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I was running my 3rd Rail UP 2-8-0 w/ Vanderbilt Tender. I noticed 2 issues while running. The backup light on tender eas no longer Illuminating and no smoke coming from Suethe Smoke Unit. I did make sure the smoke switch eas in the "on" position.

I emailed Scott Mann for parts availability, but have not heard back yet. It is an older model, so I suspect he will not have the needed parts.

Does anyone know if there was a standard LED used for backup light an smoke unit? I checked Ebay and there are numerous different Suethe Smoke Units. Any shops out there that make these repairs, if I can't get it done?

Joe Gozzo

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On 3rd Rail’s website, there are three warranty/upgrade/repair centers listed. Not sure how up to date that list is but the parts you refer to are likely to be standard and it’s a matter of figuring out what they are and sourcing the equivalent. I don’t know the year of manufacture of this model but it might have an old EOB control board, which is not easy to replace/service except by an expert if there’s a problem with it.

Suethe units are not hard to replace* and the backup light may be an incandescent bulb. Dunno the voltage supplied to it but it would not be a big deal to replace once you find out.

*Having said that, from memory the unit is soldered to the power supply and you might have to take off the boiler shell to get at it. Scott can walk you through the process if you have not done it before but these models were not meant to be taken apart!

Last edited by Hancock52

Virtually all the brass locomotive Seuthe smoke units are a 6V rating, and the regulator used will invariably be a 6V regulator.

Give me a toot if you need a replacement Seuthe smoker for that locomotive, I have  few of them.  As others have said, the backup light is likely to be an incandescent and not an LED.

You can test the Seuthe smoke unit by applying 6 volts, AC or DC to it.  However, do NOT put more than 6V on it, that likely will kill it.  You can also just measure the resistance of the smoke unit, the 6V one should have about 7 to 8 ohms resistance if it's good.

Last edited by gunrunnerjohn
@Hancock52 posted:

On 3rd Rail’s website, there are three warranty/upgrade/repair centers listed. Not sure how up to date that list is but the parts you refer to are likely to be standard and it’s a matter of figuring out what they are and sourcing the equivalent. I don’t know the year of manufacture of this model but it might have an old EOB control board, which is not easy to replace/service except by an expert if there’s a problem with it.

Suethe units are not hard to replace* and the backup light may be an incandescent bulb. Dunno the voltage supplied to it but it would not be a big deal to replace once you find out.

*Having said that, from memory the unit is soldered to the power supply and you might have to take off the boiler shell to get at it. Scott can walk you through the process if you have not done it before but these models were not meant to be taken apart!

Thank you sir I missed that on the website and when Scott Mann got back to me the 1st time he did not mention that so I will check it out

Joe

@harmonyards posted:

Another way to look at it, opportunity is knocking, …..seuthe smoke units are kinda lame compared to today’s innovations ….you might consider upgrading to fan smoke and other cool features if not so equipped,…..many techs on this forum can assist you with such upgrades, and recommend a course of action….

Pat

Pat,

I like your idea of a fan driven smoke unit however I'm not sure that's something that I could conquer and I was really trying to stay away from having to ship the locomotive to a repair center just because the simple cost of freight right now back-and-forth but I will definitely take a look at

Joe

Virtually all the brass locomotive Seuthe smoke units are a 6V rating, and the regulator used will invariably be a 6V regulator.

Give me a toot if you need a replacement Seuthe smoker for that locomotive, I have  few of them.  As others have said, the backup light is likely to be an incandescent and not an LED.

You can test the Seuthe smoke unit by applying 6 volts, AC or DC to it.  However, do NOT put more than 6V on it, that likely will kill it.  You can also just measure the resistance of the smoke unit, the 6V one should have about 7 to 8 ohms resistance if it's good.

Thanks John I may look you up to see if I can get one of your awesome smoke units and see what it takes to replace that backup unit it really looks like an LED and not an incandescent I'll try to take a picture of it and post it here thanks

Joe

Virtually all the brass locomotive Seuthe smoke units are a 6V rating, and the regulator used will invariably be a 6V regulator.

Give me a toot if you need a replacement Seuthe smoker for that locomotive, I have  few of them.  As others have said, the backup light is likely to be an incandescent and not an LED.

You can test the Seuthe smoke unit by applying 6 volts, AC or DC to it.  However, do NOT put more than 6V on it, that likely will kill it.  You can also just measure the resistance of the smoke unit, the 6V one should have about 7 to 8 ohms resistance if it's good.

John, Here is backup light.

Joe20220528_092737

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Pat,

I just finished upgrading a Camelback to CC and RS, that was a shoehorn and prayer that I am not sure I want to tackle again.

I am prepping though to upgrade a pair of early MTH Northern premiers with GRJ Super Chuffer, CG, CC and RS and I am very much looking forward to the roomy spaces the Northern offers.

@Bob posted:

Except that working in/with Vanderbilt tenders is a royal PITA.

I just did three ERR upgrades on 3rd Rail locomotives with the Vanderbilt tender, and I have one more to go, all for the same customer.  I can assure you, they're a PITA!  However, it's not quite like a ship in a bottle, the bottom frame does drop out and allow you to work on it.  There are some designs, I think maybe a weaver or Williams, that you did indeed have to work from one end.

@Ron_S posted:

Pat,

I just finished upgrading a Camelback to CC and RS, that was a shoehorn and prayer that I am not sure I want to tackle again.

I am prepping though to upgrade a pair of early MTH Northern premiers with GRJ Super Chuffer, CG, CC and RS and I am very much looking forward to the roomy spaces the Northern offers.

Ain’t no room in a Widow-maker,…..I bet that was a shoehorn fit,…..you should do a build thread on it, ….that’d be interesting to see that stuff crammed in there,….

Pat

Out of curiosity I tried looking this model up and could only find that it dates from the 1980s. So it's pre-command and, AFAIK, Railsounds (?). Not sure what kind of reversing unit would be in there. Judging not only by the tender photo but also the red (?) class lights on the front in another photo and the age, I'd say those must be incandescent bulbs.

I am not asking to be educated on the front lights!

Last edited by Hancock52
@harmonyards posted:

Ain’t no room in a Widow-maker,…..I bet that was a shoehorn fit,…..you should do a build thread on it, ….that’d be interesting to see that stuff crammed in there,….

I've put the CC-M in a few Lionel Camelbacks, it's a real treat!  It doesn't fit because it's a bit longer than the DCDR, but the big issue is the connectors are in a different place, and you have to remove several from the MB and sky-wire it.

Pat,

I did it for a friend and have given it back to him. It was a MTH CNJ model.

I put the CC in the front of the tender with RS board double sided taped onto R4LC and a razor thin speaker on the slotted circle. By using the reed switch, it snugged in and surprisingly had no rubbing issues. I did have to redo the engine 10 pin harness, there was a funky 14 gauge wire added on the blue engine power wire that would not tuck in anywhere. 

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Train lover:

Something unexpected happened to me with a Sunset 3rd Rails steam engine I bought used.  It had an ERR upgrade already and when I changed the engine's address (the #), the backup light on the tender stopped working.  I gave up looking for that problem and continued reprogramming that engine which you always should do after resetting the address on these engines, as there's a setting for the motor:  large or small.  This is a pretty big northern type and when I set the motor size to large.....guess what?  the tender light worked again.  I don't know for sure because I didn't repeat that sequence just to verify.  But, it's with looking at if you have recently reset your engine's address.

Phil

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