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MTH DCS Commander

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  • Member since
    January 2008
  • 520 posts
MTH DCS Commander
Posted by mreagant on Wednesday, October 1, 2008 11:08 AM

A recent evaluation of the MTH DCS Commander in a different publication (not MR) includes the following paragraph:

"The Commander also offers pass-through DCC control, but does not, itself, provide DCC control.  This means if you have a DCC locomotive, you'll press a button and your DCC signal and power will be passed through the Commander to the track where it will control things until you stop the passage.  At that point you can operate DCS or Analog DC locomotives."

 Huh?

Does anybody have any idea what this says?  If a DCS and DC loco are operating and I push the 'pass through' button, does everything stop and the DCC loco start moving on its own without any control?  Seems crazy if that is the case, but that is what it seems to say.

Mike

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 19,805 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, October 1, 2008 11:55 AM

To me, that sounds like they've got a pair of terminals on the box that you would connect to the track bus output of a DCC system.  Then, there's essentially a double-pole, double-pole switch built into their box that selects either DCS (internal) or these external ports, which happen to be DCC.  Some DCC / DC people do the same thing with a DPDT toggle which is not part of either control system, but just selects between them.

But, that's just my interpretation.

You might find more DCS users on the Classic Toy Trains forum, by the way.  There are lots more O-gaugers over there, and DCS is much more popular in O than it is in HO or N.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    June 2005
  • From: Lynnwood, WA
  • 287 posts
Posted by dave hikel on Thursday, October 2, 2008 1:42 PM

Hi Mike,

Mr. Beasley is correct.  The "pass through" feature is essentially a DPDT switch built into the DCS Commander with one exception.  When the "pass through" feature is not active you can still use your DCC system as a power source for DC and DCS operations.  The Commander has an internal bridge rectifier that converts the DCC power signal into DC.  The idea is that you can switch between operating modes without touching your wiring.

It would not be advisable to switch between modes with engines running.  That's just normal responsible operating.  However, if you switched between modes while an MTH engine was on the tracks nothing serios wounld happen.  If you switched from DCC pass though to DCS or DC the engine would keep doing the same speed until otherwise commanded.  The same thing going from DC or DCS to DCC.  Most DC and DCC engines are not protected in this same way.  If you had a conventional DC engine on the tracks and you entered DCS mode it would take off at high speed.  But again, a responsible operator just wouldn't do that.

I own a DCS commander, so if you have any more questions ask away.

Dave
  • Member since
    January 2008
  • 520 posts
Posted by mreagant on Thursday, October 2, 2008 9:26 PM

Thanks, guys.  I'm still in a 'where to go from my MRC Command 2000' search so understanding what the DCS Commander could do was important--especially since it is touted as an HO focused system.  Since ny MRC will allow me to manage both DC and DCC with some ease, I'm having a hard time committing to a system that will not do both.  Those that do offer simultaneous DC and DCC operation seem to have their own draw-backs.

The search goes on.

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