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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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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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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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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 have a lot of Lionel and MTH locomotives, most all my stuff is command. I also have several spare TIU's, and I can fix then as they develop problems. Ditto for the Legacy systems. I have the Lionel and MTH WiFi boxes on the layout, and I have a spare for each of those.

I'm all in on using the dedicated remote vs the app, so I want spares of all this stuff. ;) The WiFi stuff is usually for visitors that prefer the app over the remote.
 

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I think it was a mistake for MTH to come out with their DCS system. Had they chosen to be DCC compatible, they could rebranded control systems and electronics from a myriad of producers in the higher volume HO market. And their loco's would be compatible with many aftermarket electronics making them more serviceable with the ability to upgrade ... more valuable in the long term.
MTH is DCC compatible with all their stuff from the last ten years. The sticking point is the big dog in O-gauge is not DCC compatible and won't run with DCC stuff on the tracks. Also, in 2000 when the DCS system came out, if they had instead gone for DCC with 3-rail O-gauge, IMO they would have fell flat on their face! One of the big calling cards for DCS was it would run on the same tracks at the same time with TMCC, that still applies.
 

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My main problem with the phone apps is it's a two-handed affair. The other gripe, especially with the Lionel remote app is the lousy throttle control.
[QUOTE="gunrunnerjohn, post: 2640895, member: 3481"

I'm all in on using the dedicated remote vs the app, so I want spares of all this stuff. ;) The WiFi stuff is usually for visitors that prefer the app over the remote.
Thought someone might be interested without getting into ITALICS.
[/QUOTE]I guess you don't understand emoticons... :unsure:
 

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I just looked at swapping out ERR components in a diesel and the cost is exactly $289.90 to-the-door (from Sunset). So if you're adept at doing that yourself, then $289.90 for each engine is probably the bare minimum. I'm not a steam guy but I presume it only goes up from there. So yeah, I'm just rolling along. We'll see.
You can usually buy ERR from a dealer and save a few bucks, but the diesel cost is still close to $250 for the ERR Cruise Commander and ERR RailSounds Commander you need for a full upgrade. Also, PS/2 or PS/3 upgrades you'd need a pair of couplers, $10/ea. The good news is, you can probably sell the working PS/2 3V boards or PS/3 boards for at least $100, maybe $50-$75 for the older 5V boards.

Steam will run up the parts cost around $100 for full function with complete smoke control. Right now you can get a premium for the PS/3 steam electronics as they're not available from MTH, and likely won't be for some time.
 

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What do the steam specific boards get you over the diesel ones?
The big difference is for a steam upgrade of the MTH locomotive is you have to manage the smoke unit and provide a chuff switch. I use the Chuff-Generator and the Super-Chuffer II for those functions. With these units, in addition to the smoke unit control functions, you also get a Rule-17 LED headlight and automatic cab light control. Also, the Chuff-Generator provides automatic control of optional ground lights.
 

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Ok, so I followed that part, so thats why I asked why the MTH steam electronics fetch more money. Like, how are they different than the MTH diesel boards?
Oh, that. Well, the diesel boards were sporadically available from MTH at times, but we haven't seen steam tender boards for well over a year. I'm developing quite a pile of locomotives for repair that are waiting on tender boards. I still have PS/3 diesel boards, but I used my last PS/3 tender board a long time ago.
 

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Couldn't a PS3 diesel board be used in the boiler and then just send +/- for LED markers, +/- for speaker, and then hot/common (6 wires total) back to the tender?
Not even close! The PS/3 steam files assume a two-piece setup and the tender board tries to talk to the boiler board. If it doesn't find it, epic fail! There are methods of using the PS/3 diesel board for steam using PS/2 sound files. However, to totally cobble up a steam engine to retrofit the diesel board would run the cost of repair up several hundred dollars, I doubt most folks would be happy with that idea.
 

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I was thinking for something like a retrofit on a non-command engine… like early Sunset/3rd Rail or Weaver and Williams brass, etc.
I have heard of people doing an upgrade of the Shay with a diesel board and a multi-wire tether, so with the board in the locomotive, it could probably be done. Like I said, it would be a totally custom wiring job, and given the tiny pins in the 1mm pitch diesel board connector, a really fun time building the harnesses. ;)
 

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You can load a PS3 steam sound file (not the chain file) into a PS3 diesel board without issue. I've done it for fun just to see if it worked and there wasn't a problem.
Correct, you can load the sound file. The chain file selection will probably determine what works, lights, chuffing, etc. I confess, though I have heard of it done, I have never done it myself. I don't know how difficult it would be to find a correct chain file that would work in concert with the sound file to allow all the lights and action to work properly.
 

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When I did it with a Premier PS3 Alco PA I loaded a Premier PS3 GS4 Northern sound file into it just to see what it would do. It actually chuffed smoke fine and the headlight/reverse light worked correctly, however all the other lighting was wonky and turned on and of depending on direction.
Kinda' what I would expect. I do know there is some combination of sound and chain files that will work, at least I've been told that. If the issue ever comes up for me, I'll track down the source. 😅

I would expect the major features would probably work, front and rear lights, smoke, couplers. However, stuff like markers, MARS lights, beacons, firebox flicker, probably would be iffy.

You might have better luck loading the PS32 chain file for steam, the PS32 board is really just a diesel board with a slightly different layout. I believe that's what was done for the Shay board replacement I mentioned.
 

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The experiment was a success and the patient lived! I took a stock diesel PS/3 board and cooked the PS32 steam chain files into it and then loaded a PS/2 steam file. It acted just like a steam engine, lights, couplers, sounds, and smoke.

I even had to load the special chain file for missing chuffs for the PS32 board for one of the sound files. It acted just like a PS32 board as near as I could see. The GS4 strobe worked as it should, I think this is a viable way to go if you have some diesel boards floating around and are good with really tiny 1mm pitch connector pins. :p:p
 

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For many here, It might easier to splice wires with assembled pigtails. If they're the 1mm JST-SH connectors, pigtails are a few bucks for a half dozen on eBay, et al. Free shipping on "The slow boat from China."
They're not JST connectors, they're JS-1253 Chyao Shiunn connectors. There are many similar pitch connector parts, but subtle variations in the contact design make it mandatory to use the correct pins, especially at these small sizes.
Did you try a PS3 steam file? I run PS3 steam sound files with the PS32 chain file in PS32 boards in all my steam PS3 upgrades with no issues. I'm curious how the lighting would work. I know the couplers, smoke, front/rear lights will work fine, but I'm curious how all the other lighting behaves.
No, but It should work exactly like it would with the PS32 board. Since they take longer to load, and I already spent enough time on the experiment, that is left as an exercise for the student. :D
 
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