LGB DCC (MTS)

Overview:

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

  • LGB calls  the combination of the Command Station and Booster a "Central Station"
  • The cab/throttle is often just called a handheld.
  • many standard terms are "hidden" to make things simpler

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

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 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 and so inexpensive, 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.

 

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 I system was manufactured in 1995 by Lenz for LGB. 8 loco address, serial functions 0-9, 14 speed steps, and apparently no way to set CVs

MTS II was built by Massoth in 2000, 23 loco addresses, serial functions 0-9, 14 speed steps, no CV programming.

MTS IIP was released sometime after, and was the same as MTS 2, but allowed both serial and for the first time parallel function commands 0-9.

MTS III was released in 2006, made by Massoth again, and allowed 4 digit addresses (finally), serial and parallel function commands 0-9, and for the first time 14 or 28 speed steps, and also CV programming.

By virtue of LGB's purchase by Marklin, the MFX protocol was added to all current manufacture. I won't cover this here, even though new LGB locos come with MFX decoders, and "switching them over to DCC" can be a pain. Just say no.

Organization of this page:

I review the "typical" groupings of equipment for the commonly referred to MTS I, MTS II, and MTS III

After those groupings, I attempt a list of MTS products, grouped by function (I did this thinking it helps find something first, I may drop back to just a numerical list)

The groupings are:

  1. Command stations, boosters, throttles (notice there are some "sets" that have command station and decoders and throttles)
  2. other DCC accessory items
  3. Decoders

A note on "serial" vs. "parallel" functions:

You will hear this a lot when dealing with MTS. Early units did not have separate commands for f0 through f28, i.e. internally a unique command for each of the 29 functions, as the NMRA standard calls out. (this is referred to as "parallel functions by LGB). Also note that no MTS system can control over function 9.

"serial functions" is where the system may or may not have individual buttons for different functions, but  f1 key "strokes" are sent at 1 second intervals for all functions, i.e. f4 is a sequence of four f1 commands 1 second apart. You can see that this is slow, and only some European brands still support this nowadays.

A note on LGB locomotives themselves:

A common situation is where the box says something about DCC, and the owner is confused if it has a decoder or not. Often it is just identifying that the loco is DCC compatible, and what type of DCC interface is inside.

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

Read more under LGB motive power on this site

Other limitations

  • If you have a serial command station, then only certain decoders will operate on your layout.
  • Also, you are often limited to decoders that support 14 speed steps, only MTS III supported 28 speed steps
  • you are limited to functions 0-9, many current sound units use many higher functions.

LGB software

I have not addressed the software that is used with the computer interface module, nor others from LGB. I don't intend to, since much of the software is old, and there will be issues with newer versions of windows.

 

NOTE WELL: this is NOT designed to be an exhaustive list of components, and is as accurate as I can make it with reasonable effort. I do not use MTS equipment, and honestly, the vast majority of LGB MTS equipment is limited in capability.

If you have helpful information to add here or correctiions, it is appreciated, notwithstanding the goal above. The goal of this page is a sort of "catalog" of part numbers, their basic functions and to also somewhat follow the evolution of MTS. Just drop me an email.


Command stations, Boosters, cabs/throttles:

Overall notes:

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  (These were the ones made by Lenz, and it says Lenz on the decoder)
  • 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 1 thorough 8

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)\

At this time the decoders supplied, 55020, were made by Massoth

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


DCC command stations, boosters, throttles, etc.

55010 "train mouse"

  • part of very early MTS I system
  • apparently only serial mode

55045 - programming module w/computer interface

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

55050 transmitter - european

 

  • transmitter
  • fits in handheld throttle, like 55015 or 55016
  • 55

55051 - US version

55055 - receiver - European

  • receiver
  •  I believe it is matching the throttles using the 55050

55056 - receiver - US frequencies

 

55060 - pc interface module - runs trains

  • Use LGB software
  • Cannot program decoders

 

55063 braking module

I don't know much about this module, but apparently it is very flexible and can work on analog too.

Can control signals also apparently

Also has some "shuttle" capabilities and reverse loop capabilities

 

55070 feedback module

 

55080 reversing loop module

 

55090

  • 5 amp booster (slave command station) if it has P sticker, then it will do parallel functions (there is some information that all 55090 units were parallel capable, sticker or not, so I am researching this)
  •  can be used with up to 4 55063 braking module
  • can operate up to 55063 on analog layouts
  • Massoth apparently took over production of the 55090 in 2003 or 2004 and added the support for the 55063, and there was a program to allow older units to be retrofitted with the newer firmware, retrofitted units would be returned with a white sticker "Bremsboost 2x" on the underside.
  • As of January 2019, apparently Massoth will still retrofit the older units to add the software to support the 55063 units.

 


LGB Decoders & related parts

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

There were 2 versions, the first by Lenz

  • there are single motor
  • only CVs 1-4 programmable
  • Lenz logo on circuit board
  • 14 speed steps only
  • no BEMF

Second by Massoth: (there appeared to be several versions of the 55020 from Massoth)

  • no logo on board
  • parallel function control
  • possibly more addresses
  • no BEMF
  • 25 x 55 mm
  • (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)

 

Per Dan Pierce: Note that if the 55020 is made by massoth, then CV 8 will be 123. If you can not change CV 29 then most likely it is the LENZ. Only CV1-4 can be changed on the LENZ.

 

55021

  • made by massoth only
  • version 2.3 (CV7) 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.
  • max 1.2 amps
  • (nice to get a list of these)

Original version only supports CV1 addresses 0 to 22 (what happens at zero?)

CV2, 3, 4 etc, there are some BEMF settings, and parallel to serial settings

note CV 5 and above need to be written in register mode, so if you are not using a DCC system with register mode on the programming track, you use CV6 as the "register" that holds the CV number, and then CV5 will have the value.

This is further confused that the reset for this decoder is only available by register mode programming, and it is CV55 = 55  .... so  it does not become clear to neophytes that syou set CV6 = 55 (that means you will talk to CV55) and then you set CV5 to put the value 55 into the index.

 

To make it even more confusing, with CV6 = 1, it means CV29...  and you write to CV5 to set the values for CV29 ... these people should have been slapped silly for doing this.

55022

  • small decoder for small field railway engines
  • smaller size than 55021
  • lower capacity, rated 0.8 amp, mas 1.0 amp

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 speed steps, later versions (need rev number) 28/128 ss
  • long addressing supported

55030

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

 

 

 


 Throttles & Transformers

 5003 / 50030 Transformer

  • 7 va - barely enough power to run anything, a third of an amp at 21 volts, for example
  • spring clips that connect wires weaken, has thermal cutout
  • throw it away

lgb 50030

5006 Transformer

  • 230 volt
  • 64 va

 

5007 / 50070 Analog throttle

  • dc input only (but manual says 17v AC input is ok, 18v DC)

50120 analog throttle

dc only

 

50121 analog throttle

dc only

 

 

 

51070 Analog throttle

  • 5 amp
  • accepts AC or DC input
  • throttle only, needs power supply

 

51079 analog throttle

 

  • 5 amp
  • accepts AC or DC input
  • throttle only, needs power supply
  • not sure what difference is from older model, can be controlled from 55050 / 55055

 

 

50110 transformer

  • 6 amp
  • 20 volts AC
  • 230 volt model

50111 Transformer

  • 6 amp
  • 20 volts ac
  • 120 volt model

51120 analog throttle

  • dc only
  • up to 24v

 

60195 - wall wart 5 amp power supply

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weather Underground PWS KCACARLS78