Large Scale Central

Phoenix sound/Airwire problem

i bought an SD70 several years ago that had been converted to battery with an Airwire G3 decoder and Phoenix sound P5 card. The sound was always a little iffy, especially when the battery was low. Recently it stopped working altogether. I remover the sound card and had it tested and it tested fine. I reinstalled it and turned it on and nothing. The Loco wouldn’t even run. I disconnected the sound and the loco ran fine. I then reconnected the sound card while the loco was on and the sound came on and worked great. Problem solved, right? not quite. When I turned the Loco off and turned it on again, I got nothing, no sound no wheels turning. Thinking I was doing something wrong, I repeated the process several times with the same result. The sound card has 4 wires coming out of the C1 plug, two to the speaker and two to the DCC ports on the top center of the card. All the wiring diagrams I have seen show 6 wires, with the missing two going to the battery. But it seemed to work without those two. Does anybody have any idea how to fix this? I’d hate to toss a working card.

It would appear that from what you described the P5 is getting its power through the DCC leads from the G3. Iffy at best. The alternate and better way to wire would be to power the P5 direct from the battery. I think it will solve your problem. That would be the extra two leads that you describe. Take a look at your P5 manual or go to the Phoenix website for a copy. The on off switches to the P5 could be considered optional. You could get your battery power by connecting piggyback to the power inputs on the G3 and then over to the P5. Your main power switch would then control power to both units. PM me or respond here if you have questions.

can this be done with the four wires I have or do I need a new plug with six wires?

You will need all six leads. Been awhile since I worked with a P5. I’m guessing your P5 plug does not have the two power leads. Phoenix could send you a new one with all six leads, probably no charge but getting any contact with them lately is difficult. Way back in my foggy past I think I did just that to get a new plug. Maybe somebody can step in here with an idea on how you can come up with a new one.

Thanks Paul, I appreciate the help. If anyone out there know where I can get a P5 plug, please let me know.

Phoenix has been hard to contact lately. Maybe good old snail mail might work. You wouldn’t even need a new plug. Just the leads with the connector on them that would snap into the existing plug just like the other four leads.

Thanks Paul, I emailed them earlier, but I’ll try to call them tomorrow, if no luck, I’ll send a letter too.

I finally got around to calling Robby at RLD. he is out of Phoenix connectors and said Phoenix is out of business and is not supplying any parts or products. So, if anyone has a Phoenix P5 p[lug or two leads that will fit in the plug I would be happy to buy it/them from you.

I just went through my junk box. I found a couple Phoenix connectors with a couple leads on them that might be what you need. PM me.

It looks like Paul may have your solution, but if that does not pan out we need to figure out the brand/model of the connector. Once that is known, sourcing them should not be too hard. You might need to buy 10 or more to get one, but this stuff is usually pretty cheap these days.

Would someone with one of these connectors please post a few photos?
Top, bottom front, and maybe rear…

Pin to pin spacing is also important. The same style connector often comes in both metric and imperial dimensions.

Looking at a P5 manual it looks like some flavor of JST connector:

I think I have what Tom needs.

If this were my problem, and I didn’t have Paul to help me out, here’s a few things that come to mind FWIW.

If there’s any part marking, and if that leads to a specific JST connector (they make a buzillion styles), I’ve had luck going to their site and ordering. I couldn’t make the min order, but they have (or at least did a few years ago) a “request samples” button. I clicked that, and before long I had 10 free connectors.

If there’s no part marking, maybe Phoenix has online documents mentioning it?

Last resort, use a digital caliper to get all the interface dimensions (spacing, pin size, housing dims, etc.) and try to hunt down several similar ones on Digikey or Allied Electronics or Jamco (etc.). Spec sheets, with dimensions, are usually available. But can be really time consuming. Digikey lets you put in parameters like pin spacing and count and sometimes size, that helps.

But fortunately, you have Paul, haha!

thanks Cliff, I’ll keep this in mind.

Thanks, Steve. I’ll give it a look.

IMO, the best option is to order on of the “variety kits” from Amazon, once you have identified the proper
connector. For the same money you end up with a “lifetime supply”, and probably have any pin count you might need in the future.

Be aware that there are a bazillion chinese sellers out there, some good, some bad. The real thing comes from JST Japan.

Also be aware that crimping the pins to the wire can be very difficult. You want a good tool. You can find pre-crimped wires on Amazon.

The problem has been solved thanks to Paul Burch. He sent me two leads that fit into my plug and I reinstalled the sound card. Everything is working great. A big thanks to Paul, and thanks to everyone else on this chain for their interest and great ideas.

For anyone else picking up this thread, the following information (received from Jim at Phoenix) regarding the connector types might be helpful:

The connector that fits to the board is a JST ZH, series, 1.5mm pitch crimped connector available from Digi-Key:

ZHR-4 connector:

Crimp Terminals:

The downside is the cost of the WC-491 crimping tool for this:
TOOL HAND CRIMPER 26-28AWG SIDE <new users can only input 2 links, sorry>

Just curious. How long ago was it that you got that info from Phoenix? I have been under the impression that they are out of business. Although not verified.