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Good evening.
I purchased a Super Chuffer and Chuff Generator. I have the units wired as per the wiring diagrams. The chuffing sounds are working great but the smoke unit (pictures attached) does not seem to be heating up and the fan does not seem to be in sync with the chuffing sound or increase in frequency with the chuffing sound. Any tips or a wiring diagram using this smoke unit would be great.
Thank you.


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I'm finding out why it is important to start off in the shallower end of the pool. I've never owned or operated model trains before. I have purchased some nice locomotives, some which just need upgrading to Command Control which is what I am attempting to do. I do have a decent electrical understanding, not so much with electronic components. I really appreciate the wisdom and willingness to share it in this forum. It helps the hobby so much when people new to it have the support of knowledgeable fellow hobbyists. Thank you everyone sharing.   

Ok, great news first grandchild was born. This is the first chance I'm getting to work on this problem again. Latest in the saga. I did press the #9 (+) button on the Legacy remote with no results. I've attached a photo with some notes on it explaining the way I wired it. If you see something wrong please give a shout out. Thank you. Smoke Unit Wiring


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  • Smoke Unit Wiring

Thanks for responding John. It sounds like you called it. I do have continuity between the smoke unit and the Cruise Commander. Was I suppose to install a 12V relay, activated by the Cruise Commander, inline to handle the heavier current? I did see one wiring diagram with one in it but it was labeled "Enhanced Installation". If this is the case what additional components do I need?

As always thank you for your time.

The Cruise Commander (really the R4LC), can deal with a 20 ohm or larger resistor.  If that is a stock Lionel smoke unit, it has a 27 ohm resistor and the CC should have no issues handling it.  If, however, you happened to have an inadvertent short to ground with smoke on, that takes out the triac pretty quickly.  Those parts are not difficult to replace, and now with the R2LC/R4LC increasing in price, it's a worthwhile exercise.

Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

Thank you again John. I do have continuity between the CC and the smoke unit resistor hot side and 29 ohms through to the frame. The other thing I keep noticing is the fan runs for short spins at idle, which I would think is the way it is suppose to with the Chuff Generator/Super Chuffer, but it does increase as the locomotive runs faster. The smoke unit produces no smoke at all, but whether this is another clue to the problem I am unsure. Well, it's been a long day and I'm going to put it away for now.

The fan should actually run continuously at low speed at idle.  However, I think I know what you're doing wrong.  You have programmed the Cruise Commander incorrectly.  You want an engine code of 4, and you have it programmed for a strobe light.

STEP 1: Turn off power.
STEP 2: Move switch on locomotive from run to program.
STEP 3: Place locomotive on track, then turn on power to track.
STEP 4: Press “ENG” then input locomotive ID#. Press “SET”.
STEP 5: Press ”ENG” then input locomotive ID# again.
STEP 6: Press “AUX1”, then "4".
STEP 7: Turn off power to track, wait ten seconds.
STEP 8: Remove locomotive from track, move switch from program to run.
STEP 9: Place locomotive back on track. Turn power on to track.
STEP 10: Press “ENG” and ID#, then operate as normal.

This should get the smoke unit working.

Excellent call John, it worked. I read that since I ordered "Medium Steam" that this was pre-programed to #4. Now that's not to say I didn't mess it up somewhere along the line. Now I'm getting picky. The fan blows hard enough but is there any way to increase the amount of smoke produced to blow out? A big thanks to John and others, Dan & laz1957 who gave of their time and wisdom.

My go-to solution for smoke is to replace the 27 ohm resistor with a 20 ohm resistor, and also new braided wick.  I also drill out the fan intake hole to 1/4", and enlarge the stack exit hole as much as possible.  You should be able to get very nice smoke from that smoke unit.

I take this Stackpole CB5JB20R0 resistor and carefully crack the outside ceramic shell, out comes a perfect 20 ohm smoke resistor.  I just put it in a vise and squeeze the corners in the vise until the ceramic shell breaks.  Use safety glasses!


Don't be tempted to go lower than 20 ohms, that risks cooking the R4LC smoke triac.


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Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

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