MTH control equipment, DCS, analog.and/or DCC

This page is intended to explain a little about the DCS control system

First of all DCS is a proprietary control system from MTH, it has been around a fair time (in digital electronic development terms) but is some ten years younger than DCC and consequently it is a much more modern, and I would say a more capable and efficient system. The original Protosound system came out in 1995, Protosound 2 came out in 2000, Protosound 3 arrived in 2007 with the first Ho models and filtered through to the other gauges in 2013. Protosound 3E+ arrived in 2014 for Motorola/Maerklin Ho 3-rail.

For Ho 3-rail:

The PS-3E+ decoder reads the commands put out by the Motorola derived digital controllers supplied by Maerklin for their 3-rail AC powered system. MTH does not currently offer a controller. The PS-3E+ decoder will also operate under analog AC control.

For Ho and S gauge 2-rail:

The PS-3 decoder reads the commands put out by any of MTH's DCS controllers, it will also read the major generic DCC commands, it will also operate with a default set of sound effects with an analog DC controller. 16 volts DC is the recommended maximum input voltage. The PS-3 decoder is not "handed", it will pick up control signals from either the positive or negative side.

For the other gauges , ie O gauge (Railking, Premier and tinplate), gauge 1 and tinplate Standard Gauge:

The PS-3 decoder has the same DCS/DCC/Analog capabilityas above. The difference comes in taking up to 22 volts DC or AC. In analog AC mode a number of features such as reversing, bell, whistle and coupler can be operated by pulsing the power.

The Protosound 2 decoder does not have the DCC decoder function and only picks up DCS commands on one line, which is no problem for 3-rail systems but means that 2-rail locomotives are "handed". 2-rail PS-2 locomotives have a "polarity" switch to let you choose which side is active, so a locomotive can be sat on the rails pointing in either direction, but thought must be given to the wiring of any layout that may have reversing loops or "wyes" or turntables. PS-2 has the same DC and AC analog functionality.

If you like operating under analog then any of the generic 3rd party controllers with a suitable power output should do, as will any of the MTH controllers that have sufficient current capacity to handle the expected loads. If you want analog control of multi-unit power hogs then perhaps the twin throttle Z-4000 controller may be suitable and it may be worth pointing out that it has the option of the 40-4001 Remote Commander which can link to three Z-4000s if you want to have a walk-around handset. It may be stating the obvious but european customers may need to source a 240v or 220v to 110v step-down transformer. These are relatively easy to find and need not be that expensive if you shop around.

If you already have a DCC system then you should look for the locomotives with the PS-3 decoder.

If you want to have a DCS controller then there are three basic choices.

For the cheapest trial or if you are running a single locomotive then the DCS Commander Remote may be all that is required. This unit can not do a factory reset for locos.

For maximum flexibility with operation from a remote handset then the TIU is worth looking at, it has two fixed (DCS only) outputs plus a further two outputs that offer DCS digital as well as variable voltage AC, with a maxiumum of 10 Amps from each output. A remote control option from a phone or tablet is due in late 2015.

If you do not like remote handsets and a 6 amp output is sufficient then the DCS Commander may fit the bill, it is lower cost than the TIU+handset.


This is the currently unavailable or deleted item list, you may also view lists of the master catalogue and current items

Updated 21 Dec 10      Shipping set to UK parcel post (uninsured). Other Shipping Options      US dollars
40-1000B $119.93 BG
40-1015 $7.49 BG
40-200 $44.93 BG
40-4001 $224.93 BG
40-500 $134.93 BG
40-750C $89.93 BG
RailKing Controller Set
50-1002 $254.93 BG
Digital Control System Remote Handset for TIU
50-1003L $120.99 LS
TIU (Track Interface Unit - use with handset) rev L
50-1003old $89.99 BG
TIU (Track Interface Unit - use with handset) old ver
50-1005 $22.43 BG
PS 2 Battery Charger
50-1007 $29.93 BG
TIU/TMCC 6' Connector Cable
50-1011 $59.93 BG
RailKing IR Remote Control
50-1012 $59.93 BG
RailKing IR Remote Control System
50-1013 $44.93 BG
RailKing Remote Lock-On
50-1018 $29.93 BG
TIU/TMCC 6' Connector Cable
50-1020 $56.93 BG
24-Port Terminal Block
50-1021 $14.93 BG
PS Locomotive External Battery Charger Kit
50-1022 $14.93 BG
PS 2.0 Locomotive External Battery Charger Kit
50-1025 $74.93 BG
50-1901 $149.95 BG
50-1902 $149.95 BG

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