Proto-Sound 2.0 Conventional Mode Operating Instructions

Operation Buttons

Use the operation buttons on your transformer or remote as described below.

  • Horn/Whistle - To sound the horn/whistle, firmly press the Horn/Whistle button. It will sound for as long as you continue to depress the button. It will stop when you release the button. The horn/whistle will have a different ending depending upon whether you depress the button for less than 3, 4, or 5 seconds.
  • Bell - To sound the bell, firmly press and release the Bell button. To turn the bell off, press and release the Bell button again. The bell will continue to ring from the time your turn it on until you press and release the button again to turn it off.
  • Direction – Your engine is programmed to start in neutral. To put the engine into motion and change direction, firmly press and release the Direction button on your transformer. Just as you must stop your car between forward and reverse, this engine will not go directly from forward to reverse; it goes into neutral between directions. If the train has been moving forward, the first press of the Direction button will put the train from forward into neutral, the second press into reverse, the third press back into neutral, and the fourth back into forward. To prevent accidental high-speed start-ups, this engine is programmed to restart in neutral each time the track voltage is turned off for 10 seconds or more.

Volume Control –To adjust the volume of all sounds made by this engine, turn the master volume control knob located under the engine clockwise to increase the volume and counter-clockwise to decrease the volume.

Proto-Sound 2.0 Conventional Mode Operating Instructions

Because Proto-Sound 2.0 is an all-new system developed by M.T.H.’s own research and development team, it operates differently from original Proto-Sound. Most Proto-Sound 2.0 features are automatically enabled, and Reset has been eliminated, so there is no need to program features as with original Proto-Sound. Although the new system is easier to operate than original Proto-Sound, you should read these instructions thoroughly before using Proto-Sound 2.0 features in order to prevent harm to yourself or your equipment.

Activating Proto-Sound 2.0 Conventional Mode Features:

Proto-Sound 2.0 features are activated by sequences of Bell and Whistle button pushes described below. Please read the full descriptions of each feature before using it. To use these buttons to activate features rather than to blow the horn/whistle or ring the bell, you should press the buttons for a shorter time (1/2 second); you may need to practice your timing to make this work smoothly.


Feature to Be Activated:

Button Code:

Freight Yard/Passenger Station Sounds

1 Bell, 2 Whistles

Fire the Rear Coupler

1 Bell, 3 Whistles

Fire the Front Coupler

1 Bell, 4 Whistles

Speed Control On/Off

1 Whistle, 2 Bells (from Neutral only)

Lock into a Direction/Unlock

1 Whistle, 3 Bells

Reset to Factory Defaults

1 Whistle, 5 Bells (from Neutral only)


Freight Yard/Passenger Station Sounds (FYS/PSA):

Your engine is equipped with a sound package of freight yard sounds that you can play when you pull into a yard. Each sequence described below will play as long as it is left on, randomly generating sounds, but be sure to allow approximately 30 seconds between the button pushes described below to allow the FYS/PSA sufficient time to run through each sequence.

  1. To cue the sound system to play the FYS/PSA, quickly but firmly press the Bell button once followed by 2 quick presses of the Whistle button while the engine is moving.
  2. Press the Direction button or drop and advance the throttle once to stop the engine. This will trigger the first sequence of FYS/PSA. The reverse unit is temporarily disabled so that the train will not move as you use the Direction button to trigger the sounds, and Proto-Sound 2.0 has disabled operator control over the Whistle and Bell buttons until the full FYS/PSA sequence is complete.
  3. After waiting about 30 seconds for that sequence to run, press the Direction button again to trigger the second sequence of FYS/PSA.
  4. After about 30 seconds, press the Direction button again to trigger the third FYS/PSA sequence.
  5. Again, after allowing about 30 seconds for that sequence to run, press the Direction button one more time to trigger the fourth and final FYS/PSA sequence. The FYS/PSA will continue, and within a few seconds, the engine will start and move out on its own at the current throttle setting, in the same direction it was traveling when you began the sequence with the bell ringing. Once the bell turns off, the operator regains control of the transformer’s bell and whistle buttons and can ring the bell or blow the whistle as usual.

Tips on Using FYS/PSA

  • You can terminate FYS/PSA at anytime by turning off power to the track for 15 seconds.
  • You do not have to be in Forward to use FYS/PSA. At the conclusion of the full sequence, the train will pull away from the station in whatever direction you were going when you activated the feature.
  • You can use FYS/PSA even if you are double-heading with another engine. If the second engine is not equipped with FYS/PSA at all, you must remember not to leave the throttle at a high voltage level once you have stopped the engine to run the FYS/PSA. Otherwise, the engine without FYS/PSA will begin vibrating on the track as its motors strain to move the train, since they cannot be automatically disabled during the FYS/PSA cycle. If the second engine is an original Proto-Sound engine equipped with FYS/PSA, you may choose to disable it when used in double-heading operations, so you will not experience competing FYS/PSA sounds. To disable FYS/PSA in an original Proto-Sound engine, see the operating instructions for that engine.
  • FYS/PSA can be triggered from Neutral. It will operate the same as if triggered while in motion except that, at the conclusion of the FYS/PSA, the engine will depart in the next direction of travel, as opposed to the direction it was traveling before entering Neutral.

Proto-Coupler® Operation

This locomotive is equipped with a (or two, depending on the engine) coil-wound Proto-Coupler for remote uncoupling action. Because the Proto-Coupler is controlled through the Proto-Sound 2.0 microprocessor, it does not require an uncoupling track section or modification to your layout to function. Use the codes shown below (and listed in the chart above) to fire the coupler.

Rear Coupler:

To fire the rear coupler, press the Bell button once followed immediately by three pushes of the Whistle button. The sound of the liftbar and air line depletion will play, and the knuckle will be released.

Front Coupler:

To fire the front coupler (if the engine has one), press the Bell button once followed immediately by four pushes of the Whistle button. The sound of the liftbar and air line depletion will play, and the knuckle will be released.

Speed Control:

M.T.H. engines equipped with Proto-Sound 2.0 have speed control capabilities that allow the engine to maintain a constant speed up and down grades and around curves, much like an automobile cruise control. You can add or drop cars on the run, and the engine will maintain the speed you set.

While the engine is programmed to start with the speed control feature activated, you can opt to turn it off. This means the engine’s speed will fall as it labors up a hill and increase as it travels downward. It is also affected by the addition or releasing of cars while on the run. To maintain a constant speed when speed control is turned off, you need to adjust track voltage yourself.

To turn speed control on and off, put the engine in neutral, then press the transformer’s Whistle button one time then immediately press the Bell button two times. Two horn blasts will indicate that the engine has made the change. Repeat the 1 whistle, 2 bells code to return it to the other condition. You will want to do this during the initial neutral upon start-up if you ever couple this engine to another engine that is not equipped with speed control to avoid damaging the motors in either engine. Each time you shut down the engine completely, it will automatically turn speed control on.

Note: When speed control is turned off, the Proto-Sound 2.0 system will limit the volume in order to operate more smoothly at lower voltages. Full volume is restored upon reactivating speed control.

Lock into a Direction:

You can lock your engine into a direction (forward, neutral, or reverse) to prevent it from changing directions. To do this, put the engine into the direction you want or into neutral, to lock it into neutral, run it at a very slow speed (< 10 scale mph), and quickly but firmly press your transformer’s or remote’s Whistle button once followed immediately by three presses of the Bell button. Two horn blasts will indicate that the engine has made the change. The engine will not change direction (including going into neutral) until you repeat the 1 whistle, 3 bells code to return the engine to its normal condition, even if the engine is kept without power for extended periods of time.

Reset to Factory Defaults:

To override the settings you currently have assigned to the engine and reset it to its factory defaults, while in Neutral press the Whistle button once, followed immediately by five quick pushes of the Bell button. Two horn blasts will indicate that the engine has made the change.

Automatic Sounds:

Certain Proto-Sound 2.0 sound effects automatically play in programmed conventional mode conditions:

  • Squealing Brakes play any time the engine’s speed decreases rapidly.
  • Cab Chatter plays when the engine idles in neutral.
  • Engine Start-up and Shut-down sounds play when the engine is initially powered on or is powered off for five seconds or more.