AF Docksider TMCC and Sound Conversion
using Electric RR TMCC compatible components

Full TMCC control with Sounds including Synchronized Chuffing.
2005 Carl Tuveson

The new AF/Lionel Docksider presented a challenge to convert to TMCC with sound and still leave the chuffing smoke unit in place. A bit of head scratching went into the layout of the boards to make them fit without modifying the chassis.  Note also the replacement of the blue/white Led headlights with Bright Golden/White LEDs.

Click on images for larger view

Here is the Chassis as it comes from the factory. I preserved all of the pieces for reversal of the conversion if it did not work out.
 It all fits with not much room to spare. Note the Green Antenna wire

The Receiver Board's output/input connectors are removed and the board wired directly with pigtails to conserve space.  The motor rectifier diodes are also soldered directly to the board. 

The Program/Run switch and Sound Control Signal out are also wired directly to the back of the Receiver since the P1 pins 1 and 2 were removed to make the sound board fit. 

The onboard antenna and pin are removed and an external one is soldered back on.
I made a Directional Headlight board that used the same type connectors as the original  and reused the original headlight wiring The Headlight board is screwed to one of chassis  mounting posts that the original reverse unit used using a flathead screw and countersunk hole to clear the receiver board.

The Y1 filter on the receiver was moved to the back side of the board for clearance for the sound board.
Pins 1 and 2 of the P1 connector on the receiver were removed to also make room for the sound board.

A heat sink was added made from .032" aluminum stock and screwed to the triacs and the chassis to serve as the mount for the receiver board. The chassis must stay isolated from track voltages as the triacs are tied to AC hot and will short through the heatsink to the chassis. 

The Chuff Switch bracket and Sound board mounting bracket are also made from the .032" aluminum.


The chuff sensor reed switch can be seen glued in place in the bracket in this picture. I used a piece of card stock glued between the bracket and the switch to insulate it.

The chuff sensor 3/16" magnet is glued to the smoke piston connecting rod's connecting pin.
These are the Sound components. The Sound board is mounted with double sided foam tape to a bracket that is screwed to the other mounting post . The speaker panel is made from three 8 ohm micro speakers CA glued together side by side. They are wired in series. 
The speaker paned is foam taped to the side of the smoke unit.

The sounds include synchronized 4 cadence chuffs, air pump, steam blow-down, coupler clanks. whistle and bell.  


Looks a bit odd without the body. One could mount two speakers to each side of the smoke unit instead of using the one panel of three.

The Smoke unit heater element is replaced with a 27 ohm heater from Lionel's basic smoke unit to be compatible with the TMCC voltages.

The Sound board and Receiver board are snuggled together as close as possible. I had to remove just a tiny amount of plastic in the body to clear the top of the front of the sound board.  
Not much room to spare. It made a nice installation though.

The Receiver is programmed with the  Cab-1 to be a "type 4"  Steam loco with Railsounds, so the smoke and directional headlight work correctly.

The smoke unit performs nicely as you can see in this photo. It puffs and chuffs at a crawl now.

Wiring Diagram
(Click to enlarge)

This TMCC Compatible conversion uses the Electric RR Co's Mini Commander and Sound Commander boards. These are the only TMCC compatible systems that will fit. 

This Mini Commander uses a custom version of firmware to allow Engine functionality.  Firmware for engines is not sold as a product so Contact Electric RR for details and conditions to obtain it. 

For more information see
The Electric RR Co.

The Electric Railroad Company
939 Wood Duck Ave.
Santa Clara, Ca.  95051    USA

Parts used in the conversion:
Smoke Element 27 ohm 
Lionel 600-8141-055

Non Polarized Caps 4.7 uf 50v
Mouser NPRL50V4.7

Headlight connector : Mouser
2 pin Housing 455-1000-ND
Terminal 455-1042-1-ND

8 ohm Jameco 307854

Headlight LED
Minatronic YeloGlow LED
Walthers 475-1231010

Reed Switch:
Jameco 171871CJ

Magnet: Radio Shack  64-1895
2005 Carl Tuveson