Hello, sorry to bring up an old topic, but we are new to model trains and we currently run the Lionchief Hogwarts Express around our living room ceiling shelf layout. Would you mind telling me what a "cruise board " is ? I like what you've done there, and I'd be interested in learning how to mod ours like this.
I wouldn't consider anything that you just saw done like adding cruise, adding a totally different smoke unit using super chuffer to be your first project.
I'm not saying you cannot, if you can follow instructions, follow a wiring diagram, and have both electrical and mechanical skills, sure, you could, ideally a lot of people should be able to do this.
But what isn't being said is this is a classic case of putting $300-$400 + dollars worth of the electronics, maybe more into an engine that ideally one should be able to get out of a set breakup for somewhere between say $130- $180. In other words, factor in the labor, and we are talking about putting 2-3 times the cost of the engine in upgrades.
Don't get me wrong, I've done it, we do it because we like the engine, but at the same time no, this is not recommended. If you want scale and features, do NOT buy a lionchief and then think you should upgrade it. Buy what you want in the features you want from the factory. Yes, a little harder to find these European engine styles, but MTH did make them and I own one. Way better money and time spent than trying to replicate what was done to the super Hogwarts. I think that example was where OK, so he designed the super chuffer, he is an ERR upgrade dealer, he has the skills and decided to see how far he could take one with upgrades. It's basically gutting and then scratch building an engine from an expensive and I do mean expensive to the rest of us, pile of parts.
Again, sorry, IMO, if you were talking about some amazing MTH Premier engine, that was say PS1 or a dead early PS2 5V, and then you blow this kind of coin on upgrades, that makes sense. Doing it to a Lionchief chassis, not so much.
BTW, ERR Cruise prices went up, I'll let him quote the new prices but that board alone is possibly more than the engine is worth stock. We are talking about $150+