1. StickyMonk

    StickyMonk Staff Member

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    I am seriously considering going DCC with sound equipped locos.

    I have a few questions, firstly the first locos that will need to be sound equipped will be a walthers H10-44, a Proto 2000 S1, an Atlas S4, a Kato GP35 and a Stewart F7A.

    I have seen mixed reviews on almost all the sound decoders out there, but would like to see what is recommended for the above locos, is it even possible to fit a sound unit into an S1?

    What I am looking for is the best sound, not the cheapest.

    Also how would I go about fitting a sound unit into a dummy Stewart F7B?

    My layout is nowhere near ready for wiring yet and I have a load more track that needs to be laid so this is not a priority yet, but it is good to plan ahead :)

    One thing to consider is how loud the sound is, these will only be run in a small shed, so if it is too loud then it will just be a racket and give me a headache...

    any help will be appreciated :)
     
  2. JimJ

    JimJ Staff Member

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    Tsunami all the way! QSI speakers as well. You can't beat 'em. Never heard a bad thing about them, pun intended.
     
  3. 2slim

    2slim TrainBoard Member

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    Matthew,
    As JimJ suggested it's all about the speakers, here's a firm that makes some good ones.
    http://www.railmasterhobbies.com/
    I'm looking at getting some for my Atlas Alco switchers.
    I don't think you've listed any locos which couldn't be equipped with DCC & Sound. I believe you'll find that for the locos listed there are no plug & play sound decoders available, you'll have to do the mods yourself or find someplace to do it for you. Bachmann just released an S2 switcher with a tsunami sound decoder, I'm interested to hear reviews of it.

    2slim
     
  4. Dave Jones

    Dave Jones TrainBoard Supporter

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    2Slim - There are several reviews on the internet showing (and with sound) Bachmann's S-2. Since I was familiar with Southern's S-2 (their standard yard switcher for years in this area) I found the sound of that 539T unbelievable. It is that good!! As soon as they release it in Southern (and Seaboard) I'm in the market.

    The sound from BLI SW-7 is also very good. I'm far away from DCC (too many engines) I do love those sound equipped units I've heard.
     
  5. COverton

    COverton TrainBoard Member

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    There are new sound decoders on the market, including one from Digitrax. Don't know a thing about it, but it would be worth a serious look prior to discounting it for some reason. Secondly, the new QSI Titan series of decoders are excellent, a breath of fresh air. Thirdly, take a close look at ESU Loksound.

    You want a speaker capable of producing the deepest bass possible. Perhaps others have a better handle on that, but without the room for a decent speaker with its requisite airtight enclosure, you will be disappointed in diesel rumbling sounds in HO scale.
     
  6. JimJ

    JimJ Staff Member

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    All very true. For fun, go to Soundtraxx website and you can hear sample sounds from their decoders. Other makers sites may have the same feature.
     
  7. Colonel

    Colonel Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    From my limited experiences the Tsunami decoders are are excellent
     
  8. 2slim

    2slim TrainBoard Member

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    Matthew
    Don't know if you're familiar with The Model Railroad Hobbyist E-zine but they have an ongoing column covering DCC & Sound. It's a free online magazine similar to MR & RMC. Here is a link to their DCC forum;
    http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/forum/14
    You know the old saying, "knowledge is power"
    The time to learn about DCC & Sound is before you commit to wiring and such

    2slim
     
  9. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have an Atlas S2 from a previous layout and have fitted side buffers for use on my Slovenian layout. As it will be used to switch the stone loader, it really must be fitted with sound. As it is a few years old I doubt it is fitted with a dcc socket so will need to be hard wired. Probably will have to cut away some of the frame also, but I really do want sound in this loco.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2
     
  10. customNscaler

    customNscaler TrainBoard Member

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    As for the Stewart f7a and f7b I'd put the decoder in the dummy b unit along with a speaker and also fit a speaker into the a unit. Running the wires from the b unit into the a unit. Putting a speaker in the b unit and in the a unit will give you sound in both units while only buying one decoder. You wouldn't want to spend a 100$ on a dummy when you can use the money on a powered loco. This just my opinion and what I've done in the past. Loksound is great to!
     
  11. montanan

    montanan TrainBoard Member

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    I will stray a little from this subject, but will still stay with sound. Although I don't operate DCC, I do have one locomotive, a brass Z-5 Yellowstone that is DCC equipped, and runs Tsunami sound. Previous to installing DCC in this locomotive, it was equipped with PFM sound, which was installed about 20 years ago. What I miss with the DCC is the ability to vary the whistle like I could with the PFM system.

    Growing up I loved the steam locomotives, and was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to ride in the cab of the steamers. Engineers each had their own way of operating the whistle, and after a while, even I, as a kid could tell who the engineer was just by the way he operated the whistle. This could also bedone with the PFM sound system. You could actually personalize the way you wanted to operate it. Is DCC ever going to come up with a feature like this ??? It would be nice.
     
  12. wozzek

    wozzek E-Mail Bounces

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    I am a newbie when it comes to DCC but not to programming, I was a Database guy and programmer for 30 years. Most first time DCCers start off with NCE Powercab Controllers which is what I chose, but you may decide to take a different path. The Powercab unIt all comes in one box for about $150 total. Then all you need is a test loop of track, DCC and preferably Sound equipped Locos and accessories.
    Along with the NCE unit I bought a Bachmann Climax Steam loco. The Tsunami sound decoder is pretty much problem free and has very realistic sound including Chuff, Whistle, Bell, Brake squeal, steam/air hiss, coupling and more. I also picked up an Athearn Genesis MP15AC Deisel with sound, not sure whose decoder it is but Horn, bell, engine roar, air brake hiss all sound good to me.
    :)
    I have already done some programming to both locos. If you take your time and try to read and understand the programming manual, its better in the long run. Even for someone with computer programming background, it has a different feel to it, but I took it slow and feel comfortable with it now.
     
  13. wozzek

    wozzek E-Mail Bounces

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    I forgot to try to answer your question about the volume of the sounds. In most cases these can be programmed if you feel they are too loud for example when a decoder offers 1,2,3 as sound levels you can reprogram them ie. simply change level 3 to level 2 or 1.
     
  14. StickyMonk

    StickyMonk Staff Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions and links, I think I will defiantly go with DCC sound on my layout.

    regarding the F7B dummy, this will be run with other locos not just the F7A so will need its own decoder/speaker.
     

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