MTH Proto-1 F3 Help

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November 7, 2011 6:16 AM

I have a Proto-1 F3 Alaska A-B-B-A Number: 20-2128
I put a new battery,still don't work right .When you power down I don't get 3 dings of death but it dings a lot .
I'm looking for someone to send or bring it to get it fixed and a new BCR installed.I have the L&N with the BCR and it works fine.
I don't want to try to fix it my self.Maybe I put something back together wrong (had to unscrew the board to change the bat.),it runs but not right.
Brad
 



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November 7, 2011 7:44 AM

Does it run and just act up at shutdown? G
 

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November 7, 2011 8:48 AM

It runs but not right. Have to run the A backward to get it in sinkup with the B unit.
 



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November 7, 2011 2:01 PM

Hi!

Have you tried resetting the engine useing "the feature 18" reset?
If not give it a try, it should return all features to factory settings.

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November 7, 2011 8:15 PM

You said it was a new battery but did you charge it first before installing? I think MTH batteries new are usually uncharged.
 

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November 7, 2011 9:46 PM

Yes I did charge it first.
I tried to reset it after I put the new battery last year.
I didn't want to mess with it any more.I was thinking I messed something up when I put the new battery in.
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November 8, 2011 12:32 AM

For the 4 plugs under the board, did you match the colors correctly? Does the lead unit when operated by itself start in forward? G
 

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November 8, 2011 1:12 AM

If you are using a Z4000 I have had much better luck running my Proto-1 engines if there is a lighted caboose or lighted passenger car behind the engine. I was told that the Z4000 even when it is turned to 0 volts still has some residual current which can interfere with the cycling of the Proto-1 reverse unit. Give it a try. The Alaska F3 was NOT one of the engines that could develop a "scrambled" chip, but the Santa Fe El Capitan F3 and the L&N F3 could develop the problem, so keep a BCR in the L&N for sure.

Hope this helps,
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November 8, 2011 7:38 AM

I have 4 ZW's & a KW, don't need to buy any more power.I run everything conventional.
I will have to get it back out and try again.
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November 8, 2011 7:55 AM

Did this engine ever work correctly, or is it a recent acquistion? If the only issue is the units running out of sequence, swapping the motor leads could solve this, but if reversed, I would think your lead unit when running by itself would start in reverse. If not, and it runs fine by itself, I would then look at the Powered B unit.

You did state that the A unit was dinging alot, and if you inadvertantly activate PSA then the A unit could be out of sync with the B unit with direction changes. Look at you B-unit instructions. They can be found on the MTH website if you don't have them.

Do a Default reset with just the A unit and see how it runs as a AA. G
 

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November 8, 2011 10:29 AM

Gentleman:

TRY RESET FIRST !
Swapping "motor leads" etc. at this juncture will not give a satisfactory result.
The root cause needs to be addressed. Don't forget. Proto 1 affects engine operation as well as sound.
TRY RESET FIRST ! Smile

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November 9, 2011 6:16 PM

I keep hearing about the three Dings of death, what does that mean. I currently have an MTH F-3 Reading PS-1, and it's not performing. I am planning to install a BCR to correct the issues. Is there something more I should know about? Trying to get the old battery out is a challenge, it doesn't slide out like the instructions say.
 

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November 9, 2011 6:26 PM

When I replaced mine Alaska f3 I had to unscrew the board to get to it and it was glued in as well. I don't know if i got it back together right. There was a little plastic washer I think I got back in the right spot. That might be my problem????When you power down it dings like 10 or more times.
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November 9, 2011 9:15 PM

quote:
I keep hearing about the three Dings of death, what does that mean.

This is the sound you get when you try to start a Protosounds engine that has a dead battery. The chip gets scrambled and you need to reset it. MTH sells a reset kit for this purpose. You need to also install a new fully charged battery first.

The Protosound reset kit is part no. 50-1023. Dealers carry it but if you are not near a dealer you can order it directly from MTH Parts Dept.
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Last edited by Dennis November 12, 2011 8:55 PM
 
 
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November 10, 2011 5:29 PM

Thanks Dennis, I'll get a new battery and go from there.
 

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November 10, 2011 7:45 PM

quote:
Originally posted by LNCNo8Brkr:
I keep hearing about the three Dings of death, what does that mean. I currently have an MTH F-3 Reading PS-1, and it's not performing. I am planning to install a BCR to correct the issues. Is there something more I should know about? Trying to get the old battery out is a challenge, it doesn't slide out like the instructions say.


What do you mean by not performing, anything specific?

The battery has double side tape on it. Pretty strong stuff, you can pry it up to release it.

A BCR won't solve a problem, it just replicates a fully charged battery.

Not all PS-1 engines are effected the same by a dead battery. Over the years as the board and software were changed, different issue could arise. In fact, it is not a dead battery that causes trouble, but a low battery. Enough that the processor is allowed to operate, but insufficent power to retrieve and write to the memory on the EEPROM.

If a PS-1 engine makes 3 clanks after power is applied and will not operate, the processor and memory have a conflict. MTH made a chip available to the public to resolve this issue. You use it to reset the microprocessor and memory. Then put your original chip (which is read only and contains the software for your engines features and sound) back in. The MTH chip is only meant to be used for an "ENGINE that has the 3 clank at START UP". It won't resolve other issues. G
 

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November 11, 2011 3:22 PM

The engine has three clanks at start up. I'm familiar with the BCR's, have them in other engines. I know that just replaces the battery. However I wanted clarification on the three clunks of death as it apparently means other issues, as have been described above.
 

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November 12, 2011 1:09 PM

Ok, Your post mentioned "installing BCR to correct issues". The reset chip as mentioned before should correct the 3 clank issue.

Remember, if the engine is cycled or shutdown before the BCR is fully charged on startup it will be just like a weak battery and can cause the same issue as a weak battery if your engine is susceptible. G
 

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November 12, 2011 8:53 PM

Brad, I am in east central PA, two miles from Cabela's. I do MTH repairs, and if you could get the loco(s) to me I would be happy to check it out. The powered B unit has a slave board in it, or else it might have a DCRU, which should run in sync with the A unit. Both will start in neutral when the track is powered up, then go forward when the power is interupted, just like a mechanical 3 position reverse unit. This assumes that there is no tether between the powered A and powered B. If there is a tether, the B unit might have a slave board in it, and if that is bad, you will have to acquire one on the secondary market as none are available from MTH. LMK if I can help, my phone number is in my profile.
 

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November 12, 2011 9:00 PM

quote:
The Protosound reset kit is part no. 50-1023.


I forgot to mention the reset kit includes a new battery.
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November 15, 2011 12:26 PM

I picked up a BCR @ Allentown this past weekend. will try it ....
It don't want to start in reset. Sometimes it will just start in reverse.
Sound still works.Mabe tonight I will try again.
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November 15, 2011 1:50 PM

Brad, if this starts in reverse then you most likely have the motor leads swapped.

I would run just the motorized A unit by itself. It has the PS1 board and should start up in reset. Wait 45 secs for the BCR to fully charge, ensure track voltage under 10volts then hit the direction button. Engine should start in fwd direction.

Let us know how that works. G
 

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November 15, 2011 4:22 PM

quote:
Originally posted by GGG:
The MTH chip is only meant to be used for an "ENGINE that has the 3 clank at START UP". It won't resolve other issues.
Just spotted this, can I assume that this chip won't reset my issue that I described in the DCS forum? I don't have three clanks at startup...
 

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November 15, 2011 5:09 PM

Correct. Only 3 clanks. G
 

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November 15, 2011 8:34 PM

quote:
Originally posted by GGG:
Correct. Only 3 clanks. G
Bummer. Smile
 

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November 15, 2011 9:55 PM

Ok just spent the last hour messing with it.Put the BCR in.
Power up goes backward,in reset(let it run 1 or 2 min. to charge). I get 2 bells ,I can throtle up and down and it goes through the reset clinks and klanks. Tryed 18. Makes no difference.I power down and back up to get out of reset,comes out of reset stays in reverse. Hit direction 3 or 4 times will go into neutral. Hit a couple more times will go in reverse again. No forward. Motor sounds cab talk whistle and bell sounds work. I'm starting to think the electronic E is bad ,But why does reset take off in reverse? Confused
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November 16, 2011 8:32 PM

Brad, you say you power it up and it goes into reverse immediately??

When you first power it up, it should start up and then sound 2 bells indicating all is well with the processor. This takes about 3 secs. Now with voltage less than 10 volts, hit the direction button once. It should then come out of reset and go forward. Next hit of direction button should be neutral, then reverse, then neutral and continue to repeat. The only way to get back into reset once you come out of it, is to power off for about 10 secs and then back on. Did this engine ever work correcly, with your transformers?

Sounds like a relay may be sticking that prevents fwd (one of the 2 big rectangular boxes on the board. Does it work if you use the throttle to go to zero to reverse direction instead of the direction button? G
 

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November 16, 2011 10:17 PM

G, You power it up and it goes into reverse immediately, "IN RESET". I get the 2 bells, I can throttle up and down to go through the reset steps. While it is running backward.Then I can drop to zero and bring the power back up still in reverse. Out of reset. Drop the power 3 or 4 times it will go into neutral, couple more times back into reverse. Hit the direction button same thing.It will not go in forward. Sounds work. I've had this since it was new (96 or 97)worked right at the begining.I think something is up with the electronic E. I talked to some one at QSI the sent me to The Scaled Tin Rail. Waiting to here back from them.
I have the L&N F3 proto 1 with a BCR and it works fine.
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November 17, 2011 8:57 AM

Brad, This is a weird problem. There are 4 wires plugs that go to the bottom of the DCRU. The outside ones are white and yellow. They should go to your motors, one to each side of the motors.

The inner ones are red and black. Red should go to the center rail pickup, and black goes to ground (outside rail). Is it possible you mixed the wires up under the wire nuts?

The only other thing I can think of is a scrambled memory that is allowing this weird operation.

The reset state is reset. Not sure how the motor is operating, unless you have half an AC signal going to it.

The other connectors are for the speaker, volume pot. They should still be ok.

The others are lights/coupler and not necessary to run the unit. Can you post a picture? G
 

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November 17, 2011 9:08 AM

I didn't disconect any wires when I took it apart.
I took the screw coming up from the bottom out ,it had a plastic shim on top of the spacer then the other screw with plastic washers.
Had to remove it the battery was glued in .
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November 18, 2011 8:53 AM

The plastic shim insulates the Voltage regulator back (exposed metal) from contacting the bracket used to mount the board to the frame. G
 

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