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Ok so to simply start yes I opened a brand new locomotive. Moving on I have a 2031700 Big Boy that I have always been suspicious of the smoke unit. When I first got it put out a LOAD of smoke. And within the first 5 minutes I didn’t like the smell and popped it open to already find the elements and batting charred. So I cleaned the elements replaced the batting and moved on. I also found a wire to one ground light smashed and burned on in two by the factory, that was repaired. Recently I had it at the club and close to the end of the day I got two blinks from the cab. Main element failure. Whoopee, finally cracked it open

first I find the smoke funnel partially melted, (this is going to be promising) get everything apart and the main stack element has the wire broken loose. And the whistle unit (might I add the unit that was still working) obviously overheated deforming the funnel and actually did start to deform the impeller but it’s not bad. I have replaced both elements since I had new 8ohm elements had to get some new high temp solder but they are new had the new elements same hight as the thermistors and everything perpendicular to the PCB, set everything back together and got again a TREMENDOUS amount of smoke on the “LOW” setting. Shut that down after a couple of minutes and waited for the smoke to clear (it was that much). Decided to try pushing the thermistors closer so they run cooler and this time left the funnel off and now I’m concerned I think that helped but the resistors are getting RED hot. Now I don’t typically look at elements under use so is this normal and I’m over reacting or is there another issue?



With the new smoke “improvements” and the number of whistle steam units over heating I don’t wonder if there is a slight bug in the firmware or if it’s all mechanical.

Thanks in advance for all thoughts

Attachments

Images (7)
  • 69A5F425-3C53-4D43-928B-62DB15A5D110: Funnel melted
  • 0881371E-FACA-43B8-BDCE-9628CAC93739: Original elements from first 5 minutes of use
  • A1CB611A-11C2-4910-9FF6-1F24329021FD: Original smashed wire that’s now fixed
  • 2EA5AD2A-22AF-4447-B394-9BF9EDCF94AD: Elements now that have obviously gotten hot one burned up
  • 086ACCC0-A270-4868-85C4-1B1652B90D93: Another angle note the solder ball starting to form. Again original elements
  • 8ADEF6C7-F54D-43F4-B701-A32C407CE3BA: Top of PCB with original elements
  • 28E7E9D2-0C02-4BC8-AE0A-580D054824FB: New elements installed thermistors close to elements smoke on LOW and whistle activated.
Last edited by zhubl
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Thermistors look too far away. They should be a couple mm away from the resistors.

I've got a Legacy ATSF Northern from 2019 V2 with this setup. I adjusted the thermistors out of the box to be a couple mm away from the resistors and the same height. Makes a lot of smoke on medium but after 10 hours of run time nothing is burnt up and all smoke features work fine.

@Lou1985 posted:

Thermistors look too far away. They should be a couple mm away from the resistors.

I've got a Legacy ATSF Northern from 2019 V2 with this setup. I adjusted the thermistors out of the box to be a couple mm away from the resistors and the same height. Makes a lot of smoke on medium but after 10 hours of run time nothing is burnt up and all smoke features work fine.

Hey buddy,....I haven’t seen inside one of those units yet,.....you didn’t mention Lionel went MAF 🤣🤣🤣🤣.......what’s next?..O2’s by the stack?...🤣🤣🤣🤣

Pat

@harmonyards posted:

Hey buddy,....I haven’t seen inside one of those units yet,.....you didn’t mention Lionel went MAF 🤣🤣🤣🤣.......what’s next?..O2’s by the stack?...🤣🤣🤣🤣

Pat

I mean I tried swapping in an 80mm Pro-M and tuning it with the Quarter Horse but smoke output didn't increase .

But yes Lionel now uses a thermistor to control the temp on the resistor in the latest (2018? and up) Legacy smoke units. The thermistor needs to be level with the resistor and about 2mm away from it so both are nestled in the batting and the thermistor gets an accurate temp reading. If the person assembling the smoke unit is a little sloppy you get a burned out unit or melted parts.

@Lou1985 posted:

I mean I tried swapping in an 80mm Pro-M and tuning it with the Quarter Horse but smoke output didn't increase .

But yes Lionel now uses a thermistor to control the temp on the resistor in the latest (2018? and up) Legacy smoke units. The thermistor needs to be level with the resistor and about 2mm away from it so both are nestled in the batting and the thermistor gets an accurate temp reading. If the person assembling the smoke unit is a little sloppy you get a burned out unit or melted parts.

Pro M is highly overrated,.....Lightning MAF, and a tune from Sean, and these smoke units would be good to go,....clearly they’re goin’ lean, so we need to fatten up the AFR’s,....😆😆😆😆.....lean is mean, but it burns up the machine,....😉

Pat

Y’all crack me up 😂 better be careful what you wish for. 10 years for now there will be O2 sensors and all kinds of other junk just to make some smoke toot out of the whistle 😂

In all seriousness @Lou1985 the picture you was was when they were removed I was not smart enough to measure the spacing. I recently found a thread stating the spacing should be 1.6mm. When I get a chance to look at it again I’ll check what the spacing is.

my main concern was that I saw the elements glow red. Didn’t know if that normal or not. The last time I saw red down a funnel it was on a conventional dockside switcher smoked like ALCO diesel for 2 minutes then never saw smoke out of the stack again.

@zhubl posted:

In all seriousness @Lou1985 the picture you was was when they were removed I was not smart enough to measure the spacing. I recently found a thread stating the spacing should be 1.6mm. When I get a chance to look at it again I’ll check what the spacing is.

I can tell in this picture that the spacing is way more than 2mm!

@zhubl posted:
my main concern was that I saw the elements glow red. Didn’t know if that normal or not. The last time I saw red down a funnel it was on a conventional dockside switcher smoked like ALCO diesel for 2 minutes then never saw smoke out of the stack again.

You should never see the resistor get hot enough to glow at all!  That's a "Red Flag", pardon the pun.

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Images (1)
  • mceclip0
Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

@gunrunnerjohn the bad thing about the picture you looked at was thats from the factory! 😒

Ok here’s a picture of where I had them lastA3B38C38-7BC6-42F4-9AFB-45D8630C87DD

as you can see I intentionally set them close so that the RCMC would not run the element very hot. That obviously didn’t work

here is them now set at .079” from side of the element to side of the thermistor. I don’t know if that measure meant was the gap or center to center.
47EF1A06-C8B4-4F08-93D4-FE65AFEF4102

ok and now the results! May the forum gods forgive me I did not realize what I did until it was done. I...

filmed in portrait mode.

as you can see A Lot of smoke with it set on “low” and the resistor are getting red after 1 minute. I typically don’t like to have red flags of this nature on my railroad 😜

as I’m typing this out I think when I get another chance I might trace wires back to the RCMC and make sure there isn’t a different valve of the thermistors at the PCB VS what they actually read

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Images (2)
  • A3B38C38-7BC6-42F4-9AFB-45D8630C87DD
  • 47EF1A06-C8B4-4F08-93D4-FE65AFEF4102
Videos (1)
trim.196B1F1B-7CDF-4578-877B-84587A85F4B4
Last edited by zhubl
@Bruk posted:

At Eastside we have had a few 2019 models (big boys for example) come back into the repair shop for melted smoke units. We were told that there was an issue with the corrupt flash coding on the RCMCs. So they sent out new smoke units and RCMCs for these engines.

Any other Lionel engines with this issue? We've found MTH engines at 16 volts will in most cases out smoke a Lionel running at 18 volts by a large margin, in fact by so much the risk of melting passenger cars or cabooses make it not worth the higher track voltage.

Last edited by BobbyD
@Bruk posted:

At Eastside we have had a few 2019 models (big boys for example) come back into the repair shop for melted smoke units. We were told that there was an issue with the corrupt flash coding on the RCMCs. So they sent out new smoke units and RCMCs for these engines.

OK I have a problem with this.  Not Bruk's comment but the fact that Lionel knows there is a potential issue and has not done a public notification.  I wonder how many maybe running these with defective coding and are not paying attention and possibly doing greater damage to the engine?  With parts for these items usually at a premium wouldn't an ounce of prevention be better than a destroyed smoke unit or worse?

@Bruk posted:

At Eastside we have had a few 2019 models (big boys for example) come back into the repair shop for melted smoke units. We were told that there was an issue with the corrupt flash coding on the RCMCs. So they sent out new smoke units and RCMCs for these engines.

So my 2019 Northern is making too much smoke on the medium setting? I've got about 7 hours run time on it without issue, but I need to refill the smoke unit after 10-12 minutes of run time.

@Bruk posted:

We were told that there was an issue with the corrupt flash coding on the RCMCs. So they sent out new smoke units and RCMCs for these engines.

That was exactly what I though was probably going on. Issue is now I’m sure they won’t want to honor any warranty since I opened it up. I have no issue replacing the RCMC my self. Doubt they’d go for re-flashing my current RCMC.

@MartyE posted:

OK I have a problem with this.  Not Bruk's comment but the fact that Lionel knows there is a potential issue and has not done a public notification.  I wonder how many maybe running these with defective coding and are not paying attention and possibly doing greater damage to the engine?  With parts for these items usually at a premium wouldn't an ounce of prevention be better than a destroyed smoke unit or worse?

My same thought Marty it honestly doesn’t actually make any since. Even for the bean counters! I had a 1 1/2 year old inverting Heat Pump system my company installed. Our supplier called and said there was a recall on a PCB in the outdoor unit, some issues with the firmware and they sent out new boards and covered our labor for like $90. Granted this isn’t apples to apples that was a $8,000-12,000 HVAC system but still.

@Lou1985 posted:

So my 2019 Northern is making too much smoke on the medium setting? I've got about 7 hours run time on it without issue, but I need to refill the smoke unit after 10-12 minutes of run time.

well let’s just say I’ve seen those crap out too. Start at around 22 min on this video where we start up the locomotives. The Frisco has had no issues. The rock island this was its first run and its last until Lionel is done with it. I just had the owner call and get a RA. And to double box it when he ships it. That’s the biggest fear I have this big boy showed up on my door with a 2X3 hole in it all the way to the styrofoam. Surprisingly it was undamaged. If it wasn’t for COVID UPS would’ve waited for a signature and I would’ve made them wait before I signed.

@zhubl posted:


well let’s just say I’ve seen those crap out too. Start at around 22 min on this video where we start up the locomotives. The Frisco has had no issues. The rock island this was its first run and its last until Lionel is done with it. I just had the owner call and get a RA. And to double box it when he ships it. That’s the biggest fear I have this big boy showed up on my door with a 2X3 hole in it all the way to the styrofoam. Surprisingly it was undamaged. If it wasn’t for COVID UPS would’ve waited for a signature and I would’ve made them wait before I signed.

Well with 7 hours of run time on my 2019 ATSF Northern I'm going to assume that it's probably fine. Worst case, if it's an issue, I'll get an RCMC through the LHS I bought it from. I can't send mine back to Lionel, because they'll know I've been in it already (I did adjust the smoke unit thermistors while I was in there):

How to void the warranty on your brand new Legacy steam locomotive in one step, swap the motor. | O Gauge Railroading On Line Forum (ogaugerr.com)

A couple guys local had issues with the RI version. I was able to adjust the thermistors on those and it seems to have solved the problem thus far.

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