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For some time now, I have been wondering why there is all the fuss about having sound in your engines.

I tried it once with a Diesel, and frankly it drove me mad.

I have a large loft layout with 340' of track, and I much prefer to hear the train noise from the wheels on the track, and the clickety clack as they run over points and gaps in the rails.

The other question that bugs me is how is it compatible with DCC.

The idea of DCC, and the reason most people change over for, is the ability to run more than a couple of trains at a time. I have had five running at the same time with no problem.

Can you imagine the noise of a couple of steamers and three diesels running around at the same time?

It would be like having five radios on all tuned to different stations - a complete cacophony.

So to run sound, you will be restricted to running one train at a time. Worse than DC.

A good example is the complaints you hear from people who have been at shows where layouts adjacent to each other both have engines with sound running at the same time.

What I would like to have, is the ability to just have the sound of the whistle or horn. The horn was the only thing I liked, but you had to have the sound on to get it.
I reckon a decoder doing that would sell well. It would only need one decoder with the ability to select one or the other. I would be in the market for at least 15.

AlanB
 

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Hi Alan,my bachmann class 24 sounds function without the engine running,two horns,coupler,etc... On a large layout its ok because you only hear engine noise when its coming close or out of tunnels.I agree with you about mutiple engines,more than two would spoil the atmosphere imho unless on a huge layout.
 

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When the reports about sound first came out, I was rather miffed - after all the amount of effort we put into making the trains quiet (as testified by discussions about track, baseboards, underlay, ballast etc. on this and other forums).

I have one sound loco, it's great but has the disadvantage of being an English Electric diesel - now if only I could get my Crompton making a realistic noise, then I could try to annoy everyone and contribute meaningfully to this thread.........
 

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QUOTE What I would like to have, is the ability to just have the sound of the whistle or horn. The horn was the only thing I liked, but you had to have the sound on to get it.
I reckon a decoder doing that would sell well. It would only need one decoder with the ability to select one or the other. I would be in the market for at least 15.

I mentioned this to a Bachmann rep at one of the Peco DCC weekends a couple of years ago. He liked the idea but as you can tell nothing has come of it. There is a Zimo decoder which has the ability to store one short sound but I've not seen or heard of any examples. Perhaps "John" will spot this post and direct us at one


I think the idea of a whistle or horn is a good one. I do wonder if the reason for it not becoming available is that you come so close to having all of a sound chip that the saving of ROM space is not worth it. It may also be the case that as a relative novelty, the manufacturers can sell all they can make, so why divert time and effort into making something else and get less money back.

As for the scenario of five locos with sound at the same time, I'm one short of that at the moment but at two diesels and two steam it's not unbearable in my attic. I do use the whistles / horns a lot...

David
 

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QUOTE (alanb @ 20 Feb 2009, 15:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It would be like having five radios on all tuned to different stations - a complete cacophony.
A bit like the average building site - except that at least half of the radios must be not quite tuned in & the volume controls are set to max in all cases.
 

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On most sound decoders, the sound volumes are adjustable independantly.

If you set everything to zero bar the horn/whistle, then the horn/whistle is the only sound you have.

Personally, I have volume adjusted to a level that means I hear the engine when its within about 5 feet of me, in this case,especially on a large layout, you will only really hear one loco at a time.
 

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I actually don't NEED sound. I have to admit though that it is a vital part of the hobby for me. I spend more time and derive huge enjoyment from, the acquisition of, surgery, adjustment and loading of sounds.

I then run the lot all of a go (8) and the parakeets chime in. At 9 o'clock sharp I have to shut down or the environmental people bang on the door!!

Seriously though, I like sound but it is more the compilation and tweaking. If it gets too much I just select the loco and push the function button that switches it off.

Shuts the parakeets up as well.

I spend a great deal of time making sure that I don't get too much of that sibilant hissing. Usually, it is down to the speaker install.
 

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why do we need sound? cos real trains make noise too? and some are in theory trying to replicate/emulate a railway. why do we need colout TV's and sound? whats was wrong with B&W movies with a piano adding background music? thats a bit like saying why do we need lights or smoke generators in our trains?. it can all add to the atmosphere of the layout for some folks in a possitive way. for a shunting layout where the train never makes it past walking pace shuffling wagons, it adds interest to the drying paint
for a steam express whizzing past at a decent pace it can add to the spectacle. it's horses for courses along with every other aspect of the hobby. DC v DCC, 2 rail or 3 rail, AC or DC, BR or grouping, Hornby or Peco, UK or US, etc.
 

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I guess this will be one of those threads where there is a large difference of opinion. I wouldn't be without sound in any loco and consider a stealth loco as incomplete and lacking. With DCC you can turn the sound on and off so if it's doing your head in; you can turn it off. I have the sound on all the time on all the loco's I happen to be running that day. That's how it was in real life in a railway station.
 

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Hi All

I have three sound loco's, one steam and two diesel, I think they are great and add that extra bit of realism that I for one strive for.

Roll on the next RTR steam loco's from Hornby, I love em, and as Neil says you can always turn them down a bit or off altogether. The beauty of DCC - choice.


Regards Mike
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 20 Feb 2009, 21:30) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I guess this will be one of those threads where there is a large difference of opinion. I wouldn't be without sound in any loco and consider a stealth loco as incomplete and lacking. With DCC you can turn the sound on and off so if it's doing your head in; you can turn it off. I have the sound on all the time on all the loco's I happen to be running that day. That's how it was in real life in a railway station.

I agree with neil, it is a each to their own thing. All my sound locos are volume controlled to approx 5-6ft distance.
I use mostly Loksound and all locos (steam& diesel) can coast with engine sound at idle or chuff all but disappears.
Diesel shunters rev before moving off, motor goes back to idle, loco keeps rolling.
Automatic air release as loco comes to stop. Automatic horn toot as loco begins to move.

I could go on here but how prototypical do you want to get.
There is very little that can not be done with Loksound. The motor can be turned off and just the horn/whistle if you want.

The beauty of DCC is we are only limited by our imagination and the amount of money we want to spend.

I love sound, sometimes 4/5 locos at same time.

Ian
 

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As I operate in N Gauge steam I don't have the option of sound in locos. Rather like Alan, though, I have been toying with the idea of just having static decoders and speakers at various locations around my layout so that I can 'sound' a whistle at the appropriate place and time. e.g. When a train leaves a station or passes through a junction.

Anybody got any thoughts on the feasibility of this ?? What are the possibilities of automating it by means of reid switches ??
 

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QUOTE (Expat @ 21 Feb 2009, 08:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Anybody got any thoughts on the feasibility of this ?? What are the possibilities of automating it by means of reid switches ??

it would be possible I'm sure, although I suspect using a standard dc sound device would be much cheaper than using dcc decoders.

As to the other point, there are various sound equipped N scale locos appearing from the US outline manufacturers now, so I wouldnt say never when it comes to sound for UK N guage, it will inevitably trickle in over here at some point.
 

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I like different sounds for variety, but generally only run one or two with sound at any one time. That doesn't stop me running other trains at the same time though.

DCC has other advantages than just running multiple trains; one can also tweak various parameters to make locomotives behave more realistically for things like top speed, acceleration, braking, or more advanced adjustments to the speed curve for given throttle settings.

However, the one thing no one else seems to have mentioned so far that makes DCC sound that much more enjoyable for me (besides the pleasure of particular engine sounds) is the driving experience. With DCC, and to a lesser degree, DC (especially with inertia controllers), one can drive a locomotive with the throttle so that it appears to behave more realistically, but with sound one gets some feedback as to what is happening, built in delays for start up, brake release then engine revs rise, followed by a gradual movement ... one actually seems to be driving and has to adjust the techniques to suit the engine characteristics.

It is just one more facet to a multi-facetted hobby that, to me personally, makes it more enjoyable.

As others have already said, though, to each his own!
 

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sound in N steam is possible , the US kato GS4 can have it fitted, but for UK stuff it would need to be in a loco motored tender loco so the tender is vacant for the decoder and the speaker. forget your farish jinty!!. there is a system out vthere that uses speakers around the layout, and transponding from the loco's to fade the relevant loco's sound in and out at the relevant locations. the only plus side is that you can use whopping speakers and get really good base etc. BUT and it's a big one, once you have the layout sectioned and sorted for the transponding with all the necessary electronics and guff, it is actually cheaper to fit a top of the line sound decoder in each loco as the system is limited to 6,8 or 10 loco's, not sure which, but the cost is restrictive. it is good though. and if you want noise in N? if you can get a digitrax decoder in, it can appear to have sound in the right places. for the average 8x4 or shunting layout, a decoder under the layout feeding a couple of speakers would certainly suffice as the sound is never going to be that far from the loco. if you really pushed the boat out, you could have 3 or 4 sound decoders mounted under the layout of differing types suited to your loco's, and when you want to use a loco, just MU the sound decoders address to it and the sound will match the movement. you would just need to remember whether it was steam or diesel and maybe what specific loco sounds it had loaded. so if you have 3 08 shunters and never use more than 2 at a time, you could get 2 sound decoders for the 08, and just MU them to the loco's in use. obviously you may not want a specific fixed decoder for EVERY loco ( though you would if fitting them in the loco's ) but a selection with suitable sounds could suffice that could fit into your roster.
 

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Hi Trev..
Anybody got any thoughts on the feasibility of this ?? What are the possibilities of automating it by means of reid switches ??

..I was given a book "Model Railway Electronics" by Roger Amos and he describes a simple project for sounds.whistle,horn etc...you can also buy sound recording modules which im sure you could activate by means of switches.You can even buy greeting cards where you record your own message which is activated when the card is opened...
Cheers,Frame
 

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Thanks for all the suggestions guys.

I have looked at the Railroad 'surround sound' system but have concluded it is not really justifiable budget wise.

Just to clarify, my layout runs around 3 sides of a room and is firmly set in 1946 with ALL GWR steamers, (mostly small 0-6-0s) so, while it may be possible to get a sound chip in, speakers of sufficient size to sound reasonable would prove impossible. Hence the thought of having decent sized, static speakers at strategic locations (4 or 5 only) beneath the boards. The reason for thinking of having DCC sound chips was that I could have different types of whistles, depending on which loco was 'blowing'.
 

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QUOTE (Expat @ 21 Feb 2009, 10:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The reason for thinking of having DCC sound chips was that I could have different types of whistles, depending on which loco was 'blowing'.

It would be fairly easy to mount a nice speaker and decoder connected to the DCC bus , its then a question of how its triggered. I'm sure there would be a way.

I would suggest using some of the cheaper US sound decoders from digitrax or the lower end soundtraxx that retail at £50 ish, they are simply generic engine sounds (which you dont need), but unfortunately, they are all US outline whistls and horns, I dont know of any cheap sound decoders with UK sounds on them, so you are back to the loksound or similar at double the price unfortunately.
 

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QUOTE (alanb @ 20 Feb 2009, 15:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>For some time now, I have been wondering why there is all the fuss about having sound in your engines.

For me it makes the model more realistic and it adds to the operating of the layout. Watching non sound locos for me is somewhat boaring, its just not as it is in the real world and thats what I am trying to recreate. If its not got sound it might as well be unpainted!

I tried it once with a Diesel, and frankly it drove me mad.
I have a large loft layout with 340' of track, and I much prefer to hear the train noise from the wheels on the track, and the clickety clack as they run over points and gaps in the rails.

You could have lowered the volume and heard everything

The other question that bugs me is how is it compatible with DCC.
The idea of DCC, and the reason most people change over for, is the ability to run more than a couple of trains at a time. I have had five running at the same time with no problem.

But unless on dcc you can not take the train where you want to if another is on the same section of track and you cant play addams family trainset. Dc is so restrictive in comparison to the ease dcc makes realistic running available

Can you imagine the noise of a couple of steamers and three diesels running around at the same time?

Yes, ?I have had over 20 sound loco started up at the same time on my depot layout! In practise though, you dont tend to run more than 2-3 at a time as YOU become the driver

It would be like having five radios on all tuned to different stations - a complete cacophony.
So to run sound, you will be restricted to running one train at a time. Worse than DC.

utter tosh

A good example is the complaints you hear from people who have been at shows where layouts adjacent to each other both have engines with sound running at the same time.

A bit of an urban myth this. You can not hear my sound locos ata show from more than 4 feet away. Its the anti sound mob who pretend they can hear the sound locos when in reality, the loudest and dominant sound at any show is the waffle comming from the public.

What I would like to have, is the ability to just have the sound of the whistle or horn. The horn was the only thing I liked, but you had to have the sound on to get it.
I reckon a decoder doing that would sell well. It would only need one decoder with the ability to select one or the other. I would be in the market for at least 15.

tis can be done, but again you might as well just paint the tender and leave the engine in plastic lol

AlanB
 
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