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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About a year or so back I asked if more people would be interested in sound chips if they were cheaper, the general opinion was yes it needed to be cheaper to get into sound chipping locos.

Well, things have progressed with the bachmann rtr sound locos and now lower priced self install rtr sound chips now being available from 3 "shops," SWD, howes and DCC supplies.

So, have you been converted, if so what was it that did it?

Cheaper Rtr, factory fitted rtr, self made projects?

If not, whats not doing it for you sound wise and what needs to change?
 

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Things haven't really changed much since a year ago. SWD are charging the same prices as before so it hasn't got cheaper.

The only difference is the issue of two digital sound locos by Bachmann. These are quite cheap for digital sound locos and seem to have been popular, however supply has been an issue as the popular Class 66 seems not have been produced in sufficient numbers. There seems to be some Class 20's left but you can see why! It would be hard to come up with a more uninspiring loco. There also does not seem to have been any plans to cover steam and the remaining diesels which have been touted as having digital sound seem to be on the distant horizon.

What needs to happen is for a big increase in the sounds available e.g UK steam sound, to get more people interested. At the moment the only options are diesels and this is only a small section of the model rail market. Until they start producing steam sound decoders, digital sound will not take off in a big way in UK outline.
 

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i agree with neil. as it would take stream sound, i myself like the pacifics hornby's ( vsoe set ) with sound and the lner ( flying scotchman ). with sound. i think it gives that certain ayre. with steam sound, and if your layout is with the right buldings & figure's you could well place yourself in that time period. well we can dream. this is what i like modelling railways. steam sounds & even diesels. yes i would like to see sound decoders, preferrably fitted at factory. hattons are not to bad on price. bachmann class 20's are sold out ( sound ), they're comming on the market again about september this year. according to their web site, ( bachmann ) as well as the class 66 chamforge & shanks/freightliner. now if could get sound for a hornby cl08 and jinty and intercity 125 (virgin) maybe one day.

john
 

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Life without sound. Untill a few years ago I was deaf to my railway and now I'm not. As Neil says with Southwest didgital only making a few steam sounds it is difficult to cover the variations available in British or European locos compared with US locos. The biggest stumbling block are the whistles as the different classes of locos used different whistles. We have to get the manufacturer to provide several different whistles with a particular decoder as Soundtraxx have done with their Tnsumai range. If they made two, four and three cylinder chuff decoders with say 6 variations in whistles it would proably be a better seller than just making a one whistle decoder.

Ozzie21
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE (Ozzie21 @ 13 Jun 2007, 07:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Life without sound. Untill a few years ago I was deaf to my railway and now I'm not. As Neil says with Southwest didgital only making a few steam sounds it is difficult to cover the variations available in British or European locos compared with US locos. The biggest stumbling block are the whistles as the different classes of locos used different whistles. We have to get the manufacturer to provide several different whistles with a particular decoder as Soundtraxx have done with their Tnsumai range. If they made two, four and three cylinder chuff decoders with say 6 variations in whistles it would proably be a better seller than just making a one whistle decoder.

Ozzie21

Gertting steam sound chips is always going to be harder for rtr manufactures as there are of course far less steam engines to record these days. Most old recordings are not suitable due to royalties and quality, so I have been informed, so steam is going to be a slower project. Many times trips have been made to record kettle only to arrive and find the thing failed!

Swd do have a GWR mogul in the works and an LMS mogul almost ready for release.

Howes have black 5,8f and spam can avaiklable so it is starting to expand for the UK kettles.

Sound is becoming cheaper, despite Neal's views that it has not i can say from experience I am paying £20 a chip less this at this time than I was last year.
 

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Afternoon
Sound did it for me.
I was never interested in DCC over DC 'till I heard some diesels so fitted.Since I model late steam/green diesels, mostly kit built or heavily modded, i have a bit of retro-fitting to do, but the early diesels had such distinctive exhaust notes I think sound brings them to life and well worth while and cost.I'm searching for sound chips for a Clayton and a MetroVic! Without the advent of British sounds I would probably not have bothered with DCC.
 

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sound really did it for me.

When I was at Warley 06 my club did a demo on DCC and sound and i was really taken with it.

I got my first chip a 47 from SWD just after christmas. Since then have chipped 3x47 all SWD, a 20 is curently a SWD but that is likly to change soon, 33 DCC suplies but that will also change soon, 2x37 custom made by somene else, a 60 from Howes and a 66 from SWD.

My next projects are to refub and modify a hst (in to the Network rail New Measurement Train livery) and fit a motor to the other power car and have all axles powered and sound in both ends and to find some sounds from a duchess and chip my Royal loco.

I am paying much less now for a decoder than I was in december.

And SWD have taken £5 off the cost of a 00 chip.

Alistair
 

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Ive been waiting to make my first post on this forum, and the subject of sound seems a good one!
A few things I noted at the recent Peco DCC gathering. ZTC are about to retail generic pre-grouping steam sounds. i.e. GWR, LMS etc. These, and I can not be sure, are based on the Tsunami chip I think. Of special interest were a new range of speakers they are retailing. Very high spec with good low end response. At £20, might appear pricey, but if specs are to believed, worth it.
Bachmann were demo-ing a forthcoming sound fitted 47. Model looked nice, shame about the sound quality!
 

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QUOTE There also does not seem to have been any plans to cover steam
I asked Bachmann about sound for steam last weekend; they have a steam project in the works.

I also spoke to SWD. As Piemanlarger has already mentioned, there is a range of 2-6-0s in the works and a Jubilee.

Things are looking up for us steam only guys.

David
 

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QUOTE Swd do have a GWR mogul in the works and an LMS mogul almost ready for release.

Howes have black 5,8f and spam can avaiklable so it is starting to expand for the UK kettles.

Sound is becoming cheaper, despite Neal's views that it has not i can say from experience I am paying £20 a chip less this at this time than I was last year.
Has anyone tried the Howes Black 5 decoder? Any good?


I notice all Howes sound decoders are sold out!

Who's Neal?

QUOTE And SWD have taken £5 off the cost of a 00 chip.
So where has the 20 quid reduction come from?
There hasn't been much movement in an already overinflated price if the five quid figure is correct. Five quid off 95 quid isn't a huge reduction and certainly nothing to get excited about. These decoders cost 96 euros (60 quid) from Germany so we are already being charged 50% more for them.

I suppose I should have mentioned that I have had digital sound locos for about five years and was heavily into digital effects prior to them being introduced to the UK. I am keen to see the benefits of digital increase in UK outline as I would like my UK outline to have the same sound, lighting and kinetic effects that my German and US outline have and that other can share in the increased realism that these effects provide.

The bottom line is, currently, there are very little steam sound decoders available. I see no pacific sound available, only smaller locos. If Bachmann had released a Digital sound Flying Scotsman or Mallard rather than a diesel Class 20 can you imagine the difference in impact this would have had on the UK outline model rail world? It would have been major. Hornby aren't the only ones to miss an opportunity.


QUOTE I asked Bachmann about sound for steam last weekend; they have a steam project in the works.

Excellent news!
Bring it on.
 

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The variety of different whistles and number of cylinders and then synching these to the wheels is the main problem for British steam. The other thing I feel is holding sound back is manufacturers still producing locos that are not designed with DCC or sound in mind. Bachmann have made a start but have you tried fitting normal chips, let alone sound, in Hornby M7's? very tight even with the smallest chip. I have several US steam locos with sound and even these aren't really optimised as they always stick the sound in the tender so it can be 12 inches away from where it should be coming from! Yes I know you can get a bigger speaker in the tender but you can actually get a speaker that will produce decent sound in a big engines smokebox. It might stop people having it blasting away so loud too, most of my locos volume is reduced to 1/2 or 3/4 the factory setting so you hear the sound come and go away.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could slide out a cast block from the chassis and drop in a decoder and speaker if you chose to sacrifice weight for sound?
In G scale I've ripped out pathetic smoke generators to get the sound in the smokebox.
So yes please more sound ready chassis designs so people have a choice to add it if they want to spend the extra. Lets hope all future Bachmann releases of 20's, 66's and 37's use the sound chassis as the standard chassis.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 13 Jun 2007, 23:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>>Has anyone tried the Howes Black 5 decoder? Any good?

>I notice all Howes sound decoders are sold out!

Yes, its a strange one that. They claim ESU cant keep up supply, but every one else gets their orders. Personally, judging by those who have sound chips, i dont think Howes are selling nearly as much as they claim.

>Who's Neal?

sorry, very late at night or early morning?

>So where has the 20 quid reduction come from?

Volume of sales, i was first paying £115 for SWD chips, this dropped to £105 and now this week its down to £85. Came with everything, the more something sells the cheaper it becomes.

>
There hasn't been much movement in an already overinflated price if the five quid figure is correct. Five quid off 95 quid isn't a huge reduction and certainly nothing to get excited about. These decoders cost 96 euros (60 quid) from Germany so we are already being charged 50% more for them.

You are only paying £25 for the British RTR sound project. To me thats fantastic value. Your not going to buy recording equipment, editing equipment , hire the loco, cost of your time in travelling and doing th sound project for £25!

>I suppose I should have mentioned that I have had digital sound locos for about five years and was heavily into digital effects prior to them being introduced to the UK. I am keen to see the benefits of digital increase in UK outline as I would like my UK outline to have the same sound, lighting and kinetic effects that my German and US outline have and that other can share in the increased realism that these effects provide.
The bottom line is, currently, there are very little steam sound decoders available. I see no pacific sound available, only smaller locos. If Bachmann had released a Digital sound Flying Scotsman or Mallard rather than a diesel Class 20 can you imagine the difference in impact this would have had on the UK outline model rail world? It would have been major. Hornby aren't the only ones to miss an opportunity.

Excellent news!
Bring it on.

The trouble with steam is the cost of hiring the steam locos then having some where to run them to get the range of sounds.
How much do you think it waould cost to hire and record an A4, and then really its only the Great Central that is suitable for recording?
Thats presuming the thing does not fail!
 

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QUOTE (Piemanlarger @ 14 Jun 2007, 17:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The trouble with steam is the cost of hiring the steam locos then having some where to run them to get the range of sounds.
How much do you think it waould cost to hire and record an A4, and then really its only the Great Central that is suitable for recording?
Thats presuming the thing does not fail!
I discussed this problem with Simon Kohler of Hornby and he suggested that the sounds could be synthesized due to lack of availability of prototype. This is not ideal but can be a decent compromise. The PCM Y6b has a synthesised sound and is acceptable. It aint great at all speeds but you have to balance cost with availability. At low speed it's great and drops off as it gets faster. Like you say if you were to hire a loco and go through the process it would cost you a hell of a lot of money so compromise would come into it.

It's amazing what you can do today with digital equipment.

In regard to how digital sound has gone, it definitely is catching on. A year or so ago, I had an argument that this would take off in the UK once it was introduced and a "prominent member of this forum" argued vociferously that it would not and that people in the UK would never pay for it. Well he now has a Class 20 and seems happy with it from the discussion on the forum so if he's converted then it's sold.

I'd really like one of these Black 5 decoders if they really exist. After checking out Howes website I am wondering if its more of a wishlist than a stocklist?
 

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I don't have DCC.......but I heard US spec sound years ago, and wondered then what we really did without it........

now, it is taken fro granted over there.

but where next?

some years ago I read a series of articles/revues concerning 'olefactory airs'.....pongs and smells.

Indeed someone actually made a kit of bottles of smelly stuff like 'manure' and 'steam' etc........

so, with DCC, sound, smells,........what next?

health and safety???
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
QUOTE (alibuchan @ 14 Jun 2007, 14:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I get mine from another source and put custom sounds onto them and they are a lot cheeper.

Alistair

no one has convinced me the home brew option is that much cheaper as yet.

More flexible perhaps, but not that much of a saving these days.
 

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QUOTE Thats presuming the thing does not fail!
I've been close to that situation twice on the two mainline steam trips I've had in the last 12 months. Last year the day before our trip, Union of South Africa failed its pretrip inspection with the result that the day's trip was cancelled and 6024 King Edward I was brought in as substitute for the Sunday run. That was the same Sunday that Coast did their filming, so for whatever reason, a King was filmed and an A4 was not.

Last weekend, we passed Duke of Gloucester sidelined at Penrith. The society's report on the Duke's misfortune can be read here.

It seems to me that the most distinctive part of a steam locomotives sound are the whistle and the number of beats. A lot of the rest could be generic.

If it could be done for a small price, how about a steam whistle sound? It would still need to be appropriate to the loco - GWR, LMS, Chime or whatever - but at least you could get some sound when waiting for a signal to be pulled off, or indicating that a shunting movement has been completed.

QUOTE Wouldn't it be nice if you could slide out a cast block from the chassis and drop in a decoder and speaker
Mr. Bachmann told me all their diesel chassis were engineered for 20 x 40mm speakers. I asked him to do it with loco tenders.

David
 

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QUOTE I get mine from another source and put custom sounds onto them and they are a lot cheeper.

Where do you get the custom sounds from?

QUOTE so, with DCC, sound, smells,........what next?

Some Maerklin /Trix locos have raising and lowering pantographs and other mechnical features controlled with DCC. How about opening and closing doors, a fireman who physically shovels coal for a couple of ideas.
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 14 Jun 2007, 18:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Mr. Bachmann told me all their diesel chassis were engineered for 20 x 40mm speakers. I asked him to do it with loco tenders.

David

But why put the speaker in the tender in a big pacific? Why not mount the biggest speaker you can in the smokebox and port out through the chimney and a hole underneath too. Save space by putting the decoder in the tender by all means but having the sound come from 10 inches back is a bit silly. You don't have to sacrifice much weight inside the body. I've been measuring up a Hornby J94 for possible sound and if I move the motor into the cab, (or replace it with a smaller can motor in the lower boiler), and build a new bracket for it I can fit a ESU decoder and speaker in the saddletank. I could use the crew to hide the repositioned motor.
When you can get decent sound from a N gauge loco speaker why not in OO? Admittedly it can't be turned up so loud but I think most people would appreciate this at exhibitions as some people seem to think they have to blast it out to prove they have sound. People will still enjoy the sound and they'll really appreciate the fact that they can tell where it's coming from as a loco erupts from a tunnel working hard. When it's always up full you can hear it all over an exhibition hall, it loses realisim as it becomes a constant drone which you can't escape.
 
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