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0C5306F4-E56B-48A3-808C-0C9BFB70CA9F59342483-8DF6-4909-AF08-C21369517C7BI

I have a 3rdRail steam locomotives with a bad chuff switch that I wanted to replace with a reed switch in the tender. I bought the chuff magnet and reed switch kit from ERR/3rdRail. Everything is connected and powered as the diagram indicates, except that I disconnected  the “Chuff In” on the Cruise  Commander board. Prior to adding power, I got a good continuity from the reed switch and  magnet while rotating the tender wheels. Also, I had continuity from the included JST on the sound board. However, connecting the reed switch leads to the sound board, adding power, all other TMCC sounds works except the sensor trigger from the reed switch.

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Last edited by WinstonB
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You have two options for connecting chuff with the ERR stuff. I would verify where the cherry switches are connected. They could be wired to the CC board or directly to the sound board like your diagram. Sort of looks like you hooked up the reed/magnets to the sound board judging by the photo. You certainly don’t want both chuff inputs on both boards being used.

I’d try to fix the cherry switches in any case instead of the tender wheel setup. Continuity test them and verify the wiring through the 2/4 chuff selector switch. I have an L1s Mikado with this setup. Can’t remember what board they used for chuff though.

Norm, Thanks for your recommendations. That’ll be my project this weekend. l’ve already emailed Scott for info on the switch. Three ERR boards: Cruise Commander v4.5, R4LC, and RailSound commander. One of the first things I did was to unplug the Chuff In connection on the Cruise Commander from the chuff switch.

Last edited by WinstonB

I’ve learned this the hard way before……if your new set up on the tender axle has too close a spacing, when the axle turns it acts like one continuous ground, and you’ll get no chuff. Chuff in is looking for that nice clean break between open and closed to chassis ground. OTOH, I’ve had cherry switches go bad, and keep a closed ground….with the same result, no chuff,……I’d agree with Norm, and fix the cherry switch issue you’re having,….

Pat

It might be worth looking a little closer at the cams too. Not sure how far you went in decommissioning them and their associated wiring. Here's a couple shots of my PRR L1s. I'm pretty sure they are just using the selector switch in series with one of the switches to disable it for 2 chuffs. The cams are 90deg out of phase so when they are both enabled you get your 4 chuffs. They are adjustable with tiny setscrews so I would check to see if one or both slipped out of phase and/or lateral alignment. Changing the chuff select may yield a clue. If yours was connected to the CC board, then this circuit grounds the chuff input. They may have picked up ground anywhere along the way or ran the wire back to one of the CC's common connections.

Nice thing about this setup - it gives a solid 4 chuffs when in working order without extra hardware. It can also be phased to match crankpin angle if you're insane about that stuff like I am.

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Last edited by Norm Charbonneau

It might be worth looking a little closer at the cams too. Not sure how far you went in decommissioning them and their associated wiring.

I only went so far as to remove the two switches to eliminate any friction they offered and wired my Chuff-Generator in to replace them. Note that this was on request from a customer, and he was not interested is "saving" the switch option. Unless it's a truly foolish option, I'm not in the business of arguing a customer out of his desires.

John I was talking to the OP. Save those cams though!

Looking closer at my cam photo, it looks as if one might be 4 lobe and the other a 2 lobe. That would make the selector switch a SPDT. Maybe I’ll take a closer look tomorrow.

I believe you are correct on the dual cam lobe numbers. On my 2-10-4, the left cam appears to be phased with the right. I reconnected everything and was able to get chuffs in the 2 chuff position but not in 4 chuff position. The chuff switch above the right cam does not spring back out. Looks like the plunger trigger is stuck inward causing a constant ground in the 4chuff position. So, a SPDT would make sense. Curious, I thought 2 chuffs meant 0 and 180, mine gives chuffs at 0 and 360.

Last edited by WinstonB

If it were giving chuffs at 0 and 360, that would only be one chuff!

That’s my point exactly. Only one chuff per driver revolution. When I manually activate the good chuff switch, it triggers a chuff each time. I need to examine the cam. I have an old Lionel Consolidation, with the lever that’s pushed by the side rods moving forward that does the same thing, by design.

@WinstonB posted:



0C5306F4-E56B-48A3-808C-0C9BFB70CA9F59342483-8DF6-4909-AF08-C21369517C7BI

I have a 3rdRail steam locomotives with a bad chuff switch that I wanted to replace with a reed switch in the tender. I bought the chuff magnet and reed switch kit from ERR/3rdRail. Everything is connected and powered as the diagram indicates, except that I disconnected  the “Chuff In” on the Cruise  Commander board. Prior to adding power, I got a good continuity from the reed switch and  magnet while rotating the tender wheels. Also, I had continuity from the included JST on the sound board. However, connecting the reed switch leads to the sound board, adding power, all other TMCC sounds works except the sensor trigger from the reed switch.

First thing I would do is checking the connections. It is very easy to be one screw to far and poof nothing.

@WinstonB posted:

That’s my point exactly. Only one chuff per driver revolution. When I manually activate the good chuff switch, it triggers a chuff each time. I need to examine the cam. I have an old Lionel Consolidation, with the lever that’s pushed by the side rods moving forward that does the same thing, by design.

Sorry I didn’t get to looking closer at my L1s yesterday. Got the Q1 in the way at the moment. My curiosity is piqued though and I never realized the cams were bolt-ons. This engine has been very trouble-free so I haven’t been into the engine yet. I do need to adjust the chuff phasing though as it triggers on the 45s.

I’ll bet Scott has that switch available as a spare part or if not, Digi-Key would.

I got to looking at my L1s finally, and yes the cams are different. One is a 4 lobe, the other 2. In fact, I was able to phase mine a little better to the crankpin by loosening the setscrews and advancing it a bit  (it was triggering on the 45s). You might be able to see the lobe in line with the back of the crankpin.  I am utterly obsessed with this since I filmed the 765 up close last fall at the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic RR doing its 'chuff show' - those guys are really cool for doing that! In any case, it might be worth seeing if your cams are actually aligned with the microswitch. There's a bit of lateral movement in my drivers and if it went over far enough I could see how the switch might not align with the cam. Also verified the chuff input is going to the CC board and not the sound board. The sound board requires a floated input, where the CC switches chuff to ground. Hope this helps!

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