Model Train Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Using a (sadly now discontinued) upgrade kit from the ERR company, I have successfully converted a conventional Lionel Gantry Crane (1970's version) to TMCC control. I had some high-level help, but the main part of the work was pretty straightforward. The main component used in this conversion, the ERR Mini-Commander board, is still available for sale and I have found it to be a very useful and flexible product for upgrading post war Lionel accessories to Command Control. If anyone is interested in how I accomplished this conversion, I could give more details. The crane has two DC can motors and the original manual control pod is disconnected and put aside. I purchased the crane on E-Bay for $75 and spent an additional $50 on upgrade parts, making the resulting TMCC crane a bargain by today's pricing standards. The ERR Mini-Commander board can control two DC can motors independently and this makes it very flexible for upgrading any Lionel accessory using motors to operate. The crane I have uses a magnet to pick up scrap metal and I can energize it or turn it off using my Lionel TMCC controller. I'm no electronic genius so, if I can do it, you can too! Cheers. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Gantry Crane TMCC - Movement on rails

I have just ordered the Nov 2009 issue of Classic Toy Trains Magazine with an article on how to add automated lateral rail movement to a Lionel Gantry Crane. There is a U-Tube clip available showing the crane moving back and forth on dedicated rails laid alongside the regular train track. I'm not sure if the ERR Mini-Commander board can handle automating another task... that remains to be seen after I read the article and discover how the modified crane is propelled along those dedicated rails. As far as details on how an ERR Mini-Commander board can be installed in a Lionel Gantry Crane, ERR's "Crane Commander Instruction Manual" is still posted on their website in the "manuals" section. One important detail missing from their manual is that a jumper is required between two pins on the board to allow it to control two separate DC can motors like the two utilized by the crane to rotate the boom and raise and lower the hook. The location of the pins is shown in another ERR online manual with more generic info on the Mini-Commander board. There was also a separate tiny board (containing a few capcitors) in the ERR Crane Commander kit that allowed the user to energize and de-energize the electro-magnet which hangs from the hook on some models of the crane. This board is no longer available.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top