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Recently my legacy remote has been experiencing issues. The brake on the boost and brake wheel is one of the bigger problems, I've had the system for roughy 5 years now with the issues happening at times but now it seems to be acting more up, sometimes when I turn the remote on the boost or brake is already active before I turn track power or a locomotive on. At random times when running the brake will be applied and my hand is no where near it, I have to push up to boost to cancel it out. Also just occurring today the remote seemed to die on my twice when I had fresh batteries in. Is there any way I could fix these issues myself or would it be best to send it in for repairs?

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Hi RR Crew

I'm new to the forum and have a question about a weird CAB 2 Legacy remote/base issue.

I've had the layout working for a few years now w/o issues.

Recently I found that when I power up the track up to 4 or 5 engines all turn on and in some cases run away.

Note base is always powered up.

At that point I have no control of any engine selected.  I note the communications LED on the base does flicker when a use the remote.

What I found so far;

If I bind the base to the remote on any channel everything works fine each time I power up.

If I place the remote on the base for a minute with the track power off then take the remote off the base and power up the track the problem repeats, all engines start, no control of engines.

I then bind the base to remote and everything is OK again.

I have repeated this process ten times in a row and the issue its 100% repeatable.

Conditions:

New batteries in remote with base charger terminals taped off to isolated any issues related to charger circuit draining or overcharging batteries.

Remote displays full battery charge, DMV reads 1.4-1.5 VDC an all 3 batteries with remote active

Remote is within 5 feet of base- Comm led flashes but engines do not respond.

Anyone ever had this crazy problem?  Thank You, any help highly appreciated.

The fact that the engines take off suggests you don't have a TMCC track signal, this actually has nothing to do with the CAB2 to base link.  I don't see this having anything to do with the CAB2 remote at all.  Locomotives taking off when powering on is strictly a function of no track signal, nothing to do with the CAB2 or it's operation.

Check the outlet that the Legacy base is connected to for proper grounding.  Make sure the track connection is properly connected to the outside rails.


The engines taking off says low or no base output. I'm wondering if resting the remote on the base causes it to heat up a bit and the output to the track voltage is reduced for some reason related to heat. I am thinking you remove the remote from the base to re-"bind" it to the base allowing it to cool somewhat? Not having the remote sync to the base would not cause the engines to start up on applying the 18vac.

There have been issues with low output from the base...but they have been permanent I think.

@cjack posted:


The engines taking off says low or no base output. I'm wondering if resting the remote on the base causes it to heat up a bit and the output to the track voltage is reduced for some reason related to heat. I am thinking you remove the remote from the base to re-"bind" it to the base allowing it to cool somewhat? Not having the remote sync to the base would not cause the engines to start up on applying the 18vac.

There have been issues with low output from the base...but they have been permanent I think.

Thanks for that feedback.  I was also thinking about base / remote temperature. I will repeat the test but let remote and base return to temperature for 30 minutes with the remote removed then try the power up again.  Weak signal to the track outer rail seems most suspect.  Thank You I will give an update. 

The fact that the engines take off suggests you don't have a TMCC track signal, this actually has nothing to do with the CAB2 to base link.  I don't see this having anything to do with the CAB2 remote at all.  Locomotives taking off when powering on is strictly a function of no track signal, nothing to do with the CAB2 or it's operation.

Check the outlet that the Legacy base is connected to for proper grounding.  Make sure the track connection is properly connected to the outside rails.

Hi Gunrunnerjohn

Thanks for that reply, I will double check the outer rail com connection and base unit AC power ground. 

Weak signal to the track does make sense.

Also wondering if track 18VAC phasing is critical?  I'm using a Lionel Powerhouse transformer.

Thank You

Phasing is not critical as far as TMCC track signal, only if you use multiple transformers, obviously they all have to be in phase.  All transformers used obviously should be isolated from any connection to the primary of the transformer.

I've seen quite a few Legacy and TMCC bases with low output voltage, including one of my Legacy bases.  I no longer use the Legacy base to charge, I use the #993 charging base to charge my Legacy remotes.

Here's a simple rig to test track signal strength, and instructions for use:

Testing the TMCC/Legacy Track Output Signal



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Phasing is not critical as far as TMCC track signal, only if you use multiple transformers, obviously they all have to be in phase.  All transformers used obviously should be isolated from any connection to the primary of the transformer.

I've seen quite a few Legacy and TMCC bases with low output voltage, including one of my Legacy bases.  I no longer use the Legacy base to charge, I use the #993 charging base to charge my Legacy remotes.

Here's a simple rig to test track signal strength, and instructions for use:

Testing the TMCC/Legacy Track Output Signal



Wow, Thank you for the schematic. That will be a huge help.  I'm a retired electronics test engineer so that schematic is a big help.

Just ran another test.  With the remote in the base for a couple of minutes then it all works fine on track power up.

With e remote on the base for 30 minutes then the track signal is lost and trains start up on power up.

Wait 10 minutes with remote off the base and power up is then OK. 

So Cjack is on to something, the remote in the base heats up either the remote or the base enough to cause the problem.

Im now testing the base unit with a styrofoam insert in place of the remote to see if base heating is the issue.

BTW the base or remote does not get hot, just warm to the touch.

I did eliminate the base charging and plan to use lithium batteries.  Taped off the charge terminals at base.

Also ran a more direct signal wire run thinking it was too long and mixed in a bundle of layout wires for 4-5 feet.

Also check to make sure the Lionel Power house has a good ground at 3 prong plug.

Again thank you, I will use the test schematic on the base with it empty and with the remote placed on it.

Suspect we will find signal degradation when warm.

Roger

Well Gunrunnerjohn  and cjack (not sure if he can see this reply?)

I tested the signal level after the foam insulation was on the base for 10 minutes.

The signal was near zero, less than 100mVdc

I removed the foam and waited a few minutes and the signal came up to 1.8VDC.

Then I noticed that if I press lightly on the base in the center where the remote goes the signal goes to zero again.

So now we suspect heating as a primary driver of the cause.  And the and root cause is most likely a PCB cold solder joint of crack land run.

Strange, just last week I had our double wall oven controller/relay board out because the ovens were acting flaky.

Turns out there were cracked joints on the single sided PCB ate connector headers.

I will open the base up and find the culprit and report back.

I cant believe how helpful you guys are.

I hope that I will be able to help others in the future.

@cjack posted:

There is also mechanical jiggling the base that can cause an intermittent connection to make and break. The bottom line though is low base signal from whatever cause.

Hi Cjack

You were spot on.

The heating in the base is opening up the signal path output.

Then confirmed its a mechanical break issue, most likely pcb cold solder or broken/cracked joint.



Thank You!!! 

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