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Good summary John,  as I understand it (and have both PS3 and PS2 engines) the difference:

- No battery (BCR built in)..... easy enough to install BCR's in PS2 engines

- Rule 17 / LED lighting

- More memory / storage for better sounds down the road.

I believe that may be it that we could actually see / hear.  Certainly the electronics are different.


I have a PS3 GP40 and a few PS2 GP40 diesels.  The sounds are definitely improved in the PS3,  but it all depends on the sound set recording.


PS1 to PS3 is well worth it as you move to command control.   PS2 to PS3?  As John stated,  unless it fails,  I agree it is probably not worth the $$ but to each his own...



Last edited by Nativefl



The PS/3 upgrade does not offer Rule-17 lighting, it still drives incandescent bulbs.  You have to have a factory PS/3 with the LED's to get the Rule-17 lighting.


The difference in sound file, if there is any, is a moot point for the upgrades as they have firmware that requires you to load PS/2 sound files.  More memory?  Well, you have to be able to load PS/3 sound files to use any of that.


I've seen discussions about loading chain files to allow loading PS/3 sound files into the upgrade.  I have no idea if that works or how well.  Also, since that is certainly not an MTH supported configuration, I don't think the average user is likely to consider it very seriously.


OTOH, If you have a factory PS/3 equipped locomotive, most of the advantages and potential advantages you mention do exist.  I'd like to see a PS/3 upgrade kit that supports LED's directly and allows you to use PS/2 or PS/3 sound files.



I have 2 PS2 steam upgrade kits on the shelf.  I have 2 PS2 9-volt locos left, for which the kits are intended. When I install them, I'd use Digikey supercaps, which are very much smaller than any batteries and presently in all my 3-volt PS2s.  I also have 2 PS3 upgrade kits on order, as I understand they come through set up to take the plugs found in 9-volt installations.


The differences between factory PS3 and upgrade PS3 is disappointing to me.

I believe the PS/3 upgrade kits are going to use the 3V connector styles, not the 5V connector styles. 


Note that this is only a belief, as I haven't gotten one yet, but I thought that's what I had heard.


There is the PS32 board for 5V replacements that indeed does have the 5V connectors, I've put several of those in, and I still have one left in stock.




IMO, the single biggest advantage that PS3 engines have over PS2 engines, is that the DSP (digital signal processor) is an FPGA chip as opposed to an ASIC.


The FPGA is a much faster chip and provides significantly improved DCS signal strength.


This is also the single biggest difference between the Rev. L TIU and all previous model TIUs.


This and a whole lot more is all in MTH’s “The DCS O Gauge Companion 2nd Edition", available for purchase as an eBook or a printed book at MTH's web store!

PS2 to PS3 - If their is nothing really I am gaining then gunrunnerjohn makes a good point, however, since Barry is one the folks, along with a few others,  that really knows DCS - it seems like he verified GRJ's comments. Now, If I was jumping up a few levels as Barry points out then I am getting quite a bit and would probably upgrade.


I was trying to understand the value for moving to PS3

John / Barry,


Thank you both as usual,  very informative and thanks for setting me straight on what I thought I would be getting if I were to upgrade anything to PS3.   Glad I said what I said on current OEM state and learn what I will get with an upgrade.


Still going to do my PS1 engines soon as materials become available.   My two DD40AX need to go DCS. Based on your comments I too see absolutely no reason to upgrade a PS2 to PS3 except for failure of components. 


Good to know the real difference in the TIU versions also thanks,  I was an early adopter way back so I have the original version still.   No problems with it,  but still good to know.


Thanks guys!



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