striaght tether on a ps2 3 volt steamers

what is needed to accomplish this? I have some ps2 3 volt steamers I just bought and I would like to have the tether plug going straight into the engine with out the bend. does mth make a straight to straight tether? if not what mth part numbered tethers would work to accomplish this.?

Roger g.

Original Post

They are pretty finiky.  I think it needs the slack of the curve of the tether for flexibility . Anyway, that being said, I just did this last night: I took a PS2 wireless drawbartthat I wasn't using and plugged the 90 degree angle end of the tether into it, then I used a regular mth ps2 tether cable (sorry I don't know the part number) and plugged the angled part of that into the other end of the wireless drawbar and put all that in the tender with the straight end of the added tether sticking out of the front of the tender and connected that to the engine.

Now, the lack of slack has caused the outer insulation of the tether to break where it meets the connector by the locomotive.  I think I am going to remove the outer insulator and replace it with something looser (some loose fitting outer jacket, so the flexibility of the wires inside the cable is able to be utilized to take pressure off the connector.  This would be similar to how some 3rd Rail tethers seem to work.

Like I said  these can get finiky.  Depending on how the tether opening on the tender lines up with the connector on the locomotive, there could be a pinching of the tether, it might not slide in and out of the tender on curves and will thus bunch up or otherwise not cooperate.

This doesn't always work, I have done a number of upgrades and used straight tethers.  On several of them I had to revisit them and put the 90 degree one back on.  I had better luck when I stripped the rubber shield off the tether and used braided cable cover, it's much more flexible and allowed operation without the connector working out of the locomotive connector.  I used Loctite 380 to secure it to the tether connector and make a semi-neat looking tether.


Photos (1)

You may have to widen the slot/hole where the tether comes out of the tender also, to give it some side-to-side play.  All of my steamers use the straight tether and I had to do this on a number of them.


Having A Blast Running BPRC

One part number you can use is BC-0000217. This has a straight plug on one end and right angle plug on the other. The colors are the same as used on the PS2 engines and upgrade kits. Not sure if it will match the newer PS3 kits.

What is you minimum diameter? I have done this on a few engines but have 072 minimum curves. 

Here is a thread which shows some other mods to the engine connector among other things.

Also, I have since just started converting the right angle plug to straight by carefully cutting away the material at the back side of the right angle. Then applying dab of JB Weld to cover any exposed wires and help keep it straight. Its a bit bulkier than a straight tether but costs almost nothing and you don't have deal with MTH parts ordering.



You can use an intermediate harness in the tender, then use a tether that has a 90 degree plug on one end and a straight plug on the other.

As others have mentioned, you will have to make sure there is enough space in the tender where the tether comes through for it to move in curves.  

I have used this setup many times.  It looks great!

I will post some photos and part numbers later today.



I've done it a number of times as well, but occasionally there just isn't a practical way to give it space to move without pulling out.  I still have one that I'm going to apply my braided tether cover treatment to since it still doesn't like the existing setup.  I could lengthen the drawbar, but that's a different compromise that I didn't want to make.

Don't know if this helps. I have a Lionel Corp(MTH) passenger set standard gauge.

Baby Blue Comet set. the teather on the locomotive is built into the draw bar and the

"pin" on the tender slides into a coupling hole on the end of the draw bar. So MTH does make

a draw bar with components built into it. Don't know if you could get this part and retrofit it to

your locomotive

What I was saying is you can just hook the existing tether to a wireless drawbar (for ps2 it's MTH 20-88011) plug the BC-0000217 shown by Dave above and stuff that all into the tender leaving the straight end of the BC-0000217 sticking out of the tender.

The tethers aren't exactly cheap, but they come in a set of 3 sizes, and if as is often the case and you bought the set for the shorter 30mm one, then you have a couple extras laying around. 


When I do upgrades, I just connect one end and ring out each wire with a meter to make sure that A connects to B properly.

Lionelzwl2012 posted:

jeff, so if done this way the wires match up. they are not backwards? your way looks a little simpler.

Here's a pic of what is working for me.  20181207_231123

I hot glued around the straight end plug once it was inserted to keep it from wiggling, and painted the glue flat black. 

Disclaimers 😁:

Maybe the tether wires will come loose or break.  Idk. If so I will replace the tether or come up with something else.

I run on 072 minimum radius



Photos (3)

Using a drawbar like that is dangerous unless you cover the exposed pin solder joint.

Tethers are straight through wiring so reversing a BC-0000217 is no problem. 

Since you said your doing this to PS-2 3V engine, almost all of the standard steam use the BC-0000217 external harness to start with, so you can just look and reverse it with that you have.  The only issue maybe that the straight end does not have full outer rubber jacket.  (Production harness are custom made at the factory).

If you want the covered look buy the BC-217.

PS-2 5V usually are custom wired and do not use the internal/external setup as shown by pennsy.  So replacing those require one of the universal harnesses which you splice in with solder.  G

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