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I have one of the Lionel Culvert Unloaders (Model 345) that use the CAB-1 to make it operate. The loader has ONLY two connectors which are designed to be attached directly to the Transformer to get power.  There is apparently a version of the 345 that has 4 connectors ( 2 connect to a switch and 2 connect to the Transformer) but my model has only 2 connectors and is designed to be run with a CAB-1.

Trouble I am having is that when I Press ENG-1;ID#;BOOST on the CAB-1 the unloader works for a few seconds and then stops. I then have to press ENG-1; ID#; Boost on the CAB-1 again and the unloader responds for a few additional seconds and then stops. I have to keep repeating this process over and over to get the unloader to unload a single culvert. Is there a solution to this problem?

I also have the matching loader and in order to get it to work properly, I finally attached it to a switch. When I turn the switch on the loader picks up a culvert, moves across its rail, drops the culvert into the car and returns to get another culvert. This continues until i turn the switch to OFF. I do not need to use the CAB-1 at all - which is fine with me.

What I would like to do is use a switch to control the unloader. I attached one  of the unloaders connectors to the switch, the other unloader connector to the Transformer and finally I attached the other connector of the switch to the transformer. I thought this should work, since it worked with the Loader, but when I turn the switch ON nothing happens. Can you explain what I am doing wrong with this approach?

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@BarryW posted:

I have one of the Lionel Culvert Unloaders (Model 345) that use the CAB-1 to make it operate. The loader has ONLY two connectors which are designed to be attached directly to the Transformer to get power.  There is apparently a version of the 345 that has 4 connectors ( 2 connect to a switch and 2 connect to the Transformer) but my model has only 2 connectors and is designed to be run with a CAB-1.

Trouble I am having is that when I Press ENG-1;ID#;BOOST on the CAB-1 the unloader works for a few seconds and then stops. I then have to press ENG-1; ID#; Boost on the CAB-1 again and the unloader responds for a few additional seconds and then stops. I have to keep repeating this process over and over to get the unloader to unload a single culvert. Is there a solution to this problem?

I also have the matching loader and in order to get it to work properly, I finally attached it to a switch. When I turn the switch on the loader picks up a culvert, moves across its rail, drops the culvert into the car and returns to get another culvert. This continues until i turn the switch to OFF. I do not need to use the CAB-1 at all - which is fine with me.

What I would like to do is use a switch to control the unloader. I attached one  of the unloaders connectors to the switch, the other unloader connector to the Transformer and finally I attached the other connector of the switch to the transformer. I thought this should work, since it worked with the Loader, but when I turn the switch ON nothing happens. Can you explain what I am doing wrong with this approach?

There were various versions of these.  Do you have a Lionel # ?

The only number I have is that it is a 345 Culvert Unloader. There was one version that actually came with a switch and it had 4 Connectors. Two connectors went to the Transformer and two connectors went to a switch. This version apparently DID NOT use a CAB-1 to control it. I DO NOT have this version. Mine only comes with 2 connectors - meant to be attached to a transformer. What I was hoping to do was put a switch in the middle of that connection and then NOT use a CAB-1. Thus far I have not been successful and I was hoping someone in this forum might be able to help.

There were various versions of these.  Do you have a Lionel # ?

The only number I have is that it is a 345 Culvert Unloader. There was one version that actually came with a switch and it had 4 Connectors. Two connectors went to the Transformer and two connectors went to a switch. This version apparently DID NOT use a CAB-1 to control it. I DO NOT have this version. Mine only comes with 2 connectors - meant to be attached to a transformer. What I was hoping to do was put a switch in the middle of that connection and then NOT use a CAB-1. Thus far I have not been successful and I was hoping someone in this forum might be able to help.

Barry,

Here are the variants that seem to be out there:

  6-37952   Culver Unloader (Conventional)
  6-82003   Command Controlled Culvert Unloader (Command Only)
  6-12983   #345 Culvert Unloader - Conventional (Conventional)
  6-22975   345 Culvert Unloader - Command (Command or Conventional)

You must have Product No. 6-82003 because it's listed as command only.  The owner's manual (678-2030-250) for this variant is apparently not online, only by ordering a paper copy.  It probably wouldn't help to consult one of these anyway because this version appears to be command only.

There are also apparently no wiring diagrams available for this variant.

Taking it a step farther, looking up the parts lists for 6-82003 and 6-22975 shows that the two command versions have different electronics inside.  This means that you can't even use the 6-22975 to help you determine how to get yours to work the way you'd like it to.

Therefore the only way that you can successfully make this command-only version into a conventional-as-well version is to take it apart and find a way to electrically trigger unload cycles internally to the unit, and add wires out to an external switch to accomplish it.  The lack of a wiring diagram makes this much harder.

Conclusion: Difficult, but not impossible.

May be you should sell yours and buy one of the others?  All three of the others would do what you wish.

Mike

Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike

If you have the command only version it sounds like maybe you are using the incorrect buttons.  I know on my command sawmill, I have to enter Engine (then the number I set it to) , then use the 8 & 9 keys for on and off.  I bet the command only culvert works in a similar way. 

Did you buy it new?  Do you have the instruction book?  What Engine ID did you program it to?

The fact that it moves tells me its not the board. 

Thanks for the suggestion but it turns out that was not the issue. I saw a video on the WEB where the person was having a similar issue. It turns out that all I needed to do was move the Culvert car so so that it was in line with the second culvert and not the first culvert. When lined up so that the first culvert in the car would be lifted out, it turns out that the car would not fully block the infra red light that is required to make the unit operate. Apparently, since that is the lowest point of the car, the light was not being correctly blocked and therefore the unit would turn on and off. Seems really strange but by moving the car up just a bit, the unit is operating as expected. Thanks again, for trying to help!!

@BarryW posted:

Thanks for the suggestion but it turns out that was not the issue. I saw a video on the WEB where the person was having a similar issue. It turns out that all I needed to do was move the Culvert car so so that it was in line with the second culvert and not the first culvert. When lined up so that the first culvert in the car would be lifted out, it turns out that the car would not fully block the infra red light that is required to make the unit operate. Apparently, since that is the lowest point of the car, the light was not being correctly blocked and therefore the unit would turn on and off. Seems really strange but by moving the car up just a bit, the unit is operating as expected. Thanks again, for trying to help!!

That makes sense. Glad you got it working, they are so cool yo watch in operation.

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