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I picked up one of the new PS-1 sound boxcars, in my case the UP 'flat spot' sound car.  Decent looking car with nice detailing and paint.  I flipped it over and a couple of interesting discoveries.  First of all, it was made in Vietnam, I wonder if China is getting worried?

Next, no labels on the switches!  So I look at the tiny piece of paper that I overlooked the first time, and it identifies the switches as MIN/MAX and SOUND/NO SOUND, seems pretty typical.

HOLD THE PHONE!  They don't actually work that way!  There is no switch setting that produces no sound!  There is actually three different sound settings, one with the flat spot and a whole lot more background sounds.  One with lots of background sounds and normal rolling sounds, and then when you switch to min, you get flange squeal and a little background sounds, the other switch doesn't affect that track.  In order to accomplish no-sound, you will have to turn the volume down.  Of course, I'm happy with that, I like the idea that you have three different sound features instead of just two.

Lionel 2026190 UP 'flat spot' PS-1 Boxcar First Look N1Lionel 2026190 UP 'flat spot' PS-1 Boxcar First Look N2


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  • Lionel 2026190 UP 'flat spot' PS-1 Boxcar First Look N1
  • Lionel 2026190 UP 'flat spot' PS-1 Boxcar First Look N2
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@Randy_B posted:

Interesting. Did you happen to see the Great Northern car? That was the only one I was considering and wasn't really in it for the sounds except for the cost of course!

What's really going on at Lionel? I'm starting to get concerned.

I sent my GN car back. It didnt help that the sounds didnt work, but the lettering was flaking off all over the plastic sheet in the clamshell. Somewhat unfortunate as it seemed like a nice car, but I wasnt going to chance the whole run of GN cars not having well adhered lettering. I think Petersen Supply made all of the GN circus cars with Atlas boxcars at one point, maybe try and find that version.

I took a peek inside and got a nice surprise.  They used the full RS-Lite sound board in this car, not the conventional one that is missing a couple of features.  The one feature that this one has is the battery provision.  I had the car cut out the sounds a couple of times, so I added my YLB battery, problem solved!

The trucks were mentioned previously, these cars have the removable couplers and the Kadee mounts are in the box, so you can easily convert to scale couplers with nothing but the actual Kadee couplers, a nice touch.

Lionel 2026190 UP 'flat spot' PS-1 Boxcar First Look N3


Images (1)
  • Lionel 2026190 UP 'flat spot' PS-1 Boxcar First Look N3
@superwarp1 posted:

My two bay hoppers were also made in Vietnam.  Those lobster claw couplers.  have you tested them out like my Milk car review?

I just did a functional test dragging two track cleaners behind it to see if they'd work.  They couple very easily and didn't come uncoupled until I activated the tab.  I don't have a uncoupling track yet, so I didn't test that function.

Can't we get a video of the sounds shared here?

I hate to hear comments over the sounds and not able to hear them!

Here are three videos, first the "minimum" setting, then the max without flat spot, and finally, the flat spot sounds.  I can clearly see that turning down the volume would be a good idea if you have several of these!   The two MAX settings are really busy!


Videos (3)

Moving production to Vietnam has been a trend for a few years now.  HO and N has several products produced there.  They are much more business friendly in many cases compared to China these days and the labor is cheaper.  Like any new factory, there is a little learning curve.

I like the concept.  I'm not huge on sounds, but as Engineer-Joe stated turning down the locomotive volume and having the actual train sound as a whole is pretty interesting.  I wonder if the Lionel two rail wheel set work with this.  It did not with my N5b Cabin, but that car may not be compatible with the Lionel conversion kit.

Gun runner John pointed me to the video (thank you), I was on a different string about the flat spots.  My comment was to anyone on the thread that has one of the newly released cars if they could shoot a short video of the car being pulled at a medium low speed by a diesel.  It was hard to tell with the handmotive what the sound was really like.  Thanks!

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