New and Improved M.T.H. Sound Systems

For 2000, virtually every Premier, Tinplate, and RailKing engine and Ready-To-Run set is available with a sound system. The electronic bells and whistles that have been available on RailKing locomotives and starter sets have been replaced by the Loco-Sound™ system, which provides authenticity not found in our previous inexpensive locomotives. And we're especially proud to announce the arrival of the totally redesigned Proto-Sound 2.0 with Digital Command System, a digital control system that offers more options and more realism than any other model railroad manufacturer. Read about both of our exciting new options below.


M.T.H. introduces Loco-Sound™, an all-new sound system to replace the electronic whistles and horns that have previously been available on RailKing locomotives and Ready-To-Run sets. Loco-Sound, which is available on most RailKing engines and starter sets, supplies full locomotive sounds, including bells, whistles or horns, and the engine sounds of steam chuffing, a diesel roar, or an electric motor. It also features locomotive speed control, a cruise-control system that helps stabilize the train's speed as it travels up and down grades and around curves

* Loco-Sound represents an excellent way to bring additional realism to a layout for those who prefer the less expensive of our locomotive versions.

To complement Loco-Sound, we have also developed an inexpensive wireless infrared remote control. It is included in most RailKing Ready-to-Run train sets and is also sold separately. This remote offers control of locomotive functions, including bells and whistles or horns, locomotive speed, and direction. It is fully compatible with virtually any manufacturer's locomotives and transformers.

* If you operate your train at maximum voltage, there will be no extra voltage for Loco-Sound™ to use to make this adjustment.

Proto-Sound 2.0 - The Operating System for the New Millennium

In the Millennium Year 2000 and beyond, virtually every M.T.H. locomotive or Ready-To-Run™ train set can be ordered with model railroading's most revolutionary digital control system: Proto-Sound® 2.0 featuring the Digital Command System (DCS).

Taking digital sound and train control systems to new heights, Proto-Sound 2.0 is a state-of-the-art digital sound and train control system that must be heard and seen to be believed. Its quality and features, designed by M.T.H.'s own research and development team, are unmatched by any other model railroading manufacturer. Operation starts right out of the box, with no additional equipment or wiring to your layout needed for basic conventional operation. Engines equipped with Proto-Sound 2.0 are perfectly compatible with engines not so equipped. You simply hook up any compatible transformer and begin experiencing the digital world of model railroading in ways unmatched and unimaginable.

The Sound System

Proto-Sound 2.0 is a digital sound system utilizing authentic railroad sounds. Steam engines feature steam chuffing, squeaking brakes, whistles and bells, while diesel locomotives rumble with diesel roar, throaty horns and chiming bells. Proto-Sound 2.0 utilizes a much higher sampling rate than earlier Proto-Sound versions. In fact, Proto-Sound 2.0 has a greater dynamic range than any of our competitors. In plain English, this means higher highs and lower lows for an unmatched model railroading experience.

Proto-Sound 2.0 features a bevy of new sound features that will transform your operating experiences to a far higher level of realism than you ever thought possible. Every Proto-Sound 2.0-equipped locomotive features improved and all-new Proto-Effects™ including:
· New and Improved Cab Chatter With Dozens of Different Voice Accents
· Locomotive Start-up and Shut Down
· All-New Passenger Station Sounds or Freight Yard Sounds
· Squeaking Brakes and Coupler Release Sounds.
· Coupler Slack Sounds
· Wheel Clickety-Clack Sounds
· Train Wreck Sounds
· Dozens of randomly-created voice accents

Proto-Sound 2.0 also comes equipped with three exciting new sound effects; Proto-Doppler, Proto-Dispatch and Proto-Cast. In addition, Proto-Sound 2.0-equipped locomotives feature a redesigned Proto-Coupler system that can be controlled with one simple button push as well as a redesigned ProtoSmoke system that allows user control over smoke output.

Finally, and most importantly for prototypical operations, every Proto-Sound 2.0-equipped locomotive comes with Proto-Speed Control (see the sidebar on page 3), a sophisticated monitoring system that provides constant speed control of your locomotive or consist, whether you are operating in Conventional or Digital Command Modes.

The Digital Command System

The Digital Command System (DCS) found in Proto-Sound 2.0 is a digital control system that allows operators to command multiple engines, tracks, switches, and accessories at one time with a single remote. When in Digital Command System Mode, a constant voltage level is applied to a layout or track block. You will be able to individually control each DCS engine or any accessory with the touch of a button on the DCS Remote Controller.

The separately sold Digital Command System Remote features a four line LCD screen and 32 push buttons for control over basic locomotive functions, including whistle or horn activation, bell, speed control, direction control and coupler operation. Scroll through its simple easy to use menus each allowing quick and easy access to the multitude of exciting new features in Proto-Sound 2.0. DCS Remote Control will immediately recognize up to 50 different engines when first powered up on your layout. Once an engine is recognized, change your favorite operating settings, including volume levels, assignment of locomotive addresses and names, lighting, smoke output, and dozens more with the touch of a few buttons.

Operation of your Digital Command System engine has never been more realistic. When operating in Command mode, operators can utilize the Proto-Speed Control function to control the speed of an engine in one scale mph increments. This revolutionary system doesn't require special motors yet will not allow a locomotive to change speed during operation even if the environment changes. Enter a grade or sharp curve with an engine programmed to travel at 5 scale mph and that engine will continue to travel at 5 MPH. Couple up a long consist for an engine previously operating by itself at 10 MPH and watch as the engine continues to operate at 10 MPH, even going up and down grades!*
Our Digital Command System remembers your commands and can record them for playback later. Create a demo of your consist's operation and play it back with the touch of a button. Every locomotive operation, accessory operation or switch action will be remembered and played back. In fact, every minute of operation on your DCS-equipped locomotive is stored in an electronic odometer. This allows the owner to have a complete record of the actual scale miles the train has traveled. For collectors it's a great way to confirm the use of an engine.

Use the Digital Command System to control switches and trackside accessories (up to 250 of each, for a total of 500). With a Digital Command System Track Interface Unit (TIU) and Accessory Interface Unit (AIU), any track switch or accessory can be interfaced with the system. This allows operators to maintain complete control over their layout with the touch of a button on the DCS Remote. Best of all, no complicated wiring is required. Simply wire up a switch or accessory to the Digital Command System AIU just as you would to a button or track activation device. It's that simple.

The Digital Command System brings full compatibility to the model railroading community. Unlike O Gauge railroading's other 3-Rail command system, Lionel's® Trainmaster®, the Proto-Sound 2.0 Digital Command System can control both Proto-Sound 2.0 equipped locomotives and Trainmaster® equipped locomotives in Command Mode without modification. One DCS Remote Controller can operate DCS engines and Trainmaster® engines at the same time. At last, the limitations of competing command control systems are eliminated. All you need is the Proto-Sound 2.0 Digital Command System, specially engineered to provide a level of compatibility previously unseen in O Gauge!

*This is true with the understanding that all loads are within the power supply capacity.

Exciting New Features

Proto-Speed Control is a revolutionary feature that utilizes microprocessor monitoring of your engine's motor revolutions, continuously making adjustments to the engine's speed to maintain locomotive speed, much as a real engineer does when traveling over variable terrain. When active, a Proto-Sound 2.0-equipped locomotive will experience only slight changes in speed when traversing grades and curves. At last, prototypical speeds can be attained without special motors or operating modes. In fact, the system is so sophisticated it allows engines to travel at speeds of 3 scale miles per hour or less! More importantly, the system can be overridden when double-heading with non-Proto-Sound or earlier Proto-Sound-equipped locomotives. When the new system is disabled, your Proto-Sound 2.0-equipped locomotive will operate in the same manner as any other previously designed M.T.H. steam or diesel locomotive.

Proto-Doppler puts the Woooooo . . . in sound. Originally discovered by the Austrian mathematician and physicist, Christian Doppler (1803-53), the Doppler Effect represents the change in pitch and volume that results from a shift in the frequency of the sound waves as evidenced by the sound of an approaching object. For example, as an ambulance approaches, the sound waves from its siren are compressed towards the observer. The intervals between waves diminish, which translates into an increase in frequency or pitch. As the ambulance recedes, the sound waves are stretched relative to the observer, causing the siren's pitch to decrease. By the change in pitch of the siren, you can determine if the ambulance is coming nearer or speeding away. In model railroading, the Doppler Effect has long been considered the ultimate goal of sound system development. Now, thanks to Proto-Sound 2.0, this effect can be reproduced in a locomotive. Imagine getting close to the track, watching and listening as a train whooshes past. You'll hear the oncoming sound followed by the receding fade as the train passes by just like you would if you were standing at trackside.

Proto-Dispatch takes Proto-Sound's cab chatter one step further toward reality. Now, instead of listening to the pre-recorded Cab Chatter messages that come standard in every Proto-Sound 2.0-equipped locomotive, you can actually interact with your train by broadcasting your own voice through the locomotive's speaker. A built-in microphone has been incorporated into the Proto-Sound 2.0 DCS Remote Control, Simply press a button and speak into the mike to create you own personalized Cab Chatter messages or interact with the pre-recorded Cab Chatter messages in your locomotive. It's great fun and an easy way to get the whole family involved in your railroad operations.

Proto-Cast is perhaps the most exciting new addition to the Proto-Sound system. By using the TIU and any external audio source, like a tape deck or CD player, you can now broadcast your favorite songs or stories through your locomotive's speaker. Imagine using Proto-Cast to play your favorite railroad songs through your train or "broadcasting" a train story from tape, like "The Little Engine That Could," while your train runs around the layout.

Better yet, play your own favorite prototype recordings as you run your trains. Its easy to use and makes for great entertainment on your layout.

Proto-Sound 2.0 Digital Command System vs. Conventional Operation

The terms sound confusing and can overwhelm the inexperienced train operator, but really the concepts are quite simple. "Command-Ready" components, whether they be the Digital Command System or another manufacturer's system, are simply locomotives or accessories that can interface with the proprietary system they were designed for. When in "Command Mode", an operator has configured his or her layout for an operating environment that allows every component within that layout to be communicated with directly and independently from a common communication source (usually a remote control). This is usually accomplished by completing the procedures to enter command mode and then turning up the transformer controlling the desired track block (or entire layout) to full voltage. The accessories and locomotives operating in these blocks are now configured to ignore the track voltage and instead will respond to commands from the communication source to activate various features (direction, speed, operation of accessory, etc.). Because each accessory or locomotive is responding to signals from the communication source independently, multiple operations can occur at the same time. Thus two or more engines can function on the same track (at different speeds) even though the track voltage is the same and is controlled by the same transformer.

Conventional operation is just the opposite. Every accessory or locomotive on a given track block will respond at the same time to the transformer voltage being applied to the track block. Individual control over various actions of each locomotive or accessory is prohibited. However, every engine or accessory can operate with other manufacturer's accessories or locomotives when in Conventional Mode, regardless of whether these items are outfitted to be Command Ready. Therefore, whenever you are operating in Proto-Sound 2.0 Conventional Mode you are guaranteed that every other manufacturer's products, including all earlier versions of Proto-Sound, will function with your Proto-Sound 2.0 equipped locomotive.

Operating Proto-Sound 2.0

Operating Proto-Sound 2.0 is simple. Just put your engine on the track, right out of the box. As soon as you power-up your transformer, you will hear the authentic sounds of your diesel, steam, or electric engine awaken as it awaits your command to start moving. Your transformer's throttle and its whistle button activate all the conventional Proto-Sound 2.0 features listed. There is no need to purchase a whole new control system with dozens of buttons and keystrokes to memorize; Proto-Sound 2.0 works with almost any AC transformer. Of course, Walk-around freedom is also available for those interested in purchasing the Proto-Sound 2.0 DCS Remote Control. In fact, Proto-Sound 2.0's DCS Remote will control any Lionel® locomotive equipped with Trainmaster®, even when running in Command Mode. Operate both Lionel® Trainmaster® equipped engines and Proto-Sound 2.0 DCS equipped engines at the same time. It is one solution for multiple engines. To operate Digital Command System features, simply enter Command Mode and begin using the Digital Command System Remote Control to activate your locomotive and accessories. If you wish to operate in Conventional Mode, you can still use your Digital Command System Remote Control or any remote control system, including the Z-4000 Remote. The only features you won't be able to access in Conventional Mode are Digital Command System features.

How Proto-Sound 2.0 Forced M.T.H. To Re-think M.T.H. Locomotive Design

With the advent of the latest version of Proto-Sound, M.T.H. had to take a long hard look at our locomotive product line designs. Because of the revolutionary changes Proto-Sound 2.0 provides model railroad operators, many existing features in M.T.H. locomotives had to be redesigned. For example, Proto-Sound 2.0's ability to control various functions of an M.T.H. engine forced those systems to be compatible with the new sound and train control system. Lighting previously controlled by stand-alone circuit boards is now controlled by the Proto-Sound 2.0 system. Redesigned smoke units now have their output controlled by the system, and a new lower-voltage Proto-Coupler system forced the redesign of the old Proto-Coupler.

Each of these improvements required either redesign or changes to their older counterparts in order to operate in locomotives equipped with Proto-Sound 2.0. Even the chassis have been replaced or redesigned to allow for the new electronic components. The end result: not only do today's model railroaders have a state-of-the-art sound and train control system, they actually have redesigned locomotives. Fortunately, these new designs and components allow new M.T.H. Proto-Sound 2.0-equipped locomotives to remain completely compatible with our past Proto-Sound-equipped engines. This means you can run a new Proto-Sound 2.0 engine with an older Proto-Sound engine without incurring any operational problems. What it doesn't allow, at least today, is the ability to bring those older engines up to today's Proto-Sound 2.0 standards.

Proto-Sound 2.0 Conventional Operation Features-Accessible Through Any Compatible Transformer
· Authentic Bell & Horn or Whistle Sound Effects
· Authentic Locomotive Chuffing or Diesel Engine Sound Effects
· Authentic Locomotive Start Up and Shutdown Effects
· Directional Lighting
· Conventional Mode Proto-Effects™ Including Cab Chatter, Passenger Station and Freight Yard Sounds
· Proto-Coupler® Remote Operation
· Proto-Speed Control Monitoring-A cruise control type system that maintains a locomotive or consists speed during grade changes
· Proto-Speed Control Disable
· Model Railroading's Highest Dynamic Sound Range-For higher highs and lower lows
· Built-In, Self-Recharging Battery Backup System
· Squeaking Brake Sounds
· Maintenance Sound Effects
· Constant Voltage Lighting
· ProtoSmoke® Operation

Proto-Sound 2.0 Digital Command System (DCS) Features - Requires Optional Digital Command System Remote Control And Track Interface Unit (TIU) - All Conventional Features Plus Features Listed Below
· Independent Locomotive Control-Operates up to 50 different locomotives on the same track at the same time. Assign locomotive IDs, turn engines on or off or run different engines at different speeds on the same track
· Enhanced Proto-Speed Control-Operate locomotives as slow as 1 scale mile per hour and maintain speed up and down grades
· Enhanced ProtoSmoke® Operation - Variably control smoke output, turn on smoke puffing (steam engines only) or turn off smoke unit entirely
· Enhanced Constant Voltage Lighting Control - Control locomotive lights independently, turn on or off or flash Ditch Lights, Cab Interior Lights, MARS Lights, Beacon Lights or Headlights
· Remote Control Over Layout Accessories-Requires no modification to accessories. Simply wire up any manufacturer's accessory to an Accessory Interface Unit for remote control via the DCS Remote (requires AIU)
· Remote Control Over Track Blocks And Switches-Requires no modification to track or switches. Simply wire track blocks or switches to a Track Interface Unit for remote control via the DCS Remote (requires TIU)
· Customize Proto-Sound® 2.0 DCS Locomotives With Downloadable Sounds-Change bells, whistles or Proto-Effects™ for a unique, personalized locomotive. Change your passenger station Proto-Effects™ to freight yard Proto-Effects™.
· Proto-Cast-Play your favorite tapes or CDs through your train during operation. You can even play bedtime stories to your children
· Proto-Doppler Sound Effects-Easy to use feature that simulates the growing and fading sounds of a locomotive as it approaches and then passes by
· Proto-Dispatch-Be your own dispatcher. Broadcast your voice, in real time, through your train's speaker while it is running
· Extended locomotive start-up and shutdown effects
· All New Proto-Effects™-Select and play coupler slack sounds, wheel clickety clack sounds, train wreck sounds and many more
· Independent Volume Control Of Bell, Horn or Whistle, Engine Sounds and Proto-Effects™
· Global Volume Control Of All Active Proto-Sound® 2.0 Equipped Engines
· Global or Individual One-Touch Mute-Mute all Proto-Sound® 2.0 sounds with a touch of a button.
· Global or Individual One-Touch On or Off Control-Turn on or off ProtoSmoke®, lights and more. Choose an individual locomotive or all Proto-Sound® 2.0-equipped locomotives to be affected.
· Diagnostic Memory Features--Proto-Sound® 2.0s Digital Command System provides sophisticated monitoring information of engine statistics including locomotive model type, model name, scale miles traveled and all current Proto-Sound® 2.0 Settings. It is a perfect way to authenticate an engine's history and manage its maintenance.

Digital Command System Remote Control

The Digital Command System (DCS) Remote Control provides the operator with more control and freedom than any other remote control unit. The DCS Remote lets you individually control each DCS-ready locomotive, switch, and accessory with the touch of a button on a single hand-held unit from as much as fifty feet away. Best of all, the DCS Remote Control is compatible with other command control systems, like Lionel's® Trainmaster® system. Now, all
command control operators can use one DCS remote from MTH Electric Trains to control their Lionel® Trainmaster®-equipped locomotives with their Proto-Sound 2.0 DCS equipped engines - all at the same time.

Each Proto-Sound 2.0 DCS Remote Control features state-of-the-art functions that give you unprecedented control over your model railroad. The DCS Remote interacts with the user in two different modes, each dependent on the types of engines you are operating, the types of transformers you are using, and whether you are operating in Digital Command or Conventional Modes.

Conventional Mode Locomotive Operation Features

· Bell and Horn/Whistle Control-Individual buttons activate locomotive bell and horn or whistle sounds.
· Track Voltage Control-Establishes the desired track voltage setting via a thumbwheel control
· Conventional Mode Proto-Speed Control-Allows operator to control locomotive speed
· Emergency Stop-Single button push deactivates all layout operation
· Direction Control-Interrupts locomotive direction
· DCS Remote Control over Z4000™ Transformer Programming Features
· Conventional Mode Proto-Effects™ Operation-Activates an engine's pre-programmed conventional mode Proto-Effects™, including passenger station announcements (PFA) and freight yard sounds (FYS)
· Proto-Coupler® Operation

Digital Command Mode Locomotive Operation Features

· DCS Proto-Speed Control-Establishes desired locomotive speed in scale miles per hour increments via a thumbwheel control
· ProtoSmoke® Variable Output Control-Controls How Much Smoke Each Engine outputs
· Locomotive Lighting Control-Independently controls locomotive headlights, marker lights, ditch lights, and cab interior lights
· Automatic Locomotive Reset-Single Button Push Resets Locomotive to Factory Defaults
· Emergency Stop-Single button push deactivates all layout operation
· One Touch Global Mute/UnMute-Single button mutes or unmutes all DCS-controlled locomotives' user-defined actions, including sound, lights, and smoke
· One Touch Proto-Coupler® Operation-Single button activates forward or rear coupler
· Adjustable Master Volume Control-Increases or decreases overall locomotive volume
· Global Locomotive Speed Control-Single button globally controls all DCS locomotive speeds
· Proto-Dispatch Operation-Public Address-like feature allows users to speak through locomotive speaker during locomotive operation
· Proto-Doppler Sound Operation-single button activates Doppler Effect
· Command Mode Proto-Effects™ Operation-Single button activates 35 different sound and operational Proto-Effects™ features.
· Independent Volume Control
· Store up to 50 Different DCS-Equipped Locomotives at One Time
· Engine, Bell, Horn & Whistle Volume Adjustment-User can set and query settings
· Chuff Rate Selection Set Up-User can set Chuff Rates from 1 to 4 chuffs per wheel revolution
· Proto-Effects™ Set Up-User can select individual Proto-Effects™ operations to be active or inactive, including cab chatter, train wreck sounds, coupler sounds, and wheel clickety-clack sounds
· Proto-Doppler Sound Effects Set Up-Users can configure locomotive for Doppler Operation, including setting distance points for Doppler start, repeat, and stop modes
· Proto-Speed Control Set Up-Users can set maximum locomotive speed (acts as a governor for locomotives' top speed) and acceleration/deceleration rates
· Direction Control Set Up-User can set initial individual start-up direction (start in forward or reverse) for double-heading operations
· Proto-Smoke Output Set Up-User can set smoke unit output via three settings (minimum, medium, or maximum output) or control Proto-Puff (steam locomotives only)
· Locomotive Lighting Set-up-User can determine lighting sequence and operation
· Locomotive Consist Set-up-User can determine locomotive values for consist make-ups, allowing multiple locomotives belonging to a consist to operate together
· Query Locomotive Information-User can query locomotive programming to learn locomotive address and engine data information, including scale miles traveled.
· User Can Query, Set and Operate Track and Accessory Interface Units for Programming Digital Command Operations for up to 250 Accessories and 250 Individual Switches
· User Can Script, Record and Playback Train Routes