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Cab3 Engine Images

Lionel Engineering created an online database of all Lionel locomotives that are equipped with Bluetooth. This database holds a plethora of information about each locomotive including type, road name and number, features, and more. It also includes an image of the locomotive. This was done so that when the LionChief APP connects to one of these Bluetooth locomotives, the APP can reach out to the online database and pull down the locomotive’s image to the smart-device, displaying it on screen when connected to that locomotive.

This functionality has been included and expanded upon with the Cab3 APP.

Cab3 Bluetooth Tab #

The Bluetooth side of the Cab3 APP functions mostly like the LionChief APP. A command base is not required. Instead, a one-to-one pairing is created between the APP and the locomotive. This pairing is a 2-way communication, meaning that the locomotive can send information back to the APP.

When the APP connects to a locomotive via Bluetooth, the locomotive tells the APP what it is, what SKU number, etc. This is how the APP knows what image to download when it connects to the online database.

When the APP first sees a new locomotive, it’s reported it as generic steam until the APP has successfully connected to the online database and downloaded the locomotive’s information and image. The below screenshot shows that generic steam image connected. The locomotive is controllable even if the APP has not been able to update the locomotive’s information or image.

Note! For the APP to be able to download the locomotive’s information and image, an internet connection is required. Without an internet connect, the generic steam image will be shown until an internet connection can be established. Once a locomotive’s image is downloaded, it is saved to the smart-device until the Cab3 APP is uninstalled. This means the next time you connect to the locomotive, the information and image will already be there ready to go.

Cab3 BLE Homescreen Generic Steam
Cab3 BLE Homescreen Generic Steam

Once the locomotive’s information and image have been downloaded to the smart-device, the APP will show it each time the locomotive is connected going forward. The below screenshot shows a connected Pennsylvania LionChief locomotive.

Cab3 BLE Homescreen Pennsylvania Connected
Cab3 BLE Homescreen Pennsylvania

Cab3 Base3 Tab #

Images are also supported on the Base3 side of the APP. There is a larger variety of products when TMCC is involved, and there are a few ways of having images for those various products.

Generic Images #

Generic images will be shown by default. A TMCC ID by default shows the generic diesel image. When you navigate to the Engine Configuration screen, you can modify the engine’s information and settings. Changing the “Motive Type” will determine which generic image is show. A list of the generic images is shown below.

Cab3 Generic Images
Cab3 Generic Images

Changing the Motive Type not only changes which generic image is used, but also sets the corresponding control buttons on the homescreen.

Cab3 Base3 Generic Diesel
Cab3 Base3 Generic Diesel

Online Database Images #

Many locomotives can also have their specific image imported from Lionel’s online database. These include the following:

  • RF LionChief & LionChief Plus
  • Bluetooth LionChief, LionChief Plus, and FlyerChief
  • 4-Digit Legacy
  • Legacy locomotives from the 2022 Big Book Catalog and beyond**

**Legacy locomotives from the 2022 Big Book Catalog and beyond require running over the LCS SensorTrack for their image to appear in the APP.

Any locomotive that is not part of the above list cannot have its image imported as there is no compatible mechanism in place to allow that to happen. The above locomotives all feature some form of 2-way communication that allows for the APP to know which SKU is connected so that it can download the appropriate image.

Older TMCC and Legacy locomotives, even ones equipped with earlier Bluetooth and/or Track IR, were never designed to send back information regarding its SKU identity.

Cab3 4-Digit Big Boy #4019
Cab3 Legacy Big Boy image

Don’t have a compatible locomotive that can pull its own image down and you don’t like the generic image? There’s one more option for you!

Take your own photo! #

There are many engines that will not have an image imported from the online database. These are the items not on the list in the previous section above. For these, you can instead take your own photo of the engine to use in the APP. The APP will use your smartphone’s camera to take a picture that you can then crop and save that will appear each time you control that engine. Note that you must allow Cab3 access to the smartphone’s camera for this feature to work.

To add a picture of your engine:

  1. A photo can only be taken for an engine that has had its information setup in the Base3. For this example, we’re going to use ENG TMCC ID 22.
    Cab3 ENG 22 No Entry
    The above image shows ENG 22 prior to entering any information. You can either run the engine over a SensorTrack to automatically load the info or you can swipe up to the Engine Configuration screen and manually enter the information.
    Cab3 ENG 22 Engine Data
    Once you’ve entered the engine’s information like in the above screenshot, press “back” and select yes to update the database.
    Cab3 Main Screen ENG 22 Default Image
    Once back on the main screen, the engine’s name will appear. The entry is now saved into the database.
  2. To add an image for the engine, double-tap on the box that has the default engine image shown. This will bring up the menu for taking a picture.
    Cab3 ENG 22 Take Image
  3. Tap on “capture photo” and take a picture of your engine. Depending on your device, you may be prompted to either “retry” to take another picture, or press “ok” to accept the photo you’ve taken. You will then see the picture shown in the Cab3’s “take device photo” menu.
    Cab3 ENG 22 Uncropped Image
  4. Since the engine images are small, it is highly recommended to crop them. Press on the crop image icon immediately under the picture on the far left.
    Cab3 ENG 22 Cropping Image
    You can move the image around to center the crop section where you want it. Once done, tap on the checkmark under the image. That will save the cropping.
    Cab3 ENG 22 Cropped Image
  5. Tap on “save photo”. The Cab3 APP will save the image to the TMCC ID. You will see this image on the home screen when controlling this engine.
    Cab3 Main Screen with 22 Image
    You will also see the image in various other locations such as the ENG roster and in TRains.
    Cab3 ENG roster with 22 Image

Deleting Image #

Once you have saved an image to a TMCC ID, that image will only be associated with that TMCC ID. If you decide to program the engine as a different ID, you will need to take a new photo.

There are two ways of deleting a custom image you’ve taken.

  1. Retake a new photo following the above process. Any new image will automatically overwrite an existing image.
  2. Delete the database entry from the Base3. This can be done in the Engine Configuration screen. Any entry that is completely deleted will have its image removed from the Cab3 as well.
Updated on January 10, 2024