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I recently got a brand new 20-3708-1 Cab Forward with PS3 in a trade. It now has about 500 scale miles on it but it's had an issue since I've had it. At some point during running it will stop communicating with the TIU. This can vary between 5 to 45 minutes. What happens is the locomotive continues to run at whatever speed it was set at (say 40 scale mph), smoke and lights stay on, but it will not respond to any remote commands. The only way to restore operation is to shut down power and push up on the wireless drawbar. Then it will work again. 

In troubleshooting I've tried replacing the drawbar. That has had no effect. I've also used a rubber o ring to keep the tender end of the drawbar tight. When it stops the connectors on both ends of the drawbar are tight. Any suggestion on where else to look for issues? There is plenty of slack in the wires connected to the drawbar. It's not a TIU issue, as none of my other PS2 or PS3 locomotives have this issue. 

Last edited by Lou1985
Original Post

As an update when the locomotive stops responding to the remote and continues running pressing any button (whistle, bell, direction, a soft key) results in nothing happening. Pushing startup gets an "Engine not on track" message. The only way to bring the engine back under DCS is to cut power and turn it back on. Then it will be fine for 15-45 minutes before it drops out again. 

Your problem sounds a lot like what happened a few years back with the premier Big Boy or Challenger, don't remember which one.  It would act just as you are describing.  They finally figured out there was an error in the chain file code.  Your engine is from 2017.  When you download the sound file for it, the sound file is still from 2/20/2017, but the chain file has been updated to one from 1/30/2020.  Maybe they had other complaints about this problem and fixed it with a new chain file.  Can't be sure, but I would try this new chain file and see if it fixes your problem.

mrmacher posted:

Your problem sounds a lot like what happened a few years back with the premier Big Boy or Challenger, don't remember which one.  It would act just as you are describing.  They finally figured out there was an error in the chain file code.  Your engine is from 2017.  When you download the sound file for it, the sound file is still from 2/20/2017, but the chain file has been updated to one from 1/30/2020.  Maybe they had other complaints about this problem and fixed it with a new chain file.  Can't be sure, but I would try this new chain file and see if it fixes your problem.

Thanks. I wasn't aware of that issue. Most of the time if there is a tether issue the locomotive shuts off, instead of continuing to run. I did notice the more complex things I asked the locomotive to do (i.e. use the quillable whistle) the quicker it stopped responding to the TIU.

I checked out the chain file and parts were updated in 2018, 2019, and 2020. I'll reload both the chain and sound files tomorrow and see if it helps. They'll be an update tomorrow after doing that. 

Last edited by Lou1985

If a PS-3 steam still runs you should still have access to communicate with the tender board, which is the brains.  If the engine stops and shuts down, no lights/sounds, that could still be drawbar AC power pins.  If you just loose motion and engine functions, that could be data line or the other pins that power the Boiler board.  So besides loose drawbar, it can be cracked pin joints, bad terminal connection at the wire crimp, etc...

In your case with the engine still running but just a lose of control, that does sound like a board related issue.  G

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