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I have a Lionel F3 8970/71 set from 1979 that I picked up at an auction, it runs great.  How do I add sounds? I see Lionel has a commander board but how hard is it to wire up?  Are there better options for a sound board?  I service all my trains but never messed with newer electronics.

Last edited by BYIENGST
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Vintage RailSounds (without TMCC), c. mid-1990's would do the trick for your vintage F3's, and will operate in conventional (transformer-controlled) mode only; just like them.  How about a 'B' unit to go with them?

I know of one possibility, a ATSF B-unit with RailSounds II (6-18122).  I have one so I have some experience with this.  Unfortunately it's not PRR, but it is an F3 and it will do conventional RailSounds.

Three options:

1.) Find a 6-18122 and paint it (or have it painted) in matching PRR livery.

2.) Find a 6-18122 and transplant the innards to a PRR F3-B from the 70's or earlier if you can find one.  This is only slightly complicated, primarily because one of the fans on the roof of the 6-18122 is the volume control.

3.) Assemble your own version of this in your dummy F3-A, instead of a separate B-unit.  The schematic and exploded diagram for the 6-18122 is available here to get you started (see pages S32:2-4 and S32:2-5):

https://www.lionelsupport.com/...ent32/32Complete.pdf

Parts from the 6-18122 are largely also available at lionelsupport.com.  See:

https://www.lionelsupport.com/...amp;CFTOKEN=48233349

Any of these would be an interesting project.

Mike

Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike

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