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2E062286-B3DF-4919-BC09-6B1C1C903A83All,

I believe I have a TMCC S-4 with a bad smoke unit regulator and need confirmation. Let me start with the reg board only powers the smoke resistor. The fan is driven off of the R2LC smoke output circuit and that’s not an issue. I noticed Lionel added the smoke unit regulator to this model after 2002? probably due to complaints of lack of smoke volume?
I’ve gone through trouble shooting and here are my results:
•getting track voltage into the 691-ACRG-ES2 regulator and no voltage is making it out of the triac which is the last component before the brown/blk stripe wire (goes to the smoke switch and then smoke resistor)
•The brown wire on the reg board has 3.6V
•Red and Blk “+/- input” wires have voltage
•Blk “-out” wire was clipped and only 1” long. I didn’t see any wire laying around that would’ve been severed from it. Crappy workmanship? (Also have a yellow wire on the ACDR with a rather large wire nick and it has a random spliced red wire that is 1/2” long and cut at the end of the heat shrink and left exposed.)

So, I believe the reg board is garbage. I’m guessing the 8 pin IC chip flaked out. What’s the point of having this board? Did Lionel add this to up the current capability to the resistor through an auxiliary voltage reg therefore saving the R2LC board? I think I’ll just replace the resistor with a 22 ohm? and omit the reg board. Will this be safe for the R2LC? Any input will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Dan

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Well, there are true experts on the forum who can help more than me, and hopefully one of them will chime in, but based on what you say and looking at the parts diagram for what I think is your model:

(1) I think that the AC Regulator has fried - as they were very prone to do with what appears to be the specific smoke unit installed in your case (no longer available as a complete unit from Lionel).

(2) If your smoke unit PCB has not also fried, you might be able to track down a replacement regulator (I don’t recognize the specific product number you mention) but the resistor in the smoke unit would have to be 8 Ohm or greater value to safeguard against the regulator being overtaxed again. I think that these smoke units originally shipped with 6 Ohm resistors, and produced prodigious smoke, but Lionel soon changed the spec to 8 Ohm because of frequent AC Reg. failures.

(3) The clipped black wire is an extra ground wire that is surplus to requirements and was probably clipped in manufacturing.

(4) Really not sure you can just change the resistor or install an earlier generation “dumb” smoke unit wired direct to track power as (AFAIK) you won’t have control over smoke effects.

I could be wrong about that last point but someone else may know better.

@Hancock52 posted:

Well, there are true experts on the forum who can help more than me, and hopefully one of them will chime in, but based on what you say and looking at the parts diagram for what I think is your model:

(1) I think that the AC Regulator has fried - as they were very prone to do with what appears to be the specific smoke unit installed in your case (no longer available as a complete unit from Lionel).

(2) If your smoke unit PCB has not also fried, you might be able to track down a replacement regulator (I don’t recognize the specific product number you mention) but the resistor in the smoke unit would have to be 8 Ohm or greater value to safeguard against the regulator being overtaxed again. I think that these smoke units originally shipped with 6 Ohm resistors, and produced prodigious smoke, but Lionel soon changed the spec to 8 Ohm because of frequent AC Reg. failures.

(3) The clipped black wire is an extra ground wire that is surplus to requirements and was probably clipped in manufacturing.

(4) Really not sure you can just change the resistor or install an earlier generation “dumb” smoke unit wired direct to track power as (AFAIK) you won’t have control over smoke effects.

I could be wrong about that last point but someone else may know better.

Hancock52,

The model # is 6-28548. The last 3 digits in Lionel's part# 691ACRGES2 is assigned based on the sticker on the 8 pin IC chip. Lionel's other smoke regulators have the same prefix but different 3 digit extension at the end. I'm assuming they're for units with different resistor values and/or steam/diesel applications. Smoke unit reg 691ACRGES2 is available for $20.00. I measured the resistor and my meter showed 8 ohms which is congruent with Lionel's parts site. I guess I'll just order one...or two.

Thanks!

Dan

Last edited by DanVW

The smoke regulator is to allow three levels of command selectable smoke volume.  As the previous post suggests, the smoke unit should have any 6 ohm resistor replaced with the 8 ohm resistor.  As for the exact part number, it really helps if you provide the exact Lionel product number.

GRJ,

Model # 6-28548. The regulator is available from Lionel. The resistor is 8 ohm from the factory. I was just thinking of a way to bypass the reg but it makes sense Lionel used it to stage smoke volume hence the brown serial data wire. I'll just order a replacement.

Thanks again,

Dan

Last edited by DanVW

Yep, you can bypass it and tie it directly to the smoke control output of the R2LC, that also requires you change the smoke resistor to something in the 20-27 ohm range as well.

One trick to increase the longevity of the smoke regulators is to open up the heat-shrink and fold out the triac and bolt it to the frame.  You will need insulating hardware for that trick as it must be insulated from the frame, but that give it better heat dissipation and lengthens it's life.

Yep, you can bypass it and tie it directly to the smoke control output of the R2LC, that also requires you change the smoke resistor to something in the 20-27 ohm range as well.

One trick to increase the longevity of the smoke regulators is to open up the heat-shrink and fold out the triac and bolt it to the frame.  You will need insulating hardware for that trick as it must be insulated from the frame, but that give it better heat dissipation and lengthens it's life.

GRJ,

I settled on ordering a replacement. I want to keep the variable smoke intensity feature. I'm already planning on bolting it to a metal heatsink bracket or frame. I already have the insulating silicone mats and hardware. Hopefully it'll stay together a bit longer this time!

Thanks,

Dan

The smoke regulator is to allow three levels of command selectable smoke volume.  As the previous post suggests, the smoke unit should have any 6 ohm resistor replaced with the 8 ohm resistor.  As for the exact part number, it really helps if you provide the exact Lionel product number.

I just replaced the 6 ohm resistor with a 8 ohm on my early Legacy FEF.  While I loved the smoke output, in the long run I'd rather have a happy regulator.  It's doing alright with a 8 ohm.

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