Skip to main content

I have an original protosound engine, a Conrail C30-7 from 1994, that has some weird quirks that I am not sure are battery related or not.  When running at low voltage/speed, say around 5 volts, the horn and or bell will come on without being asked to.  and then getting them to turn off can be a pain because the voltage is low enough that the DC signal doesn't always work.  Additionally, since it is a ps-1 engine, if you go into neutral and turn the voltage up to get a more reliable dc signal from the horn button, the engine arms or fires the selected coupler, as it should.  But because of this I have to kill power until the engine completely powers down to get control of the horn or bell again.  

I am using a z-750 brick and controller when this happens.  Does this sound like a battery issue or a power supply issue? (Or something else entirely?)  

I know I could update the electronics but 1. that takes more money and 2. this engine was my high school graduation present and I would like to leave it as original as possible. I still has one of the best diesel horns sounds I have every heard and others agree when i run in public.  It doesn't seem to be as much of a problem when running a longer train (ie more amps to run the same speed)  but I don't have the space to pull thirty cars at home.

Looking forward to your insight,

John Z

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

JHZ,

   IMO your Z-750 is the problem, I use to recommend the Z-1000 as the minimal Transformer for running layouts.  I have now revised this and now recommend the KW as that minimal Transformer.  Upgrade your Transformer and more than likely your problem will disappear completely.  IMO I would also replace your P1 Engine battery with a BCR ASAP.

PCRR/Dave 

Gregg posted:

I am using a z-750 brick and controller when this happens.  Does this sound like a battery issue or a power supply issue? (Or something else entirely?)  

I think the Z-750 and controller might be the problem.    To test .. do you have an old Lionel transformer kicking around that you could try?

I do have an overhauled kw, (got it off of GRJ!) but I don't normally use it due to the super slow overloads.  Also the whistle controller handle came off.  I intended to replace the handle but it's just one of those projects I never got around to.  I can try it with the z 750 to see if the problem shows up and then the kw.

jhz563 posted:

I have an original protosound engine, a Conrail C30-7 from 1994, that has some weird quirks that I am not sure are battery related or not.  When running at low voltage/speed, say around 5 volts, the horn and or bell will come on without being asked to ... a ps-1 engine ...

John Z

I had some similar problems with a PS1 item from 1998. After I took it apart to check connections and reassembled it, the problem went away. It might have been caused by marginal pin connections which were wiped clean by re-seating them. Or inadequate circuit grounding. Or might have been caused by a wire pinched when the shell was screwed down to the frame. Make sure the battery maintains voltage under load.

The coupler arming issue is normal. Just don't raise power so high when in neutral.  Raise it to 9 or 10V and it should not arm.

At that low a voltage (even at higher voltages) dirty wheels and pickup can trigger a DC offset that sounds the horn.

The Z-750 chopped sine wave can also contribute to this, especially for a 1994 set up.  G  

As a dealer, I installed these systems as QS1 in 1993.  At that time the so-called "electronic" throttles were not so prevalent as they became and are today.  The original QS Industries sound and control boards were designed to operate well on pure sine-wave power provided from iron core step-down transformers - typically Lionel of some sort.  Using the more modern energy efficient power sources with questionable output waveform can and will cause these errant and unwanted sounds.

QS1, QS2, Protosound 1 is the same system and hates chopped, or odd renditions of a sine wave.  The systems detect the DC off-set to initiate the bell or horn/whistle from the distorted wave shape output by many electronic throttles.  The QS Industries operating manuals nix the use of  most non-iron core variable power sources for satisfactory operation with their product.

It's annoying, I know.  Good clean power is expensive.  After 12 years in the planning. I finally constructed a rather large layout.  The ZW and KW combo that had suited for years, and the TMCC equipment I had gathered, required another look.  Only to realize what I already knew, the old first generation Lionel PowerMaster output is completely incompatible with the QS Industries boards.  No matter how clean the track, wheels, rollers; horns, whistles, bells going all the time.  The replacement with the new Lionel Legacy PowerMaster, and clean electrical connections, cured the problem completely.

   

Thanks everyone.   So far I tried to run the engine off the z750 last night for a baseline, only to find it skipping reset mode and going straight into forward.   Turns out the battery (green) was dead.  A regular 9 volt brought it back to life for troubleshooting.   That's as far as I got.  I probably won't be able to dig the kw out for a few days.  I also found that the battery harness was a little sloppy on the one terminal,  so a little adjustment with a pair of pliers helped improve things as well. 

I will post updates as i have time to test.   

Can I charge the green battery in a conventional battery charger? 

Add Reply

Post
The DCS Forum is sponsored by

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
800-980-OGRR (6477)
www.ogaugerr.com

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×