the Digitrax list, apparently):
>In case some of you missed it, MTH (Mike's Train House) -- the second largest producer of
>O and 027 trains behind Lionel -- is claiming that they own the patent to
>Digitrax's speed stabilization and TCS's Dither control). The latest set of
>publications, letters, notes from meetings (esp NMRA) etc, that mention
>be able to get away with it. While many people remember the concept being
>This morning, I spoke with the VP of Marketing here at MTH. First, there
>was no cease and desist order sent, but rather, two separate letters
>informing various DCC manufacturers and to the NMRA of areas of model
>railroad command control where MTH holds patents. Only certain, specific
>aspects of DCC operation are in question at this time. One is two-way
>communication between the locomotive and command station, and the other
>pertains to Back EMF motor control. MTH holds certain patents on both of
>these features that may or may not pertain to DCC decoders.
>QSI decoders do not feature two-way communication, so, for QSI and BLI, that
>is not an issue. QSI decoders did feature Back-EMF motor control. However,
>this is a feature which is firmware controlled. Until such time as the
>issue is resolved, QSI has voluntarily removed the Back-EMF feature from its
>products. This may cause a slight shipping delay for BLI.
>This is not related to any previous legal wranglings between MTH and QSI.
>Any other questions regarding this matter can be directed to me off-line,
>and I will attempt to get answers from the powers-that-be here at MTH, and
>post the results, if applicable.
>Geren W. Mortensen, Jr.
>Acoustic Design Project Manager
>MTH Electric Trains
>Columbia, MD, USA
I have to say I don't use BEMF, nor am I all that concerned with the
NMRA's Bi-Directional communication format. However, I think this is a dumb
thing to do by MTH. If you like BEMF, you better stock up on decoders now.
If you liked the possibilities outlined in the latest MR ("Third Generation
DCC"), you might as well forget about it.
If they get away with this, I know I will never buy their stuff (easy
for me to say, I'm in HO) and I will certainly tell others not to (this
might be more effective, as I know several O scalers).
Stan Ames, I know you used to post here. Have you got any info you can
Paul A. Cutler III
Weather Or No Go New Haven