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Hi, Guys.   Well, I picked up this used engine and it runs well but a couple of things are bugging me.

There is a slide switch below the cab marked as M/L and it's beyond me what that's supposed to do.  The manual wasn't in the box and I am flying blind here. This thing has TMCC and it works perfectly from all I can tell.

Another thing is the mars light/signal light.  The white one strobes when the engine is in forward regardless if the engine is moving or not.   The red one flickers only when the engine is moving in reverse and becomes more intense the faster the engine goes.  That sure doesn't seem right.  Got me why it's doing that.

Another issue is that the tether has seen better days and I am replacing the molex plug and the pins because they had been repaired previously and not very professionally.  

There is a switch in the tender for "cruise" which has had the wires snipped off and removed leaving me wondering WTH?  There are 2 wires chopped off at the Molex plug (tether) and I haven't the foggiest what they were for.

Any help here will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Phil

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Do you know what year this model is from? If you have the box it should say. The only one I have seen dates from 2003.

The snipped wires are not unusual in a 3rd Rail model - all of mine have them, which I have always assumed reflects the fact that 3rd Rail had some different electronic components from standard TMCC. I think that these were early ERR. Plus some steamers had TAS EOB rather than Odyssey.

The Mars Light function has me stumped as the only one I have with anything similar (an FEF-3) doesn’t function in the way you describe, but I can see that if it’s connected to the motor circuit, it might increase in intensity with speed. As TMCC did not always have a Mars Light output, unlike some DCC boards, but usually a separate lighting PCB, the function might have been included based on an ad hoc wiring method.

You can always ask Scott Mann himself via email if you need more help.

Last edited by Hancock52
@Phil McCaig posted:

Hi, Guys.   Well, I picked up this used engine and it runs well but a couple of things are bugging me.

There is a slide switch below the cab marked as M/L and it's beyond me what that's supposed to do.

Just going from memory, that slide-switch turns the Mars Light ON or OFF, i.e. "M/L" = Mars Light.

The manual wasn't in the box and I am flying blind here. This thing has TMCC and it works perfectly from all I can tell.

Another thing is the mars light/signal light.  The white one strobes when the engine is in forward regardless if the engine is moving or not.  

Correct.

The red one flickers only when the engine is moving in reverse and becomes more intense the faster the engine goes.  That sure doesn't seem right.  Got me why it's doing that.

Well, in the real prototype world, the RED portion of the Lars Light only turns on when the air brakes go into emergency, or the Engineer manually turns on the RED when stopped on a multi-track station. However, in the model locomotive world, there are no air brakes to "go into emergency", so the RED light turns on when backing up in order to show "RED to the rear". Thus, your model is doing what it was designed to do.

Another issue is that the tether has seen better days and I am replacing the molex plug and the pins because they had been repaired previously and not very professionally.  

There is a switch in the tender for "cruise" which has had the wires snipped off and removed leaving me wondering WTH?

That was probably for conventional operation, and with EOB (Engineer On Board, from the old Train America Studios) TMCC control it wasn't needed. Thus, the previous oner disabled the switch.

There are 2 wires chopped off at the Molex plug (tether) and I haven't the foggiest what they were for.

Any help here will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Phil

Hotwater.  This engine actually doesn't have a switch for 2/4 chuffs.  My 3rd Rail CB&Q Mikado has that and has to be from a later production run.  The O5 has a magnet epoxied to the inside of one wheel of the tender and a pickup is wired to that location from the TMCC setup.  It looks to be an addition after the manufacture of this engine because the person simply drilled a hole and shoved the 2 wires through without any sort of protection against chafing.  I reamed out the hole and fitted a grommet there.  I also fabbed a cleat to keep the wires away from the wheels.

I was thinking of adding another magnet if I can find one that small.

Phil

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