I have a Lionel JLC H7 (6-38058). I've never been satisfied with its low speed performance so about a year ago I bought a Cruise M steam kit to see if it could improve the engine's low end. Yesterday I finally got around to installing it but it doesn't seem to be receiving the serial input. The engine takes off as it were in conventional mode and I don't see what I may have done wrong.

I have Pin 1  on the J1 10 pin connector connected directly to pin 24 on the R2LC (blue wire in the picture below)


I checked continuity of this connection from the soldered side of Pin 24 to the soldered side of Pin 1 on the CCM and it checks OK. Note that I cut the black wire on Pin 10 of J1 as the instructions call for. Also, the Lionel 10 pin connector did not come with a wire on Pin 2. ERR sent a green wire to install on Pin 2 and run to a wire bundle connected to the tether. In the second picture note the blue wire coming from a connector on the mother board. This is also a serial line from the R2LC.

In the picture below this is the wire bundle that the green wire was to be added to. The purple w/violet stripe wire goes to the IR tether. So this connection has both the serial line from the R2LC and the Serial Out from the CCM connected to the same point which I don't understand how that would work.


When I try to run the engine, the sound system comes up. I can blow the whistle, ring the bell, change the volume, etc with the Cab2 remote. When I turn the throttle the engine does not respond, but several seconds later it takes off a full speed. Once it takes off I can stop it by pressing the direction button. I suppose the sound system works because of its separate connection to the serial line, but why am I not getting the serial signal to the CCM?

I went so far as taking the 10 pin connector that ERR provides in the kit and only hooked up Pin 1 to the serial line leaving all the other pins unconnected and disconnecting the serial line going to the IR tether. The engine takes off immediately and of course the sound system does not start up.

Any advice is appreciated. I don't see what I may have done wrong and I hope I didn't mess up the CCM.






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Original Post

What did you do with the wire from J2, pin-2?  The reason I ask is this is an OUTPUT from the CC-M, not an input.  However, you can NOT parallel it with the existing serial data coming from the R2LC, that looks like what is happening in this picture.

The data on J4, pin-2 is not exactly the same as the data on pin-1, it's slightly delayed, and also may have commands inserted to trigger sounds during configuration of the CC-M.

In some installations, the CC-M along with the IR drawbar and the smoke unit & smoke voltage regulator overload the R4LC serial data line.  Since your locomotive has all of those loads on the serial data line, that would be my top suspect. 

The fix is to use the output from pin 2 to drive the IR drawbar instead of the serial data from the R2LC.  You can just disconnect the IR drawbar connection from the serial data and see if the CC-M behaves, that will confirm or refute my analysis.

The symptom of this issue is typically the CC-M takes off at full speed, sound familiar?


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Looks like I kept calling the 10 pin connector J1 instead of J4. Oops.

You're right, it doesn't make any sense to have both the serial signals connected together. However ERR sent me a drawing showing how to connect the pin 2 wire and didn't mention removing any other connection. Here's the drawing if you can read it.


I'll try the change tomorrow, but I did try connecting only the serial line to J4, pin 1 with no other connections to the serial line and the engine still took off.




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Are you sure your on Serial data with Pin 1?  Did you program the engine with proper ID after installation.  You can always try that again.  If any of those black wire in 10 pin were ac ground you damaged the board.  If not it may have an issue with IR sensor effecting the Serial data line.  G

MTH Authorized Service Center

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Lionel Independent Repair Tech

Virginia Train Collectors Member

Well, if you wire it as I'm talking about, I suspect you'll have better luck.  If you have the blue wire (which I presume is R2LC serial data) from the motherboard and the green wire from pin-2 of J4 on the CC-M connected together, I'm certain it won't work.  So a simple test.

Do you measure continuity between pin-24 of the R2LC and that wire nut connection?  Is there also continuity between that wire nut connection and pin-2 on J4 of the CC-M.  If the answer to both those questions is yes, you will never get it running with those connections.

I tried again today. Connected the blue serial data wire from the motherboard to Pin 1 on the CCM. Checked continuity from the Pin 24 solder pad on the bottom of the R2LC to the solder pad under Pin 1 on the CCM. I get about 0.5 ohms so the connection is solid. Removed the original serial connection to the IR tether and connected the wire from Pin 2 on the CCM to the tether. Gunnrunner, from your suggestion this should be correct. Powered the engine up, the sound system did not come up then the engine took off. It sure does look like the CCM is not recognizing the serial data input and since its not seeing the input it doesn't put any data out from Pin 2. At this point it looks like there is something wrong with the CCM, however I don't see what I could have done to damage it.

The engine came with a C11 R2LC so I replaced it with a C08 and that didn't make any difference.



As far as the other wires on pins 1 to 9 of the 10 pin connector, I checked for continuity between each one and AC ground and none of them were connected to ground. The wire that was connected to Pin 10 was connected to ground but I cut it before I powered the engine up the first time as it calls for in the instructions.


If the CCM is damaged I have another to try. However, without understanding what could have damaged this CCM I'm reluctant to try this for fear of damaging another one.

Any suggestions?


Well, depending on what is driving pin-2 on J4, having that connected to an output could have cooked it.  Connecting pin-2 on the CC-M to another output port is a major no-no.

At this point, I'd try the second CC-M, but WITHOUT connecting pin 2 to anything.  With the IR tether disconnected from anything, see if the CC-M sees the serial data.  You can leave the tender totally out of the mix for now, we just want to get the locomotive working.  Usually, it's the IR tether that loads the serial output enough that the CC-M doesn't see the serial signal.  Once you get that far, we can then go ahead and connect the IR tether to pin-2 and see if the tender see serial data.

It's not out of the realm of possibility that you simply got a bad CC-M, occasionally I get a bad board from Lionel, MTH, and yes, ERR.

These kinds of issues are why I still get lots of work.

Well I tried another CCM. Connected the blue serial date wire to Pin 1 on J4. Verified continuity from pin 24 on the R2LC. Nothing else connected to J4. Plugged the existing "direction control cable" into J1. Other than the power and motor wiring nothing else connected to the CCM.

With a C08 R2LC the engine took off on power up. With a C11 R2LC the engine did not take off, it sat there with the headlight blinking. No response to commands. Checked continuity from the antenna wire to Pin 23 on the R2LC and that checked OK.

At this point I have no idea what the problem is. Could the CCM not be compatible with some engines? Could the J1 connector be wired differently than expected in this engine and that's affecting the CCM? I don't see any other variables other than I might have two bad CCM's (unlikely).

Just to be sure I didn't mess anything up on the engine I put the DCDR back in and put the all the wiring back to the original setup. Engine runs fine.


At this point, I'd want to test the two "bad" CC-M modules on my test rig.  The possibility of getting two bad ones in a row seems pretty remote, though they might be bad now.  Time to step back and verify everything, obviously something is not connected right.

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