in the early 2000's.
They took a lot of abuse, multiple moves, multiple layouts and changes, my ignorance, i.e. I wonder how many times i hooked them up wrong.
Yet, one of them only just recently went bad.
I only upgraded them if at all only once or twice.
The AIU went bad during the 2nd year.
Despite this, If I could do it all over again I would have stayed 100% MTH.
However, I had many issues for the first time ever in 10 years with 3 in a row MTH products (LIRR MU set PS3), it was a bad batch and even though the dealer took good care of me, I do not feel it is a good runner.
it has issues with the slightest of track inclines if you can even call it an incline.
$400+ set.
Conversely, my two MTH PS2 NYC&HR 4-4-0s ($700 each) have been flawless for almost 10 years.
Also, I feel DCS is superior to TMCC and Legacy, its just seems like a more durable less flakey design that is easier to use, and does not have that signal sound like TMCC or Legacy has.
In fact, after seeing Lee Willis's layout video, I could have done better by doing like he did and just run all those engines conventional.
 

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Also, I feel DCS is superior to TMCC and Legacy, its just seems like a more durable less flakey design that is easier to use, and does not have that signal sound like TMCC or Legacy has.
What "signal sound" are you referring to, this is a new term and problem to me.
 

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My TMCC engines when I turn on track power all make a slight humming sound.
I recall reading in the manual that this is a signal sound or something?
 
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