Does or did MTH make locomotives that are strictly conventionally powered ?  In other words, without the electronics. 

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Original Post

In the early releases, they had units ending in "-0" which were equipped with an electronic horn (like a bicycle horn) and an electronic reverse unit. Protosound-1 engines had engine sounds, horn (or whistle for steam) and bell, plus some additional sounds like cab chatter, brakes, etc.  They Protosound units also had electronic couplers which were selected by a switch under the locomotive. The "-0" units had the switch too, but it was used to set the starting direction (forward or reverse) so you could MU a horn-only unit with a Protosound unit back-to-back. They ran very reliably (mine still do).

After a while, MTH stopped offering the horn-only ("-0") units.

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I think the most recent MTH conventional operated offerings were in the Lionel Corporation Tinplate (LCT) line that came in either proto-3 (xx-xxxx-01) or conventional build-a-loco (xx-xxxx-0) form. IIRC the last MTH non-tinplate/conventional - aside from handcars and bump-n-go trolleys - was during the first couple years of Protosound-2 (PS2) with their Locosound offering (also xx-xxxx-0) that had some PS2 tech providing the smoothness of cruise-control but with conventional e-unit and horrible steam/diesel engine sounds.

I strongly believe that MTH should have differentiated its product ID numbering system due to the confusion created by the multiple use of the x-1 and x-0 product ID suffix across MTH's evolving products including the various generations of TIU's.

You can have a steam train ...If you'd just lay down your tracks.

Dan, the answer depends on how you define electronics.  I did buy some MTH locos in the 90's that did not have sound, other than horn, but used a non-mechanical reverse unit.  About 17 years ago I upgraded them to PS2.

The electronic e-units were far superior to the mechanical E-units, and I recall back in the 80s converting a few old Lionel locos to them.

QSI made a variety of such units.

RJR posted:

Dan, the answer depends on how you define electronics.  I did buy some MTH locos in the 90's that did not have sound, other than horn, but used a non-mechanical reverse unit.  About 17 years ago I upgraded them to PS2.

The electronic e-units were far superior to the mechanical E-units, and I recall back in the 80s converting a few old Lionel locos to them.

QSI made a variety of such units.

I've been back into "O" gauge for about four years now.  During that time, I have purchased about a half dozen or so MTH locomotives.  Every one of them I have sold off due to difficulties with their operation.  All of the difficulties involved the electronics.  

Way back in the '80s when I had an operating Lionel layout, I discovered the electronic "E" units made by Dallee.  I installed one in a 624 C&O switcher.  I was very pleased with the improvement in operation.  That's about as far as I want to go with electronics.

Now, I do own two LC+ locos.  Of course I know they have advanced electronics, but they worked perfectly as soon as I placed them on my layout.  

My layout is powered by a post-war ZW with fast acting circuit breakers to protect the trains.  Maybe MTH trains simply don't like Lionel transformers. 

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

I've been using postwar ZWs since 1950, and when MTH came along, the ZWs have presented no problem and one of them is still powering a portion of my layout.  Your problem must lie elsewhere.

I also have a #624, and over the 65 years I've owned it, it has been the test bed for some very unusual control systems that I had designed, one of which appeared in OGR some 30+/- years ago.  Most recently, I converted it to PS2 and it runs quite happily.  I must confess it doesn't get used too often because the Magne Traction is weaker than it was about 1953.

Dan,

Your experience with MTH locomotives is very different than mine. I have been buying and running MTH since 1997 with very few problems of any kind. I have numerous PS1 locomotives that have given trouble-free operation for more than 20 years, requiring only lubrication, traction tires, battery or BCR. Never had to replace an MTH circuit board. As an example, this video shows a recent run of a Premier New Haven EP-5 with PS1. My experience with PS2 and PS3 is the same.

MELGAR

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In the late 90's several of the offerings could be had with a simple electronic reverse and horn.  I have a traditional sized gg-1 from that era that is still one of my favorites.  It has never been a problem because there was simply almost nothing to break.  I have had mediocre luck with ps-1 units, and as such won't buy anymore of them.  I haven't got the ones I have converted yet so it's left me with a few shelf queens.  You will occasionally see mth loco's without any form of protosound on the Bay.

May God Bless us all.

MELGAR posted:

Dan,

Your experience with MTH locomotives is very different than mine. I have been buying and running MTH since 1997 with very few problems of any kind. I have numerous PS1 locomotives that have given trouble-free operation for more than 20 years, requiring only lubrication, traction tires, battery or BCR. Never had to replace an MTH circuit board. As an example, this video shows a recent run of a Premier New Haven EP-5 with PS1. My experience with PS2 and PS3 is the same.

MELGAR

That EP-5 sounds real good! I guess thats' why they were called "jets".

Here is the locomotive that started me into the o gauge world.This is a MTH railking erie berkshire with a headlight whistle and smoke.This is a very powerful locomotive.I have had it pull a 42 boxcars.I have though about upgrading to more sounds.But I am still on the fence about doing it.

I guess MTH makes no conventional locos now?  I bought two Lionel conventional 0-8-0 set locos, and bashed one into a 2-8-0, and plan to do the other as a Mikado.  Wonder if they were the last conventional ones offered?

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

I'm with you Dan, the less electronics the better. I have had two MTH subways that had blown circuit boards, one with the 5 volt board that went bad and one with a 3 volt board that went out. My solution was to rip out the electronics and use a bridge rectifier in both subway engines with no reverse boards. So now they run real smooth in forward only mode with all lights functioning. That is good enough for me! The two MTH Proto one engines with BCR's in them still work great for me. So most of my engines are old Lionel postwar with a few modern engines. Oh yeah and Two Williams engines I own are relatively problem free as well. So some of the early modern era stuff that MTH made had less electronics in them along with Williams engines. Best to do some research on any engines that may interest you before you buy to see which ones had the least amount of electronic items in them. In my opinion the electronic reverse boards are not as prone to problems, so they are good in my book and subject to less problems than postwar mechanical E-units.

Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, whose hope is in Him. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters and never fails to bear fruit.                                                                                      Jeremiah 17 : 7-8

                                                                                         

                                                                           

                                     

N5CJonny posted:

I'm with you Dan, the less electronics the better. I have had two MTH subways that had blown circuit boards, one with the 5 volt board that went bad and one with a 3 volt board that went out. My solution was to rip out the electronics and use a bridge rectifier in both subway engines with no reverse boards. So now they run real smooth in forward only mode with all lights functioning. That is good enough for me! The two MTH Proto one engines with BCR's in them still work great for me. So most of my engines are old Lionel postwar with a few modern engines. Oh yeah and Two Williams engines I own are relatively problem free as well. So some of the early modern era stuff that MTH made had less electronics in them along with Williams engines. Best to do some research on any engines that may interest you before you buy to see which ones had the least amount of electronic items in them. In my opinion the electronic reverse boards are not as prone to problems, so they are good in my book and subject to less problems than postwar mechanical E-units.

My first encounter with an electronic E-Unit was in 1988.  I actually spoke to Dallas at Dallee about it before I purchased it.  I needed some assurance as to it's compatibility with my old C & O NW2 624 switcher.  I had a small layout where I did alot of switching.  I was very pleased with both the performance of the loco after installing the Dallee E-Unit and also with the ease of installation.  Remember, in those days we didn't have the internet to run to at a moments notice for help.  

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

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