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I’m thinking about buying a sound board off of electric but i have a few questions can I buy just the sound board and not the command board as well and the engine I want to do this with is a Kline steam engine with no sound effects will this compatible and my layout is conventional ran will that be compatible as well? 

Original Post

All the ERR sound boards will work in conventional mode without the command board.

If you want chuff, you will have to install a chuff switch, which will probably come with the sound board.

You put a magnet on the inside of a tender wheel and point a reed switch at it. That yields roughly 2 chuffs per revolution. Adding a second magnet will give approximately 4 chuffs per revolution.

The whole installation is easier than the installation instructions make it out to be.

Please follow the instructions to the letter.  DO not let the board touch any metal when installing.  They short out very easy.  The 9 volt battery maintains, and gives you sound under 10 volts DC. no need for BCR.. nor is it required...

It is very easy for experienced individuals,   The first install can be challenging and tricky.  But if you take your time, follow the instructions', you can do it...  Good luck'...

@Mikev22 posted:

Thank you everyone who answered my questions I’m going to go with the ERR sound board last question the 9 volt battery for the conventional use could it. Be a BCR or does it have to be a regular 9 volt battery 

The commonly available BCR is not an option for these as the RS-Lite board doesn't have a charging circuit.  If you want low voltage operation and sound continuity on direction changes, there is one permanent option to replace the primary battery.

The  YLB - RailSounds Battery Replacement (RS-Lite) replaces the standard battery and maintains it's charge from track power as low as around 6 VAC.  This unit plugs directly into the ERR RS Commander board and has one wire that connects to the center roller track power.


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  • mceclip0

Any DS foam tape should work.  Note that the DS tape supplied with the RS Commander will work, but you have to be careful that the leads don't touch the chassis and kill the board.  ERR used to have thicker DS tape that didn't allow this to happen.  I think Scott is considering changing the tape for this reason.

What I do with these, and by all means, I don't recommend this if you aren't sure what you're doing, is trim the solder side leads that project more than about 1mm from the board.  Obviously there are lots of little surface mounted components nearby, if you damage one of those, you will likely kill the board.

Both would be pretty easy, I just lean to the ERR board for the audio quality and the small size.

Actually, the err audio board still comes with the plastic baffle for the speaker? 
Thats, a game changer right there. He can use double sided tape for the whole install. Space permitting  I agree with the quality of the newer boards. I still think the volume dB level has something amiss. The old stuff seems louder. 

I’ve upgraded a lot of engines.The noise from some drowns out the sound. Even, with the speaker in the right position.

I've been quite happy with the sound quality and volume from the ERR boards.  Yes, the kit comes with the speaker and a decent baffle.  FWIW, Lionel uses the same 40mm FatBoy speakers in a lot of their production products.  Early on, ERR was shipping 16 ohm speakers, but they've changed to 8 ohm speakers for all the current shipments.  I explored this issue somewhat in depth here:

ERR Speakers for RS Commander Kits

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