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I recently picked up a “display only” 3rd rail B&O Q-4B from a fellow collector. It is in great shape, but when I went to test it there where some issues. After posting about what I believed to be a motor or drive belt issue, it  is now very clear that the noise is due to the old EOB system that was used on this engine.

I have made the decision to go ahead and change the engine from EOB to ERR and have started removing electronics and ordering replacement parts. The idea is to replicate another 3rd rail engine set up I have. (See photos) While I have experience with MTH’s proto sound systems, this is something I’ve never done before and I will have questions. Any help or pointers are greatly appreciated.

At this time I have the following: Lionel Railsounds 4 powered mother board, Railsounds 5 board and chip set, ERR Cruise Commander set, new wires, leads, and connectors.

I am currently trying to figure out what replacement speaker I will need and weather or not I need to change out the tachometer sensor.

The speaker has no markings on it, see photo, but I believe it to be a 8 OHM .5w speaker. No idea how I would figure this out for sure. the same gose for the tachometer sensor. Considering that it came with EOB I believe the tachometer sensor is from the same supplier. I have no idea if it would work with the new ERR Cruise Commander.

Again any help and pointers would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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Images (4)
  • Old board: Old Board
  • What I want to replicate: What I want to replicate
  • Speaker: Speaker
  • Tachometer: Tachometer
Original Post

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You don’t need the tach sensor anymore, just the two wires to the motor. You can plug your RS5 audio board into the motherboard. The speaker should be 8 ohm but any 8 ohm speaker is OK. If you want to use the speaker pictured just measure the resistance with an ohmmeter while its disconnected from the motherboard. It should read 6-8 ohms. 8 ohms is the nominal value.

Pete

Well, if this has the fan driven smoke unit, you're going to need some extra bits to get full smoke function with chuffing smoke, smoke at idle, and 4-chuff/rev.  The Super-Chuffer II gives you chuffing, smoke at idle, optional Rule-17 LED headlight, and optional automatic cab light control.  The Chuff-Generator gives you programmable chuff rates and optional automatic ground light control.

The tach reader is not used with the ERR solution, but the tach tape will be useful for the Chuff-Generator.

Well, if this has the fan driven smoke unit, you're going to need some extra bits to get full smoke function with chuffing smoke, smoke at idle, and 4-chuff/rev.  The Super-Chuffer II gives you chuffing, smoke at idle, optional Rule-17 LED headlight, and optional automatic cab light control.  The Chuff-Generator gives you programmable chuff rates and optional automatic ground light control.

The tach reader is not used with the ERR solution, but the tach tape will be useful for the Chuff-Generator.

Maybe not. The majority of factory equipped EOB engines used micro switches for chuff. Only a few got to use the tach sensor generated chuff as per agreement with MTH.

Pete

The Q4b had the chuff switches set up on one of the front drivers. Not sure if it used the TAS smoke unit with built in puffing. If it doesn’t, John’s Super Chuffer could take care of it. The TAS unit, if it was the full Turbo one had an input that could be grounded for puffing. It would be worth verifying the wiring.

It’s nice your engine has the chuff switches (plural since they are selectable for 2 or 4 chuffs). None of my EOB 3rd Rails had them but they predate the Q4b by several years. One less thing to hassle out when converting to ERR.

@Norm Charbonneau, @gunrunnerjohn, @Norton. Thank you for the information. I have tested the speaker and it is an 8ohm speaker. So it looks like the replacement Fatboy speaker I ordered from 3rd rail should work. Just a matter making it fit! The original speaker was actually placed facing upwards towards the coal load. I might try to change that.

This model did come with TAS fan operated smoke unit (see photo). I am currently working to try and get access to the tac reader but if the smoke unit was TAS I think it is safe to say the tac reader is as well.  The most important goal for this project is to make sure I can keep the 4 chuffs per revolution.

I have been debating as to weather or not I want to have a smoke unit in this engine. This may be not be true, but I was always told that 3rd rail engines don’t like smoke fluid. Something about ruining the paint or finish. But just like norm I don’t run the smoke units that often. So I might just leave it out. Still debating that part.

Once again thank you for all the help!

Attachments

Images (1)
  • Smoke unit

You can use smoke fluid in 3rd Rail engines. It was just that Scott didn’t want you to use fluid until you were sure you wanted to keep the engine. He didn’t want a return with a used smoke unit.

You should be able to see the cams on the front axle if this engine uses mechanical switches to generate the chuff signal.

Pete

Last edited by Norton

Just for future reference if your engine has EOB and otherwise is working except for the EOB motor whine.  Others and I have been working with Bob Krivacic on a fix.  I personal like the slow end operation of EOB over ERR and a firmware swap is a lot cheaper than a full install swap and you have  more sound options.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/topic/eob-upgrade-1

Last edited by superwarp1
@Norton posted:

You can use smoke fluid in 3rd Rail engines. It was just that Scott didn’t want you to use fluid until you were sure you wanted to keep the engine. He didn’t want a return with a used smoke unit.

You should be able to see the cams on the front axle if this engine uses mechanical switches to generate the chuff signal.

Pete

That makes a lot more sense. I thought it was strange that a model train with a smoke unit would not have paint that could hold up to smoke fluid.

I can confirm the cams and the switches used for the chuff signals. That solves that mystery. Thank you.

@superwarp1 posted:

Just for future reference if your engine has EOB and otherwise is working except for the EOB motor whine.  Others and I have been working with Bob Krivacic on a fix.  I personal like the slow end operation of EOB over ERR and a firmware swap is a lot cheaper than a full install swap and you have  more sound options.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/topic/eob-upgrade-1

Ohhh now that is interesting! @Norm Charbonneau told me on my original post regarding the issue about that fix, but also that TAS is long gone. I may be picking up another 3rd rail engine in the near future with the same board set up. If this works, I’d be open to it!

@tf4k4 posted:

I recently picked up a “display only” 3rd rail B&O Q-4B from a fellow collector. It is in great shape, but when I went to test it there where some issues. After posting about what I believed to be a motor or drive belt issue, it  is now very clear that the noise is due to the old EOB system that was used on this engine.

I have made the decision to go ahead and change the engine from EOB to ERR and have started removing electronics and ordering replacement parts. The idea is to replicate another 3rd rail engine set up I have. (See photos) While I have experience with MTH’s proto sound systems, this is something I’ve never done before and I will have questions. Any help or pointers are greatly appreciated.

Would you like to sell your old EOB system and the Tach sensor since you won't be needing it  ?     I would have contacted you directly buy you have no contact info in your profile.           j

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