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Though I run trains with my DCS controller I find my 20 year old Cab 1 very convenient for programming, especially building the many multiple unit consists I operate. Over time though I’ve noticed the key pad buttons have become less responsive. The all-important “set” button is the worst, often requiring multiple very firm pushes to function.

Is there a maintenance fix for this, perhaps contacts or something that need cleaning inside? If so what’s involved?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or suggestions.

RM

Last edited by Rich Montague
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Related topic with some cleaning tips and suggestions https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/topic/tmcc-cab-1-issue

And then from this similar topic https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/topic/79142442409597504

If that doesn't fix the key pads, you can go for the silver bullet.   This renews the conductive pad on the rubber keypad contact surface.



The bad part is, reviewing those topics, there may in the past have been more detailed topics but the links are broken indicating the posts may have been removed. Common problem with forums- they are valid for a point in time but over time information is often lost or forgotten, external links broken.

Because the CAB-1 and many remotes use rubber conductive pads, they all kind of need cleaning over time and eventually with enough use wear the conductive pad part of the "switch". Youtube has tons of videos and the concept is basically the same https://www.youtube.com/result...mote+button+cleaning

I'm doubting that "set" got used so much it's worn. More likely it's just dirty being near the bottom of the remote and just needs cleaned.

Also, just a note, you can buy the rubber replacement keypad for your DCS remote.

Good luck finding a new keypad for the long discontinued Cab-1. Just saying, take care of it, clean it, don't leave the batteries to leak in it, and hopefully your CAB-1 can hang on a little longer.

And, that's another sore point on the CAB-1 I am aware of because I've had to repair my fair share.

The 3 places on a CAB-1 are:

  • the antenna getting broken or the connection,
  • the battery tray contacts (between corrosion and just not a strong design over time) getting loose or failing to make good battery contact,
  • and the rubber conductive buttons.

I was told that North Lima had some of the battery tray contacts at one point, but their website is down and has been down for a while.

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The 3 places on a CAB-1 are:

  • the antenna getting broken or the connection,
  • the battery tray contacts (between corrosion and just not a strong design over time) getting loose or failing to make good battery contact,
  • and the rubber conductive buttons.

I was told that North Lima had some of the battery tray contacts at one point, but their website is down and has been down for a while.

The Keypad-Fix mentioned above works like magic to fix the buttons.  There is also an easy, inexpensive fix for the battery contacts.

The little spring tabs that press against the "-" pole of the battery do get weak or break off in time.  The fix is to buy a sheet of 0.008" thick "hard phosphor bronze."

photo1

Cut a small piece as shown.  It's easy to cut with regular scissors.  Make a dent in the center using a center punch, Phillips screwdriver head, or whatever you want.

photo2

Here's the other side of the dent.  The raised center of the new piece will take the place of the original spring tab.  Note the top corners are cut off.  This is so the new piece will fit in the battery compartment and clear the sliding cover.

photo3

Place the new piece as shown (clipped corners on top), install batteries and enjoy continued Cab-1 use.  The battery will wedge the new piece against the contact plate at the end of the compartment.

photo4

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@BobbyD posted:

Sadly I've noticed that with a lot of Lionel parts John.

As to the button issue, why do so many refuse to just touch them and instead attempt to push it all the way through the remote?

Because some remotes, even when new, require you to push the button out the back side before they respond.  Some only require you to do so with some of their buttons.         j

@Bob posted:

The Keypad-Fix goop fixes that problem.

I bought a lifetime supply of keypad goop many years ago. However you should not have to use the goop on a new remote. Wiping the contact pads down with denatured alcohol on the printed circuit board most often fixes the problem on new remotes.   I just despise having to crack open a remote especially the ones which snap together.       j                           

I've not had any luck with the paint type stuff. Mine get repaired with those little disks that can be found on eBay. The trick was finding some glue that will hold them. Original RTV works for me.

When assembling/disassembling, remember which screw goes where. There are four different sizes of screws - two different for the case and two different for the circuit boards.

Also be aware of the LED circuit board around the throttle wheel. Don't bend the LEDs and make sure the board is in the right place in the case slots.

Just be careful and mindful.

Last edited by RoyBoy

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