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Discussion Starter #1
I try to read comments on here carefully to then correctly purchase items. I run Conventional and always will.

I believe I read not to buy PS1 because the electronics in so far as the battery would die and the locomotive would require "charging" by sitting on the rails for awhile before sounds and movement would work. I believe before I shut down my last layout for a house move, I witnessed this a few times on PS1 MTH trains I had.

Therefore, based on comments over the past few years on the forum, I would focus on PS2 items on ebay or at shows. If I saw a PS2 locomotive at a fair price I would bid believing I was "safe" with PS 2. I still purchased some PS1 locomotives from time to time, but believed I was "at risk" for a locomotive that might not work right.

Now recently I have read that PS2 MTH locomotives have problems associated with bad boards. I have several PS2 locomotives. Many purchased in the layout dead zone so I have not run them, nor will I for another 9 months at the earliest. I believe I have read comments like "these boards are no longer available".

I have also read comments that only 'some' PS2 boards are bad from a certain time frame and to avoid purchasing those locomotives. So this adds to my confusion. I simply want to run conventional for the next 20-30 years which would put me into my mid to late 80's and like some of us, I would likely sell off if I am alive to spare my widow of doing so.

What are my options now and in the future if I get dead locomotives? I have heard I can send them into Henning's Trains which I believe GRJ works at and repairs may be an option but not if boards are not available. Should I "go back" to PS1 era if the only issue (typically) is batteries and I can just run them on the layout juice anyway.

I am probably close to stopping my purchase of new items since MTH is gone and Atlas is not a catalog driven company, and I have 90 per cent of what I need anyway. Right now, I am only picking off the occasional rare Rock Island locomotive that pops up, but I may add Hiawatha Steam or an occasional steam locomotive.

Just curious what the overall summary of past MTH "PS" designations means moving forward. I have at least 20 PS 3.0 items as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Adding a bit more perspective, I believe my "sweet spot" for this hobby will be in 2 years to the next 15 years. I just turned 57. I will have the new house hopefully by June and after moving in will start building the layout in August. I hope to enjoy running trains well into my 70's but will reduce buying soon. (I know we all say that).

So, if a bad period MTH locomotive 'dies' when I am say 69 years old, I probably won't repair it. If the locomotives fail and can not be repaired in my 70's not a big deal. If they fail in the next 5-10 years that would suck.
 

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I run DCS so I don’t buy PS1 locos. If I’m looking at a PS2 loco, I make sure it’s got a 3V board. If It’s got a 5V board I might consider it, but I would keep the cost of board replacement in mind when making an offer.

If the electronics in one of your locos go bad at some time in the future, there are inexpensive boards that will enable you to run conventional. But you won’t get the sound package that you would with an MTH board.
 

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You can always get a dead engine to run by installing an E unit. Dallee and Lionel have them for around 40-50 bucks. Any Lionel engine with Railsounds will still give sounds in conventional. You could also do the same with dead MTH engines but for sounds you would have to install some sort of Lionel sound board either one from a conventional or command engine. They all work in conventional.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #6
But how does one know it has a 5v board v 3v ? I just purchased a Rock Island locomotive PS 2. No where does it indicate 5v or 3.
 

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Look in the manual. I think some of them will tell you if it's a 5v or 3v. Also if it has a battery that looks like a 9v battery like this,

554881


it's a 5v board.


The 3v boards use a battery like this,

554882
 
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