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F84EAC5B-B5ED-4C6A-8872-62A78CAB60E6A couple days ago, I got a hook on a rare train set offered from MTH years ago: a Millennium Hudson (20-3040-1) with matching passenger cars and boxcar; all new, never ran. However one thing I have not done my homework on upon deciding to put my foot down for the train set, is Proto Sound 2.0 was not available until a few years later; this means I can’t control the train set with DCS, but only relegated to conventional operation. And this is hoping the PS1 board does not go kaput on me. Personally, I’m an omnivore when it comes to how I do things in the hobby; I collect and operate, but for the money that I’m gonna be in the hole for, it would be wiser in my eyes to be able to use it. For me to use it extensively, I’d have to upgrade the board to PS3. Even if this is done at an authorized MTH technician, will this upgrade destroy the value of the set? Have any of you guys decided to implement a modern upgrade to an older and rare set and regret it?


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For me, it would be worth more if it had PS3 inside.

The PS1 electronics are probably still good inside but the MTH battery is shot. Don't run it with that battery! Replace it and give it a try. You may like conventional for a change. I have to run in command for the majority of time. For fun, I'll set up a simple loop around the Christmas tree with conventional control. Since it's a special train for you, you may leave it alone until the time comes necessary for changing.

Once purchased, you probably can get this engine running for the price of a battery - about $10, or a BCR. The PS1 electronics should be durable. Is it absolutely necessary or worth it to spend the money to upgrade it to PS3/DCS? I would rather put the price of the upgrade toward a new engine, but that is just my opinion. I hope you enjoy it whatever you decide.


QSI, TMCC (Railsounds 1,2,3,4,5), Odyssey, Proto 1, 2, in a few years will no longer be supported with spare parts. UPGRADE and save yourself the aggravation of having a shelf queen when the older electronics fail and no one makes the boards, or worse no one wants to run anything that isn't dcc, blue tooth, or whatever is latest and greatest.

I remember in the 80s QSI was the "newest" technology and  a ZW the best way to run it.

Now you can use a cell phone (Not a common household device back then) and several different mfgs transformers.

Last edited by justakid

I have converted two of the gold Hudson locomotives  to PS2 for forum members.   If you have the engine and want it upgraded, go for it.  It is a beautiful engine with the Pittman monster motor.  I left the rear coupler  (PS1) and could get it to fire at about 12 volts.   I may have one headed my way from my add looking for inoperative shelf queens.   I have all the working boards from my last gold upgrade.  Time will tell.   I always test the boards on every engine I upgrade so they can be sold as a working set if someone ever needs boards.   I have a large number of PS1 boards if anyone is looking for a set.

I do not think Mike will do this again in gold.   

Last edited by Marty Fitzhenry

Having just had a PS1 loco, a Premier Blue Comet, converted to PS3, I say go for it. It will still run in conventional mode if you upgrade, but you have the added flexibility of command operation. If you're worried about collector value, hang onto the PS1 gear that will be removed for the upgrade so you can put it back to stock if you want to. I don't know for sure, but it seems to me putting it back to stock could be done. 

I'm a prewar collector/operator at heart and will always keep my prewar trains original, but I never gave it a thought that the conversion to PS3 might devalue my Premier Blue Comet. To me, a modern train like your Hudson or my Blue Comet should have more value after a PS3 conversion. Look on eBay at what PS1 locos are selling for compared to those with PS2 or PS3. 


John, they do.  Yes some people still run conventional for whatever reason they throw out.   I know a few train guys and they are mostly all command runners.    Legacy, DCS, and TMCC has made running trains more fun than ever.


I feel RTR12 said a very true statement that covers most of us today.    I agree with him one hundred percent.

Last edited by Marty Fitzhenry

I guess my thought is, if your tech that does the upgrade is not a hack, there shouldn't be anything that can't be undone.  Keep the old boards and offer them with the engine if you ever want to sell it.  

For someone that wants to run the engine having the PS3 electronics seems like a better option, since you can still run conventional if you want. For someone that just wants to display to engine, what electronics are in it should not matter at all.  


Wat kind of sounds/effects are included with the original Protosound board?  Does it do anything unique?  (since it's a Millennium celebration type piece, does it maybe have announcements regarding such?)

I'll just throw out an example and people can laugh at it, but the Protosound 1 Shay had interesting Lumber Yard Proto-effects, and to the best of my knowledge that sound set would not be easy to duplicate with Proto2 or Proto3 (though I am guessing similar sounds may be commanded manually with the remote - buzzing saws, falling trees, etc.).  Sure there have been many other road names made for Shays in both P2 ad P3, but there hasn't been a duplication of the way the Proto-effects work, to the best of my knowledge.

Subways were similar, but of course P2 introduced Auto Mode, which was (IMO) an advancement over the Proto-effects of the few Proto1 subway sets that were produced, so I'm not as certain I would consider changing a P1 subway to P2 or P3 a bad thing (aside from the concern over the Stations that are part of the announcements - I don't know if any P2 or P3 subway has ever identically reproduced the stations that were available on the first sets).


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