LGB DCC (MTS)

History:

LGB offered "DCC" early on, about the time it was being standardized. There were 2 precursors to our "modern" DCC, the Motorola system, and Selectrix system.

Seletrix was developed by Doehler and Hass for Trix in early 80's. It was based on a communications protocol developed by Siemens. Trix had exclusive rights to the system.

In 1999, D&H and Trix terminated the agreement, and now it is a open standard, it's apparently popular in N and Z scales in Europe.

The Motorola protocol was called that because it used a Motorola chip,. It was shown at the 1979 Nurnberg toy fair, it was introduced 6 years later in 1985 by Marklin under the name of "Digital HO"

The MTS (Multi Train System) emerged about 1995, and the electronics were mostly developed by Massoth, (Hartmut Massoth founded Massoth Elektronik and met Wolfgang Richter in 1974).

The early system were limited in many ways.

The first generation MTS 1 system was manufactured in 1995 by Lenz for LGB. 8 loco address, serial functions, 14 speed steps, and apparently no way to set CVs

MTS2 was built by Massoth in 2000, 23 loco addresses, serial functions, 14 speed steps, no CV programming.

MTS 2P was released sometime after, and was the same as MTS 2, but allowed both serial and for the first time parallel function commands.

MTS 3 was released in 2006, made by Massoth again, and allowed 4 digit addresses (finally), serial and parallel function commands, and for the first time 14 or 28 speed steps, and also CV programming.

 

Overview:

As usual, I will translate the manufacturer's terms into the standard NMRA definitions:

LGB called the combination of the Command Station and Booster a "Central Station"

The cab/throttle was often just called a handheld.

LGB went through many revisions and changes, and the initial systems were very limited by today's standards.

Also, LGB was never very forthcoming about the individual limitations, but just basically told you "use this with that". When a limitation is encountered, many people are confused where in the system the limtation exists. This can be further compounded when mixing LGB system components with other manufacturer's. Massoth, for example, can connect various controllers to the LGB command station.

I will endeavor to unravel this mess, but my recommendation is that since electronics are so inexpensive nowadays, that you jettision any really old LGB system and upgrade. If you indeed have LGB equipment with the "serial function" decoders, then get a Massoth, ESU, or Zimo system. In my opinion, newer decoders are so much more capable with so many new features that I would give strong consideration to replacing any decoder that is serial only (or no sound for that matter)

So, let's proceed to try to unravel the complex story of LGB MTS, and where the capabilities and limitations are.

Credit for help with this information goes to my friends, and other helpful people, but a special note of thanks to Dan Pierce.

 

Command stations, Boosters, cabs/throttles:

Overall:

none of the MTS throttles can read CV's back. The only way to read back CV's is to use the 55045 computer interface (need software versions, how to download, etc)

 To switch the controllers (MTS 2P and MTS 3) from serial to parallel commands, press function and 9 at the same time. You can press a function key to verify multiple flashes or a single flash (serial or parallel respectively)

Notes on CV programming, no programming I think means blindly issue the CV setting command, no readback.


First Generation MTS / MZS 1: (type I)

 

  • LGB 55000 MTS 1 Starter Pack (Central Station + Train Mouse + Decoder) (what was the decoder model?)
  • LGB 55010 MTS 1 Train Mouse / controller
  • LGB 55020 Decoder  (would like to get model and version)
  • LGB 55100 MTS 1 Starter Set (Central Station + Train Mouse + Diesel locomotive with decoder)

 

  • 14 speed steps only.(limited mainly by controller)
  • 8 locomotive addresses only. (limited by controller)
  • Can only program loco short address, CV1
  • System limited to 8 addresses total

You program the decoder address from a sequence of button pushes, with the address selector set to the address you want, so it's clear of what the max range is.

The system is limited to 14 speed steps. Again it appears that this limitation is in the throttle, not the central station/booster.

The controller/throttle was the LGB 55010 MTS 1 Train Mouse, limited to 8 addresses, and serial functions.

Lenz made these first generation components, I have seen pictures of the Train Mouse with "Lenz" on it.

lgb 55010

 

The left button controlled the loco lights, and the right button is the function button, pressed the number of times for the function you wanted (serial function)

The speed control is center off. If you press and hold on the LGB logo, you got emergency stop.

lgb 55000

You will also see "7+1" on various literature, this is because it could run 7 MTS locos and 1 analog. The 7+1 switch was on the back of the central station, as well as a reset. You used address 8 to control the analog loco.

This was a 5 amp max booster, and the power supply was separate. Input voltage was up to 24v DC, or 18v ac.

I'm not sure the central station was available by itself.

The decoder supplied was a 55020 I believe

 

 

lgb 55100


Second Generation MTS / MZS 2: (type II & IIP)

  • LGB 55005 MTS 2 Central Station, originally serial function 55005 central station was serial function only, unless there was a P on the model number, and apparently it could be upgraded to parallel
  • LGB 55015 universal controller, mouse/controller serial, parallel versions also made, P added to model number. and also a special cable was available to do indirect addressing (CV5 and CV6)
  • LGB 55016 handheld originally serial, upgradable to parallel, parallel versions also made, P added to model number. 16 addresses (0-15), only CVs 1-4 can be programmed.
  • LGB 55050 RC Sender Adapters
  • LGB 55055 Wireless transmitter
  • LGB 55105 MTS 2 Starter Pack (55005 Central Station + 55016 Handheld controller + Decoder)
  • LGB 70255 MTS 2 Starter Set (55005 Central Station + 55016 Handheld controller + 2 digital locomotives + 2 freight cars)

Note that the sytem still cannot do more than 14 speed steps.

 


Third Generation MTS / MZS 3: (type III)

  • LGB 55006 MTS 3 Central Station with serial and parallel function control (defaults to parallel function control, F and 9 switches to serial)
  • LGB 55106 MTS 3 Starter Pack (55006 Central Station + 55016 Handheld controller)
  • LGB 70257 MTS 3 Starter Set (55006 Central Station + 55016 Handheld controller + 2 digital locomotives + 2 freight cars)
  • still limited to 14 speed steps
  • can use locos 0 to 22 (needs verification)
  • speed step limitation and address limitation in throttle, command station/booster will work 28 SS and standard NMRA long addressing. Common setup is to add Massoth Navigator to the command station and get 28/128 SS and long addressing

 

lgb 55006p

 


LGB 55045 computer interface

  • works as command station, reads and writes CV's, works with LGB software

 

55060 pc interface module

55070 feedback module

55080 reversing loop module

 

 


LGB Decoders

Overview:

Sometimes it's hard to know what LGB decoder you have, and even more difficult to know what their capabilities are.

LGB decoders may require the motor as a load on the decoder when in service mode... also if there is a separate lighting switch or sound switch, leave them off

CV7 = manufacturer software version

CV106 = decoder model

NOTE WELL: when fitting decoders to LGB locos, there may be a number of dip switches that need to be changed BEFORE plugging in the decoder. I suspect these switches are the ones that connect the track pickups directly to the motor, and also wire the lights to the motor. FAILURE to set the switches right BEFORE plugging in the decoder will normally DESTROY the decoder.

Be sure to get the manual on the loco and what the switches do first.

 

55020

  • single motor, 1st version had only CVs 1-4 programmable, first version made by Lenz
  • 14 speed steps only
  • later Massoth made this decoder, and included parallel function control and possibly more addresses, there were apparently several versions of the 55020 from Massoth.
  • 25 x 55 mm
  • (still to determine is can you tell the versions where these things changed? Also need to verify if there were address limitations built into the decoder. Were they short addressing only?)

Connections:

U+ - common for function outputs
L1 - front light - 200 ma max
L2 - rear light - 200 ma max
F1 - F1 function output - 50 ma (V1), 300 ma (V2)
GND - ground
GL1 - gray - track (not sure which side) 24v max
GL2 - brown - track
yellow and green are motor (not sure of polarity)

 

 

55021

  • made by massoth only?, version 2.3 and up will support 28/128 speed steps. (all support 14 speed steps)
  • This decoder adds back emf and some other cv's that the 55020 did not have.
  • (nice to get a list of these)

55022

  • small decoder for small field railway engines
  • (smaller size, or smaller amps?

55025

  • switch decoder?

55026

cable to connect decoder to 6 pin interface

55027

  • have more functions (F1-F6) as well as 2 LGB motor capability (24 volt/3 amp)
  • early versions 14 ss, later versions (need rev number) 28/128 ss
  • long addressing supported

55030

  • used for second motor when using 55021
  • booster decoder
  • not very good

 

 

50110 transformer

 

Central Stations (NMRA command station with booster)

 

55090

  • 5 amp booster (slave command station) if it has P sticker, then it will do parallel functions

 

Throttles / handheld / cab / "Mouse"

 

 

50000 system sold as

 

Serial means that the F1 key "strokes" were sent at 1 second intervals so you can see that this was slow.

Parallel means that each function was a different code, so faster.


If you have a serial command station, then only certain decoders will operate on your layout.

Also, you are limited to decoders that support 14 speed steps.

The train mouse seems to only be in serial mode.

 

The locomotives themselves

A common situation is where the box says something about DCC, yet it does not really mean that there is a decoder in the loco. Often it is just identifying that the loco is DCC compatible, and what type of DCC interface is inside.

"Direct Decoder" actually only means there is a 10 pin interface inside.

Read more under LGB motive power on this site

 

LGB software

  • need to list up what is available
  • put in software to control computer interface

 

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