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LGB MTS Parallel Upgrade Overview


NEW MTS Parallel Upgrade
By Casey Jones

LGB has enhanced the MTS system to send a parallel signal to the locomotive decoder on all products produced in 2003 and later. The new software will send serial or paralell allowing backwards compatibility. The below information has been provided by LGB to help you understand the benefits of the new features. Please read below for my comments on the new features provided from www.lgb.com.

MTS: What is “p” and “parallel?” 

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With the factory settings, Multi-Train System loco function commands are send “in series” as a combination of “1” commands. For example, when you press button “3,” command “1” is sent three times (1+1+1). Obviously, this "serial" data transmission takes time, as can be seen on the flashing display of the remote.

However, on many LGB locomotives EQUIPPED WITH ONBOARD DECODERS, loco functions 1 - 8 can be transmitted using NMRA-style "parallel" function commands. Parallel function commands are sent directly. For example, “3” is sent as “3.” So there is no pause while data is transmitted.

To take advantage of parallel function commands, you need a 55005 MTS Central Station, Type 2, with upgraded software that includes "p" capabilities.

In addition, any input device and wireless component used to transmit the "parallel" commands to the Central Station must have "p" software. These include:
55015 Universal Remote
55016 Loco Remote
55050 Wireless Transmitter
55051 Wireless Transmitter, USA
55055 Wireless Receiver
55056 Wireless Receiver, USA
55060 MTS Computer Interface

(For example, if only one remote has "p" software, you can send parallel function commands only from that remote. If that remote is used with wireless components, the wireless components need to be upgraded as well.)

MTS components produced after late 2003 already are equipped at the factory with "p" software. These components can be identified by a "p" sticker, usually underneath the component.

Most older MTS components, except for the 55000 MTS Central Station and 55010 MTS Train Mouse, can be upgraded. An upgrade service is provided by Massoth Elektronik via your nearest LGB Service Station or the LGB representative in your country. For more information, contact your authorized LGB retailer or www.massoth.de.

MTS components with “p” software still can transmit serial function commands, for example, if not all components have been upgraded or with older locomotives.

To program your remote to always send parallel function commands to a specific loco address:
- Select the loco address.
- Press the "F" button and then the "9" button. This has to be programmed on each input device (see above) for each loco address.
- To re-program your remote to always send serial function commands, press the "F" and "9" buttons again.

This setting will remain programmed even when the remote is turned off. If you assign the loco address to a different loco, you may have to change the setting.

Also Read:


MTS: Are LGB add-on decoders “p“ compatible? 

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No. LGB add-on Multi-Train System decoders -- including the 55020, 55021 and 55022 -- cannot understand "p" or "parallel" function commands, because they have only one function terminal. However, because the command for parallel or serial function control is set individually for each loco address, locomotives with serial function triggering and those with parallel function triggering can be used together on layouts operated with "p"-compatible controls.

When a loco not compatible with "p" receives a parallel function command, it will not react. If your loco does not react to function commands, select that locomotive with your remote and press the "F" and "9" buttons to reset the function triggering for this loco address to serial. 

What it means...

If you purchased an MTS product prior to late 2003, you will not have parallel function without sending your components to LGB. Look for a "P" sticker on the product to see if you have the new items.

Take special notice that so far only locomotives with factory install decoders will accept parallel signals. If you do not have any parallel locomotives, then you may not want to upgrade.

There are several reasons you my want to upgrade your MTS even if your locomotives will not accept parallel signals. We had lock ups occur with 55015, Universal Remote Controls w/ Wireless during an open house. The wireless module had to be removed and inserted for the remote to respond. I would bet that they have fixed "bugs" encountered over the years when developing the parallel program. Hopefully, the upgraded remotes will operate without locking up. The new 55015-p has internal programming with a new feature. The remote will display locomotive direction and speed step. This will let you see the last speed command sent to a locomotive from the remote.

The in the past, LGB had a time limit on their upgrade programs. So far I have not heard how long the upgrades will be available. I recommend that you "make hay while the sun shines" and do the upgrades.

Personally I prefer to have updated programs to take advantage of new features and "bug" fixes. This upgrade is not for free and I do not know how long it will take for them to return the upgraded components.

If you want to send your MTS products for upgrade, click on this link for the form http://www.lgb.de/upload/docs/LGBoA%20p%20Upgrade.pdf. Complete it and ship the parts to LGB for the upgrade.
If you have questions or input on this topic, please leave an entry in the guest book.

Casey Jones

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