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Since there is no 3rd Rail sub-forum, I am asking here.

I am looking at buying their P5A Modified box cab (#4746) and their P5A box cab (#4741), upgrade to Legacy, and then run together.  I cannot find any information on if they were the same production run (same mechanicals, different shell) or different runs. 

Has anyone tried running these together either conventionally or command?  Thanks.

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CAPPilot, Thank You for clearing that up for me! I have primarily only collected so I purchased what looks good to me and don’t worry about the electronics too much. Since I have so many old 3rd Rail Locomotive’s and other brands, I know that they will need to be UpGraded at some point. I’m trying to understand the different electronics available but I can’t seem to find a book that describes the difference or details. It seems that some of the folks on this forum even referred to programming sounds to the boards? I could be wrong but I just don’t understand the idiosyncrasies of these electronics and upgrades. I’m pretty good with automotive electrical and electronics but there is a bit of a learning curve to reapplying that knowledge to O Scale 3Rail electronics. I will just keep following the forum to keep learning. I just don’t know what I don’t know :-) Thanks again for allowing me to sneak in to your conversation! I really love being here! You all are so knowledgeable!

There is no book that does what you desire.  You just have to know some basic facts and go from there.

1. In O gauge, there are primarily two major command control competitors, Lionel & MTH.  Williams (now Williams by Bachman) offers engines with sound, but no command control.  Another option growing in the wings of this subject is Battery Powered Remote Control, but that still requires command and/or sound boards from one of the major players.

2. In the Lionel branch of competition, the history is essentially TMCC followed by Legacy.  Lionel allowed 3rd parties (Atlas and 3rd Rail are best example) to use its TMCC version, and this led to the creation of ERR (a parts and boards supplier) which is now owned and operated by 3rd Rail.  TMCC, as the older version, has fewer command features but is still readily usable.  Legacy, the newer version, has more command features, but to this point, Lionel has kept it proprietary.  Most of the parts to upgrade any engine to Legacy are sold by Lionel, but not every engine conversion is easy.

3. In the MTH branch, the history is PS1, PS2 and now PS3.  PS stands for Proto-Sound, and each higher number stands for better features and reliability.  MTH, when available, sells PS3 upgrade kits, but again, not every engine is easily converted.

Several experts on this forum have "figured out" a lot of the electronic details of how these systems work and are usually willing to help you with questions as long as you provide them with enough info like full description of engine (including mfg. part number) along with an explanation of what you are trying to do or what you don't understand.  However, before asking questions, I highly recommend searching this forum because there is a good possibility your questions have already been answered in excruciating detail.

Chuck

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