I purchased a MTH diesel at my local train show.  It has Proto sounds and train control system.  This is new to me.  I can't seem to get the engine to move out of reverse.  According to the troubleshooting instructions, it's locked in neutral.  But I don't really understand the instructions of getting it unlocked.  I've tried to follow them but nothing works.  Can someone help and translate them into plain English?  I think I understand it up to the point of where I push the whistle button.  It doesn't seem to work after that.

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Original Post

If it has a battery, be sure it's good.  (I don't remember if the Protosound engines have batteries.)

The attached article from the MTH website has a PROTOSOUND RESET FEATURE CHART that has an expanded explanation of how to do a factory reset.  That should do the trick.

The feature resets frequently have to be performed several time before they take.

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first off it s a proto 1 which uses a 8.4 volt battery which should be replaced . when you power it up and it starts to make sounds ! power down transformer it should keep sounds for 7 seconds or less if it does not your battery is  bad! if it has a white battery in the engine DO NOT POWER IT UP REPLACE IT IMMEDIATELY! THE white batteries are over 20 years old and your asking to for trouble scrambling the boards. it could be locked in neutral or forward or reverse the engine is designed to be locked in any direction you like but normally it is not locked! also the mth engine is very particular which transformer it will work with, best way to test it is with a z4000 transformer . if you dnt lower the voltage enough when you try the direction but it will not change from neutral that's why I suggested testing with a z4000! watch video of resetting z4000 for your engine 18 reset

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sG7KSLYkgM

 

 

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that engine will run on your old ZW Lionel transformer but would not recommend unless you install fast blowing fuse's otherwise if you get a short your board will be toast!!

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Alan Mancus posted:

that engine will run on your old ZW Lionel transformer but would not recommend unless you install fast blowing fuse's otherwise if you get a short your board will be toast!!

I was trying to use a Lionel CW80 transformer.  But daggone, these MTH engines sound like crap!  I guess I should stick to Lionel.

That CW80 is most likely not going to work. It has a chopped sine wave and is not compatible with most Proto1 engines. Proto1 engines need a pure sine wave transformer to function. Find an older Lionel or American Flyer transformer if you can to test and run it. When you first power up Proto1 engines they power up in reset mode. The transformer must be under 10 volts when you first cycle the power to get out of reset mode. Do not power up over 10 volts until after you power it up and cycle it out of reset mode. If over 10 volts it will not cycle. Once you power it up under 10 volts, hear the two dings and the sounds come on, you then cycle the power off and right back on. It should than leave reset mode and cycle into forward. After that it should function like any other engine until you power it completely off. Each time you power it up after being completely shut down you must do this to get it going.

Also as stated above power the engine up first, wait for the sounds to come on and shut it back down to see how long the sounds play after the transformer is turned off. The sounds should last at least 7 or 8 seconds. If it is less the battery is too weak to cycle out of reset. You can put a 9 volt battery in to test the engine if the battery is bad. Do not leave the 9 volt battery in it for anything other than testing as it can overcharge and damage the battery. This situation can also damage the board.  

Oh, also as stated by Alan above, check to be sure the engine does not have a white battery in it before doing any of this. If the engine was never run the white battery may work for a while but there is a high chance it will scramble the board which takes a completely different approach to cure. If the board gets scrambled you will hear 3 clanks when you power it up instead of 2 dings. This takes a special chip to fix. Let us know how you make out. 

Forest. 

Proto1 was state of the art when it first came out. They are not ever going to sound as good as later Lionel Legacy engines with super bass speakers. When I got my first Proto1 engine it was like entering a whole new world of train control. Of course early Railsounds engines are not going to compare to the later Railsounds 4 or 5 engines or Lionel Legacy. They are light years apart in technology. 

I just reread you original post. Maybe I am off base on your problem. Does the engine run only in reverse or is it stuck in neutral. You state it as both. If it will not cycle out of neutral or Reset do as stated above. Please confirm which it is. Thank you, Forest.

Hey Forest, thanks for the info.  I will give the various suggestions a try as I have time and resources.  I was just wanting an engine to haul some freight and the Southern diesel looked neat.  I actually prefer no sounds except the horn.  Other than the CW80, I've got two other Lionel transformers that I use, one pictured and an old blue one from the 1970s.  I also have a ZW transformer that I've never used, nor do I know if it works. Bought it used several years ago but never had a chance to try it out.

 

Lionel40wattTransformer

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Hey Forest , when I first put it on the track it seemed to work with my CW80 transformer for a loop.  Then when I tried again it seems stuck in neutral. It powers up, dings twice, then just sits there.

Very frustrating!  I don’t need an engine that takes special transformers to run or circuits to keep it from frying itself.  It’s a good looking engine but I may see if the seller will take it back. 

Jeff,

When you start  a PS1 after it has been sitting for a bit, do not go above 10v. I usually advance the throttle until I hear the sounds start, and then wait for about a minute. That puts a bit of a charge on the battery, or if you have a BCR, charges that. Then drop the voltage to zero and advance the throttle until the engine moves. If you hear a single "Ding" and "PSSSSSSSH", you are in Reset, and the engine will not move. If that happens, drop the throttle to zero, wait a full minute for the sounds to fully shut down, and try again to no more than 10 v.

Chris

LVHR

When your engine built I don't think the CW80 existed. If you have the instruction book that came with the engine their is a list of transformers that have been tested with proto1 engines. Of the ones listed the Lionel MW transformer is the only one listed as not reccomendedMost all other post war Lionel transformers are listed with directions on which post to hook it up to. Three MTH Transformers are listed plus five others. The CW80 and the 40watt you have are not on the list. Did not exist? 

The engine did not need a special Transformer. Lionel built a transformer that was not compatible. Your ZW is on the list and with a couple dollars worth of parts is perfectly save to use. You need a TVS Diode across the track terminals or the transformer terminals, track preferred, no soldering anything special to hook it up. Add an inline 10amp fuse and you are good to go. There are fast acting circuit breakers available if you are prone to derailments blowing too many fuses. I can send you the TVS Diode if you would like. I have never blown out a board using my ZW with this setup. If the CW80 does not work after trying it as Chris and I have suggested try the ZW. Once you figure this out you will love the engine. 

Did you power up and then listen to the how long the sounds play after you power it down? If you did not do this check and the battery is dead we are never going to get anywhere regardless of what Transformer you use except for the high possibility of you scrambling the board. You'll know if you do. This was the first thing that was ask of you when Alan replied to you original post. You never responded to this request. We are both MTH Techs. 

I appreciate all the advice and suggestions.  I'm NOT purposely being unresponsive, it's just that I haven't had a chance to try out the engine since  my initial post.  And this being my first engine with sound, I really wasn't paying attention to when the sounds sounded, or how long they lasted.  But I'm pretty sure the sounds completely go away immediately when the throttle is cut out.

That said, I was able to open up the battery compartment last night before going to bed.  I discovered some corrosion.  And not only does it have the white battery mentioned by you guys, the wires and battery connector had corroded off the battery!  Needless to say, that battery, dead or alive, ain't doing nothing for that train. 

I can probably return for a refund if I want.

JeffPo posted:
Alan Mancus posted:

that engine will run on your old ZW Lionel transformer but would not recommend unless you install fast blowing fuse's otherwise if you get a short your board will be toast!!

I was trying to use a Lionel CW80 transformer.  But daggone, these MTH engines sound like crap!  I guess I should stick to Lionel.

- Very early PS1 (same as QSI) will not typically run on a modern transformer, including MTH. They require a "Post War" wave form. Lionel or AF should do it. "Modern" transformers did not exist when early PS1 (actually, it was just "PS" then) came out. I have a still-un-upgraded MTH ATSF 4-8-4 that will run only on an old transformer.

- As stated above, old transformers and control boards can be a bad mix, at least long term. The circuit breakers in old transformers were there to protect the transformer, not the locomotive, and are glacial in response.  

- All old sound packages were marginal in quality, at best. Try a 1980's Lionel "Sound of Steam" loco; PS1 will begin to sound excellent.

- I used to run my PS1 locos with no battery at all. Seemed to be OK. My GP38's would then coordinate better when double-heading.

- If it's a nice loco, ERR Cruise Commander/RS would be a true upgrade....not free, but neither is frustration. 

D500 posted:
- I used to run my PS1 locos with no battery at all. Seemed to be OK. My GP38's would then coordinate better when double-heading.

 

You obviously only ran older PS/1 stuff, because newer PS/1 will not get out of reset with no battery.

I really, really, REALLY appreciate all the advice and information.  I've learned some different things.  It even spurred me to search out other threads so I could figure out what a "TVS Diode" was.    I'm definitely going to make some changes to my wiring based on what I've learned.

The seller took the engine back.  He's not a train guy, but is planning on working on it, so I shared the various suggestions from this discussion with him.

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