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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

Taking my first steps in DCC, I have four LokPilots to install, and a LokSound 3.5 sound decoder. My preferred engines are steam so they are not quite as easy to fit a LokSound into as a rectangular diesel!

To me it looks like the easiest (now when I say easy...) option is to try and fit the DCC chip into the engine as I have no tender driven models, and fit the speaker into the tender. That way only the two speaker wires have to be extended between the engine and the tender.

What is the best way to do this, that is unobtrusive, and can be disconnected so that the tender can be seperated from the engine if required.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In this case Ozzie has mounted both the decoder and speaker inside the tender, but then has to route at least 4 wires (2 pickup, 2 motor) plus any other functions back to the engine, this is a lot of wires.

This is fair enough where the decoder will not fit inside the engine, but I still would have thought that if the decoder fits inside the engine then the better option is just ro run 2 wires to the speaker in the tender.

What have other steam users done?
 

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I have fitted a Std4MT tank with a sound decoder and speaker. The decoder fits in the boiler and the speaker is on the floor of the cab. However it is difficult to achieve good volume with this method --- the speaker is small and its enclosure is poor.
The other thing with steam is I think it helps if the sound is synchronized with the motion which would require even more wires for a tender fitted decoder.
 

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It's not really that bad. On some of my American steam models there can be up to eight wires between the loco and the tender but it has no ill effect. For connections I use machined micro pin connectors which I get from my local electronics store. Careful routing of the wireing eases any proplems as does bending the the wires into a shape that looks like hose connections between tender and loco. To get the best sound you should use the biggest speaker you can fit in the tender also that the speaker should be rated to at least 1watt. The tender if used should be set up as a sound enclosure with the front of the speaker sealed off from the rear of the speaker. The tender shoud be sealed with no holes towards the rear portion of the speaker, this includes any connections between speaker and decoder if they pass between loco and tender. The speaker should fire down through the tender floor as this distributes the sound underneath the loco so it's not so apparent where the sound the coming from. Sound cams can be difficult due to the pick up method used by different manufacturers. My choice is GME sound cams made in the USA, but these are designed to fitted to axle of loco and can't be used on the likes of Bachmann locos. On a Bachmann loco I use a wheel disc cam which can be fitted to the back of a driving wheel. You can also use optronic senors, reed switches, magnetic induction but all these take up space, can be difficult to find and fit, may require machining of the chassis as most modern RTR locos have a solid chassis. This mostly works for tender locos of a sufficent size. I haven't came up with a good solution for tank locos as the space limitations are really severe, fitting small speakers produces small sounds of a poor quality. The only tank loco I've done to date was a NSWGR 30class 4-6-4 tank loco and I fitted the decoder and speaker in van behind the loco with just six wires between loco and van.

Ozzie21

QUOTE (keith.moore @ 9 Feb 2007, 20:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>In this case Ozzie has mounted both the decoder and speaker inside the tender, but then has to route at least 4 wires (2 pickup, 2 motor) plus any other functions back to the engine, this is a lot of wires.

This is fair enough where the decoder will not fit inside the engine, but I still would have thought that if the decoder fits inside the engine then the better option is just ro run 2 wires to the speaker in the tender.

What have other steam users done?
 

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This is one of the principle reasons why I adopted the Soundtraxx DSX decoder for steam locos. Their a whole lot easier to fit in steam particularly Hornby and there's no trailing wires. Take a look at:
Fitting DSX the only short coming is the whistle which while suitable for most British Steam cannot do a chime whistle. You can produce quite a wide variety of chuff chuff. I've just installed sound in one of my On30 shays Soundtraxx do a kit for this loco and it's very compact again no wires to hide, I think when you have a lot of cable between tender and loco they really need a proper plug so that they can be separated.
 

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I have fitted a South West Digital GWR Loksound Decoder to my Hornby 68XX Hardwick Grange.

The decoder fits nicely in the smokebox and the speaker in the tender . I used a 2 pin micro connector from Express Models to connect the 2 wires between the loco and tender . Care needs to be taken to splice the wires as these are very thin , and in addition I add to remove the fixing lugs on the speaker box + cut approx a 1/3 off the tender weight - ( glued back on top of the remaining weight ) before the speaker would fit in the tender. No extra holes have been cut in the tender , the sound can be heard through the gaps between the wheels and the chassis.
 

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>I used a 2 pin micro connector from Express Models
There's a 4 pin version of this available too.

>I have fitted a South West Digital GWR Loksound Decoder to my Hornby 68XX Hardwick Grange.
I saw and heard this decoder at Peco's digital sound weekend last June. Are you happy with the result?

David
 

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MMD, I tried the DSX and seperate motive decoder but I've never been happy with the result. I tried Loksound decoders in both ealier and later variants but there sound files seem to suffer from degradation making them difficult to program well. I've settled on Soundtraxx Tsnumai's and I'm pressing Soundtraxx to re-release the L1 tank sound, which only appeared in the DSD-150 range, in the Tsnumai range. I'm also pestering them for Crosby chime whistle as fitted to the Britannia's and Duke of Gloucester as I have heard an American Crosby 3 chime whistle that's pretty close.

Ozzie21

QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 10 Feb 2007, 18:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>This is one of the principle reasons why I adopted the Soundtraxx DSX decoder for steam locos. Their a whole lot easier to fit in steam particularly Hornby and there's no trailing wires. Take a look at:
Fitting DSX the only short coming is the whistle which while suitable for most British Steam cannot do a chime whistle. You can produce quite a wide variety of chuff chuff. I've just installed sound in one of my On30 shays Soundtraxx do a kit for this loco and it's very compact again no wires to hide, I think when you have a lot of cable between tender and loco they really need a proper plug so that they can be separated.
 

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>I have fitted a South West Digital GWR Loksound Decoder to my Hornby 68XX Hardwick Grange.
>I saw and heard this decoder at Peco's digital sound weekend last June. Are you happy with the result?

The South West Digital GWR decoder is really good , I just wish there was more choice with steam sound decoders for British locos - I guess we wont have to wait too long as nearly every diesel class has been covered !
 

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Pete,

If you are coming to the kidderminster show on the 10th/11th March
thats 4 weeks away!!. South West Digital will be there on stand 'V'. They will have all of their sound decoders on show and will hopefully be selling them as well.

Alistair
 

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I haven't been able to reach the South West Digital website for ages. It seems to be perpetually downloading. Is it just me or is there a problem? If it's not just me, perhaps a satisfied customer might contact them by phone, email or snail mail to tell them their website is up the spout?

David
 

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I'd be particularly interested in any improvements in the DSX and a chime whistle instead of the Bell I don't think it would take a lot of effort on the part of Soundtraxx, and the Bell has no part in British railway sounds.
I also contacted Soundtraxx about this several years ago, but all I got was a very negative silence.
 

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I get silence too but I keeep plugging away. I did have an experience with them when I inadvertantly blew up a DSD-150 some years ago and I found out that their waranty was a joke when compared to other DCC suppliers around at the time. Quite a few loud emails and few louder phone calls failed to resolve the situation but the Oz importer fixed it by not charging me for the repairs which were half the cost of a new decoder not including postage. It nearly turned me off sound but not quite.

Ozzie21

QUOTE (Makemineadouble @ 13 Feb 2007, 06:44) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'd be particularly interested in any improvements in the DSX and a chime whistle instead of the Bell I don't think it would take a lot of effort on the part of Soundtraxx, and the Bell has no part in British railway sounds.
I also contacted Soundtraxx about this several years ago, but all I got was a very negative silence.
 
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