the 1st smoke stack of the dual units stopped smoking and puffing but the 2nd smoke unit works fine. tried an experiment swapped the plug from smoke 2 unit to smoke one unit and the 1st smoke unit works while the second unit not working with the smoke 1 units connector plugged into the 2nd unit. the whistle smoke and blow down smoke units work fine. so is the rcmc at fault or is there something else at play that I'm not aware of?  ironically no cab light blinks associated with this issue!

seeing all the smoke units plug into the rcmc board I would think the one circuit for smoke unit one on rcmc has an issue? any help would be appreciated on diagnosing and the cure. I prefer not to send to lionel as had bad experience with them when under warranty so please let this not turn into a flame of responses as I really could use help getting this issue resolved.

 

StPaul

Original Post

Note that the stack shroud turns off the front smoke stack when it's in place, perhaps that circuit is the one with the problem.  It's a small hall effect sensor mounted at the stack that senses the magnet on the stack shroud.

gunrunnerjohn I disconnected that and did not change the issue I even removed it from the stack area. I have reset engine cleared engine in remote set as a different engine ID and cleared remote again and used the engine module and reloaded to cab2 all easy things I can think of.  I would assume if that stack sensor was bad if it was disabled it would not have an effect on that or could it have failed after it for whatever reason disabled that first smoke unit?

StPaul

Well, it could be that it's active when the hood isn't on, so it's hard to know if that's the issue.  Obviously, it could also be the RCMC.

You can test it if you want to power it up apart.  Measure the voltage from the sensor with and without the hood installed and see if it changes.

gunrunnerjohn

good news I finally received the pre programed RCMC board from lionel and installed it this evening I added smoke fluid to all smoke units cleared engine in remote and then re-added it as new taking no chances let it sit on track powered up let the smoke units have 15 minutes to warm up and both smoke stacks are working again. the whistle smoke and blow down seem to work better with this new rcmc board.

as all who own this big boy know it eats smoke fluid as a snack! apparently mine also likes to snack on rcmc boards this makes # 3 failure most say rcmc board is good design personally after 3 failures i'm not a fan of them.

later on if your willing gunrunnerjohn I'd like to send the last one to you see if its repairable.  for those that like to fix own issues with locomotives this isn't a task for faint of heart folks but the photo lionel shows online of wiring color code on the various connectors and where they go are very helpful the hard part is getting all the wires back inside the lower area of frame so boiler top will lay flat.

time to let the BB stretch her legs

StPaul

Well, I can certainly say that the VL-BB does go through smoke fluid, primarily the main stack unit.  Hard to say if that could be repaired, the two FET's that logically would drive the smoke units don't seem to exist outside of Lionel.   I suspect they exist somewhere, but Google can't find them.

What are the FET numbers on the BB smoke? Curious, I may look around.

I needed a vertical output transistor for a TEK 453A and the TEK part # was proprietary so I put in a 2N2222 and it worked well (for what I needed). Not saying, but...

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

StPaul posted:

gunrunnerjohn

good news I finally received the pre programed RCMC board from lionel and installed it this evening I added smoke fluid to all smoke units cleared engine in remote and then re-added it as new taking no chances let it sit on track powered up let the smoke units have 15 minutes to warm up and both smoke stacks are working again. the whistle smoke and blow down seem to work better with this new rcmc board.

as all who own this big boy know it eats smoke fluid as a snack! apparently mine also likes to snack on rcmc boards this makes # 3 failure most say rcmc board is good design personally after 3 failures i'm not a fan of them.

later on if your willing gunrunnerjohn I'd like to send the last one to you see if its repairable.  for those that like to fix own issues with locomotives this isn't a task for faint of heart folks but the photo lionel shows online of wiring color code on the various connectors and where they go are very helpful the hard part is getting all the wires back inside the lower area of frame so boiler top will lay flat.

time to let the BB stretch her legs

I am not a fan of RCMC boards either. A repairman put at least 3 in my FEF-3. After I got it back it lasted for 10 minutes. After spending more money on shipping He installed  yet another one. That repair lasted another 10 minutes. Reached out to Lionel to please repair. Since it was out of warranty, they wouldn't touch it. In the end Lionel did refund my purchase price but I spent 600.00 in shipping and repairs.( non refundable) Have not bought Lionel since and wont again. I will try to maintain the few Lionel locos I have but wont buy any more.

Just because one repair guy didn't know what he was doing, that isn't an indictment of the RCMC design.  When the board dies, it's prudent to look for the cause and not just drop another board in.  Anyone that keeps putting boards into a failing locomotive without locating the root cause IMO is not a repair man, he's a parts changer.  Obviously, this was not a failure of the RCMC, but rather of the person doing the "repair", though I cringe to call it a repair!

Yes, perhaps the RCMC has weak points, but so do the previous designs.  One Achilles' heel of the RCMC is if you have a total motor short, the motor overload detection circuit may not react in time to save the motor driver FETs.  Couple that with the lousy Canon motors that Lionel has started to use in Legacy steam, and you have a recipe for killing the board.  However, the same issue would also kill the previous DCDS motor driver, so that's not that surprising, it's not that easy to detect in time.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

How are you cutting the gaskets?  I've done a few with the old mechanics trick of setting the gasket paper on and then tapping around the edge to form an outline to cut to.

I made them at a time I was working at a laser engraver manufacture.  So I measured and drew up the VL BB main stack gasket, the MTH PS-1 smoke unit gasket, and the K-Line TMCC smoke unit gasket in SolidWorks and then sent that to one of our laser machines and cut a bunch out of a roll of cut your own paper gasket material I got from Autozone.

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