Time to retire an older MTS system?? - myLargescale.com > Community > Forums


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Old 07-06-2020, 09:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Time to retire an older MTS system??

My set was installed outdoors 17 years ago--it is a mixture of LGB locomotives with a Bridgewerks Mag 15 PS and LGB 55005 plus LGB 55016 wired controller. After running flawlessly for all this time I was starting a major makeover during Covid-19 and got around to plugging in again. Have to improve power connections to track but did get my Aristo locos running with Train engineer Wireless controller.
However my large collection of MTS have a problem due to an annoying failure of the Alphanumeric unit on the 55016. It seems virtually impossible to find a replacement and I am not too sure I could replace the actual alphanumeric unit. It is of course very hard to see which unit you have programmed in or which control feature.
So I am wondering if it is time to upgrade to a newer DCC system unless all I get some more practical ideas here so I am hoping for responses. I am guessing my MTS is the older serial as there are no "P"s on the units. What might be the simplest system to go to a newer DCC system without requiring a Phd model trainology ? !!! All help welcomed. I do have some lovely locomotives from LGB like Sumpter Valley 250 and the nice track cleaner, so it would be nice to keep those but if I had to I could sell some LGB stuff and go with less complicated Aristo and USA trains that I already have. ??
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Old 07-07-2020, 08:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Biggest issue with some newer systems is they do not do serial communication that the older 55020 decoders used. Zimo and Massoth do still have serial protocols in there units, and some others may have this feature also. Of course these are more costly units but can be less $$ tahn getting rid of your old engines and buying new ones. Also you need to remember the old decoders were 14 speed steps and most newer systems will do 14/28 and 128 steps which are selected by the handheld unit.

Note to see if your old MTS system does parallel operations, type F and 9. If pressing the 6 key and you get 6 pulses it is serial, however if you only get 1 blink, it is parallel. F 9 changes the system from parallel to serial and visa/versa. Also LGB mouse is serial only!!
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Old 07-09-2020, 05:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thx for response Dan-- I managed to track down an old LGB supplier who still ran a warehouse of unsold items and he is sending me the wireless 55016 replacement which can replace the wired and useless unit I have. I am hoping that will save the issues and keep the whole shebang running a little longer. Yes I was aware of the speed step issue. I will be able to check if the decoders are serial.
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Old 07-09-2020, 08:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The wired 55016 just needed the transmitter and receiver added to the system. Only the LGB train mouse was dedicated wire and serial only operation. Be sure both pieces are USA frequencies (55051/55056) as the European versions (55050/55055) are illegal to use in the USA.
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Old 07-10-2020, 12:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Piko Digital units do both serial and parallel decoder styles, so your original MTS decoder will still work. (I use one)
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Old 07-11-2020, 07:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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On another note, the old LGB sound units (mikado and mogul are 2 I have dealt with) have a serial only interface to the sound board, therefore both the decoder and command station need to do serial for sound activations. One of these days I will replace the Mogul sound and LGB decoder with a modern all in one decoder from Zimo.
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Old 07-11-2020, 11:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Maybe it would be good to make a list of the current systems that support serial commands....


Dan, I did not check the Zimo, I know NCE and Digitrax do not.


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Old 07-12-2020, 07:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Zimo does support serial communication.


MX1 CV99 changes serial pulse timing in the command console/station. This can help for programming some decoders that drive switches.



Decoder cv112 bit 7 (add 128) is for serial communication. Needed for using decoders on old MTS systems. I have the original 55000 which has serial only and a mouse.
Use F1 on the zimo system with multiple depresses to get function, that is f1 4 times gives F4, etc.
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Old 07-12-2020, 04:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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??? how do you change a CV in the command station?


Do it like setting a decoder, on programming track in service mode?


Does it work in MX32?



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Old 07-13-2020, 08:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The MX1 has access to the CV's via the MX31 ( and older handhelds) handheld device.
You can program remote resets of the command station as well as some re-configurations.



The newer system (MX10) has access directly from the front panel.
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