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If you're a multi-user, multi-cab club with a complex layout and you're ready to take advantage of everything the ultimate DCC experience can offer, Prodigy Advance is the system for you. Prodigy Advance Wireless with true wireless programming does everything Prodigy Advance 2 can do.
Use MRC's Conversion Set (0001412) to upgrade Prodigy Advance 2 or Prodigy Express to wireless control. Build a roster, display CVs, stacks, route manager, consist info, control accessories, all function buttons and more. For most modellers, moving trains to and from their industries, customers and staging yards is the main goal of their model railroad operation.
There are several ways that model railroaders have devised over the years to accomplish the tasks of moving cars. Switch lists are a Prototypical method of moving trains in model railroad operations (this is what the real railroads used). Basically, the yardmaster lists all the cars on his switchlist, and then, next to each car, depending on its destination, he places a number for the track in the yard that it’s supposed to go to – so that it can be placed in a consist with other cars going in that same direction or to that same location.
Furthermore, the cars can be lined up in order corresponding to where they will be dropped off. You could use numbers of mileposts to help with sorting, such that cars going to milepost 74 would be closer to the engine (and the last to be dropped off) than the one going to milepost 52. Basically, each rail car has an associated car card containing a pocket that holds the smaller waybill, which tells where the car is going. The car cards contain the road name, like PRR for Pennsylvania RR, the type of car, like coal car, and the number of the car that you can find written on the side of the car. The yardmaster’s job in a model railroad operation session, then, is to arrange the cars according to where they’re going and the order in which they will be set out, or dropped off – in other words, make up the consist for each train. When the train is ready, it can be placed on a departing track; and when the yardmaster receives clearance from the dispatcher, the train can be pulled out by a crewmember and taken to its destination, dropping off cars at various industries along the way. All of this activity is often done according to schedules and timetables set up by the host or by the chief dispatcher to hopefully provide for smooth model railroad operation.
From a model railroad operation perspective, there are many different types of trains that have different purposes and operate or move in different ways. Before we review some of the common types of trains (by function), keep in mind that for most modellers, the movement of trains to and from industries, customers and staging yards is the main goal of model railroad operation. While you may be just running trains for the fun of it, hopefully at some stage of your own model railroad journey, you will probably want to move your trains in a way that is somewhat prototypical (or that at least makes sense)- this opens up a whole new dimension to the hobby. You can read this Article to get a feel of several ways that model railroaders have devised over the years to accomplish the tasks of moving cars. It has been remarked that many of the original passenger-only trains did not succeed in remaining profitable (many trains had fancy names as marketing gimmicks, but still ended up losing money for the railroad) , but were used as marketing tools for the more profitable freight business. These trains usually travel from one yard to another, dropping off some cars (“propers”) at one yard and carrying “throughs” on to the next yard or destination. These trains usually contain only a few blocks of cars, pre-arranged at the origination point, that are moved to their destinations as soon as possible without being tied up in yard switching any more than absolutely necessary. If a fast freight arrives in your yard, you want to try to do everything possible to get them on their way as quickly as you can.
This is a freight train that goes out from a yard to a certain destination, then directly returns back to its origin. These are usually fast freights that have a fancy name used by the railroad company in marketing.
It sounds better to railroad customers if their goods are being shipped on a train called the Blue Streak, rather than just any old freight.
Local freights that serve mine branches, exchanging empties for loaded cars, also carrying LCL (less-than-carload-lot) mine supplies and other freight occasionally. These are trains, either freight or passenger, that are not listed on the timetable, but are required for extra work. You may have 2 or more different types of the above trains involved in model railroad operation on your layout.
Double-heading is the simplest of these and of course involves adding an extra 1 or more engines at the front of the train to help pull the train up the grade. In that case, you may need to use pusher engines at the rear or in the middle of the train to prevent this. Pushing against a caboose may be okay if it has a steel frame, but many do not prototypically and you don’t want to put your crew in danger, so you may have to do some switching to get the caboose off then back on again after the climb is finished. For example, you could have a sawmill in one area and a furniture warehouse that obtains wood from the sawmill in another area, but you don’t have to have both. You could just have the sawmill where trains load up with wood then travel to an offline staging yard where the trains become empty again, presumably because they’ve gone to a customer where the lumber has been unloaded. Most of the time it will be hidden behind a mountain, elevated scenery, or even in an adjoining room. Some layouts have staging yards underneath the main layout, or above the main layout accessible by a helix.
This depends on how long you want you average train to be and how much space you have available. You usually need about twice as many as you think you need, and after you’ve built the yard, you always need more than you have. The minimum should be the number of trains you have plus at least two more for arriving and departing trains. If your tracks are long enough, you could potentially double-up and have two trains on one staging track, but the operation and flow are probably better if each train has it’s own track. This would work well for passenger trains that don’t have to appear loaded or unloaded when they re-appear on the layout. Freight trains, however, when they go into staging usually are changed from loaded to unloaded or vice versa. So you will have to do some switching while the train is in the staging yard, before the next session.
Model railroad operation is a very important and exciting aspect of model railroading that for many model railroaders serves as the main goal in the hobby. Think about how your railroad will be operated, how trains will move, how trains will be assembled, where the staging yards will be located (or perhaps you do not need a staging yard?) and possible power requirements. Another aspect of Operations is trying to figure out which one of your crew is suited for which particular job on the railroad – a job that in itself may be somewhat challenging at times! It’s probably a good idea to move people around on different jobs at different sessions, so that no one gets bored doing the same thing over and over. Some folks will never want to be a dispatcher or yardmaster, while others won’t want to leave the dispatcher’s chair or yardmaster’s position once they’re in it. You may want to limit the number of newcomers to each session, so you don’t get too bogged down in orientation. You want your operating sessions to be lively, interesting, socially inviting and friendly – never boring, and always fun! Moving railcars to and from their industries, customers and staging yards is the main goal of model railroad operation; and it should be done in a way that is at least somewhat prototypical and makes the most sense. Switchlists are a very prototypical method of moving rail cars in model railroad operations, since this is what the real railroads used. Using car cards and waybills is probably the most popular method of car forwarding used for model railroad operations. At the beginning of the 20th century, 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge railway lines started playing a significant role in South Africa. These lines featured the largest and most powerful locomotives ever in existence on two foot gauge railways worldwide. Their decline started in the 1980s, the last commercial line ceased operations in the 1990s. When models of narrow gauge trains are made, there are a number of methods of describing the scale and gauge combination. British modellers instead describe the scale followed by the model track gauge in millimetres. This is Sixteen Millimetre scale (16mm on the model equalling 1 foot on the prototype) running on 32mm gauge (0) track. Sound Systems have long been part of Model Railways, with systems dating back to the 70’s.
The Pacific Fast Mail Sound System included a sensitive transistorized power pack, with the electronics needed to generate steam locomotive chuffing, steam pumps, hiss, bell and whistle sounds. The PFM Sound System was a hybrid system consisting of a throttle and a sound system using electronically generated and recorded sounds.
The locomotive is equipped with a DC Blocking Capacitor to allow the RF signal to travel to LTM (‘’Locomotive Tender Module’’). The Sound System II also allowed the transmission of sounds from the tape players to the locomotive on the 300kHz carrier. Whistle sounds were generated electronically, with five selector switches and a tone control. Another group of knobs controlled the electronically generated chuff, with the master volume control above these controls.
PFM offered a number of accessories, including a $16.95 filter set for a larger stationary speaker.
This was an electronic sound system that could generate sounds like water flowing, factory operations, dog barking and traffic sounds to create background ambiance on your layout. The steam unit used a chuff cam to synchronize the sound, as well as form of Back EMF to modulate the sound under no-load and load conditions. The idea of independent control of two locomotives goes back to at least the 1940’s, with companies like Ives and Lionel leading the market.
It is important to realize that due to the nature of the electronics available in those days, most system were unreliable at best and often very expensive.
Advances in electronics, with the advent of cheaper, smaller and more reliable solid state devices, made even more things possible.
The shift from the analog computer to the digital computer drove electronics to the present day’s powerful but small microprocessors that make Digital Command Control possible. Instead of the usual method of controlling the E-Unit, where you cut track power to switch the E-Unit (forward-neutral-reverse-neutral) by pressing button 1, pressing button two (whistle) injected Direct Current onto the track that triggered the Magic Electrol unit.
After the US joined everyone else fighting the Second World War, Lionel ceased production of trains and Magic Electrol in 1942. Lionel Electronic Train Control system consists of a one watt transmitter and a number of small receivers mounted under or within a piece of rolling stock. The set included a massive cast metal 671R Turbine (based on the Pennsylvania S2 Turbine locomotive) for motive power, tender with whistle, a boxcar, gondola, ore-dump car and caboose. While the PRR built only one S2, Lionel built a considerable quantity of the model 671 locomotive. The transmitter was built around a 117N7GT vacuum tube that functions as an oscillator and a rectifier. A well known example using telephone switching equipment was built by MIT students at The Model Railroad Club on campus.
Digital Command Control’s advantage was simplification of wiring, rendering schemes like progressive cab control obsolete.
It was available as a complete unit, kits, and individual parts so you could construct your own system.
The control system used a single vacuum tube transmitter, with ten channels, small receivers (which didn’t need a tube) that could be fitted to locomotives or rolling stock. Carrier Control indicates the control signals reach the receiver by wire (such as the track), whereas Radio Control indicates wireless transmission of the signals. Westcott presented a number of features he felt were necessary and should be considered by those planning to design a carrier control system.
Compatibility with Direct Current, such as using DC for the motor, signalling, constant lighting, and reversal of polarity shouldn’t cause problems.


Outside of a few samples, the system seems to have never made it past the prototype stage, and was never sold commercially. A preproduction sample of the Track Master was reviewed by MR in March 1963, the receiver was sizeable, and appeared to be installed in a boxcar. Sadly, it would be noted in later issues that the Roundel system never progressed beyond the samples MR received for review. One of the first Command Control Systems to enter the market was the ASTRAC K-2 , designed and manufactured by General Electric. An improved ten channel version of the ASTRAC system offered by GE, developed and manufactured by Alphatronics.
Featuring 10 channels, compatible with ASTRAC, and additional channels were available by special order. Alphatronics offered three configurations: A single fixed channel transmitter, a transmitter which allowed selection of any one channel using buttons, and a transmitter with a rotary switch to select one of ten channels. According to an answer published in the MR Clinic, August 1972 Model Railroader, Jouef of France made a very similar system to ASTRAC, which was never exported to North America. Details from 1968 indicate it was a carrier control system, using an AC waveform on the track, tension (French for voltage) was 14V. It was the first command control system to use digital control signals superimposed on a DC voltage (time division multiplexing), but the cost and complexity of the system doomed it. The Digitrack 1600 Master Power Pack transmitted 16 pulses sequentially, one for each receiver.
Russ Larson reviewed the Digitrack 1600, demonstrated by creators Balmer and Robbins, in operation on Linn Westcott’s Sunset Railway and Navigation Co. If viewed on a scope, the waveform would show a DC voltage with sixteen 4V pulses riding on the track voltage, as produced by the Master Power Pack. This also gave the user the ability to use constant lighting, as the track was energized at all times. The Digitrack 1600 was a three piece system: The master power pack, a control box (throttle) and the receiver. The address the throttle controlled by determined by which position it was plugged into on the master power pack.
Receivers for the Digitrack 1600 measured about three-quarters by one by one and three quarter inches. It was also possible to bypass the receiver using a plug or switch to allow operation on a Direct Current layout.
Model Railroader purchased the publication rights and planned to publish a series of articles on constructing and operating a Digitrack system. This carrier control system appears to have been another planned but never truly realized product from ARI-TRONICS of Scottsdale Arizona.
ARI-TRONICS offered the ability to independently control the speed and direction of up to five locomotives on the same track.
Later a lower cost two engine control system was offered in an easy to build kit, for $24.95, with support for N scale as well. The ME-80 was made by A Fienwerktechnik in West Germany, and sold in the US by Janssen Enterprises.
The main unit had six slide switches, which allowed the user to set the hand-held unit’s channel. Each channel used a pair of frequencies, one for forward and the second one for reverse operation, which controlled the receiver. Control was divided between the Master, or dispatcher, down to the Zone which then connected the cab to the track (Layout). The entire concept was to simplify the wiring while making it easier to control the flow of power.
The underlying theory behind PCC and MZL was to simplify the wiring, reducing the complexity of operating a train. The DIGIPAC 316 was a commercial version of the CTC-16, manufactured by Mann-Made Products. Planned software announced by Custom Control Systems in 1981, which would allow the dispatcher to control the model railroad from a computer, compatible with the CTC-16.
The system could operate in 16, 32, or 64 channel mode, for up to 64 locomotives under its control, and 16 throttles could be connected to the system. Dyntrol uses a supersonic carrier, with modulation of the duty cycle to transmit information to a pre-programmed receiver in the locomotive.
One locomotive was controlled by the power pack, the other by the EMS system, allowing the two to operate independently of each other.
The ONBOARD Locomotive Sound and Control system, by Keller Engineering, offered 20 (originally ten) channels, with a constant 12VDC on the track. A typical starter set came with a 5A power supply, a 16 channel handheld controller, two 1A motor controllers and the manual. Optical exhaust sync (or magnetic for outdoor use), automatic 2 stroke air pump, adjustable 6 chime whistle, bell. A radio adapter was also available, using a Futaba unit, which was directly usable in large locomotives. The Regulated speed Full wave Positionable Throttle was a nine channel system using a constant 12VAC track voltage, and high frequency signals to control the locomotive. The system was advertised for $300 (including 2 receivers), and receivers were $40 each in 1979.
Main unit consisted of a console with sixteen selector switches to select one of four channels. For instance, our units are the only high tech systems so elegantly designed that instructions for basic operations are printed on handheld. It is also the first DCC system so brilliantly designed that it eliminates the complexities of operation without sacrificing sophisticated technology and comprehensive features. And remember, when you step up to wireless, you can continue to use your tethered handheld along with your new wireless handheld. Neither the service provider nor the domain owner maintain any relationship with the advertisers. Further back, would be the car going to milepost 19, which would then be the first of the 3 cars to be dropped off. That way you, the host, only have to set up the cards and waybills once to use them for 4 different sessions, and then use them over again starting with cycle 1. The typical operating session is run based on a fast-clock, which compresses a 24 hour train schedule into 3-4 hours, depending on how long you want your operating sessions to last. In these situations, the lead locomotive is required to carry a white flag or have classification lights, to let other trains know its status. How these are all orchestrated to move from one place to another to get their work done is the job of the chief dispatcher – a position that may require a little experience by working on smaller railroads, or by working as an apprentice on larger railroads, before moving into the position on a regular basis.
You can also use a pusher with the coupler locked open, so that when the grade climb is finished the train simply pulls forward and the pusher falls back without requiring an uncoupling procedure.
They don’t have to be hidden, however, if you use it as an interchange between two main rail systems on your layout. It doesn’t make sense for your loaded coal train to go out of the layout from the coal mine, and then return to the coal mine later still fully loaded. Planning , even if only done in your head, is an essential part of your model railway journey! If not, some members may need to come to alternate sessions, or you may just have to limit the number of members.
You can buy the forms for this through Micro-Mark or Old Line Graphics; or you can make your own.
They facilitated the transport of various agricultural and mineral produce from locations hardly accessible by road.
However, this did not prevent standardization and inter-changeability of rolling stock and locomotives. Using this information, you should be able to work out the meanings of any other narrow gauge scale names you may come across. In the 1970s they began selling a sound system that transmitted signals through the rails to a module located in the tender of a steam locomotive.
The chuff was generated by a cam, which connected a 0.047mF capacitor across the rails which loaded an oscillator circuit that created the sound of the chuff. The system also offered a Doppler effect, a cutoff control, with the ability to simulate any steam locomotive. This allowed the user to select which speaker was used: All sounds come from the speaker in the tender, high frequency from the tender and bass from the stationary loudspeaker. The diesel version emulated the sound of various diesel prime movers, with or without a turbo charger. It would take about 30 years for command control systems to go from analog to digital in the form of Digital Command Control (DCC).
This was the second major post-war innovation from Lionel, after the smoke unit introduced in 1945. These sets do command a good price on the collector market, but are rarely seen in operation. Ten buttons controlled the operation of the oscillator, which produced RF signals from 230 to 350 kHz. The receiver is tuned to a specific frequency, which activates whistles, couplers or a dumping mechanism. The locomotives and caboose were fitted with RUB receivers, the boxcar was an RU, RUA for the gondola, RUD for the dump car, and the whistle was controlled by an RUC receiver.
The transformer was connected to the Electronic Control Unit, and the ECU was then connected to the track. It used multi-deck rotary switches to set routes, and power could be routed in a progressive manner by the dispatcher as the train moved along the track. Any DCC system can be purchased and installed for less money, and with a lot less complexity, than a progressive cab control system, which relies on costly rotary switches as its backbone. Operations were enhanced by the operator not having to worry about blocks when operating on a DCC layout. The plans were available for $1.95, which would be credited to your order if you bought $20 or more in parts. Command Control, or as it was often called, Carrier Control would benefit from the revolution set off by the transistor and other semiconductor devices. In either case, a carrier, such as an audio frequency tone or a radio signal, carries the instructions to the receiver. One observation was that many carrier control systems were created by those who recently joined the hobby, and happened to be electrical or electronic engineers.
The Track Master II also professed to eliminate many wiring issues such as reversing loops.
A basic two channel system cost about $300, (almost $1000 today) and decoders were $40 to $50 (in 1979). The Alphatronics receivers also used a single TRAIC instead of the two SCRs used by GE’s ASTRAC receivers.
In the beginning they were analog, but early on systems using digital technology began to appear. Manufactured by Electro-Plex Inc., of Urbana Ohio, it allowed change of channel in locomotive by changing a plug. Additional auxiliary power supplies could be connected to the master power pack to increase the system’s current capacity to eighteen amps. They could fit in many HO scale locomotives, or be installed in a dummy or tender if needed.
Unlike Digital Command Control, a direct current locomotive not equipped with a Digitrack receiver would react to the constant track voltage by accelerating at full speed.
Flipping the polarity during operation had no effect on the motion of the train, as the receiver was not sensitive to polarity changes.


Upon review, it was determined to be too expensive for a do it yourself project, and the Digitrack 1600 evolved into the CTC-16 system that appeared in the December 1979 issue of MR.
Although advertised for about a year, there is little more know about the system outside of what was presented in the ads. The system was a solid state design, available in kit form or fully assembled, with the power supply included. The front panel had the selector switches, indicator lamps, fuse holders and six DIN plugs for the hand-held interface. Again, while simplifying the wiring, it added a number of devices, making it a costly proposal. Both systems still required care and intervention on behalf of the engineer, distracting him from the operations of the layout.
Modern DCC has reduced the wiring, making operations all about running the train, and not interacting with power routing and control. The speed and direction would be maintained, but over time the train would slow to a stop if the throttle was not plugged in.
Alan McClelland installed the DIGIPAC 316 system on his Virginian and Ohio railroad, previously he had employed GE’s ASTRAC system beginning in 1963. It was the third generation of the Digitack 1600, and used a Z-80 microprocessor in place of the analog processor used in the CTC-16. Compatible computers were the Apple II, the IBM PC, or the Radio Shack Model III, which interfaced to the CTC-80 via the serial port.
Dynatrol is an 18 channel system (originally only 15 channels were offered), using a track voltage of 13.5VDC, and a frequency shift reversing system.
Each throttle has its own oscillator and modulator, which are controlled by the throttle and brake controls.
A high frequency AC signal was applied to the rails and the locomotive equipped with the receiver would act on the signal. The handhelds generated both throttle and sound commands with crystal controlled oscillators.
For Diesels, it featured a variable engine RPM exhaust, bell and six chime air horn sounds, plus constant lighting.
While the system has been out of production for more than 20 years, it is still in use today. The better option was to install the receiver in a dummy as it needed enough room to warrant removing some mass from the locomotive frame. The Protrac system was not compatible with any sound systems that used track current to power them. Handheld throttles (Throttle Control Unit or TCU) were $25 for a single channel or $50 for three channels.
The ECU consisted of a servo motor driving a gearbox, which in turn drove a potentiometer controlling a transistorized throttle. Unlike others, there's no need to incessantly plug in and unplug every time you want to program a loco! Then, if you agree it’s advanced, user-friendly and fun, purchase the interface hardware at your hobby dealer or direct from MRC and start enjoying the future of DCC.
In case of trademark issues please contact the domain owner directly (contact information can be found in whois).
It is usually subservient to passenger trains, fast freight and through freight trains, which basically means if one of them is coming, the local has to get out of the way. A scheduled train may also have additional sections running behind it carrying green flags (all but the last section). You could also have ladders on both ends of the staging yard for entry into the layout from either end. Much like current DCC sound decoders you could make adjustment to the module to get the effect you wanted.
Troublesome operations and a $75 price tag (about $900 today) resulted in the system being discontinued in 1949.
Tuning was accomplished with a slug or plunger inserted in the input coil, which formed the primary of a transformer.
It combined a diode and a pentode in the same package, the maximum voltage on the plate and screen was 117 V, and it was classed as a Class A Amplifier Half Wave Rectifier.
The system would evolve, using relays and eventually computers to control and route power automatically using block detection to control the power routing.
They had lots of enthusiasm but lacked in-depth knowledge about the hobby and what it needed. Using timing, when the pulse began and ended in relation to a fixed point in time determined direction and speed. There would be the sixteen pulses, then a period of low voltage (~11VDC) before the pulses began repeating, forming a synchronization pulse. Dual motored HO locomotives could be converted if the current draw was less than one amp in total. Digitack is compatible with CTC-16, which used more advanced components that were available at the time. Details about the system can be found in the February and April 1974 issues of Model Railroader.
The operator does not have to worry about crossing block boundaries, nor does the yard switcher have to use a string of cars to couple to a cut in another block, occupied by an active train. Model Railroader magazine published a series of CTC-16 articles as a do-it-yourself project.
It claimed to work using Digital Proportional electronics, despite the fact it was an analog command control system based on the CTC-16 project published in Model Railroader. The power station was only available as a kit, or the power station control card could be used to upgrade an existing CTC-16 system.
The carrier frequency is determined by a precision resistor installed in a small plug, called a channel plug. It worked with an existing DC control system, allowing both DC (analog) and EMS equipped locos on the same track.
This allowed independent control as the standard DC locomotive just ignored the AC voltage. Additional parts made it possible to bridge gaps in the track work, enabling the EMS equipped locomotive to travel independent of the block boundaries by passing the AC signal while blocking the DC voltage.
The synthesizer as Onboard called it was usually installed in a dummy, and powered by a rechargeable battery maintained by the track power. At the time, the only compatible sound system was the Train Miniatures system which was battery powered.
Airfix entered receivership at the time, which effectively ended the product and any future versions. This signalling method has the additional benefit that the average voltage of the signal is zero.
Prodigy systems deliver advantages you probably won’t find in systems priced up to 30 % higher.
The trains are expected to arrive and depart at certain times to be sure the goods are picked up and delivered on time. The two heads on deck one could be used to provide reverb, or an additional electronic reverb unit ($43.50) was also available.
The Turbine module was similar, except it generated the sound of the hot gases being exhausted by the turbine. Alphatronics began manufacturing a receiver compatible with ASTRAC transmitters in 1972, and announced a compatible transmitter in mid 1972. A sync pulse locked the timing of the receiver to that of the transmitter, allowing it to count pulses and determine the instruction intended for the receiver. The receiver module counted the pulses until it arrived at the one it was waiting for, which it then acted upon.
It bore the appearance of a piece of high-tech electronic test equipment with it’s aluminum face, blue cabinet and a wire stand which raised the front of the unit.
Like many command control systems, it put constant power to the track and claimed to eliminate a lot of wiring. One feature was the placement of controls for switches would be near where the operator would be, while being close to the switches themselves. Based on the Digitrack 1600, with simpler construction using newer integrated circuits available at the time. Wiring the receptacles was one of the most time consuming parts of the entire installation. As a minimum, the system could control routes, cab signals, trackside signals and hump yards. The full setup was only required if there was no existing command control system on the layout, otherwise upgrading a CTC-16 system was possible with fewer components.
Bringing the locomotive to a stop and holding the throttle key would reverse the direction. According to a review in Model Railroader (November 1979), it didn’t appear to be radio based. Other brands, such as the PFM (Pacific Fast Mail), Lambert Associates and Modeltronics sound systems were not compatible with this system. Receivers were sold labelled as one of four groups, and part of install involved adjusting the tuning to the desired channel (one of 4 in that group) by adjusting the tuning slug in the IF can. Otherwise the shipping and receiving “customers” of the railroad will be unhappy and may start using a trucking service instead (not good for the railroad company).
The tender would have two receivers installed, one to operate the whistle motor, the other to control the reversing unit. The cost in labour and parts coupled with the wiring complexity of Progressive Cab Control meant very few successful implementations of the concept occurred. There was no real demand for carrier control technologies, as cab control had evolved and was well understood. The duration of the pulse, and its relation in time (phase) determined speed and direction. The decoders were not powerful enough to handle O Scale applications, it is unknown if that ever changed.
There was a brake trim control to allow adjustments for the characteristics of your locomotive.
This requires a lot of teamwork as you might expect and a little time pressure to get the jobs done, but that’s all part of the fun. Also needed was a chuff cam, but alternate methods were possible to activate the chuff sound. All three cassettes offered a variety of sounds controlled from the console, which were installed in a specific sequence. The other type (of which there were four channels) operated the coupling mechanism, and in the case of the dump car, the dumping mechanism. It was just too complex for a home layout, and even club layouts had difficulty implementing it. Multiple power supplies ($55 in 1979) and blocks were needed to reach the 15 locomotive capacity of the system. Signals from the throttles were fed to a mixer, each mixer could support four channels generated by two handhelds.
To dump a load, the user simply held the button down for three to five seconds, which activated a thermal relay, which in turn controlled the unloading mechanism. To allow for more flexibility, remote jack panels were offered for $11, as well as bulk cable to connect it to the system.



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