MTS lights problem

Howiem

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27 Jan 2021
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Having read richand26mhz’s thread about problems switching on lights with MTS 3, I thought I’d share my own experience.
I started with a Passenger Set nearly 20 years ago and soon got interested in DCC control. Though not having a permanent layout, I slowly collected various parts, mostly via eBay, and now have 4 locos, rolling stock and a good bit more track. I also acquired an MTS 3 Central Station, two 55016‘s and a 55015 controller. Two of the locos are stock LGB DCC equipped and while I could control them I could not get the lights to switch on unless on analogue power. With time to spare in lockdown, I’ve fitted a 55021 decoder in the Stainz I got with the set and this had the same issue - no lights or smoke. Trying to read and understand the CV’s with the 55015 isn’t straightforward and any attempts to change values to get the lights to work were unsuccessful.
Annoyed at not getting functionality, I was tempted to go the battery route but have kept struggling on and have now acquired a 55045 programmer. This gave me a full read out of the values in each loco and there seemed to be nothing untoward. I tried changing various values but no change. Searches on line only suggested switching off the analogue control function and ensuring 14 speed steps were selected.
richand26mhz found an issue with his MTS 3 where it had previously been used with a DiMax controller and was “remembering” all the previous addresses having 28 speed steps and I guessed mine, having been bought second-hand, had the same issue. There are no clues anywhere as to how to clear the MTS 3 memory and I tried various button holding/power off sequences to achieve this but without success.
As a last resort and out of curiosity, I changed the speed steps on my Porter 0-4-0 to 28 and was given a red warning on the MTS software saying that LGB did not support 28 speed steps, wrote the CV’s to the loco via a programming track and, bingo! it worked. The lights switch on and off with button 9 and follow the direction of travel. I have read back the CV’s and this confirmed it is using 28 speed steps. Throttle control is normal and the lights are stable. I have since changed my other loco and the Stainz to 28 speed steps and both are now working perfectly with the smoke working on button 1 too.
Everything everywhere says this isn’t right?
 

ntpntpntp

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24 Oct 2009
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Speed step mismatch can cause one of two problems:
Loco = 14 steps, command station = 28 steps > lights won't work by the function key because the command station is sending a separate function command but the loco expects the light control bit within the speed steps. You'll find the lights go off and on as you increase or decrease speed.
Loco = 28 steps, command station = 14 steps > lights won't work at all because the command station isn't sending the required function command.
 

Howiem

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27 Jan 2021
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I think you’re missing the point of my post Nick. I can only get my MTS 3 and 55015/6 controllers to switch the lights and F1/F2 commands if I run the decoders at 28 speed steps. Everything online says LGB only does 14 speed steps unless used with a DiMax controller. This appears not to be the case and I would be very interested to know if anyone can explain it. For clarity, all my locos work throughout the speed range and in both directions, with rock steady lights. The Stainz is unmodified and I have only fitted the 55021 using the “direct decoder” interface (and changed all the dip switches to off). The lighting wiring is unchanged. My other loco’s have factory fitted decoders and are unchanged.
 

Greg Elmassian

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8 Mar 2014
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Hmm... I thought MTS III command station can run either 14 or 28 speed steps. When you say: "Everything online says LGB only does 14 speed steps unless used with a DiMax controller." I'm confused... not owning a MTS III system myself all I can say is that I was sure the MTS III system supports both.

Someone out there have the real information?

Seems that if you had your controller (central station) on 14 SS, then that would explain a lot.

Greg
 

Howiem

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27 Jan 2021
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Is there a way of switching the central station? I thought it was down to the controller hence LGB only offering 14 steps as this is all the 55015 and 55016 would “resolve”. The MTS software used with the 55045 programmer gave me a warning that LGB only support 14 speed steps when I opted for 28 in the program. Either way, I’m delighted it all works but it seems there must have been (and probably still will be) thousands of man-hours lost in trying to get DCC to operate as it should and there is an awful lot of misinformation being banded about by “experts”!
 

Dan

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28 Jan 2010
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Eastern MA
The first time you use an engine on the MTS parallel system, you MUST set the command station for that loco to parallel, it defaults to serial. hit F followed by 9 to switch between serail and parallel. Also set loco to 14 speed steps unless you have the MTSIII and the Massoth navigator which alows the LGB system to go to 28 speed steps.
 

Greg Elmassian

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So, not to derail, can you use MTS III alone to get 28 speed steps? It seems that using the LGB controller with the MTS III command station the answer is 14 ss only.

But under computer control, the MTS III can do 28 ss, and if you use a Massoth Navigator with the MTS III, that combination can do 28 ss.

Is this all correct?

Greg
 

Howiem

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27 Jan 2021
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The first time you use an engine on the MTS parallel system, you MUST set the command station for that loco to parallel, it defaults to serial. hit F followed by 9 to switch between serail and parallel. Also set loco to 14 speed steps unless you have the MTSIII and the Massoth navigator which alows the LGB system to go to 28 speed steps.
I did try serial and parallel commands but it didn’t make any difference. Setting the locos to 28 speed steps has cured the problem. It would appear I have been very fortunate to get a late model MTS 3 which supports 28 speeds with LGB controllers! Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket!!
 

Greg Elmassian

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8 Mar 2014
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So, you were initially under the wrong impression about being able to use 28 ss on your system... well the end result is good, and it also answers my question. Now I would like to find out if there is a way to tell what configurations support what speed steps.

Yes, buy a ticket! ;)
 
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