I'm in the middle of upgrading two Lionel scale Hudsons from the mid-90's to ERR Cruise. One is the C&O Yellowbelly from 1995, and the other the 5344 Hudson from 1997. Both have been fitted with Timko can motors and fan smoke. Right now, I've gotten to the point where the Cruise Commanders fit into the heat sink bracket the older LCRU's were screwed in.

The only issue I have is how to connect the RailSounds 2, back up light, and rear ElectroCoupler in the C&O's tender - more specifically, I need to know the wiring to match the connections with the original LCRU. The wiring diagrams on Lionel's support site isn't exactly very clear on which connection is which. For anyone who has upgraded these locomotives but kept the original sound system, I'd appreciate the help in figuring out which points are wired where to control the RailSounds 2 and other electronics in the tender with the Cruise Commander.

Oh yes, and which points on the Cruise Commander to connect to the IR drawbar on the 5344 Hudson. This I figure is more straightforward, since it just needs the IR connection to communicate with the tender, but I want to ensure so.

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Original Post

If the Hudson is the 763, it has a two wire IR LED. You would drive it from serial data (pin 24) out from the R4LC and hope it has enough current to handle it. This proved problematic on some installs. If you are keeping the RS2 board it already has the connections for rear light and coupler plus the IR receiver. 

You can verify operation of the tender by coupling a newer TMCC engine with RS 4 or 5 and see if all functions work. If that works and the 773 doesn't you may have to swap the two wire transmitter for a 3 wire which has a built in buffer.

Pete

 

Don't know about the wiring for the wired tethers as I have always been upgrading the sound and didn't retain the old tether.

The IR link is serial data, and it's somewhat likely that you may need to add a buffer to power the locomotive IR LED.  The load on the serial data sometimes causes the Cruise Commander to have problems.

The serial data is on pin-24 of the R4LC socket.  Oddly, I recently had occasion to break out this diagram again and wire a serial data buffer for the very task you are contemplating.  The buffered serial data goes to the + lead of the drawbar IR LED, the negative lead of the LED goes to frame ground.  This buffer prevents loading of the serial data and any issues with the Cruise Commander.

R2LC Serial Data Buffer Schematic

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Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

Pete,

Yes, it is the 763 Hudson (item no. 18056). It has one orange wire and one brown wire going to the IR drawbar.

F72A7806-5AE3-43F8-BAFD-EF6C0E062A91

However, I’ll be using the PT centipede tender from 2005 that Lionel made for the Century Club 2 Empire State Express. (Since most operators seem to use it to be more realistic than the Vanderbilt tender)

If that’s the case, I’ll have to look on Digi-Key or some place that ships out those rectifiers during the quarantine if the signal is too weak...

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Last edited by Mikado 4501

Tom, you won't need a rectifier. This is the three wire transmitter from Lionel.

Wires go to 5v, gnd, serial data. If it gets to that point we can get into where to wire it to, though you may not need it. John's buffer may work too with what you have already.

Believe or not the circuit John posted is essentially what is on that tiny board behind the LED.

Pete

Last edited by Norton

Sorry to have to tell you this but the 5344 Hudson with the super heavy vandy tender is way too heavy for the small Timko motor. I tried one and the motor will get extremely hot due to overload. I put a larger DC motor in but had to modify (cut) some of the boiler to make it fit. 

Rod,

I won't be using the Vandy tender, but I think I'll take your advice and look for a heavier duty motor. I know @harmonyards has been doing this recently on the LTI era Hudsons, Mohawks and T-1's, so I might have to hit him up.

Pete,

Thanks for the tip. I'll try and get a couple of those when I can (AFAIK Lionel's parts distributor is shutdown during the quarantine), since I might do the same process with the black Commodore Vanderbilt that Lionel made in 1998. However, since you have that engine, did it use the modular ACDR piece that can be replaced with an ERR Cruise M module like the 1998 Mohawk did? Lionel doesn't show a parts breakdown diagram on their support site.

As far as the C&O Yellowbelly and its hookups are concerned, I think the guys who'd know what to do with that would be @PaperTRW or @CentralFan1976 - the latter especially since he did a similar upgrade with the 1996 silver Commodore Vanderbilt using the original (and arguably better) sound system. (shown below)

Before ordering anything I would just try connecting directly to the R4LC. Likely the red wire on that two pin connector above would go to pin 24. Verify the brown wire is connected to the frame.

As for the small motor, your engine should perform about the same as the K-Line Hudson which is good for about 5 18" cars.

Pete

Thomas,

I've added some notes on the wiring diagram for the RailSounds 2.5 board in your C&O Hudson tender. Is this the info you were looking for?

C&OHudsonWiringDiagram

Out of curiosity, how are you planning to activate the chuffs in your converted loco?

TRW

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Todd and Mario,

Both of these diagrams have been extremely helpful. Thank you! Im mostly used to RailSounds 4 and 5 boards, so RS2/2.5 isn’t my usual upgrade procedure.

And Mario thought right - I’ve already just completed installing John’s excellent Super Chuffer and Chuff Generator components in the locomotive. All that’s left is to complete the hookups to the tender.

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Last edited by Mikado 4501

During the quarantine, I managed to complete the C&O Yellowbelly. Again, a huge thanks to Mario and Todd on the wiring diagrams to help me out with this locomotive. The RailSounds 2 board needed an extra wire soldered to the chuff input on the CC to get the chuff sounds to work - something you won't need to do on RS4/5 locomotives.

Overall, very happy with how it came out. My only minor complaint is the motor gets a tad warm, but since I likely won't have it pull more than the 4 matching Heavyweights, it shouldn't strain it too badly. The whistle on these older RailSounds 2 locomotives is a bit more sporadic at higher speeds (considering they were originally dealing with locomotives making one chuff per revolution), but I'm glad to have one of my favorite locomotives operate even better.

Now to get to work on the 763E 5344...

Mikado 4501 posted:

The RailSounds 2 board needed an extra wire soldered to the chuff input on the CC to get the chuff sounds to work - something you won't need to do on RS4/5 locomotives.

Nicely done, Thomas.

I was curious about how the chuffs were going to work, which is why I asked about it a few posts back. I remembered that the early RailSounds PIC coding from 1995 through mid-1997 (roughly RS25S06 and RS25S12) doesn't recognize a chuff on the serial line. It wasn't until the first wireless tether models (around RS25S24 from late 1997) that a chuff could come from the serial line as well as the hardware switch.

Lastly, note that the board inside your C&O Yellowbelly is definitely RS2.5. For some reason, a bunch of those are mis-labeled on Lionel's website to this day. A true RS2.0 board is a totally different animal.

TRW

Last edited by PaperTRW

I kinda figured such, Todd. The wireless IR drawbar is something I think we really take for granted now, but back then it must've been a godsend in more ways than one.

It's also confusing since the 1995 Lionel catalog even describes this engine (as well as the D&RG SD50) having RailSounds 2.

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