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Hi guys I’m looking for some specific information on the Proto three steam upgrade kit. I have pretty much the mechanics down installing the items but my question is installing the loader program. Is that something that the website will walk you through? I’ve downloaded sound files before in Proto 2.0 is it similar to that. Or do I need special equipment to do it.Also I was curious to see if the kit came pre-installed with a steam sound file I do not wanna take the chance to start it up prior to downloading the loader any information would be great appreciate and helpful

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Loading PS/3 sound & chain files uses the same hardware setup as loading the PS/2 sound files.  Not sure what the kits come with nowadays, they used to have a test file that just emitted tones for whistle and bell.  They should have the correct chain files loaded for steam, but there also was a problem with some of the recent kits with a bad chain file loaded.

Although you obviously don't have the same capability, I normally load the sound and/or chain files into any upgrade board using the test-set before install the board.  That allows me to test the board and any issues after the install are likely to be something other than the board.

the loader is for your computer to handle the task. The board set is for the engine. If you start up the engine with the new board set, it will play whatever is loaded from the factory. That used to be a sample file set without full sounds.

No matter what it is, there's no damage from using it unless you installed the set incorrectly. If you have a short for example, there will be damage.

The equipment needed to change or install a sound set into a board set is what's needed to connect to the TIU you're using. If it's a newer (version L) TIU, it has a USB that gets connected to a computer port. If it's an older TIU, you'll need a USB adapter to serial connection.

If you loaded files already, your set-up should work with PS3. DC power is recommended for best results. I've also used AC power. I feel that track signal is most important so I use a short test track for this with nothing else connected.

Whatever you do, don't stop the process once you begin or you'll scramble the board.

Last edited by Engineer-Joe
@Michael bee posted:

'''my question is installing the loader program. Is that something that the website will walk you through?

I’ve downloaded sound files before in Proto 2.0 is it similar to that. Or do I need special equipment to do it.

Also I was curious to see if the kit came pre-installed with a steam sound file I do not wanna take the chance to start it up

prior to downloading the loader any information would be great appreciate and helpful

if you already installed PS2 files with your computer, you at least have a loader?

Make sure it is the latest updated version before you proceed.

The equipment needed, is what it takes to connect to the TIU. So you may have that already?

A steam kit uses PS2 sound files.  No need to load chain files.

Au Contraire!  That is NOT universally true!  Several shipments of upgrade kits have shipped with either defective chain files or even one shipment with diesel chain files!  Also, if you are upgrading and using the small single resistor smoke unit, you need to use the proper chain file set for that smoke unit.  And, even the most recent chain file for small smoke units was erroneously released with the hardware file for the large smoke unit.  Anyone doing PS/3 steam upgrades is well advised to know and understand the ramifications of the chain files for the PS32 board.

Well, for some of the things I mentioned, you would not know until you load the sound file and have problems.  This is also why I always load the appropriate chain file for the environment when I do a steam upgrade, that way I know I have the correct and good chain file for the upgrade.  Before I took the extra few minutes (chain file loads are quick) to load the correct chain file, I wasted a lot more time on a few upgrades trying to figure out why everything didn't work right.  Since the chain files are available, and it's easy to load them and know you have the right one, IMO it's smart to just load them every time.

YMMV, and others may not have the same opinion, I'm just telling you what I do.

Au Contraire!  That is NOT universally true!  Several shipments of upgrade kits have shipped with either defective chain files or even one shipment with diesel chain files!  Also, if you are upgrading and using the small single resistor smoke unit, you need to use the proper chain file set for that smoke unit.  And, even the most recent chain file for small smoke units was erroneously released with the hardware file for the large smoke unit.  Anyone doing PS/3 steam upgrades is well advised to know and understand the ramifications of the chain files for the PS32 board.

So you are assuming the op has a defective chain file or a single resistor smoke unit?

Sending the op down a path thinking he has to install a chain file for a standard 32 upgrade is well....not called for unless he runs into issues or states that he is using a smaller smoke unit.  

One would NORMALLY just load a ps2 sound file.  

Last edited by David Minarik

Sorry to jump in but I know Dave will immediately know the answer to this and he doesn't have an email listed.

The Z4000 is basically two transformers.  I've seperated the total track footage of a medium/large realtrax layout about 50 / 50 between two terminal blocks.

I want to power terminal block one from TIU fixed output one and Z4000 Track one // terminal block two from TIU fixed output two and Z4000 Track two.

Does there need to be isolation between the two sections powered by terminal block one and two or not?  If so is it total isolation? or just the center rail?

Thanks!!!

I'm saying it's in no way universally true that you just load a sound file and all is well.  From your comment, I guess you're assuming that none of these conditions could exist?  Do you know that?

John,

Two remotes conditions don't negate the fact that NORMALLY you would just load a PS2 sound file.  Again, you are sending the OP down a road that could cause him more trouble.  

Last edited by David Minarik

OP:

I've installed 10 steam PS3 upgrade kits in the past year (8 into my locomotives, 2 into friends). All of the boards in the kits came loaded with the PS32 steam chain file for the large (2 resistor) smoke unit and a Rail King 2-8-0 sound file. As long as you're using the standard MTH smoke unit (large 2 resistor unit) you shouldn't have to load a new chain file into the board. Just change the sound file for your application. I have 2 PS3 steam kits I just got from MTH. I haven't checked the boards to see what's in them yet. So if you just got the kits I can't say 100% what sound/chain files are loaded in the boards, but I would assume they match my previous experience.

As side note I run PS3 sound files all of the PS3 steam kits I installed without issue. You get better sounds and a quillable whistle that way.

Last edited by Lou1985
@Lou1985 posted:

OP:

I've installed 10 steam PS3 upgrade kits in the past year (8 into my locomotives, 2 into friends). All of the boards in the kits came loaded with the PS32 steam chain file for the large (2 resistor) smoke unit and a Rail King 2-8-0 sound file. As long as you're using the standard MTH smoke unit (large 2 resistor unit) you shouldn't have to load a new chain file into the board. Just change the sound file for your application. I have 2 PS3 steam kits I just got from MTH. I haven't checked the boards to see what's in them yet. So if you just got the kits I can't say 100% what sound/chain files are loaded in the boards, but I would assume they match my previous experience.

As side note I run PS3 sound files all of the PS3 steam kits I installed without issue. You get better sounds and a quillable whistle that way.

Lou,

My apologies for getting off topic.  Just trying to help!

Well, they are "supposed" to come with the standard smoke unit chain file, but if you use the small smoke unit, you have to change it.  In addition, the most recent small smoke unit chain file set for the PS32 board actually had the hardware file for the standard smoke unit, another screw up.

Finally, I got kits that had the diesel chain files, needless to say that didn't work well with the steam sound files.

In addition, when you read the upgrade document, they have conflicting information, all in one paragraph!  First they say you can only use PS/3 Steam Upgrade files, and then in the next couple of sentences, they talk bout using PS/2 sound files!  The truth lies somewhere between those.

Finally, when using some PS/2 upgrade files, there is a special chain file that you have to load in order to restore the missing chuffs, that's another thing that's not mentioned anywhere.

While it's fashionable to assume all will go smoothly, ask anyone that's been doing a lot of these upgrades, and the story will not be all smooth sailing.

Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

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