OK... I know I am not crazy, wish to see if others have any ideas about this.  I installed ERR DC Commander and Rail Sounds Commander in a MTH 20-2151LP St. Fe F3 ABA set in 2015.  The Commander is R4LC and the RS are of the latest ERR design for the time.  Now for the enigma.  I have ran this F3 ABA many times with a Cab1, pull pass consists of over 12 cars being 18" to 21" extruded aluminum with no problem.  Today, while pulling only 6 alum 21" cars, the sound began being garbled when pressing the horn button on the Cab1.  Thought it was possibly the Cab1, so I switched to another Cab1, with same result.  Disconnect the cars and ran engines separate.  Now, the engines had no response to the TMCC signal.  When powering up the track with Cab1, lights come on and engines began to move, but weak RS.  Again, shut down and after 30 sec. or so, power up.  Now, have RS but engine responds as if in conventional.  Then...… I hear a "clank" and the RS begins to fade out slowly.  WHAT?  There is NO PS1 in this engine, was taken totally out in 2015 when converted.  Also, now, the engine consist ABA have forward, neutral, reverse, neutral, forward, etc...…..   BUT, the powered A unit has ERR TMCC and RS in it...…..  And, as you know, ERR TMCC does not have neutral sequence, only Forward to reverse, etc.  I know this is weird, and I still hear a "clank" just before the RS begins to fade out.   So.... move program/run switch to program and reset the engine ID and use feature code #6.   Put back on track, single unit, and power up.  Same as before with engine response to Cab1, but have no RS.  Try reset ID and feature again, several times, and still have no RS.  Removed shell and inspected, all is in good order and all connections good, even tested for continuity between connections of plugs.  I am out of ideas, and am at complete loss about "clank" and neutral activity, even though it did this for approx. 30 minutes before I tried the ID and feature resets.  Any suggestions?????

Jesse   TCA

Pictures in next post

 

Original Post

OK... attached are pics on ERR installation and the PS1 electronics removed in 2015.  Any ideas and/or suggestions are very welcome.  Still, the conventional activity, the "clank" sounds and neutral response to direction control, from ERR TMCC DC Commander is the really strange occurrence.  And other than the tether, 4 pin, running through the B unit and to the dummy A, there is only the lighting modules in the A units for direction headlight and Mars lights.  Am I missing something here?  What?  I have done many ERR conversions, and this one worked fine for years until today, with no shorts, derailments, etc.F3 ERR IMG_6225F3 ERR IMG_6226F3 ERR IMG_6227F3 ERR IMG_6228F3 ERR IMG_6229F3 ERR IMG_6230

Jesse   TCA

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Bobbyd,   Yes, had an Atlas Erie FM AB, both powered and as train #7, running on an adjacent track at the same time.  And, had been running the F3 ABA just prior to the strange behavior.  No kidding, the "clank" from the powered A unit and the return of F-N-R-N-F sequence, with only ERR electronics installed (with exception of original MTH lighting boards in both A units), that is most puzzling and almost of more concern than loss of RS.   No doubt there was a "clank" from the power unit, heard it too many times to be mistaken, still couldn't believe what I was hearing.  Plus, the fact I ran the consist in this state, power on/power off repeatedly and let it sit for as much as a minute, for close to 30 minutes trying to figure it out.  The power A unit was ran separately when going through reset of the engine ID and feature #6.  It did return to comm control, but no RS.   Still scratching my head over this, and with some loss of hair!   LOL!!

One other thing, before this behavior, the rear headlight(in dummy A unit) did not light in reverse but the rear couplers work fine.  Now, after the strange behavior, the rear couplers still work fine, but now the rear headlight works every time.  I had inspected wiring many times over the years and it was wired correctly, but rear headlight did not function until now.  This, even though the Mars light has always functioned, and no, as you can see in pictures, I do not have the front coupler wired to function.

Jesse

TRNLUVR,

Not a spare, would need to borrow one from another engine, and can do so with only removal of shell from a diff engine.  May give it a try this evening when I can.  Thanks for the idea.  I know, this sounds all together from left field, but, it is what occurred.  I am wondering what in the MTH electronics that remain may have a "stored memory" of the former PS1 system?  If the engine went into conventional mode, as they can do, what (and where) may have a "memory" of the former functions, and produced the sounds and F-N-R-N-F actions?

Beginning to think of removal of the MTH lighting boards.  The only lighting I really need them for is the Mars light.  All else can be powered from the DC Comm, that is, except for the Mars. 

Thanks for the input.  I have no doubt about the receiver as the engine responses to the Cab1 after I reset the engine ID and feature #6.  It will be more effort to do so, but to try a swap out of the RS board from another engine will give me some answers.  Really too bad I don't have "spares" around, seems they all get installed into PS1 or other conventional engines.  

Jesse

OK.... been busy this afternoon/evening with checking out the RS in the MTH converted F3s.  Have tried RS from other engines (ERR steam) and swapping out R4LC and R2LC  boards from other ERR converted engines.  As best I can determine, the ERR RS Commander F3 board has gone bad.  That is curious and I wonder what had been making the "clank" sound just before the RS sounds would start to fade out.  John, Stan, GGG... can you identify any component to produce that sound when starting to go out?  Also, I used the original 8 ohm, 12W speaker that was in the PS1 MTH F3s previous to install of the ERR.  Would this have that effect on the ERR RS Commander, when the install instructions say the speaker must be at least an 8 ohm, 0.5 watt speaker.?

Jesse   TCA

The stock MTH ps1 speaker should be a 16 ohm unless it was replaced. So that is higher than a 8 ohm .5 watt. It wouldn't be as loud as it could be. Some of those old speakers go bad. Check with an ohm meter to make sure it didn't fail shorted.

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

Joe,

Yes, I tried another speaker, one from ERR that came with one of the kits I have installed.  The original in the F3 A unit is labeled 8 ohm, 12V.  I have another MTH speaker, from a diff PS1 conversion to ERR, and it is labeled 8 ohm, 6.8V.  I too wondered whether the speaker may have caused a problem with the RS board, and trying a new ERR speaker has no response from the RS board.  I am thinking of opening all the ERR conversions I have done and making a listing of all engines and what components are within (size speaker, Rail Sounds version, R4LC/R2LC, etc.) as this would be great to refer to and save a lot of having to remove shells.  Still thinking of need to replace the RS board, next purchase with other ERR commanders.  But, first have to find time and going to put my last Cruise Comm M into the K Line Rock Island E8 AA set.  Use these to pull my 13 car K Line 21" CZ consist, and having cruise would be a great benefit.

Jesse   TCA 

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texastrain posted:

Joe,

  I too wondered whether the speaker may have caused a problem with the RS board, and trying a new ERR speaker has no response from the RS board.

Jesse   TCA 

Well? just to be clear for others and I'm sure you thought of this, testing the original speaker would be the way to tell if it took out the board. Testing the board just verifies that the sound is in fact dead.

I just dabble in TMCC stuff and like to follow these posts to learn more myself. My experience with them, is they just seem to quit abruptly and pieces need replacing. Reading other's posts seem to confirm that.

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

Joe,

I understand the stance you take on this.  As with anything electronic, or mechanical sometimes, problems can occur.  As stated, I installed this in the F3s in 2015 after removal of the PS1 (which gave ever more the trouble).  It had ran fine, sounded fine until the other day.  I am beginning to believe the engine went into conventional for some reason, have not determined why, yet.  I definitely heard a "clank" like sound repeatedly and afterwards the RS would fade away.  I did do repeated shut down and restart to ensure I was hearing what I thought I heard.  That was my mistake, I am certain.  When it first occurred, I should have set the engine aside and inspected it, then perform the reset of the engine ID and feature #6.  My mistake, I am certain, but the curiosity got the better of me.  One would think I had learned that lesson years ago!!  LOL!!  So, who knows, with a new RS F3 board installed, this most likely will not happen again.  The Gremlins are "out there"  and pop their heads up time to time.  Oh yeah, have done so yet, but will still keep the RS board and try it later in another engine.  You never know.  Have done this before and it all worked out fine.  Only would like to have the knowledge GGG, John, Stan or others have to check it out as a stand alone.  Hmmmm…. instructions do illustrate how you can use in convention engine, without serial input from TMCC board.

Jesse    TCA 

I wonder where they're at? Summer = busy. Sometimes if the post bumps up enough times, they see it and chime in.

The problem with most of this I would guess, is that they need the engine in their hands so they can troubleshoot it fully. All they can do here on the forum is throw out suggestions. I also read all of their posts to learn more. I think TMCC/Legacy board sets troubleshooting method, is to swap out component boards first to narrow down what's wrong. Once found, maybe it's something that can be fixed? All I ever read about here, is swapping out those individual boards. So we don't learn a whole lot unless we're doing it.

 Anyways thanks for putting up with me!

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

I have read the posts, but there's nothing I can add without actually seeing it.  It's pretty difficult to troubleshoot this stuff in ASCII.  You describe symptoms that I have never seen, and truly can't imagine what might be causing them.

John, thanks for the input.  It has had me stumped, also, as anyone can cipher.  I set the RS board up and my "bench" and powered with a PW ZW for conventional.  No out put from the ERR supplied speaker, no reading on the speaker leads with my meter.  Also, the bottom of the board gets pretty warm, have an output from the ZW measured at 14 volts.   I believe the RS board is a goner, but just what occurred I have no idea.  It sounded just as I described....  Wondering what in the board would produce the "clank" and then fade out the RS.  Whatever happened, ordering a new F3 RS to replace.  So.... how many, and where, should one install TVS to protect each component?  I know, a matter of preference and a little luck in foresight.

Jesse  TCA

Still thinking of the idea opening each TMCC engine I have,  total of 32 with 13 more waiting in the wings for conversion, not including the several MTH turbines I am holding out for retaining the original turbine effects.  But, having a listing of each and what they have within would be helpful, when necessary. 

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