I have a MTH 20-3135-1 Santa Fe Hudson. I went to run the locomotive today and as it went around a curve it lost control, accelerating to full speed with the lights flickering. When it hit the straightaway after the curve it went right back to its previously set speed. Same thing happened when it hit the next curve. I stopped the locomotive, turned it around, and ran it in the other direction. It worked fine. I started jiggling the tether and sure enough that caused the locomotive to lose the DCS signal and accelerate to full speed with the lights flickering. I decided at this point to pick up a replacement tether at my LHS. I replaced the tether and all went back to normal and the locomotive operates perfectly again. 

So my question is how did the tether go bad? I bought the locomotive this past August. It was basically MIB and had 15 scale miles and an hour of run time. It has run perfectly till today. The only time I disconnected the tether since I first put the locomotive on my layout was about 3 months ago when I replaced the battery with a BCR, so it's not like I'm constantly disconnecting the tether. The locomotive is rated to run on 042 curves and I haven't run it on anything less. Could it have just been a bad connection from the factory or is there anything that could have caused the issue?

 

Santa Fe, All the Way

Original Post

Most common problems stem from the solder joints where the tether connects inside. I have tethers that are more than a decade old and no problems. I had one G scale Challenger that just needed the solder joints re-melted. It has been fine ever since, over several years ago that it happened.

 Of course, it could be that you accidently damaged something, even connecting something just once. I would bet it's the solder joints though.

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

I did check the connector in the locomotive and everything was fine. The issue was the tether. If I could figure out how to get the old tether open to check it out without destroying it I would.

This locomotive has a tether and separate draw bar, not a "wireless draw bar". 

Santa Fe, All the Way

The wire could be a bad batch, brittle and fragile, many of the wires in Williams Chuggington engines are brittle and break. Did the engine sit near a heat source while MIB?  Did it snag on something when being removed from the layout? 

Paradise & Pacific Railroad

It's not uncommon for wires in the tether to break right at the connector in the tether to break, I keep a bunch of those in stock for that very reason.  FWIW, I don't recall ever having the break any other place in the tether. Typically, I can diagnose these on the rollers by wiggling the wire back and forth at the connector.

The locomotive connector will occasionally have a pin break free from the solder as well, normally those can just be resoldered.

The most common cause of failure of the tether is when it goes around curves, the wires bend, then bend again when the loco is back on a straight section. And you know what happens when you bend metal back and forth. The loose pins on the loco socket is caused by wiggling the tether back and forth to remove the plug, loosens the solder joints.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

It's not uncommon for wires in the tether to break right at the connector in the tether to break, I keep a bunch of those in stock for that very reason.  FWIW, I don't recall ever having the break any other place in the tether. Typically, I can diagnose these on the rollers by wiggling the wire back and forth at the connector.

The locomotive connector will occasionally have a pin break free from the solder as well, normally those can just be resoldered.

Do you remember what part number the one you keep is (with the 90* bend)? I forgot to ask my LHS what the part number was when I picked it up yesterday. It was a universal one so I had to cut the connector that connected to the PS2 board off the old tether and connect it to the new tether. Not hard, just time consuming soldering and heat shrinking 10 wires. I'd like to pick up a couple spares from MTH in case this happens again with one of my other Premier PS2 steam locomotives.

Santa Fe, All the Way

So after some poking around it appears this is the factory replacement tether for PS2 3V steam locomotives: 

https://mthtrains.com/bc-0000217-0

It should work for my MTH Premier Santa Fe Hudson and Premier Santa Fe Texas, both made in the 2004-2005 time frame. Will that harness also work for my Premier GS4 Northern, which is a PS1 locomotive upgraded to PS2 3V? I'd like to buy a spare tether for each locomotive, just to have them on hand.

Santa Fe, All the Way

GGG posted:

No.  You need the upgrade harness, or use the universal which requires soldering.

Do you know the part number for the universal harness? I purchased one from my LHS to repair my Hudson (pretty easy just match the colors, solder, and heat shrink) but I don't know the part number. I'll buy the one I linked to as spares for the Hudson and Texas, as it will drop right in.

Santa Fe, All the Way

BC-1000005 is the Upgrade tender harness. 

NOTE!!!

Due to a manufacturing screwup, what they have in stock now has the wrong connector shells, so I'd wait until that's sorted out.  I got some of these, and they had the 5V board shells on the connectors, obviously a no-go.

Currently, I suggest the BC-1000002 Universal Tender Harness.  It does require you to splice it into the existing harness, but at least it'll work when you're done.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

BC-1000005 is the Upgrade tender harness. 

NOTE!!!

Due to a manufacturing screwup, what they have in stock now has the wrong connector shells, so I'd wait until that's sorted out.  I got some of these, and they had the 5V board shells on the connectors, obviously a no-go.

Currently, I suggest the BC-1000002 Universal Tender Harness.  It does require you to splice it into the existing harness, but at least it'll work when you're done.

So just to clarify BC-0000217 for my factory Premier PS2 3V steam locomotives and BC-1000002 for my PS2 3V converted Premier steam locomotive correct? Just want to make sure before I place the order. 

Santa Fe, All the Way

Well, I can't say what goes in the factory models as there are a few different harness configurations.  If you have one that has the internal plug, then the BC-0000217 is a match.  However, not all of them have the internal plug, then I splice in the BC-1000002 to the existing harness.  The bonus is I have a bunch of them in stock, so I don't have to wait a month or more for a special replacement.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Well, I can't say what goes in the factory models as there are a few different harness configurations.  If you have one that has the internal plug, then the BC-0000217 is a match.  However, not all of them have the internal plug, then I splice in the BC-1000002 to the existing harness.  The bonus is I have a bunch of them in stock, so I don't have to wait a month or more for a special replacement.

Thanks. Both the Hudson and Texas have the internal plug, so the BC-0000217 is an exact match. I'll pick up the BC-1000002 for the converted GS4 Northern. I'll buy a couple of each for just in case spares.

Santa Fe, All the Way

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