Visionline AT&SF 3000 Help

I guess I am not following the suggestion because if I unplug the Legacy base first, the legacy cab 2 won’t let me power up the track, and if I power up the track and then unplug the Legacy base, all of the engine lights go out.  So I don’t know what I’m supposed to be looking for. 

Im not trying to muddy the waters on Yall's thread, but if you have access to a traditional transformer, try running that locomotive in conventional to see if you have a binding, or a mechanical issue....you say that engine was never out of the box......recently I had a very similar issue with a lionel scale Mikado...loco was never taken out of the box. God only knows where it was stored, but the grease was like dirt in the gear box...the only way I figured it out was trying to run it on my test track with an old ZW...it hummed and carried on something fierce..... cleaned it all out, put it on the legacy layout, and off she went....

The Water Level Route.......You Can Sleep

harmonyards posted:

Im not trying to muddy the waters on Yall's thread, but if you have access to a traditional transformer, try running that locomotive in conventional to see if you have a binding, or a mechanical issue....you say that engine was never out of the box......recently I had a very similar issue with a lionel scale Mikado...loco was never taken out of the box. God only knows where it was stored, but the grease was like dirt in the gear box...the only way I figured it out was trying to run it on my test track with an old ZW...it hummed and carried on something fierce..... cleaned it all out, put it on the legacy layout, and off she went....

Thanks for the comments.  Unfortunately I don’t have access to a traditional transformer to be able to test it in conventional mode.  

Evan Cihlar posted:

Well if the other locomotives are working with the base the base is not the issue.  To take away base power all you need to do is unplug the base and still apply power to the track.

Unfortunately it seems because he has the Lionel PowerHouse using their special plug going directly into the PowerMaster he has no way to wire the brick directly to the track and no other transformer available to him.

BobbyD posted:
Evan Cihlar posted:

Well if the other locomotives are working with the base the base is not the issue.  To take away base power all you need to do is unplug the base and still apply power to the track.

Unfortunately it seems because he has the Lionel PowerHouse using their special plug going directly into the PowerMaster he has no way to wire the brick directly to the track and no other transformer available to him.

Even if he can’t cut power from the track if the other locomotives are working fine there is (most likely) something wrong with the 3000’s boards or receiver.

Evan Cihlar posted:
BobbyD posted:
Evan Cihlar posted:

Well if the other locomotives are working with the base the base is not the issue.  To take away base power all you need to do is unplug the base and still apply power to the track.

Unfortunately it seems because he has the Lionel PowerHouse using their special plug going directly into the PowerMaster he has no way to wire the brick directly to the track and no other transformer available to him.

Even if he can’t cut power from the track if the other locomotives are working fine there is (most likely) something wrong with the 3000’s boards or receiver.

Earlier he had said the engines wouldn't reverse and now they do though we don't know why. And he says he has big track issues. Until he gets this problem resolved about running 10" and going dead I wouldn't waste any time on the Santa Fe. Either the cab light is flashing dead driver board signal code or it isn't. 

prh2j posted:

Well then we might be on to something here.... I assumed that the power supply would only function so far without a closed loop track circuit.  (I think I read somewhere on the forum in a different thread that you might need to use wire jumpers to connect pieces of track that aren't in a complete closed loop in order to have electrical current extend along the complete length of open ended track.)  At any rate, my straight test track arrangement consisted of two terminal sections (one for the connection to the Legacy base at one end and one for the connection to the Powermaster and Powerhouse at the other end) and four 10 inch straight pieces of Fastrack between them.  The EVO started at the terminal section at the end connected to the Powermaster and Powerhouse.  The EVO only managed to travel forward one more straight track piece before it completely lost power on the third 10 inch section of straight track.  I assumed that maybe was due to the fact that I didn't have a closed loop and the electrical current could only travel so far, but if you're telling me that the 180W powerhouse should be capable of maintaining power across 6 connected straight pieces of Fastrack with no problem, then something is wrong. 

Thanks!

If his 180 watt brick can't power 6 pieces of track he has way, way, way, way, way bigger issues to resolve! He said he reset the engine using Aux 1 though I don't know if he followed the steps: 

"So if AUX 1 is the reset for the engine, the AT&SF 3000 did not seem to respond when in either Run or Program mode since it was mentioned that maybe the run/prgm switch may have been installed bawkwards.  The headlight seems to have no flicker or degradation once power is given to the track,"

At this point I don't know if he followed the sequence or not when resetting though if he is able to change the engine ID it seems the run/program switch isn't wired backwards. Again, until he can run the others more than 10" I'd not waste anytime on this engine.

. All factory default settings will be restored when you reprogram the locomotive.

1. Slide the program run switch to the PROG position.

2. Plug in and connect your LEGACY Base.

3. Place your locomotive and tender on the track, then power up the track.

4. Press ENG and enter the locomotive’s ID#.

5. Press SET.

6. Press INFO

7. Press AUX PROG

8. Enter 1 for this particular locomotive.

9. Press CTC to exit programming mode.

10. Turn off track power and wait ten seconds.

11. Slide the program run switch back to the RUN position.

At this point, your locomotive has been reset. Restore power to the track and operate the locomotive as usual. Be sure to use the ID# entered in Step 4.

 

 

BobbyD posted:
Evan Cihlar posted:
BobbyD posted:
Evan Cihlar posted:

Well if the other locomotives are working with the base the base is not the issue.  To take away base power all you need to do is unplug the base and still apply power to the track.

Unfortunately it seems because he has the Lionel PowerHouse using their special plug going directly into the PowerMaster he has no way to wire the brick directly to the track and no other transformer available to him.

Even if he can’t cut power from the track if the other locomotives are working fine there is (most likely) something wrong with the 3000’s boards or receiver.

Earlier he had said the engines wouldn't reverse and now they do though we don't know why. And he says he has big track issues. Until he gets this problem resolved about running 10" and going dead I wouldn't waste any time on the Santa Fe. Either the cab light is flashing dead driver board signal code or it isn't. 

prh2j posted:

Well then we might be on to something here.... I assumed that the power supply would only function so far without a closed loop track circuit.  (I think I read somewhere on the forum in a different thread that you might need to use wire jumpers to connect pieces of track that aren't in a complete closed loop in order to have electrical current extend along the complete length of open ended track.)  At any rate, my straight test track arrangement consisted of two terminal sections (one for the connection to the Legacy base at one end and one for the connection to the Powermaster and Powerhouse at the other end) and four 10 inch straight pieces of Fastrack between them.  The EVO started at the terminal section at the end connected to the Powermaster and Powerhouse.  The EVO only managed to travel forward one more straight track piece before it completely lost power on the third 10 inch section of straight track.  I assumed that maybe was due to the fact that I didn't have a closed loop and the electrical current could only travel so far, but if you're telling me that the 180W powerhouse should be capable of maintaining power across 6 connected straight pieces of Fastrack with no problem, then something is wrong. 

Thanks!

If his 180 watt brick can't power 6 pieces of track he has way, way, way, way, way bigger issues to resolve! He said he reset the engine using Aux 1 though I don't know if he followed the steps: 

"So if AUX 1 is the reset for the engine, the AT&SF 3000 did not seem to respond when in either Run or Program mode since it was mentioned that maybe the run/prgm switch may have been installed bawkwards.  The headlight seems to have no flicker or degradation once power is given to the track,"

At this point I don't know if he followed the sequence or not when resetting though if he is able to change the engine ID it seems the run/program switch isn't wired backwards. Again, until he can run the others more than 10" I'd not waste anytime on this engine.

. All factory default settings will be restored when you reprogram the locomotive.

1. Slide the program run switch to the PROG position.

2. Plug in and connect your LEGACY Base.

3. Place your locomotive and tender on the track, then power up the track.

4. Press ENG and enter the locomotive’s ID#.

5. Press SET.

6. Press INFO

7. Press AUX PROG

8. Enter 1 for this particular locomotive.

9. Press CTC to exit programming mode.

10. Turn off track power and wait ten seconds.

11. Slide the program run switch back to the RUN position.

At this point, your locomotive has been reset. Restore power to the track and operate the locomotive as usual. Be sure to use the ID# entered in Step 4.

 

 

I did not follow those steps you posted or the reset exactly, so I can try it again.  I am out of town until Monday night, so I will try it upon my return.  Thanks again for everyone’s help!

I'm with BobbyD, there is a track issue that needs to be addressed.  You do not need a closed loop of track for it to be powered correctly.  You do need a closed loop to complete an electrical circuit, but the locomotive itself acts as the loop closer for the path of electricity.  If the locomotive stops on your test track, then the joint it just passed is bad and not passing electricity through.  A voltage meter would help you see that.  As for a buzzing from the track, that is also a sign of a bad connection and should be addressed as it could heat and start a fire.  Remember you have to pull FT apart without bending or rotating at the joint.  If you don't then it widens the rail and causes a drop in electrical contact.  A buzzing from the locomotive itself is a different matter. 

I've just come back to this thread and got really riled up about it.

It riles me up a lot that an annoying background buzz on an RS6 engine is accounted "normal." Please note that the noise factor is not consistent across all such engines; my VL GE Evo does not have it; my VL Genset and ATSF 3000 do whereas in other people's videos of the same engines there's no such noise.

But what riles me up even more is, in a word, Fastrak. I have not got a good word to say about it except that the command control switches are fun when they work; everything else about this track is highly problematic. You don't need a multimeter to check whether the connecting spades/prongs at the end of each section are loose, cracked or missing; Fastrak is prone to all of those things and when they occur engines can start misbehaving.  If the OP disassembled, moved and reassembled his layout, with Fastrak any of these things could be causing a signal/track power issue. The symptoms the engines are showing all seem consistent with that.

(P.S. I see that there is now a thread on Fastrak breakages here: https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/topic/fastrack-9. This confirms what I thought was the case i.e. that there was a batch of this track with bad pot metal used for the connecting prongs so they are prone to snap off.)

I've already posted above that my ATSF 3000 had both a RUN/PGM switch problem and a more serious board failure. I can't exclude much the same thing in the case of the OP's engine. But to have a change in performance of two other previously reliable VL engines after reconstructing a Fastrak layout strikes me as very likely to be a track and/or power supply problem rather than anything else. 

Here is an update for all of those following this thread and for those who have been overly helpful in assisting me with my issue.  As I mentioned, I had to travel last week, and then once I returned, work obligations got in the way of me being able to focus on the "hobby".  At any rate, I took RickO's advice, and I purchased a meter to test for continuity on both loops (following the instructions in the video he posted).  Today was the first day that I had to be able to test things out. 

In so doing, I found a few "dead" spots in each loop, bent the middle pins towards each, reconnected and retested until I got continuity for every track connection around each loop.  I ran the VL Big Boy on the O-96 loop and it worked very well.... I was even able to get the locomotive to switch to reverse with the Cab-2 remote.

Then the moment of truth.... I powered up the O-84 track loop wiht the VL AT&SF 3000 on it and did the quick address with Engine #1 on the Cab-2 remote.  Same issue... lights on the engine and tender lit up.  Then I remembered Hancock52's comment that his engine had the Program/Run switch installed backwards, so in spite of the instruction manual diagram, I flipped the Program/Run switch and..... voila, the VL AT&SF 3000 fired up like a champ.  I couldn't believe it.  Smoke output (from all areas), swinging bell, and that glorious whistle sound all operate correctly.  Only issue is that I couldn't get the engine to reverse direction, but if that is my only issue at this point, I will take it.

Which leads me to this... I don't post much on this forum, but it's folks like all of you who are always willing to help others in need (without judgement of the poster) that make me want to continue in this hobby that my father introduced me to 40 years ago.  He has since passed, but I wish he could see how far this hobby has come.  Thanks again for all of the help!

prh2j posted:

  At any rate, I took RickO's advice, and I purchased a meter to test for continuity on both loops (following the instructions in the video he posted).  Today was the first day that I had to be able to test things out. 

Glad you got it working! FWIW it wasn't my advice.

It was Mike Reagans ( former head of Lionel customer service and repair) advice, as well as his video.

I was just passing it along.

Keep in mind in the future, dirty track can make weird things happen as well.

When my legacy locos get flaky, I start by giving the track a good cleaning, even if it doesn't look dirty.

Lastly, by posting your solution here.  You'll likely be helping someone else down the road who has a similar problem, and pulls your thread up doing a search.

Sometimes folks don't come back and post their results/ solution to an issue leaving unanswered questions.

" No matter how far we travel, the memories will follow in the baggage car."

RickO posted:

Keep in mind in the future, dirty track can make weird things happen as well.

When my legacy locos get flaky, I start by giving the track a good cleaning, even if it doesn't look dirty.

Lastly, by posting your solution here, you'll likely be helping someone else down the road who has a similar problem and pulls your thread up doing a search.

Sometimes folks don't come back and post their results/ solution to an issue leaving unanswered questions.

I second the advice about track cleaning. It also applies to the wheels and center rail rollers of your trains. I've sometimes had problems even with LED illuminated cars because the wheels and rollers had accumulated, well, crud on them that interfered with with picking up electric current from the track. MTH DCS controls are also liable to problems with dirty track/wheels. 

Strange that the VL ATSF steamer had the same RUN/PGM issue as mine. Don't know how many of these Lionel had manufactured but even a few with this basic mistake is too many. 

Don't know what could account for the engine not reversing. But I wonder about the drive train binding somewhere  including the side rods etc., which are pretty complicated on this model.  

Finally, thanks for posting the solution. 

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