Lionel #213 Lift Bridge

If you have a multimeter, check the out put of the board with the heat sink to see you are getting 9V out. This board is just your power supply, and powers the lights and feeds the motor circuit.

The real bugger is probably that EMD811 'bug' on the other board. It's a low current part for switching direction and made for 'toys'. Sometimes these devices get 'stuck' on when they burn out.

This part will only handle .6 amp - maybe.

I notice that they make a higher power part (EMD812), but soldering a surface mount component is harrowing.

Too much info? I'd go ahead a hack with a DC power supply and the double pole switch discussed earlier.



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Jim Waterman posted:

So in the first picture, the part with the 00 is a diode, unlikely that it is bad, but I'd just find a 4 amp 100V diode or better (if you want to go higher amps or voltage, it will still work).

They're running a couple of LED's off that supply, so a 4A diode would be hopeless overkill!  That's doubtless a 1A 1N400x diode, and anything at the x from 1 through 7 would work fine.  However, I think the chances of the diode being bad are very small in any case.  That diode is not involved in the motor movement at all according to Stan's excellent diagram.

Thank You

Still very hard to see, got out the magnifying glass and a strong LED flashlight , but I think this is correct, the left component is N4001, the large component is 50V100, the rest is cut off, and the small component is 25V 10uf.

I checked for continuity from the base to the board and all the wires are good from the base up to the board.  The red and black wires, going to the LED from the board, are good also.

You nailed it.  Those values look "correct" for the circuit at hand and I've updated the schematic.  This schematic ought to be useful for guys who take a crack at repairing or modifying the circuit board.

I'm assuming you would like the tower LEDs to work.

I'm thinking you can use some portion of the existing circuit board for both the LED and motor control.  To that end, can you make the following 3 DC voltage measurements.  Obviously the circuit needs to be powered.  The black test lead on the meter connects to the "GROUND" point in all cases.  I realize the motor lifts as soon as you apply power - but since you can only go up or stop, I figure you must have come up with a way to dis-engage the gearbox or transmission while the motor runs?  The measurement for LED voltage should be made with the LEDs connected (I realize they are not lighting up).

If all's working you should probably get something like:

DC IN - between 15-20V

DC OUT - about 9V

LED - about 2V

213 voltage test



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Jim Waterman posted:

The real bugger is probably that EMD811 'bug' on the other board. It's a low current part for switching direction and made for 'toys'. Sometimes these devices get 'stuck' on when they burn out.

Right.  The 8-legged black component on the back of the board is essentially a solid-state (as in no-moving-parts) DPDT switch.  It has 3 "positions" or states.  It either (1) blocks the incoming DC voltage from reaching the motor (center-off of the DPDT switch), (2) passes the DC voltage in the forward polarity (DPDT switch flipped one way), or (3) passes the DC voltage in the reverse polarity (DPDT switch flipped the other way).

Problem is the EMD811 is apparently obsolete or at least is very difficult to find based on a web-search.  That's probably why you can't get a replacement board from Lionel.  The 213 manual is dated 2002 which should be a clue!

For DIY'ers who enjoy whiffing solder fumes and messing with components, there are similar IC chips that are widely available.  The generic name would be an "H-bridge motor driver".  One that appears to have taken the Arduino community by storm is the L9110s if eBay is any indication - hundreds of listings for L9110s modules for about $1.  And for that you even get two motor driver chips on the module.

L9110s h bridge module

There's some homework to be done to splice this or similar module into the 213 so it's not a slam dunk.  But it would allow use of the existing spring lever switch...or as someone suggested perhaps two momentary push-button switches - press one button to lift, press other button to lower.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program...


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FrankM posted:

What do I set the meter on to take these readings?


Turn it 4 notches counterclockwise from where it is in the picture. 

That would be 20 Volts DC (the DC ranges are represented by the solid line over the dashed line, the AC ranges are represented by the  squigly line, meant to look like a sine wave).  V= Voltage in volts, A = Current in amps or some fraction of Amps (u=microamps(1/1,000,000 of an amp), m=milliamps(1/1,000 of an amp)). 

Note that if you were measuring amps(not relevant here, but good general info), the meter would need to have the red probe hooked up differently.  For what you are doing here with DC volts, you are fine if you just rotate the knob over to the 20 VDC range.


FrankM posted:

I'll get these readings when I get home from work. As a side note when I connected the led lights, to take the readings, they worked, just had to jiggle them around a bit. 

Yep, as I said, they do not catch on to anything. The legs were made too narrow for the catch to catch. I wedge a small piece of foam slightly wider than the slot between the legs to spread the legs a little and viola!


ezmike posted:

Yep, as I said, they do not catch on to anything. The legs were made too narrow for the catch to catch. I wedge a small piece of foam slightly wider than the slot between the legs to spread the legs a little and viola!


I seem to recall mine might have an intermittent contact problem for the lights too.  Thanks for the tip!


It sounds like the little 8 leg motor driver chip is the only non-working item in Stan's circuit diagram(Excellent work there Stan). Even if there were a replacement part, surface mount is prone to drive most folks nuts; me included.

I'm thinking that a couple of relays attached to the controller runs (the outermost runs on the circuit board) might work. They are 9 volts run down to the hand controller and returned via the yellow and brown wires. Tap into those with the relays to route the motor current one way or the other.

Where to put the relays? As long as we can get wires to the controller connections, it doesn't matter where.

Just some ideas.

Apparently your meter displays "1" to indicate a measurement exceeds the range.  That is, the leftmost digit on your display is a "1" so for the 20 range, the max value it can display is 19.99.  For the 200 range, the max value is 199.9.  BTW, I think it may be time to change the meter's battery.

battery icon

Anyway, given your measurements I concur with Leo that it's just the motor drive chip that has failed.  Again, I don't think you can find the chip and given the apparently high failure rate based on other reports, I don't think you want to bother.  But the board can be used as is to drive the tower LEDs.  And you can use the regulated 9V DC voltage from the board to feed the DPDT bypass switch and drive the motor.  So one approach might be:

213 use existing board but add external dpdt

This requires NO additional components other than the DPDT switch.  As drawn, once could simply cut the green and orange wires that go to the motor**.  Then run these 4 wires (2 out, 2 back) to the DPDT switch.  It's hard for me to appreciate the tight quarters since I obviously don't have the bridge in front of me.  I figure running those 4 wires from the tower control box down to the base might be a problem?  The wire gauge just needs to be similar to whatever the green and orange wires are - they look like maybe #22 or #24 gauge? 

I suppose you could physically relocate the board in the base...then only 4 wires (2 to the motor, 2 to the tower LEDs) run from base to tower box.  Again, this would require no additional components but there would be more soldering, splicing and re-routing of wires.  Hard to say which way to go.

I suppose any method that runs additional wires between base and tower could use black insulation wiring to disguise them since the tower structure is apparently black.  Maybe one of the guys that has actually made the DPDT modification can solve the wiring conundrum.

As for DPDT switches for this application, 99.9% (there's always some odd-ball!) have terminals in the 2 by 3 matrix configuration as shown.  The corner terminals are connected in the criss-cross fashion - this effects the polarity reversal.

**Added note.  This only "works" for FrankM's special case because apparently the board is stuck in the motor "on" condition even when the lever switch is in the center-off position (or even completely disconnected).  For the more general case, one approach is to tap the 9V DC OUT voltage from the board - this does require some soldering of wires to the back of the board. 

213 use existing board general case



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Consolidated Leo posted:


I'm thinking that a couple of relays attached to the controller runs (the outermost runs on the circuit board) might work. They are 9 volts run down to the hand controller and returned via the yellow and brown wires. Tap into those with the relays to route the motor current one way or the other.

Where to put the relays? As long as we can get wires to the controller connections, it doesn't matter where.

Just some ideas.

Of course the rub is while you can find DPDT relays, I can't recall every seeing a DPDT relay that has a "center-off" position.  That is, the relay has only two "active" positions without a 3rd "idle" mode.  There are of course countless ways to effect the idle condition with more relays or what not.  Here's one relay alternative using an inexpensive dual-channel module from eBay.  This method allows use of the existing controller lever switch or any SPDT momentary (ON)-OFF-(ON) style toggle switch.

12v dual relay module

213 motor control with dual external spdt relays


> 9V is sufficient to operate the 12V relays used in these modules. 

> A discerning observer will note that when in the idle position, this configuration actually shorts the motor windings.  This brakes the motor which is something to keep in mind when using relays (that don't have a center-off position) to control DC motor polarity.  The reason it works in this specific application is the motor is heavily geared with the mechanism moving very slows - taking many seconds to travel from one end to the other.  Braking the motor to stop it on a dime is not a problem.

> In a previous post the H-bridge motor drive module for around $1 is the solid-state equivalent of this electro-mechanical dual-relay module.  As in the above configuration 9V DC would come from the tower control box (2-wires), and the motor drive (2-wires) would return to the DC motor.  Again, the existing controller lever switch or equivalent could be used.

> Command-control users might find the relay module or H-bridge module approach useful since I am not aware of any Accessory Controllers (e.g., Lionel ASC, MTH AIU) that offer "DPDT center-off" functionality.  Instead you could use two momentary accessory outputs to remotely control the bridge lift or lower motion.




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Never trust a meter with a low battery.  I've had some stupid reations out of a few trying to avoid a trip for one. Reads fine one second, off value the next.

I LOVE chip sockets for repair. If it died once, it may die again. No soldering in the later repairs, just pop, plunk, press then go eat lunch. Always money well spent imo.

If you had a 4a diode handy, it should work, but is overkill. I have a few 6a running with single LEDs because they were here and free, salvaged from "something or other". The 4000s are plenty though, and twice as common. I just didn't want to trash the boards that had them yet.

  They won't be cheap, normally a high amp rating, but many machine controls use the sprung,  temp on/off/temp on, dpdt for jogging purposes. Grainger would be my first stop, but after that, Im stuck......

( Thank you Mike, but) ....  I realized about a year ago after noticing a lot of my favorite chips were " obsolete", that I was "out of date" and unable to really keep up with helping in depth anymore. Too many new parts, and not enough reference compared to what I had fast access to at one time.  I'm still going to stick my nose in and help till cavalry arrives, but I concede to those deeper in the game today for the same reason as you might. I have no design from scratch experience.  I repaired, and focused on changes of specific areas of weak design in a few fields. There are just more folks posting on OGRF now that know more modern parts available than I do, or will ever know about from here on in, than there was a few years back. 

FYI everyone, just know its not apathy that keeps me quietly lurking this section. It's all those mystery chip numbers and poor reference ability. I never ran into that before train electronics, except in some automotive applications. Mostly, once you asked, the manufacturer came through with anything you asked for. I ran up against this for the first time ever with Lionels TMCC intro decades ago and commited myself to used items only by them from there on in. (commited? E.g. I've only bought about 6 Whoppers since "the Burger Wars", and only because I have low blood sugar. It's my fav., but...well I have my reasons)

Besides, I do prefer PW. This repair is one example of why. IMO, the whole thing was electronic design ovekill. A couple of common transistors and/or relays were avoided in favor of an unproven or weak chip. I feel like it is an unwinnable battle for me with "proprietary secrecy" and not at least having a board around. I miss when I could contact a mfg, get info fast, make changes, send a fax, possibly see a revision done to save others the hassle..

....and still go to lunch on time

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"


"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.


shawn posted:

The way that circuit board is payed out. You might be able to solder a dip socket to the board. Then, see if you can find a emu 812 chip. The ratings are a bit higher on the dip chip. Plus, you could replace it.

Yup.  The EMD812 in DIP seems more available than the EMD811 in surface mount.  Might be a challenge finding a place to mount a socket since I get the impression it's pretty tight quarters in the tower control box. 

Separately, I'm not convinced the more "powerful" EMD812 (vs. EMD811) is the issue.  What I find interesting about the 213 design is the controller inputs run right to the EMD811 IC chip.  In looking at the technical description of the part, I believe the part will be damaged if you apply AC accessory or track voltage to a controller input.  It is widely written that the controller uses the same lever switch as other track-side accessories.  So in my way of thinking, a typical user might (in)advertently do so since so most accessories work that way.  Then poof - maybe no magic smoke - but chip is damaged.

Here's an amusing EMD812 seller.  Obviously some kind of translation program.  I'll award a gold star to whomever can figure out what it's meant to say!



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Okay I appreciate all the explanations, I do understand this drawing. 

Will the already existing blue and yellow wires going from the base to the motor case be used for anything wiring it this way?  I don't think so.  I could use them as a pair of wires going from the board back to the switch.  Then I only need to run 1 pair of wires from the switch back up to the base and then up to the  motor. 

Where can you buy a switch like this?  Looks like something an auto parts store would carry.


I was afraid you were going to ask that question!  You can co-opt the BLUE wire for sure.  But I can't say for sure whether you can co-opt BROWN and/or YELLOW.  BROWN and YELLOW have those red-circled resistors hooked to them in the base.  The way it's designed, these resistors are meant to insure the motor is OFF when the controller switch is idle.  Yes, I realize the motor electronics is essentially ignoring what's going on with YELLOW and BROWN since the motor runs when it should be OFF.  In fact we are turning lemons into lemonade taking advantage of the fault condition of the motor chip apparently ignoring what's happening on the YELLOW and BROWN.  Hope my reasoning makes sense.  

So.  BLUE for sure.  You can disconnect from the back of the board and from the base terminal and steal the BLUE wire. 

You can try disconnecting YELLOW and/or BROWN from the back of the board and see if the motor still runs as soon as you apply power.  If so, then disconnect it from the base side and co-opt one or both.

As for where to get a DPDT momentary switch.  The first part that came up on a Google search was this on Amazon.  Somewhat spendy but shows that you might indeed find such at a local auto parts store.  Note this style mounts in a square/rectangular cut-out which can be a nuisance depending on what tools you have....

dpdt momentary window switch on amazon


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I have a couple of these, momentary contact, center off, DPDT.  Cheaper than Amazon shipped.

Yes, I'll include all the hardware, this one left it in the bottom of the box.


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Thanks Stan, I'll just run 4 new wires to be safe, just hope I can find a way to get them in the motor/board case, its really tight but should be doable.

gunrunnerjohn, I sent you an email

Pat from Pat's trains has a thread about the train show in Wheeling WV on 1/14/18 at the Kruger museum.  If you guys can make it I will buy anyone and everyone, that contributed to this thread, lunch.  Should be a fun show.  I live about 10 minutes from Wheeling.

AlanRail posted:

I POSTED the modification but it may have been lost. i have had many computer and phone changes since then so  i may not even have progress photos.

Are these the final product pictures?  I remembered a photo log of this process from years ago, but wouldn't have remembered who posted it.

With Alan in the web address, I figured it might be a good chance this was your work.


I finally had a few hours to work on this last Sunday.  As my luck would have it as soon as I tried splicing into the orange and green wires they just pulled off the board.  The wires are very light, couldn't be but 4 or 5 strands of wire.  I ended up just soldering the extra wires directly to the board  I also soldered the 2 wires directly to the motor also.  I got everything back in the motor/board case and got it bolted back to the bridge.  I ran out of time so I didn't get it all put back together yet.  Hopefully this weekend.

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