Recordable Sound Chips

Grey One Mar 4, 2014

  1. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    Have you used or do you know anything about using 'recordable sound chips' like those found in greeting cards and such?
    Part of my long term plan is to place 10 to 50 sound chips around the layout. These will be more for the entertainment of the visitors and in particular children.
    Examples of usage:

    • Farm sounds
    • Factory sounds
    • Train whistles
    • Conductors - "All Aboard", "Train Leaving in ..."
    • Apartment building sounds such as screams
    • Children playing
    • Hobos around a fire
    • Rail-fans taking pictures and talking

    I have seen them on 'Amazon' but have no idea how complicated it is to:
    • Record the sound - Can I send one from the computer? or must I do it analog style?
    • Cause them to play - momentary contact?
    • Replace the battery - which most say is good for '300' playbacks.
    Are there any other considerations?
  2. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    Yes, I know of two guys here in the valley that are experimenting with them. They are pretty cool to work with but the volume sucks. The unit can be purchased from Radio Shack, but don't expect the folks behind the counter to know what you are talking about. Greeting card recorder.

    You'd be better off to buy one of MRC's sound packages. They come in Stereo and the volume can be adjusted to your desire.

    In a LHS I visited someone had made a homemade unit which was fairly interesting to listen to.

    Also, I met a fella at the last swap meet I went to who was demonstrating his home made sound system. Price was reasonable for what you get and the volume can be controlled. Big bug a boo with me. I want to be able to turn the volume down....not up. Most operators I visit run their sound way to loud.

    Hobo's around a fire...uhh...errr....I hope they aren't eating beans. Grin!

    If that helps?
  3. IowaRRfan

    IowaRRfan TrainBoard Member

    Hi Grey One,

    I found a lot of sounds (Mp3) at under and the end of the page as free download. Uhlenbrock is a german company which made a good DCC train box and also a sound module for the layout. There are a lot of recorded sound. Sorry most with german names but when you hear them it's your choice. The sound system is at the beginning of this page.
    Myself take a MP3 construction kit from ELV a german hobby supplier this one there you can connect up to 10 contacts and play up to 10 single sound from sd card or in the current SW version also random sounds.

    So may you test the Mp3 files and found something similar like a MP3 kit in US. If so you can copy any MP3 sound you found in the WWW or record your own.
  4. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

    I've got one rigged into my grade crossing circuit - the old Radio shack 20-second digital recorder. I recorded the 'correct' sounds for the crossing, including the wicked echoes and bells that were part of the fun before it turned all Quiet Zone. I recorded it off of a videotape I had.

    Now what's slick about the digital recorder is it just takes on touch, and it plays the entire clip. Just a momentary hit and you're good. I put a bigger speaker in a building behind the grade crossing. You don't need DCC to do this or a whole lot of technology. The Radio Shack one connected to a conventional 8-ohm speaker worked fine. They sold these things out for like $20 each, part number was 276-1326. I replaced the AA battery pack with a wall-wart and the pushbutton switch with a momentary contact off of the Tortise drive that hits the gates.

    Here's a picture of it, all you got was guts:
    Like everything else Radio Shack, it assumed you could tinker and understand electronics, so of course it's no longer made. It's a wonder they still sell solder. I'm of the generation that enjoyed building stuff from electronics project kits -- remember Heathkit?

    If you ebay search 'voice record playback module' you'll find very similar boards, lord only knows the quality, but they aren't expensive.

    I don't have mine set all that loud. You can hear it in the background of this YouTube clip:
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2014
  5. river_eagle

    river_eagle TrainBoard Member

  6. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

    Here’s one that I’ve tried.

    It’s a little module with mini terminal strip to connect power, speaker, and trigger connections.

    The one I’ve got is the grade crossing bell. The sound level and quality have been excellent. They have many other sound and will also do custom from sound files you provide. Hope to get a few more of these in the future.

    Brad Myers
    Peninsula Ntrak / AsiaNrail

    My Blogs:
  7. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter


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