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DCC command --> black box --> room speakers

1925 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Dennis David
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 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,

(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


Steve B
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