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Author Topic: True Blass II Steam Unit Upgrade to Lionel SOS Loco  (Read 4797 times)
Len

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« on: July 25, 2013, 12:13:12 PM »

I had an old Lionel loco with a bad "Sound of Steam" (SOS) sound board and speaker in the tender. The board hasn't been made in years, so I decided to upgrade.

Pull the SOS board and speaker out, then trimmed the lip on the speaker mounting bracket off. Use a bit of silicone sealant to mount the True-Blast speaker to the bracket, and let it set up over night. Use those foam mounting pads with sticky stuff on both sides to mount the board to the tender shell. Clip the connector off the wires and connect to the existing pick-up and return wires, your done.

Place on track and have fun. The whistle is fantastic!

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
M1FredQ

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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2013, 02:55:08 PM »

If you can post pictures of how its done that would be awesome!!!!!
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GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2013, 11:04:57 PM »

I have a bad"white noise" tender too, and I do like the new "recorded" electronic sounds, but I have big issues with the price of the sound boards in general. Although not everyone buys model trains, modern greeting cards alone tell me $100 is just to much for something I will only turn the volume up on once or twice a month for about 10 minutes at a time. Undecided .  Heck I can buy a decent phone, an mp3 player, and other many more higher-tech items than a sound board for much less. Toys from the "dollar stores" often have suitable sound units and sell for under $5. The hi-tech trains and hi-tech pricing are one of the reasons I let loose my loyalty to "another company". They seemed to want to be a bit too exclusive,... so in the long run, I gave them what they wanted, I exclude them. Sound is cool Cheesy, good sound cooler Grin, but not if it almost doubles the cost of a smaller unit  Shocked Huh? Angry.  , and don't even get me started on "dcc" vs being sound equipped either Tongue....Ahhhhh to late Roll Eyes, I would prefer to absorb the cost of the soundboards I seldom use than pay for parts of an option I would prefer to never use. I especially hate dealing with fussy electronics that demand "like new" cleanliness to work properly. I used to get paid to do that. I'd take a mechanical e-unit and air whistle over electronics any day of the week. If my "digital" trains weren't gifts, I would have gotten rid of them long ago. 
Thanks Len, despite the rant, this is a good way to replace that white noise generator chuff it came with.
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Len

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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2013, 11:24:07 AM »

I used this, cost well under $100.00:

http://shop.bachmanntrains.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=491_555&products_id=3770&zenid=ppd93bcfmg34vrebo7esj7hmn6

Sorry, no pics. I'm not really a camera guy. But it's not hard to do at all, the lip that holds the original speaker in place is pretty obvious. It just needs to be removed to let the True-Blast speaker sit level, and the plug on the end of the True-Blast wires gets cut off to allow hard wiring.

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2013, 04:41:23 AM »

I used this, cost well under $100.00:

http://shop.bachmanntrains.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=491_555&products_id=3770&zenid=ppd93bcfmg34vrebo7esj7hmn6

Sorry, no pics. I'm not really a camera guy. But it's not hard to do at all, the lip that holds the original speaker in place is pretty obvious. It just needs to be removed to let the True-Blast speaker sit level, and the plug on the end of the True-Blast wires gets cut off to allow hard wiring.

Len


Thanks Len, that is a much better price than the last time I looked into sound for it. About half. Even though a referb original would cost a little less, the quality in the new one would likely be a much better bang for the buck. They are getting closer to my ideal price......real cheap Wink
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New ChooChoo

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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2013, 03:57:41 PM »

Hi there Len,

   I just purchased a mint in the box Lionel Southern Crescent steamer from 1978-1979. Really cool! However, I put it on the track and the tender has this loud buzzing noise and then the chuffing comes on, if you want to call it that. The sound unit from Williams would be a good replacement for this engine. I called Lionel and asked for a SOS circuit board and they were less than helpful.
    My SOS unit in the tender has the speaker kind of standing up on an angle. It snaps into a bracket like you described. There are two wires from the speaker to the board, another wire from the board that goes down through the bottom of the tender to the rear truck and another wire that plugs into a wire coming out of the engine. So which wire from the Williams unit pugs into the engine and which one plugs into the wheel pickup.
     Oh! And any ideas on how to quiet the engine down. Those gears on the engine's wheels are a bit noisy too.

Thanks!!
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GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2013, 10:08:43 AM »

The capacitors on those old boards go bad, & need replacing. If you have a working one, remount the board with protection on the bottom. The foam is known to disintegrate to dust over time, allowing the board to short against the frame. I don't have that new board, but speaker leads are often noted by icon, sp, or on occasion +/-, but rectified dc  could also carry +/- ..sooo... Undecided Huh?
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wmwalker


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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2013, 01:10:45 PM »

The true Blast II is a very good replacement for sound and I get them at my LHS for around 40.00 and I use them all the time.

 As GG1onFordsDTandI  said the old Lionel board does need new caps and insulation on the bottom of the board against the frame. As for me I just replace it with TBII. Just my opinion. Smiley
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Thanks
Wyatt
TCA 01-53554
New ChooChoo

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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2013, 04:05:02 PM »

UPDATE!!!!

     I was in luck yesterday! I was on Ebay and found a NEW in the box unmarked Lionel tender. A body swap is all I'll need. The tender has RailSounds in it so it should be just what I am looking for. Must be an older one cause it has the single wire coming out of it just like mine. I will keep you informed.

    Also, ya that foam was just about dust when I took the tender apart. There was enough left to keep the board from touching the metal bottom. I put a new piece of foam in it anyway but it still BUZZES alot.
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GG1onFordsDTandI
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2013, 11:00:58 AM »

I suspect the buzzer is on its way out Undecided
I hope the new tender is fine, but beware. Time is the enemy working against these, not use or abuse.
The capacitors used were lower grade and fail with time. Replacing them with an equal value may be done, but you should do this before failure as the ICs seems to be effected sometimes. I couldn't find references on them (ICs).   
You should check the foam of the new one, before you even test it really. It is in a similar state to the last one, I just about guarantee it.

If its any consulation, I had a pair of $1200(1980s) pair of Infinity studio speakers I had stored new in the box do the same thing. Foam around the outer edges turned to dust in 12 years. 
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Len

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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2013, 04:17:08 AM »

Choo-choo,

I don't run any wires to the loco when I do the TB-II upgrade. I add 'snap-on' pick-up roller assemblies to the tender and connect the red wire to them. The black wire goes to the wheel contacts already in place. I got the pick-up roller assy's from either Olsen's Toy Trains or the Train Tender, I forget which. I believe the part number is 581-10.

Len
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If at first you don't succeed, throw it in the spare parts box.
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