Brand new problem with one of my old ProtoSound 1.0 engines. 

Started it up today and began to run it forwards. Before it really picked up speed, the engine suddenly stopped but did not lose power. Confused, I interrupted power to switch the engine into 'neutral' and then did so again to go into reverse. This all happened as it should and the engine moved a few inches backwards until I switched back into neutral. When I attempted to move the engine forwards again, it remained still. No amount of throttle (even up to 22volts) made it move forward. 

I have tried turning it off and on again. I have tried the 'Reset 18' ProtoSound function. I have tried running it in reverse for a while to see if that would help. Nothing has worked so far.

Has anyone had experience with such an issue? Is the board dead? Is there a way to hard reset the engine to factory settings? 

Any help would be great!

-JOHN M.

Original Post

you probably have the engine locked in one direction, you have to go threw the procedure to unlock the direction using z4000 transformer or other transformer that will work! have you checked your battery you need a fully charged 8,4 volt battery or many strange things can happen!  when is the last time you replaced your battery!!!!!!!!! also you must start up at 10 volts or less and you should hear 2 dings if working correctly, also when you power down how long do the engine sounds stay on! what transformer are u using?

Alan

o gauge  trains ,music ,computer repair windows 7 and 10!

ASC Tech MTH school completed! 2019 !

Thanks for the reply Alan.

I have never unlocked the reversing function for this engine through the ProtoSound reset options, and the feature is locked by default. Also, (if I understand the direction lock feature correctly) locking either forwards or backwards makes the engine completely skip that 'gear'. With my engine, the forwards gear is still selectable in the cycle (neutral, forward, neutral, reverse, ect...) but the engine just sits still with the lights on while making no chugging noise.

As for the battery, I charge them regularly and charged it last night for a while as well. No change. I've had to replace numerous batteries on multiple engines over the years and the behavior with a dead battery has never been this specific.

The engine start up procedure is working correctly as it has for the last 20 years that I've owned it. The two dings sound off at the start, and the engine makes sound for the usual 3 or 4 seconds after power is interrupted. 

The only issue is the lack of forward movement. All other functions are perfect as far as I can tell.

-JOHN M.

I would just put in a standard 9 volt battery just for a test and then try to run engine if it then works that proves you need a new battery!!! don't leave this battery in it I just for a test ok

 

o gauge  trains ,music ,computer repair windows 7 and 10!

ASC Tech MTH school completed! 2019 !

John,

First - type or product # of locomotive.  Second - transformer - I assume a Z-4000.

Remove the locomotive or tender shell.  Place the locomotive on a test track, on rollers.  Next cycle between forward-neutral-reverse-neutral.  The protosound board has two relays with transistors that switch direction, one is reverse, the other forward.  Listen carefully when you cycle the direction - can you hear the relays 'click'?  If not, the forward transistor is defective.  These transistors can be replaced if you are patient and know how.  I have saved several protosound boards by doing so.

Good luck,

Bruce

So it seems you were correct Bruce. 

I turned the ProtoSound volume to zero and then removed the body of the tender. Listening closely to the clicks while changing directions I've noticed that there are a pair of clocks for each direction change (one when power is interrupted and one when it is brought up again). However, when the engine goes into reverse there is a 3rd click of a slightly different tone immediately following the 2nd click. On attpting to  move forwards ,this 3rd click does not occur.

I assume this is the relay/transistor that is being referred to. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to replace the part or even identify which component of  the board is the one responsible. My two local train stores both tell me I would have to send the engine off to MTH to get it serviced, which (since I live in Canada) is most likely going to be an expensive fix.

At this point, is it worth it to simply upgrade the engine to Proto Sound 3 with one of the upgrade kits I've seen online before? 

-JOHN M.

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