Rayman4449

MTH WiFi Control App & WIU (WiFi Interface Unit)

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**UPDATED 4/17/2017**

 

News and info on the WIU (WiFi Interface Unit) with new MTH Smart Phone App and related DCS Software update (DCS 6.00 current).  

The WIU and apps are now available for purchase/download.  See below for details on what is required and info pages for additional help.

 

 

Latest update:  (4/12/2017)

      - New WiFi Hardware: DCS - Explorer Track Interface Unit w/Wi-Fi built-in (50-1035) - $129.95 MSRP

                - Availability date: Unknown

                - Control your trains via Wi-Fi with your smart device (phone/tablet) with a free version of the app for this device

                - Will not require TIU or WIU and will be like a TIU and WIU combined with a more limited feature set.

                - Expect this will be the device that One Gauge battery operators have been waiting for.

      - Premium Version of the App:  Has been released to Google and Apple app stores and will be avail in the next 7 to 10 days (Update: 4/12/2017)

               - New premium version of the app will be release with new version of DCS 6.00 (software/firmware loaded to TIU and Remote)

               - DCS 6.00 will be available starting the week of 4/16/17.

      - Last App update improved the second and third screens by increasing each line item size to make easier to use on smaller screen devices.  (Update 3/6/17)

                - Makes all phones now very easy to use regardless of screen size

      - WIU firmware update v1.1 is now available. *see below*  (Update: 2/3/2016)

      - App update for Android and iOS now available.  (Visit visit your device Google Play Store or Apple iTunes to update)

 

 

 

Items related/required for using new WIU & App:

 

       - Android/Apple(iOS) App:  (Available for download via the Apple iTunes and Google Play online stores on your Android/Apple iOS device.)

                 - Free version:  Controls up to 3 locomotives w/limited light and sound control  (Available now)

                 - Standard version: ($4.99 cost) Controls up to 99 engines and more sound/light control settings. (Available now)

                 - Premium version: ($24.95 cost) Provides Lash-ups and switch/accessory controls.   (Update: 4/12/2017: Will be avail in the next 7 to 10 days 

                          Note:  1) To purchase the upgraded Standard or Premium version select "...More" then "Upgrades" within the DCS app itself

                                     2) Once you have purchased the app (either Standard or Premium) you can use it on as many other devices that are linked to your

                                         Google/Android or Apple iOS account that you want at no extra charge.  You do not have to purchase the app again for each device.

       - WIU (WiFi Interface Unit):  Now available to purchase (Click here to purchase:  Buy WIU

                  - Note: WIU comes with USB cable for direct connection to the latest Rev L TIU that has USB port.  If you have older TIU you will need a serial to USB adapter cable

                              (Purchase serial to USB cable here)

       - TIU (Track Interface Unit):  (Available separately or as part of DCS Control set with DCS remote) (Purchase TIU here / Purchase DCS Remote Control Set here)

                  - w/TIU version Rev L (Latest version with USB port):  Will work with your WIU without any extra cables to buy.

                  - w/TIU versions older (Rev G, H, I etc):  Need to purchase a serial to USB adapter cable (Purchase serial to USB cable here)

       - MTH DCS version 6.00 (Required for TIU) - Now available  (See this link for help:  Help on upgrading TIU/Remote to 6.00

                  - Link to Updated DCS Consumer Loader program for your Windows PC:  www.gscaletrainforum.com/index.php?/topic/694-mth-dcs-consumer-loader-v500-current-version/

                  - Link to current DCS v6.00 for TIU & Wireless remote www.gscaletrainforum.com/index.php?/topic/693-mth-dcs-remote-tiu-firmware-v600-current-version/

                  - DCS version 6.00 is required (for TIU and Remote) in order for Premium version of app to function correctly.  (Update: 4/17/17)

 

 

 

WiFi DCS User's Guide:  (Download from MTH)

        - Addendum to Guide:

- Multiple WIUs (Connecting via Ethernet cable):  To setup do the following for each WIU -- Connect the Ethernet cable from your home router/network, USB cable from TIU to WIU, attach Antenna, leave switch set to MTH, and plug in the WIU power cable. When the app first starts it looks for available WIUs.  Hit the Refresh button once for every extra WIU you have on your network.  (ie Press refresh once if you have 2 WIUs)  Your active engine list will now be updated or you can now add engines and run trains.  

 

 

WiFi Firmware updates:  (ver 1.1 Released 02/03/2016)

 

     Details regarding the update:  WIU Wi-Fi Firmware v1.1 update

 

     To update:

           - Download the latest WIU Firmware *Click Here*

                     - You will download one file (example:  WIU_1.1.0.bin).  No need to unzip, this is the file you select to update the firmware (See instructions in WIU user manual)

           - Log in to the WIU with your PC (refer to pages 9-12 in the WIU user manual *Click Here to download*)  (WIU interface is called "LuCI")

           - Flash the WIU per the instructions in the User Manual

 

 

Issue and bug reporting:

If you find an issue or bug with the app please post here and the feedback will be shared with MTH:  www.gscaletrainforum.com/index.php?/topic/727-mth-wifi-control-wiu-feedback-issue-reporting/#entry6258 

 

 

 

Demo & Overview of the Wifi app:  (Standard version)     (Select 1080p HD to get max playback quality)

*Note you can also swipe down to Refresh, or swipe left or right to move to the other screens*

 

 

 

 

 

Note:  The Refresh button (see GREEN arrow) that allows you to do a search and update your active engine list.

MTH-Wifi-refresh.jpg

 

 

WiFi Interface Unit overview:

WIU-001(Ports).jpg

 

 

Troubleshooting Tips:

  • 'No TIUs Found' error message: Note, I have found that upgrading the WIU to the firmware v1.1 (released on 2/3/16) has resolved all occurrences of this issue.  However if you get this message first make sure you are properly connected to the MTH WIU Wifi network or have it configured for your home network correctly (as noted in the Wifi DCS Users Manual - See above for link).  If connected to network, close the DCS app and restart.  (you need to manually close the app not just hit the home button). If you are unsure how to close the app, try rebooting the Smartphone/Tablet.  If you still get the message, Cut power to the layout/TIU and WIU and power back on.  Then hit the refresh button.
  • Engine not responding:  Hit the Refresh button to update your active engine list.  Make sure the engine has been added to the App by adding 'New Engine'
  • Connecting to WIU Wifi network:  Network Key for logging into WIU wifi network directly is:  mthdcswifi

 

Running DCS App on Kindle:   http://www.gscaletrainforum.com/index.php?/topic/996-mth-dcs-wifi-app-on-kindle-install-google-play-store/

 

 

Information on the DCS - Explorer Track Interface Unit w/Wi-Fi (50-1035):

         - Info page:  http://www.gscaletrainforum.com/index.php?/topic/1165-dcs-explorer-mini-tiu-and-wifi-in-one-unit/ 

 

50-1035-Info.jpg.cb5ab3dcbdab71e0f60bc63b7ce04c7c.jpg59b59dba83ccc_50-1035_0-Copy.thumb.jpg.ebb7a366d78d144fc2514856df55f88f.jpg

 

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I find this whole control idea exciting. I'm thinking this may lead to a universal controller. I sure like the idea of computerized RRs. Sometimes I think toy trains got stuck back in WWll. Good to see the technological advancements finally coming to fruition. Maybe an electric scale coupler in O gauge will come too.

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Thanks for the post, Raymond... I, too find this fascinating. With all that's coming out with the ipad, iphone, android apps, the technology is moving so fast, it's almost too much to keep up with... Almost....

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There has been an updated post on this system at:  http://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/displayForumTopic/content/14804764764716558

 

It's still in beta testing but I'm guessing they are making good progress.  Looking forward to adding this capability to my layout when it's finally released.  Guess I'll finally have to break down and get a tablet  :)

 

 

Raymond

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Ray/et-al

 

I did see a TCA York meet progress report that it will be another few months for the release.

 

FYI - I have been using a PC based system to control my MTH layout for about 1 year.

It does NOT use any MTH special inside hooks to comm with the PS2 trains.

 

Here is the general background about the system development if you interested.

the_Other_Ray

 

 
re: SKylar = User friendly MTH train control approach
 
This info is > 1 year old (aka before my cancer adventure so things
may have changed......FYI....
 
//////////////////
Inspired by a young man who has celebral Palsey and essentially uses a computer
with a switch between his legs I decided to take a more user friendly approach to solving this problem.
 
I use the same concept of storing commands from the  MTH remote and recalling them on demand
as before. I have just gotten rid of all the electronic processors etc and basically use the PC itself. 
I have accomplished this by writing an executable Windows Application program using Visual Basic.
 
The requirements to run your trains from a PC screen requires my program and a USB or RS232 to
TTL converter available off the shelf online and telephone connector jacks to plug into the TIU
when running and the remote when loading.
 
Overview of Touch screen PC control of MTH trains
 
MTH Signals (Remote <-> TIU - Message packet transport info)
 
There is a chapter #3 but he changed the h/w so #3 does not apply.
 

///////////////////////////////

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This is very cool. I like the idea of computer control as it frees the system from flaws that's in the remote's design. It also could run the layout more precisely. Very cool.

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Video from the Fall 2013 TCA Open House:  

 

There will be two versions of the App, a free and more advanced (for fee) version.  Both are slated for release in 2014 with the new Wifi module that will be needed to be run with the TIU.

 

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Still waiting on the official roll-out of the actual devices and software but I have read that there will be two versions of the interface that will connect to the TIU.  Sounds like one will be wireless that MTH will sell and the other will be a network cable (Cat 5, 6) version for around $90.00 that will plug into your existing wireless router.  I will probably go with the hardwired solution as I have my TIU and a wireless router less than 3 feet from each other.

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 I respect this guy a lot! I like MTH products.

I find it painful to watch how long some software takes them to develop or even fix bugs in. We saw this developing years ago with another user (mentioned above video uploaded on May16, 2011) making his own software. He's been controlling his trains with his computer for three years now. I really have to say this is getting ridiculous! Come on! 

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Now, THIS is a super exciting development.  No wonder this specific video is showing up on other fora.  Mike is clearly trying to remain cutting edge with technology trends.  He is making it easier to run trains and to get involved with model trains.  No specific remote will be required, reducing costs.  I already have two smartphones and two pads, so that'd be 4 potential remotes I already have.  I wonder if Crest will develop a similar device to convert wifi signals to REVO signals.  That would be great. 

 

Think of the possibilites:  a small camera could be installed in the locomotive's engineer side and you could have a small pop up screen that gives the operator a view of the tracks.  Perhaps even the ability to record the live feed.  I got my son a RoboME robot for Christmas.  It uses a smartphone app for some controls and customization.  It was fun and Luke liked it a lot.  It had a feature where if you had the iPad controlling it, you could connect using facetime and then the user's face appeared on the robot's 'face'.  Just made it more fun.  And isn't that what this kind of stuff is for? Having fun?

 

Mike is making it too easy to use his system. 

 

I still like that Norfolk Souther Executive train and hope that I never see it in person!!  And Luke's been talking about the 4014 and making drawings, etc.  Even though he's never seen a Big Boy up close,  he keeps talking about it.  I'm going to make sure my railroad can handle one...

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Your point on not needing a specific remote and the resulting overall lower cost was a key thing that struck me as well.  Before this there was a lot of talk about developing a new remote which would involve a good deal of development and production cost that would ultimately be built-in to acquiring the cost of the system.  That is now really not needed and with existing smartphones and pads, the hardware processing power will be far superior than anything that would be custom designed and built for a train remote so that opens up the possibility of control features and functionality not contemplated before. (I was skeptical about making too many changes to the existing remote anyway because of how well it is already designed and laid out.  I felt it would be hard to improve upon and would not want to see changes in it's user friendliness)   Going this path also allows changing the screen layout to accommodate future feature enhancements without hardware changes and also layouts customized to user preference.  Another point they made was if someone comes over that has a smartphone you can download the free app and instantly have them running trains on they layout.  No need to hand them your remote or have extra remotes on-hand.  Yet another nice point is by utilizing the wireless hardware in smartphones, pads and routers you are likely to get better performance in wireless range, etc.  As is the case with all new products, once they get the core functionality fully finalized and developed they can focus their attention on user interface enhancements so it will be very interesting to see where this goes in the coming months and years.  With what they have developed the possibilities are endless... they will be able to offer an even better user experience with greater end-user customization at reduced cost.  I think they hit the mark with this one for sure.  Hats off to Dave, his team and MTH for this really cool development and option!   

 

I've been wanting to buy a pad and this will likely be what finally drives me to get one.  Soon as this is available I'll get the setup and share with everyone here.

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Great points too on the little cameras, etc.  You're right by utilizing this high powered hardware and technology the possibilities are endless.

 

I would imagine Crest or anyone could do the same, would be just a matter of doing exactly like this, developing the software and hardware interface.  I would expect this will spur the development of similar setups in other mainstream control systems.  In the case of this one, it was fortunate and key that individuals with an inherent interest in the hobby and the necessary technical skills like Dave and his team were able to help develop the technology and system.  Fully outsourcing this sort of development for a turn-key solution would likely be pretty costly.  I'm actually impressed that they have gotten this turned around so quickly, the number of technical questions and details to work out must have been formidable.  

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You know, since the REVO interface is on-board, I wonder if a smaller add-on board could be developed to convert the signals sent from a smartphone app to the locomotive.  This type of interface could possibly be made for a variety of outputs.  Not just model train related!  I hate my garage door opener, for example.  Maybe make adaptors that you can link to your garage door opener... Just throwing it out there.  Coffee pot...house lights....etc..

 

The problem, Raymond, is going to be my ability to run my train when I'm not home.  Who's going to remove the sticks and leaves?!

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That's a good question on the REVO, I think what would have to be done is to essentially create a device that would be outside of the engine and be a central base-station like what you have with this setup.  You would not really want it to be on-board.  The phone sends wifi signals to the new Revo base-station and the base station sends out wireless signals on the existing frequencies to REVO engines.  You could perhaps make one that could be installed on-board but unless you were running battery power I'm not sure you would want to run it that way.  I say this because ultimately I dont know that you are going to be able to easily bypass the original wireless signal control with some sort of plug in solution.  My guess is you are going to have to utilize the existing wireless frequency/communication method to control the REVO boards. 

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I do like the direction you're going with this, I bet we do see this sort of thing for everything at some point, garage door openers etc and at some point finally get a unified control all from your smartphone. :)  

 

hehe on the branches... right??   

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Joe are those wifi controlled?

 

One other note, the 2014 vol 2 O gauge catalog is going to be released on 4/23 maybe we will get more firm information and pricing on the new wifi product in that.  Stay tuned.

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Update on the new DCS Wifi Module (MTH #50-1034) that will allow you to add Wifi train control to your existing TIU:

 

Current expected delivery is March 2015 and I will be accepting pre-orders for them for $164.00 each.

 

I will provide more information as I get it.

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As small as those iPhone screens (pre-iphone 6) are Im not sure i would either. Im looking forward to trying it out to see how the user experience is. I think either my Samsung GS3 or GS5 would probably work perfect size wise. Another great use for older retired phones. I still do like the layout, function and ease of use of the existing remote.

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 I'm looking for more info on this whole system. I went out over a year ago and bought a tablet just to run them with. I got a ten inch one. If it works out I'd probably get a 7" too as they're so cheap now.

 There are so many conflicting reports about the need for one wifi box or several on a layout with more than one TIU. Also if the older TIU's will work or if the next generation will have something extra needed for the wifi to work. etc. etc.

 It's been painfully slow coming and still only bits of info available.

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