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4.0 and 4E (Enhanced 4) are the same board type and pinout. E added intelligible crew talk vs the garbled radio chatter of 4. There may be other improvements too.

Note, no extra large transistor for controlled output by soundcard like a 5.0

Screen Shot 2024-04-12 at 12.14.43 PM

5.0 board is a different board (looks similar but is different) and because 5.0 added soundcard controlled output- example coupler or other function- the pinout and wiring is incompatible as are the chips compared to 4 or 4E.

Screen Shot 2024-04-12 at 12.10.37 PM

I'm sure others can dive in way more on history and details, but at a high level- that's why- different series had significant changes and features and is incompatible electrically.


Images (2)
  • Screen Shot 2024-04-12 at 12.10.37 PM
  • Screen Shot 2024-04-12 at 12.14.43 PM

Actually, the RS4 and RS4e chips work find in the RS5 PCB, they just don't support the extra outputs of the RS5 board.  RS5 or RS5.5 chips, OTOH, do NOT work in the RS4 boards.

Also, I've yet to find a RS4 motherboard that has anything connected for the two extra pins that are supported for the RS5 boards.  The RS5 board extra connections are pin-7 Rear Light Ground and pin-8, Rear Coupler Ground.  I've popped RS5 boards into countless RS4 motherboards with no issues.  I'm not saying there's no RS4 board that has a connection there, but they have to be pretty rare.

@RickO posted:

Could the sound board in (FROM) the TMCC hudson tender 6-38041 be put into the 6- 38097 PT tender?

From- RAILSOUNDS 4.0 / NYC J-3A HUDSON #5433 (6-38041)

To-RAILSOUNDS 5.0 / NYC EMPIRE STATE HUDSON #5429 (6- 38097 PT tender)

The desired sound chip or board is Railsounds 4.

The target tender to move the sounds to is Railsounds 5.

If you move the sound chips as a pair, or the 4.0 board to the Railsounds 5 motherboard based tender, I see the following conflicts:

#1 The railsounds 4 tender and motherboard used the AD20A / I.R. RECEIVER (MODULAR) / STEAM to receive the IR data and provide the coupler and rear light function and provide that serial data to the railsounds 4 sound board and chips. Again, in this system, the IR drawbar signal first goes into the AD20A, then serial data to the sound card, and the AD20A handles the coupler and rear light. Again, this railsounds 4.0 tender is 3 boards plus motherboard (AD20A, RS power, RS 4.0, motherboard).

#2 The Target tender is a Railsounds 5 motherboard, The IR electrical signal goes directly to the Railsounds 5.0 card (well via the motherboard but no chips involved), which also decodes that for the function of coupler and rear light. This is a 2 board system + motherboard (RS power, RS 5.0, motherboard).

If you swap the chips or the entire railsounds 4 board into the Railsounds 5 tender:

  1. I do not know if the railsounds 4 chips properly decode the direct IR data
  2. I know the board and the chips have no output for rear light or coupler.

I see this going one of a couple of ways:

The Railsounds 4 board cannot decode or use the IR data, so it boots to conventional operation meaning no chuff, no command control, whistle and bell only activated by conventional transformer.

If the board or chips do work in the railsounds tender and do decode the serial data, great, it kinda works, still lacking rear light and coupler function.

Last edited by Vernon Barry

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