mth railking with qsi sound problem help please(problem solved!)

5620 views
16 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    October, 2007
  • From: ohio
  • 1,249 posts
mth railking with qsi sound problem help please(problem solved!)
Posted by rs2mike on Sunday, March 21, 2010 11:48 AM

Hi all.

 This is my first o scale engine with sound.  It is the MTH railking with proto sound(qsi) santa fe 7445 dash 8 engine.  I am using a mrc tech 2 controller. 

I put the engine on the track and bring the throttle up and I get the start sequence.  I turn the throttle down and back up again to get it to move and nothing happens.  The sound was  a little scratchy so I put in a new 9 volt battery for now.  Noticed the proto battery was almost dead.  I know it can be recarged as indicated in the directions.  I have tried everything in the manual to get it to move but to no avail.  The only sounds I get out of it are the idleing engine.  No other sound come out.  I cannot operate the couplers or the horn. 

Any ideas as to what the problem might be?

Thanks

Mike

alco's forever!!!!! Majoring in HO scale Minorig in O scale:)

  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: Lake Worth FL
  • 3,837 posts
Posted by phillyreading on Sunday, March 21, 2010 6:03 PM

There could be a couple of problems; first off, is the battery charged up fully that you just put in? Is the battery MTH compatible or is it a generic(non MTH) battery?Charge the battery by using a wall charger from Radio Shack or other store, do not attemp to track charge a new battery!! The second possibilty is that you have an incompatable transformer for your engine, have you checked with MTH about compatible transformers?

For example a Lionel CW-80 won't work with an MTH engine with PS-2 or PS-3 command control. There is a possibilty that the MRC transformer is not compatible for your MTH engine. If the battery got too low on a PS-1 engine you may have a scrambled circuit board, not sure if it can be fixed.

Is the engine a PS-1 or PS-2 engine from MTH? There is a major differance between PS-1 and PS-2 and how they work.

Lee F.

Interested in southest Pennsylvania railroads; Reading & Northern, Reading Company, Reading Lines, Philadelphia & Reading.
  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • 188 posts
Posted by Taranwanderer on Sunday, March 21, 2010 6:30 PM
X2 on what Lee says above about PS1 vs PS2, and how to diagnose what's wrong. If yours is PS1, I don't have good news for ya. :(
  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: Lake Worth FL
  • 3,837 posts
Posted by phillyreading on Sunday, March 21, 2010 6:43 PM

Ps-1 has some problems and they can be expensive to fix, especially if the circuit board is shot! If it is just a circuit re-boot you may spend close to $30.00 for the fix, otherwise it may cost up to $320.00.

I bought a PS-1 engine and put in a new MTH battery before ever putting it on the track. Still can't ghet the coupler to open on the tender, even-down loaded MTH's instruction manual for this engine and followed all the instructions.

Another quick note about PS-1; it doesn't work with the DCS base unit or the TIU. PS-1 is mainly just a sound system with reverse & forward capabilities thrown in(easy way to describe it) and maybe one or two other minor features thrown in as well. No command control ability with PS-1.

Lee F.

Interested in southest Pennsylvania railroads; Reading & Northern, Reading Company, Reading Lines, Philadelphia & Reading.
  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Sunny SoCal
  • 4,793 posts
Posted by dougdagrump on Sunday, March 21, 2010 7:40 PM

If you put it on the track and bring the power up to about 9 to 10 volts and instead of using the throttle to effect a direction change what happens using the direction button/lever ?

If you get just engine sounds it could either be locked in neutral or could possibly be a bad board.

If the program is scrambled when you try to move it out of reset, direction change from start-up, you should get the so-called three clanks of death. This is normally an easy fix with a repair chip, not a replacement chip. You install it and follow the instructions and it corrects the program, then remove it and reinstall the original chip.

Also check your transformer to track connections:

MRC T2; left terminal to center rail, 2nd from left to outside rail.

Where in Ohio are you located, there are quite a few forum members in your state that might be of assistance with this problem.  

Remember the Veterans. Past, present and future.

www.sd3r.org

  • Member since
    October, 2007
  • From: ohio
  • 1,249 posts
Posted by rs2mike on Monday, March 22, 2010 9:05 AM

 Thanks guys for the thoughts.  Not sure if it is a ps-1 or ps-2 unit.  How do I tell?

The mrc tech 2 is listed in the instruction booklet so that should be good.  

When I put it on the track with a brand new eveready 9v it gives me two dings of a bell then as I power up it gives me another ding then with a little more power(40 setting on the mrc) it start the start up sequence. I have tried to reset out of neutral but nothing happens.  There is no horn sound when the horn switch is moved.  With power full the direction button does not work either.  I hear a click in the circuit board when I reach noth 50 or 60 on the throttle.

I also unsoldered the motor leads and hooked them up by themselves to make sure they work.  With the tech 2 the motors had a vibration through the whole voltage range and smelled warm.  So I disconnected the mrc and hooked up my bachman dcc throttle and it ran so smooth it made me drool with anticaption.  I resoldered the motor contacts back on and kept the bachmann throttle hooked up and everything powered up without moving the throttle.  When I moved the throttle it had the sound that something was fried in the circuit board( have had the same sound in my ho decoders when it was drawing the power but there was too much resistance somewhere and it would not move).

Unless parts have gone up the boards are listed on the exploded view as $100 and $60 for the two boards.

Does this shed any more light?

Thanks

Mike

medina ohio

alco's forever!!!!! Majoring in HO scale Minorig in O scale:)

  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: Lake Worth FL
  • 3,837 posts
Posted by phillyreading on Monday, March 22, 2010 9:23 AM

Most likely you have a PS-1 unit if it has a 9 volt battery. Like I mentioned before, is the battery charged up? The battery must be charged up and should be an MTH 9 volt battery, not an Eveready battery, before using the engine with PS-1! What I have noticed about the whistle & bell features with PS-1, the bell will work in nuetral or at a near stop, the whistle works only when the engine is at one third or higher speed.

With my engine that has PS-1 I think that my circuit board could be showing signs of goin out. I can not get the uncoupling feature to work with the tender, also I can not adjust the volume on the circuit board where the volume adjustment is supposed to be made. Another thing that happens is I hear a sound that sounds like five or six sputters of an electronic unit shutting down when I turn off the power, it takes about five to seven seconds for this to happen. Does it sound like my circuit board is going out?

Lee F.

Interested in southest Pennsylvania railroads; Reading & Northern, Reading Company, Reading Lines, Philadelphia & Reading.
  • Member since
    November, 2006
  • From: Southington, CT
  • 1,325 posts
Posted by DMUinCT on Monday, March 22, 2010 2:05 PM

Hear is what MTH said in a "FYI" letter a few years ago.    This was a 2 page letter, highlights below

"How to Detect a Low Battery:"

"When track power is interupted, the sound stops in less than 10 to 15 seconds."

"While running at less than 10 volts on the track, the whistle or horn sounds distorted when activated."

"When attempting to shift from ether forward or reverse into neutral, the sound sputters ----   "

"When attempting to program in Reset, the engine will not lock the changes."

"When the engine locks itself into forward, neutral, or reverse, it will not unlock following the unlocking procedures ---     "

 

"If you are experiencing any or all of the above problems, test the battery as follows:"

1. "Try a quick charge.  Place the engine in neutral with the throttle set to 15 volts and the smoke turned off for one hour    ----     if it preforms better, continue to charge the battery for a total of 14-16 hours to ensure a full charge."

2. "Install a regular 9 volt battery and test the locomotive    ----     If the engine runs properly with the 9 volt battery installed, the NiCad battery has lost its charge.   You can continue to run your engine with the 9 volt battery in the short-term while you await delivery of a new battery. "

3. " You can buy a new Nicad battery from MTH  or buy a 8.4 volt, 150mAh, Nickel Metal Hydride battery which is suitable for use in MTH engines from Radio Shack, stock number 23-529 "

Don U. TCA 73-5735

  • Member since
    October, 2007
  • From: ohio
  • 1,249 posts
Posted by rs2mike on Monday, March 22, 2010 3:32 PM

I have tried all the above stuff.  It mentions this in the directions to test with a 9v battery.  I still get no movement and no way to program the loco out of reset or neutral.  I can not get the clank or the cling sound to program a reset on the unit on 18. 

After messing with it all day today I did manage to get a bell sounding about 50% of the time but still could not get anything to program or get it to move.  And as soon as I hit the direction button I could no longer get the bell.

On start up I get one bell then 2 bells then start up.  On shut down of power I get 2 bells then one bell just before the power from the battery shuts down.

 

alco's forever!!!!! Majoring in HO scale Minorig in O scale:)

  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • 188 posts
Posted by Taranwanderer on Monday, March 22, 2010 5:19 PM
Mike and Lee, It sounds to me like both your boards are either toast or on their way to being toast. The cost of PS-1 replacement boards (if you can even find them) or upgrading to PS-2 boards are crazy and not worth it when you could just buy a new loco for what they want for the boards. My advice is to rip out anything that looks like a circuit board, go to either J&K Trains and Parts, Inc., or MA & PA junction online, and order a Williams 6-amp reverse board and a True-Blast sound board that will plug into the reverse board. It'll run you around $70-80, and while you'll lose all the PS-1 sounds, you'll gain a conventional control loco that's a great runner/puller with the two DC can motors hooked up to reliable electronics! You may also pick those up at a show, which is where I found J&K Trains and Parts, Inc. The hardest thing is figuring out how to mount the boards. Good luck!
  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: Lake Worth FL
  • 3,837 posts
Posted by phillyreading on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 10:06 AM

Taranwanderer
Mike and Lee, It sounds to me like both your boards are either toast or on their way to being toast. The cost of PS-1 replacement boards (if you can even find them) or upgrading to PS-2 boards are crazy and not worth it when you could just buy a new loco for what they want for the boards. My advice is to rip out anything that looks like a circuit board, go to either J&K Trains and Parts, Inc., or MA & PA junction online, and order a Williams 6-amp reverse board and a True-Blast sound board that will plug into the reverse board. It'll run you around $70-80, and while you'll lose all the PS-1 sounds, you'll gain a conventional control loco that's a great runner/puller with the two DC can motors hooked up to reliable electronics! You may also pick those up at a show, which is where I found J&K Trains and Parts, Inc. The hardest thing is figuring out how to mount the boards. Good luck!

 

This is My 2 cents on the matter, when it(the PS-1 circuit board) does break down I will gut the circuit boards and put in a bridge rectifier from Radio Shack(6 amp, 50 volt or better) and a Williams True Blast-2 diesel horn unit. That should keep costs to around $55.00 or less.

If it has a DC motor the bridge rectifier will convert the AC current to DC. Also without a reversing unit of some sort I will lose direction control, but I very seldom use reverse anyway, so why pay for more than I need?

Lee F.

Interested in southest Pennsylvania railroads; Reading & Northern, Reading Company, Reading Lines, Philadelphia & Reading.
  • Member since
    October, 2007
  • From: ohio
  • 1,249 posts
Posted by rs2mike on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 7:37 PM

Taranwanderer
Mike and Lee, It sounds to me like both your boards are either toast or on their way to being toast. The cost of PS-1 replacement boards (if you can even find them) or upgrading to PS-2 boards are crazy and not worth it when you could just buy a new loco for what they want for the boards. My advice is to rip out anything that looks like a circuit board, go to either J&K Trains and Parts, Inc., or MA & PA junction online, and order a Williams 6-amp reverse board and a True-Blast sound board that will plug into the reverse board. It'll run you around $70-80, and while you'll lose all the PS-1 sounds, you'll gain a conventional control loco that's a great runner/puller with the two DC can motors hooked up to reliable electronics! You may also pick those up at a show, which is where I found J&K Trains and Parts, Inc. The hardest thing is figuring out how to mount the boards. Good luck!

Thanks for the info.  I went to both sites and could not find the parts you speak of.  Do you happen to have a part number or do I need to just call them.

Thanks again

Mike

alco's forever!!!!! Majoring in HO scale Minorig in O scale:)

  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • 188 posts
Posted by Taranwanderer on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 5:53 AM
Mike, Here's the link for the reverse board:http://www.shop.mapajunction.com/product.sc?productId=3412&categoryId=-1 and here's the one for the horn:http://www.shop.mapajunction.com/product.sc?productId=3410&categoryId=-1 Their site's search function doesn't work so well, they're listed under Williams diesel engines, but you have to hunt through 13 pages of stuff. Good luck!
  • Member since
    November, 2006
  • From: Southington, CT
  • 1,325 posts
Posted by DMUinCT on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 8:23 AM

Do yourself a favor.

The problem may be nothing more than a scrambled memory chip that can be fixed with a $25 re-program chip.

PS1 is a combined direction control and sound system made for MTH by QSI (and so lableled).  QSI is a large manufacturer of DCC control and sound systems for all gauges of model trains.  PS2 is a combined Digital Control (DCS) and sound system of there own design.

If you still think its the PC Boards, make a couple of phone calls, call MTH in Baltimore (410-381-2580) and QSI on the west coast (800- 671-0641) before tearing anything apart.

Don U. TCA 73-5735

  • Member since
    October, 2007
  • From: ohio
  • 1,249 posts
Posted by rs2mike on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 8:46 AM

Thanks guys for the help I will let you know in the coming weeks what I find out.  This is the reason I love these forums so much.  Lots of people with more knowledge than me willin to lend a helping hand.

Thanks again all

Mike

alco's forever!!!!! Majoring in HO scale Minorig in O scale:)

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Webberville, MI
  • 1 posts
Posted by Charly921 on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 2:42 PM

Mike, Your engine is showing the classic symptoms of the engine having been powered up with a low and/or dead battery.  If in all of your attempts to get it to work you haven't damaged the boards, all it needs is an "engine reset" to get it working.  That can be accomplished with a compatible transformer, (from the list only found in the manual of rec. trans.)   If your LHS has a Z-4000 it would be a simple process of programming the engine with feature 18.   Do not run it for any length of time with an Alkaline battery as that will damage the charging circuit.  A fresh rechargeable, they are now green from MTH, is strongly recommended.  Hope this gives you a direction to head in.

 

Cheryl "Always use a saftey net!"
  • Member since
    October, 2007
  • From: ohio
  • 1,249 posts
Posted by rs2mike on Monday, April 26, 2010 7:56 PM

So I wrote to MTH and explained my problem.  The nice lady there told me it was a scrambled chip do to a low battery.  She then sent me a new chip free of charge.  I put a new battery in, replaced the chip and Whoa this engine is sweet.  All the sounds, automatic coupler controler, smooth can motors.  I was planning on selling it after fixing it but it is now in the Keep pile.

Thanks all for your suggestion and help.  It is awesome to have some place like this that so many people are willing to jump right in and help.

Mike

alco's forever!!!!! Majoring in HO scale Minorig in O scale:)

SUBSCRIBER & MEMBER LOGIN

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Get the Classic Toy Trains newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month

Search the Community

Loading...