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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, Ive heard that some in the US have avoided fitting sound decoders to all their fleet by having "sound cars"- one of the boxcars in the rake that has a sound decoder fitted that can make the generic sound on behlf of any loco. Obviously not the Rolls Royce solution but Im thinking that many UK outline models wont fit a soundie in and this might be a compromise?

Im thinking parcels van (or similar) with the sound decoder and speaker fitted with pick-ups as per wiping contacts onto the track to receive the code instructions. Added to a rake next to the loco I think it might sound ok- excuse the pun!

Does anyone think that a motor load would be required for the synchronisation of "chuffs?" Im thinking that the loco and sound decoder wagon would be consisted- thus matching performance.

Whaydyyaaa Reckon?
 

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I do recall seeing something like this when looking on the net for something else, but I did not bookmark the link.

Could be even better for diesels as it would be possible to fit larger speakers & maybe a miniature sub-woofer/base bin.
 

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Just looking an eBay and you can t get MRC sound-only decoders out of Poland (thus avoiding the US import tax issues) for £25 plus p+p. I reckon the sound car idea is a goer and Ill get one, develop it and post the results here.

Gonna use a SR "GUV" type van for the installation as the ratio kit does not have a floor so the sound box will fit into it nicely. I think a solid sound box for the chip plus speaker should slide up into the van body with copper wipers to collec tthe current direct through the wheels from the track. If the experiment works a generic steam van and diesel van would be great.

We'll see......................

 

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Recently an mrc sound decoder came up on ebay which arrived last week, the loco it was intended for i am having problems fitting it to but placing it in a car seems a good compromise behind the loco, (better than the milled out the chassis solution)
It is a board type decoder MRC 1136 how could i simulate the place of a motor it usually connects to in a car ?
Any ideas welcomed.
 

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QUOTE (Watty @ 12 Jun 2008, 08:50) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Just looking an eBay and you can t get MRC sound-only decoders out of Poland (thus avoiding the US import tax issues) for £25 plus p+p. I reckon the sound car idea is a goer and Ill get one, develop it and post the results here.

Gonna use a SR "GUV" type van for the installation as the ratio kit does not have a floor so the sound box will fit into it nicely. I think a solid sound box for the chip plus speaker should slide up into the van body with copper wipers to collec tthe current direct through the wheels from the track. If the experiment works a generic steam van and diesel van would be great.

We'll see......................


Don't get the vans muddled up or your locos will sound wrong!
 

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*** The sound decoder will make sound but it will not really synchronise with the loco ever. Sort of OK for some diesel as long as you don't mind a GM or ALCO sound in a UK loco but not really very believable in any way for steam as when chuffs and wheels are so far out of whack its not really realistic at all...

This is not helped by the fact that the MRC decoders don't even synchronise well will when in a loco - I often get visited by frustrated modellers seeking help with US loco's that are made with the MRC decoders installed as the steam chuffs start at a different time to the loco and other similar anachronisms.

Its a low cost way to get some sound but not really a realistic result... Having said that, its a low cost option so do give it a go, and if you enjoy the result, then thats just fine - each modeller has different expectations from their layout!

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Richard- as usual your advice is always considered and knowledgeable. Im going to try a diesel first I think and see what happens. Is the GM/ACLO diesel really different to a "bog standard" Uk set up? I would have thought that all diesel-electric would be basically similar in sounds due to the nature of the plant and equipment on board?

The chuff aspect of steam does worry me, but I was considering the potential for synchronisation through the consist method if I had a sound decoder with a motor load attached. Even if the motor was free running in the sound car the consist would presumably match the outputs and thus mate the "chuffs"? On the other hand, if MRC chips dont synchronise their chuffs in any case Ive got nothing to lose. It's a space issue really in UK outline stock.

I certainly think that the opportunity for bass boxes etc is there- if you took a parcels van theres plenty of room- even in a CCT. A GUV would be even better.

Ill let you know how I ge ton, and thanks agin

QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 13 Jun 2008, 04:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>*** The sound decoder will make sound but it will not really synchronise with the loco ever. Sort of OK for some diesel as long as you don't mind a GM or ALCO sound in a UK loco but not really very believable in any way for steam as when chuffs and wheels are so far out of whack its not really realistic at all...

This is not helped by the fact that the MRC decoders don't even synchronise well will when in a loco - I often get visited by frustrated modellers seeking help with US loco's that are made with the MRC decoders installed as the steam chuffs start at a different time to the loco and other similar anachronisms.

Its a low cost way to get some sound but not really a realistic result... Having said that, its a low cost option so do give it a go, and if you enjoy the result, then thats just fine - each modeller has different expectations from their layout!

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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QUOTE (Watty @ 13 Jun 2008, 16:55) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks Richard- as usual your advice is always considered and knowledgeable. Im going to try a diesel first I think and see what happens. Is the GM/ACLO diesel really different to a "bog standard" Uk set up? I would have thought that all diesel-electric would be basically similar in sounds due to the nature of the plant and equipment on board?

The chuff aspect of steam does worry me, but I was considering the potential for synchronisation through the consist method if I had a sound decoder with a motor load attached. Even if the motor was free running in the sound car the consist would presumably match the outputs and thus mate the "chuffs"? On the other hand, if MRC chips dont synchronise their chuffs in any case Ive got nothing to lose. It's a space issue really in UK outline stock.

I certainly think that the opportunity for bass boxes etc is there- if you took a parcels van theres plenty of room- even in a CCT. A GUV would be even better.

Ill let you know how I ge ton, and thanks agin

Hi Watty

Have a go!

Yes, the diesel sounds are way different in different diesels, but to be honest the simple fact that you asked that question means that you'll not be critially comparing it to anything in memory anyway so the answer really isn't important to your experiment - as long as you are happy with the sound it won't matter if its the same as a UK loco or not so you can just enjoy it for what it is :) :)

Try the Alco - its actually not bad at all....

Steam - consisting won't help I'm afraid: a good sound decoder directly measures the voltages and back EMF of the motor and adjusts things accordingly - and the MRC also tries to use reference settings vs motor so without a proper "motor under load" attached, your MRC decoder in a wagon will "just be guesing" and is likely to be way out of whack with the consisted loco thats pulling it along.

you MAY be able to improve it a bit by fiddling with things like start voltage, but it'll be a bit experimental to say the least.

Just have fun and enjoy the experiment!

Kind regards

Richard
DCCconcepts
 

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I purchased two MRC Diesel Sound decoders - Model 0001662. in November last year.
Tonys Trains and Trackside Sales sell them for around $29 (£15) - The two cost me £33.83 including postage, and I was not charged customs or Post Office.

They will fit in any form of transport, as they just have two wires to connect to track voltage.

You programme them with the decoder number that is in the engine you want to use. They sense the change in the signal (nearly said voltage) of the speed of the engine, and respond to that with the change in sound.

They have 28 functions that can be programmed (If you have a Prodigy) less otherwise.
2 or 4 digit addressing, and programmable for 14, 28, or 128 speed steps.

The horn and bells are obviously american, but the sounds of brakes, engine, air, are o.k.

I fitted one without any bother in a Vi-Train 37. The speaker is large, 1" in diameter, and half an inch thick.

The only problem I have is that I cannot stand the noise. I cannot programme the volume to the level that I would like it. I have a large loft layout, and I find that I prefer to hear the trains rumbling along and clacking over the points and joins. Much more realistic for me. I only switch it on when I have visitors as a novelty value.
The other one remains in its package.

Alan B
 

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QUOTE (alanb @ 13 Jun 2008, 17:07) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I purchased two MRC Diesel Sound decoders - Model 0001662. in November last year.

The only problem I have is that I cannot stand the noise. I cannot programme the volume to the level that I would like it.

Alan B
Dear Alan,

I assume you have this Manual. It seems that you have to change a whole bunch of CVs from CV 50 onwards. Each individual sound has its own volume setting. This is an odd way to do, in my opinion, there should be one CV that controls the volume of all the sounds, but perhaps they are just trying to you more control over the sound settings.

According to this manual, you can also change the whistle and bell sounds using F keys (F18 and F19) and some of the volumes are also on F keys (F21, F22 and F23).
 

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Thanks John, I will give it a go over the week-end.

I must admit that I only tried the main volume control CV. Although it did alter it, I could not get it to a level that would suit me.
I have heard that this has been a problem with other makes of sound decoders.

AlanB
 
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