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Discussion Starter #1
I bought an old Lionel train set (circa early 1950's) from a lady in Sunnyvale California whose husband had died a couple of years ago. The locomotive was #2055, whistle in tender, box car, caboose, and an operating barrel car #3562-25. I'm sure none of this equipment was run for at least 50 years.
So, I re-wired the barrel car and got it working in the conventional manner. Then I noticed that the ERR company made a mini-commander kit for adding TMCC to a Lionel barrel car. I spent the $50 and got the kit.
I'm no soldering whiz, but I got the little Mini Commander board installed underneath the barrel ramp as outlined in the directions. I drilled a small hole in the car's metal chassis and installed a momentary "on" switch to enable programming the board from my Cab 1 controller and I taped the antenna to the underside of the plastic car body. Well, it all worked out exactly as planned: I now have a TMCC barrel car that unloads anywhere on my layout simply by hitting ACC #25 on my Cab 1 and touching the Aux 1 button to start the vibration motor. Hitting Aux 1 again toggles the motor off. How cool is that? Now, I'm wondering if I can maybe add a LED light to the car to indicate operation... any one know what bulb I'd need to use?
 

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You can use a standard LED with a 470 ohm resistor and diode across the vibrating coil output. I did one of these some time back, it's a cool conversion. I also have a TMCC log dump car, coal dump car, searchlight car, and even the satellite launch car. I like the idea of the light, but with the noise it makes, I don't have any issue knowing when it's running! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The sound of the barrel car motor is indeed very noticeable and it gets louder as the barrels unload. I guess maybe I was thinking more of a work light for the barrel car mounted on a short mast that would allow night unloading. Could I use another output on the Mini Commander board to power a separate LED "work" light? Also, do you mean a resistor & a diode (two separate components)? John, thanks for your comments & help.
 

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A work light mounted next to the guy at the top, and maybe one at the bottom is a great idea, good thinking! I may have to steal that idea. You're right, just use another output on the MC to power the lights.

Yes, resistor and a diode (2 components) for protection of the LED. If you're using two LED's, you can wire them back-to-back in alternate polarity and eliminate the diode as the two protect themselves from reverse voltage.
 

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Hobo for Life
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Bob, how about a picture or two for us less versed in command operations? Just curious how looks and if I ever get to upgrade I'll know what i'm looking at if I do a conversion!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Barrel Car TMCC Installation: details

Hobo: The car is back together so I can't take pictures right now. When I disassemble it again to install an unloading LED, I'll take some pictures. The most difficult part of the installation is fitting the little Mini Commander circuit board underneath the barrel ramp. The ramp is supported by tabs that can be bent slightly to increase the head room for the board as it sits on its two-sided contact paper mounting strip. I put the collector for the power at the other end of the car because it allowed more room for the wiring. The ERR install manual for their Barrel Car product shows pictures of where and how to install the circuit board so it is not too hard to figure it out. It was $50 well spent and a lot of fun to install this upgrade in my old barrel car and then to have it work exactly as advertised.
 
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