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They are talking about early next year for the "new" WTIU due to parts shortages. I can say that I see how that would be possible, I've had all sorts of issues getting very common parts for some of my stuff. I've had to substitute parts for several board orders in order to get them made. My major concern with MTH is there are only a handful of people in all their "divisions" trying to make it look like a big company.
 

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Thanks. Just sounded to me like the new WTIU is delayed because they can't get parts. Like everything else these days. It will come out eventually, but I won't buy one...unless both of my TIUs die.
I also think they said that the WTIU will work with a hand-held if it is tethered. And maybe eventually they will make it so it does not need to be tethered. That is a good thing,
 

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Thanks. Just sounded to me like the new WTIU is delayed because they can't get parts. Like everything else these days. It will come out eventually, but I won't buy one...unless both of my TIUs die.
I also think they said that the WTIU will work with a hand-held if it is tethered. And maybe eventually they will make it so it does not need to be tethered. That is a good thing,
tethered is not good for clubs or large layouts
 

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I would love to know the story about why they only did it tethered! Even Lionel was smart enough to make their upcoming BASE3 compatible with the Legacy CAB2 and CAB1L as well as their phone apps. Having a tethered only option makes the DCS remote 98% useless for anyone with more than a small layout.
 

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If I heard correctly, there are plans to eventually make it so the hand-held remote does not need to be tethered.

The discussion was interesting. Both Andy and Rich were pushing use of a smart phone just like Mike did a few years ago at York. Was also interesting that the older Ken preferred the hand-held while Ken Jr liked the smart phone.
 

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I doubt I will ever have to use a phone or tablet but it wouldn't be a big deal if I did. I found the app just as easy to use on my tablet as the handheld and it was certainly easier to see. All the primary functions are on the first screen. Startup, speed, horn, bell, couplers. How much do you use the other buttons when running trains?
The only concern is hearing that the app hasn’t been upgraded in years and sometimes fail to communicate letting trains run amok. That has to fixed but actual user interface is not a problem.

Pete
 

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I think the DIY community has been working on some form of solution to wireless the tether.

That said, I'm going to pitch another approach to MTH and the community at large.
OK, fine, so Its are delayed. They are still selling trains and still selling trains with whistle steam. They want to promote the app and while that's not my preferred choice, a compromise can be made. There are still folks out there with DCS Explorers from starter sets. It's effectively a single channel TIU with Wifi. One of the huge complaints is that not only is single fixed channel limited to about 5A (input says 6A, but the fuse is rated at 5A), and it cannot be used in passive mode. But the real kicker in the teeth is he software limitations. They limit to 3 locos, no advanced functions- not even whistle steam. So let me get this right, you start off, you buy MTH starter set. You then get deeper into the hobby and buy a whistle steam equipped engine, no TIUs are available to buy, you have DCS via the explorer, but you are crippled by a software limitation. MTH sells upgrade app licenses but they ONLY work when used with a TIU and WIU, not the explorer. MTH already has the billing model in place for upgrade licenses. They have the hardware out there.

What I'm proposing is another upgrade license for the DCS Explorer in which you unlock some of the hidden features and key ones like whistle steam. It just seems to me this tiering of the system, facing the starter set user to buy a TIU that you cannot even make or build is counter productive to overall sales.
Again, this simple, create an upgrade license or new version of the app that unlocks the DCS Explorer with some features so you can keep selling high end trains and not cripple your customer base with a control system that you cannot even build.
 

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I think the more ominous long term signal is the lack of production of starter sets (never a big seller, perhaps, but important to bring people into the hobby with your technology) and lack of production of track. Basically limited runs of a few locos and a range of rolling stock (freight only). This approach is not a sustainable one for many present DCS and all future DCS users is my thought. Are you going to buy an MTH locomotive now unless you plan to operate it in conventional? If you are interested in command, are you going to buy an MTH loco if DCS components are not widely and readily available? This will be a more obvious to the new consumer issue once Lionel manages to get its base 3 on the market and starts shipping cab-1L's again.

Basically, we are in the Twilight Zone here for the future of this segment of the hobby. Lots of vaporware :). But Lionel's vaporware seems more likely to become reality at this point.
 

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What is Lionel's vaporware? While some stuff never makes it out of the catalog, that's been happening for decades, it's nothing new. If you're talking about the BASE3, I'd bet money and give you long odds that it'll be produced. The only question is when, and that's dependent on the availability of components. I can assure you, the component shortages are real, I see them a lot!
 

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"What is Lionel's vaporware? "

I was trying to be fair. Right now Lionel does not have for sale any command base or handheld remotes. Neither does MTH. That's reality. Is Lionel's promise to provide cab-1Ls and Base 3s more likely to be reliable than MTH's promise to develop a new remote and continue development of DCS? I'd say yes, but right now, those are promises, not products. I'm known as a Lionel fan. I own MTH rolling stock and continue to purchase same. Do I think MTH's current business model is sustainable for years, much less decades (I'm not likely good for more than another one or two of these)? Heck no.

If I was someone in their 20-60s entering the hobby, I'd be buying Lionel sets, locos and command equipment and largely ignoring MTH locos and command equipment as being unlikely to be around for the coming years and decades. But I could be completely wrong. MTH is in the "prove it" stage of their evolution, as far as I can see. Lionel is likely here to stay for decades. Time will tell. Right now, it is frustrating for those who want to purchase either MTH or Lionel command equipment. Hence, my use of the term vaporware.
 

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Actually, unless something significantly changes at MTH, I don't see them being around at all in a few years. I don't understand the current business model at all, and I doubt many business people would. It appears they're thinking they can just produce the product, toss it over the wall, and disavow any responsibility for long term support. Once enough people get screwed by not having any parts or support, the word will get out and the buyers will go away. If I buy a $1500 Premier steam engine and two years later I can't get parts to keep it running, that would really sour me on MTH products!

Lionel is far from perfect for long term support, but it's way better than what we have right now from MTH. There is a whole shelf of MTH stuff in for repair at the store waiting on boards that may never appear.

I do agree that it was stupid for Lionel to discontinue all their command systems before there was a replacement, that decision defies logic. However, I think the current delays are most likely more about parts procurement than a lack of a working design.
 

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I don't know much about the modern electronics that are in just about everything manufactured these days. Intel's decision to build a 20 Billion dollar chip manufacturing center just outside Columbus Ohio must mean the current manufacturing process which is mostly done off shore has issues. I would think that a corporation like Ford that can't get the electronic gizmos to operate their vehicles has become a serious manufacturing problem not just for Ford but every other company also. Its going to be a few years before the gigantic Intel facility is operational so it looks like there will be continued delays, especially for the smaller users of electronic gizmos.

Bill
 

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Good reason why I’m having my MTH engines converted to Legacy. Lionel electronics are still in stock, and should be for awhile
You say that, but recently, and I'm not sure when, all the LCP2 board listings disappeared.

Oh sure, they have the boards, will they sell them? Or is this all part of it must come to them for support?

I bought this board last year, but you cannot find it today on Lionel Parts.
691LCP2003LCP2 / REV B / LCM4 / 0-6-0 / BETH STEEL 2032030$150.00
 
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