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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

This is my very first post here. I have found this forum extremely informative and helpful with all that I do. Some fantastic idea's have being suggested and like everyone on here we all benefit from them. Thanks!

My layout is OO, DCC with Select Controller. It is not very big, L shaped 3750 x 2400 x 1500mm. Currently in the process of building it and now I want to look at DCC Sound and smoke.

I have a Hornby NEM Flying Scotsman duel smoke stacks, that I want to fit 2 smoke Sleuth's to and a LOK 3.5 DCC Sound decoder. What is the correct smoke unit to use. Is it a no 8, no 22 or no 23.

I got this back from a DCC supplier:

"Currently the Loksound 3.5 decoder is the only choice for OO sound, as it is
programmable. There will be other options coming up by December this year
in the form of the Zimo MX640, this will offer excellent facilities for
steam loco sound. However, it is pre-production at the moment."

Does anyone know anything about this Zimo MX640 unit. Anyone currently running Zimo and what do you think? Who is running Loksound and what do you think of the sound decoder?

I plan to do 2 more loco's with sound in the future. 1 will be a small tank engine and the other.....we shall see, it will be steam.

I also plan to upgrade my controller, love the spec's on the ECOS but want to see what the Danamics is like. I have had no problems with my select and have had 7 loco's running at once with no booster. I must be one of the lucky ones!

Thanks in advance.

Kind Regards,

Martin
 

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I use Seuthe 11 which is best for digital.

Loksound 3.5 are very good but any sound decoder is only as good as the sound with which its been programmed. What I mean is PCM used the Loksound 3.5 but used a digitally synthesised sound rather than the real thing as the basis and the quality of sound is ok at slow speed but when fast sounds like a synthesiser. On the other hand their German steam sounds are great because there are plenty of German steam locos operational to sample the sound from.

Zimo are excellent but the price matches this. If you think the Ecos is expensive them Zimo will surprise you.

There is another decoder, the Soundtraxx Tsunami which is popular but it requires a special booster to programme properly. These come with some generic US sounds.

Welcome to the forum Martin and good luck with the sound
 

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QUOTE (Martin71 @ 15 Jun 2007, 07:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I plan to do 2 more loco's with sound in the future. 1 will be a small tank engine ......
Martin,

Once you have seen the choice in sound decoders and speaker sizes it will be time for some research to find the small tank engine with the space for both these components. If starting from a RTR model, that will almost certainly require removing some of the ballast weight that manufacturers install for tractive purposes. The Hornby N2 0-6-2T would be a logical partner for an A3, and has the motor in the cab and bunker, with the firebox and side tanks 'box' occupied by a readily removed ballast weight, with a void in the forward boiler and smoke box for substitute ballast weight, so it might be a candidate; but does it fit your 'small tank engine' requirement?

It will be interesting to read what you decide.
 

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The sleuthe 23 with the range 8-16 volts and with a rubberised cover is the one recommended for DCC. I'm currently testing this so no comment on it's suitability.
I've also installed Sleuthe 100 this is great for wide chimneys like in the Merchant Navy, for these I machine a tuffnol bush to protect from heat. I've also used first class trains smoke unit again with a protective bush and they offer excellent value for money. With these you can build up a paper bush using epoxy to bind the paper to make a bush to protect the body.

With regard to sound there is another option to ESU, Digitax have a sound only decoder the FX and this is programable. I have the programer but have yet to find the time need to set down and play with decoder. This is a new decoder and there isn't a lot of support for it yet but in the future you will be able to apply your own sounds to it. I spent some time with AJ Ireland (Mr Digitrax) on Saturday of last week going through the programmer on his laptop it's an impressive decoder and not expensive.

I like the concept of the sound only decoder and this gives the option of using the tender to install the sound decoder and speaker, as there is little space in most British stock in the loco. The problem of routing wire from the tender to the loco can be an issue. Soundtraxx do a range of sound only decoders this is the DSX
which is a large decoder, the sound can be very good - if generic the main problem being the lack of a chime whistle. This decoder can be installed completely separate from the control decoder. Of course they share the same address so the are programmed separately. You then programme the sound only decoder to co-ordinate sound with movement. To date I've probably installed 60 of these they are very nice. I've also used ESU sound and function decoders they are nice but do require installation in the tender in most steam loco's or at least the speaker tender. I'm firmly in favour of sound only decoders at this stage.
I have Soundtraxx Tsunami in a lot of my On30 loco's and this is the best sound of all. As you can operate all sounds at the same time. It's not a large decoder
and would be well suited to a plug in the tender perhaps the shape of things to come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks a million for all the info guys.

QUOTE There is another decoder, the Soundtraxx Tsunami which is popular but it requires a special booster to programme properly. These come with some generic US sounds.

What does the booster do, help you programme the sound decoder. Loksound have a programmer for there decoders, thats why I liked it. When I finally get real sounds I can have up to 4 sounds running at the same time.

QUOTE The sleuthe 23 with the range 8-16 volts and with a rubberised cover is the one recommended for DCC. I'm currently testing this so no comment on it's suitability.
I've also installed Sleuthe 100 this is great for wide chimneys like in the Merchant Navy, for these I machine a tuffnol bush to protect from heat. I've also used first class trains smoke unit again with a protective bush and they offer excellent value for money. With these you can build up a paper bush using epoxy to bind the paper to make a bush to protect the body.

I have a 20% Kevlar filled Black High Temp Nylon 66PA which I can machine the bushs out off. First class trains is excellent, thank you for that. Who has the best prices for the smoke sleuthe in the UK or US, I live in Perth, Australia. Im also after 2 no 7's for my factories and mines.

I was thinking if using a freight car with my tank engine to hold the sound decoder. My wife loves Hornby's "Smokey Joe" but I dont think I will get a sound decoder in there.

So many choices now..... Has anyone got good sound for their Flying Scotsman and if so can I download it when I decide on what decoder Im going to use.

Thanks once again guys.

Martin
 

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QUOTE I was thinking if using a freight car with my tank engine to hold the sound decoder. My wife loves Hornby's "Smokey Joe" but I dont think I will get a sound decoder in there.

I saw the installation of an ESU sound decoder in a GWR Pannier tank in Mays Railway Toddler so sound decoders are getting smaller but I don't think you'll get one in Smokey Joe !

Your going to have to wait for sound for the Scotsman as well. Building sound files is quite complex. The flash memory of a sound decoder is quite small, this is then elementised into all the sound you would want.
So you might have:
whistle
blow down
chuff chuff
Brake
these in turn are made up of repetitive loops and requires quite a bit of stitching to get the whole lot to function.
ESU have a new programmer and a libary of German sounds and I presume a software driver. My previous experience with ESU sound decoders-it was hard work to change sounds, although I did finally manage to change Horn sounds on Diesels to a two tone Horn which was more British.
Digitrax have the decoders, software, hardware for connection, but very little in the way of support yet.

There are also support groups for these products on Yahoo Groups.

Buying sound decoders for a specific sound is very expensive and their like Hens teeth as well. Unless you buy American sounds what a difference in price in this market. I just bought a new Forney outside frame On30 loco with full on board Tsunami for just over 100 quid on e bay. The loco is outstanding, and the sound is even better. Just buying a Tsunami with speaker for another loco cost me £60, and this seems reasonable compared to the £100 people are being charged by South Western Digital for authentic British Steam and Diesel sounds.
In the longer term
My intention is to go the Digitrax route as the sound decoders are reasonable and they include a speaker for about $50 or £25 -£28 which is reasonable. with the right sound that puts sound within the reach of most DCC users.

Re the smoke units shop around I've persuaded John at Bromsgrove models to stock the 23 and I know he stocks other models in the range as well. Sleuthe are a difficult bunch to work with apparently being a small family concern communication isnt top of their list.

 

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QUOTE The sleuthe 23 with the range 8-16 volts and with a rubberised cover is the one recommended for DCC. I'm currently testing this so no comment on it's suitability.
I've also installed Sleuthe 100 this is great for wide chimneys like in the Merchant Navy, for these I machine a tuffnol bush to protect from heat. I've also used first class trains smoke unit again with a protective bush and they offer excellent value for money. With these you can build up a paper bush using epoxy to bind the paper to make a bush to protect the body.

Good point about the 23. I have been using the 11 but what I forgot was that the 11 is only for locos prepared for the later addition of a smoke generator. The 23 is the same voltage 16-22 but has wires to make it easier to connect up where the loco has not been prepared. The 11 doesn't have these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi all

I have just ordered some smoke units and lights from 1st class trains, should get them in about 3-4 weeks. He also does the sitting HO plesser figures for 16 pounds which now saves me chopping the legs off my standing ones.

How do I do a search on Yahoo for the sounds?

Kind Regards,

Martin
 

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Yahoo groups search

see what you can find

Brit rail is very good so is DCC/UK both are worth while joining a tip here look at the number of posts per month to see if the group is active. some are hyper active like the Digitrax group and then I take a daily post as a Digest.

I would leave Digitrax sound for a bit until we can get some instruction. However I read this last night regarding the SFX064D which is a sound only decoder for both steam and diesel:

**** Moignards Blog so It's given me a bit more impetus to install one and play with it.

 
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