Author Topic: MTH BERKSHIRES  (Read 194 times)

Tom

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MTH BERKSHIRES
« on: December 19, 2020, 11:35:10 AM »
I am seriously considering buying one of the new MTH Berkshires, the problem being the price includes components that will be removed when an LM-3S is installed.

If anyone knows anything about these my overall question is: will the RailPro LM-3S do everything that the locomotive would do if run on DCC with no changes.

There are a few F functions that I could do without, but some could be neat.  And I do not know what a Quillable whistle is or various idle sequences are.  Can anyone tell me which RailPro cannot handle or, in some cases, what it even is?

Operating Kadee-Compatible Remote Controlled Proto-Coupler
Prototypical Rule 17 Lighting
Constant Voltage LED Headlight
Operating LED Marker Lights
Operating LED Number board Lights
Lighted LED Cab Interior
Synchronized Puffing ProtoSmoke System
Wireless Drawbar Proto-Sound 3.0 With The Digital Command System Featuring Quillable Whistle
F4 PFA (WHAT IS THIS)
F5 Lights (except head/tail)
F7 Front Coupler (SOUNDS OR MOVEMENT)
F8 Rear Coupler
F9 Forward Signal (ARE THESE JUST WHISTLES)
F10 Reverse Signal (ARE THESE JUST WHISTLES)
F11 Grade Crossing
F12 Smoke On/Off
F13 Smoke Volume
F14 Idle Sequence 3
F15 Idle Sequence 2
F16 Idle Sequence 1
F17 Extended Start-up (SIMILAR TO RAILPRO LOAD?)
F18 Extended Shut-down (SIMILAR TO RAILPRO LOAD?)
F19 Labor Chuff (PROBABLY NOT)
F20 Drift Chuff (PROBABLY NOT)
F21 One Shot Doppler
F22 Coupler Slack
F23 Coupler Close
F27 Cab Chatter
I appreciate any help anyone can provide.

G8B4Life

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Re: MTH BERKSHIRES
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2020, 11:09:13 PM »
All can be found in the Berkshire manual: https://www.mthtrains.com/sites/default/files/download/instruction/80st10620i.pdf but we'll go through them.

To put it shortly, functionally the LM-3S can be made to do the most of the same things but no the LM-3S will not do everything that the locomotive would do if run on DCC with no changes.

PFA stands for Passenger/Freight Announcements. MTH includes a lot of  "people chatter" in their sound offerings and this is just one of them, it is simply different people chatter/sounds for whether your driving a passenger train or a freight train. Note that the linked manual goes more in depth into the feature. RP can not do what the manual says.

A quillable whistle is one that plays sounds according to how hard you press the button or some similar method (think of pulling the whistle cord a little bit and then pulling it harder, the pitch of the whistle changes in proportion).

So, onto the list (replies are inline)...


Operating Kadee-Compatible Remote Controlled Proto-Coupler - RP could do this but you'd need to build such a device to do it.
Prototypical Rule 17 Lighting - RP is not automatic on this, you have to dim/control the lights yourself.
Constant Voltage LED Headlight - Yep, RP has this.
Operating LED Marker Lights - Yep, RP can do this.
Operating LED Number board Lights - Yep, RP can do this.
Lighted LED Cab Interior - Yep, RP can do this.
Synchronized Puffing ProtoSmoke System - Could be possible, but would probably require the use of the input wire on the LM-3S which currently is not available to be used.
Wireless Drawbar Proto-Sound 3.0 With The Digital Command System Featuring Quillable Whistle - RP doesn't have a quillable whistle.
F4 PFA (WHAT IS THIS) - See above for explanation
F5 Lights (except head/tail) - A button that turns on/off all the lights at once. RP does not have this feature.
F7 Front Coupler (SOUNDS OR MOVEMENT) - Sound. Yep, RP can do this. Note the linked manual gives F7 as the smoke whistle.
F8 Rear Coupler - Sound. Yep, RP can do this.
F9 Forward Signal (ARE THESE JUST WHISTLES) - Sound. Yep, RP could do this.
F10 Reverse Signal (ARE THESE JUST WHISTLES) - Sound. Yep, RP could do this.
F11 Grade Crossing - Sound. Yep, RP could do this.
F12 Smoke On/Off - Turn on/off a smoke unit, Yep, RP could do this.
F13 Smoke Volume - Doubtful if RP could control this. Would probably require a new program
F14 Idle Sequence 3 - Don't know if RP has steam engine idle sounds built into their steam files.
F15 Idle Sequence 2 - Don't know if RP has steam engine idle sounds built into their steam files.
F16 Idle Sequence 1 - Don't know if RP has steam engine idle sounds built into their steam files.
F17 Extended Start-up (SIMILAR TO RAILPRO LOAD?) - Not similar to RP's Load. It's the (extended) starting up sound for the locomotive. RP only has one start up sequence in each sound file.
F18 Extended Shut-down (SIMILAR TO RAILPRO LOAD?) - Not similar to RP's Load. It's the (extended) shut down sound for the locomotive. RP only has one shutdown sequence in each sound file.
F19 Labor Chuff (PROBABLY NOT) - I'd say your correct but I've never used RP's steam sounds.
F20 Drift Chuff (PROBABLY NOT) - I'd say your correct but I've never used RP's steam sounds.
F21 One Shot Doppler - RP certainly does not have this feature. I'm not sure why anyone would want it either.
F22 Coupler Slack - Sound, Yep, RP can do this.
F23 Coupler Close - Sound, Yep, RP can do this.
F27 Cab Chatter - Sound, Yep, RP could do this to a limited extent but you'd have to record you own. RP doesn't build in any automatic chatter.


RP can do just about everything from the list as is but for the most part you need separate sound files for everything and you can't make any of the sounds automatic.

- Tim


Tom

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Re: MTH BERKSHIRES
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2020, 08:51:47 AM »
Tim,

Thank you so much for the lucid and comprehensive reply.  I know very little about DCC having gone from only a DC train around the Christmas tree for many decades to a RailPro set up consisting of about 10 locomotives.  MTH seems to have functionality beyond what I have seen of other brands on internet searches.  Berkshires with a MARS light are hard to find, hence the consideration of paying for a lot DCC stuff I cannot use.  Also, not enough equipment and patience to try adding a MARS light myself.

Tom

trainman605

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Re: MTH BERKSHIRES
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2020, 11:59:42 AM »
After reading that list of options, I wonder who would use all of them. I also model in HOn3 and have a layout running Blackstone engines and NCE DCC and I have yet to date use maybe 10 features at the most and that's on a good day. I have two LGB Moguls ready for RailPro systems, but not to excided about the steam sounds offered at this time, so I will either wait for RailPro to come out with NG steam sounds, or go with AirWire for them. My G gauge diesels have RailPro and I'm very please with the diesel options that RailPro offers, in fact being battery powered it's much better then I ever dreamed it would be. All I've ever done with RailPro steam is listen to the sounds on their website, so I have no first hand info on it, but if it works anywhere like the diesel sounds, it should do what you want. Looks like Tim did a very good job of answering your questions, thanks Tim, good info.

trainman

G8B4Life

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Re: MTH BERKSHIRES
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2020, 08:17:48 AM »
Tom,

Your welcome.

MTH seems to have functionality beyond what I have seen of other brands on internet searches.

MTH also sells their own control system, DCS, which is not DCC but can interpret it for the most part. This means MTH builds their on board control boards to understand commands from DCS and DCC. This means that there is stuff that can't be done in DCC mode that can be done when controlled by DCS. I think you'll find that it appears MTH has more functionality than other brands is because other brands don't bother building in all that extra stuff (such as announcements and radio chatter etc) that they think people don't want or won't use.

Quote
Berkshires with a MARS light are hard to find, hence the consideration of paying for a lot DCC stuff I cannot use.

This is a burden we RP users all share, having to sometimes purchase all that extra internal stuff we don't want or need. Sometimes there is a good market on eBay and similar places for the DCC parts you remove, possibly even MTH electronic parts.

Trainman, I agree, I look at the list and say to myself why? So many functions I'd never use.

- Tim

trainman605

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Re: MTH BERKSHIRES
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2020, 09:38:22 AM »
I have found over the years that I only purchase engines that are pretty much stock and without any operating systems, this way I can add what I want. I have purchased engines used with operation systems, but I purchased them at the price I wanted to pay and not paying for something I wouldn't use. I also read up on RailPro and found out it can do much more then I thought it could, I was really amazed at all the features it does offer.

trainman