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MTH DCS - Power supplies to use (and not recommended)

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The power supply you use with your MTH Protosound 2/ 3 equipped trains (and with your DCS Control equipment like the TIU) is important for two reasons:

                    1) Possible control issues/malfunctions with the engines and 

                    2) Possible actual damage to the electronics. 

                                (Note:  You can damage your train electronics with too high a voltage or with PWM(Pulse Width Modulated) voltages of a high enough voltage spike frequency

                                            that can damage electronics components in your engines or control system.)


What you want to control your MTH PS2/PS3 trains (and power your TIU) is a power supply that provides clean DC (or AC) power with an unaltered waveform.  The problem is it isn't always clear what you are getting with the power supply you purchase.  PWM power supplies for instance (which can be damaging if used) don't always state they are PWM power.  


It is best to stick with only those power supplies that are recommended.


See this write-up on power supplies:  http://www.rayman4449.com/DCS_Tips.htm#Type_of_Power_Supply




Recommended DC power supplies:  (From Rayman4449.com DCS Tips page)
                                - Bridgewerks (Throttle type power supply)  *Use 'To Track' output terminals for best results*                                
                                            - http://www.bridgewerks.com/Pages/MagnumSRSeries.html (5, 10, 15 amp)
                                            - http://www.bridgewerks.com/Pages/Mag20SRM.html (20 amp)
                                            - http://www.bridgewerks.com/Pages/Magnum25TDR.html (25 amp) 
                                - Bridgewerks (Power Mag regulated power suply)  
                                            - http://www.bridgewerks.com/Pages/PowerSupplies.html (25 amp @ 24volts) (see Power Mag)



                                - MRC Power 'G': http://www.modelrec.com/
                                - Bridgewerks Mag 15 (new model regulated at 24v output)  (This may not provide the same track signal levels as their throttle type supplies)


    Believe safe to use:
            - Aristocraft 5460 (10amp) - (Looks like Automotive Battery Charger)

                        Not Recommended:
                                - Switching mode power supplies:  (These can be used but I would avoid them)
                                - AC Outputs on Bridgewerks power supplies: (Will get lower track signal levels)
                                - Bridgewerks fixed output terminals on Throttle type power supplies.  *Use 'To Track' output terminals for best results*  

                        Avoid/Do not use:
                                - Pulse Width Modulated (PWM)

                                - Aristocraft Revolution Base Station (added between your power supply and TIU/layout that allows control of voltage):  
                                            - Model #57005S / 57004S is PWM/PWC output (Do not use this base station, it WILL DAMAGE your MTH TIU 
                                               and possibly PS2/PS3 engine electronics.   Will also cause control/operational issues because of the PWM/PWC power.

                                            - Model #57007S / 57006S indicates it is Linear (not PWM) and may be safe to use

                                - MRC Throttle Pack 9950 or 9900 (These are PWM power supplies, Do Not Use!)

                                - Bridgewerks Mag 15 (old version with unregulated output of 35+ volts)
                                - Caution: 

                                               - Aristocraft Train Engineer (At least some were PWM/PWC) (if it has a Linear/PWC switch, do not use on PWC setting.  Linear should be ok) 

                                                  If you aren't sure if your Train Engineer is PWM/PWC or Linear, then I would assume it is PWM and not use it until you confirm for sure.



                                - USA Trains Power 10:

- Testing shows this power supply has excellent track signal results and is one I normally recommend under the Good to Use list.  However as of 3/27/19, I have encountered 3 separate customers within a few week period where engines stop running with their lights flashing/pulsing (PS2 or PS3-One gauge steam) .  Engine won't move with speed dialed in and engine makes noises when on the track.  It appears USA has a bad batch of power supplies where they have an intermittent problem where they pulse track voltage on/off to the track rapidly.   If you see this STOP USING THE POWER SUPPLY IMMEDIATELY!  (Note that if you have PS3 engine with LED lights then lights wont flicker/pulse but will malfunction/not move.)


                               - O gauge/One Gauge:  0-24v recommended voltage (under DCS Command Control with TIU and remote use 18-24v)
                               - HO Scale:  0-24v recommended voltage (under DCS Command Control with TIU and remote use 18-24v Maximum)



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Hi Raymond this table is very useful but you don't mention Aristo Craft train engeneer anywhere. A while ago, I asked you if I could use the Train engeneer in linear mode with a Bridgeworks 15 amps power supply, and you told me that it should be OK. I have been using it for at least two years now and it does seem OK although I haven't fired up my TIU set up since to see if my MTH engines still work with it (I suppose they do though) I will try to do that just to make sure this works OK still after two years of running this way. I just thought that others who might wish to use the Train engeneer set up, might like to know this. In my case I do this because I have many engines not fitted with the DCS system and thus I can run them all, also as you know I am absolutely useless with electronic devices so keeping things simple is better for me, although it doesn't have as many advantages as DCS does.

 Best for Christmas to all, Simon

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Hi Simon,  I hadn't added it or put in a category because I hadn't confirmed specifically the type of power output it has and I have to be careful what I list as a formal recommendation. (Quite a bit of time has passed since we last talked about the TE) .  My understanding was it was straight linear like you said (not PWM/PWC) and based on that should be safe.   Based on what you are saying it would seem that it is probably safe to use with no risk of damage.  


As a note, if the intent is to run the trains with a TIU under DCS control, adding a Train Engineer (or anything else like that) in-between the Bridgwerks and TIU negates the benefits of getting a Bridgewerks for its ultra clean DC power output.  If a comparison is done on track signal tests between straight Bridgewerks to TIU  vs having Train engineer in between Bridgewerks and TIU, I would anticipate that would see generally lower signal quality and/or more general problems, especially at higher amperage loads.  If the intent is to run the engines on analog with the Train Engineer set to Linear then it sounds like should be ok.



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Ray, I have a Digitrax PS2012E power supply.   Would it be approiate for use to power MTH DCS TIU?  I plan to run Gauge 1 Pro-2 and pro-3 locos with system.

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I'm guessing that would fall under the category of a switching power supply.  Assuming it isn't PWM or PWC (which I bet it isn't) then yes you should be able to use safely and would say give it a try.  Just note the possible inherent issues with those types of power supplies.


http://www.rayman4449.com/DCS_Tips.htm#Type_of_Power_Supply for more info

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