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Hello all,

I wonder if any of our wonderful DCC supremos can offer some advice: I'm upgrading to DCC in the near future and am thinking about sound which will add another dimension to the model railway. I have 20+ N scale locomotives and so DCC sound chipping individually is not a real option - too expensive and no room in such small models...so what I want is a black box that can read all the DCC instructions I send to my locomotives (fitted with ordinary DCC decoders) and then generate appropriate sounds on ordinary surround-sound speakers in my "train room". Is this easy to do, and does someone make such a black box? The other way would be a computer program that works as the black box and then I can connect the speakers to the computer?

The idea is that that starting up, moving and stopping of an individual locomotive is detected by the black box/program and it has a selection of appropriate sounds to play depending upon whether it is a electric locomotive/diesel/steam engine etc. or even have specific sounds for each locomotive. I can then be immersed in the sound as the railway operates. This must be much cheaper than attempting to fit DCC sound chips to so many locomotives, assuming good DCC chips exist in N scale yet!

Does anyone have any thoughts? (like 'that's impossible!' or 'computer program X can do that')?

Is it an unworkable idea with todays DCC but maybe a possibility in the future?

Thanks in advance,
Goedel

(Wouldn't it be cool to hear the ÖBB Taurus inverters (that play a complete scale) over surround sound?!
)
 

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Hello Goedel.

what an interesting idea !

Though personally, I don't think DCC will reach this level of complexity for a while... ( if ever?)
I would have thought that the sound system black box,(as it would be remote from the track, but connected)) would have to have "twinned" decoders /software... one for the loco and a programme for the black box... as any sounds would clearly need to be synchronised with the loco's actions /input commands.

Like yourself, (although my models are HO), they are small switcher /shunters, so space is very limited, for even todays sound systems.... decoders are okay.. its the speakers that are the problem.. I refuse to "fill a cab "with speaker, cables and /or a decoder.. preferring an open /maybe detailed cab,and silence


I fear for older locos, any "acceptable" sound system fitting will not be easy. BUT ... as new models arrive in the hobby, one would hope that the manufacturers consider this upgrade option. Already, models are appearing with a ready made sound chip, designed into the fabric of a model.. so perhaps over time.. we may get what we want


Interesting topic though, thanks


regards

Steve B
 

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Railroad & Co do a surround sound add-on for their train controller software. It is designed to drive a set of computer 5.1 speakers. I've no idea if it's any good, though I am sure there must be some german opinion on it on the Internet and I guess that Goedel can read it?

There's a link to Railroad & Co in the DCC section of the Forum links.

David
 

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Hi Goedel,

Sound is a must if you have plenty of steam loco's like I do. Unfortunately I still run DC. Hopefully shall upgrade one day.

I found a solution, infact Noch has found a solution.Its called the "Syncro sound module". Works with any analogue system, weather OO,HO,N doesnt matter.
Very realisticly as well.The chuffs rates increase or decrease all syncro with the turn off the wheels and amount of voltage applied to the tracks.

Gaugemaster sells it:

http://gaugemaster.com/search_results.asp?...mp;style=main#1

Cheers
Baykal
 

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Sound is perfectly possible in N gauge used fixed common speakers although I couldn't vouch for the quality. Practically the sound would stay fixed in a certain position rather than mobile as with the larger scales. Using sound only decoders linked to speakers. Practically you would double head or consist a stationary sound decoder with mobile decoder in a loco to achieve sound. A 2.5 dia speaker is obtainable and this would give quite reasonable sound. The obvious problem is the sound would be constant and not fade with distance as with a mobile decoder. So you would have to experiment. You would choose a decoder that is programmable so that the sound could vary, for instance slamming doors in a station, a guards whistle, station announcer, and the engine it's self. I'm currently starting to experiment with a Digitrax SFX064 and their programmer with the objective of producing genuine British sound. This is a new product and there isn't a great deal of documentation available currently. I have all the hardware for programming this decoder. Over the next few weeks I'll be trying to get some results
from this combination.
 

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Thanks for all your helpful replies! After thinking (
) about it some more I came to the conclusion that as most of my models are modern electrics then they don't make so much sound. I agree that if one is modelling steam then sound is really important for that full five dimensional soot-in-the-eye experience. I'm not sure if in order to use the clever 4D moving sound system from Railroad & Co you have to buy into all their other software/computer control systems and anyway I want to operate the trains myself so it probably wouldn't be value for money...

so

Economical Plan B
A CD of background music, or in fact just ordinary music via said speakers...then I can grease two birds with one oil can - music and trains!

Goedel
 

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I'm also looking into this as well Pricom



The Dream Player includes four separate trigger inputs to individually select the sound track that will play at any point in time. Each of the trigger inputs is opto-isolated and can be connected to buttons, switches, sensors, block-occupancy detectors, or even a DCC Decoder. Sound is stored in an SD memory card as four separte tracks/files designating each trigger for a particular track.
 
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