Purchasing a Lionel 6-18952 ATSF Alco PA-1. It's listed as "Command Equipped" (which I'm assuming is 1997 speak for TMCC), but it only has Signalsounds. Is there any way to upgrade it to Railsounds? I know some lionel engines were "upgradeable", but this might be too early for that.
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Many upgradeable engines with Signalsounds of more recent vintage are fairly easy to update to RailSounds by opening up the unit and swapping circuit boards.
If it's the one I think it is your PA-1 also had another option as well. Lionel sold a PB unit (6-18965) that was fitted with RailSounds from the factory. The idea was to switch off the SignalSounds on the PA and let the RailSounds in the PB do the sound honors.
I have the NYC versions of both. They work well together, especially if you program both with the same ID.
Lionel offered an upgrade kit (2003-4?) with 2 boards to plug into your existing boards. I do not know whether those boards, or substitute boards, are still available. Maybe one of the forum members with more knowledge of these boards will jump in here.
This is the odd ball unit. It uses the early LCRU except it did not have the motor drive section, instead it is just the receiver/accessory board. Had separate Motor drive board and then the larger Signal sounds board. So you can integrate rail sounds, but it is not plug and play. You can upgrade to Cruise with ERR CM M, and you could adapt ERR RS board in place of the signal sounds. I have done this before. G
Lionel offered an upgrade kit (2003-4?) with 2 boards to plug into your existing boards. I do not whether those boards, or substitute boards, are still available. Maybe one of the forum members with more knowledge of these boards will jump in here.
Upgrade kit does not work for early LCRU type engines, only the later modular engines, if listed as upgradeable. G
Magicland - FWIW I bought this Santa Fe Alco PA powered A unit in1997 and then the matching B unit (6-18965) in 1998 and the factory installed RailSounds are excellent - LOUD and very realistic. In addition, it should be noted that the B unit also has a 'multi-chime' horn and, when running the A and B units together (with the same ID number), the resulting 4 or 5-chime horn sounds great in my opinion. In fact, although I own several Legacy diesels, I'd have to say the sound of the combined horns of the PAs is still one of my favourite engines! IMO you'd have no regrets if you picked up the B unit.
So you can CCM these locomotives? I have 2 and was expecting to have to install a full Cruise Commander at some point. Interesting.
Unfortunately, that won't help, as it's for a project, and won't be remaining an Alco. Just need the electronics and running gear (though the base will need stretched 3").