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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I would like to create a beginner DCS setup with two separate lines of HO track and locomotives. I plan on running six MTH locomotives at most (three on each line of track, possibly at the same time), and no more than a few hundred feet of track on each line. I intend to use a TIU and WIU so I can control the locomotives from my phone. I am not purchasing an AIU yet, because I only want to control the locomotives while I am getting started; but I will probably purchase an AIU in the future.

I hope some of you experts on this forum can help me understand what else I need, aside from the TIU and WIU. I have a few questions below. Answers to those and any other advice you can give a rookie will be greatly appreciated!

  1. Can I control both lines of track with one TIU and WIU? I assume I just need to wire one of the TIU's four sets of "output" terminals to each line of track separately?
  2. The WIU comes with a power supply, but the TIU does not. What is an appropriate power supply for the TIU? I looked at the 40-1000 and the 40-4000, and I'm not sure whether either individually is capable of powering the TIU and the tracks. The 40-1000 says it is "for small and moderate sized layouts," but I don't know what that equates to in terms of number of locomotives and/or track size, and I don't know how it hooks up (presumably it plugs directly into the TIU). The 40-4000 seems like overkill, considering the controls it offers will all be handled by the TIU and WIU.
  3. Similar to question 2 above, can I power the TIU and both lines of track through the "Aux Power Input" on the TIU? I see the TIU has four sets of "input" terminals. If I have the TIU supplied power through the "Aux Power Input," do I still have to supply power to the TIU's sets of "input" terminals for the track?

Thank you in advance for any help you provide! :)

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The single TIU should be able to run a layout with 300-400 feet of track using all the channels.

The TIU aux power is strictly to power the TIU's internal circuitry. The TIU can also be powered from Fixed Input #1, but it's good to have an aux power supply. The MTH 40-1000 is plenty for the aux power, and it'll power your AIU's when you get them as well.

Each channel of the TIU has an input and output connection, there MUST be power to the input connection for a channel for you to have power at the output of that channel.

You can parallel input channels if you don't need the full power from a transformer for each channel output, but you must NEVER parallel outputs, the center rail has to be isolated between channels. Typically, the outside rail of the whole layout will be common.

I suspect you could run all the track nicely with the Z-4000. Of course, if you're only running command, you could also consider a pair of Lionel PH-180 bricks, that's how I feed my TIU.

Since you're jumping into DCS with both feet, I strongly recommend you invest in this book: The DCS Companion 3rd Edition 3rd Edition. It'll answer a ton of common questions about DCS and configuring your layout to run with DCS.
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