My PS1 Class A has an issue where there is no apparent battery power getting into the system. I am running with a conventional Lionel transformer. The locomotive operates properly with all lights, sounds, and motion when track power is applied, but the sound completely stops and you can hear the power disrupt from the speaker when changing direction or turning off the power completely, ie no shut down sequence/ bell. I've tried replacing the battery, using a BCR, and using a different 9v connector wire that attaches to the board. It's running like there is no battery at all. One other quirk is that it always seems to go into reverse rather than forward when first changing out of neutral at initial start up. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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After another check, it appears that the smoke unit and fan have also stopped working. Did a board go bad? This locomotive was NOS and I replaced the battery before running it, but apparently something got fried anyway?
I toggled the smoke switch and nothing. Seems like too much of a coincidence that the shut down sounds and the smoke unit would both die at the exact same time. Another odd thing is that when the track power is turned off, the sounds immediately stop and there is no shutdown bell... but 5 or so seconds later you can hear the power disrupt from the speaker, even though it wasn't making any post-power off sounds.
Really don't understand what's going on with this screwy engine. I did a PS1 conventional reset 18 and the smoke unit came back on. It worked for a while and then just stopped again. When I turned off track power and then turned it back on, the engine started making rapid fire chuffing sounds like the loco was moving at full speed even though it was in neutral. Is this a hardware or scrambled software issue?
Well, that makes no sense to me. The smoke unit has absolutely no connection to the PS/1 boards! If you look at the tether between the locomotive and tender, there are four wires. Wheels, Roller, and motor (2 wires). AAMOF, you can unplug the tender and put the locomotive on the tracks and the lights and smoke will run.
OK, it sounds like the tether connections to the motor may be bad. The chuffing is based on motor voltage. If there is no motor load, when you apply power, it'll chuff like crazy but not go anywhere.
First step is to check the solder joints on the locomotive tether PCB, they frequently break free. A little solder and the touch of the iron will fix that. The other tether issue is a wire breaks right at the connector from the tender, that requires a new 4-pin tether. The good news is, many of us have tons of them left over from command upgrades.
OK, I'll inspect the tether and surrounding connections. Got the smoke unit working again. Noticed when I tapped the smoke stack hard it came back slightly, so I opened the boiler up and pushed all the smoke unit connections in securely and it seems to be working steady now. Still no apparent battery power or shut down sounds.
I can't see that any of the tether connections in the tender nor inside the locomotive are damaged or loose. Is there something else I could be troubleshooting to find out why this locomotive isn't recognizing the battery or BCR?
Do you own a meter? As I stated, the top suspect here is the tether, so you need to verify continuity through the tether components, especially at the connection between the locomotive and tender.
With power on the tracks and it chuffing away, have you tried wiggling the tether plug at the back of the engine. Frequently, if it's the internal wires in the plug, they'll make contact and it'll start moving.
Upon closer inspection, it looks like a component next to the battery interface socket is blown out. Any advice on this sad turn of events? I don't have access to any precision soldering equipment to replace whatever piece this is. As I said, the locomotive still runs fine, it just has a sound disruption whenever I switch out of neutral and has no shutdown sounds. Am I further damaging it by running it without a battery? How much would a replacement board cost?
Thanks for all the info. I don't have any of the equipment to solder PCBs without making things worse, so as long as running it as-is won't further damage it, I guess I'll hold off. I've had GGG do a repair before, so I might look into going that route. It still runs and sounds normal when it's running or sitting in neutral and PS1 shut down sounds aren't much more than a bell anyway, so I guess it's not a huge thing.
No, the primary problem was that the battery wasn't supplying any power when I would switch between neutral and forward / reverse nor when I cut power to shut down. Everything seems to work normal otherwise. It's essentially running as if there was no battery at all, which now that that resistor is blown, there isn't. I just want to make sure, now, that running it in this condition won't further damage anything. I can live with it not making sounds in between switching directions, etc.
Is there a source for cheap PS1 boards in any case? I can live with it working in the manner it is, but of course would like to have it functioning fully. I'm assuming the larger bottom board with the battery wire socket can be separated from the sound board with the chips?