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Bought a used MTH 10000 set.  Replaced the old battery in the engine with a BCR1 (older PS2).  I'm having a hard time powering it up.  When I move the engine by pushing it on the track, it does seems to make contact and power up normally with great sound and engine chatter.  But then, in conventional mode, when I throttle down and then back up, it dies and will not start again unless I manually move the engine on the rails.  I can't get it to go into forward or reverse.  Any idea what is going on?  It does the same thing in DCS command mode.  Should I ask for a refund from the seller?  Thanks for any tips or suggestions.

I assume the engine should work on its own without attaching the lighted cars.


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You are correct, the engine should work on it's own. The middle cars do not have pickup rollers, only the tail car and that is not required for testing or operation - caveat though, you do have limited pickup rollers with only the engine.

It sounds like you either have dirty wheels or it could be the pickup rollers. They can get black oxide or rust on the rivet shaft of the roller and not make good contact. This is a used engine. The typical fix is using a very light or "conductive rated thin oil and then using a Dremel or other tool to spin the roller with some pressure.

Also, a factor in this testing, the engine by itself only has one pickup roller so a switch or other track feature could easily result in a loss of power to the engine.

I don't think you need to send back, I think you need to clean the rollers and wheel, lubricate with very light oil, and test using the engine and tailcar as a set to get at least 2 pickup rollers on the track.


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My personal test bench method is using a Z500 brick, Z controller, and a set of alligator clip leads to the center roller and a truck chassis grounding point with the engine on it's side. If it passes that test with no glitches- then this is a track and pickup roller related issue 90+% of the time.

Again, a used engine, with unknown lube status, something as simple as using the wrong thick oil on pickup rollers has been enough to cause poor or intermittent power problems.


Thank you for this information.  I did oil the wheels and pick up rollers but I used a "medium" oil and perhaps that is too thick.  The wheels are dirty, so I'll do a good cleaning, and the connect the back car for a 2nd pickup roller.  Thanks for the tip on using alligator clips on my work bench -- good idea that I can try easily.  I hope I can get it to work because its a simple set that I like a lot.

I always though this set was kind of ugly.  But the older I get, its ugliness looks good to me Actually, the truth is, I love streamliners.  I appreciate them more today than ever and have slowly built a small collection over several years.


Well, I tried cleaning the wheels and pick up roller and powered it up on my workbench with alligator clips and I'm at the same place I started:  It powers up, but when I throttle down to zero and throttle back up, it only restarts and re-powers up.  No forward or reverse.  And I was not able to reset the engine.

I'm ready to throw in the towel and ask for a return to seller.

That is a 5V PS2 so all bets were off to be honest. Sounds like the BCR was not charging up or working.

"It powers up, but when I throttle down to zero and throttle back up, it only restarts and re-powers up.  No forward or reverse. "

Again, just trying to cover the easy stuff because a least the board boots and makes sounds, however, it dying whenever trying to move at first sounded power pickup related, now on the bench with alligator clips, you remove the track interface electrical pickup and it gave you more symptoms.

It seems there is a short somewhere on the engine. When I clip an alligator to the pickup roller on the bench, it powers up.  But when I put it on my layout the pickup roller doesn't seem to be working.  If that were the only issue I would further diagnose.  But when I have constant power, like on the bench, it powers up only and does nothing else.  And I'm not able to put the engine in reset, which is problematic and frustrating.

The BCR1 is brand new -- bought it 2 days ago for this set.  I could try a different one, from one of my other engines, but I don't want to spend more time on it.  I've been down this road before with used engines and I'm not a tech.  So, I think my best bet is a return.

I should know not to buy a used engine that hasn't been tested or run lately.  I've only done that once before and the outcome was the same.  Had issues and returned it.

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