KB705: Can I operate LGB LOCOs (with LGB decoders) on a Digitrax system?

This article was last updated on July 20, 2011, 7:47 p.m. | Print Article | Leave Feedback

The LGB MTS (Multi-Train System) is DCC based, so a system such as Digitrax Super Chief 8 Amp and a high current power supply such as the Digitrax PS2012 (rated at 20 amps) will work successfully.

However, the LGB system is not a pure DCC system and there are reports of problems when Digitrax units are used to program LGB decoders, especially the sound decoders.  The latest LGB MTS decoders (Generation III) will operate with NMRA DCC systems, however some of the sounds and other functions may not work.  Some users have reported creating a "hybrid" system, but we do not recommend that approach.

There are several different LGB command stations.  The earlier units only transmitted serial commands, while the later units can use parallel transmission.  This from their web site:

"To take advantage of parallel function commands, you need an MTS Central Station "Type 2" (LGB 55005) with upgraded software that includes "p" capabilities or "Type III" (LGB 55006)."

So, there may be problems operating Digitrax mobile decoders with the LGB command stations.  It will depend upon which command station and software that you have.

Are there any compatibility issues (like the power supply)?

Yes, in addition to the need for a high current power supply, MTS equipped locomotives offer only 14 speed steps instead of the more common 128 speed steps found in the Digitrax DG583S Large Scale decoder.  The DG583S also offers a variety of functions not found in the MTS system.

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