MTH Premier Challenger PS1 Update Chip

Hello fellow model railroaders and good evening,

I recently won a bid on eBay for the original MTH Premier Union Pacific Challenger #3985 from Spring 1994. And for an item that's 24 years of age, it runs flawlessly and in great condition, too. I apologize for the lack of pictures/video as I've been busy managing classes.

As I ran it on a strip of Lionel track I noticed a sharp difference compared to the videos I've seen. The bell on the engine runs constantly and the cycle (of the engine's bell sound) resets at every change in direction. Pressing the whistle or bell buttons on my Z-4000 transformer will trigger the whistle sound. It's because this is the very first edition of ProtoSound 1, made for compatibility with Lionel postwar transformers, absent of a bell button.

There exists a ProtoSound v1.1 update chip exclusively for the 1994 Challenger with which the bell can be turned on/off and also includes the passenger station sounds. I saw it once before, a lot of 2 on eBay a few months back.

If anyone sees or has one, can I please have any information or offers on obtaining it? Anything helps and thanks in advance.

Original Post

Update 10-9-18:

I ran the challenger a little and noticed a switch on the tender. I have no manual for the engine, so I was inclined to switch it to its opposite position. After shutting down, the compressor ran after the ding signifying the engine shut down, then powered it back up to have the engine not repeating the bell, but now repeating the compressor throughout operation. Another thing to note is how the engine continued playing sounds after power was cut from the track (the battery providing complete shutdown, on other engines).

This is the first time I've seen this on any MTH Proto 1 engine. If anyone knows something about this, please let me know.

Thanks again in advance.

I suspect the switch is the coupler switch for an aux tender, it isn't likely to affect the sounds or the operation of the locomotive.  What it likely did was disable the rear electrocoupler.

Early MTH had a battery switch which needs to be on for sound continuity and off after done operating, otherwise sounds will continue to cycle until the battery dies.  G

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Alan Mancus
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