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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, there.

I just joined the forum and our family is very new to model trains so when you reply, please feel free to speak as though I'm a 5 year old, as I'm just learning all the terms. :) I won't be offended. We've been running Lionel O scale Polar Express and John Deere trains on Fastrack for a couple of years. This Christmas we were lucky enough to be able to buy our son an MTH O Scale Big Boy. We bought a Z1000 at the recommendation of the seller. We knew nothing about wiring, so we had someone at our local hobby store connect the Z1000 to the track. We assembled the track the way we normally do, but while the red lights come on, suggesting that power is going to the track, none of the trains will run - the light came on the Polar Express once, but the Big Boy doesn't respond at all. I don't know what we're doing wrong. Any suggestions?

Katya

Just a quick update...the whistle, the bell and the announcements are working along with a chuffing sound, but it still won't move.
 

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I did a quick search, and it looks like this guy is a DCC loco. Do you have a DCC controller? It sounds like the unit is receiving power, but not any control signals sent to the address of the loco.

That's a complete guess.

ADDED: I looked up the Z1000. Looks like it's a standard transformer. If my guess is right (I haven't run Lionel type trains for 40 years) that's an AC transformer. Your new engine is DCC equipted... again I don't know for sure, but generally DCC units will run on DC or DCC. I have no idea if they will run on AC.

I'm not sure, but I think you seller might have sold you a bill of goods. I hope I'm wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you so much for your quick reply. I've contacted the seller to see if I can trade the Z1000 for a DCC based controller. Lesson learned. :) Is there a DCC controller that you'd recommend?
 

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Please wait until you get input from O scale people. I made a guess, but I'm not certain so don't take my word for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I completely understand. I emailed him more to find out how he'd respond and if this could open up a new line of discussion. I appreciate your thoughts on it, though, and confirmed by looking at our specific model that one is AC and one is DCC, so that part is definitely right. Thanks, again!
 

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I recommend you send a message to GunRunnerJohn (the moderator) and ask him to move this to O-scale forum. I think you might get more visibility there.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi. The train is an MTH-30-1686-1 Big Boy Specialty Set with Protosound 3.0.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Out of interest, we also tried the Polar Express and it won't run either. We got the bells, whistle and announcements to play at one point (for the Big Boy), but neither train would move despite the red lights on the power tracks being on.
 

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What's the EXACT make/model of the Polar Express? Is this a LionChief model? Are you using the included remote?

Did you buy the Big Boy brand new? While the PS/3 boards offer DCC, this model doesn't come with DCC enabled, so that's not an issue here. If it was a used item, someone "could" have enabled DCC and that would prevent it from running with the plain transformer.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It's Lionel Lionchief Polar Express Set with a remote and Bluetooth capabilities. We bought it new. I just turned on the Z1000 to power the track and used the Polar Express remote with the Polar Express train and we got it moving, but whistles, bells and announcements don't work.
 

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For the Polar Express, I'd look at the drawbar connections. The speaker is in the tender, and the audio is generated in the locomotive. It's common to have issues with that somewhat flimsy connector.

For the Big Boy, I'd try a reset, the instructions are below. Note that the cadence of the button pushes is pretty critical, you want about 1/2 second for each push and release. If you don't get the double toot that acknowledges the change, try it again. Do the reset at the bottom, I included the lock into direction in case somehow it got locked into neural.

000reset.png
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but on the railking Z controller, there is a direction button, but no indication of what direction. How do I determine the train is in neutral? Or do you just mean having the dial turned to off with power being supplied to the track?
 

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The direction button simply cycles through the direction sequence.

Forward-Neutral-Reverse-Neutral, and repeat.

For the description on reset, Neutral means the train is stationary with power applied. That means the dial is turned to apply power, start at half throttle. The sounds should be present when you start the reset sequence.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
No. I've triple checked that it's on the track properly, the sounds are all working consistently - I just noticed that the light on the front of the engine isn't working though. Hmm
 

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John; just an off the cuff thought but; when a PS3 engine has been operated using a DCS remote, it won’t operate again in conventional mode till a factory reset has been performed. Might this possibly be the issue with the Big Boy?

If Katya purchased this from a train store; she might take it back there and ask them to perform a factory reset. It’s a heckuva lot easier using a DCS remote than the transformer.

Curt
 
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