PS3 Upgrades - Will MTH do them?

OGR Forum Member
Become a Premium Member of the OGR Forum
 
December 28, 2011 12:07 AM

As I struggle through my first PS2 upgrade and consider tackling the job on a Hogwarts Express. It strikes me that the smaller, battery free PS3 guts would be easier to get into a loco.
 

LOTUS rails - Looks Ok To US

 
 
dave hikel
 
December 28, 2011 2:24 AM

Hi Marty,

MTH has said several times that they will offer PS3 upgrade kits. There will be one more batch of PS2 kits delivered in 2012. The next batch after that (late 2012 or 2013) will be PS3. By then MTH will have delivered a good number of factory PS3 engines, which will give us a variety of sound files to choose from.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
Editor-in-Chief, OGR
Become a Premium Member of the OGR Forum
 
December 28, 2011 5:26 AM

I imagine they will offer the kits, but I doubt they will do the actual install (which I assume is what you are asking). They are simply not staffed for that kind of thing.

I'm very happy with the two PS3 engines I now have. LOVE not having a battery to worry about and LOVE seeing that distracting and unsightly tether disappear. All of my future MTH purchases will have to be PS3.
 

 

Allan Miller, Editor-In-Chief O Gauge Railroading magazine

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
RJR RJR is offline. Click for Member Snapshot.
OGR Forum Member
 
December 28, 2011 11:46 AM

Has anyone out there in Forumland who has actually seen the PS3 units given any thought to whether they'd fit into an MTH Docksider?
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
Become a Premium Member of the OGR Forum
 
December 28, 2011 2:24 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Allan Miller:
I imagine they will offer the kits, but I doubt they will do the actual install (which I assume is what you are asking). They are simply not staffed for that kind of thing.

I'm very happy with the two PS3 engines I now have. LOVE not having a battery to worry about and LOVE seeing that distracting and unsightly tether disappear. All of my future MTH purchases will have to be PS3.


Alan,
I will do the install. I just want the kit. While my first PS2 upgrade is going slowly, I am confident I could do another. If the unit gets smaller and the battery goes away, I can see doing some Lionel Steam that I find a bit daunting with the current size kit.

Also, from what I think I see in PS3, it may not need a heat sink. IF that is true, diesel upgrades will be much easier. Imagine velcro taping the PS3 to the loco interior, I think the wiring would end up easier as you wont be pulling those pesky bulb wires each time you open the unit. Of course with no battery, hopefully you never open the unit.

Wait! PS3 doesn't need a tether? Do you mean it uses the drawbar circuit board, or do you mean steam speed control is in the boiler?

Thanks
 

LOTUS rails - Looks Ok To US

Last edited by Marty R December 28, 2011 3:41 PM
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
Become a Premium Member of the OGR Forum
 
December 28, 2011 3:38 PM

quote:
Wait! PS3 doesn't need a tether? Do you mean it uses the combo coupler circuit board, or do you mean steam speed control is in the boiler?


I think the steam kits may fit into the boiler of the engine? Or rather... All PS/3 have the tether in the drawbar?
 

--2 Railer with really sloppy track work that left rail laying around the middle.

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
Editor-in-Chief, OGR
Become a Premium Member of the OGR Forum
 
December 28, 2011 5:52 PM

quote:
All PS/3 have the tether in the drawbar?

Yes, but there is no "tether," per se...just electrical connections that are incorporated into the drawbar. Makes a BIG difference from the standpoint of appearance.
 

 

Allan Miller, Editor-In-Chief O Gauge Railroading magazine

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
 
December 28, 2011 7:05 PM

Can a PS3 upgrade kit be installed in MTH engines prior to PS3 (i.e. Railking RS3 or 2-8-0 with Locosounds)? I'm concerned about the wireless tether not fitting the receptacle on the 2-8-0, the RS3 shouldn't be a problem.
 

MODELING THE SEABOARD AIR LINE

Fortune Presents Gifts Not According to the Book

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
GGG GGG is offline. Click for Member Snapshot.
OGR Forum Member
 
December 28, 2011 7:27 PM

I do think that MTH will have to do a modification of some sort for the drawbar. I only have seen one unit and the draw bar plugs under the tender. Diesels wouln't need a draw bar.

Allan, can you post a picture of the connection? G
 

MTH Authorized Service Center and Technician

Lionel Independent Repairs

Virginia Train Collectors Member

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
Become a Premium Member of the OGR Forum
 
December 28, 2011 9:23 PM

Premier PS2 locos have been using a circuit board drawbar since at least 2007. Here are some pics. Maybe someonr can comment if PS3 is the same.





Note the hole in the bottom of the loco. This would make adding the drawbar to a loco a challenge beyond my ability.

Also. MTH sells drawbars in packs of 3 different lengths. I don't know if that is to accomodate different radii, or because they will fail. I don't think they wil fail, if you put them on the track and leave them, but I've had mine off the track repeatedly this Christmas.
You have to take care to really connect the tender. It's a bit of a chore getting your fingers in the right spot, at first. I didn't connect it well twice. The first time it ran a few feet, sparked and took out my rear marker lights. The second time it stalled as far under Mt Crumpett as you can go. No discernable damage, although I don't get any shutdown noises when I power down. I'm glad I raised the tunnel 2 more inches this year, or it would have been hours of dissasembly.

An odd aside. Note I have a 45 DRAWR. Per MTH that's a 45mm drawbar. This loco has a min radii of O54. O72 if I want to raise the plate you see above the drawbar. The MTH 3 pack contains a 30, 35 and 40 mm bar. Not sure what radii. or tender boiler design you would need to run with a 30 mm bar.
 

LOTUS rails - Looks Ok To US

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
 
December 29, 2011 7:45 AM

Thanks for the photos Marty!

Looks like it might be a chore, but nothing a Dremel can't handle.

What about sound files? How many PS3 sound files will be available when the kits come out? Can/will MTH offer PS3 (and possibly PS2) kits with the files (maybe even a generic file for a steamer or diesel) already loaded?
 

MODELING THE SEABOARD AIR LINE

Fortune Presents Gifts Not According to the Book

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
 
December 29, 2011 8:53 AM

Has the availability of the PS2 or PS3 recently changed for the better? I realize a few have been recently released, but the kits have been generally unavailable since early 2010.

In fact, I waited over 18 months for a diesel kit before finally cancelling my order and requesting my deposit back from MTH.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
 
December 29, 2011 8:58 AM

The PS3 steam requires a tender board and a boiler board.
 

Marty Fitzhenry

 

TCA-79-13758

TTOS-3057

LCCA-28444

LOTS-RM-4833

MTH DCS Beta Tester

MTH Factory Trained Repair Technician-5 schools

Lionel Factory Trained repair Technician

Member Mid America 3 Railers

 

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
 
December 29, 2011 9:09 AM

quote:
Originally posted by RJR:
Has anyone out there in Forumland who has actually seen the PS3 units given any thought to whether they'd fit into an MTH Docksider?


I had a bad starter set in the shop this Christmas and we ended up parting out the contents while the PS3 engine is in repair. When it comes back, I am going to try stuffing the board into a Rich Yoder GE 44 toner.

I will post the results here on the forum.

Dave
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
GGG GGG is offline. Click for Member Snapshot.
OGR Forum Member
 
December 29, 2011 6:33 PM

It looks the same. So if there is a draw bar in place the mod might be easier. If the older unit has a tether, a PS-3 mod will be much more involved.

PS-2 3V and PS-3 are available. So are PS-2 3v with 5Volt connectors to make a back fit to a PS-2 5V unit easier.

PS-2 Kits were on hold to ensure sufficent parts for production engines and repairs.

I think it will be a while before PS-3 kits would be out, if even needed. I think the PS-2 3V mod is easier to deal with for engines without PS-2 at all. To many upgrade options wouldn't make a lot of business sense, at least not to me. G
 

MTH Authorized Service Center and Technician

Lionel Independent Repairs

Virginia Train Collectors Member

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
CRH CRH is offline. Click for Member Snapshot.
OGR Forum Member
 
December 29, 2011 8:31 PM

Not me, put me down for 20 PS3 kits as the board is easier to install, no battery or charge port to deal with and that way cool Rule 17 lighting! Oh and no more polarity issues which us 2 railers will really enjoy Wink
 
Chuck
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
Become a Premium Member of the OGR Forum
 
December 29, 2011 9:32 PM

quote:
Originally posted by GGG:
It looks the same. So if there is a draw bar in place the mod might be easier. If the older unit has a tether, a PS-3 mod will be much more involved.

PS-2 3V and PS-3 are available. So are PS-2 3v with 5Volt connectors to make a back fit to a PS-2 5V unit easier.

PS-2 Kits were on hold to ensure sufficent parts for production engines and repairs.

I think it will be a while before PS-3 kits would be out, if even needed. I think the PS-2 3V mod is easier to deal with for engines without PS-2 at all. To many upgrade options wouldn't make a lot of business sense, at least not to me. G



I see your point, but since PS3 is a drect replacement for PS2, you could discontinue producing PS2 kits and go with the lastest technology. That,I think will make good business sence, for them.

Also, if a dremel will cut through the base of a lionel or mth boiler, I'd buy a few kits with the drawbar coupler. If the Christmas set with PS3 pics I saw were accurate, they have the old wire tether... Please tell me MTH is moving to all drawbar tethers..
 

LOTUS rails - Looks Ok To US

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
 
December 29, 2011 11:13 PM

quote:
I imagine they will offer the kits, but I doubt they will do the actual install (which I assume is what you are asking). They are simply not staffed for that kind of thing.

Where did you come to that conclussion. When I was there for the PS-3 Class in September I did PS-2 upgrade for them before I left.
 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
 
December 29, 2011 11:55 PM

On another note, A PS2 Steam upgrade or Mod to using the "B" unit diesel tether makes the tether look like a Stoker tube. Did it on one of my Imperial Big Boys, Looks great.
You do have to cut a slot in the front of the tender for the tether to slide side to side in for the corners. width of slot depends on radius and I would not recommend it for O-31.
Again, It looks GREAT. A Stoker tube was pretty good diameter so the tether becomes the missing tube.
That's right, all you rivet counters, I've never seen a post mention the lack, but they are all missing the stoker tube (except the General's and possibly early consolidations, I don't think they have stokers).

 

Edit for spelling

 

Russell, Msgt, USAF, Ret. http://roguespace.com/Trainpg.html

Maine 3 Railers

Last edited by Russell April 24, 2013 3:04 PM
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
Editor-in-Chief, OGR
Become a Premium Member of the OGR Forum
 
December 30, 2011 4:49 AM

quote:
If the Christmas set with PS3 pics I saw were accurate, they have the old wire tether...

I recently purchased both the RailKing and Lionel Corporation Tinplate Christmas sets. Neither locomotive has the old-style tether. Both have the drawbar connection and no battery. The method of connecting the drawbar is different on each of these two engines, but thus far I have had no problems with either one.
 

 

Allan Miller, Editor-In-Chief O Gauge Railroading magazine

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
Editor-in-Chief, OGR
Become a Premium Member of the OGR Forum
 
December 30, 2011 4:59 AM

quote:
Where did you come to that conclussion. When I was there for the PS-3 Class in September I did PS-2 upgrade for them before I left.

Certainly the service stations may elect to do upgrades and repairs (which presumably was why you were there for the classes). I was referring to MTH HQ in Maryland doing the upgrades. I don't imagine they will be doing PS2-to-PS3 upgrades because they most likely are not staffed to handle that kind of thing on a significant level. My guess is that there will likely be a heavy demand for PS3 upgrades in the future. I know I could/would upgrade about 40 locomotives on my roster, if I could even begin to afford it.
 

 

Allan Miller, Editor-In-Chief O Gauge Railroading magazine

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
GGG GGG is offline. Click for Member Snapshot.
OGR Forum Member
 
December 30, 2011 7:54 AM

Interesting points. Certainly a Diesel conversion would work at least for a single unit.

Will be interesting to see as time goes on where this goes. I wonder how many will chose to have a $1000 engine have a section ground out of the engine and tender for the drawbar. G
 

MTH Authorized Service Center and Technician

Lionel Independent Repairs

Virginia Train Collectors Member

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
 
May 14, 2012 6:06 AM

Dave H. wrote:

 

By then MTH will have delivered a good number of factory PS3 engines, which will give us a variety of sound files to choose from.

 

Dave,

Does that mean a PS2 sound file will not work in a PS3 upgrade kit?

 

Right now if I buy a PS2 kit for my RK RS3 (currently with Locosound), there's sound files I can download.  I hope MTH has available files for all engines when they start offering the PS3 kits, or at the very least offer the PS3 kits with a generic sound file already loaded.

 

MODELING THE SEABOARD AIR LINE

Fortune Presents Gifts Not According to the Book

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
 
April 24, 2013 10:10 AM

Hello one and all.  Have just received three steam upgrade kits and they all are PS2.  An interesting note is that the tach strip sheet has PS2/PS3 printed on the sheet.  This may be a hint of things to come.  I can't see MTH continuing to spend money on the production of two sets of electronics for much longer since PS3 is the new standard. 

 

When the PS3 kits do arrive, I can see the steam kits still incorporating the tether, possibly the diesel tether, as I believe most steam engines being converted are pre 2007 and have the tether.  If I owned a PS2 steam engine with the drawbar connection, I probably wouldn't change over to PS3. Battery issues with the 3 volt system are virtually none existent.  Not so true with 5 volt system.  I also believe the installation of the drawbar system would be a challenge to accomplish on the locomotive side of the equation, but then again, maybe not. 

 

One finale note, the latest PS2 steam kits received by me have gone to the nickle metal hydride batteries.  They are shorter in length than the earlier 3 volt batteries and are covered in a green wrapper vs a blue one.

 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
RJR RJR is offline. Click for Member Snapshot.
OGR Forum Member
 
April 24, 2013 10:40 AM

My experience with converting pre-2007 steamers is that the tether socket has to be replaced anyway.

 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
Become a Premium Member of the OGR Forum
 
April 24, 2013 11:04 AM

Originally Posted by Bob Delbridge:

Does that mean a PS2 sound file will not work in a PS3 upgrade kit?

I believe it's been said that you can load a PS/2 sound file into the PS/3, the PS/3 doesn't alter it's behavior based on the sound files like the PS/2.  Perhaps that only applies to the 3V sound files, I'm not sure.

 

TCA, North Penn O-Gaugers, MTH ASC Certified Technician

 

Nothing is so easy as the job you imagine someone else doing.

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
Become a Premium Member of the OGR Forum
 
April 24, 2013 1:27 PM

John,

I believe it's been said that you can load a PS/2 sound file into the PS/3, the PS/3 doesn't alter it's behavior based on the sound files like the PS/2.  Perhaps that only applies to the 3V sound files, I'm not sure.

Only 3 volt PS2 sound files may be loaded into PS3 engines.

 

Barry

 

 

DCS Ambassador & author of "The DCS O Gauge Companion 2nd Edition"

Train-Ca-Teers - All For O and O For All!

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
GGG GGG is offline. Click for Member Snapshot.
OGR Forum Member
 
April 24, 2013 1:37 PM

John, What do you mean by doesn't alter it's behavior like the PS-2 does?  The sound file is the sound file.  It will alter the behavior of the locomotive.

 

PS-3 boards can accept PS-2 3V sound files.

 

Time will tell on these upgrades.  Diesels should be the easiest since that is one board in the engine.  Steam will require 2 boards.  One in the engine and one in the tender.  Since it only requires 6 wires between the 2 to communicate it shouldn't be too difficult, but I imagine there is no equivalent harness yet.  Should also be interesting how the LED lights play out.  A replacement LED from MTH is $10.

 

Components are getting harder to get.  The big issue with PS-2 is that one of the components on the Power Supply board is obsolete.  New PS boards were revised to REV E.  The printed circuit was modified to accept the new pinout of the new component.

 

The other issue is the tach readers are obsolete.  G

 

 

 

MTH Authorized Service Center and Technician

Lionel Independent Repairs

Virginia Train Collectors Member

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
Become a Premium Member of the OGR Forum
 
April 24, 2013 1:48 PM

I downloaded some sound files a while back but haven't tried any yet. Got them from MTH website, but don't remember how I found them? Now, looking at the file names, I can't seem to tell a 3V from a 5V.  Is there a way to tell which is which?

 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
Become a Premium Member of the OGR Forum
 
April 24, 2013 2:23 PM

GGG,

What do you mean by doesn't alter it's behavior like the PS-2 does?  The sound file is the sound file. 

Although PS2 "sound files" include parameters for speed control, PS3 "sound files" do not. Those PS3 parameters are contained in the engine's flash memory and are in a separate file.

 

When a PS2 engine's sound file is placed into a PS3 engine, those parameters are ignored by the engine.

 

Barry

 

 

DCS Ambassador & author of "The DCS O Gauge Companion 2nd Edition"

Train-Ca-Teers - All For O and O For All!

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
Become a Premium Member of the OGR Forum
 
April 24, 2013 5:36 PM

That's what I mean GGG.

 

TCA, North Penn O-Gaugers, MTH ASC Certified Technician

 

Nothing is so easy as the job you imagine someone else doing.

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
GGG GGG is offline. Click for Member Snapshot.
OGR Forum Member
 
April 24, 2013 8:08 PM

Barry, Is everything in the Flash program including lighting?  I know the Smoke unit heating profile is.  I will have to refresh on the PS-3 flash portion.  G

 

MTH Authorized Service Center and Technician

Lionel Independent Repairs

Virginia Train Collectors Member

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
Become a Premium Member of the OGR Forum
 
April 24, 2013 8:52 PM

GGG,

 

Actually, all that I'm certain of is that the speed parameters are not in the PS3 sound file, rather, they're in the flash.

 

Barry

 

 

DCS Ambassador & author of "The DCS O Gauge Companion 2nd Edition"

Train-Ca-Teers - All For O and O For All!

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
GGG GGG is offline. Click for Member Snapshot.
OGR Forum Member
 
April 25, 2013 7:54 AM

Barry, Thanks, I know the smoke is also.  That is the correction for the RTR sets that had low smoke output.  The original flash was for the single smoke element, and the fix was to load the flash program that was for a double smoke element unit.

 

This does provide some flexibility to allow Premier or RK sounds to be loaded to any engine for the sound effects, without any negative consequences of speed or smoke issues.  G

 

MTH Authorized Service Center and Technician

Lionel Independent Repairs

Virginia Train Collectors Member

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
Become a Premium Member of the OGR Forum
 
April 25, 2013 8:31 AM

Interesting idea George, being able to use different sound sets and still not break the functionality of the unit would be nice.  However, one thing that is nice about the PS/2 sound sets is you can load one with more features and add stuff like markers, ditch lights, etc. to a locomotive that doesn't come with them.

 

TCA, North Penn O-Gaugers, MTH ASC Certified Technician

 

Nothing is so easy as the job you imagine someone else doing.

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
GGG GGG is offline. Click for Member Snapshot.
OGR Forum Member
 
April 26, 2013 5:40 PM

Should be no different with PS-3.  The Flash is a Zip inside the sound file and flash can be loaded through the rail with the exception of some early Phase 1 HO.  G

 

MTH Authorized Service Center and Technician

Lionel Independent Repairs

Virginia Train Collectors Member

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
 
July 24, 2014 12:16 PM

Silly question and I know this is an old discussion, what advantages are there with the PS3 over the PS2????  What's the words on making the upgrade?  Thanks!  Just doing some thinking!  Lol
 

Living the dream.

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
RJR RJR is offline. Click for Member Snapshot.
OGR Forum Member
 
July 24, 2014 12:21 PM

I may be a heretic, but based on my experience to date I prefer PS2, despite--or more properly because of--the wire tether and battery.  Using smaller batteries solves a space problem when upgrading.

 
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
 
July 24, 2014 2:59 PM

jjmmagoo

PS3 needs no battery so no replacing them after the years eat them.

also, they have a custom ASIC chip which gives better signal pickup than the old chip.

This means better signal response, more so if paired with the new Rev L TIU which also has a new ASIC.

Bottom line: fewer problems over the years can be expected with PS3 VS PS2.

 

There have been a few teething problems with the new engines. I forget exactly which ones, but some have had a point inside the paint needed scrubbed off under a screw for a good ground and some folks have had issues with the new Drawbar.

 

The Drawbar on a few engines did not stay snapped in place well.

I have a PS3 Northern and those were one of the engines with the drawbar issue, However I have had Zero problems with mine.

 

Possibly this is because it rarely gets picked up. Leaving them on the track connected seems to be a good thing with the new drawbar.

 

Russell, Msgt, USAF, Ret. http://roguespace.com/Trainpg.html

Maine 3 Railers

Last edited by Russell July 24, 2014 3:00 PM
 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
OGR Forum Member
Become a Premium Member of the OGR Forum
 
July 24, 2014 3:16 PM

Currently, I still prefer the PS/2 boards.  I have a couple of issues with the PS/3 boards.

 

  • There is basically nothing field repairable on a PS/3 board set, many repairs are possible on the 3V PS/2 boards.  Most of the 3V boards I get that are dead can be repaired for far less than a new board.
  • They cost more than the PS/2 boards.
  • Given my admittedly small sample, they don't seem as robust as the PS/2 boards.  I've had several dead ones already out of less than a dozen total that I've seen.  Of course, it's a total loss when they die.
  • For existing locomotives, there is very little new stuff you get with the PS/3 boards in an upgrade.

For new products, there is great potential for PS/3 to add features and to allow smaller DCS equipped products, but that's still an unrealized dream.

 

 

TCA, North Penn O-Gaugers, MTH ASC Certified Technician

 

Nothing is so easy as the job you imagine someone else doing.

 
 
Like Like (0 likes)
Permalink
 
Post Reply