I have an old Legacy base along with two remotes.  In the past year or so I have had some issues such as engines beginning to start moving on  their own after they have been shut down and an occasional run away.

Do the bases or remotes lose function  gradually even if software is kept  upgraded?  

Phil

Philip Klopp

Original Post

Phil, I am wondering if you might be having some signal issues. Maybe gunrunnerjohn might chime on this. It may be a case for his and Dale's signal booster.

Ray

You can have the track signal driver slowly deteriorate, your symptoms suggest a track signal issue.  I've sent several command bases back to Lionel over the years for low signal output.

The late Dale Manquen came up with a simple scheme to measure the relative signal strength of the track signal from the command base.  If you wire this up and compare your base with another Legacy base, you can see if you have a low signal strength.  You'll need to compare it to a known good command base to verify the readings as they vary based on the meter you use.  I added a .01uf capacitor across the meter to stabilize the readings.

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I have found/diagnosed a couple low signal bases as well. Those bases went back to Lionel. The signal level went from around 6 vpp to about 1 vpp or a bit less. Not zero, so the results of the low signal can be confusing and somewhat selective as to different engines.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

My club had a base that failed by producing streams of invalid commands (at full signal strength).  (I have software that monitors the command stream).  Other symptoms were engines doing strange things or not responding at all.  We replaced the base without further diagnosis, but a reload of the firmware might have been appropriate.

Joihn:  Thanks again for your help!!!  I have ordered the resister you indicate and will build the tester as per your diagram.  Since I do not have a second base to compare, readings with, is there a range of readings I could look for that might at least give me a clue if my base is weak?  Also,  do you have the signal enhancers for sale?  I am interested in trying one.  Phil

Philip Klopp

phil klopp posted:

Joihn:  Thanks again for your help!!!  I have ordered the resister you indicate and will build the tester as per your diagram.  Since I do not have a second base to compare, readings with, is there a range of readings I could look for that might at least give me a clue if my base is weak?  Also,  do you have the signal enhancers for sale?  I am interested in trying one.  Phil

It should read over 2 volts, and for Legacy, probably more like 3V.  If it's less than 2V, it's almost certainly low output.

Are you interested in an assembled or kit buffer?  I have several kits, and given some time, I can turn them into assembled units.   Send me an email and we'll discuss it.

Since the Legacy base is configured as a DCE device, pin 2 would be the TxD output transmit data and pin 3 would be the RxD input receive data.  Pin 5 is GND for transmit and receive.

True John, but it won't tell you anything about the quality of the analog track signal, that's the problem we're discussing here.

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