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  #1  
Old 06-19-2009, 12:30 PM
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pmilazzo pmilazzo is offline
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Default Options for Conversion to TMCC

As many of you may be aware, TAS (Train American Studios) is no longer selling TMCC conversion boards to the general public. Instead they changed their business model to be a direct supplier to Weaver and Atlas (B2B).

If you have TAS boards installed and are under warranty, they will support you, but what are the options going forward if you want to add or convert an engine to TMCC?

Right now, you have several options:

First Option: If you want TAS products, you can have Weaver install them for you in any make or model. Pros: They do the installation and give you a warranty on it. Cons: You pay shipping both ways and you can't do it yourself.

http://www.weavermodels.com/page30.html

Second option: Electric Railroad (ERR) offers TMCC boards and conversions.
Pros: You can opt to have them do the install or just buy the boards you need and do it yourself. Cons: Doesn't offer railsounds, but their boards can be made to work with it. They do have a sound option using a sound commander which is significantly cheaper than railsounds, but doesn't sound as good.

http://www.electricrr.com/

Third option: Digital Dynamics offers all the kits and parts you need to do conversions yourself including many RS choices for both diesels and steamers. Their speakers have a reputations of being superior to the ones manufacturers are using. Pros: Good customer serivice - One stop shop for kits and parts. Cons: Small one man operation and sometimes you have to wait a few weeks until they do another batch when out of stock.

http://www.digitdynam.com/

I can't say one is better than another and there are many factors besides cost and convenience which may influence you one way or another.

Personally, I used ERR for my Polar Express conversion to TMCC with a Sound Commander because it offered cruise and the price was right including installation. In the future, I may replace the sound commander board with railsounds from digital dynamics and do the work myself for improved sound quality.

Last edited by pmilazzo; 06-19-2009 at 07:17 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-19-2009, 05:22 PM
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rkneisel rkneisel is offline
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Paul,

Great information! Once TAS left, there seemed to be a void in the availability to do self-installs. I am glad to be aware of what other options there are. I also take it that you are satisfied with how ERR's electronics work? please keep all of us up to date with any other installations that you undertake.

Rick
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  #3  
Old 06-19-2009, 07:16 PM
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pmilazzo pmilazzo is offline
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I am pleased with the ERR conversion for the Polar Express. The sound is just not railsounds nor MTH protosounds either, but it was an inexpensive stop gap solution.

For the do-it-yourself guy, probably Digital Dynamics and/or ERR is your only viable option unless you can acquire left over TAS stock at a train show or friend.

Personally, I'm thinking the ERR cruise commander board is a slightly better solution that TAS EOB since it uses the same tachless cruise control legacy uses. Both give you way more than 32 speed steps, both can be interfaced to railsounds, both have cruise control and allegedly (I would not personally know), it's easier to install.

That being said, TAS' EOB has been around a long time and is viable solution with a proven track record. Other manufacturers like Atlas and Weaver have been using TAS's boards for years and they didn't jump on using ERR's solution when it was made available (and now part of Lionel).

I think it all boils down to personal choice for the motor controller board. One deciding factor may be trying to MU with another engine that has a EOB installed, then the best solution becomes getting an EOB so it will match up.

Last edited by pmilazzo; 06-20-2009 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:47 AM
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cwarfel cwarfel is offline
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Paul:

Any of the folks listed will perform installation on Williams engines, right?

Thanks,
Curt
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  #5  
Old 06-22-2009, 10:00 AM
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cwarfel cwarfel is offline
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One other quick question on this; I have been advised by Williams/Bachman service technicians in the past to not operate their engines in excess of 10 volts or it can damage the boards. Are the electronic reversing boards among the components that are replaced when you convert an engine to TMCC with sounds?
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:54 AM
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pmilazzo pmilazzo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwarfel View Post
Paul:

Any of the folks listed will perform installation on Williams engines, right?

Thanks,
Curt
I know weaver will accept anyone's engines for installations with TAS' boards. ERR I'm not sure, you would have to call them. Digital Dynamics doesn't do installations, just sells you boards.
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:56 AM
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pmilazzo pmilazzo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwarfel View Post
One other quick question on this; I have been advised by Williams/Bachman service technicians in the past to not operate their engines in excess of 10 volts or it can damage the boards. Are the electronic reversing boards among the components that are replaced when you convert an engine to TMCC with sounds?
Yes, the first thing to go is the original electronic reversing boards! Always ask for yours back if you pay for an installation so you can reverse the process or have extra parts for other engines.
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  #8  
Old 06-25-2009, 11:56 PM
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Thanks for the info!

-Eric
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  #9  
Old 07-03-2009, 03:32 PM
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wcantrell wcantrell is offline
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Give Ken a call at ERR. He answered all my questions and was in no hurry to rush me off the phone. I am setting up with him to install TMCC in the ABA set i just got. TMCC and sound in the powered A, sound in the B, and sound and lights in the np A. I might just try the install my self, he said if I run into any problems just give him a call.
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