I recently unboxed this gorgeous P5a Electric - the GG1 look alike not the box cab - and powered it up for the first time. I have it since new so its been quite a few years. Right off the bat I think I goofed because I did not install the voltage suppressor diodes and I used an old ZW transformer. The engine ran for around 15 minutes but I was not able to control anything and would get it to run as a fluke by manipulating the throttle and whistle buttons. But once I got it running it was fine and all the sounds worked perfectly. But if I shut it off it was a crap shoot to get it running again by pushing buttons. 

Anyway at one point I thought I saw a small flash and that was it dead as a door nail. No lights no sound no nothing stone cold dead. So I assume I fried the board. The manual didn't mention a battery so I don't know if there is a battery in it. 

If something simple fried like a capacitor I can fix it but if its a chip I think it may be better to just replace the board. I don't know if these boards are available.

Also, the manual mentions a "bell button".  What the heck is that?

Thanks - AL

Pre/Post war is the way to go!

Original Post

What is the actual MTH product number?  If it's the 20-5510-1 from 2000, I would likely suspect the board died, that's the old 5V PS/2 board model.  However, they were also produced in 2006 and 2008, those would be the much more reliable 3V PS/2 board and also likely to be more repairable.

All of these models have a battery.

I haven't looked to see the fit, but the replacement is the PS32 board with the black 5V PS/2 connectors.   This is a PS/3 board with an interface board to make it look like the PS/2 board with connectors to match what you have.  Assuming there's no fit issues, it's a pretty straight forward replacement.

The current repair board is the PS-32 board as john mentioned.  Needs speaker changed to 4 ohm, battery removed.  Usually the Electrics require side mounting to fit.  Maybe some wiring lengthened.  Also service loader get the serial data loaded. Using a tech also gets you a warranty.  I Do these repairs.  E-mail is in my profile.  G

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You can buy a used 5V board, keep in mind the reason there is such a demand is that the 5V boards are near end-of-life and are failing rather often at this point.  FWIW, I keep any used 5V boards to pop into my stuff that still has 5V boards.

Fisherdoc, Listen to GGG's & GRJ's advice.  Avoid 5-volt boards. I had 5-6 of the 5-volt locos.  Every one has been replaced with a 3-volt board.  Only 1-2 did not fail.  I gutted the wiring and used upgrade kits--did the work myself.  I also used 2.5F supercapacitors instead of batteries. 

RJR posted:

Fisherdoc, Listen to GGG's & GRJ's advice.  Avoid 5-volt boards. I had 5-6 of the 5-volt locos.  Every one has been replaced with a 3-volt board.  Only 1-2 did not fail.  I gutted the wiring and used upgrade kits--did the work myself.  I also used 2.5F supercapacitors instead of batteries. 

OK - so is there a part number or ??? for thie board? I am ordering something from MTH so if they have it I will order it too. If they have it - Thanks - AL

Pre/Post war is the way to go!

The upgrade Boards are listed on the MTH website, and are slightly cheaper if bought thru the MTH Club.  This is an option if you want to do the work yourself.  The PS-32 Board that GGG refers to is, I believe, only available to techs.

Correct, if you want to go the PS32 route, shoot me an email and I can quote a board.  You'll need the board, optionally the heatsink mounting kit ( make one yourself), and also a suitably sized 4 ohm speaker.  The PS32 board you get will have the black 5V connectors on it, so it's plug-n-play to replace a 5V board if the harnesses all reach and the board fits.  As mentioned, sometimes you have to mount the board sideways, sometimes you have to extend one or more harnesses, and in an extreme case, I had to wrap the board with Kapton tape and remove the mounting shell as it just wouldn't fit!

You can't buy boards direct unless tech.  So as stated you need to purchase from a tech.  I can sell you a board and necessary parts too, but I would state for the extra labor charge which seems is minimal in todays world, you get it installed and warrantied.  IF you have not done this before, while not hard, it only takes one minor mistake to ruin the board.  

Picture is a GG-1 with PS-2 3V, the PS-32 is similar.  Depending on smoke unit or other type of engine, a different PS-32 flash code may be required too.  These types of repairs usually require custom mounting since board profile is different from a 5V board.  G

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gunrunnerjohn posted:

Obviously, you can install a simple DC reverse board and have conventional operation.

You can use a Dallee 400 reverse unit (about $60), but the lighting is 6v and may have some LEDs, so you would have to change that or use some type of lighting driver board.  The Dalle can be configured for directional lighting and drive LEDs with some simple resistors.  But, if you want to keep the resale value, go with the 3/2 board.

The scrouge of the 5v boards is lack of use.  We have 5v boards still being used weekly that are 20 years old.

Jon G TCA 95-41020

Independent Lionel Service Tech

MTH Service Technician at MTH

Actually there are or were two other fixes.  Now as GRJ and GGG have said it is almost impossible to actually fix these boards.  

But if parts are still available somewhere out there were two fixes.

MTH actually made PS2/3V transition board set.  The board is a PS2/3V with connectors compatible to 5V engines.  I am holding one of these in my hand right now.  Am sure GRJ or GGG know the MTH part number.  BUt still have to change up the speaker, couplers, and battery.

The other option is a PS2/3V upgrade kit if you can find them.  You would have to very-very carefully remove the wiring harness connector shrouds from both the old and new boards and exchange them onto the new board set.  That way the upgrade kit board set would be just like the board referenced above.  And with the kit would have the speaker, couplers and 3V battery.

In the day I stockpiled many of these kits for PS/PS-1 upgrades plus 5V to 3V change outs.

Ron

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Obviously, you can install a simple DC reverse board and have conventional operation.

yes that's want I want to do - I just don't know what kind of lights are in there and if they will work anymore

Pre/Post war is the way to go!

PRRronbh posted:
MTH actually made PS2/3V transition board set.  The board is a PS2/3V with connectors compatible to 5V engines.  I am holding one of these in my hand right now.  Am sure GRJ or GGG know the MTH part number.  BUt still have to change up the speaker, couplers, and battery.

Not only are we aware of it, it's already been discussed!

gunrunnerjohn posted:

I haven't looked to see the fit, but the replacement is the PS32 board with the black 5V PS/2 connectors.   This is a PS/3 board with an interface board to make it look like the PS/2 board with connectors to match what you have.  Assuming there's no fit issues, it's a pretty straight forward replacement.

 

Jon G posted:
gunrunnerjohn posted:

Obviously, you can install a simple DC reverse board and have conventional operation.

You can use a Dallee 400 reverse unit (about $60), but the lighting is 6v and may have some LEDs, so you would have to change that or use some type of lighting driver board.  The Dalle can be configured for directional lighting and drive LEDs with some simple resistors.  But, if you want to keep the resale value, go with the 3/2 board.

The scrouge of the 5v boards is lack of use.  We have 5v boards still being used weekly that are 20 years old.

I opened this thing up and got so disgusted I called MTH and they are going to fix it for me with the new board etc. The guy was funny after I told him I just took it out of the box after 20 years he advised me its no longer under warranty. I will have to eat this one.

I did some more digging and I now found the MTH Box Cab Electric that I bought at the same time as the P5a - and this one needs 072 curves so its going on the block for sale since it will be years before I can have that kind of a radius. Along with this is the Milwaukee Road Bi-Polar Electric - also 072 curves. 

Then I pulled out 3 more engines all MTH steamers. All 3 are RailKing and at least one says "Protosound" on it. Now I wonder if these are going to blow up when I try to use them!

Pre war pre war ra ra ra!

Pre/Post war is the way to go!

I highly recommend you sell them all and get your PW out and enjoy your self.  I also doubt MTH will fix for free, so you are going to pay MSRP on parts and $55 an hr labor.

So much for a discount from the ASC tech on the board that don't have MTH overhead.   G

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"I opened this thing up and got so disgusted I called MTH and they are going to fix it for me with the new board etc. The guy was funny after I told him I just took it out of the box after 20 years he advised me its no longer under warranty. I will have to eat this one."

Would love to know who you talked to.  This would be a first on a 20 year old engine.

Jon G TCA 95-41020

Independent Lionel Service Tech

MTH Service Technician at MTH

fisherdoc posted:

Then I pulled out 3 more engines all MTH steamers. All 3 are RailKing and at least one says "Protosound" on it. Now I wonder if these are going to blow up when I try to use them!

If it's PS1/QSI and has been sitting in a box for 20 years, the battery is probably no good and it probably will "blow up".  Replace the battery or install a BCR before you apply power.

Bob

GGG posted:

I highly recommend you sell them all and get your PW out and enjoy your self.  I also doubt MTH will fix for free, so you are going to pay MSRP on parts and $55 an hr labor.

So much for a discount from the ASC tech on the board that don't have MTH overhead.   G

no they are not fixing it for free. I am going to eat it and dump the others WITH PLEASURE!

Pre/Post war is the way to go!

Jon G posted:

"I opened this thing up and got so disgusted I called MTH and they are going to fix it for me with the new board etc. The guy was funny after I told him I just took it out of the box after 20 years he advised me its no longer under warranty. I will have to eat this one."

Would love to know who you talked to.  This would be a first on a 20 year old engine.

I really don't expect them to warranty a 20 year old engine.

Pre/Post war is the way to go!

Lehigh74 posted:
fisherdoc posted:

Then I pulled out 3 more engines all MTH steamers. All 3 are RailKing and at least one says "Protosound" on it. Now I wonder if these are going to blow up when I try to use them!

If it's PS1/QSI and has been sitting in a box for 20 years, the battery is probably no good and it probably will "blow up".  Replace the battery or install a BCR before you apply power.

And The TVS diodes too which for now will go in the transformer

Pre/Post war is the way to go!

pennsydave posted:

I did mine with the 3/2 board. had to make adjustments to fit.  Lots of wires and the LED marker lights don't show thru the colored lenses the engine came with, so they don't look 'on'.  I installed clear  LEDs for the markers and they work much better.FD44AC7A-0633-460C-9683-BDC47A150E18

FYI, that is NOT the PS3/2 board, that's the PS/3 diesel board.

This is the PS3/2 board, this version has the white 3V connectors, you can also get it with the black 5V connectors.  The PS3/2 is actually a stack of two boards, the top one is the interface board to make it look like the PS/2 board interface, the bottom board is a true PS/3 board with a different layout to interface to this top board.

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