Last updated 17 October, 2014

Harness Info heading

 

 

 

 

 

For a copy of the TCS Simple Programming Guide click here

For additional notes on TCS decoder CV settings click here

For a summary of TCS Decoder specifications click here

October 2014 - TCS introduce Train Speedometers which can be used on DC or DCC layouts. There are currently two versions - Trainspeed 1 which is designed to measure the scale speed of locomotives or train cars that past by it. Two small light sensors mounted discretely under the rails are used to record the speed of anything passing over them and then the device calculates and displays the corresponding scale speed on a 3 digit display. Trainspeed 4 allows the measurement of the scale speed of locomotives or train cars that past by it. Two small light sensors mounted discretely under the rails are used to record the speed of anything passing over them and then the device calculates and displays the corresponding scale speed on a 4 digit display. The Trainspeed4 includes everything necessary to monitor train speeds at 4 different locations on your layout.

2013 - TCS introduce their range of WOW Sound Decoders. Sounds are initially limited to US steam locos but the range will expand through time.

February 2012 - TCS are introducing a Keep Alive functionality for their decoders, primarily designed for their own decoders, though with care can be used on other NMRA compatible loco decoders. The Keep-Alive (KA) devices are used to supply power to decoders during times of power interruption due to dirty track or problematic track work. Specifications for the KA1 and KA2:KA1 will power an HO-Scale locomotive at speed step 10 of 128 with headlights on for approximately 2 to 5 seconds (depending on the locomotive and the efficiency of the motor).KA2 will power an HO-Scale locomotive at speed step 10 of 128 with headlights on for approximately 6 to 15 seconds (depending on the locomotive and the efficiency of the motor). All TCS decoders shipping with date codes as of November 2011 support the Keep-Alive feature.

November 2010 - TCS are changing the way in which they package T and MC series decoders. They are also changing the names of harnesses they provide from short, medium and long to the actual length of the harness (in inches).

The latest decoder released by TCS is a 5 function plug and play decoder called the DP5. Other recent decoder releases are a series of 4-function decoders for the N scale Intermountain range. Also released at the end of 2009 is a series of 8-function plug-in replacement boards for Kato N-gauge locos and are called the KOD8-A, KOD8-B, KOD8-C and KOD8-D.

The MC6 range of decoders produced by TCS has been discontinued.

After consultations with Bromsgrove Models TCS has released a new 6-pin direct plug-in decoder for N gauge locos called the EUN651 and a 21-pin decoder for OO/HO locos called the EU621. All decoders now have BEMF.

Recent decoder releases from TCS are the K3D3, a drop-in 3 function decoder for Kato NW2 locos, and the Z2, a 2 function hard wired decoder for Z/N/OO/HO scales - this is the smallest decoder that TCS have produced to date and is now available with a harness and 8-pin plug.

Z2 and M1 decoders Comparison in size between M1 and Z2 decoders (left) Z2 decoder size

Bromsgrove Models has managed to get TCS to manufacture FL decoders with 8-pin NMRA plugs attached, ideal for use in the trailing cars of multiple units that are fitted with NMRA sockets, such as the Bachmann Class 108. FL4 decoders are now available with either medium or short harnesses.

Following discussion with Bromsgrove Models, April 2008 saw TCS release a revised DP2X decoder (called the DP2X-UK) that now has the pins aligned down the long axis of the decoder board to enable it to be fitted directly into most UK steam locos. There are also new N scale decoders available - the CN and ASD4.

TCS have released a number of decoders for specific locos - the AMD4 for Atlas N scale locos and the M1P-15 for the HO scale Atlas MP-15 loco.

The A6X is a drop-in replacement decoder for the locomotive light board. It has the standard 12 volt supply for 12 to 14 volt bulbs and also has a on board 1.5 volt regulated power supply to directly hook up 1.5 volt bulbs with out the need for dropping resistors. This is very useful for Athearn Genesis series locos and Life Like Loco's that come equipped with 1.5 volt bulbs!  It is a Six-function Quiet Drive decoder with Dither (digital pulse power), and comes standard with all  "X" series features.  

Other new developments are a new T6X six function decoder, MC2 mini 2 function decoder and M3 2 function decoder with plug into the PCB. The TCS decoder range now available includes the MC4, (a four function 1 amp micro decoder with 7 pin mini connector) and the MC6 (a six  function 1 amp micro decoder with 7 pin mini connector), and the T4X (the replacement for the TH141). All new decoders have the dimmable light feature as well as some new features. Coming soon - decoders with sound. Watch these pages for more news.

We were the main UK source for the widest range of TCS decoders and spares. Train Control Systems is a well established US company that has been producing decoders to NMRA standards for a number of years. All decoders come with a standard one year "Goof Proof" No Questions Asked warranty, and most also have Quiet Drive, Dither and Brake on DC. The range currently consists of decoders with harnesses, decoders for hard-wiring, Plug and Play decoders and Lighting Only decoders. It is also possible to purchase harnesses separately. TCS decoders can be configured to automatically recognise whether the control is via DCC or DC (analogue). According to Train Control Systems all TCS decoders come with a built in type of BEMF.  It is different to the more conventional type of BEMF because it works automatically and there is no adjustment CV. To view the TCS Plain English Programming Guide click here. There is a Yahoo discussion group on the installation and use of TCS decoders - to access the group, click here. TCS provides a Goof-Proof one year warranty, which means that if you damage the decoder it will be replaced by TCS with no questions asked.

Quiet Drive is a feature of all TCS decoders which is active at all times and provides smooth quiet motor performance.

Dither is a feature which greatly enhances the slow running of locos by providing short bursts of power to overcome resistance and can be used instead of BEMF on TCS decoders. The power and frequency of dither is controlled by the user. It allows operating speeds that are a fraction of what is possible with many other decoders, simulating speeds slower than one half MPH. Since the control required is so precise it must be matched to the friction, weight and motor torque of each engine. It is therefore vital that dither is programmed to be effective as all engines are different. BOTH CV56 and CV57 MUST be greater than 0.

 

SETTINGS FOR CV56 AND CV57

Advised settings

CV56 Dither frequency Frequency range is 1 (high) to 10 (low)

NOTE: This is the advised range, but it is possible to use values beyond 10.

6

CV57 Dither voltage Practical range is 5 (low) to 50 (high)

NOTE: For some particularly sticky motors it might be necessary to use values outside of this range, up to 100, though the allowable range goes up to 255.

15

If the flywheel does not move when the throttle is at 1% or 2% set CV56 to a value of 6 then increase CV57 by 5 until there is some very slow movement of the flywheel, which is barely detectable. On older motors, such as Hornby or Lima, this might need to be quite a high value in order to get some movement of the motor. If you want to change the motor speed once you have movement increase CV56 by 1 until it is running as slow as you want or decrease CV56 by 1 to increase speed. Again, with older motors this value might need to be set towards the higher end of the range.

Extended addressing: Decoders respond to over 10,000 addresses

Decoders respond to all methods of programming - Operations, Direct, Paged, Bit manipulation, Physical Register, and also works well with computer programming.

Full featured - Programmable Vhigh, Vmid, User Loadable Speed Tables, Acceleration, Deceleration, Start Voltage, Kick Start, Dither, Lighting Effects, and much more.

Brake on DC - Brake on DC is a feature of all TCS loco decoders and describes the way in which the decoder will respond when the signal supplied to the decoder is switched off and instantaneously replaced by a DC voltage. The decoder will slow the loco at the deceleration rate programmed into CV4. When DCC power is switched back on the loco will automatically accelerate at the rate set in CV3. The system allows for automatic control of DCC locos as part of block control, for example. With a train detection circuit sensing when a train has entered a block and with the switch from DCC to DC power to loco will smoothly decelerate to a stop. When the way is clear and the block is released the DCC signal is restored and the loco smoothly accelerates on its way. Such a system of automatic block control equipment is made, for example, by Bitswitch. Note that to enable the Brake On DC feature in TCS decoders analogue mode must be disabled. This means that Bit 2 of CV29 must be cleared. Do this by writing a value of 2 into CV29. For more information about CV29 click here.

Resetting decoders - all decoders can be reset to the factory default by programming 2 into CV30 or CV8. However, it is advisable for this to be done on the programming track, not on the main.

Peak amps - all TCS decoders have a peak rating of 2 amps, which should not last longer than 5 seconds in order to avoid permanent damage to the decoder.

 

TCS Decoder Summary Table

Length
Width
Height
Decoder
Railcom Enabled
Functions
Outputs
Continous Amps
Max Amps
mm
in
mm
in
mm
in
T1
Y
2
2 x 100mA
1.3
2
24.28
0.956
16.63
0.655
5.25
0.207
A4X
N
4
4 x 100mA
1.3
2
72.64
2.860
17.27
0.680
3.68
0.145
A6X
N
6
6 x 200mA
1.3
2
72.64
2.860
17.27
0.680
3.68
0.145
AMD1
N
2
2 x 100mA
1
2
76.96
3.030
9.020
0.355
3.43
0.135
T4X
N
4
4 x 100mA
1.3
2
24.28
0.956
16.63
0.655
5.25
0.207
T6X
N
6
6 x 100mA
1.3
2
24.28
0.956
16.63
0.655
5.25
0.207
M1
N
2
2 x 100mA
1
2
14.40
0.567
9.120
0.359
3.43
0.135
M4
N
4
4 x 100mA
1
2
14.40
0.567
9.120
0.359
3.43
0.135
MC2
N
2
2 x 100mA
1
2
18.50
0.729
10.60
0.417
4.80
0.189
MC4
N
4
4 x 100mA
1
2
18.50
0.729
10.60
0.417
4.80
0.189
MC6
N
6
6 x 100mA
1
2
18.50
0.729
10.60
0.417
4.80
0.189
DP2X
N
2
2 x 100mA
1
2
11.70
0.460
17.50
0.690
3.50
0.140
DP2X-UK
Y
2
2 x 100mA
1
2
17.50
0.690
11.70
0.460
3.50
0.140
DP5
Y
5
5 x 80mA
1
2
16.15
0.636
12.92
0.509
1.06
0.042
Z2
N
2
2 x 60mA
1
2
12.95
0.510
6.60
0.260
2.79
0.110
FL2
N
2 lighting
2 x 200mA
0.5
1
21.03
0.828
11.43
0.450
3.81
0.150
FL4
N
4 lighting
4 x 200mA
0.8
1
14.86
0.585
9.14
0.360
2.92
0.115
 
 

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