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Hello! I have a brand new Southern Legacy USRA Light 2-8-2 (SKU: 2131370) that I put on the tracks for the first time last night. I powered up the track, switched on the smoke unit under the cab, put some drops in the stack, and waited. No smoke. I tried reprogramming since I thought maybe something got messed up as I recently ran conventional trains on the track, but that didn't help. I read that for new locomotives more than the suggested 20 drops could be needed to saturate the wick properly. So I added some more drops, still nothing.

I turned down the railsounds and could not hear anything near the stack (I've not had a smoke capable locomotive before so not really sure what I should be hearing, but I assume it should be the fan of the smoke unit). I tried running the locomotive for a while to see if it would kick in, but still no dice. Looking at the owners manual for this locomotive indicates that it doesn't have any diagnostic capabilities for the smoke unit, only the main drive motor, so I don't know how to diagnose this. I couldn't smell any burning, so I think the wick is saturated, but I'm not sure.

What should my next steps be? What should I be looking for?

Thinking I may just try to get it serviced which is a shame since I only just got it, but if it is easier to do that myself (keep in mind this would be the first time I've ever done this) I would likely opt to go that route.

Thanks in advance for any help!

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Not to state the obvious, but is the smoke switch on?

Truthfully, I think the smoke diagnostics were probably just left out of the manual, hard to believe they didn't continue those to this one model.

If you hover over the stack with your lip, can you feel air coming out the stack with the smoke enabled?   If you can measure current to the tracks, does the current increase when you turn smoke on?

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  • mceclip0

Not to state the obvious, but is the smoke switch on?

Truthfully, I think the smoke diagnostics were probably just left out of the manual, hard to believe they didn't continue those to this one model.

If you hover over the stack with your lip, can you feel air coming out the stack with the smoke enabled?   If you can measure current to the tracks, does the current increase when you turn smoke on?

Thank you for your reply! I made sure the switch was turned on, and even tried toggling it back and forth a couple times. I had put my finger over the stack and it felt like there was something there, albeit very minimally, but didn't think to use my lip which surely would be more sensitive to that sort of thing! Will try that today, and will also see about testing the current.

@Norton posted:

Is the switch actually lettered like the one in the illustration above. Most are lettered smoke/no smoke. A quick glance and no appears to be "on".

Also make sure its been enabled in the remote.

Pete

Yes the switch is lettered like in the illustration. Using the legacy remote I put smoke to high, and increased the effects and labor of the locomotive but with no change. Tried turning smoke on/off with remote in addition to the physical switch under the cab but no luck. Going to test track current as suggested above to see if that gives any insight into the problem.

I have the exact same issue with the exact same locomotive. Difference is, my smoke worked perfect if I ran in the LC app! Currently my engine is at Lionel as am I utilizing the warranty. I know this doesn't help much...but I'm glad I'm not the only one to have this issue. I tried just about everything to diagnose the issue on my own, including factory reset. I will update this when I get it back and it says what was fixed. I strongly recommend contacting Lionel and initiating a warranty ticket. It's pretty painless if you have the receipt, and Lionel pays for the FedEx shipping.

I have the exact same issue with the exact same locomotive. Difference is, my smoke worked perfect if I ran in the LC app! Currently my engine is at Lionel as am I utilizing the warranty. I know this doesn't help much...but I'm glad I'm not the only one to have this issue. I tried just about everything to diagnose the issue on my own, including factory reset. I will update this when I get it back and it says what was fixed. I strongly recommend contacting Lionel and initiating a warranty ticket. It's pretty painless if you have the receipt, and Lionel pays for the FedEx shipping.

I have not used the app or attempted to run the locomotive conventionally, but that would be interesting if it starts working with either. Will add it to my list of things to try! Definitely considering sending it out for warranty service though. It does make me feel a bit better to hear that someone else ran into issues, since it means its less likely I did something wrong haha.

@Piedmont Central RR Well that’s exactly the issue with mine as well! I connected via the app, adding some smoke fluid, tapped to enable smoke, and the fan kicked in and it was smoking after ~5 seconds.

I toggled the Bluetooth switch on just before connecting with the app, so not sure if that was the missing link, or why that would matter if it was. I was able to then disconnect my phone and connect with my legacy remote where I had full control over the smoke unit! Haven’t messed with it too much but have turned track power on and off and been able to just use my legacy remote to control the smoke.

Thanks for sharing your experience! It probably would have taken me a lot longer to get it going without you!

Just to add another data point to the file, I received the Lehigh & Hudson River Mikado yesterday and could not get the smoke to activate - no sound from the smoke fan, no heat. I found this thread, downloaded the LC plus app, and was able to activate the smoke immediately through the app. Now I have it running using my Legacy system again with Bluetooth off, and still have full control of the smoke.

Thanks for the thread!

~C. Vigs

Has anyone ever had an issue with their Mikado's make this whining noise while blowing the whistle? What would I do to make this quieter? I placed my GTW 4070 on the track for the first time and noticed my whistle giving out this audible whine from the motor.

Also, after a few minutes of doing this it stopped blowing altogether, the cab light was blinking at least 4 times. I referenced to the manual and the only light referenced was the main motor (one blink). I turned off power for a while and tried it again and whistle blew again, but the noise persisted.

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If you have a whining noise, it's likely the fan motor in the whistle smoke fan.  Many times the blink codes aren't detailed correctly in the manual.  For RCMC equipped locomotives with whistle smoke, you should have at least three blink codes.

For smoke units with the thermistor, there should be five blink codes.

Thank you John, I'll give a status update tomorrow. It happened while our module group was set up and I didn't want to cause any delays with the public watching. I'm glad I brought extra locomotives for "in case of emergencies" for events like this.

John, I checked out my smoke unit. Placed a drop of oil on both main and whistle motors.

I noticed the one impeller was broken at 2 blades. I removed the pieces, spun the motor by hand to verify it wasn't getting stuck. I reassembled, tested it out and passed with flying colors. Oh yes, I soaked the wick with plenty of fluid while I had it opened it up. It sure put plenty out. Even with 2 less blades, I don't see any difference in smoke output compared to an impeller with all blades. I guess someone is watching over me.

I did include this photo to show the bottom impeller for whistle.

20210606_125829

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  • 20210606_125829

I have the exact same issue with the exact same locomotive. Difference is, my smoke worked perfect if I ran in the LC app! Currently my engine is at Lionel as am I utilizing the warranty. I know this doesn't help much...but I'm glad I'm not the only one to have this issue. I tried just about everything to diagnose the issue on my own, including factory reset. I will update this when I get it back and it says what was fixed. I strongly recommend contacting Lionel and initiating a warranty ticket. It's pretty painless if you have the receipt, and Lionel pays for the FedEx shipping.

Is this a common problem on certain locos?

In my humble opinion, I think Lionel is still working out the kinks of locos that run all on conventional, Bluetooth and Legacy controls.

I suspect you're right.  I'm pretty sure the bug that I discovered for the Hotspot mode of the LC Universal Remote and LC+ steam smoke has never been fixed as there hasn't been a new release since I reported it.

Looks like the whistle smoke is getting too hot, if that unit has thermistors, maybe they're not at the right spacing.

John, I reopened it back up just so I can get a photo of the thermistors. I took it both with and without flash. Yes, I am aware of that brown stuff on the gasket and am cleaning it up. Our module group used homemade smoke fluid from one of our members as we didn't have Lionel smoke fluid. I have some on hand. I also included a photo of the wick as well. I do have a fresh wick in my parts bin should be necessary. I do apologize for a late response.

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Update as promised: Lionel warranty service took 2 months to get my locomotive back to me. Essentially, they replaced the mother board, smoke unit and tubing. I still find unit will not smoke unless I run bluetooth app AND legacy at the same time. Whistle steam worked and then didn't, but a shot of compressed air down whistle spout seemed to fix that problem. Next, loco stopped and cab flashed. I could not appreciate a pattern...it just flashed continuously. Factory reset apparently fixed that problem. Overall, I would say I'm completely underwhelmed by the performance of this engine, especially for the price point.

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