I recently picked up a MIB 6-28036 Southern Pacific consolidation. Everything works fine except the smoke unit. It will not turn on via the on/off switch on the locomotive or using Aux1 9 on a Cab-1. I tried bypassing the on off switch (connected the two wires at the switch together). Still no smoke. I connected the smoke unit directly to track power and the smoke unit fired up and worked fine. So it appears there is an issue with either the motherboard or the R2LC in the unit. Any idea which one is bad? I don't have another R2LC lying around. The only similar board I can pull from another locomotive is a R4LC-C08 from an ERR board. Would that work for troubleshooting? 

Santa Fe, All the Way

Original Post

There are no electronics on the motherboard to fail.  Assuming there is no break in the wiring, it sounds like the smoke triac on the r2lc has died.  According to Lionel's site, the r2lc in that engine has C08 code.  The r4lc-c08 from err is a perfect match.  You do not need to change the id number in the r2lc but you do need to make sure to program the board for a steam engine so the smoke unit will function properly (It should be code 4).  If you are pulling the board from a steam engine, then just plug it in.  No programming needed.

As a side note, I would also try and reprogram your original r2lc board.  Sometimes they loose their programming and a full reset using the below procedure will fix it.



STEP 1: Move switch on locomotive from run to program.

STEP 2: Turn on Command Base.

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 “AUX 1”, then input the reprogramming code number that corresponds to your locomotive. (See the chart below).

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.


1 Diesel with Signal Sounds, all Legacy Steam Engines

2 Diesel with Cab Light and Signal Sounds, all Legacy Diesel Engines

4 Steam with Smoke / Pioneer Zephyr, M10,000

5 Diesel with Strobe Light GP-7, GP-9, GP-20 / CrewTalk cabooses, S1 Electric, Missile Launch engines(For flashing red light)

6 Diesel with Cab Light / PB-1’s, FT's, PULLMOR motored F-3’s, Veranda Turbine,StationSounds passenger cars, Missile Launch engines(For steady red light)

8 All Diesels with Smoke / Scale GG-1’s/BB-1 & BB-3 Electric346-2800 Series Hudson and Pacifics, Small K-4’s, Shay’s

36 Alco Pa's (New in 97), 6-18192 WP, 6-38101/8103 Texas Specials, and 6-38106 NYC F3’s60SD-40 UP 6-18273

74 All Engines with Wireless Tether including American Flyer Mikados. NOTE! For J1E and Santa Fe Warhorse Hudsons see below.

75 Soo Line SD-60 (6-18232)

76 Acela

740 J1E Hudson (6-18056) & SF Warhorse Hudson (6-18062) NOTE! Both loco and tender must be on the track.

750 Conrail Dash 8 (6-18240), 1999 Centennial SD-40 (6-18585)

760 BNSF Dash-9 (6-18235)

Tried reprogramming. Did not change anything. Smoke unit still did not work. I swapped in a R4LC-08 into the consolidation (from an ERR Cruise Commander diesel) in and programmed it as steam locomotive. Fired it up and the smoke unit worked great. So at a minimum the smoke triac in the R2LC is bad. So now I'll have to either get another R2LC-08 or R4LC-08 and swap it in or replace the triac on the R2LC.

Santa Fe, All the Way

Thanks for the offer. I ended up having a spare R4LC-08 in my parts box. ERR sent me two when one of the ones they sent me with a Cruise Commander wouldn't allow the front headlight to turn off no matter how it was programmed. The told me to keep the extra R4LC as a spare. So I used it in the Consolidation. Would have been easier if I remembered I had it before I swapped the R4LC out of another locomotive into the Consolidation. 

I'm going to pick up a triac and try replacing the one on the defective R2LC as practice. Plus then I'll have another spare radio board. 

Santa Fe, All the Way

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