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You want to use a Cruise M to replace the existing motor driver. You don’t need the full blown Cruise Commander. You may run into an issue where you lose signal to the tender as the Cruise M draws some current away from the serial data line that drives the drawbar LED. One way around this is to get a three wire IR LED from Lionel which has a buffer circuit. Others have come up with their own solutions to this.

Pete

I just use my serial data buffer and leave all the drawbar stuff alone.  Just connect the yellow lead to the serial data going to the Cruise Commander M, and the others to the listed R2LC socket pins, and job done.

This insures that the CC-M gets good serial data, and leaves the other wiring and signal levels just as it was before the installation.

FWIW, I have exactly the same locomotive, and I used this as well as installing my Chuff-Generator and Super-Chuffer II, this gives me 4-chuffs/rev, chuffing smoke, smoke at idle, Rule-17 LED headlight, and automatic cab light control.

Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

GunrunnerJohn, the chuffer answers my next question, how did you know I was thinking about that too?  The links led me to the chuffer, but I didn't see a link to purchase the data buffer.  How do I order that?

So, if I take Pete's suggestion that I only need Cruise M, use the data buffer and chuffer from JW&A, I'll be set.  Am I following correctly?

Thanks!

@Burl posted:

GunrunnerJohn, the chuffer answers my next question, how did you know I was thinking about that too?  The links led me to the chuffer, but I didn't see a link to purchase the data buffer.  How do I order that?

Drop me an email to my profile address, I make the serial data buffers on demand, and I just sell them personally.

@Burl posted:

So, if I take Pete's suggestion that I only need Cruise M, use the data buffer and chuffer from JW&A, I'll be set.  Am I following correctly?

Correct, the CC-M and the serial data buffer are all you need to upgrade that locomotive to cruise.  The Super-Chuffer II and Chuff-Generator I added to mine give me all the enhancements I mentioned.

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