Always something it seems 

When I put my PS3 Baby Blue Comet away after the Christmas season in 2018, the headlight was working.  I store the engine upright if it matters.

Got it out yesterday on put on a temp layout with DCS connected.  I cannot get the headlight to come on.  I have tried:

feature reset

factory reset

delete the engine and re-add it

hit the hdlt button after powering up both with the engine moving and the engine idling in neutral

run in conventional mode

try with smoke on and off

None of those worked.  How could I put it away working and get it out and it's not?  Frustrating.  BTW: I store it sort of permanently connected to the tender since connecting them is a pain.  Both are stored on a piece of track in an upright position eliminating something like smoke fluid dripping on the board.

I NEED HELP from you guys again!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As always, thanks - a frustrated walt

Original Post

when you hit the headlight on your remote does the remote say headlight on and off . it should but the display only stays on or a few seconds so you have to be watching the screen!

o gauge  trains ,music ,computer repair windows 7 and 10!

ASC Tech MTH school completed! 2019 !

if the remote indicates the headlight on n the next time off should be working, at that point I would reseat all the connectors on the ps 3 board, sometimes all it takes is reseat connectors and will work again!

o gauge  trains ,music ,computer repair windows 7 and 10!

ASC Tech MTH school completed! 2019 !

I went home and did what you suggested that I try.  I hit the HDLT button and the screen flickered for a very very short millisecond but as fast as it was I still don't think there was a message of any sorts.  I can't say this with any level of certainty but I don't remember ever seeing a message.  But since I most likely always was looking at the engine's light I can't say that there was never a message.

May I ask, if you drop back in, what does the presence or lack of a message mean?

thanks - walt

Alan Mancus posted:

if the remote indicates the headlight on n the next time off should be working, at that point I would reseat all the connectors on the ps 3 board, sometimes all it takes is reseat connectors and will work again!

I didn't see this post originally.  I am not at all comfortable touching those boards since I do know the cost of having them replaced, something I've had to do too often.  But I suppose when I take the lid off the engine to grease it I could do that.  I will buy something to ground me first though.

wonder though how anything could have come loose.  I handle that thing with kid gloves which is why I keep the engine/tender connected even in storage - to avoid having to reconnect and possibly cause an issue. 

thanks - walt

Walt, i have the same problem with a PS3 GG1.  Tried everything you have, and including reseating '.  STill no good'... First the pants stopped operating, now no Headlights front and rear???

There must a trick to this'... Hoping an experienced O-Gauger will know the secret'..........

I can test your boards in my test fixture if you would like ! as far  as the remote I explained to you, you have to be watching the screen for the message as it is only on for a second if your not watch you'll miss the message . if your not confrontable taking the engine and reseating the connectors would be glad to di it for you!  usually reseating all the connectors n doing a factory reset fixes these kind of issues !

Alan

o gauge  trains ,music ,computer repair windows 7 and 10!

ASC Tech MTH school completed! 2019 !

Alan, can you briefly explain how to reseat the connectors, or maybe show a photo of  the connectors...  I took my shell off and checked every wire. I  think I also checked the connectors too, but not sure.... if we are both talking about the same thing... Thanks for your help'..

The LED can be bad, the Wire to the s pin molex can have a bad solder joint under the heat shrink, the board can be bad, a wire can be broken.  If a diesel and the HL is off a contact spring they can make a poor connection.

So in the end you need to open engine and test.  If reverse light works you can swap connections.  If the HL LED works and the Reverse doesn't then the LED is fine but maybe the connection or the board.  Just logically work through it.

Steam is a little different, but if it has firebox or Cab light you can swap with that.  All the LED are the same, basically.

Either way you have to open it up.  G

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I tried yesterday to open 'it' just to look until I find out how to ground myself.  BUT...  I couldn't figure out how to open up the tender - I don't see screws anywhere (I think the boards are in the tender).

I still am puzzled because as I said I keep the engine and tender connected ALL of the time, even in storage, so to me that reduces the risk of damaging the connection (pins, solder joints, etc).  I store them upright in a special padded box and when I remove them I pick BOTH of them up at the same time.  Same setting them on to the track.

As for looking at the screen, yesterday in my test I did look only at the screen.   I even tried my other remote to eliminate the remote HDLT button as the problem.  There is no message - just to compare when I hit the smoke button there is a message for a short time.

But for now I have to figure out how to get to the boards in the tender.  How to remove the shell.

Alan, I don't want to risk mailing the engine to you but thanks for the offer.  There is an authorized repair person 20  minutes from my house so I can take it there, but I don't know if they have the equipment to check a board.  I'll call.

- walt

if your board is in the tender you turn the tender upside down and usually will see 4 Philips head screws beside the trucks, you have to slightly rotate the truck to see the screws they are in the corners next to the truck but you cant see them unless you rotate the truck to spot the screws!

o gauge  trains ,music ,computer repair windows 7 and 10!

ASC Tech MTH school completed! 2019 !

also sometimes the board is in the engine that's why I asked you the engine item number so we know exactly  what you have!!!!! 

tell me what state your in and I can tell you where there is a mth asc tech!

Alan

o gauge  trains ,music ,computer repair windows 7 and 10!

ASC Tech MTH school completed! 2019 !

here is the documentation from the mth web sight on your engine. the headlight should come on on powerup takes about 15 to 20 seconds then head light should go out that lets you know super capacitor has full charged on power up then you normally can run the engine!

read the document I'm sending ok

Alan

https://mthtrains.com/sites/de...ction/11st12257i.pdf

 

o gauge  trains ,music ,computer repair windows 7 and 10!

ASC Tech MTH school completed! 2019 !

If it is PS3 with the 6pin drawbar, the headlight is powered by the boiler board in the loco.  The shell is removed with 5 screws, one in the stack, two at the back of the cab, two under the rear truck next to the firebox bulb.  Check the connections at the boiler board and the wires going to the heat shrink tubing at the LED headlight (poor solder connections are common). The firebox bulb shares the same power source as the headlight, so check any junction of the blue (typically) wires.

The tender shell is a pain to remove, but likely not necessary. 6 screws under the trucks, two are flat-heads.  The cast front of the tender must be removed and the speaker detached, then the shell is carefully slid back over the frame.

Jon G TCA 95-41020

Independent Lionel Service Tech

MTH Service Technician at MTH

Alan Mancus posted:

here is the documentation from the mth web sight on your engine. the headlight should come on on powerup takes about 15 to 20 seconds then head light should go out that lets you know super capacitor has full charged on power up then you normally can run the engine!

read the document I'm sending ok

Alan

https://mthtrains.com/sites/de...ction/11st12257i.pdf

 

Thanks but I have that already printed - did about 2 years ago.  I am very aware of how DCS and the equipment interact which is why I'm confused about the light not coming on.

thanks Alan - walt

Jon G posted:

If it is PS3 with the 6pin drawbar, the headlight is powered by the boiler board in the loco.  The shell is removed with 5 screws, one in the stack, two at the back of the cab, two under the rear truck next to the firebox bulb.  Check the connections at the boiler board and the wires going to the heat shrink tubing at the LED headlight (poor solder connections are common). The firebox bulb shares the same power source as the headlight, so check any junction of the blue (typically) wires.

The tender shell is a pain to remove, but likely not necessary. 6 screws under the trucks, two are flat-heads.  The cast front of the tender must be removed and the speaker detached, then the shell is carefully slid back over the frame.

WOW = what great information to read!!!!  I have taken the engine shell off before to lube gears, which MTH makes a pain in the butt to do too.

I'll have to check when I get home but as I recall the firebox glow is working so your comment "The firebox bulb shares the same power source as the headlight, so check any junction of the blue (typically) wires." concerns me.

the screws in the tender - they must be hidden!!!!  I looked underneath and only saw I think 2 screws near the center - but I figured those were holding something tight inside the tender - I've seen that before in other MTH products.  But thanks to you I don't have to get in there.

can't wait to get my workout in and get home to take the engine apart.

Thanks Jon - walt

Alan Mancus posted:

also sometimes the board is in the engine that's why I asked you the engine item number so we know exactly  what you have!!!!! 

tell me what state your in and I can tell you where there is a mth asc tech!

Alan

Alan, It is a PS-3 Steam with LEDs.  ALL PS-3 steam have tender board and boiler board.  No model number needed:-) G

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Authorized ERR Dealer

Lionel Independent Repair Tech

Virginia Train Collectors Member

I haven't opened the engine yet but: based on what JonG wrote about firebox glow and the headlight both useing the same power board, in the engine, and since my firebox glow DOES work, It would seem that either the headlight 'connection' came loose or as was suggested, the LED went bad.

I'm still really baffled though: the light worked when I put it away, the engine was undisturbed while in storage, the light did NOT work at all after getting it out of storage, and geez, how often does an LED just go bad for no reason?

When I get around to removing the shell and looking, if it's not obvious (and to me nothing electronic is 'obvious') i'll take it to a local shop for a repair.  I'm just so tired of spending money on repairs.

- walt

The drivers for the PS/3 lamps are all individual connections to the boiler board.  Pretty sure they're totally separately controllable, it's not like the old PS/2 where they frequently did parallel stuff like cab lights, firebox, etc.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

The drivers for the PS/3 lamps are all individual connections to the boiler board.  Pretty sure they're totally separately controllable, it's not like the old PS/2 where they frequently did parallel stuff like cab lights, firebox, etc.

RATS! 

I toke the shell off Sunday and checked: no loose anything.  Pressed down on components that I saw just to make sure.

At that point I was thinking the problem was merely the LED being bad, based on comments made here earlier about the firebox and headlight sharing a power board, even tho' I never heard of an LED just going bad without a cause.  Was going to take it in just today!

But at least I have a new reality about what could be wrong.  I'm sooooooo tired of having to replace boards in most of my MTH engines.  I don't think I could say that something caused the boards to go bad either, even though I had probably 6 of my engines' boards replaced.  And now another one?  BLAH.  I'm so careful with these things, including the protections that I wire into the layout, which is why it's so frustrating.

If it's another board I'm going to just scream!!!!!!!!!!  I continue to come back to wondering how everything worked when I put it away and when I got it back out something was broken.

I guess I'll still take it in today since I have to choice.

As always, thanks - walt-

 

Reassuring John, thanks

I'm taking to the shop in 3 hours so I"ll know pretty soon.  I feel that it would only be right to come here and report what I find here, as an educational thing for others.  My thought is that if anyone followed this somewhat long sequence of posts here then they at least deserve to know the outcome.

The shop told me that they stock the LEDs but not the power boards, but that's OK.  The tech said something that made perfect sense after I said I can't afford to go without this engine since the Christmas layout season will start soon for me.  The tech said "no problem.  I'll send in the power board (if that's the problem) and give the engine back to you until MTH sends to me a new board.  You have nothing to lose since your light doesn't work now anyways".  NICE!

can't wait to find out!!!!!!

- walt

Well, that's not quite accurate Walt.  The "power board" for that headlight is the boiler board, and it does other minor stuff like control the motor, smoke, etc.   If you remove the boiler board, the locomotive is dead.

I got lucky!!!!!!!    But in the end, I'm confused.

Took it in and the tech checked the LED with an 'outside' power source and the LED lit.  But not with train power.  She fiddled around trying things, checking wiring and other things including running it with a Z4000.  NADA.  The only conclusion she reached was that the LED would come on but shut off as soon as the firebox glow light came on (I myself did not notice this).  blah, blah, blah and more.  She also noticed that the firebox LED and headlight LED shared one wire connection.

Out of ideas, she called her contact at MTH.  He had her do a conventional factory reset with Z4000 and that cured it - it seemed.  She at first told her contact her observation about the headlight being lit until the firebox LED kicked in.  That didn't seem to cause any reaction from her contact.

While paying I told her I didn't get it, I did both a feature reset and a factory reset, both twice, and that didn't help.  Then she shared that she also at some time pushed down on one of the pins and heard it 'click'.  Why that didn't solve it instantly I don't know.

This is all very confusing.  I think the timing of when she did things may have mattered too, like, for instance, if she pushed the pin as she was talking with her contact it would then seem that the factory reset did the trick. 

I promised to come back here and report the cause.  Wish I knew for sure.  Either: 1) the pin that she pushed was the issue, or 2) a conventional factory reset does different things than a factory reset initiated by my remote.

John, yes, I noticed that a board right behind the smoke unit, where the headlight wires eventually landed up, had 4 or 5 components plugged into it.

I feel I should apologize since the final 'solution' is not obvious.  Personally I don't care since everything works now, but in terms of coming in and reporting a 'solution',  yes, I feel bad about not being able to do that.

As always, thnaks - walt

I think folks covered this with making sure connectors in place.  But this is more confusing.  First if starting up conventionally the HL should come on as super caps charge, then all the rest of the lights come on.  If at that point the FB light is on and headlight is out, then that is a data issue.  Could be a bad connection in the 6 pin harness to the boiler board.  Getting some sort of corrupt data signal that turned hl off. 

I have found intermittent issue based on poor crimped terminals, bad solder joints under heat shrink, etc...

Glad it was not a board.  G

MTH Authorized Service Center

Authorized ERR Dealer

Lionel Independent Repair Tech

Virginia Train Collectors Member

Alan Mancus posted:

hi Walt glad you got it fixed and was  not a bad board or expensive issue!

The Forum is great for stuff like this.

I once had a MTH Empire State EXPRESS Ps-1 engine I bought that did not run.Took it to Stockyard Express and at first they tried to run it with a Z1000 and black controller box on a test track.

IT did not run!!!He then took it to the Other Layout,powered by a Z4000.BAM!!!OFF SHE WENT!!!Whistles,headlights chuffing smoke,EVERYTHING worked. NOTHING ELSE WRONG with the train.Only got Sound and smoke with the Z-1000!!!!!But no running action.

The ONLY difference?The Z4000 !!!!! There is just something about those Big BAD Z4000's!!!,

The MTH Trains LOVE THEM!!!! I would highly suggest you BUY A Z4000,if you are going to run ANY MTH Engines!!!I bought two of them, and LOTS of my little "ISSUES" just went away.  

They are durable, and provide EXACTLY the type of electric current signal that MTH trains were made to run with!!!! The only thing that ever goes wrong with the Z4000's is after DECADES of heavy use, the potentiometer MIGHT wear out.

But I know a Tech who's got PLENTY OF them!!!!!!,just in case the potentiometer ever wears out!!!

Z4000!!!Z4000!!! The Z4000 does it again!!!!!  

Don't be a COLLECTOR/NEGLECTOR!!!!!!

Have Fun and RUN YOUR TRAINS more often!!!They LOVE Being Ran!!!!Highball them and run the daylights out of them!!!!Keeps the batteries charged up,and the capacitors flowing.

 

Nothing feels as good as something you"ve done with almost nothing.

Bringing a train back from the dead, is better than any NEW one money can buy.

Be happy and RUN what you have, and share your Passion with the World!!!

Be thankful,and good things will come your way.

Put The Lord First, and the GOOD LIFE will fall into your hands.  

 

 

RUNNING O GAUGE ON A HO BUDGET!!!

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