AF RailSounds boxcars with chopped vs. unaltered sine wave AC power sources

According to Lionel Customer Service Lionel AF RailSounds boxcars (four were produced) must be used with a power source that generates chopped sine wave AC in order for the bell and whistle or horn to be activated.  If you use a postwar transformer like a 30B which generates unaltered sinusoidal wave AC and one or two 6-5906 Sound Activation Buttons per the Owner's Manual for example the bell and whistle/horn will not activate while the boxcar is in motion and only intermittently at best while the car is at rest -- 9V battery in it or not, regardless of the direction it is facing, and with 6VAC or more to the tracks per the owner's manual.  So if you use them with a modern transformer and buttons, or PowerMaster, TPC300 or 400 with a Cab remote then AF RS boxcars are a lot of fun especially behind your conventionally controlled postwar AF engines without those sounds.  But with a postwar transformer they are not such a great experience.  One thing to keep in mind -- chopped sine wave AC will burn out the speakers of your postwar AF engine diesel horn or air chime whistle sound systems so don't use them with a power source that works well with your L/AF AF RailSounds boxcars.  One other thing, some L/AF equipment released more recently than the RailSounds boxcars such as 6-4402X FlyerChief/Bluetooth Berkshire steam engines in transformer mode will work fine (bell and whistle trigger) with a postwar transformer (e.g. 30B) and one or two 6-5906 buttons because their electronics have been evolved to work with chopped AC and unaltered or pure AC.  Of course, your classic AM 4-6-2 Pacific, for example, bell and whistle will work fine with unaltered AC and buttons because they were manufactured prior to chopped, but also work with chopped as well.  

PS  I discovered this firsthand after converting from TPC400 with Cab1 conventional control (the RS bc sounds worked fine)  back to a 30B with 6-5906 buttons (my two RS boxcars' bell, horn and whistle then failed).  So I called Lionel Customer Service and got the scoop thanks to Kristen.  

Livin' and learnin'

Sometimes the hard way.

Dave 

Dave

S happens

TCA, NASG, ACSG W&OD

x-Chief Wrench & Bottle-washer of Precision Flyer Repairs 

Original Post

This is good information to know. But with the different manufactures I now have many different types of sound control devices. Of course I have the traditional Flyer whistle control, S-Helper Locomatic Control. The Ott control box for American Models, and it will also work on AF by Lionel locomotives. A Z1000 so I can run the Flyer sound box cars, and it also works with American Models and AF by Lionel but you cannot run traditional Flyer Locomotives that have speakers due to the constant noise the chopped sine wave produces. Flyer Chief Control, Lionel TMCC/Legacy and finally MTH DCS control.  I have my control panel wired so I can use any of the above controls for their respective engine.  I know why many went with DCC,  I wish the manufacturers would have established a common system such as DCC years ago.

 

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