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  • Topic: MTH HO Proto 3 loco's do they work well ?

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    • February 9, 2014 10:14 AM EST

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      Have a Gentleman last year pass away and left me a bunch of nice HO buildings ans accessories,

      Later this year I want to build a Small HO layout 4 by 8 or 12ft to use at my show as sort of a tribute to him. I want to run a couple of loco's on DCC as I own the system already.

       

       I'd like to get a Dryfuss Hudson and MTH and Broadway Limited make one. I know the detail seems to be better on the Broadway version and it has QSI which is a plus but my local hobby shop has a MTH version in the case and it doesn't look bad. My local hobby shop say it needs a full 24 volts to program it to run and operate correctly, Is that true? I dont even use that much voltage in largescale. I know that in G and 2 rail o Ive had some major issues with there stuff but 3 rail o was ok. Ive read on other sites a lot of comments about there HO stuff and was wondering if anyone has any and how they perform on Proto 3. Here's a few comments from another places as I'm just trying to decipher all the info and make educated decision about what to buy. Any suggestions will be helpful.

       

       

      Comments from other folks.

       

      "I'm not sure they are, at least as far as HO is concerned; how many MTH engines do you see in clubs or at shows? MTH has a large chunk of the O-gauge business (where their DCS system makes some modicum of sense, I'm told) and likely have deep enough pockets to lose money for a few years while trying to carve out market share in HO. 

      Anyway, I've got four MTH Protosound 3.0 engines and every single one has had problems, some minor and some critical. MTH hasn't answered emails and leaves me hanging on the phone for hours; I've given up trying to fix these lemons and moved on to Proto 2000 and Bachmann Spectrum. No plans to go back, either."

       

       

      More comments.

       

      "Ah, MTH.  Well, my introduction to MTH in my HO world was when BLI included a note in their first run of E7's that stated that certain features (notibly BEMF) of the QSI decoder had been deactivated to comply with a lawsuit filed by MTH.  Anyone who knows anything about electric motor control knows that BEMF (back electro magnetic force) has been used to control motor speed for decades if not a century.  It was ludicrous to think that MTH was suing over a common motor control technology that had long been in the public domain.  What was especially galling was knowing that MTH got their start as a manufacturer by copying old Lionels and even a DPM design.

      Over on the old Atlas HO Forum, after MTH announced their entry into HO scale, a new member signed on and began singing MTH's praises.  He told us how MTH was going to revolutionize our scale, how great MTH was going to be, how well they were going to run, and so on.  He presented himself as a fully satisfied MTH O gauge customer who was so excited that they were going to get into HO scale.  Next thing you know, Atlas perma-banned the account and stated publically on their forum that the member in question had his ISP tracked to MTH headquarters.  In other words, he was a real, honest to goodness shill.

      In 2006, MTH ran ads for their new HO PRR K-4 Pacific which actually attacked BLI's version that was out already.  This is unheard of in HO scale.  HO manfacturers may be competitors, but they never stick it to each other like MTH did.

      In 2009, MTH sued BLI for having a microprocessor controlled smoke unit, which is absurd.

      In 2010, Woodland Scenics sued MTH over the incredible likenesses between Woodland Scenic's HO structures and MTH's O scale structures.

      MTH's non-DCS/DCC engines run on 24VDC, which makes them a little slow on normal DC layouts.

      MTH's original runs of HO DCS/DCC engines did not MU on non-Digitrax DCC systems.  They also didn't allow speed matching, function mapping, or really much of any customization other than DCC address and volume.  This is counter to most DCC users.

      MTH DCS/DCC engines cannot use the programming track.  They must be programmed on the mainline (if at all).  This also means that they cannot be read, something that's been common with DCC for 20+ years (except with MRC decoders).

      Recently, a member on another Forum stated that MTH will not honor any warranty unless the engine was purchased from a licensed MTH dealer.  So if you have an MTH engine that has a problem, like a burned out motor or fried electronics, they'll ask you where you bought it.  If it's not on a list of approved dealers, you're out of luck.  Name me another HO company that does that.

      As for my own personal experiences, I have found them a real bear to try to program at my 70-member club, which uses Digitrax.  I am generally the one the guys turn to when they have trouble, and I have had very little success just trying to get a new address into them.  Also, a friend of mine got some of their NYC passenger cars, and the name boards on the cars are all crooked (which is very obvious on a corrigated stainless steel car).  As a result of these foibles, the total number of MTH engines on our 1200+ loco roster is 1."

    • February 9, 2014 10:21 AM EST

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      One last comment.

       

       

      "One final post before buttoning this one up, fellas - if I may.  While I don't own any MTH locomotives, I do own some of their passenger cars - in particular, (8) NYC 20th Century Limited cars in the '40 scheme.  I've been VERY happy and impressed with both the detailing and the operation of each car.

      The keep-alive LED lighting module is steps ahead of the lighting systems of the Walthers and Rapido cars.  Nary a flicker nor the need to turn off/replace batteries.  It takes about one minute for each car to power up fully and they stay lit after the power is turned off for ~5 minutes.  I'm hoping that MTH will offer some additional/different 20th Century Limited cars in the future.

      Again, I don't own a MTH locomotive but I have seen them in action up close.  While they operate quite smoothly on DCC, the detailing on the exterior is decent but not necessarily great.  I prefer BLI for detailing."

       

    • February 9, 2014 11:18 AM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Nick, I don't own any MTH locomotives, in any scale. I have wondered what their HO offerings are like, since I am in 2 HO modular clubs. I am interested in what kind of responses your post receives.

       

      Thanks for asking.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • February 9, 2014 1:47 PM EST

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      I'll let you know Dave when I find out something, Seems as though there not very popular with a lot of people in clubs. Post some pictures of your HO modular club, Always cool to see what others are doing.

       

      Nick

      This post was edited by Nick S. at February 9, 2014 1:53 PM EST
    • February 9, 2014 5:22 PM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      That's me, with the mustache. No, I am not a fan of having my picture taken.

       

       

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • February 10, 2014 2:05 PM EST

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      Great pictures Dave, Digitrax i assume ? looks like your all having fun the way it should be.

       

      The club has a cool layout.

       

      :)

    • February 10, 2014 5:57 PM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Nick, both clubs I belong to use Digitrax. And yea, like I told my boss; "If it ain't fun, I ain't gonna do it."

       

      ;)

       

      I just don't understand the funny look my boss gave me when I said that. :|

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • June 9, 2014 5:31 PM EDT
      • Annapolis, Maryland
         
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      My personal experiences with MTH have been above average to great. Although I deal with 0 gauge for the most part, MTH HO is just as good if not better. DCC operations are smooth and the engines appear to run as they ought to.

      MTH is right up the street from me. So, if I have an issue or problem, I just call, or go up there and discuss the issues.

      Generally speaking, I find MTH products to be at or above those of Lionel or other manufactures.

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