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I had recently (weeks ago) added an PS3.   I went to run it today (have run it before) and i get "not on track" error message.   The engine powers up but is not recognizing the signal i guess.  I delete the engine thinking I will add back.   It does not find engine when i try to add back.....despite the fact it is powered up.

thoughts,

thanks, Michael

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Michael, are you using an Apple device? I had numerous problems getting a new MTH Primer PS3 loaded to my iPad right out of the box. That was in June or July. I kept stabbing at it and it eventually found it when there was no other engine on the track. That was even using Amy trusted "old" iPad.  There are other threads here on this and similar issues.

If you scroll up on the threads for this evening, you will see one titled "heads up regarding DCS..." and another titled "TIU communication issue" . Check them out and good luck!

Bob

Not using apple - using the remote...which gave me the idea to try and see if I could add via the phone....which uncovered another issue....no wi -fi connection.   Not sure what that is about.....but it has been several years since I have tried to use my phone simply because I like the remote better.

Was sure nothing else was on the track.  Successfully added another engine tonight so everything is working....it is apparently this engine being stubborn for some reason.   Just tried again to no avail.  

@msp posted:

Not using apple - using the remote...which gave me the idea to try and see if I could add via the phone....which uncovered another issue....no wi -fi connection.   Not sure what that is about....

For the purposes of your reply about "no wifi", I assume you mean you do see your home wifi (or neighbors, etc) but MTH wifi is not on the drop-down? Have you tried to reset the TIU with a paper clip? I'm going from memory because my layout is presently in storage, but I believe you should see a pink, a white and a blue light. The directions would tell you if others don't chime in here.....

For the purposes of your reply about "no wifi", I assume you mean you do see your home wifi (or neighbors, etc) but MTH wifi is not on the drop-down? Have you tried to reset the TIU with a paper clip? I'm going from memory because my layout is presently in storage, but I believe you should see a pink, a white and a blue light. The directions would tell you if others don't chime in here.....

I think you meant WIU instead of TIU.

Okay so still can't get my new Amtrak F40PH to start up.   It powers up by itself after applying power to the track.  Just won't start up.

As far as wifi, not as concerned with that as I don't use it.   So that deleted the MHT wifi from my options.  Prior to that it acted like it connected because I had a check mark by MTH wifi....but the message was no internet.  Now after the reset the MTH wifi is not an option.   Like I said, that is a problem for another day. I am more concerned with getting my engine operational.

@msp posted:

Okay so still can't get my new Amtrak F40PH to start up.   It powers up by itself after applying power to the track.  Just won't start up.

This tells me that it not getting a watchdog signal and because you can't find the engine with the remote it not getting any DCS signal, but you stated earlier that you could add other MTH engines so this seems unlikely... I'd set up a small test track using another channel of the TIU, power that track, and attempt to add the engine there.

What is the product number of your PS3 engine and what is the version of your TIU (little sticker on the bottom with "REV" and a letter after it)?

Yes on the DCS switch

REV L   20-20256

Interesting did not set up a test track but did go to the other channel that is operating the other line.  Engine did not even power up on that track (yes power was on).   Same result quick RFP out of range message - then no engine found.   Move it back to the other line.   powers up.   but same end result.

maybe try a separate test track tomorrow.

@msp posted:

Yes on the DCS switch

REV L   20-20256

Interesting did not set up a test track but did go to the other channel that is operating the other line.  Engine did not even power up on that track (yes power was on).   Same result quick RFP out of range message - then no engine found.   Move it back to the other line.   powers up.   but same end result.

maybe try a separate test track tomorrow.

Well if it didn't power up on that track that's actually normal. When the DCS engine sees a watchdog signal, it stays dark & silent and waits for the start-up command.  I think it's time to try a conventional reset or engine recovery from the DCS remote.

So forgive my ignorance on this -   I have never run them in conventional-  can do that on the variable tiu channel ?

manual just basically says you can but not how

i hit track and clicked on my tiu channel to do what I do when operating straight conventional.    

also once I do that do you have to power off to get back to dcs mode ?

So -did the convention reset to no avail.   As I previously stated on TIU 1 var.  on the layout it powers up (not found)  on TIU 2 var on the layout it does not power up but still not found.  ON the test track -using TIU Var 1 after conventional reset - it does not power up and is not found - so TIU 1 powers up on the layout but not on the test track.    I tested my test track with another PS3 to make sure test track worked.

Well tonight after same result I left the power on longer than usual staring at that $$%@ F40PH with a stern stare hoping it would add.  All of the sudden it took off running.   Had to pull it off the track before the ensuing disaster.   After that episode it no longer powers up it just sits there. (which i guess it is supposed to)   I tried again in conventional mode on a test track - still does fine there.   Tried the feature reset again.

Back to the layout and add- just sits there.

Needless to say I am frustrated.  I realize you guys have an actual life outside my problem so I do appreciate you input.

I realize you are frustrated. The problem is we are past simple issues and into the next stage of troubleshooting.

Example- since it works in conventional but fails in DCS- one thing is the wiring harness and switch for DCS/DCC if that fails or is intermittent, then in theory could give us some of these symptoms- cannot add to DCS, doesn't respond all the time, acts like bad DCS signal.

Another thing was certain engines had EMI/RFI interference when the wiring harness bundled up was too close to the board. Something as simple as moving it as far away as slack would allow fixed similar problems in other engines.

So basically, we are at remove the shell and start getting into the wiring. The reason why this is risky- if any wire shorts to metal frame ground- that typically instantly blows the board.

We had a similar problem with my friends PS2 engine.  It would run on his layout but could not be found on my layout.  We needed to delete the engine on the DCS remote and add it back in.  No problem after that, but it does the same thing every time he brings it over. Haven’t figured this one out yet

Ron

This I can easily explain. Because PS2 uses a battery (or yes, you can use a super capacitor replacement) the point is, understanding how a DCS PS2 or PS3 board stores the address when you add engine. The board is running a microcontroller that boots up and reads from permanent storage all the settings. One of those settings is DCS ID. But, a microprocessor runs in RAM (Random Access Memory) which is NON-permanent storage and is lost if power is lost. So when you add engine, the remote or DCS app on a tablet queries the engine through the TIU, and they negotiate a free ID address in your total list of DCS engines 1-98, then BOTH the remote (or app) and the engine store the new updated ID. But the catch22, that is in RAM because you are in a running state of the microcontroller. The firmware has a routine that only saves all the settings from RAM to more permanent storage at shutdown- meaning power loss on the track, and firmware completes an orderly shutdown sequence- all powered by the BCR (super cap(s)) or battery.

Again, whenever you see this where you can add an engine for a session, and it works and runs, but if power is lost to the track, and then you power back up the track and DCS cannot find that engine ID (not on track) but you add the engine again and it increments up and ID- then we begin to suspect this battery backup power system is not functioning (both charging and then later using the charged battery or super cap to power the electronics). This is because the new updated just added ID as part of the add engine process only happened in RAM and is lost when track power is dropped and the system fails to write that data and settings to storage. The next time it boots up, it keeps using the old previous ID that doesn't match the one saved in the remote.

In a nutshell, #1 inspect and know the state of your battery or BCR, and #2 perform the power loss sequence to see if sounds continue after power is dropped. If sounds cut off instantly- then your BCR or Battery subsystem is not properly functioning.

Last edited by Vernon Barry

For the record, both PS3 and both versions (PS2 3V and PS2 5V) can have this fault of a non functioning power backup system. It can fail either the charging circuit so no energy is charged up to be used later, or failure to store that energy (failed batteries or super capacitors), or the transistors and diodes path of the discharge circuit that uses that stored energy when track power is dropped can fail.

In these cases, you have to examine the voltage of the storage device in all phases- you want to see voltage rise during charging while track power is applied, you want to see it hold voltage, and then  you depend on the sound to keep playing to let you know the system is using the power when track power is dropped.

With super capacitors- if they never charge up, then you don't get past step 1. An example is a PS2 engine (since they used batteries originally) where it works with a charged battery, but if you install a BCR or DIY super capacitor and it doesn't work- we begin to suspect the charging circuit or the capacitors. That said, a damaged charging circuit never charging the battery- eventually catches up to you too and fails.

So can we rule out a remote issue?    I thought of trying to delete another engine and add it back just to be sure the function was working  but didn’t want to chance it

which takes me back to using my iPhone and try but then I would have to figure how to the internet back to it as the reset I lost the Wi-Fi connection

I don’t really want to mess with the Wi-Fi app now unless it is a legitimate option

I would build a small track for testing with a good MTH type transformer for conventional testing.  Make sure switches are fully in correct position.  3r-2r and DCC/DCS.   Does it start up?  Does it run conventionally?  While in neutral do a conventional reset 1W-5B per MTH instructions.  Has to be timed right to get confirmation toots.  If it does all that, add TIU.  Delete engine from remote/app.  Re add and test in DCS.   Assuming nothing weird happened, a PS-3 that worked and just sat, might develop a software glitch causing issues, but should cleanup with resets.  So need to make sure not operator error in doing them.  Small test track eliminates all the potential issues of layout problems.  G

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