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Good morning All,

I have a MTH PS 1.0 Big Boy (#30-1129-1) that will not move in forward or reverse.  After I initially bring it up in neutral, lower the throttle and raise it back up, seems the engine wants to stay stuck in neutral.

I will mention that I did upgrade this engine with a BCR a few years back.  I've also tried resetting the protosound board to factory default, which had no effect on this engine.    Any idea what may be the issue with this PS1 board?

Thanks,

Nick

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Nick,

There have been many, many posts on this problem.  It's most pronounced on the earliest Proto 1's, of all kinds.

Assuming that the BCR is good, that is once it is charged (which may take two or three minutes), when you turn the power off the sound should continue for maybe 7-10 seconds.  If it goes away immediately then you have a bad BCR or charging circuit.

Remember that Proto 1's follow this sequence:  'Reset' -> 'Forward' -> 'Neutral' -> 'Reverse' -> 'Neutral' -> 'Forward' -> etc.

If the BCR is ok then you have to be very precise with applying the voltage in order to get it out of 'Reset'.  In your video you're going moving the throttle too quick and too extreme.  The early ones are very sensitive to this.

I am most successful when I use a Lionel TPC.  They feature pre-programmed button sequences on the Cab handheld remote that apply voltage at the correct levels and with the correct timing to get out of 'Reset' almost every time (9 out of every 10 times in my experience).  This works quite well with my Allegheny and E9's.

Here's the sequence if you want to do it with a transformer:

  1.) Apply a high throttle setting (> 15 VAC).  You'll get the two clanks and the chuffing.

  2.) Bring it down to a middle throttle setting (8 VAC).  You should now hear what sounds like the transmission on an old Buick dropping into 'Drive' long after the gear selector is placed in 'D'.

  3.) Push the direction button and it should take off going forward,

Be aware that not all transformers will work with Proto 1's.  There should be a list of tested ones in the engine's user's manual.  If you don't hear the Buick clunk then try another transformer.

Follow this link for a posting by @gunrunnerjohn that shows the list of transformers typically found in the users' manual:

      From the User's Manual for your locomotives | gunrunnerjohn

Also be aware that MTH published a different sequence way, way back at the beginning.  You may need that one.

Let us know how you make out.

Mike

Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike

         Way too fast from off to on again to start with. Let the engine idle at 12 volts for a couple of minutes to get the BCR charged up, then cut power to see  sounds continue for at least 7 seconds. You will hear a pl sound at the end when the board shuts down. Hard to tell, but it sound to me the sounds are not continuing long enough.

         If they do, then turn power back on and wait until you get the 2 dings and the engine sounds up and running. Then turn the power off for 2 seconds. Now turn the power back up and see if the engine moves. Remember, don't get in a big rush.

Hard to say from that video, what transformer, is voltage going to Zero?  How long are you holding it off, after a few seconds it will shutdown.  Voltage must be below 10V before changing direction.

Can you actually do a reset and get clinks and clanks?  If not, it has conflicted software and needs a reset with ASC chips.  NOT the make PS chip.  G

@Joe Allen posted:

         Way too fast from off to on again to start with. Let the engine idle at 12 volts for a couple of minutes to get the BCR charged up, then cut power to see  sounds continue for at least 7 seconds. You will hear a pl sound at the end when the board shuts down. Hard to tell, but it sound to me the sounds are not continuing long enough.

Joe, based on what Mike was saying above, sounds like my BCR is not staying on long enough.  After I shut off power, the sounds will only stay on for a little less than 3 seconds....please note that I did allow the BCR to charge for at least 2 minutes before cycling power.



@GGG posted:

Hard to say from that video, what transformer, is voltage going to Zero?  How long are you holding it off, after a few seconds it will shutdown.  Voltage must be below 10V before changing direction.

Can you actually do a reset and get clinks and clanks?  If not, it has conflicted software and needs a reset with ASC chips.  NOT the make PS chip.  G

I do indeed get clinks and clanks when I lower voltage and then raise the power back up, indicating it is still in reset mode.  However, I tried what Mike mentioned earlier, which is lower the voltage to about 8 volts, and then pressing the direction transformer on my postwar ZW transformer.

Please note that at one time, this engine did cycle fine with the BCR it has now.  So I'm not sure if the BCR has gone bad or the charging circuit to the BCR.  Any specific components on these boards that could go bad?

Last edited by Lionel16

Nick:

From my very limited experience with PS1, I have come to know that some of the early PS1 boards that have the QSI system are very sensitive to power fluctuations below 10V. They need a transformer that can slowly decrease the voltage from 10 volts all the way down to 1 or 2 volts, to get the board out of the "neutral" state.

I had the same thing happen with a couple of my early PS1 diesel loco's when I switched from using my trusty old MTH Z1000 transformer to the more modern MTH Z4000 transformer. Same thing.....lots of "clanks" but no movement!!

Switched back to the "poverty pack" Z1000 transformer, and every PS1 loco worked perfectly again.....and yes, I have BCR's installed in all of my PS1 and PS2 loco's.

Please try another transformer, preferably a Z1000, raise the power to 10 volts for 60 seconds, and then slowly drop the power to zero and then slowly back up again to around 7-8 volts and see what you get.

Just my 2 cents worth!!

Peter  (Buco Australia)

@Joe Allen posted:

Nick,

If you have a new alkaline battery, you can try it temporarily  to see if the sounds continue and run the engine.

Joe, I tried a new regular 9v battery with same results, sounds stays on for about 3 seconds.



@Buco posted:

Nick:

From my very limited experience with PS1, I have come to know that some of the early PS1 boards that have the QSI system are very sensitive to power fluctuations below 10V. They need a transformer that can slowly decrease the voltage from 10 volts all the way down to 1 or 2 volts, to get the board out of the "neutral" state.

I had the same thing happen with a couple of my early PS1 diesel loco's when I switched from using my trusty old MTH Z1000 transformer to the more modern MTH Z4000 transformer. Same thing.....lots of "clanks" but no movement!!

Switched back to the "poverty pack" Z1000 transformer, and every PS1 loco worked perfectly again.....and yes, I have BCR's installed in all of my PS1 and PS2 loco's.

Please try another transformer, preferably a Z1000, raise the power to 10 volts for 60 seconds, and then slowly drop the power to zero and then slowly back up again to around 7-8 volts and see what you get.

Just my 2 cents worth!!

Peter  (Buco Australia)

Ive tried two different transformers, a Lionel CW80, annd a postwar Lionel ZW.  Based on above comments, sounds like the problem is my sound isn't staying on long enough, I'm only getting about 3 seconds before everything shuts off.

Attachments

Videos (1)
video-1651976700

Nick:

From what you have described, and watching the latest video, I still think it has something to do with the transformers you are using. You have the exact same problem (with the clanks and shutting down) I had with three out of seven of my PS1 loco's.

When I was having trouble getting my three PS1 loco's to come out of neutral (when I switched over to the new Z4000 transformer), I attached a multimeter to the Z4000 and found that the voltage went down to 7V lowering the handle, and then dropped-off immediately to zero - nothing in between. I put the multimeter on the Z1000, and it held power all the way down to 2 volts, before shutting-off.

The early PS1 boards have the QSI system, and some of them are supper sensitive, and require a diminishing voltage drop almost to zero to "trigger" the board, and release it from the "neutral or reset " state. My  "problem child" loco's were behaving exactly the same way as your "Big Boy", when I was using the new MTH Z4000.

Changed back to the "old faithful" Z1000, and every one of my PS! loco's operated correctly, and come out of "neutral/reset" state, and move forward as they should. Use the Z4000 and the three "problem children" misbehave all over again.

Can't speak to the suitability of the CW80 and ZW Lionel transformers, but I do know my Lionel RS1 transformer won't run some of my PS1 and PS2 loco's, even though this transformer is mentioned as being compatible in the MTH owners manual.

If you can, please try the "Big Boy" on a Z1000 transformer, if nothing but to prove my theory wrong.

There is a long thread on the forum about my "problem children" and the Z4000 about 4-5months ago.

Peter......Buco Australia

@Buco posted:
Use the Z4000 and the three "problem children" misbehave all over again.

I too have seen this happen and the problem exists with early Z4000's in which they won't drop to zero volts. A simple solution was to add a lighted car to the track or use a lighted lock-on to draw the voltage down to zero.

In Nick's case above he used an old ZW which would return the voltage to zero. If Nick wants to test for sure, simply power up the PS1 board, and then disconnect the hot wire, guarantee that will ensure zero volts to the board.

All, I finally fixed the problem I was having with this engine, turns out this issue was much easier to fix than I had anticipiated.  After reprogrammig the PS1 board with a reset (PS1 Make) chip I purchased years ago from my local hobby store, then peforming a reset 18, the engine took right off with no issue.  But this was a good learning experience for myself, I never realized with older PS1 engines, they will always start out in reset mode.

Thank you everyone for the help.

Last edited by Lionel16

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