MTS DCC Systems FAQs
Are Massoth products available in North America?
Yes. Massoth products -- including Massoth`s Multi-Train System compatible electronics -- are available in North America through Only Trains.
Massoth (www.massoth.de) is a recommended partner of Ernst Paul Lehmann Patentwerk.
Faq No: 1236
Battery Life in 55015 and 55016 Remotes (wireless)
If your 55015 Universal Remote or 55016 Loco Remote is equipped with a 55050/55051 Wireless Transmitter, you must also install batteries in the remote. To save the batteries, you can switch off the remote by pressing the "F" button and the "0" button for a second. Press the "F" button for a second to switch on the remote.
To save batteries, the display is factory-preset to the "intermittent" mode. The display will illuminate for 3 seconds each time you press a button and then switch off again. To toggle between the "intermittent" and "permanent" modes, press the "F" button and then the "9" button.
If the batteries are almost used up, the red LED on top of the remote flashes. Shortly afterward, the loco stops and wireless operation is curtailed.
Faq No: 1020
Can I detect if a car accidentally uncouples from a train?
Yes, but only if you have a Multi-Train System layout. To do this, equip the last car of your train with power pickups and lighting or some other electric device that draws at least 50 mA of current. Then, if you use the 55075 MTS Train Detection Module, it will detect if the last car remains in the track section after the rest of the train has left.
Faq No: 1182
Can I use a signal-controlled "Stop" block on an MTS layout?
Yes. However, your locos will behave a bit differently than they would on an analog layout.
When the loco is stopped by the signal, the stop will be a bit smoother because the MTS decoder will prevent the motor acting as a generator, that is, the decoder will prevent the motor from attempting to power the lights, smoke generator and so on.
When the loco is restarted by the signal, it will restart with the acceleration programmed in the decoder.
Faq No: 1026
Can LGB MTS loco decoders be programmed for addresses greater than 22 for use with other DCC systems?
Yes. Earlier LGB loco decoders can be programmed to addresses 1-99. Newer decoders (55021 Version 2.3 or higher) can be programmed to addresses 1-9999. These higher addresses can be programmed using the MTS PC Decoder Programming Module and possibly also with programming devices from other manufacturers.
Faq No: 1200
Can my old LGB locos be converted to Multi-Train System operation?
Yes, with very few exceptions. For digital operation, your locos need to be equipped with Multi-Train System "decoders." Just send your loco to an LGB Service Station for installation (see your loco instructions for addresses). If you have some mechanical and electrical skill, you can do it yourself too.
See also No. 1013.
Faq No: 1061
Can the MTS Train Mouse with the "Type 2" Central Station?
Yes. There is a special operating mode for Train Mouse operation. Check the instructions that came with your "Type 2" MTS Central Station.
Faq No: 1107
Can the MTS-PC computer software recognize the length of my train?
No, there is no feature that allows determining the length of your train. If your sidings are long enough to accommodate your longest train, this should not be a problem.
Faq No: 1178
Does the LGB Multi-Train System system use DC or AC?
The LGB Multi-Train System can be operated with any LGB power supply, AC or DC (see 1132).
In either case, the MTS "Central Station" will convert that power to "digital AC". Digital AC is a special form of alternating current with constant voltage and digital signals which can be read by the 55020 MTS Loco Decoder and 55025 MTS Switch Decoder.
Faq No: 1137
How can I optimize reception with the Wireless Receiver and Transmitter?
There are several things you can do to optimize reception:
- Move the Wireless Receiver away from the Central Station. Place the receiver at least 4 meters (13 feet) away from the Central Station.
- Make sure that the antenna on the Wireless Transmitter hangs free. Do not wrap it around your finger or around the remote.
- Place a piece of metal (about DIN A4 or "Letter" size) under the Wireless Receiver. Alternately, you can put similarly sized piece of aluminum foil under the receiver.
Many, many things -- the composition of surrounding buildings, interference from other electronic devices and even sunspots -- can influence the reliability and range of radio reception. For example, there have been reports that wireless thermometers can interfere with the LGB wireless components.
However, if the reception with your wireless components is unsatisfactory, please send your Wireless Transmitter, Wireless Receiver AND Central Station to an LGB service station for testing.
Faq No: 1154
How can I permanently select the serial port for the MTS-PC program?
With the factory-preset settings, you have to re-select the serial port (COM1 or COM2) via "Options," "COM and Interface ID No." each time the program is started. However, if you are an experienced computer user, you can make the port selection automatic.
To select COM1 automatically:
- Using the right mouse button, click on the MTS shortcut icon that was placed on the desktop when you installed the MTS software.
- Select "Properties" using the left mouse button.
- Type " L,1" -- with a space and without the quotation marks -- on the end of the data in the "Target" box. Typically, the new data will look like:
"C:\Program Files\LGB\Mts-pc.exe" L,1
- Click "Apply" and then "OK"
When you restart the program, the COM1 port will be selected automatically. If you want select the COM2 port, use " L,2".
Faq No: 1161
How can I run an F7 A-B-A consist on my MTS layout?
With an F7 A-B-A consist, usually the rear loco is facing "backwards." If the decoders are installed and programmed normally, the locos would engage in a tug of war, as each loco would try to go forward (or backward) when you open the throttle. But there is an easy solution:
All locos should be programmed to the same address. However, if the rear F7-A is facing the opposite direction, its decoders must be programmed separately:
- If the "rear" loco is equipped with "LGB"-series decoders (V1, V2, V3), then program register 5 to function value 5
- If the "rear" loco is equipped with "ME"-series decoders, then program register 29 to function value 5
Or, if you are familiar with decoder installation and connections, you can swap the yellow and green wires on the connections to the motors of the "rear" loco to make it travel in the correct direction when facing "backwards."
Faq No: 1128
How do I program the address of my MTS decoder-equipped loco?
The easiest way to program loco addresses -- along with other MTS decoder features, MTS switch decoders and LGB sound units -- is to use the 55045 MTS PC Decoder Programming Module. You can also program loco addresses using the 55015, 55016 and 55010 remote controls.
To program loco addresses with a 55015 Universal Remote:
- Connect the programming insert to a programming track and power supply as described in the instructions. When everything is connected, the display will show "P --".
- Enter the loco address register number "1". The display will show "P -1".
- Enter the new loco address as a two-digit number, for example, "05". With the 55015, you can program addressess 00 to 22.
- Press the right arrow button ">" to save the programming. If you are not sure about the value you have entered, you can use the left arrow button "<" to abort programming.
To program loco addresses with a 55016 Loco Remote:
- Remove all other locos from the tracks.
- Press and hold the emergency stop button on the remote.
- At the same time, press the Reset button on the Central Station.
- The display on the remote shows "P --"
- Release the emergency stop button.
- Enter the new loco address. With the 55016, you can program addresses 00 to 15.
- If the loco has been programmed properly, it will move a very short distance.
- Press the emergency stop button again to resume operation.
To program loco addresses with a 55010 Train Mouse:
- Remove all other locos from the tracks.
- Set the Train Mouse speed control to 0.
- Select the new loco address with the Train Mouse address selector. With the 55010, you can program addresses 1 to 8.
- Press and hold the emergency stop button on the Train Mouse.
- At the same time, press the Reset button on the Central Station.
- Press the function button on the Train Mouse.
- If the loco has been programmed properly, it will move a very short distance.
- Release the emergency stop button.
- After the Train Mouse LED has flashed three times, press the emergency stop button again to resume operation.
- With the original "Type 1" MTS Central Station, only addresses 1 to 8 are usable.
- Train Mouse address 8 is programmed and controlled as address 00 with other MTS throttles.
- Locos that are always connected (for example, F7 A-B-A combinations) should be programmed to the same address.
Faq No: 1109
How do I select a different loco with my remote?
To select a different loco with your 55015 Universal Remote or your 55016 Loco Remote:
- Press the "0" button."
- Display shows "L --"
- Input two digit loco number (e.g., "04")
- New loco address is displayed (e.g., "L 04")
Now you can control the new locomotive.
See also No. 1094.
Faq No: 1098
How do I wire a reversing loop on my MTS layout??
There are two techniques:
1. The simplest solution is the 55080 MTS Reversing Loop Module. It connects simply to the tracks inside and outside the reversing loop. Operation is fully automatic.
However, with the 55080 MTS Reversing Loop Module, you can only use decoder-equipped locos, not analog locos in the "7+1" or "0+22" Analog Control option.
2. You can control your reversing loop with a traditional reversing loop circuit including a 12070 EPL Supplementary Switch. This circuit does work with analog locos as well as decoder-equipped locos. See the 00724 EPL Techniques Brochure for more information.
Hint: The 10151 Reverse Loop Track Set does NOT work with the MTS.
Faq No: 1104
How many 55090 MTS Power Extenders can I use on my layout?
To avoid loss of data, you should never connect more than four Power Extenders for your layout. However, you can connect several track blocks to the same Power Extender.
Faq No: 1100
I use a 55015 Universal Remote with my MTS layout. When I take control of a loco, it always stops. Why?
When you select a new locomotive, the 55015 does not get any feedback from the loco (such as, current speed). When you press an arrow button on the 55015, a moving loco will slow to the first speed step. It will slow to a creep or stop completely, depending on the loco.
For locos with onboard decoders or with 55021 decoders, there is a workaround solution to this: If you program register CV 54 to function value 3 ("Hand-off function on"), the loco will not accept inputs for 2 seconds after it has been selected. After selecting a moving loco, quickly press one of the arrow buttons several times until you have approximated the speed (and direction) of the loco. After 2 seconds, the loco will adjust to the selected speed. At all other times, the decoder responds to commands immediately.
Hint: With CV 54, you can also switch the "Back-EMF" function on or off. See the loco or decoder instructions for information on programming the decoder.
With the 55020 "ME1-1" decoders, program CV 54 to 1 - see the decoder instructions for more information. If your decoder is an older version, it does not have this feature - see No. 1080.
Hint: With the 55016 Loco Remote, you can set the speed control knob to the approximate speed and direction of the new loco (in "Center-Off" mode) before you select the loco number (but after pressing "0" to release the previous loco). Your first input will be a speed step similar to the loco speed and the transition from one loco to the other will be smooth.
Faq No: 1094
In two-motor locos, should I install two MTS decoders or one decoder with one MTS booster?
Either is fine. The 55030 MTS Motor Booster was developed because some early decoders (LGB-series V1 and V2) could be out of sync, sending different signals to each motor of the loco. However, newer decoders (LGB-V3, ME-V1 and later) have solved that problem -- so you can simply install two decoders in a two-motor loco.
If the drivetrains of your two-motor loco are out of sync, you should try reprogramming the starting voltage of the decoders (see 1119).
Faq No: 1129
Isn't the Multi-Train System limited to 5 amps total output?
Not anymore. The original Multi-Train System Central Station does have a maximum output of 5 amps. (That's enough power for several LGB locos to run at full speed at the same time.) But the current Central Station -- which is included with the 55105 MTS Starter Pack, Type 2 -- can be used with 55090 MTS Power Extenders to supply 5 amps each to up to five track sections (1 Central Station, 4 MTS Power Extenders). (You can use up to four 55090 MTS Power Extenders on your layout.)
Faq No: 1059
I`m starting with a small analog layout. Can I switch to Multi-Train System digital later?
Yes. Many LGB Power building blocks - like the "High-Output" AC Transformer - can be used with both analog and MTS digital layouts. Plus, you can mix analog EPL switch and signal controls - like the 51750 EPL Control Box - together with digital train controls on the same layout.
Faq No: 1060
LGB MTS and NMRA DCC Standards?
The LGB Multi-Train System is based on the principles of the NMRA "DCC" standard. However, the LGB Multi-Train System goes further than the standard to offer additional features, including full compatibility with the digital sound systems found in LGB locomotives and improved operation on outdoor layouts.
The LGB Multi-Train System also offers compatibility with NMRA-style "parallel" function commands. For more information, see Knowledge Database FAQ 1219.
Hint: Please note that we cannot offer assistance for users of third-party components.
Faq No: 1002
MTS wireless with several receivers: Only one works. Why?
Some MTS components have ID numbers. When using several 55055/55056 Wireless Receivers, make sure all are programmed to the same valid ID number. To do so, reprogram all Wireless Receivers to the same ID number. See the instructions for more information.
Hint: With the first generation Central Station (8 addresses), only ID numbers 1 and 2 are valid.
Faq No: 1078
MTS: Are LGB 65000-series sound units "p" compatible?
Yes. LGB 65000-series sound units can understand "p" or "parallel" function commands. However, in some cases, those sound units may be used with locomotives that can not understand "p" commands, for example, to trigger the smoke generator. In those cases, you have to use serial commands for both the loco and the sound unit if they are using the same loco address. (The settings for parallel or serial function commands are set for each address, not for each decoder.)
Faq No: 1226
MTS: Automatic Train Control
Each 55070 MTS Feedback Interface is assigned an address block of four consecutive addresses, similar to the addresses of 55025 MTS Switch Decoders.
Connect a switch oder contact (e.g., 12070, 17100) to the input of the 55070. When the conact or switch is triggered, it sets the 55025 MTS Switch Decoder terminal with the corresponding address. Or when used with the 55060 MTS Computer Interface, the 55070 can provide feedback to the PC that a contact has been triggered. Using the operation software provided with the 55060, you can control a multitude of functions: Slow down or speed up, start or stop, trigger sounds, set switches, activate accessories, etc. You can use up to 64 Feedback Interfaces to trigger up to 128 switch decoder addresses or up to 512 inputs to your PC.
Faq No: 1012
MTS: Can the 21900 "DUO" uncoupling loco be equipped with a MTS decoder?
Yes. With that installation, you can control the uncoupling function of the loco with your MTS remote. However, with that installation, you can no longer control the uncoupling function on an analog layout.
Faq No: 1222
MTS: How many locomotives?
The 55005 "Type 2" MTS Central Station (also included in the 70255/72255 starter sets) allows you to control up to 23 locomotive addresses. However, the actual number of locos in operation depends on several factors, for example:
- Permanently coupled locomotives (e.g., F7 A-B-A combinations) can be programmed to the same address and count as one locomotive.
- The power demand of all trains at a given time cannot exceed the maximum power available. The actual power demand of a loco varies greatly depending on the loco (number of motors, sound, etc.) and the situation (whether the loco is parked, climbing a grade, smoke generator on or off, etc.). Also consider the power consumption by illuminated cars.
- The power demand of the trains cannot exceed the 5 amp safety limit of the MTS Central Station.
Hint: If 5 amps is not sufficient for your needs, there are alternatives. For example, you can use 55090 MTS Power Extender to create independently powered track sections controlled by the same Central Station. Also, you can use the Massoth "DiMAX 1200Z" Central Station, which has a 12 amp safety limit. For more infomation, visit www.massoth.de
Hint: The first generation MTS Central Station (included in the 55000 and 55100 MTS Starter Packs) allows you to operate up to eight locomotives.
Faq No: 1005
MTS: Interference Problems
Here are tips for avoiding interference problems on MTS layouts:
- Avoid running wires with digital AC (e.g., for a track power connection) parallel to wires with standard AC (e.g., for lights or analog switch control). Interference can distort the MTS signal and compromise reliable operation of your trains.
- You can use up to eight 55015 or 55016 remotes equipped with 55050/55051 Wireless Transmitters on one layout. However, more remotes operating at the same time can cause signal overlap. This means that commands may not be executed. The following error rates assume that all remotes are sending data at all times (remotes only send data when a setting is changed):
2 remotes: 1%
3 remotes: 4%
4 remotes: 7%
5 remotes: 9%
6 remotes: 11%
7 remotes: 13%
8 remotes: 15%
However, since rarely all remotes send data at the same time, actual error rates are significantly lower.
Faq No: 1018
MTS: Maximum Current Output?
Toy train safety regulations limit each digital Central Station to a maximum power output of 5 amps. That's not enough if you are running a very large number of trains.
But there is a solution: The 55090 MTS Power Extender. It relays commands from the Central Station to an independently-powered track section. So by adding Power Extenders and transformers, you can have multiple sections controlled by the same Central Station. So you can enjoy the advanced features of the Multi-Train System on any layout!
The Power Extender can be used with the 55005 "Type 2" MTS Central Station (also available in the 55105 MTS Starter Pack, Type 2). It cannot be used with the original MTS Central Station.
Faq No: 1004
MTS: Minimum Output Current and 55055/55056 Wireless Receiver
The Type 1 MTS Central Station (8 loco addresses) requires a minimum output current. That is, the remotes and other devices connected to the Central Station must draw a small amount of current at all times.
This minimum output current can vary over time, and if you use wireless control, the low current draw of the 55055/55056 Wireless Receiver may not be sufficient. In this situation, the Central Station may not respond to your commands.
To increase the current draw, connect a 55010 MTS Train Mouse to the Central Station in addition to any other controls. This ensures a sufficient output current.
Hint: The Y-cable needed to add a Train Mouse is included with the 55010 Train Mouse. The Y-cable is also available separately from Ernst Paul Lehmann Patentwerk and LGB of America.
Hint: With the 55005 Type 2 MTS Central Station (23 loco addresses), the current draw of the Wireless Receiver is sufficient for normal operation.
Faq No: 1017
MTS: Multiple Wireless Receivers for Very Large Layouts
Each 55050/55051 Wireless Transmitter has a range of about 15 to 20 m (50 to 65 ft.). So if you place just one 55055/55056 Wireless Receiver in the middle of a square layout 5,000 square feet in size, you will be able to control your trains from anywhere on your layout! Before you add more Wireless Receivers, try to optimize the position of your Wireless Receiver by trial and error - its range usually is sufficient for all but the largest layouts.
However, if your MTS layout is extremely large or if you have reception problems, you can use up to three Wireless Receivers on your layout to increase the range. You can set up the receivers in various places on your layout to ensure that your entire layout is within reach of at least one Wireless Receiver.
Connect each Wireless Receiver to one socket marked "LGB-BUS" on the MTS Central Station, Type 2, or on the 55110 MTS Remote Adapter. All Wireless Receivers must be plugged to a 55110 (Type 1 Central Station) or directly into the Central Station (Type 2). DO NOT plug one receiver into a 55110 and the other into the Central Station.
- If the Wireless Receiver is placed outdoors, it must be protected from moisture. For example, you can install the receiver in a tightly sealed structure, like a model building.
- If you need more than three Wireless Receivers, you can connect the additional ones to a second 55110. (In this case, all Wireless Receivers must be connected to 55110s, not directly to the Central Station.)
- On analog layouts, you can use only one Wireless Receiver for each electric block (51070).
Attention! If your Wireless Receivers don't work properly, make sure that all are programmed to the same valid ID No. - see also No. 1078.
Faq No: 1010
MTS: Using an independent power supply for remotes
The power consumption of the 55015 and 55016 remotes with their LED displays can be significant. To prevent the remotes from taking power away from your trains, use a dedicated power supply, connected to the 55110 MTS Remote Adapter, to power the remotes. You can use any LGB power supply, AC or DC, but we recommend a 50110/50111 AC Transformer, 5 Amp or the older 50060/50061 AC/DC Transformer, 2 Amp.
When using the wireless system, the remotes are powered by batteries, and a separate power supply for the 55100 MTS Remote Adapter may not be necessary.
Faq No: 1009
MTS: Using Train Mouse Address "8"
The loco addresses on the 55010 MTS Train Mouse are numbered "1" to "8". However, the first address on the 55015 Universal Remote and 55016 Loco Remote is "00".
To accommodate this, loco address "8" on the Train Mouse automatically becomes loco address "00" on the 55015 Universal Remote or the 55016 Loco Remote. No reprogramming is necessary.
With the "Type 2" MTS Central Station, this can be confusing: Loco address "8" with the Train Mouse is always "00" with any other control. If you choose address "08" with any other control, it will operate a different locomotive.
Hint: The Train Mouse can only control locos "00" through "07."
Faq No: 1019
MTS: What is "p" and "parallel?"
With the factory settings, Multi-Train System loco function commands are send "in series" as a combination of "1" commands. For example, when you press button "3," command "1" is sent three times (1+1+1). Obviously, this "serial" data transmission takes time, as can be seen on the flashing display of the remote.
However, on many LGB locomotives EQUIPPED WITH ONBOARD DECODERS, loco functions 1 - 8 can be transmitted using NMRA-style "parallel" function commands. Parallel function commands are sent directly. For example, "3" is sent as "3." So there is no pause while data is transmitted.
To take advantage of parallel function commands, you need a 55005 MTS Central Station, Type 2, with upgraded software that includes "p" capabilities.
In addition, any input device and wireless component used to transmit the "parallel" commands to the Central Station must have "p" software. These include:
55015 Universal Remote
55016 Loco Remote
55050 Wireless Transmitter
55051 Wireless Transmitter, USA
55055 Wireless Receiver
55056 Wireless Receiver, USA
55060 MTS Computer Interface
(For example, if only one remote has "p" software, you can send parallel function commands only from that remote. If that remote is used with wireless components, the wireless components need to be upgraded as well.)
MTS components produced after late 2003 already are equipped at the factory with "p" software. These components can be identified by a "p" sticker, usually underneath the component.
Most older MTS components, except for the 55000 MTS Central Station and 55010 MTS Train Mouse, can be upgraded.
MTS components with "p" software still can transmit serial function commands, for example, if not all components have been upgraded or with older locomotives.
To program your remote to always send parallel function commands to a specific loco address:
- Select the loco address.
- Press the "F" button and then the "9" button. This has to be programmed on each input device (see above) for each loco address.
- To re-program your remote to always send serial function commands, press the "F" and "9" buttons again.
This setting will remain programmed even when the remote is turned off. If you assign the loco address to a different loco, you may have to change the setting.
Faq No: 1219
On my two-motor MTS loco, one drivetrain starts before the other. What is wrong?
Try reprogramming the starting speed setting. In most cases, this solves the problem. (The two decoders may have different starting settings.)
For programming the starting speed, see No. 1111 and 1113.
For decoder identification, see No. 1080.
Faq No: 1119
On some of my MTS locos, the speed steps are very large. Why?
The MTS has fourteen speed steps, which is plenty for smooth operation. However, some locomotives only start at the third or fourth speed step, thus "wasting" several speed steps. The remaining speed steps are large and noticeable.
It is easy to reprogram the starting setting of your loco decoders using a 55015 Universal Remote or a 55045 MTS PC Decoder Programming Module (with required power supplies and accessories):
- Program Register 2 ("CV2") to a higher value. Start with 3.
- Put the loco on your MTS layout. Does it start to crawl on level track when you press one of the 55015 arrow buttons once or when you turn the 55016 control knob slightly? If the loco remains stopped, increase the function value of register 2. If it goes too fast at the first speed step, reduce the function value.
- Repeat until you have optimized the starting characteristics of your loco.
Hint: With V1, V2 and V3 decoders, starting settings are between 01 and 15, with ME1-1 decoders, between 0 and 255.
See also Nos. 1080, 1097 and 1113.
Faq No: 1111
The throttle knob on my 55016 Loco Remote popped out, and I can't get it back in.
- Pull off the throttle knob.
- Set the "Throttle knob range selector" at the bottom of the 55016 to the left ("Left-Off") position.
- Use a small screw driver to push in the little brass spring at the 6 o'clock position in the throttle knob recess.
- Push the throttle knob back in place.
Faq No: 1118
What do I need to go wireless on my MTS layout?
For wireless operation on your Multi-Train System layout, you need:
- 55015 Universal Remote or 55016 Loco Remote
- 4 "AA" batteries, installed in the remote
- 55050 or 55051 Wireless Transmitters, one for each remote
- 55055 or 55056 Wireless Receiver, one is sufficient for most layouts
The transmitter simply plugs into the remote. No tools are required. The receiver connects to the MTS Central Station (or 55110 MTS Remote Adapter).
Hint: Use the LGB wireless components made for your country:
- United States and Canada: 55051 and 55056
- European Union countries: 55050 and 55055
See also No. 1017.
Faq No: 1001
What frequency is used by the Wireless Transmitter and Receiver?
The 55050 Wireless Transmitter and 55055 Wireless Receiver operate on a frequency of 433 Megahertz.
The 55051 Wireless Transmitter, USA and 55056 Wireless Receiver, USA are made for use in North America and operate on a frequency of 916.5 Megaherz.
Faq No: 1155
What is the maximum length for MTS cables?
The MTS "bus" has been tested using cables as long as 30 meters (about 98 feet).
Also, with MTS cables of any length, the primary concern is not signal strength, but instead, the signal-to-noise ratio. You can have a very strong MTS bus signal, but if there`s a lot of electronic noise in the vicinity, the commands will not be successfully transmitted. So keep your MTS cables away from home current wiring or cables for the EPL system, and avoid running your MTS cables along the track for long distances.
Faq No: 1209
What power supply should I use with the LGB Multi-Train System?
You can use any LGB power supply (transformer or power pack, AC or DC) with the Multi-Train System. We recommend the AC Transformer, 5 Amp (50110 230 volt, 50111 110 volt).
Some users have successfully used non-LGB power supplies, but the only way to preserve your LGB warranty and to have our assurance of things functioning correctly is to use LGB power supplies. This is because, quite simply, we can not test and assume responsibility for the multitude of non-LGB power supplies on the market. Some may cause no obvious ill effects, others may cause expensive damage -- and our repair departments regularly see the results of these.
Faq No: 1132
When you use a Train Mouse with a "Type 2" Central Station, you cannot use addresses 8-15. Why?
When the Train Mouse was developed, no one considered using more than eight addresses. Unfortunately, the Train Mouse randomly sends data to some other addresses as well. So all data to those addresses (8-15) must be blocked. However, addresses 16-22 remain available.
Hint: Address 8 with the Train Mouse also remains available. However, this is address 0 with other controls.
Faq No: 1206
Which 2x872 Mikado locos have "onboard" MTS decoders?
All current production 2x872-series "Mikado" locos have onboard Multi-Train System decoders. However, some earlier production versions of these locos do not.
These earlier production Mikados fall into two groups:
- Some are not equipped with any decoder. However, they do have a "direct decoder interface," and they can be retrofitted easily with a 55021 MTS decoder. These Mikados can be identified by the "DIRECT DECODER" sticker on the bottom of the gearbox.
- Some are factory-equipped with "add-on" 55021 MTS decoders. Functionally, these decoders are extremely similar, but not identical, to the onboard decoders used on current production Mikados. These Mikados have an onboard decoder ("Analog + Digital") sticker on the bottom of the gearbox. (This series of locos was manufactured using existing circuit boards.)
However, current production Mikados have the same onboard decoder sticker on the bottom of the gearbox. The only way to positively identify a Mikado with a 55021 decoder is to visually check for the decoder. The decoder is installed on the main circuit board. To access the circuit board, remove the front of the boiler.
- The instructions for your locomotive say whether it has a direct decoder interface, a 55021 decoder or an onboard decoder.
- All 21832 White Pass & Yukon Mikado locos are equipped with onboard decoders.
Faq No: 1190
Why are higher numbered MTS loco functions sometimes unreliable?
Most decoder-equipped LGB locos have only one function. However, with the 55040 MTS Function Decoder or with many newer LGB sound locos, there are up to eight functions.
The numbered loco functions (1 through 8) are transmitted from the Central Station to the decoder as discrete "clicks" - for function 8, the function terminal of the decoder is triggered eight times. The loco electronics must then count the number of clicks of the decoder function terminal. If there is loss of signal during the transmission to the decoder, some of the "clicks" could get lost, making the loco think it received the signal for a lower numbered function. For example, the Central Station might transmit eight clicks, but the decoder might "hear" only six. So the loco triggers, for example, the brake sound instead of the injector sound (or other functions, depending on the loco).
Dirty track and other poor pickup conditions can cause this problem. Good track cleaning practices (see 1048) and good track joining practices (see 1015) are the solution. Also, at very long distances from the Central Station, the signal can become unreliable. Connecting a heavy gauge jumper wire across the shortest route to the farthest point of the layout may improve both signal and power transmission.
If you are using the wireless option, you should also experiment with the placement of the wireless receiver. Radio transmission conditions vary widely from place to place, so try several different locations to find the placement that works best. Generally, locations a few meters away from the Central Station and a meter or two above the ground work well. Remember, you can also install additional receivers (see 1010) for better reception on very large layouts.
Faq No: 1133
Why can't I control switches on my MTS layout with a wireless 55015?
Many MTS components, like the 55015 Universal Remote and the 55055/55056 Wireless Receiver have an electronic "ID Number," which is used by the MTS Central Station.
However, ID Numbers greater than 2 are not recognized by the first-generation Central Station (8 loco addresses), and if you accidentally reprogram an ID Number to a value greater than 2, you will not be able to control switches or signals. (The loco control functions do not require an ID Number, and so they will not be affected.)
The solution is to reprogram the components with valid ID Numbers -- for example, 1 or 2, when using the first-generation MTS Central Station. See the instructions for both the Universal Remote and the Wireless Receivers for more information.
Faq No: 1028
Why do I get an error message ("E") when trying to program a decoder-equipped loco?
Before programming with the 55015 Universal Remote or 55045 MTS PC Decoder Programming Module, switch off all accessory functions, especially sound, of the loco, using the power control switch. However, make sure the motor/s is/are switched on to ensure correct programming. (Programming requires some current draw, but too much current will overload the programming circuitry.)
Faq No: 1216
Why does my MTS layout stop working when I connect it to a PC?
When using a grounded PC, small currents can flow through moist soil and air under certain conditions, especially on outdoor layouts. These currents cause a scrambling of the digital MTS signal. This problem does not occur with a laptop computer, unless the laptop is grounded via a connected printer or similar device.
To prevent this, you can use an RS232 "optical isolator." These are available at electronic supply outlets
Faq No: 1160
Why is the MTS bus limited to eight controllers (e.g., Universal Remotes)?
Because of the way the bus "polls" the loco addresses, the command response time would be too long if more controllers were active.
Faq No: 1204
Why is the MTS limited to four Power Extenders?
Theoretically, an unlimited number of 55090 MTS Power Extenders can be connected. However, differences in the signal transmission times between the Central Station and the nth power extender make it impractical to use more than four power extenders.
Faq No: 1205
Will the MTS computer interface run on a USB computer?
Both the 55060 MTS Computer Interface and 55045 MTS PC Decoder Programming Module require a serial port connection. However, if your PC does not have a serial port, you can still make the connection using an LGB 55068 MTS USB Adapter or one of the available USB-to-serial adapters available from Belkin and other PC accessory makers.
Faq No: 1090
Will the MTS software run on my version of Windows?
The latest version of the MTS-PC software will run on Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
The latest version of the MTS-PC software is available for free download on the "Downloads" page at www.lgb.com
Unfortunately, a Mac version of the MTS-PC software is not available.
Faq No: 1091
With my 55015 Universal Remote, how do I use a programming track?
For programming, use an unpowered "programming track" or connect the decoder directly to the remote:
- Press both textured clips at the top of the remote inward. Pull the insert with the connecting cable out of the remote. Slide the programming insert into the remote.
- Connect the yellow and green wires to an LGB transformer (55110 or 55060).
- Connect the white and brown wires to the inputs of the decoder or to a programming track.
Caution! Do not connect the white and brown wires to a transformer or to an LGB layout that is connected to a power source. The remote will be destroyed.
- The display shows "P --"
- Enter the register number (see decoder instructions).
- The display shows "P x" (x = Register Number). (There is not another prompt by displaying "P --")
- Enter the function value for the register (see decoder instructions).
- Press the right arrow button ">" to execute the programming. (To abort programming, press the left arrow button "<")
- After programming the register, the display shows "P --" again. Program the next register or terminate the programming by unplugging the wires.
- If the decoder has not been programmed properly, the display shows "E."
- When programming with the 55015 Universal Remote, program loco address 00 as address 23.
- For programming, use a transformer with an output of at least 2 Amps. Otherwise, the programming may not work.
- Wait at least 15 seconds after removing the programming insert before putting in the insert for normal operations. Otherwise, the display shows "P --": Remove the insert and wait longer before re-inserting it.
Faq No: 1097
With the MTS, can 2 people operate the same loco at the same time?
With wired MTS controls, only one person can operate a locomotive. If you select an address that is already in use by another MTS throttle, the red LED at the top of the MTS throttle goes dark. If a loco address is busy, the address must be released by the other control using it. You can release the address by switching the other control to another address. Also, with a 55015 or 55016 remote, the loco address is released after a loco is stopped for 4 seconds. With a 55010 MTS Train Mouse, the address is released after 18 seconds.
With wireless MTS throttles, several people can control the same locomotive. (There is no feedback from the Central Station to the wireless throttle.) The result is erratic operation. Avoid operating one loco from two controls.
Faq No: 1112
With wireless operation, why does my remote switch off on its own?
To increase battery life, the display of the 55015 Universal Remote and the 55016 Loco Remote is intermittend during wireless operation: The display will illuminate for 3 seconds each time you press a button and then switch off again. The remote remains on (red LED on top of remote stays on) and you can control trains at any time.
To illuminate the display permanently:
- Press first the "F" button and then the "9" button.
- To return the display to intermittent mode, press the buttons "F" and "9" once more (F9 mode).
Furthermore, the remote automatically switches off if no buttons are pressed for several minutes. To turn the remote on, press the "F" button for a few seconds.
See also No. 1020.
Faq No: 1096