Lionel Collectors Club UK

A forum for users of North American O gauge here in the UK, and worldwide.
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 Post subject: What is TMCC and DCS?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:11 am
Posts: 33
Location: Durham, North East
Unlike other scales which have adopted DCC (Digital Command Control)
3-rail O gauge has two rival command control systems. Both systems have a wireless remote allowing you to operate your entire layout from a comfy chair across the room or walk beside the train your controlling.
Multiple locos can operate on the same track under independent control .
TMCC (Lionel Trainmaster command control) was the first on the market in the mid 1990’s. The Cab 1 remote to control TMCC fitted locomotives and accessories via a radio link with a Command Base which connects to the track with one wire which transmits the control signal to the outer track rail.

Unlike DCC where the signal is passed via the wheels, TMCC turns the outer rail or ground rail into a transmitter aerial. This is received by the loco via a internal or external aerial camouflaged as a handrail etc. Some very advanced features can be controlled via the Cab 1 remote. Including loco sounds, crew chatter, bell and whistle, smoke and remote operation of doors and pantographs. Control of conventional locos is available from the Cab1 with the use of a Powermaster or TPC (track power controller).
TMCC again has certain 50Hz issues and is better run from a 60Hz power source. Also make sure the Command Base power supply is earthed
A recent introduction is TMCC II or LEGACY which has more features and a digital display on the remote. Each Legacy equipped loco comes with a memory module.

You plug this into the Legacy remote and it downloads all the operating information about that loco to the on board memory. This is a one off operation as the remote saves the information. Legacy is backward compatible with TMCC.

As of time of writing it is not yet confirmed if Legacy has fixed the 50Hz issues. Caution would be advised as some electronics can be damaged if they are designed for 60Hz and connected to a 50Hz supply.
TMCC has been licensed to other O gauge manufactures such as K-Line and Atlas.

DCS (Digital Command System) is manufactured by MTH (Mikes Train House). The system was launched in 2002. Its consists of a DCS remote with digital display and a TIU (track interface unit). The features are very similar to TMCC with several added abilities. The system has a 50/60Hz switchable mode which makes it more UK/Europe friendly. Locomotives with MTH Protosound 2 system are DCS compatible.

A nice feature of DCS is the ability to upgrade the operating system software via a download from MTH’s website. Both systems can be incorporated together on one layout as although they are rivals they do work well together. TMCC locos can be run from the DCS remote as
long as you have a TMCC Command Base attached to the MTH TIU. In the case of running TMCC locos via DCS it will be best to use 60Hz power.
At the time of writing there is ongoing development of interfacing DCS and Legacy.

However it is likely that DCS will be able to control basic original TMCC features of Legacy equipped locos. However the new Legacy features are unlikely to be available via the DCS remote.

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