Running a Lionel 2343C F3B (F3 B-Unit) Railsounds with a Conventional Engine

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Running a Lionel 2343C F3B (F3 B-Unit) Railsounds with a Conventional Engine
Posted by AirMojo on Friday, January 05, 2018 9:42 AM

This past summer I acquired a post-war (1953-1955) Lionel Santa Fe 2353 AA set.  There was no horn installed so I thought I would get a modern 2343C B-Unit that had Railsounds.

Years ago, I bought a Lionel 2426RS tender to use with my 736 Berkshire locomotive, which runs on a track connected to a TMC Powermaster in Conventional mode using a CAB-1 remote... the 2426RS works great with this setup, but it only has a simple on/off switch.

I recently purchased the 2343C B-unit with Railsounds/Command Control (manual says 71-8136-250 -- 10/97) to use with my Santa Fe 2353 units, thinking that it would work in the same manner as the 2426RS tender; however, it does not seem to work that way.  It has two switches SIG/FULL and PROG/RUN.

I tried it on the same track that I use for my conventional 736, but I don't get any sounds.  I can get sounds if I set the Powermaster to "CMD" (Command mode), and set an ID# (3) for it, but of course the conventional engine (Santa Fe 2353) will not run with CMD set (needs CNV set), and the 2343C B-unit does not seem to work in the "CNV" setting.

So, am I doing something wrong, or won't the 2343C B-unit work the way I intended ?

It seems pretty stupid not to have it work like the 2426RS tender, or maybe there is a different Santa Fe B-Unit that works that way.

Thanks for your help again !

Ken H in OH (airmojo)

Tags: 2343C , 2426RS , 6-8136 , 71-8136
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Posted by sir james I on Friday, January 05, 2018 9:56 AM

The switches should be in full and run. It should work, if not there's something wrong with it.

"IT's GOOD TO BE THE KING",by Mel Brooks 

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Posted by AirMojo on Friday, January 05, 2018 10:24 AM

I suppose, but at this point, I am not ruling out "user-error".

I'm thinking I do not have it identified correctly to the Train Master Control system.

The Track (or conventional train on that track) is activated by pressing "TR" "2".

I did set the F3-B as "ENG" "3", while it was sitting on the track, where it seemed to work while the Powermaster was in CMD mode.

So maybe the system is "confused" like me ?

The manual is sorely lacking information for using it with a conventional engine.

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Posted by AirMojo on Friday, January 05, 2018 10:49 AM

I think part of the confusion is that this 2343C is considered as a "non-powered diesel locomotive"... so a "locomotive" has to be identified properly to the TMC system... not as simple as the 2426RS tender.

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Posted by sir james I on Friday, January 05, 2018 11:31 AM

You have to program it with a number like an engine with the cab1 then it should respond like an engine.

"IT's GOOD TO BE THE KING",by Mel Brooks 

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Posted by AirMojo on Friday, January 05, 2018 11:52 AM

I did program it with an engine ID#, but it only works when the Powermaster (PM-1) is in CMD mode, not the CNV (conventional) mode.

Is there a way to clear the ID# from the F3-B ?

I tried setting it to "0", but it seems to retain an ID# of "0".

I'm going to test it on a track that is not connected to my layout... probably my workbench test track, but I have to set it up.

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Posted by sir james I on Saturday, January 06, 2018 9:14 AM

No way to clear, you can assign any number between 0 and 99.

I did not abandon you just don't have any more answers. if it workd alone then it's working, must be some kind of power/wire issue. I'm surprised you have not gotten any other replies.

"IT's GOOD TO BE THE KING",by Mel Brooks 

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Posted by AirMojo on Saturday, January 06, 2018 10:50 AM

Thank you Sir... definitely a fluky think...

I tried it on another track that just runs conventional trains, but it wouldn't work with the switch on "RUN', but it did seem to work with the switch on "PROG"... I thought that was weird.

So I put it on my workbench test track, and it did the same thing... worked on "PROG", but not on "RUN", and I had it working on "RUN" on the test track earlier.

I thought I was mistaken on my earlier test track, and maybe inadvertently had it on "PROG", from all the back and forth switching and testing that I had done... and it was getting late and I was tired.

This morning, I removed the 9V battery, and put it on the test bench again, with it on "RUN" and it worked fine, and also worked with the switch on "PROG"... again, no TMC on the test bench.

I'm going to trace all (yikes!) my "common U" wires, and make sure they are isolated from my devoted conventional train track so that there is not any TMC signals coming through, and see what happens after that.

Ken H in OH

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Posted by Gweedo on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 10:39 AM

It is a tmcc b-unit. To run a tmcc unit in conventional mode put the run program switch in program mode and leave it there. That's how tmcc units are set up. I would leave the 9V battery in so sounds won't drop out when changing direction.

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