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I'm glad that MTH PS3 engines no longer use the pigtail connectors between powered A units and non-powered (dummy) B and A units.   However, now the only way you can remotely fire the rear protocoupler of a A-A or A-B-A engine is to have lashed-up trailing A unit.   All B units are total dummies and cannot have a protocoupler.   For those of us who prefer A-B or A-B-B engine configs then there is no way to remotely fire a protocoupler on the tail unit.   If you fire/release the rear coupler on a PS3 engine like a F3 or E8 any coupled B or A units will disconnect along with your consist.   Not very realistic.

So.... what if you modified a B unit to connect to your A unit using a MTH PS3 steam wireless drawbar.    Remove the protocoupler from the back of the powered A unit.  Then wire the  drawbar receiver in the A unit to the the protocoupler wire.   Then replace the dummy coupler on the back of the dummy B or A unit with the protocoupler from the powered A unit.   Then wire the protocoupler in the dummy B unit to the wireless drawbar.   End results should be a powered A with dummy B or A connected via a wireless drawbar that lets you fire/uncouple the protocoupler at the tail end of the dummy A or B unit.

What do you think as a hack/mod for PS3 A-B-A/ A-B engine units.   Not applicable to lashed up powered units.

Original Post

Have you looked at the steam drawbar closely?  There's mounts on both sides that have to be accommodated, it'll be considerable work.

Why not just use something like the Miniatronics 2 Pin Micro Mini Connector to bring the coupler over?  It's really tiny and will be a bunch easier to install and live with than the blasted "wireless" drawbar!  If you wanted lights, they also have a 4-pin model.


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Is there any interest in a truly wireless-tetherless method to fire a distant protocoupler?  This reminds of the occasional discussion about how to have the directional lights on the last car of a subway consist controlled by the powered front engine car.  One approach is to send a wireless (radio) signal from the head car with the on-off status of the rear lights.  A radio receiver in the last car picks up this signal and sets the lights accordingly.  This requires a powered truck in the receiver car.

By analogy, for the coupler, the radio transmitter would send a signal whenever the rear-coupler of the lead engine is fired.  A receiver in the rear engine (doesn't matter how many engines or cars in between) detects the momentary signal and fires its coupler accordingly. The rear engine requires a powered truck to power the radio receiver as well as the protocoupler.

It's just that radio transmitter and receiver modules are compact and inexpensive.  I'd say maybe $10-15 in modules/parts off of eBay.  But it's not plug-and-play and would require a willingness to work at the component/module level and soldering. 

Just raising the flag to see if anyone salutes...

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