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I was hoping that MTH would post something about this but they have not.  I think I have caught all that I have sold through my shop.  Only one was melted.
 
MTH VO-1000 Smoke Issues.
To anybody who has the latest version of the MTH VO-1000s. There is a software issue that allows the smoke unit to get too hot. This is fixed by reflashing the board.
Here is where the chain files are:
20-21217-1 | MTH ELECTRIC TRAINS
 
Here are the steps to reflash:
1. Click on the SUPPORT tab
2. Click on the PS3 icon
3. It will down load a .ZIP file
4. Unzip the file
5. This will give you two more files
1-a .MTH file (sound file)
2-another .ZIP file (chain files)
6. Open the Loader program
7. Select the FLASH icon
8. Follow the instruction on the screen
9. Use the second .ZIP file from step 5
DONE
If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, return it to the shop you purchased it from or return it to MTH.
DO NOT RUN IT WITH THE SMOKE ON BEFORE IT IS FIXED
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Hello Dave, I just came across this post. I know it's from a while back but wanted to ask.....

I found one of these new. The MTH number is 20-21215-1. It is the one with 4 smoke stacks unlike the 20-21217-1 mentioned in your post that I believe has 1 stack. Would this one im looking at be effected by this software issue? I guess I could ask the seller at the train store but thought I would ask you while I was here.

Thanks,

Brad

It's worth checking any engine that has the small single resistor smoke unit that the VO-1000 has.  The issue is that MTH packaged the wrong smoke control type for these engines and they assumed the full sized dual-resistor smoke unit.  The single resistor unit will overheat with that chain file loaded.

So does that mean this locomotive is not a great smoker? I noticed in some videos the smoke output almost seems it's not fan driven or its a low fan speed. It's appears at least in the 4 stack units the smoke just seems to "drift" out of the stacks without a lot of force from a fan motor.

Brad

Obviously the VO-1000 and some of the Camelback versions that use the small smoke unit aren't going to smoke like you'd expect a typical MTH engine to smoke.  However, I think the VO-1000 smokes enough to be representative of a typical diesel.  I was a bit disappointed in the smoke volume from my Camelback, the old RailKing PS/1 version has the huge PS/1 smoke unit it it.  I don't know why MTH couldn't fit the PS/2 smoke unit into the later version.

Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

If you run it with the wrong chain file, it will be your best smoker.....for a while anyway.  lol.  

At least until it melts the shell or burns the trace on the smoke unit.  Reload the correct chain file!!!!

Understood, good advice.

I'm not at all good with computer stuff. I think I'll just stay away from that one. I have a couple other locomotives I've got my eyes on.

Brad

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