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We have a customer that purchased a MTH PS3 Premier Norfolk and Western “J” 20-3773-1 that was released a few months ago.  We find there is an issue with the number of chuffs per wheel revolution.  In 100% factory default operation, we get one-two chuffs per wheel revolution and smoke “puff” output instead of the normal four as it should have.  Strangely, when in DCS mode, changing the chuff setting to 7-8 chuffs per revolution gives us the correct four chuffs in the sound and smoke.  This behavior is present in both conventional and DCS operation.

We have looked at everything internally we could think of including the tachometer and verified the wiring and tachometer stripes on the motor flywheel look good with no visible signs of imperfections.

We understand that if it were a hardware issue, we would also have problems with motor speed, but the motor and speed operation seems to function perfectly.  This problem is primarily in the sound/smoke output as in chuffs which leads us to believe that there is an issue with the sound file?

Is there any other customers that own this production model notice the same with theirs?  I have uploaded some photographs of the interior.

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Thank you for any help you can share with us.  We appreciate it.

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Last edited by JR Junction Train & Hobby
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I bought that engine and am also having problems

I had not noticed the chuff item because the sound cuts out on my engine but I think you are right on the chuff issue as well.  I was thinking the sound issue was something with the tender not having enough weight - I noticed my tender has a little wobble to it. 

The smoke unit appears to be synched with the chuff on low speeds - that is when I can hear it.

I tried without smoke, engine resets, different tracks.  After reading your post I up the chuff count but still have sound cutting off.

I bought that engine and am also having problems

I had not noticed the chuff item because the sound cuts out on my engine but I think you are right on the chuff issue as well.  I was thinking the sound issue was something with the tender not having enough weight - I noticed my tender has a little wobble to it.

The smoke unit appears to be synched with the chuff on low speeds - that is when I can hear it.

I tried without smoke, engine resets, different tracks.  After reading your post I up the chuff count but still have sound cutting off.

I’m sorry you are experiencing the same approximate symptoms as ours and confirms this isn’t an isolated problem which is why I posted to the OGR forum.  I don’t see any wobble to this tender but a connector on the PS3 board inside the tender disconnected from the board and indicates the locomotive had a rough ride in shipment.  The chuff sound cutting in and out is also a problem on this locomotive too, just not as noticeable to me because it is only one or two chuffs per revolution.  Increasing the number of chuffs via DCS to 7 or 8 makes the choppy sound more noticeable.

This customer operates his MTH trains in conventional mode using a Z4000 so this problem needs to be resolved.

Thank you for your input!

To rule out a tach hardware issue (e.g, with the sensor board, flywheel striping) mark a driver wheel with a "dot".  In the default 4 chuffs/rev setting count the EXACT number of wheel revolutions to get some EXACT number of chuffs.  In other words, saying 1-3 is not good enough!  This only takes a minute or two so do it a couple times at slow speed so that you can see the "dot" pass top-dead-center (or whatever angle).  This should be a repeatable number...1.3 chuffs/rev, 1.9 chuffs/rev, whatever.

THEN, change via DCS to 7 or 8 chuffs per rev which apparently gets you close to 4/rev.  Again, at slow speeds count the EXACT number of wheel revolution to get some EXACT number of chuffs.

Is the ratio EXACTLY 8:4 or 7:4?  This will tell you if there is an incorrect parameter in the sound file.

Last edited by stan2004


...

We understand that if it were a hardware issue, we would also have problems with motor speed, but the motor and speed operation seems to function perfectly.  This problem is primarily in the sound/smoke output as in chuffs which leads us to believe that there is an issue with the sound file?.

BTW, your statement that speed is PERFECT is a VERY CRITICAL statement!

To be clear, this means you can command 5 sMPH or 10 sMPH, and using the proverbial stopwatch and ruler you confirmed the engine is indeed going at the correct and EXACT scale MPH.  1 sMPH = 0.367 inches/sec *.  10 sMPH = 3.67 inches/sec.  Etc.

If it's a soundset parameter error, then it will be proportionally wrong as you change the speed.  Otherwise you may indeed have a hardware error.

Again, these are "experiments" that only take a few minutes to perform.  You will spend (waste?) more time posting responses to this thread!

* Fine print: for 1/48 O-scale, 1 sMPH = 5280 ft/hour * 12 inches/ft * hour/3600 sec * 1/48 scale-factor = 0.367 inches/sec.

Last edited by stan2004

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