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Lionel’s Layout Control System, or LCS, allows full layout control of things like operating accessories, switches, track power blocks, and more. The Base3 expands the usability of LCS by including three PDI connector ports. Each PDI port operates independently and they all communicate to the Base3’s main processor, so having a single daisy chain with all LCS modules is no longer needed.


Connecting Base3 to LCS Modules

With the Base3, the LCS DB9 Cable with Power Supply is no longer needed. Instead, LCS modules are connected to the Base3 by using a PDI cable. PDI cables are available in 1’ (6-81500), 3’ (6-81501), 10’ (6-81502) and 20’ (6-81503) lengths. For more information, see LCS System Cabling.

Base3 PDI Power

The Base3 provides 12V DC PDI power to each LCS module. The green LED above each PDI port on the Base3 indicates that the PDI power is on for that port.

Each port is rated to operate up to 10 LCS modules. That means the Base3 can handle 30 modules total. If your layout requires more than this, you may need to add an additional power supply tapped into the PDI line using a PDI cs-691JOINB00-p board. These are available on the Lionel Support page.

In the unlikely event that a short occurs on one of the PDI lines that is connected, the Base3 will turn off power to that PDI output to protect both itself and the modules that are connected. The Base3 will monitor the status of that line and once the short is fixed or removed, power to that PDI port will resume. When a short occurs, the Base3’s “LIONEL” lights on the sides will blink to indicate a fault. 

Base3 Back 3Q
Base3 Back

PDI is Lionel’s communication protocol based on multi-drop RS232, 115.2k baud. If you’re interested in learning more about the LCS system, consider joining the LCS Partner program!

Updated on July 15, 2024