steam sounds

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mev
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steam sounds

Postby mev » Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:56 pm

Forgive my ignorance on loco sounds. I have been reading bits about installing and having sound installed and I can see that you have a module and a speaker in the loco. But if this isn't a stupid question, how does it work? I have a DCC setup so does it connect to my Gaugemaster prodigy?

jaym481
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Re: steam sounds

Postby jaym481 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:38 pm

It works just like a non-sound decoder. The sounds are controlled by function keys on your DCC controller.

mev
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Re: steam sounds

Postby mev » Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:42 pm

Without me having to buy anything additional to modify the controller?

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Peterm
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Re: steam sounds

Postby Peterm » Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:06 am

That's correct, just decoders and speakers too if you want sound. I've got some sound Loco's, but not all are easy to fit speakers in as well as the sound decoders being a bit larger than the equivalent non sound types.
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abenn
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Re: steam sounds

Postby abenn » Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:34 am

mev wrote:Without me having to buy anything additional to modify the controller?

But if your present controllers are regular ones -- i.e. non-sound -- then you need to replace them with sound-capable controllers, I believe.

kebang
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Re: steam sounds

Postby kebang » Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:04 am

All DCC controllers (inc Hornby Select & Bachmann EZ) can operate the sound functions on a loco fitted with a sound decoder.
The Hornby Select & Bachmanns EZ controllers may not be able to access all the sounds if there are lots of different whistles etc, but they will access most of them.

Every other DCC contoller I know of will access all of the different sounds.

Bigmet
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Re: steam sounds

Postby Bigmet » Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:18 am

mev wrote:Without me having to buy anything additional to modify the controller?

You have a Gaugemaster Prodigy as your DCC system, from your first post. Operate a sound decoder equipped loco just like a regular decoder equipped loco, and you will automatically get the full 'running sounds' package programmed on the decoder; typically engine start for diesels, idling or hissing sound for a steamer, brake release, engine noise or chuffing appropriate to movement, and brake application to a stand with the motor idling or loco hissing. But you might want to check in the system manual for how many functions your DCC handset can access.

As sound decoders have become more sophisticated the number of manually selectable sounds has grown from just a few; like one or two horn or whistle sounds, and buffer/coupler clash: but now there can be a dozen or more, right up to fireman fries bacon on a shovel in the firebox. This means that earlier DCC systems may no longer be able to access every user selectable sound effect, simply due to a limit on how many auxiliary functions the system addresses. There are typically software upgrades available for older systems to overcome this.

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Flashbang
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Re: steam sounds

Postby Flashbang » Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:14 pm

Prodigy Express 16 functions - F0 to F15
Prodigy Advance2 28 functions - F0 to F27

By turning the locos sound decoder On via usually the F1 key the sounds will start. Depending on what the loco is doing the sounds will vary. e.g. a Diesel outline sound loco will on pressing the 'F1' key go through the engine start up sequence. Once it's running it will sit at tick over revs/sound. Turn up the speed and the loco will move off and the revs from the engine sound will increase. Slow the loco down and they decrease. Horn blast is available and often comes in various tones - Single blast, Twin low pitch or at times a high pitch option too all controlled by dedicated F keys. Steam outline will have the chuff rate increase with speed and of course slow down or coast. Whistle sounds etc all available. Some sound decoders will incorporate more sounds like coupling clank, wheel squeal and even some have station announcements, guards whistle etc. You need to reference the individual sound decoders list of sounds that have been installed to match the class of loco. the decoder is to be fitted into or is fitted to already.
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ParkeNd
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Re: steam sounds

Postby ParkeNd » Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:23 pm

This is a great idea.

I have seen all sorts of rubbish decrying model railway sound citing logic like "you can't feel the base rumble like you can with a real train". But recently I went to a small model train show where the background noise wasn't like a school dining room, and the sound locos were really excellent - even in an N gauge 4F - the diesels were even better.

Have fun.

mev
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Re: steam sounds

Postby mev » Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:18 pm

Thank you all . I think I'm getting the idea as far as the actual controller is concerned.... but something one of you said about sound and non-sound controllers ( I think you meant decoders?)....My current loco's have 'ordinary' non-sound decoders fitted;
Is the sound decoder separate or does the original decoder need to be replaced by one which deals with movement AND sound. Or do you have two decoders, one for movement and one for sound in the loco? I realise that space in most of my loco's is tight.

Bigmet
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Re: steam sounds

Postby Bigmet » Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:57 pm

I believe that add on sound only 'function' decoders were available at one time, enabling a decoder equipped loco to have sound added; but the market is now dominated by single unit decoders with all of motor drive, sound and other auxiliary outputs, as a single unit called a sound decoder. The usual question about which to choose, is those for which the recording you want is offered.

So the usual method is to remove the original decoder, substitute a sound decoder. Space is often a problem on small locos, and especially on models designed before provision to fit a decoder and speaker had ever been thought of. Expect to have to take a saw and file to some models. Sometimes, biting the bullet and selling the model you have, then replacing it with something newer that was designed for sound may be the sensible option.

mev
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Re: steam sounds

Postby mev » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:24 pm

That answers my question Bigmet.
Thanks again.

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Bufferstop
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Re: steam sounds

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:07 pm

ParkeNd wrote:This is a great idea.

I have seen all sorts of rubbish decrying model railway sound citing logic like "you can't feel the base rumble like you can with a real train". But recently I went to a small model train show where the background noise wasn't like a school dining room, and the sound locos were really excellent - even in an N gauge 4F - the diesels were even better.
Have fun.


A 4mm or 2mm scale loco producing ground shaking bass frequencies just doesn't compute! If you could build a 1/76th scale 18 cylinder two stroke diesel engine, what would it sound like? My guess is that it wouldn't sound much different to wht is currently being acheived. Steam sounds just don't seem to work so well, I've yet to hear one that convinces me that the sound is anything to do with the source of propulsion. Perhaps the answer lies in the sort of sound that would be produced by a 1/76th scale set of cylinders, I don't think it would sound much like the full sized ones.
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jaym481
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Re: steam sounds

Postby jaym481 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:49 pm

Sound is a means to "suspension of disbelief" and will never be able to produce anything that could be described as the real thing. Much as even the best audio systems cannot compare to experiencing a full orchestra in a good venue, DCC sound can give you a taste. Taste is very personal though.

Even sound like Hornby's TTS is good, though if you focus on the lack of synchronization and other flaws you probably won't like it.

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Peterm
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Re: steam sounds

Postby Peterm » Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:38 am

For sound decoders I've always used Zimo. The MX648 is the smallest they do and Digitrains and others do a pretty good selection of British sounds on these. As for speakers, you'd be surprised at what you can get out of a 'sugar cube' speaker. These come as small as 8 X 12mm and the next one up is 10 X 15mm including sound box. CT Elektronic (spelling) do a small one too. I've never used their decoders, but have heard good comments about them although I've also heard that their instructions are not the best.

The MX648 is good for most modern loco's, but I think I'd be wary of using one in a Heljan or an old loco' because of the current draw. All the Zimos have overload and thermal protection where some others don't, so while the initial outlay is more, I reckon that they stand to be cheaper in the long run.

Where space allows, I've used the MX645 which is slightly cheaper but has 10 function outputs. Both of these decoders can be fitted with stay alive type devices if you need them and if you can find somewhere to put them.

Another sound decoder is Loksound, but I can't really comment on those as I only have experience of one and that didn't end well.
Pete.


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