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Thanks for a logical explanation, GGG.  I have one PS3 steamer, which I have never opened.  Are you saying that there is no internal harness?

 

MTH did not make the PS-2 3V upgrade kit for steam with production features.

Are you speaking of those features made possible by the addition of a mux board in the engine to control marker, boiler, cab, etc. lights?  If so, cannot one be added when upgrading?

 

 

[By the way, I'm Bob, not Ralph.]

I was talking about the external harnesses.

 

For PS-2 3V Steam upgrade you have 2 harnesses.  An internal Engine harness and for the tender a combined internal and external harness.  Very similar to production Starter set engines except one piece.

 

But for PS-3, if you wanted to create a PS-3 steam upgrade kit, you would need to manufacture a new combination tender harness, since PS-3 OEM use draw bars.

 

For the engine you also would need new type harness.  From PCB to the boiler board and from the board to the engine components.  All this would have to be made specific for an upgrade kit.  Basically starting from scratch and requiring dedicated multiple harnesses.  Do you want to keep it simple and inexpensive or make it more complex.

 

Adding a MUX requires the MUX harnesses, mounting board for the engine.  You also then need the MUX board and mux harnesses for the Tender.  So you add 2 boards and mounts, extra harness.  Can you scratch build it, all to control one more light feature?

 

You don't get independent control of all those features.  If you turn off headlight markers go off too.  The interior and Firebox are the same circuit.  Frankly, a lot more expense for one extra feature control.   G

I thought that upgrading to PS-3 you would get led lighting and all the features of PS-3. Evidently this is not  true. If that's the case why upgrade to PS-3? I have at least 9 PS-1 steam locomotives that i want to upgrade but if i don't get all the features i don't think i will do it. I just don't see spending a lot of money and not at least getting led lighting and being able to quill the whistle. Am i missing something here?

Yes.  Upgrading from PS1 to PS2 or PS3 will get you the ability to run those locos in the same block/on the same track/at the same time. 

 

Aside from long life (which to me has never been a problem), what is the advantage of LED in a loco?  If your power supply is so marginal that the draw of those grain-of-wheat bulbs overcomes capacity, you've got other problems.  I had over a dozen locos that I've upgraded to PS2, and have never regretted it.  Those old Korea-built Weavers & MTHs run as well as or better than the new.  I've also upgraded a couple of old Lionel Pulmor-powered locos, but don't recommend it unless you want the challenge.

Originally Posted by feet:

I thought that upgrading to PS-3 you would get led lighting and all the features of PS-3. Evidently this is not  true. If that's the case why upgrade to PS-3? I have at least 9 PS-1 steam locomotives that i want to upgrade but if i don't get all the features i don't think i will do it. I just don't see spending a lot of money and not at least getting led lighting and being able to quill the whistle. Am i missing something here?

Factory PS3 locomotives come with LED lighting, but in an upgrade, you're dealing with existing G-O-W bulbs and the kits are apparently designed around this. If you really want LEDs, just add an appropriate resistor in series and you're done. I believe they're feeding 5 volts to the G-O-W bulbs; White LEDs operate between 3 and 4 volts.

Read this whole thread or at least last few pages and you can read about what PS-32/ PS-3 brings to the table.  If the whole reason to upgrade is LED lighting, you can do that with or without upgrading.  Buy some LED with some current limiting resistors.  About 300 ohms and you can convert all of your bulbs to LEDs.  The markers are already LED so no change.  G

Originally Posted by RJR:

Aside from long life (which to me has never been a problem), what is the advantage of LED in a loco?  If your power supply is so marginal that the draw of those grain-of-wheat bulbs overcomes capacity, you've got other problems.

For me personally, I like the look of the LED headlight vs. the incandescent bulb.  You actually get a beam of light down the tracks that looks like a real headlight vs. the relatively dim glow of the PS/2 incandescent bulbs.  People that I have done upgrades for and changed to LED headlights were really pleased with the appearance over the bulbs.  I use warm white LED's for steamers and early diesels, for modern locomotives I tend to use the bright white LED's for headlights.

 

Edit:  You can also use yellow LED's for early steamers if you want to go more to the yellow color, the point is you have a choice and can pretty much make them looks prototypical.

Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

You may be able to play the whistle on an upgraded steamer if:

  • There's a Production Sound File, with a Playable Whistle soft key, for a native PS3 engine (a 3 volt PS2 engine may work, however, I cannot say for sure)
  • There's available a Production Chain File for a PS3 version of the locomotive
  • The engine doesn't have any oddball feature requirements, such as the illuminated drivers on the Premier Dreyfuss Hudson.

If all of the above are true, you should be able to implement a playable whistle by doing the following:

  • Install the PS3 Production Chain File on the upgraded engine's PS32 board
  • Install the Hardware File portion of the PS32 Steam Upgrade Chain File
  • Install the Production PS3 Sound File.

 

 

Originally Posted by RJR:

feet, GGG and Matt are giving sound advice.  GGG, as a most-knowledgeable person on the technicalities of boards, can you verify Matt's "belief" on the voltages supplied by boards?  Did 5-volt, 3-volt PS2, and PS3 boards all supply the same voltage?

I assume 6V and use the 300 ohm.  In reality it is a high (near 22VDC) peaks that are sent to be effectively about 6V via PWM.  I drive the strip LEDs off the output with no resistors and they require 12VDC.  G

Originally Posted by Barry Broskowitz:

You may be able to play the whistle on an upgraded steamer if:

  • There's a Production Sound File, with a Playable Whistle soft key, for a native PS3 engine (a 3 volt PS2 engine may work, however, I cannot say for sure)
  • There's available a Production Chain File for a PS3 version of the locomotive
  • The engine doesn't have any oddball feature requirements, such as the illuminated drivers on the Premier Dreyfuss Hudson.

If all of the above are true, you should be able to implement a playable whistle by doing the following:

  • Install the PS3 Production Chain File on the upgraded engine's PS32 board
  • Install the Hardware File portion of the PS32 Steam Upgrade Chain File
  • Install the Production PS3 Sound File.

 

 

Barry,  The PS-32 flash file is QW capable, but as you state you need a QW sound file.  For PS-2 3V files that is only a few premier engines.  Camelback, Northern, Big Boy, Mikado, and Triplex.  May be one or two more, but that is about it.

 

I think it would be wiser to just try a PS-3 file with QW instead of loading the PS-3 Chainfile.  The PS-3 chainfile most likely has different light pin outputs and it would cause issues.  Some have already seen that.

 

This goes way back in the post, but MTH by procedure still loads characteristic in PS-3 sound files even though PS-3 boards get it from the flash file.  SO the PS-32 will still get that info out of the sound file even if PS-3 one is used.  You will get QW and speed data, and probably have a better chance getting lights right.

 

PS-32 is really meant to be used with PS-2 3V files.  For someone with out the bench tester to see all the light outputs it would be trial and error with the engine trying to see what controls what.   G

I did some experimenting with using a PS-3 Steam flash code on a PS-32 board from a steam kit.  After installing the flash code, none of the bulb lights on the test set would light up.  The motor ran, had sounds, smoke, couplers, but no lights.

 

When I changed direction into reverse I did get the forward light to come on with rule 17 when in reverse. 

 

So I loaded the PS-32 hardware table and all the lights functioned correctly, with a PS-3 sound file for the unit I was working on (but mileage may vary for other sound files), but without Rule 17 since PS-32 code does not have that.

 

It struck me when I was looking at the files inside that flash zip file...

 

The reason you can't use the steam PS-3 flash files is that the there are two file effecting light controls.  One is the Boiler board and the other is the tender board.  The tender board is equivalent to the PS-32 board, but without all the pin outs and it does not control the light functions of the engine.  The boiler board does.

 

So when using PS-32 steam upgrade boards, keep the PS-32 flash code and only load a PS-3 sound file if you want.  If the features/speed control are not compatible, load the PS-2 sound file.

 

Trying to load the full PS-3 flash and sound file will not work.   G

Just curious. It was my understanding that PS2 upgrade kits could be used for either steam or diesel. The difference being steam kits came with a tether and diesel kits came with a second coupler. Could a PS3 steam kit be used with a diesel and diesel sounds installed without doing all this flash code stuff?

Steam kits are readily available from dealers even though Midge tells me I have to pre order them if I want one from MTH???

 

Pete

Last edited by Norton
Originally Posted by Norton:

Just curious. It was my understanding that PS2 upgrade kits could be used for either steam or diesel. The difference being steam kits came with a tether and diesel kits came with a second coupler. Could a PS3 steam kit be used with a diesel and diesel sounds installed without doing all this flash code stuff?

Steam kits are readily available from dealers even though Midge tells me I have to pre order them if I want one from MTH???

 

Pete

Pete, PS-2 3V boards are the same board, and the code in PS-2 board is Diesel/Steam/Trolley/Articulate.  Hence they work in any model, other than those that need a special flash code such as Operating Pantograph, Quill Whistle, small smoke, Coors, etc....

 

For PS-3 kits you have two issues.  First PS-3 steam is a 2 board set, so the flash code and sound files for steam are different then there Diesel counter parts.  PS-3 Diesel is a single board.

 

The actual upgrade kits are board different too.  So a PS-3 Diesel board for Diesel kit, and Daughter board for the Steam kit that uses bulbs.

 

The actual PS-3 diesel board has more light outputs and effects then a PS-2 3V or PS-32 can handle.  I am pretty sure PS-32 would operate the lights if you used a PS-3 flash file, but you might not have the desired effect on the engine.

 

You have to find out what lights function is controlled by the PS-3 code versus the original PS-2.  For example ditch lights may be flashing with PS-3 code, but the PS-2 used ditch lights constant on for number boards, etc....   G 

They have to include another tach bracket for the PS-3 tach reader so you have a fit for various sized flywheels.  The PS-3 diesel is a full up PS-3 Diesel board with full access harness to all the lighting functions.  You load a PS-3 sound file if you want, or loaded the PS-2 file and use the diesel flash code.  You won't be able to use this in a Steam engine though.  You could do it with major mods to harness, but steam PS-3 files expects a tender board and a boiler board, so lights won't work right if you load a steam PS-3 flash code into a Diesel board.   G

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