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So I was recently lucky enough to to find my Holy Grail after searching for a number of years. 3rd Rails N&W Mollie #475! However the engine dose need some work both cosmetically and electronically. So far I have fixed a few blemishes on the engine and tender, replaced the speaker, and replaced the Railsounds 4 motherboard. I will also need to replace some brass detail (brass welding?) and lights in the tender. Thankfully the ERR cruise still works.

However the stock sounds that came with the engine are… not my first choice. It looks to be using Lionel’s Railsounds 3 Generic Light steam chipset. I’d love some suggestions for a replacement that might be closer to the real thing. Any and all suggestions are welcomed! See the short video for its current sounds.

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@CentralFan1976 @gunrunnerjohn

ok, better speaker. Suggestions on brand or from who could get a better speaker? The one I used to replace the stock one was ordered from 3rd rail and came with its own baffle. I also used an extra foam speaker isolator to keep it a few millimeters from the bottom of the tender.

I also just noticed that the sound chipset is railsounds 3 and not railsounds 4 like the motherboard. Not sure if that would provide better sound or not.

I’d agree with Mario & John on this one, ….I’d play around with the speakers first before messing around with sound cards,…..listen to Mario’s sound clip from his early 2.5 sound card from his CV, ….I’m dually impressed and plan to follow suit on an upcoming unnamed project using a 2.5 sound card….you’ve got 3.0, so you might be impressed just getting rid of the crackly background noises….

Pat

Ok, so I have ordered a new speaker for the tender. In the mean time I can work on the engine itself. First big issue is that the shoulder bolt that acts as a rear pivot point for the lead truck is broken off… the previous owner claims it came like that and he had a hobby shop try and remove the broken part. Honestly this looks like they just tried drilling it out… so I guess the first question is do I need it at all? And if so, at this point the only solution I can think of is to tap the drilled out portion. Open to suggestions on this one.

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@harmonyards @CentralFan1976

I will provide a better photo once I get back from work. It is very clear that someone tried to drill it out. I don’t think there is anyway to pull it out at this point. Who ever tried fixing this before did not know what they where doing. It’s shame, but luckily the front truck is still secured to by a longer shoulder bolt that connects the shell and frame.

@tf4k4 posted:
However the stock sounds that came with the engine are… not my first choice. It looks to be using Lionel’s Railsounds 3 Generic Light steam chipset. I’d love some suggestions for a replacement that might be closer to the real thing. Any and all suggestions are welcomed! See the short video for its current sounds.

0AE9B3D1-45AB-4D01-85A9-AAC9F93236A5BC90D9D5-7809-430E-90BD-CE52D9CC2F87

@tf4k4 posted:
I also just noticed that the sound chipset is railsounds 3 and not railsounds 4 like the motherboard. Not sure if that would provide better sound or not.

FYI, that's a Lionel RailSounds 4 system with RS4 boards. A large majority of the RS4 audio boards were mis-marked "RS3" but the part number is correct. The "AT" stands for Atlantic, which indeed was the generic "light" sound set. (The other label, S23, is the PIC version... RS27S23.)

The good news is that you can swap out for any RS4 audio board and they'll work fine. This set-up *might* also work with a RS5 audio board but NOT a RS5.5, which is Legacy.

Clear as mud, right?!

TRW

@tf4k4 posted:

Ok, here are some better photos. I did run it around some curves and switch’s. Seems to be staying on the tracks just fine

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Somebody made a butchered mess out of that ,….geeeezz….they shouldn’t have even attempted the repair,….the lesson here, don’t touch tools if you have no clue what you’re doing,….the thing is, your engine is full of electronics,….those electronics don’t like being shorted out …..it may be ok momentarily, but you could be playing with fire …..or magic smoke in this case……best do a competent repair, or pay someone to do a competent repair ….derailments are the no. 1 killer of electronics in the U.S. …….don’t become a statistic…..😉

Pat

@harmonyards posted:

I’d agree with Mario & John on this one, ….I’d play around with the speakers first before messing around with sound cards,…..listen to Mario’s sound clip from his early 2.5 sound card from his CV, ….I’m dually impressed and plan to follow suit on an upcoming unnamed project using a 2.5 sound card….you’ve got 3.0, so you might be impressed just getting rid of the crackly background noises….

Pat

The changes between RailSounds 2.5, 3 and 4 were hardware based. RS2.5 is the one-piece board, RS3 splits the RS2.5 into audio and power boards (plus a motherboard to connect everything) and then RS4 is a more efficient version of the RS3 system.

But the sound-producing software (contained in the two socketed chips) only changed incrementally during those years, and the chips are fully compatible between RS2.5 and 4.0. My point in mentioning this is you can put the same set of sound chips into each of the three different hardware systems and they'll pretty much sound identical.

The background artifacts were because of file compression necessary to fit into the smaller chips of the late 1990s. This improved a lot with the release of RS4E ("enhanced") circa 2002-2003 that used chips with more memory, which greatly reduced the "crackly background" noises you can hear. Note that the boards used for RS4E are identical to those from RS4 -- only the chipset is different. Be careful when using upgraded speakers with some of the older systems. Some sound great, and some seem to amplify all those compression artifacts!

Lastly, I agree that the sound set used for that first Commodore Vanderbilt is one of the best from early RailSounds.

TRW

@PaperTRW, @harmonyards thank you for the information. Yeah whoever tried the repair before this mangled the **** out of it. I did go through and clean it out pretty well. Removed the motor and most of the drive system to remove as many shavings as possible. So far nothing has happened during tests. At the moment, with out the shoulder bolt it dose go around curves and through switches with out issues. Just debating weather or not I should even attempt to retap the hole for a new shoulder bolt.

As for rail sounds, I am perfectly fine staying with Rail-sounds 4. I know many have said the chipset that it came with sounds good, I still wonder if there would be a better options. I did receive the new speaker and baffle this week, so once that is installed I’m hoping it will sound better. I’ll be sure to post an update video.

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