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I run 3 Lionel legacy locomotives with Bluetooth or the universal remote. I also have 14 remote/ command switches, 9 wired with the remote controller. I know very little about the full potential of the Legacy system like the cab 1,2 and the discontinued 990 system. I have had the base 3 on preorder.
My question is: will I be able to program the switches to the base 3 system without having to purchase the switch modules? I’ve watched YouTube videos with the 990 system by just pushing the black button on the switch and program the controller accordingly. Does anyone know if the base 3 will be the same?

Thanks, Gene

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When I first started in Command-Control, I went with the Legacy #990 Command Set w/ the Cab-2 and Base, and I love it. The new Base-3 includes a code to download the Cab-3 App for free. With the Base-3/Cab-3 App, you will be able to run all your Legacy locos and have more fun running trains. You will get all the awesome features, and new ones are coming soon. The remote/command switches will be able to be operated with the Base-3/Cab-3.

Nope! The new base 3 will run lionchief, lionchief plus, lionchief 2.0, TMCC, and Legacy. It does this by RF, Bluetooth, TMCC/Legacy signals. That is a lot of electronics that simply does not exist in any other base unit up to this point. It will also be able upgrade through software for new features in the future, something that is not possible with the base 1L.

@leapinlarry There is a lot we don't know about yet but having the same electronics as the Base 1L, not likely.  I think the confusion comes from the fact that the Cab1L can work with the Base3.  The good news is, so can the Cab2 and the forth coming Cab3 App.  As @Darrell pointed out it can do so much more and hopefully has some built in future proofing.

When I first started in Command-Control, I went with the Legacy #990 Command Set w/ the Cab-2 and Base, and I love it. The new Base-3 includes a code to download the Cab-3 App for free. With the Base-3/Cab-3 App, you will be able to run all your Legacy locos and have more fun running trains. You will get all the awesome features, and new ones are coming soon. The remote/command switches will be able to be operated with the Base-3/Cab-3.

Thanks Dylan, I’m looking forward to getting it when it becomes available. It seems I’m missing some nice features with the Legacy locomotives vs. the universal remote I’m using now. I also like the option of working all my switches and locomotives on my larger iPad.

Gene

It is very interesting to hear about all of the great capabilities of the cab 3.  However, I like the feel, function and the size of the cab 2 controller.  I do not like running trains with my phone, it is a pain to say the least.  Hopefully, down the road Lionel comes out with a replacement for the cab 2 with similar functionality and size of the current cab 2.

Marty

Last edited by martind

@MartyE, thank you for clarifying the issue with my thoughts on the new Cab3app system. I do not know why I was confused thinking the Cab1L base components would be used in the new system. As your pointing out, this new system will do so much more and can be updated much easier for years to come. I look forward to seeing this new system in operation. Happy Railroading Everyone

@leapinlarry posted:

Question, is the Cab3App, base the same as the Cab 1L base, electronic wise, not shape? I was under the impression that this would be the same base. It runs Cab 1L, Cab 2 and other Lionel remotes. But not cab 1. Thank you very much. Happy Railroading Everyone

I think it's worth clarifying that the Base3 may also be backward compatible with the Cab1. Right after the Base3 and Cab3 App were announced, the question about compatibility with the Cab1 was raised on the Forum, and Dave Olson replied...

"It was never a design goal to have it compatible, but since there appears to be interest we'll look into it. It would need a SER2 and maybe a null modem. We'll know more after we test."

I may be wrong--just ask my wife--but I think I recall Dave Olson mentioning a while later in a video that he had determined that the Cab1 would work with the Base3, with, as he had said, a SER2 (to connect a Base1). Personally, I hope this is the case because I prefer to give a child a Cab1 rather than a Cab2 or a smart phone or tablet.

@Keith L posted:

I think it's worth clarifying that the Base3 may also be backward compatible with the Cab1. Right after the Base3 and Cab3 App were announced, the question about compatibility with the Cab1 was raised on the Forum, and Dave Olson replied...

"It was never a design goal to have it compatible, but since there appears to be interest we'll look into it. It would need a SER2 and maybe a null modem. We'll know more after we test."

I may be wrong--just ask my wife--but I think I recall Dave Olson mentioning a while later in a video that he had determined that the Cab1 would work with the Base3, with, as he had said, a SER2 (to connect a Base1). Personally, I hope this is the case because I prefer to give a child a Cab1 rather than a Cab2 or a smart phone or tablet.

Keith,

Q1: If one has the Base-3 why would one need an additional Base-1 to do anything?

Q2: Is Dave implying that the serial data output by the Base-1 when a button is pushed on the Cab-1 could be redirected into the Base-3 via a null modem cable so that the Base-3 could then respond to, and execute, that button push as though it came normally, as from the screen of a phone?

Remember that the Base-3 will already respond to a Cab-1L without needing its base (the Base-1L) or a null modem cable.  Since the Cab-1L is very similar to a Cab-1 in form and function a child should be able to handle it just as well as a Cab-1.

Mike

Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike

Keith,

Q1: If one has the Base-3 why would one need an additional Base-1 to do anything?

The only way a Cab1 can communicate with Base3 is via a Base1 and it's serial connection to the Base3 via a SER2.  If he wants to let a child use a Cab1 then that's the way he would do it.

Q2: Is Dave implying that the serial data output by the Base-1 when a button is pushed on the Cab-1 could be redirected into the Base-3 via a null modem cable so that the Base-3 could then respond to, and execute, that button push as though it came normally, as from the screen of a phone?

I don't remember if a null modem is involved but yes.

Remember that the Base-3 will already respond to a Cab-1L without needing its base (the Base-1L) or a null modem cable.  Since the Cab-1L is very similar to a Cab-1 in form and function a child should be able to handle it just as well as a Cab-1.

Mike

Last edited by MartyE

Marty,

I've seen nothing about this is possibility, neither here in the OGR forum, nor any other train forum, nor via Google search, nor the mouth of Lionel -- but you have better connections than I do.

If connecting the Base-1 to the Base-3 gets the job done then I'm all for it.  Among other things it saves Cab-1's and Base-1's from going in the landfill especially for folks who prefer using them instead of phones.

It's also a nice save for Lionel -- to overcome what appeared to be a sizable marketing headache.

Mike

Yes, a Cab1 can be used with a Base3 using the Base1 > SER2 > Base3 serial connection. It was very responsive in testing.

And to confirm what was discussed above, the Base3 does not share electronics with the Base-1L. The Base3 is a ground-up design, with the main processor generating the tracklink signal for TMCC/Legacy. The only shared component is the radio that interfaces with the Cab-1L/Cab2 remotes.

@Dave, Great news and thank you for chiming in, it’s good to know this is a ground up design, Question, will this be system be a stronger signal to the track allowing our Cab 2’s, Cab 1L’s, to not lose our engines? I’m hoping for a lot stronger communication with the remotes to our Legacy/TMCC locomotives and diesels. Yes, I am interested in the BT WiFi operation to. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with us here on the OGR Forum. Happy Railroading Everyone

@leapinlarry posted:

Question, will this be system be a stronger signal to the track allowing our Cab 2’s, Cab 1L’s, to not lose our engines? I’m hoping for a lot stronger communication with the remotes to our Legacy/TMCC locomotives and diesels.

The communication to the base from the remotes is a different path than from the command base to the track.  One thing I see about the BASE3 is there is no provision for an external antenna for the remote to base communication.  The Legacy command base frequently benefits from a remote hi-gain antenna, so I hope the BASE3 doesn't have an issue in that regard.  I personally have an issue due to the shape of the basement and where the power panel ended up on the layout.

One note, as far as I know, the Base3 to talk to legacy and TMCC engines does it over the house wiring using the house ground as an antenna (I assume w Lionchief engines it does that via Blue Tooth/RC; I know lc 2.0 supports blue tooth control via an ap, not sure about standard LC/+). I seem to recall base3 can get messages back via the tracks (over the ground side I would assume) from a suitably equipped engine but that is the only 'active' thing on the track side.

Last edited by bigkid
@bigkid posted:

I seem to recall base3 can get messages back via the tracks (over the ground side I would assume) from a suitably equipped engine but that is the only 'active' thing on the track side.

I can see no way the BASE3 is sending return traffic on the tracks.  I'll bet money and give you odds that they're using the Bluetooth for the return traffic.  The TMCC/Legacy carrier is continuous on the rails, and it's a unidirectional signal.  Also, if they attempted to have the locomotives send return traffic on the rails, they'd have all the issues that DCS has with two-way traffic on the rails.  Since any new locomotives and the BASE3 are being fitted with much longer range Bluetooth hardware, that would be the logical and painless way to send the return signal.

I could conceivably be wrong, but based on considerable experience in the field, my money is on the BT link.

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