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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well my mad plan got rolling yesterday, fitting an ESU loksound micro in a Hornby Austerity.
I did a stall test on the loco a while back and it drew 0.43 amps when stalled so this is within the 0.5 max rating of the micro decoder.
I had the dimensions off the ESU website and found that by cutting away part of the balance weight the decoder will fit and still have a healthy amount of air around it to aid cooling. I decided to sacrifice a bit of weight as they are capable of pulling 20 odd wagons and I'm looking at no more than 10 on my layout, I'll do a comparison of a standard and my modified loco's drawbar pull when I finish the project.
I dismantled the loco yesterday and the decoder will be going in the front of the boiler while the speaker will be in the rear of the cab with the bunker as it's sealed sound box.
I'll take some pictures of it but the light in the workroom failed and I didn't have a spare tube.
Fingers crossed!
 

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knowing this design well I would mount the decoder in the tender and make the tender to loco a permanent coupling. You would need to cut a channel under the body and into the tender for the wires to enter. I think the potential for over heating with loks sound decoders a problem so close to the motor, as they are reputed to melt the protective wrap with continuous running. Consider a nice flat speaker in the tender as ideal for producing the best possible sound. I really think your solution of a speaker in the cab to be grossly ugly. Ok you will need to rebuilt the tender top with plasticard and a coal load, but it will look better. Finally the cab of any steam loco is intended for the crew. If you think space is a problem consider I have a installed a even larger decoder and flat speaker in a Bachmann K3 tender, and the sound was deafening unless cut down a bit.
 

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QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 6 Feb 2008, 00:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I ran something similar on my Colliery,**** thing always seemed to stall somewhere, I think you might be a bit ambitious with this one

what I said about heat generation still applies.


***Micro can work well but needs treating with kid gloves....

My favourite Micro install is in a tiny L&Y 0-4-0 pug. The Micro is in the cab glued to the back head and I painted it black and ran a couple of lenghts of copper wire down it and glued on a couple of gauges/control wheels and a regulator handle.... The 1 x 16mm speaker is tucked away at cab floor level in a tiny box, but is not noticeeable with the footplate crew either side of it (each short one leg as their "stumps" stand on the box between them :).

whan I re-chassis this with a hi-level chassis I'll probably put two 16mm's between the chassis sides.....

As You said MMAD - pickup is a witch to get right on a tiny loco but a couple of fine rail wiping pickups painted black look very like sandpipes..... and are almost invisible anyway - this added power pickup makes all the difference.

The important thing - the single 16mm is actually only 50 ohms - so the micro is heavily loaded - therefore volume is set to no more than 80% as a "safe" max to prevent stressing the audio amplifier!

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to both of you for the info, I think the decoder has plenty of air space around it due to cutting out some of the chassis weight although it would be even better if they did a small heat sink like some zimo chips to that you could fix to any metal weight to aid heat dissipation. The decoder sits in the front of the boiler ahead of the motor which is surrounded by the main chassis weight so this shouldn't cause extra heating problems.
The supplied 16 x 25mm speaker sits in the bunker which acts as the sound enclosure so the only part in the cab is the front of the speaker and this is obscured by the lower side sheets.
Hopefully I'll get time to do some more today and if lucky fire it up for a test.
 

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QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 5 Feb 2008, 07:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>knowing this design well I would mount the decoder in the tender and make the tender to loco a permanent coupling. You would need to cut a channel under the body and into the tender for the wires to enter. I think the potential for over heating with loks sound decoders a problem so close to the motor, as they are reputed to melt the protective wrap with continuous running. Consider a nice flat speaker in the tender as ideal for producing the best possible sound. I really think your solution of a speaker in the cab to be grossly ugly. Ok you will need to rebuilt the tender top with plasticard and a coal load, but it will look better. Finally the cab of any steam loco is intended for the crew. If you think space is a problem consider I have a installed a even larger decoder and flat speaker in a Bachmann K3 tender, and the sound was deafening unless cut down a bit.


Will 'any' of the loksound wrappers melt with prolonged use or were you just making reference to this particular one/

cheers

CFT
 

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QUOTE (Charley Farley Trelawney @ 6 Feb 2008, 18:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Will 'any' of the loksound wrappers melt with prolonged use or were you just making reference to this particular one/

cheers

CFT

*** Actually I've never seen a loksound or LokPilot thats been properly installed melt anything.

They are built well and have a reasonable amount of overload protection built into them. They are certainly far harder to kill than a lenz gold decoder - I find these relatively unreliable and almost always "hot running" ....and that guarantees their death eventually!

The only way this will happen with Loksound is
(a) too low an impedance (less than 50 ohms) on the speaker circuit causing the amp to overheat.
(
installing it in a loco with too high an average running current (1 amp plus)
or perhaps
© installing it on a motor that will get hot.
the final one will melt any decoder heatshrink - and kill the decoder.
(d) wiring it wrongly in the first place.

All are No-no's for any installation.

In case you wonder how I know this, again this week I'll install more than 20 of them yet again, all in different locomotive types from US brass to standard rtr plastic and in scales from N to O. Most with special speaker install work and/or customised sound files... None will run hot, none will fail.

Richard
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Reference the earlier posts about putting speakers in tenders I would do this in a tender loco but I would far rather put a slightly smaller speaker in the smokebox, (the volume of the sound from these larger speakers is often set at excessive levels anyway).
I know it can limit traction on the steep gradients on some layouts but I am happy to run shorter and realistic trains as my layouts are flatter.
 

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I certainly don't claim that volume of sound installs, as I don't do it as a full time business (it takes the fun out of things) but I do handle a fair few. (2 or 3 a week when I'm motivated !) I normally set the sound up a couple notches higher than I would like as that's what the average punter wants. They get an instruction sheet and almost the first instruction is how to set the sound a bit softer !. My own layout is 100% sound, but I don't want it blasting me out of my stool
there's nothing worse. I only do steam installs and spend a lot of time just getting the motion to match the sound, as I don't use cams, that's interesting and very good fun.
 

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QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 6 Feb 2008, 20:22) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I certainly don't claim that volume of sound installs, as I don't do it as a full time business (it takes the fun out of things) but I do handle a fair few. (2 or 3 a week when I'm motivated !) I normally set the sound up a couple notches higher than I would like as that's what the average punter wants. They get an instruction sheet and almost the first instruction is how to set the sound a bit softer !. My own layout is 100% sound, but I don't want it blasting me out of my stool
there's nothing worse. I only do steam installs and spend a lot of time just getting the motion to match the sound, as I don't use cams, that's interesting and very good fun.


I agree re the sound - A sane modeller slowly turns it down so its at a sensible level - whats good at an exhibition is quickly torture to live with in the quiet of the layout room! And yes, it can make the odd week good to be over with... too much of a good thing is still too much, even if it is playing with trains :).

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Oh yes matching chuff to wheels isn't half fun! I thought it would be easy on the rollers but they roll too freely so the timing's out when you put it on the track, so it was back to on track setup.
I've only installed tsunami's and lgb stuff with sound before so the micro is my first esu install although I've used pre-installed ones already. I use a couple of spots of double sided foam tape designed for outdoors and electrical applications to secure the decoder.
This has two advantages, first it's quick, (and you have to cut the foam to get them off again as the glue is very good)
Second it allows air to get right round the decoder as long as you use two small bits rather than one big piece.
I also use insulating tape to protect any metal exposed to the chip to prevent any chance of a short if it did come loose.
I'm going to have a play later and see how I get on.
 

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QUOTE (PaulRhB @ 6 Feb 2008, 22:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Oh yes matching chuff to wheels isn't half fun! I thought it would be easy on the rollers but they roll too freely so the timing's out when you put it on the track, so it was back to on track setup.
I've only installed tsunami's and lgb stuff with sound before so the micro is my first esu install although I've used pre-installed ones already. I use a couple of spots of double sided foam tape designed for outdoors and electrical applications to secure the decoder.
This has two advantages, first it's quick, (and you have to cut the foam to get them off again as the glue is very good)
Second it allows air to get right round the decoder as long as you use two small bits rather than one big piece.
I also use insulating tape to protect any metal exposed to the chip to prevent any chance of a short if it did come loose.
I'm going to have a play later and see how I get on.

Hi Paul

I cheat a bit with the setting up if the loco is to be run with a reasonably constant train size. I oil the rails and put a nail through a small foam block between them... I then run the loco against this and use the "under load back EMF" as the reference - that way, its usually pretty good when I layout =test it, with only the tinyest final fiddle needed. (this is also a good way to "run in under light load")

Have fun

Richard
 

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Well here's the first see if it's feasible test, as mentioned earlier contact is a problem so I'll be adding some stronger wiper pickups to get a more consistent contact as it keeps resetting. I'm also going to add some extra weights as there's a pit under the smokebox that can be filled without comprimising air space arond the decoder. I might drill some hidden holes in the tank bottom to further ventilate the decoder space for safety.



Sound on the camera is poor so the sound is pathetic on the clip while it's quite acceptable already and it should improve once the speaker enclosure is done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I had a play with the pickups and it seems to work although not quite perfect yet. Here's test number one with the full sound enclosure fitted which now acts as cab doors and will be hidden by the crew.

 

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QUOTE (PaulRhB @ 7 Feb 2008, 14:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Well I had a play with the pickups and it seems to work although not quite perfect yet. Here's test number one with the full sound enclosure fitted which now acts as cab doors and will be hidden by the crew.



Nice work Paul!! Wonder if I could sqeeze an installation like this into a Hornby M7
I must go and check to see if the speaker could be squeezed into the bunker, with the decoder fitted into one of the tanks.

thanks VERY much for posting this and please keep us up to date

Norm
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 9 Feb 2008, 20:19) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Excellent sounds very good -I assume that's a Loksound generic whistle ?

It's the South West Digital BR mogul sound file, there are 3 whistles, one short and two slightly different long ones but all from the same loco whistle.
 
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