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Wanted to post this so others don't spend hours for days trying to figure out what was going wrong with a simple PS-3 Steam Upgrade. Having done tons of PS-2 and several PS-3 upgrades, and having been a Certified MTH Service Repair, this one really left me scratching my head. Contacted one of the best in my good friend Marty Fitz and he had some ideas but was really baffled also.

   After completing the installation and wiring I put power to the track and got the expected noises and no shorts all appeared good. Cut power and went to get the laptop to load the serial data and sound file. Using the latest Dealer Loader I went to send the serial and sound file but when I applied power this time the engine took. Cut power and every retry engine took off. I un-soldered a wire from the motor to make the misbehaving engine sit still and successfully loaded the serial data and then the sound file to the engine. I shot s video to show what the engine does. After spending approximately 3 days checking, rechecking, looking at every service bulletin, calling other tech friends I was able to speak to Jason at MTH who is now head of service for MTH since Jeff's departure, and he immediately was able after hearing it to tell me the problem and resolution. Problem is the board is stuck in a "recovery mode", and there is nothing I or anyone could do out here to get it out of the recovery mode. He explained quite well just what would have occurred when the board was originally programmed at MTH that caused it, I understand most if not all of it, but was just glad that he knew what was going on, lol! So if your engine likes to send morse code, don't fret, send it back under warranty. lol!

Last edited by VaGolfer1950
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Paul, Interesting, the very first PS-32 I did had the same issue, but no motor motion.  Would just do the morse code at start up and shutdown.  Jason sent some audio clips to listen too to confirm.

I always load the programs in the test fixture where I can watch what is going on.  That way if a board is shot or doesn't work as planned I have not spent the time installing it just to pull it out again.  G

hi and thanks for the input, I'm going to install a PS 3 steam kit in a MTH big boy and I sure don't need that issue after all that work to install . guess I'll have to have my boards tested prior to installation so as not to run into that issue!

Marty or GGG should I brink my kit boards to the TCA meet and have MTH test them or just have a hobby shop test the boards for these exact issues!


I agree, go ahead and do the install,  I have done several with these kits and know a few techs that have done a lot and not many problems. I was posting so that IF you ran into that problem then you would know what was going on, not spending days trying to figure it out or why. Didn't think the original post implied that this was a common problem, it wasn't meant that way.

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