I just bought a new old stock sealed WARHORSE set from 1997. Why does the electromagnetic coupler my brand new tender, keep opening and letting go of the cars. What can I do about it, besides unplugging the coupler from the circut board inside the tender.
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Secarider - I apologize for not being able to help you resolve your problem but thought I'd share my 'similar' story with you FWIW.
A few years ago I experienced the exact same problem (on a different engine though). Very frustrating, especially when you've just bought the engine. Anyway, I initially resigned myself to the fact that the electro-coupler would have to be replaced to 'cure' the problem and so, because I'm a neophyte when it comes to repairs (and would probably screw things up worse), I dejectedly shipped it off to a Lionel service rep. However, when I got the repaired engine back I was surprised to learn that a new electro-coupler was not needed to fix the problem. I don't know what it means but the invoice simply stated "Determined False Firing. Installed a non-polarized electrolytic cap on rear coupler/prevention."
Good luck in getting your engine fixed without incurring too much cost.
Yes, this is a simple fix on TMCC engines using a capacitor. Do a search to find it or just wait till someone here posts that solution.
Does anyone know where the correct capacitor can be purchased. I believe Radio Shack is out of business. And I cant seem to find the correct one on Google and eBay.
There have been several threads on the forum that have covered this topic over the years.
To cut to the chase, you first need to determine if the problem is mechanical or electrical.
1) Disconnect the coupler from the board in the tender. Remember which socket it came out of because you have two choices in that tender. Operate the locomotive/tender as you normally would and if the coupler still opens, the issue is likely mechanical. You can either fiddle with the internal coupler spring or replace the coupler.
2) If the coupler holds tight during operation when disconnected from the board, then the issue is likely electrical. A 1uf (microfarad), 50v non-polarized/bi-polar capacitor across the coupler socket terminals on the board will usually fix the issue.
Note that adding the cap is a solution for TMCC and early Legacy era locomotives only. It is NOT a solution for locomotives with the Legacy RCMC board.
I will look for the capacitor, thank you for your time.
Search “Lionel Phantom Electro coupler”. Scroll down to Gunrunnerjohn reply. You will find the capacitor.
OK thanks so much for your time
"I believe Radio Shack is out of business."
FWIW and just for the record, they are not, per their website.
Search eBay for item numbers