Just wondering if there is a way to clear or erase all of the CC switches that have been entered into a Cab-2 Legacy remote (either all at once or one at a time) rather than simply reassign the switch numbers ?

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Danr posted:

I have not had the need to clear all of my switches, so I’m not sure.  Maybe you could use the LCS software and clear them on your computer then reload the CAB2.

That may be a possibility and I'll look into it - thanks. I could clear the whole remote, but that would mean I would also lose all my engine data and have to re-load everything which would be a major league PITA.

Some of the switches on my new layout were part of an old layout and had switch numbers previously assigned. I didn't keep track of what went where when putting together the new layout and now I'm having an issue with try to re-assign new switch numbers. It should be easy enough to just go through the programming sequence but it isn't working out that way, so that's why I asked about clearing them all out.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Why can't you just program the switches?

They're not taking.

For example, I had a switch programmed as #3 in the old layout. It is now in a different "position" in the new layout (I didn't keep track of where the old ones went) and there is a brand new switch in "position" #3 of the new layout (I pick a starting point and then number my switches sequentially along the mainlines). I try to program the new switch as switch #3, but it won't take because there is already a switch #3 somewhere in the new layout. I fire the Aux 1 and 2 buttons for switch #3 and hear and see the switch action which leads me to find where the old #3 switch is now located in the layout. I try to re-program old switch #3 as new switch #10 and it won't take. I try to re-program the new switch as #3 and it won't take. The only switches I am able to program are new switches in numbers higher than what were on the old layout. I had 6 on the old layout and 18 on the new, so I can program new switches 7-18, but not below.  

This all stems from an issue I posted a month or so ago about a couple of CC switches (old ones) that just randomly closed to the divergent position on their own for no apparent reason. The manual controllers are not the issue (I swapped a couple and nothing changed) and there is nothing obvious in the switches - no loose wires, binding, cold solder joints, burnt traces, etc - and I don't believe it is an antenna or signal issue. When I bench tested the switch, I could not duplicate the random closing, so my guess is that something in either the DCS or Legacy signal is causing the intermittent closing. I doubt it is DCS (I also use 22uf chokes), so I believe something in the Legacy signal (maybe the "switch command control) is causing it.

It's a real issue because one of the offending switches is located in a mainline crossover and, if I turn away for a second, it's liable to send a train on one line onto a neighboring track which already has a train on it and that's not good ! Yes, I could swap switches but that doesn't solve the problem.

Perhaps there is a conflict between whatever the last remote control function was and the manual controller that causes it to randomly close even though the manual controller is set to open/straight through. Obviously, in normal operation the remote is supposed to override the manual controller setting when the "SW" function is operated and if the remote is somehow "frozen" on a particular setting, it will try to override the manual controller.

Al the other remote functions on the Cab-2 work fine.

Sorry for the lengthy explanation, but my thought was to just clear all the switch numbers out and try starting from scratch.  

 

Does not compute, at least to me.  When you program a TMCC device, be it a switch, engine, accessory, or whatever, it's a one-way conversation.  You put the device in to programming mode and send the programming code.  Only device(s) that are in program mode will respond.  I can, if I like, program a whole bunch of devices to one TMCC ID, just turn the program switch on and set the ID.

I don't know what you're doing, but either the switches are broken or you're doing something wrong.  Are you sure the switch is actually seeing the programming command?

gunrunnerjohn posted:

Does not compute, at least to me.  When you program a TMCC device, be it a switch, engine, accessory, or whatever, it's a one-way conversation.  You put the device in to programming mode and send the programming code.  Only device(s) that are in program mode will respond.  I can, if I like, program a whole bunch of devices to one TMCC ID, just turn the program switch on and set the ID.

I don't know what you're doing, but either the switches are broken or you're doing something wrong.  Are you sure the switch is actually seeing the programming command?

It doesn't make sense to me either.

Sometimes the lantern will start blinking after pressing the black button and I then press "sw" and a number and then "set" - and the lantern does not stop blinking, so I presume it is not seeing the command. The only way to stop the blinking is to cut track power and when restored, the lantern is no longer blinking, but it is not programmed. Other times, the lantern will not blink at all after pressing the button, so it may be that some of the switches are defective.

That's information we needed before!

What's happening is the TMCC signal is not being seen by the switch.  If you can't get them to blink, the #1 issue I've found is the actual switch, it's a really cheap switch.  I had to hunt some to find compatible switches, and I've replaced a few since I found them.  If it's not the switch, then you'll likely need the logic board.

Try laying an earth ground lead next to the switches that blink and won't stop, my guess is they'll program.  Sometimes you can take them apart and move the antenna lead to help with their TMCC reception.

I've also had failures where I thought the device I was trying to send a command to was the problem, but then realized that the red led on the CAB2 was telling me that the command was not received. The CAB2 was using a poor channel competing with the house wifi or out of range to the base.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

That would be my next step, it seems you're not getting TMCC reception for the ones that keep blinking.  As for the ones that never blink...   For those, I'd be tempted to put one on the test bench to isolate it from any other issues.

I'm using the serial port on the Legacy base for the DCS/Wi-Fi, so Pin #5 is out and anyway, the electrical system in my basement is not grounded, so I also can't use the center screw on an outlet. There is a forced hot water heating pipe nearby, but not sure if that would be ground. The nearest cold water pipe is quite a distance away, so this make take some time.

It's pretty simple to tap into the serial port ground, which is the best place to access earth ground. 

If the electrical system you're plugging the Legacy command base isn't grounded, we can end the discussion right there, that's your problem!  The TMCC/Legacy signal DEPENDS on the earth ground radiation, that comes from the electrical ground of the house wiring!

Since the electrical system is not grounded, you might use a three pin to two pin adapter where you plug the wall wart for the Legacy base and connect a long wire to the terminal that the adapter provides. That gives you access to the ground pin on the wall wart which is the in the air antenna connection (and is also pin #5). I would then distribute the wire over head and why not connect it to the hot water pipe...more to the point, it provides more antenna.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

John - you're right, but of course everything has worked perfectly for the last three years (even the CC switches on the old layout), so this issue of some of the CC switches randomly switching or not being able to be programmed on the new layout was just not anticipated.

Chuck - by the "terminal" on the adapter, you're talking about the small, open metal tab ? I'll try as you suggest, I just wasn't sure that a hot water pipe connected back to a boiler is ground, like the main water line coming into the house (heating pipes to left of photo), but I understand it will at least act to extend the antenna, anyway.NEW LAYOUT 4

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Richie C. posted:

John - you're right, but of course everything has worked perfectly for the last three years (even the CC switches on the old layout), so this issue of some of the CC switches randomly switching or not being able to be programmed on the new layout was just not anticipated.

When you moved all the track around, the signal propagation obviously changed.  The only earth ground antenna you had with no grounded outlet was the power wire from the command base to the power brick.  You have a small amount of additional antenna with any devices connected to the serial port and using pin-5 ground.

That being said, that's not nearly enough antenna for optimum signal strength, and the fact that the new layout is probably significantly bigger, the track signal is probably swamping out the limited amplitude available from the earth ground signal with the limited antenna.

gunrunnerjohn posted:
Richie C. posted:

John - you're right, but of course everything has worked perfectly for the last three years (even the CC switches on the old layout), so this issue of some of the CC switches randomly switching or not being able to be programmed on the new layout was just not anticipated.

When you moved all the track around, the signal propagation obviously changed.  The only earth ground antenna you had with no grounded outlet was the power wire from the command base to the power brick.  You have a small amount of additional antenna with any devices connected to the serial port and using pin-5 ground.

That being said, that's not nearly enough antenna for optimum signal strength, and the fact that the new layout is probably significantly bigger, the track signal is probably swamping out the limited amplitude available from the earth ground signal with the limited antenna.

That has to be it - changing things around plus the larger layout (including an additional 4' x 9' section not shown in the first photo) probably contributed to the signal degradation. Any signal boosters left ?

YARD 9

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After you resolve the earth ground issue, you may not need any boosting.  If you do, contact me as I still have a few sets of parts available.

Richie C. posted:

John - you're right, but of course everything has worked perfectly for the last three years (even the CC switches on the old layout), so this issue of some of the CC switches randomly switching or not being able to be programmed on the new layout was just not anticipated.

Chuck - by the "terminal" on the adapter, you're talking about the small, open metal tab ? I'll try as you suggest, I just wasn't sure that a hot water pipe connected back to a boiler is ground, like the main water line coming into the house (heating pipes to left of photo), but I understand it will at least act to extend the antenna, anyway.NEW LAYOUT 4

Yes, the small tab. You apparently do not have a connection to the house ground, but if you connect a long wire to the tab, you’ll establish a ground wire type antenna in the room. Much like as if you had a ground wire in your wiring. Lionel is not doing anything magical, they’re just using your existing ground wire as an antenna. If you don’t have a ground wire, then  making your own with a wire attached to the wall wart ground pin is a plan. The 

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

It doesn’t have to be a ground wire, it has to be just a wire and the ground wire is the most available in most houses...but not yours. So make your own antenna wire, but you have to attach it to the ground pin on the wall wart since that’s where Lionel thought your wire was to attach to.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

If you have copper water pipes, it's not a bad place to connect the earth ground.  FWIW, by code, there is a jumper around any non-conducting parts of the plumbing for copper pipe and they should be indeed connected to earth ground.  Here's what it looks at for my water supply.

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If your electric has steel pipe or the steel Bx  but no third wire. I have heard (could be wrong) that you could hook the ground wire on a three prong outlet to the outlet box. Giving you the ground. I have done this in parts of my house that don't have a third wire. It works as when I test it with a tester it checks out.

Success !!  I put the Legacy wall wart on a 3-2 prong adapter and ran a wire from the adapter's metal tab to one of the how water heating pipes in the photo, per Chuck's suggestion, and it worked.

All 18 switches are now programmed and firing strongly.

Thanks to everyone.

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