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Well after years of faithful service I believe one of my favorite steam engines has finally gave up the ghost. I am running DCS latest version.  It had been off the track for a couple of months, I tried to run it again and got the Engine not on track message. I did open tender and verified a green battery but replaced with a BCR just in case battery bad.  No success.  At first it came up silent; didn't even here the click. Later if I brought up voltage to around 10 -12 volts, the engine would start up with sound, lights and smoke, but no movement and still Engine not on track message. 

When I opened the tender it appears the speaker has the zinc rot, so not going to power anything up anymore, but probably too late for that.

I guess now my question is what options are available to get this fixed?  Don't know if this is a candidate for PS3-2 board plus new speaker.  Anyway open to comments and suggestions.


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  Try deleting the engine from the remote and re adding it. If the battery dies. It will revert back to it’s original number. Not the one the remote assigns it into the first open slot when first added.  I’ve had this happen a few times when an engine sits idle for months with batteries. You did say it came up silent.  I’m guessing with BCR’s this isn’t an issue after the engine sits powered up on the layout for a minute. They have always re added and worked.

Again, the bottom line- a suspect engine should best be tested in conventional and ensure you can measure actual current draw when powering.

These clues are how to know how messed up your engine might be and how at risk for causing further damage.

Straight from a PS2 manual

Testing The Ps-2 Upgrade
Connect the tender (without the tender shell on) to the engine (chassis only) by
inserting the tender harness into the 10 pin plug at the rear of the engine.
Apply 12 volts of power (in conventional mode) to the engine and tender. If
you have a Z4000 look at the current display.The engine should not draw more
than 1.5 amps. If the engine draws more than 1.5 amps, shut down power to the
engine and tender immediately and check your wiring for any pinched or cut
wires. Turn the smoke unit switch off and power up again in conventional
mode. The engine without the smoke unit on should not draw more than 1.0
amp. Troubleshoot any problem in the smoke unit or wire harness accordingly.

PS2 boards will not lose there address if the battery dies while sitting on the shelf.  They will not retain the address you assign to it if the battery (or BCR) dies during the shutdown process and does not fully complete.  I take batteries out of PS2 engines all the time and they never loose their address as it not stored in volatile memory. Think about it, a BCR is pretty much dead after 24 hours and those engines don't lose their address.

Most likely your 5 volt board is toast.  The faulty speaker would be a good reason as to why & how but not necessarily the definitive answer.

It is a good candidate for a PS32 replacement board. When 5 volt boards start acting up, it's usually not long before they really go.

Last edited by H1000

Thanks for the inputs.  Here is an update.  I did look at board and did not see any bulging caps.  I don't have an easy way to check in conventional, so I monitored current draw when adding voltage and I heard the click and it drew about 0.6 amps. Tried to start up with no success (Engine not on track). I then deleted the engine from remote and then went to add new MTH engine. Surprise! The engine was added to address 1. The engine started up and everything is working. I reassigned to old address, shut down, restarted and all is good. 

For now engine works fine. I think I will get a new speaker before I run it very much. I will run it until the 5 volt board is dead, but wondering in the future is the PS32 board the proper fix? Are those boards available to general public or only to service techs?

Again thanks to all.


"I then deleted the engine from remote and then went to add new MTH engine. Surprise! The engine was added to address 1. The engine started up and everything is working." I have lost count of how many times I have done the same, sometimes with success, rarely not. DCS also has a "recover engine" function.

Above all, I keep engines (and cars) in plastic containers in as dry an environment as I can.  Does anyone else know if this last effort is worthwhile?

I've never seen the benefit of any "padding" inside the baffle for speakers of the size we use.  When you're building a huge enclosure for 12" speakers, then killing off any back end sound may make a difference, but I doubt you can tell with speakers the size used in O-scale model trains.

If you really want to see samples of well designed speaker baffles, check  out laptop speakers.  Those companies put some serious sound engineering into making tiny speakers sound really good!

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