Model Railway Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,854 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys,

Having researched it pretty thoroughly I have, reluctantly, come to the conclusion that, due mainly to space constraints but also due to the sound quality from sub-miniature speakers, it's just not possible to fit a sound decoder and speaker into an N Gauge steam loco. Someone suggested just playing a CD of sound effects, which strikes me as a pretty poor alternative but it set me thinking.

Is it possible to have sound decoders mounted other than actually in the loco ?

My idea is to have sound decoders and decent sized speakers positioned at strategic locations beneath the base board which would somehow provide sound effects for each loco. This would require, I think, to have the sound decoder somehow synchronised to the loco chip, possibly by giving it the same address as the loco. Alternatively, would I need a second loco decoder with the same address and connect the sound decoder to that.

Am I just fantasising or is this possible ??

Expat.
 

·
Just another modeller
Joined
·
9,983 Posts
QUOTE (Expat @ 7 Jul 2008, 03:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Guys,

Having researched it pretty thoroughly I have, reluctantly, come to the conclusion that, due mainly to space constraints but also due to the sound quality from sub-miniature speakers, it's just not possible to fit a sound decoder and speaker into an N Gauge steam loco. Someone suggested just playing a CD of sound effects, which strikes me as a pretty poor alternative but it set me thinking.

Is it possible to have sound decoders mounted other than actually in the loco ?

My idea is to have sound decoders and decent sized speakers positioned at strategic locations beneath the base board which would somehow provide sound effects for each loco. This would require, I think, to have the sound decoder somehow synchronised to the loco chip, possibly by giving it the same address as the loco. Alternatively, would I need a second loco decoder with the same address and connect the sound decoder to that.

Am I just fantasising or is this possible ??

Expat.

***Its possible but so is fitting sound to N scale steam locomotives - I do it often.

A bugger of a job and there are limits, but I've added sound to crab, duchess, A4 with ease, others with a little more stress... including some electric passenger stock.

It can sound good if well done. It can be B awful if not done well - and its always expensive to do. I will no longer do it with ANY loco that doesn't run perfectly expecially if its one of the GF loco's, which I frequently say no" to.

as to synchronising sound outside the loco, not really practical without lots of technology. such synchronising requires a transference of back EMF data, not drive information so it needs tp refer to the loco effort reallu.

General sound around the layout can easily be done though.

Sound and UK prototype N are well... not exactly perfect bedfellows unless you'll be satisfied with one or two - and GWR loco's do make it hard due to their low sided tenders. BEST answer.... go to EU or US N scale - or HO or OO


Richard
DCCconcepts
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,854 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Richard and thanks for the info. I guessed I might be trying to do the impossible but, hey ho, one has to ask the question anyway.

I don't think there will be enouigh space in most of my locos (14 in all) as, in typical GWR tradition, they are generally smaller tank locos. The only 3 which might have space are a GF King, a GF Castle and a Peco Collett Goods, though, given the somewhat less than ideal performance of the latter loco, I don't think I would even bother with it.

As regards your last suggestion that is not really an option as I have, to date, already spent over £3,000 on N Gauge equipment.

Back to the drawing board then,

Expat.
 

·
Just another modeller
Joined
·
9,983 Posts
QUOTE (Expat @ 7 Jul 2008, 13:19) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Richard and thanks for the info. I guessed I might be trying to do the impossible but, hey ho, one has to ask the question anyway.

I don't think there will be enouigh space in most of my locos (14 in all) as, in typical GWR tradition, they are generally smaller tank locos. The only 3 which might have space are a GF King, a GF Castle and a Peco Collett Goods, though, given the somewhat less than ideal performance of the latter loco, I don't think I would even bother with it.

As regards your last suggestion that is not really an option as I have, to date, already spent over £3,000 on N Gauge equipment.

Back to the drawing board then,

Expat.

Hi....
I was very tongue in cheek with the scale change... I have seen the super planning work you've already done for the N scale layout.... and I am dead certain from what I've seen it will be a super layout in the end too!

Another option that WILL work well for N....

It is possible to do a really nice sound install in say a brake coach, which is then attached to the loco - when we do this we permanently couple them and also link the pickups on both, so performance is greatly enhanced too. The Castle and king will work well for this. For a freight loco if you have a GWR bogie van the same is possible.

Generally the sound is excellent when we do it this way as we can use the whole interior of the van/brake for speakers, decoder and weight and we then add nothing but a couple of wires & more weight to the loco whenever possible.

Would that perhaps fit the bill?

Richard
DCconcepts
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,854 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 7 Jul 2008, 10:41) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Would that perhaps fit the bill?

Hi Richard,

Nice idea but it would rather make my turntable redundant and would prevent me doing a 'run-around' on passenger trains in the main line terminus. I had also planned to have freight wagons set up in rakes that I could shunt and arrange to suit particular requirements. I was also intending to have the Brake Vans as independant units which could be attached to the rear of an assembled freight train.

However, it might be an option for the little 0-6-0 and autocoach and, of course, for the flying bananas (2 No. at the moment) which will operate the branch line. I'll have to give it some more thought.

Thanks again,

Trevor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Could you hook up a second decoder with the same address externally (maybe under the baseboard) and divert the sound output to a larger set of speakers?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,854 Posts
QUOTE (Jon Harbour @ 11 Jul 2008, 21:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Could you hook up a second decoder with the same address externally (maybe under the baseboard) and divert the sound output to a larger set of speakers?

Hi Jon,

If you look at the start of the thread you will see that that was my original idea but it would seem that the sound decoder must be able to receive feed-back - (back EMF data whatever that is ) - from the loco in order that the sound can be synchronised with the loco. The only way it can get feed-back is if it is directly connected to the loco/control chip.

Great minds think alike but apparently not always logically.

Expat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
D'oh!!

I admit that I didn't read the first post fully.
Never mind...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,342 Posts
Hi all
There is an expensive way to synchronize sound with external speakers
Railroad and co have a system to co-ordinate 4 speakers around your layout with loco's on the track
however you would have to running their software on your computer to do this
http://www.railroadandco.com/
zmil
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,854 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks zmil. That looks to be exactly what I had in mind.

While, on first sight, it may seem expensive, when you think that a Loksound chip + speakers costs around £80 it suddenly doesn't seem over priced. For the cost of 5 decoders I could have sound attached to all 17 of my locos. Not to mention the odd industrial sound effect, clanking couplings and even farmyard sounds.

The system is compatible with my ESU controller and it certainly warrants further investigation.

Thanks again,

Expat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,342 Posts
Hi Expat
I think Baycal said the club he is in , use the "railroad and Co" system for computer control with the Ecos
Not sure if they use sound with it though.
I came to the same conclusion as you ,sound decoders for a few loco's quickly add up the $$
I have been selling off my duplicate loco's to fund more equipment!
Keep us all posted on the results
Regards Zmil
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,854 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi zmil,

Thanks for the tip re. Baycal.

It will be a couple of years yet before I build my layout so don't hold your breath for feed-back. The one thing that hacks me off about the Railroad system though is the surcharge for downloading and using it outside the USA & Europe (50% extra). I need to investigate downloading it during one of my trips to UK.

Cheers,

Trevor
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,342 Posts
QUOTE (Expat @ 20 Jul 2008, 13:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi zmil,

Thanks for the tip re. Baycal.

It will be a couple of years yet before I build my layout so don't hold your breath for feed-back. The one thing that hacks me off about the Railroad system though is the surcharge for downloading and using it outside the USA & Europe (50% extra). I need to investigate downloading it during one of my trips to UK.

Cheers,

Trevor

Hi Trevor
Just had a look at that pricing its US$100 cheaper to download out side the EU
It could be because of the exchange rate , the difference between VAT and exempt from VAT is greater . Railroad and Co have not adjusted there pricing since the US$ fell against the Euro
Regards Zmil
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,854 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi Zmil,

You're absolutely right. I just saw the numbers without twigging that some were is Euros and some in dollars.

Cost within the EU is 289 Euros which, at todays exchange rate, is US$ 453.

Buying outside the EU, in US Dollars costs US$ 349. or £175 in real money.

That'll teach me to read things more carefully !!!!

Expat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,342 Posts
Hi Expat
You can also try it out with some limitations for free
the program is a bit expensive considering you get nothing else with it!
I was looking at there hand controllers they look comprehensive but you still need a DCC system that will communicate with a computer to use them.
regards Zmil
 

·
Just another modeller
Joined
·
9,983 Posts
QUOTE (zmil @ 24 Jul 2008, 19:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Expat
You can also try it out with some limitations for free
the program is a bit expensive considering you get nothing else with it!
I was looking at there hand controllers they look comprehensive but you still need a DCC system that will communicate with a computer to use them.
regards Zmil

***I agree its well made and well supported product.... However its exxy!

I asked for a quote for my own layouts need from RR and co - very professional in their response but for RR&Co + 3 added licenses as I wanted to use a master and 3 dumb terminals on my layout (one for each major area of the layout) and the total cost was about $A1,000.

I nearly fell off my chair when I read that!

regards

Richard
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,342 Posts
Hi Richard
It sure is expensive!
I think you will save about $ 270 on that price for railroad&co plus 3 net add ons
being the Australian dollar has come up so far against the the US$
Still , even if I was working at my old job , I could not justify spending that amount on a computer program for recreational purposes !
there would be a lot of questions asked on the "home Front"
Regards Zmil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
642 Posts
I've just had a pop down to the model railway exhibition at hartlepool and whilst I was talking to the lads from digitrains I was looking at a layout in OO that was next door to the digitrains stand and I was cursing the fact that they had OO gauge locos running with sound. And I made a comment to the digitrains guys at how lucky the OO gauge people are that they can have the sound in their locos. One of the lads from the stall showed me a double headed 66 that they have a loksound decoder/speaker in one of the dummy dapol 66's and it was coupled upto a standard same liveried loco.

I was wondering how they made the wires hidden and it seemed very easy by covering the wires in black tape and it was hardly noticable. The only thing is that both locos are permanently coupled together but if you don't mind that then if you can find 83.99 for the chip/speaker then there is your answer. Not only that the decoder that loksound do has class 66 sound effects on it including start up/brakes horn and it was very encouraging. Now if only they would produce some stuff for the other diesels we are laughing.

The show if anyone is interested is on the winyard industrial estate and is well signposted. Entry is £4.00 for adults and there are plenty of layouts and retailers at the show for you to spend loads of cash and drool over.
 

·
No Longer Active.
Joined
·
13,319 Posts
QUOTE (harkins77 @ 26 Jul 2008, 12:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>One of the lads from the stall showed me a double headed 66 that they have a loksound decoder/speaker in one of the dummy dapol 66's and it was coupled upto a standard same liveried loco.
Same as the Flesichmann BR218 in N - that has a perminatly coupled "dummy" loco with the speaker in it - wonder who copied who ?
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top