Adding Sound to American Flyer Steam
using the Electric RR Co. Sound Commander Board

This is my K5 with the Sound Commander Upgrade
Click on images for larger view.

The steam version comes with a reed switch and magnet for chuff triggering and connectors for wiring into most TMCC system boards too. 
This is a new sound board by the Electric RR Co

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

It is perfect low cost solution for American Flyer (and others) for both conventional and TMCC sound upgrades. It will fit in most locos and also will fit in boxcars and baggage cars. etc.

 It is unusual in that it can either take the serial commands from a TMCC receiver to trigger sounds or if you aren't into TMCC yet it will work off of track voltage with conventional sound controls.

This installation in my AF K5 used my TMCC MDB board but it will work with any that will fit.
Plenty of room in the K5 tender for all the electronics  
The bottom view of the tender.
The Sound Board comes with complete instructions.
The speaker I used is a one and one half inch Mylar speaker from Jameco, part number 307871. This a smaller speaker than comes with the kit.
This shell was from an Smoke in Tender loco so it had the holes in front which made the speaker installation easy. It's just CA glued in place
Sounds for the Steam version are Whistle, Bell, Triggered Chuff with 4 chuff cadence, Air blow down, Steam backgrounds with pump, and coupler clank. The whistle and bell volume are controlled by Aux1+1 and 4. The chuff and background sounds are controlled with Aux1+3 and 6.
Aux1+2 is air blowdown

Similar sounds are used by the Diesel board.


On the MDB board the Sound serial signal connection is a pad on the board marked "RS", shown here connected with the green wire to the sound board.
This is the relative size of the Magnetic Reed Chuff switch and the triggering magnet.
The switch I used is Jameco part number 17181CJ. The magnet is Radio Shack part number 64-1985. Since I had a pre-release version I provided these myself. The board will come with these.  
Here is the Chuff trigger signal switch that I used mounted in the tender truck.
The magnet is CA glued to the truck axle.
The magnet is glued in place after verifying the switch closure is not less that one quarter and not more than on half of the revolution of the tender's wheel. Note that I trimmed away part of the wheel wiper to clear the magnet. The switch is enclosed in a piece of heat shrink tubing after leads are connected to it and then CA glued to a 1/8 square spruce or plastic spacer that is then CA glued to the truck frame. The Pickup shoe has been removed to show the switch better.
The Sound Commander board is 1.5" long
  by 1.25" wide
And .75" high.
This is the Sound Commander wiring diagram using my MDB board with a DC can motor. An AC motor will work too using the appropriate MDB board and wiring.
If using other TMCC boards with RS connections just plug the included wiring add speaker  and chuff wiring and off you go..
          Conventional Mode

The board will work wired just to the track voltage for non TMCC applications.

Note there are a couple of jumper options for controlling the sounds in conventional mode.

See drawing for details. These jumpers effect operation in conventional whether using with TMCC receiver or with out.

See Also:  Adding sound to an AF 0-8-0 See Also:
Adding TMCC and Sound to AF Northern