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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. I have a late 70's early 80's lionel 8403 engine and tender. I just got the engine running good an focusing on the tender. It has a sound of steam sound board that is not functioning properly. Believe it is lionel part number 8142T-35.

I saw a video on this sight where it is to function by its power supply being interuped, this action causes a set of capasitors to discharge and make a chug sound. The faster the power supply is broken the faster the chugs.

I just get a engine at idel sound out of my speaker. Assume if it was functioning properly this idel sound would change to a chug.

I need help diagonising what is not functioning in my sound board. My skills are intermediate on electronics.

Can go into more detail but need to know what other information is needed.
 

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Yard Master & Research
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Disco Steam

I have a problem too! It's been two years since I worked the tender. I have not seen how it attaches to the engine at all. It may make a connection at the rod but that is only a guess. Someplace on that engine is a 220 k ohm resistor. I have the diagram from an electronics book that dates back. I guess I will start by referring to the clip/thread.

I will have to dig up the information and figure out how I did it. Th board is very durable and works with AC . I bought just the tender and the only thing I needed to get it to work was the resistor.

The tender is on page 4-3 of the 1-9 Lionel Supplemental. In adob e it's page 173 of 500
 

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Bench test

Using the diagram for orientation connect the resistor to the left lead. Place the throttle half way and connect to the right lead, and resistor. Then jump the resisitor to make the sound. Chances are the board is good. I use a 220 k resistor a red red yellow. This eliminates the engine and just gives the chug. The diagram shows 220 a red red brown resistor this has the engine back noise. They both work. The problem is on the engine whatever the mechanism is that makes the chug. This is what I don't have. It would be great if you could show it.
For board troubleshooting you can check the resistors with a meter Other than that it's part replacement. If nothing looks burned I would say it is the motion device on the engine.


This unit can be thrown in a boxcar and used on S gage.

Does this diagram make sense to you?
 

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Yard Master & Research
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I did find something out. The tender uses a center pickup for the board. This makes sense since the rods are grounded to the outer rails to complete the circuit. SO the center rail feeds throught he board first then the wire going to the engine will go to the outer rail. I never used mine on the track so this will work. Mine doesn't have the center contact on the truc k. I could get a feed from the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have the engine. The smoke unit has a flap built into it. As the wheels of the engine turn, they move the metal connecting rods (don't know the acutal name, they are the rods that connect the wheels on the outside, used to be the power source for orginal steam trains, not just metal rods that conenct the wheels togather for show). These rods enter the engine body and move the flap of the smoke unit. Basically the flap moves faster as the wheels turn faster making the smoke insink with the wheels. There is a contact on the flap of the smoke unit. This is links the smoke to the chug sound.

This contact is connected to the tenner by a small wire. Or my O scale, this wire is connected to the center rail. It powers the board. The board is grounded thru the wheels of the tender. The contact closing and opening is supposed to make the chug sound. All I get is an engine idel sound, it never changes sound and when power is lost to the board keeps this sound for a few seconds then stops.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
just saw the wiring diagram. This helps a lot. Will try to test the devices as best I can.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
One more thing. I get similliar results if i run the power thru the engine or just jump the middle rail. Jumpering the middle reail bypasses the 220 ohm reistor. Maybe that is the problem?
 

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If that resistor is gone you can't get a spike of steam since the volume would max out. You noise would be continous. The higher the resistor the lower the background noise. I tested that out. It's either the resistor or the ground through the connectiong rod.

I looked at two smoke units. They could be adapted. I picture would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
220 ohm resitor not the problem. Connected the power wire to the resistor and the resistor to the middle track. With or without resistor still get same white noise (sounds like and idel steam engine). With the resistor got a few second delay before sound started.
 

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Not sure how to link Youtube video. This is my bench test similar to yours. You can hear the incorrect sound my tender is making. Any idea what might me wrong?

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This is the under side of my Lionel 8304 engine. There is a flap on the smoke unit that has a set of contacts on it. As the wheels of the engine turn, the rods on the wheels activate this flap.

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Could find the camera, so made a video of my smoke unit. IF you look close you can see the contact that get activated when the flap gets pressed. It also is linked the the smoke bellow so the contacts get made as the smoke is forced out.
 

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My first impression is to isolate the speaker from the frame. Your magnet is on the frame. Don't use the rail. Use two wires from a transformer.
When you by pass the resistor touch the connector not the resistor wire. The conector should be cleaned up.

You may have a bad wire so skip the resistor power it up and jiggle wires.

These are just from a glimpse now.

I would like to know the color bands on the resistor on the smoke unit. I found the metal tab very interesting . Thanks!

Does you tender use a center rail pickup? After seeing the smole unit I guess not.

I got batteries today is there anything else I can show you?
 

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Appreciated the information on this thread. Here is my experience.

I have a 8303 loco which I bought years age at a yard sale. I just bought an "as-is" tender on eBay to go with the loco. Luckily I read your posts before powering the tender.

I opened it and found the speaker rotted and the circuit board insulation foam gone.

I replaced the speaker and foam. The board visually looks OK (no obvious burns,etc). (I also insulated the speaker body from the frame just in case.)

In first powering the tender I found the following.

When touching the tender power wire to center rail, a loud white noise comes from the speaker.
When I tap the tender's wire rhythmically to the center rail, I get a corresponding rhythmic white noise from the speaker....not a "steam chug" sound. When the wire is attached to the loco and run, based on speed, I hear a corresponding rhythmic soft clicking sound from the tender (no white noise or "chug"). Hard to hear because of the noise from the loco wheels. Does this mean the loco switch is working, but the tender electronics is shot? What parts may be at fault?

Is any of this expected? Can I repair the performance in any way?

Any help would be appreciated!
 

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I f your tender has a center roller try to get the whistle to work.

To me if you get any sound that is what it is suppose to be. Yes it is static noise but placed under a tender shell the sound improves and it was a big hit back in the 70's.

I started the threads just to get a background on these tenders. They are around and still work, being the first generation of electronic sound. I really have no idea how to troubleshoot. One member just switched parts.

The simpliest way to fix is just get a replacement. I have seen lone tenders for 10 bucks at shows.
 
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