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

1927 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?!
1 - 1 of 9 Posts
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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