We have Lionel 180  bricks powering our TIU. So, a friend brings over a Proto 1 engine to run, we switch the TIU from fixed too variable 1.  Then we, turn the power on with the handheld to about 9-10 volts, engine starts up, we hit direction and the engine goes back to startup mode. We put the engine on our test stand, powered by a Z-4000, it starts up, move the voltage up to 9-10 volts, engine starts up hit direction engine goes into forward hit direction goes into neutral hit direction again goes in reverse and so on. So it works fine on the test stand and not on the layout. Could it be that we have the 180 bricks powering the layout, that the Proto 1 does not like?

I hope I'm explaining our problem well enough to help us.

Thanks for any help you can give.

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Measure the actual voltage on the track with the bricks. The remote reading is based on a full voltage of 21, which is higher than the bricks put out.

John, what would that be telling me? Would I need to raise or lower the voltage on the handheld?

David

@hobojoe posted:

We have Lionel 180  bricks powering our TIU. So, a friend brings over a Proto 1 engine to run, we switch the TIU from fixed too variable 1.  Then we, turn the power on with the handheld to about 9-10 volts, engine starts up, we hit direction and the engine goes back to startup mode. We put the engine on our test stand, powered by a Z-4000, it starts up, move the voltage up to 9-10 volts, engine starts up hit direction engine goes into forward hit direction goes into neutral hit direction again goes in reverse and so on. So it works fine on the test stand and not on the layout. Could it be that we have the 180 bricks powering the layout, that the Proto 1 does not like?

I hope I'm explaining our problem well enough to help us.

Thanks for any help you can give.

Couple of things here.

#1 a PS1 loco requires a working battery or BCR system to operate and keep the microprocessor running while power is dropped momentarily to change direction in conventional. This is often tested by powering, waiting at least 60 seconds, then removing track power and listening for the sounds to complete including the "fart" sound as the system shuts down at the end.

#2 You must first power the loco and wait at least 20-30 seconds- maybe longer if a BCR, for the required 20 second timer built into the firmware before attempting to shift into forward by dropping power. This ensures both a BCR if equipped, or battery has received some charge, but again, also, you must wait or else you are skipping the 20 second timer in the firmware of PS1 and never will go anywhere. Far too aften I see users used to other conventional engines and just slam the throttle up and down on a PS1 immediately and then wonder why it won't move- often causing setting issues and other problems beyond just not moving.

#3 The TIU variable channel is chopping up the AC power to give you variable. It is NOT the same sine wave output as a Z4000. Some sensitive early PS1 engines demand sine wave power and will not work with chopped wave. Again, there are a whole bunch of early PS1 locos that specifically must have pure sine wave variable power source to run properly.

@hobojoe posted:

John, what would that be telling me? Would I need to raise or lower the voltage on the handheld?

David

He's telling you the voltage displayed on the hand held is NOT accurate. That display is only valid when given a 21V source. It does not measure the output and is just a relative range of voltage displayed.  As an example, say you connect a 14V transformer and turn up the output of the variable channel to 22V displayed- you really only get 14V max out.

You know that you should bring the voltage up high enough on the variable when starting the engine to be in the 9-10V range, however, because the display is not accurate in your setup, you in theory should slightly increase the displayed voltage for startup sequence to ensure the engine really is in the 9-10V range even though the remote would be showing higher. Again, this is tricky because too high a voltage may put you into that jackrabbit start prevention voltage range.

Although, my theory is more likely, you simply are using a sensitive loco that must have that pure sine wave power input and the TIU variable channel just may be incompatible with that early PS1 loco. You might go as far as ensuring your loco is not on the replacement PS1 chip list.

FYI, this is the steam list of parts including replacement PS1 chips

https://www.mthpartsandsales.c...lists/200?type=lists

This is the PS1 Diesel list

https://www.mthpartsandsales.c...lists/199?type=lists

I feel this needs added.

I cannot say that replacement chips change the sensitivity of a PS1 loco and suddenly make an incompatible situation compatible. There are just too many variables and there are differences in board versions. That said, what I was trying to show was if your engine was on the list- then we know it's an earlier version of PS1 and therefor more likely to be requiring that pure clean variable power.

That said, if you have one on the list, I would strongly consider updating the chip.

3 pages of response and he said it works fine on test with Z-4000.  So all the BCR stuff etc.. is not the issue.

The TIU VAR channels are designed to operate PS-1.  The Brick is not the issue, it is a good AC output.  Some early TIU might not drop voltage low enough.

Do you have lighted lock on?  Make sure voltage is low.  Try lower in the 8V range and see what happens.  G

Vernon:

That is the first list I've ever seen confirming my suspicions that there is some kinda fault in the programming of these early sound chips. I know all of my early edition Baldwin AS-616 PS1 locos won't leave the reset mode, no matter what MTH transformer I have.

The moment I take the original AS-616 sound chips out, and replace them with the old version EP-5 sound chip I have in my spare parts, they all come alive!!! This is one of the main issues I will be tackling with Don (and hopefully Jon) at MTH when I am in the States come July this year.

I will be bringing all of my AS-616 sound chips, as well as a couple of PS1 top and bottom boards, and my home-made PS1 test board with me, to show them exactly what is happening. I am hopeful they can re-configure these crappy sound chips, and get my PS1 boards working properly with them.

On the down side.....I notice all of the sound chips listed in the "Diesel" parts list you provided are now "out of stock", so I am getting a bit nervous about obtaining new chips, if all else fails.

I also know that some of my very early PS1 diesel loco's won't come out of reset if I apply more than 5 or 6 volts (from my Z1000) at the initial start-up phase. Keep the voltage low, turn the Z1000 down to zero very slowly, and hey presto, they come out of reset and start moving forward once I re-power them. It's an education!!!

Peter..... Buco Australia

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@Buco posted:

Vernon:

That is the first list I've ever seen confirming my suspicions that there is some kinda fault in the programming of these early sound chips. I know all of my early edition Baldwin AS-616 PS1 locos won't leave the reset mode, no matter what MTH transformer I have.

The moment I take the original AS-616 sound chips out, and replace them with the old version EP-5 sound chip I have in my spare parts, they all come alive!!! This is one of the main issues I will be tackling with Don (and hopefully Jon) at MTH when I am in the States come July this year.

I will be bringing all of my AS-616 sound chips, as well as a couple of PS1 top and bottom boards, and my home-made PS1 test board with me, to show them exactly what is happening. I am hopeful they can re-configure these crappy sound chips, and get my PS1 boards working properly with them.

On the down side.....I notice all of the sound chips listed in the "Diesel" parts list you provided are now "out of stock", so I am getting a bit nervous about obtaining new chips, if all else fails.

I also know that some of my very early PS1 diesel loco's won't come out of reset if I apply more than 5 or 6 volts (from my Z1000) at the initial start-up phase. Keep the voltage low, turn the Z1000 down to zero very slowly, and hey presto, they come out of reset and start moving forward once I re-power them. It's an education!!!

Peter..... Buco Australia

My honest impression in your case is the 50Hz vs 60Hz AC source power issue. Again, yes, we know some PS1 is already sensitive on 60Hz, change that to 50Hz and we see even more problems. The issue for you would be finding the best 60Hz sine wave inverter and power source to power your Z4000 for testing purposes.

Thank you Vernon......looking into a Hz converter today. Not too sure if such an animal exists here in Australia, but we will soon find out!!!

Peter......Buco Australia.

MTH is not going to rewrite software for PS-1. No one there to do it, and the inventory of the obsolete blank chips is limited.  They were going to sell off all that stuff at one point.  If available, you can get them to load the upgrade software in a new chip for that model.  Otherwise you need to come up with another method of getting a pure ac power source for those engines.  G

@GGG posted:

Otherwise you need to come up with another method of getting a pure ac power source for those engines.  G

There's always just upgrading the engine with PS/3 as well.