Large Scale Central

DCC, who makes the best system?

On LGB forum it was mentioned that the LGB MTS system is SLOW, due to a slow bus 2.4khz. That sounds like commands run through a 2400 baud modem to me. Now of course cable modems advertise up to 120,000 baud downloads (I wish) but they are certainly light speed faster in comparison to the original 2400 baud modems and nobody is looking to go back to those slow old days.

So, is my analogy correct and there is a lot of “latency” in the MTS system…put a command in and wait seemingly forever for the train to react? if so, which DCC systems out there (some mentioned as being 54 times faster) are better than MTS, but, here’s the catch, still send signals that the LGB MTS decoders can understand and execute?

Hi again, (isn’t it Bob??)

The system I didn’t mention on LGBMRRC is made by ZIMO. I have one of the systems, it does (will be doing) dual duty on our HOm and 2m layouts. While pricey it has the following advantages:

a) the MX1 control will generate the “infamous” F1 command chain that LGB decoders require to fully function.

b) the control (as is) will handle 8 amps rather than the puny 5 of MTS.

c) ZIMO decoders are designed to handle 2 motor engines which means rather than having two decoders in an LGB engine you use one.

d) ZIMO decoders easily interface and use all the functions of the LGB soundboards.

e) ZIMO decoders work with 14, 28 or 128 steps, are frequency adjustable (no hum!), are fully NMRA-DCC compliant.

f) ZIMO provides FULL documentation on all their components .

g) ZIMO systems are FLASH-Eprom upgradeable, you download updated software for the control from the internet (FREE of charge!!) and install it on the control.

h) ZIMO has a fully capable built in computer interface.

i) ZIMO uses bi-directional communication which acknowledge “instructions received”.

k) ZIMO uses the industrial CAN-bus at 125Kb/s

l) Any of the devices can start data transfer, nitty gritty handled by very robust CAN-bus protocol.

m) Open protocol freely available from ZIMO.

n) Built in shuttle capability which allows you to run two separate back-and-forth trains (commuter trains or streetcar lines)

I could continue this all the way to z), but I’m sure you get the drift.
For more information, including downloadable manuals in English, please check out

For NorthAmerican availability I recommend you check with my friend Art Lüscher at He’s the NorthAmerican importer of ZIMO.
I looked at all the systems available at the time (2 years ago) and decided on ZIMO for its features and versatility. I’m sure I’ll be saving money in the long run, simply on the fact that the system is readily upgradeable.

There are other, very capable systems on the market i.e. NEC, Digitrax, SystemOne, Lenz, Uhlenbrock, Massoth etc. etc.
What they have in common is more versatility and capability than LGB MTS! Most, if not all, of those systems have been designed by people who consider DCC their bread and butter rather than an add-on that’s nice to have.



Thanks HJ,

I glad you shared the info on Zemo. Almost everything on the LS forums pertains to MTS. appreciate the links to NA distributors also. best, bob

Sumgai said:
Thanks HJ,

I glad you shared the info on Zemo. Almost everything on the LS forums pertains to MTS. appreciate the links to NA distributors also. best, bob

Hi all,

I remember that the question(s) arose before. :slight_smile:

The answer(s) is/are still applicable. There have been more features added in the meantime. :slight_smile: