steam sounds

Post all your DCC only problems, solutions and discoverys here.
Bigmet
Posts: 6020
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: steam sounds

Postby Bigmet » Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:26 am

Bufferstop wrote: 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.

That doesn't help at all. The problem is two fold. One is insufficient content in the recordings, because there isn't the available memory yet for the very large range of sounds required, and the other - even if all the necessary sounds were available - is insufficient input to the decoder to manage their correct production. To give an example, the very common sight of a half turn or two of wheelslip while moving slowly, skilfully controlled by the driver quickly closing the regulator and slightly re-opening it to check the slip while keeping the train on the move. Models pulling heavy loads actually do this, but the decoder just cannot keep up and supply the accompanying faster beats of the exhausts during the slip. That alone kills it for me, and there's a ton more in the same vein that made up the repertoire of operational steam, that sound decoders get nowhere close to.

ParkeNd
Posts: 1395
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:48 pm

Re: steam sounds

Postby ParkeNd » Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:01 am

Bigmet wrote:
Bufferstop wrote: 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.

That doesn't help at all. The problem is two fold. One is insufficient content in the recordings, because there isn't the available memory yet for the very large range of sounds required, and the other - even if all the necessary sounds were available - is insufficient input to the decoder to manage their correct production. To give an example, the very common sight of a half turn or two of wheelslip while moving slowly, skilfully controlled by the driver quickly closing the regulator and slightly re-opening it to check the slip while keeping the train on the move. Models pulling heavy loads actually do this, but the decoder just cannot keep up and supply the accompanying faster beats of the exhausts during the slip. That alone kills it for me, and there's a ton more in the same vein that made up the repertoire of operational steam, that sound decoders get nowhere close to.


I'm sure this latest bit of logic doesn't work. Just because £20 small transistor radios and £50,000 esoteric hi-fi's coexist. The alternative to the £20 radio might be total silence - no news, no weather, no music however unrealistic compared with the original source. The alternative to no model railway sound system is electric motor sounds, some clicks over points and joints, and the operators imagination. Even the current model railway sound systems are an advance on nothing, maybe even quite a big advance on nothing - no more compromised really than the compressed distances in the layout, the diminished detail in the scenery, or that terrible feeling that some people just know that their model loco is riding 1mm too high.

If the alternative is total realism or an advance on nothing - I would vote for the advance on nothing especially since some of the systems are really not bad at all for what they are.

Bigmet
Posts: 6020
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: steam sounds

Postby Bigmet » Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:43 am

If you like it enough, it is good enough. But it just doesn't do it for me, because it ain't anywhere near right enough. I gave up on RTR OO and moved to making it myself back in the 1960s for the same reason; only started buying RTR OO again in 2000 when Bachmann began supplying the UK market with models rather than toys.

GWR_fan
Posts: 4696
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:57 pm
Location: Antipodes

Re: steam sounds

Postby GWR_fan » Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:56 am

Yesterday, I was listening to a video from a popular You-tuber (is there such a word?). He had a class 33 diesel running with sound. Now the sound was excellent and in my opinion indicative of the prototype. The problem was that the sound was so irritating that I had to pause the video and went looking for a video with no sound.

Years of sound modules in largescale locomotives has taught me a valuable lesson - silence is bliss!!!!!!!

ParkeNd
Posts: 1395
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:48 pm

Re: steam sounds

Postby ParkeNd » Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:14 pm

GWR_fan wrote:Yesterday, I was listening to a video from a popular You-tuber (is there such a word?). He had a class 33 diesel running with sound. Now the sound was excellent and in my opinion indicative of the prototype. The problem was that the sound was so irritating that I had to pause the video and went looking for a video with no sound.

Years of sound modules in largescale locomotives has taught me a valuable lesson - silence is bliss!!!!!!!


Ah - now that point of view I can understand. Preference.

Back in about 1960 my sister and I used to listen to Saturday Club on the radio when my mother and father went out. My mother would always rush straight to the radio and turn it off the second she returned and gasp "Ah- peace. That's better isn't it? Now let's have a nice cup of tea."

GWR_fan
Posts: 4696
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:57 pm
Location: Antipodes

Re: steam sounds

Postby GWR_fan » Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:33 pm

I have found that locomotive sound is firstly, interesting and fascinating. Before long it becomes tolerable. Not long after it becomes unbearable to the listener. When the sound is muted the calming effect that comes over you is so relaxing that you need to sit down as your body feels unable to support one's self.

I really feel for those poor souls that are required to spend long hours at exhibitions unable to escape the cacophony of sounds. I like the sound effect of locomotive engines starting up, but after a few minutes I find the sound monotonous and irritating. Steam locomotive sounds also become boring after a short period, particularly after one's first fumble with the various functions and sound effects. After that it is an ever increasing reluctance to even sound off a function. Been there done that.

Some several weeks ago I thought to lash out and convert several of my diesels to sound decoders. I mulled over it for a couple of days and decided that it was not what I really wanted as most likely I would run with the sound muted.

galliford
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:04 pm

Re: steam sounds

Postby galliford » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:06 pm

I am in the process of converting an R378 county class "Cheshire" to DCC which I have done sucessfully with other locos. On the box it says with smoke, inside the body I found a module with 2 leads unconnected, its transparent and a no F2466?. Can anybody tell me if this can be connected to an R8249 decoder or similar. I am at present working on a way to conect tender and loco with a removable coupling for the DCC wires.

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 10327
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: steam sounds

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:26 pm

you've attached your question to a rather old thread, but lets take it from here. Yes what you've found is a smoke unit and the leads are disconnected because the previous owner got fed up, or couldn't afford to be, repeatedly filling it with oil, and took the sensible precaution of disconnecting it. I don't think anyone ever fitted a smoke on/off switch. DCC will give you that facility, but smoke unit's are pretty crude devices basically a heating element which gets hot enough to make the oil smoke. If they are left on without oil they will either burn out their element or start to melt It will certainly require a decoder with some spare capacity to handle the electrical load, I'm afraid I'll have to leave it to others to recommend a suitable decoder. If you fit a sound decoder you may run out of functions to play all of the available sounds and turn on and off the smoke.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

User avatar
Roger (RJ)
Posts: 1295
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 2:59 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK.

Re: steam sounds

Postby Roger (RJ) » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:24 pm

The Hornby R8249 is highly unlikely to be suitable as the standard smoke units take a lot of power and the R8249 function outputs are limited to a maximum of 100mA.
If at first you don't succeed - cheat
Anyone who is willing to stand for political office isn't fit to be in political office

Rog (RJ)

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 10327
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: steam sounds

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:31 pm

I have a thought, there's bags of power to drive the smoke unit at the wheels, use one of the function keys to turn on and off a small reed relay, that should be within the capacity of any decoder. Then use the relay's contacts to connect track power to the smoke unit.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

User avatar
End2end
Posts: 3556
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:58 pm
Location: At the end....... and sometimes at the other end

Re: steam sounds

Postby End2end » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:09 pm

All this sound faff...... I remember years ago when going over the Hornby double level crossing at speed sounded real! :lol:
Thanks
End2end
"St Blazey's" - The progress and predicaments.
Welcome‎
Planning
Building
St. Blazey's Works & Depot thread

Bramshot
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:55 pm

Re: steam sounds

Postby Bramshot » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:23 am

With 4 locos running simultaneously most of the time, the wheel noise is significant and I imagine if all had sound the noise would merge to a bit of a din. My steamers are reasonably quiet, but N scale Bachmann Class 55’s sound like they have sound even though they haven’t, they generate a quite diesely noise that is speed dependent. Anyone else noticed that, or is it just mine? I guess if you have an end to end layout with one engine operating at a time, the sound could be quite effective.

User avatar
luckymucklebackit
Posts: 2753
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:05 am
Location: Eaglesham, south of Glasgow
Contact:

Re: steam sounds

Postby luckymucklebackit » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:20 am

The trouble with sound is that is doesn't scale! If you are standing at a station and a train is approaching, the sound increases steadily , you then get the Doppler effect with the tone of the sound changing as it passes then fades as the train does off into the distance. Even with a biggish exhibition layout the variation in sound is negligible and if there are several locomotives around with the sound on it is just a cacophony as has already been stated. I prefer to have the sound in my head!

Jim
This Signature Left Intentionally Blank, but since I have written this and I intended to do it, this Signature is intentionally not blank. Paradox or What?
My layout - Gateside and Northbridge
Image


Return to “DCC Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest