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First time user here. I have the Lionel Command Control Culvert Unloader #345 (6-82030) and the Culvert Loader #342 (6-82029) with the Command Control Plug-Expand-Play system that I am trying to set up. It says that you can connect it to a traditional O/O27 track lock-on or to an accessory power supply. I have it connected to an 18VAC accessory power supply using the Lionel 3-pin female pigtail (6-82038) per their instructions, using only the red and black wires. The white wire in unused. I am using Lionel 3 rail tubular track. There is a switch on the back for program and run. I have it set to run. When I turn on the power, the lights on the Unloader crossbeam blink continuously. When I move the gondola in to break the beam, nothing happens. The instructions talk about programing the Unloader and Loader using a Cab-1, Cab-1L or Legacy remote. However, I do not have a Lionel system. I am running an MTH DCS Explorer system. What do I need to do to get these working? Can I run them the conventional way without the command control? Do I need to purchase a Lionel system? If so, what is the cheapest option? I sent an email to Lionel Support over a week ago, but I have not received a response. Thanks for all your help.

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Based on the numbers you provided, unfortunately it looks like this is a "command only" accessory.  No where in the manual does it talk about non-command functionality.  I'm thinking you would have to add the Lionel command system to use this accessory based on what I am seeing in the paperwork.  I would say if it was able to operate manually it would have come with an external control box.

I read a thread on here where someone was setting up a Lionel Command Control Sawmill (6-82023) and was able to work it conventionally by hooking the white wire up to the hot terminal. That sure would make it easy. These accessories are very expensive, so I didn’t want to wire it up that way without some kind of assurances from Lionel that it will work. I am no electrician, but the white wire on the accessory appears to be wired in and not just an unwired spare.

Not sure if this helps, but I've got a non-command version and the IR sensor to trigger the action has never worked; it has never detected the car is present.  I've replaced the IR transmitter and receiver from Lionel parts, but no luck, so it sits on a shelf... Next layout I'll take another look at it or do a direct wire to bypass the IR circuit.

I have both of these units and, unfortunately, I think you may be out of luck. As Marty said, these units are Command Control only and the boards inside are set up to only respond and operate to commands coming from a Lionel CC system.

Although DCS can operate TMCC/Legacy engines, you still need a Legacy command base as part of the system unless you want to operate in conventional, which is not possible with these units and, obviously, once you have a command system you no longer need DCS to operate them. Using an AIU won't help because you still have no command function and the units do not operate conventionally.

I have not heard of a fix using the white wire, which is simply part of the plug n' play system.

My guess is that you either need to install a command system or sell/trade your units for older ones. Both of my CC units work great with my Legacy system. There are some decent buys on older Cab-1 or Cab-1L systems (I'd go with the Cab-1L if you don't want to upgrade to a #990 Legacy system) and it will give you the opportunity to also run Lionel CC engines in the future, which isn't a bad thing.

I would just re-check the manual to be positive, but both units should work fine with a Cab-1L system. Once in place and powered up, the base needs to be connected to the outer rail. Fastrack is not necessary - it will work fine with tubular track.

Follow the set-up instructions for the units carefully. You will have to assign a number to each unit and it's a good idea to write it down so there's no confusion as to which number works which unit. Once programmed, my recollection is that you press "ACC", then the number, then Aux 2 to start it up, but it may be different on the Cab-1L remote from the Legacy remote.   

I called Lionel Customer Service today to see if the CAB-1L Base and Remote will work on my layout. I was on hold for a little more than 3 hours before I had to hang up to go somewhere. I am using the MTH DCS Explorer system that puts 15V DC power to the Lionel tubular track. The instructions for the CAB-1L Base says "Any three-rail O-gauge or two-rail S-gauge, alternating current-powered model railroad can become a LEGACY railroad." I am not running any Lionel trains. I just want to be able to operate Lionel command control accessories. The Culvert Loader and Unloader are powered by a separate 18V AC transformer. Doesn't the track just act like an antenna for the CAB-1L Base? 

I was finally able to get a hold of someone at Lionel today. She said that the Lionel Command Control Culvert Unloader #345 (6-82030) and the Culvert Loader #342 (6-82029) can only be controlled by command control. She said the CAB-1L Command Set would work fine on my layout, but since my track power is DC that I will have to connect the CAB-1L Base to the transformer U terminal.

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