So I've got a used PS1 engine that I took a chance on and just got to test it.  It seems to work really well.  I just put a fresh battery in it for testing it out.  Booted up properly, operates as expected in both directions.  Chatter comes on when expected, brakes squeal...it all seems to work great!

However, when I pull the whistle lever on my KW transformer, I get a boost of power (light gets a touch brighter and engine gets a little boost of speed) but no whistle.  I checked the transformer output pins with my Fluke and it shows a 5.4V instant and constant boost as soon as I pull the whistle lever, so that seems to work fine.

So I figured maybe someone re-programmed to silence the whistle.  I went into programming mode to reset to defaults, got to program 18.  When I got 5 clanks and 3 clinks, I left the transformer at 8.5 volts (after the clanks, clinks I didn't move the handle again) but as soon as I flipped the whistle lever and then let go (about a half second maneuver), the engine saw that as an advance to the next program and I got a hiss and 5 clanks and 4 clinks.

Went back into reset, tried again.   This time after getting to program 18, I held the whistle lever until something discernable happened, but nothing happened as long as I held the whistle lever.  As soon as I released the lever, it hissed again advanced to the next program with 3 clanks and four clinks.

Is it something with the way the lever ramps up the voltage and the PS1 board doesn't see it as an instantaneous thing?

For the record, I shut down, restarted and everything still works as before.  Good sound, all directions work, get the startup noises, get the slowdown noises (squeaky brakes), get the chatter if I stay in neutral for a while, but the whistle lever still just acts like a turbo boost instead of tripping the whistle.

Thoughts?

Original Post

The classic Lionel transformers and their whistle activation buttons have 3 positions:

Off - No whistle
Pickup- High DC offset just enough initiate the command
Hold - Minimal DC offset to hold the whistle command active and an additional +5V Boost to for older air whistles

The modern electronics generally only react to the Pickup and not the Hold position.

On the KW, the Pickup position is selected by turning the whistle lever, but not all the way to the stop. Turn it just shy of the Hold position (just shy of the position that provides the 5V boost).

Let us know how that works out for you.

 

EDIT: My brain and fingers must have crossed at some point and in this post, i confused the positions initially here - refer to my next response with the Lionel documentation for correct names

Last edited by bmoran4

That did it!  What a great forum here!  I would have spent days trying to figure this out.

Does any of the Lionel documentation say anything about the "catch" versus "hold" position of the whistle switches anywhere?  Seems awfully important.

Of interest, while playing around with it trying to get it to work earlier today, I read that someone using a KW transformer reversed the "A" and "U" pins to be opposite of what the transformer says (i.e. use the U post as the center rail instead of the outside rail).  When trying out Bmoran's solution just now, I still had it wired opposite (wrong) way.  Interestingly, instead of a horn, I got a constant dinging of the bell as the engine roared around the dinky little test track.  Another pull to the "hold" position shut the bell off.  All other PS1 functions were the same.

When I swapped the wires back the way they were supposed to be (U is outside rail), The horn and everything else worked just as expected. I feel like I got an absolute steal on this guy, everything is working great, the engine looks amazing, and I'm just so happy that I got the deal I did on this.  No box or anything, just an engine that sat on a shelf for its whole life. Looks and runs like it's brand new!

Thanks a bunch!

20200225_230237

 

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Jeff_the_Coaster_Guy posted:

That did it!  What a great forum here!  I would have spent days trying to figure this out.

Does any of the Lionel documentation say anything about the "catch" versus "hold" position of the whistle switches anywhere?  Seems awfully important.

 

Yes, right in their documentation:

 

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