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Discussion Starter #1
I'm using the remote commander with my shelf layout and it's working pretty good. It's a 50 foot loop of track around my family room. I have the remote commander powered, directly, by a z-750 going to a terminal block which then distributes the power/dcs signal to the 4 lockons in the center of each wall. Here's the block

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My question has to do with the DCS signal. I'm still working all of the kinks out with the setup but I've found the engine responds more reliably to the remote commander when there is only one lockon connected. When I have all of the lockons connected to the terminal I get sometimes scrambled commands where a throttle up actually increases volume or turns volume off or something else silly.

I've read, on that other forum, that with the remote commander it's best to isolate each section with a lockon by using a plastic pin on the center rail or thru some other means. Is this true and would it help with this? I could find nothing about this in the MTH manuals. Apparently it has something to do with the multiple dcs signals interfering with each other.

Could this be a problem on a full DCS system as well? Should each power drop around the layout be isolated?

Thanks so much.
 

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For your situation, try this.

Remove the power going through the DCS-RC and connect power directly to the track. Forget about splitting the rails, etc.

Connect the DCS-RC output posts to the track, red to center and black to outside rail.

See if that works. This is called "passive mode", and it's how I would recommend running it in your situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I have tried that with the z-1000 and the z-750 and I can not get the remote commander to work in passive mode. Every time I fired it up with the z-controller set to 18v the engine is in conventional mode. The green light was on for the commander. With the Lionel transformer I was using I had no issues running passive mode but I had some odd electrical buzzing. With the lionel controller there were no issues running passive. Kinda strange. I've tried 2 different remote commanders with the z-controller with no luck. Any tips?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So connect the brick directly to the track and then the remote commander on separate lockon. I'll need to get another adapter to do that I think. Don't want to cut the cord of the transformer.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, not sure what's going on. I purchased that connector above as well as another lockon. Tonight they came in and I took the existing wires and connected them to the connector for the z750 transformer. I verified center rail is positive and outside rails ground. I connected the new lockon and ran a new 18 gauge wire to the remote commander.

Fired everything up and the only thing that worked was the throttle. I can not adjust volume or any other function. I disconnected the z750 transformer from the barrel jack and connected it directly to the remote commander. Everything is now working smoothly but its all powered by the one lockon.

So very strange.
 

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That is a bit strange. If you open up the DCS-RC receiver, you'll find the transformer connections from the barrel jack go directly to the track. I've never noticed any difference in performance running with in passive or active mode with it.
 

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Hi new the the forum, i have the blue comet steam engine set from MTH rail king. When i give power to the engine it comes on fine, when i hit the direction button on remote train blinks and re powers up, i tried moving to differant parts of the track, moved lock-on to differant track still get same thing. is this a bad lock-on?? thanks for your help
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I had to take down a section of track yesterday to figure out a power issue. Turns out on one corner the pins in the tube track were a bit loose and there was a section that was loosing power a bit. I resolved that and while I was at it I added a plastic pin on the center rail. I only put one isolation pin in so the loop is now not contiguous. This seems to have completely resolved the DCS signal issues. The remote responds perfectly instead of turning up the volume when hitting the horn and other strange things. So for this 50 foot loop layout to resolve the signal issue I had to:

1. Power the track directly from the z-750 to the 4 drops not using the z-controller
2. Attach the remote commander in passive mode on a separate lockon
3. On one section of track add an isolation pin to the center rail on only one end

Going to continue to play with this but it looks like it's resolved now. Thanks for all the help
 
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