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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just thought I'd share some pictures of my latest acquisation, a PCM PRR I1sa 2-10-0. This loco was the Pennsylvania Railroad's maid of all work and could be found hauling trains all over the Pennsey system. This is a lovely model of the I1 captured beautifully by PCM, Precision Craft Models of Broadway Limited fame. The original model was advertised as having an ESU Loksound decoder but this was changed to QSI ver7 sound decoder. I'm very impressed by this models running qualities straight out of the box but PCM need to turn down the sound to a lower default value as this model was deafining straight out of the box. The plastic couplers will be repaced with Kadee semi scale couplers as these don't look anywhere near as big. Note the Worthington feedwater heater on the side of the loco. Some I1's were fitted with them and some weren't. Some used the larger 8 axle tender as fitted to the M1 class mikado's. This was stadardisation from the standard railroad of the world as the PRR liked to label it's self. About 598 of these locos were built between 1916 and 1923.









Charles Emerson
Queensland
Australia
 

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Beautiful model.

I have a PCM Big Boy, and was similarly impressed, although that does have the locsound decoder in it.

The sound from that was also much, much to high on default, infact, I think having a lower sound output is one of the things that helps the steam sound systems a bit.

I'm toying with the idea of a couple of the blueline series F units at the minute , but not sure if they are as good a standard of model as the PCM stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have several of the Blueline locos and the quality is the same as the BLI/PCM locos. What lets them down is the dual mode decoder, This is designed as a DC sound decoder with the addition of a DCC option. This can prove to be finicky at best as most DCC systems don't like to program two decoders. Blueline locos are supposed to solve this by the use a decoder lock Cv which would work fine if the additional DCC decoder supports it. The idea is to lock one decoder against the other to allow programing of one decoder. Problem is that not all decoders support this and you are required to program on the main rather than the programming track where the DCC system would see two decoders and most probably lead to intense frustration trying to program a loco. I intend to replace all my Blueline decoders with QSI Quatum Revolution decoders as they become available.

Charles Emerson
Queensland
Australia

QUOTE (NoggintheNog @ 27 Nov 2008, 00:58) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Beautiful model.

I have a PCM Big Boy, and was similarly impressed, although that does have the locsound decoder in it.

The sound from that was also much, much to high on default, infact, I think having a lower sound output is one of the things that helps the steam sound systems a bit.

I'm toying with the idea of a couple of the blueline series F units at the minute , but not sure if they are as good a standard of model as the PCM stuff.
 

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QUOTE (Ozzie21 @ 27 Nov 2008, 21:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Problem is that not all decoders support this and you are required to program on the main rather than the programming track where the DCC system would see two decoders and most probably lead to intense frustration trying to program a loco. I intend to replace all my Blueline decoders with QSI Quatum Revolution decoders as they become available.

Charles Emerson
Queensland
Australia

Hi Charles,

Its a nice loco - I have sold several and programmed a few more too... I'm a closet PRR fan too.

I always use a DP2x and the programming track for all blueline - with a PowerCab it works a treat every time. I end up programming very, very many of them because every other WA retailer hasn't a single cue how to go about it - the cheeky sods send all their customers to me to fix their problems!

I'd not think too hard about the quantum revolution - I HAVE THE FULL PROGRAMMING kit and caboodle for them and have done a dozen or so.... I'd stay with the Bluelines as is + the DP2's = my current experience is very lukewarm, I much prefer tsunami if a US made choice is wanted, ESU otherwise
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 27 Nov 2008, 14:30) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Charles,

Its a nice loco - I have sold several and programmed a few more too... I'm a closet PRR fan too.

I always use a DP2x and the programming track for all blueline - with a PowerCab it works a treat every time. I end up programming very, very many of them because every other WA retailer hasn't a single cue how to go about it - the cheeky sods send all their customers to me to fix their problems!

Thank you both for the Blueline information, I use a lenz system myself, and after reading a little about the seperate sound/motor decoder setup, my intial idea to get around the issues was simply to install my motor chip in another loco, programmme it to the required address, then programme the sound decoder to the same address, then finaly install the motor decoder into the blueline loco. It would nearly take longer to type than do, and solves the inability for lenz to programme addresses on the main.

QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 27 Nov 2008, 14:30) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I'd not think too hard about the quantum revolution - I HAVE THE FULL PROGRAMMING kit and caboodle for them and have done a dozen or so.... I'd stay with the Bluelines as is + the DP2's = my current experience is very lukewarm, I much prefer tsunami if a US made choice is wanted, ESU otherwise

Thats interesting. My sound experience isnt vast, I freely admit, but I have a few factory fit ones, a tsunami, and recently purchased a couple of revolutions from tony's trains.

The QSI revolution with the high bass speaker install in a E6 is the best sound I have, perhaps its the bass enhanced speaker more than the sound project, I dont know, but I've been very impressed.
 

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***QSI is loud to be sure, and a couple of specific sound files are really nice, including their Big Boy, the Alco RSD15 and the GM E series locos... but the sound is also messy in its mastering sometimes, frequently clipping and distinctly muddy very often, as distortion is also high / audio fidelity quite low compared to tsunami and ESU.

That aside, my comments relate more to the ease of management, programming and setup of the decoder - and refinement in running quaility.

I simply don't like the QSI approach to setup and programming at all... (sound programming, not simple CV changes). The manuals are appalling and in simple programming I find the spoken readback a real problem for users, as it stops correct timing of decoder acknowledgement vs DCC standards and so changes do not "take" quite often.Bbecause of this its very hard for some owners to make changes until I show them how to turn its annoying accented voice off!

Each decoder brand has high points - for example light control is better for US models with QSI and Tsunami and ESU falls down there a little while the way ESU actually handles the levels/dimming and on/off is far nicer than with the US decoders... Programmability of Tsunami is way better than QSI if you can climb into the processor a little (it can be done even though its not obvious) and ESU probably has the best potential in its sounnd file structure and evolution + loco control, but all are OK in general.

No one brand has it all.

regards

Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Richard, Nice to see people come out of the closet
I use a TCS T1 rather than a DP2x and in most cases it works fine. The problem I have is the variance in decoder quality of the Blue line locos. You program one and I use a Power Cab to program and it's fine. You do another and spend a few frustrating hours trying to get it right to no avail then the reed switch fails and you have no chuff and this my fourth Blueline steamer that has had the reed switch fail. The diesels are even worse and the general build quality shows they are really made China. The problem for me is I hate the programming crap and I want a decoder with specific sounds ie a C&O heavy mikado, K-3 witha 5 chime hancock. Now the Quantum revelution come close if I could change the spectrum of the C&O T1 decoder whistle. As I haven't recieved my Quantum Revelution decoder yet I can't really comment on the programming ability but as I usually use Decoder Pro to tweak the sounds of Tsunami I expect to be able to do the same witha Quantum revolution. I do have a diesel one some where in the post office system but where is anyone's guess.

Charles Emerson
Queensland
Australia

QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 28 Nov 2008, 00:30) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Charles,

Its a nice loco - I have sold several and programmed a few more too... I'm a closet PRR fan too.

I always use a DP2x and the programming track for all blueline - with a PowerCab it works a treat every time. I end up programming very, very many of them because every other WA retailer hasn't a single cue how to go about it - the cheeky sods send all their customers to me to fix their problems!

I'd not think too hard about the quantum revolution - I HAVE THE FULL PROGRAMMING kit and caboodle for them and have done a dozen or so.... I'd stay with the Bluelines as is + the DP2's = my current experience is very lukewarm, I much prefer tsunami if a US made choice is wanted, ESU otherwise
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 28 Nov 2008, 15:10) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>***QSI is loud to be sure, and a couple of specific sound files are really nice, including their Big Boy, the Alco RSD15 and the GM E series locos... but the sound is also messy in its mastering sometimes, frequently clipping and distinctly muddy very often, as distortion is also high / audio fidelity quite low compared to tsunami and ESU.

That aside, my comments relate more to the ease of management, programming and setup of the decoder - and refinement in running quaility.

I simply don't like the QSI approach to setup and programming at all... (sound programming, not simple CV changes). The manuals are appalling and in simple programming I find the spoken readback a real problem for users, as it stops correct timing of decoder acknowledgement vs DCC standards and so changes do not "take" quite often.Bbecause of this its very hard for some owners to make changes until I show them how to turn its annoying accented voice off!

Each decoder brand has high points - for example light control is better for US models with QSI and Tsunami and ESU falls down there a little while the way ESU actually handles the levels/dimming and on/off is far nicer than with the US decoders... Programmability of Tsunami is way better than QSI if you can climb into the processor a little (it can be done even though its not obvious) and ESU probably has the best potential in its sounnd file structure and evolution + loco control, but all are OK in general.

No one brand has it all.

regards

Richard

Thats very interesting, thanks for the3 response.

As said, sound is quite new to me, so I'm still learning , I just found the QSI captures the lower range rumble of diesels better than anything else Ive heard so far, at least, the 2 I have in an E6 A/B consist does.

The tsunami I have in an F3 is perhaps a little weaker in that regard, but the transistion from one speed notch to another is more detailed, but the overall 'engine sound' effect I fond better with the QSI, as said, perhaps the extra bass speaker is more responsible than the decoder, I dont know.

I do only have one loksound, in the PCM Big Boy, a factory fitted setup, and it is very impressive, although at factory set sound levels its far, far to obvious the speaker is in the tender, running at about 1/3 volume , its very convincing.

I havent tried loksound aftermarket yet, I do have a few more locos to retrofit as time passes, so one may find its way into an alco PA at some point perhaps, the other one for the future would be Zimo, although they seem lacking in available sound projects so far, I have found their products always to be very high quality, I expect the sound decoders to be the same.

As , at the moment, I simply buy the pre programmed decoders and only make minor speedcurve adjustments myself, the intricacies of setup are not affecting me, so I judge solely on the impression the loco gives in operation.
 
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