Still have several 5V engines; curious as to what are the most common causes of failure; if derailments or track shorts, can one use a poly switch on the power feeds to the board to protect it? Basically trying to keep these locos operable until they commit suicide; thanks for the help; Falcon70
It's somewhat of a mystery, I have some that have stood the test of time, and others that ran, and a few weeks later were DOA. I know that I've seen a number where capacitors failed, but lots of other failures as well. Many people report storing them away working, and when they are unpacked again, they are either simply dead, or they present a direct short across the track.
A poly switch is way too slow to protect against stuff like power surges, however a TVS right in the locomotive is a good idea if you're already in there fixing things.
Another thing to do is make sure the battery is good and charged before starting up if they've been stored for some period of time.
Thanks so much John; will try a TVS in the power feed to the board; idea of weak or dead battery can be a push on the charging system; very good point thanks for taking the time to reply; Falcon70
If the board does meet its demise will it simply convert to a conventional engine or does some surgery need to be done so that you can at least operate it?
My experience has been I will lose the amplifier and no sounds both in conventional and DCS but all functions remain; I have also had them go totally belly up with no response in both DCS and conventional; more often the latter. Falcon70
Losing the amp is one fault that can be repaired on the 5V boards. That frequently occurs when you have a bad speaker or a short of one of the leads to ground on the speaker. The flaking speakers with the old 16 ohm speakers can sometimes create a short from the voice coil to frame ground and it's bye-bye amplifier.
John, do you know when or what the Premier model numbers are that MTH went to the PS2 3 volt boards? I’m looking at buying a 20-2399-1. MTH shows a delivery date of Dec. 2002. I have only one PS2 engine that has the 5volt boards. It was dead in the water when I got it. I sent GGG the boards, which he repaired and sent them back to me. It’s been working fine since. I put the double cap bcr in it with the zener diode.
2002 will be the 5V board. You can check the linked manual, but from the product page, you can see that there's a 5V sound file and the 3V upgrade file, so clearly it's a 5V board.
Thank you, John. I should have taken a look at the manual. It shows a picture of the battery and states that it is an 8.4V nicad.
How difficult is it to convert a Diesel engine with the 5V boards to PS3 boards?
Not difficult at all, the PS32 board with 5V connectors is again in stock at MTH. You simply have to remove the old 5V board, secure the new PS32 board, and plug in the connectors. One change is the speaker, you have to replace the old 16 ohm speaker with a 4 ohm speaker. The PS32 board is currently only available to ASC's, but you can obviously buy one from one of them if you need one.
The only fly in the ointment is occasionally the space available and the length of the harnesses in some diesels require some modification for the board to fit. Other models like the P5 or Bi-Polar are a very tight fit for the PS32 board and do require more work.
For that GP30, it looks like it would be a reasonably straight-forward fit, other than perhaps adjusting a harness or two. Since the big fat battery is no longer there, I think the board should fit. It could be close, the PS32 board is slightly longer...
FWIW, run the 5V board until it croaks. Some of them run for a long time.
Thanks again, John for your generous info.