I was looking just today at the Cruise M for use in a project. Just out of curiosity, did you originally connect the Railsounds Commander and the Cruise M in parallel, so they both feed from the R2LC, or did you use the Serial Data Out on the Cruise M (pin 2 on J4) to feed the Railsounds Commander?
An odd issue cropped up here today, and after chasing it down, I thought others might be interested in the solution. I'm installing a Cruise Commander M and the new ERR RailSounds Commander in a diesel. I'm specifically using the CC-M so I can use the ditch light feature, I used a simple motherboard for the R2LC and just custom cabled it. All was going just great until it came time to do the first test! I fired it up, programmed it, and flipped the switch to run. Everything seemed fine,...
First I connected them in parallel, then I tried the serial-out on the CC-M, didn't work. That's when I broke out the 'scope to see why. I didn't check the serial-out with the 'scope, but wired directly to the RS Commander, it acted like it wasn't there. The CC-M worked fine, so it was getting serial data. I think the new CC-M that's the "universal" one has no problem with the parallel connection, this was the earlier version. I had several that were still in the wrap from several years ago.
Yep, I used pin 20 for the 5V power and pin 24 for the serial data. The output of the buffer feeds the RS Commander. With that installed, everything works fine, and the serial data has an additional volt + of amplitude, obviously the RS Commander imposes more of a load than I'd expect for a new product. I'm guessing it's feeding an opto-isolator as the rest of the circuit's DC ground is NOT common with the frame ground like TMCC.
Of course they are Marty. What I said was the new RS Commander doesn't have DC common and frame ground connected. The RS Commander has a full wave rectifier directly after the track power comes in, so any attempt to ground any pin but the incoming power pin will allow the magic smoke to escape. That is different than the R2LC that uses a half-wave rectifier and has it's DC signal common the same as frame ground (wheels)
George, you did see that I said these were the previous version of the CC-M, right? This also happens on the TMCC back-EMF driver from Lionel parts, I tried that one as well, same problem. Like I said, I have used the new "universal" ones without issue in the same configuration. I am curious what is different about the serial data output, I'll have to look at that some day. I figured that would solve the problem, but the RS Commander acted like the serial data wasn't there when I connected that.
John, This was the fix for the IR tethered version. You sure you had the correct CC-M. The new ones have the attenuated signal. This is not suppose to happen on a diesel. I have not seen this issue occur on diesels. Maybe a bad ERR RS Cdr? G
Interesting, I have a repair in form Len B on this here forum that is showing an intermittent issue that is exactly these symptoms. I have yet to be able to replicate the issue after several running sessions
No I did not see a call out on version, but since this is diesel I would not have thought it would matter except the new RS from ERR seem to need a stronger signal. I think this is an issue with the Sound CDR requiring a stronger signal, and I think that is what they must have modified on the new CC-M. Even the older board for dummies no longer supports Rail Sounds with the newer sound board. G
I suspect my little emitter follower may be more useful than I imagined. Now that I see how easy it it to whack one together, that will no longer be an issue. Of course, for the dummy locomotive board would have the issue of finding a source of 5V to power the circuit. It's clearly the sound board that is stepping on the signal, it drops the amplitude of the serial data from a bit over 4V p-p to around 3v p-p.
I couldn't find the reference to the ERR solution, since it was an independent invention, it's my solution. I thought that ERR only had issues with the wireless tether, I didn't realize they had issues with an all wired solution.
Sure you have it, you gave me a an old copy of the diagram. Boxcar Bill had posted at one point. They do have issues with some board sets not working with newer 5.0 sound sets. Mini CDR EX is one. Would drive 4.0, but not the new ones now. CC-M also. So the "solution" which amplifies Serial Data is certainly going to fix any of these issues I think. G
I use John's method. Use a sharp pointed tip and try to keep it on the component lead. The traces on the R2LC do lift easily. I have used braid also but only when suction fails to remove all the excess solder. Gary is right though about using too much pressure with braid. That will surely lift the trace. If possible cut the leads off the component before trying to unsolder them. That allows removal one lead at a time vs trying to melt three leads on a triac or other component while pulling. Pete
A trick I use with the small R2LC triacs as well as other similar parts, is to bend the bad part back and forth and leave the leads in the board with a bit sticking out. Then I put the board in my vice and hang a clamp on an individual wire and just touch the other side with the iron. The wire drops out easily. Repeat that will all the wires, then it's much easier to clean out the holes for the new component. I've seen people try to desolder them with the leads in the holes, that's harder.
I haven't gotten to need to use it yet. Some of the reviews I read look pretty positive. The negative comments have to do with wear issues rather than how it works when they get it. As an occasional user, I don't worry too much about wearing it out. We shall see how it goes...
I've used the Soldapullt and a smaller workalike one forever. So I kind of wanted to try one of these vacuum pump ones. I'm not over the price yet. I kind of decided it's like buying half a set of passenger cars...that helps a little.
Other than occasionally replacing the triacs and/or the 5V regulator, I usually don't do any other repairs to these. For the triacs (the most common repair item), I use a Soldapult and my Hakko soldering station.
Guys, the R2LC boards are getting old. They are short money and not worth wasting time to repair them. A call to Lionel and you will have a new one in three days or so. I use new R2LC boards often doing repairs. If you want to repair one for yourself, follow the outline John has conversed about. A bad R2LC board is very easy to diagnose. I pull the board and throw it in my Lionel board tester. If bad, it goes into the bad board box and I throw a new R2LC in the tester and program it for the...
I wouldn't use braid. purchase a electronic desoldering tool, like the one listed above. Do not press hard on the board as you will lift the eyelits and then it's toast. I hate it teaching young electronic tech pups, not to press and they do it anyway and destroy boards. Ohyeah, use flux
Like I said Marty, I fix the simple stuff, usually the triacs where someone shorts an output to the frame and kills them. As for more internal issues, then I tend to agree with your analysis, just buy a new one. I'll gladly take old ones with bad triacs and repair them.
John, due to the test of time I have been seeing a few more bad R2 boards than in past years. I have seen some bad code 11 found in the JLC GG-1 locomotives. I always do the AUX-1 ## reset on all engines with the R2 boards. I strongly suggest members save your reply somewhere as they may need it some day.
Well, you got me. What is the difference between Aux1, ## "reset" and "reprograming" for TMCC or Legacy? I always thought a "reset" was Aux1 0 which really just put the engine back in a neutral direction state. Reprogramming the R2LC is resetting the Microprocessor function; or am I missing something? It should be the first trouble shooting step with an engine that can communicate with the Command Base? Go to the instruction book and look at the programming code and follow instructions. It...
G, the Lionel guys have their secret handshake just like the MTH guys. So secret that neither Mike Wolf nor Howard Hitchcock know what it is. Kinda like the Code Talkers in WWII. No one knows what the other is saying. Pete
Pete, no secret handshake. When the restore/reprogram information is printed in the owners manual of the engines you buy, that is not much of a secret. Both MTH and Lionel have never had any issue with repair tech guys sharing information and helping anyone on the Forum. Any problem fixed here is one less repair in the MTH or Lionel shop. Over time, members figure who to listen to and seek advice. I have my few favorite guys I follow. I have no problem sharing anything that can help an OGR...
I also keep a stock of R2LCs in stock as well. Many C08, and a couple C11, & C13. Also keep a few spare audio boards and always check for loose chips on the sound boards... I've seen numerous engines come in for bad smoke ouput and it turns out the R2LC has been programmed for light beacon instead of the smoke unit. Re-programming to correct profile as mentioned above fixes the problem. Jim
It's in most manuals, but it did get missed in a few, mainly ones from the late 1990's. Also, I don't think any of the LCRU2-based locomotives ever contained the restore instructions, even though most of the same codes apply. TRW
Pete, I know that. The cab 1 and Cab 2 can both be used to reprogram the R2LC boards. Jim I see that often. Whenever I get an older TMCC that has not been run for a while, the first thing I do is reprogram the R2LC and move on down the line. Many times doing the R2LC can put you right back in the ballpark and that ends the problem. As mentioned earlier, I am starting to see more of the R2LC boards failing. Like many other boards, they are getting old.
John, it shocks me how many do not know about the AUX-1 and how important it is. We see engines that have sat for an extended period of time that do need the AUX-1. I had a guy about two years ago tell me he never heard of that and he thought I was making it up. Again, READ THE BOOK.
Modular board TMCC using an R2LC has a list of restore numbers that are used with the R2LC. Any R2LC board needs it's identity to be put in after the AUX-1. The same R2 board can be used for a few different engines. At the back of every engine manual is a section to restore features and it will give the number to be used following AUX-1 then engine number then needed code. Example if the engine is number 10. Slide program switch to program. Then press ENGINE 10 SET. Then ENGINE 10 AUX-1 THEN...
John I was teasing about this statement you made much further up "You are right, of course, you should always do the AUX1,## reset anytime you program one." Using AUX1 and the appropriate programming code is the only way to program a R2LC or reset it if you want to use that term. It seemed like a confusing statement to me, and the hash tag to those that do not understand it is a 1 or 2 digit number. G
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