Tips and Tricks from MartyE .com

Coming soon...Phasing Transformers.  I will show you how to phase a PW ZW to another as well as a new ZW Controller!

Changing the Battery in a PS1 Loco from MTH.


This is my first attempt at an instructional page and would love to hear some comments back!  With that said let's get onto the project...


    To change the battery you will need the following tools and supplies.

  1. A Phillips screw driver

  2. double face tape

  3. A new battery. Either MTH # BG-4000001 or Radio Shack # 23-529.

  4. A towel or pad for the tender to rest on while upside down.

    After storage or a lengthy period of non use your MTH PS1 engine, it could develop a weak battery. Symptoms include the engine being locked in 1 direction, interruption of sounds during direction changes, poor ability to change directions as well as distorted horns sounds below 10volts.

    Now if you go to the MTH web site at you can find some helpful hints on trying to recharge your battery.  Rather than going through that here again I will go through the procedure to change the battery if the recharging procedure was not effective. I am using an MTH Railking Allegheny for my sample.  Most steamers should be similar. Diesels will most likely have the electronics in the A or B unit and the procedure should be similar as well.

    To begin lay the tender upside down on a clean towel or padding to prevent damage to the shell. This is one of the most important steps as you will not be happy with your self if it is damaged.  Remove the screws that hold the shell in place.  On my tender there were 4 screws on the corners.  Carefully separate the shell from the base and set the shell a side out of the way where it will be safe until you are done.




       The photo on the right shows what you may expect to find once the shell is removed.  The original battery is double faced taped down to the base of the tender with a standard 9 volt clip attaching it to the electronics.  Be careful not to touch the circuit boards if possible as static may harm the IC chips and other components.  Remove the old battery by gently lifting it off of the base. This may take a little effort as the original tape may be very sticky. Discard of the battery  properly.  Radio Shack has a battery recycling program or check for a local recycling program.        


      Now get your replacement battery and open it up.  Cut the double faced tape so that you have a piece roughly the size of the side of the battery.  Peel off one side and attach it to the battery as shown to the right.  Now check the positioning of the new battery in  the tender being careful not to get in the way of the mounting holes.  You may want to attach the battery clip at this point to make sure the entire assembly is clear of any mounting screws or holes.  Once you have located the battery peel the other side of the tape off and press the battery into position.  Examine the position and make sure the battery will not come in contact with any components as the Radio Shack battery has a metal case.  If so I used a bit of double faced tape to insulate the battery from the components.



From this picture you can see the small piece of tape insulating the battery from the components.


    When everything is done your tender should look as it originally did of course though with a new battery!  Now grab the shell and place it back on the towel or other protective surface and slowly and gently put the bottom back on.  Remember to place the tether back through the opening for it with the wire tie on the inside to strain relief it.  As you put the shell on be careful not to pinch any wires between the shell and the base.  Replace the mounting screws and put your tender back on the track and connect the tether.  The new battery may have a slight charge so you may notice an immediate improvement.  At this point though you should put the engine in neutral, turn off the smoke generator and let it sit for at least 14 hours per MTH to get a good charge. Of course if you want to run it you can as this will also charge the battery.

    I hope this was informative and if you have any suggestions or criticism please let me know.  Please follow the MTH link for more information concerning batteries and MTH's battery policies.

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