Phoenix sound install help!

Keith Jul 4, 2017

  1. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

    G Scale GP30 electronics arrived today. Still have power supply, and 1 decoder
    that are not here yet! Couldn't send at one time I guess.

    Does anyone have an EASY diagram on HOW to install Phoenix sound
    in a USA Trains G Scale GP30, track power?? All the instructions say, is
    how to hook up baattery(ies). I do NOT run, or trust batteries. Don't want
    to charge them every hour!

    Think I have everything I need, except proper connection instructions.
    If anyone has easy to understand installation instructions, it would be much appreciated!
    Was hoping for QSI board(s). Since that's what the GP40's use.
    Anyway, any help/information much appreciated!
  2. Greg Elmassian

    Greg Elmassian TrainBoard Member

    im confused, do you want installation help on a phoenix or a QSI?

  3. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

    After checking out what did show up.....I only wish QSI made an Airwire/Sound
    board for the GP30. Might have been easier to install than the Phoenix stuff I
    ended up with!

    All sorts of parts, plugs and jacks. I don't know if any of this stuff is actually
    needed or not!! Have one part, labeled CRE57079 - bridge rectifier.
    Like many other parts, it has NO documentation with it. Know what it's
    supposed to do. Do NOT know why it's needed, or where it goes!

    Instructions/documentation poorly done! Explains, in detail, how to set up
    for battery power, but says virtually nothing about wiring for track power.
    Currently, I run an MTH Z-4000, a 31 pound, 400 watt, 5 Amp door stop, with
    a 12 Amp bridge rectifier, to convert to DC power. Sliders make it hard to get
    trucks fully on the track, without a rerailer!

    My GP40's with QSI sound run fine. The GP30's run great as well, when I've tried running them!
    Unless I don't get them on the track properly, and hit a switch!!
    Heck, an MRC Control Master 20 ran the GP30's pretty good, the time I tried it!

    Now, I'm probably gonna have to find someone to install this stuff for me.
    Costing me even more money, in addition to what I already spent!
    Need to see IF I can find someone who can do it, how long it'll take
    and how much it's gonna cost!

    To say I'm disappointed, is an understatement I think!
    Unless something changes, or by some miracle, I find the installation
    information I need, I'm not very happy right now.

    Gonna pack stuff up, throw it aside and try to forget about it!
    Think I made a very expensive mistake!!

    End rant!!
  4. Greg Elmassian

    Greg Elmassian TrainBoard Member

    OK, so there are a couple of ways to go.

    So QSI never made drop in/plug in boards for USA Trains, so I got a little confused with your statement.

    One way to go is the CVP drop in board for the GP 30 and the Phoenix sound unit.

    Another way is to just use a QSI and wire it in the "quick and dirty" way (you don't have constant brightness leds, but the wiring takes less time to do than opening the shell and no soldering required)... this is on my web site...

    Another way of course is do a proper QSI install and replace the lights with LEDs (the USAT lighting is a mess, easier to replace than come up with the weird voltages they use for the incandescent bulbs).

    An advantage of the QSI is, as I'm sure you know, you can use the direction switch on DC to do remote control of the horn and bell. In fact, if you have the high current Quantum Engineer:


    You can control a ton of sounds on DC remotely.

    (the high current add-on is another box that hooks to the QE).

    So, don't get frustrated, there are a number of ways to skin this cat!

  5. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

    Well, decided to slowly get started on decoder/sound install.
    IF I can get a photo or two of where the CRE57079 rectifier
    goes and how it connects, I think I can finish install myself!
    Or an easy to understand explaination of same!

    And maybe a quick explaination of what I do with some of
    the bare wires from a couple of the plugs. At the moment, so far, so good.
    Gonna keep my fingers crossed.
  6. Greg Elmassian

    Greg Elmassian TrainBoard Member

    the 57079 is a filter and a socket for a decoder, like the Revolution (motor and sound)

    So why are you using a Phoenix that won't plug into the socket

    Or why did you buy a socket that your Phoenix won't plug into?

    I think you need to stop and get this figured out first.

    The filter part makes sense so the Phoenix does not freak out on PWM, but you said something about an mrc 20, which is not pwm if i have the model right

    why don't we go over this a bit more before proceeding?

  7. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

    The Control Master 20 was only used for DC operations. Basically, test running.
    Will be moving to a Bridgewerks MAG15 when I can get it swapped in. Replacing
    the MTH Z4000 I'm currently using.

    Parts are what RLD sent. A drop in board, Phoenix sound card and whatever extra
    wires, for track power. Since I don't believe in, or trust battery power! Don't like the
    idea of having to charge, or replace battery every hour!

    As stated, instructions that came with everything are seriously lacking the proper information I need.
    If I can't get this figured out, then I made a very expensive mistake!!
    Bad enough, I still have a USA ALCo PA to convert. But, NOT with Phoenix sound.
    Way too many problems, because of very poor instructions.
  8. Greg Elmassian

    Greg Elmassian TrainBoard Member

    Ahh, well, the Phoenix will be fine on "pure DC" so you can wire it directly to the track pickups.

    But you did not mention which Phoenix you have.

    I know Robby personally, he's a good guy.

    OK, so let me know which model Phoenix you have.

    The Aristo filter module is not a bad idea to wire in, the Phoenix will not behave well on PWM power, although you do not seem to be running PWM, but wire it into the system and you won't have any issues on any DC, PWM or not.

    The easiest way to wire in is to get some of the same type of connectors that are used internally.. rather than cutting the stock wires, but your choice. The connectors are commonly referred to as "JST" connectors.

    top ones on this page:

    What drop in did you get? I understand the Crest 57079 is the socket and the filter.

  9. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

    Have the Airwire drop in board, and the Phoenix P8 sound.
    The CRE 47079 is a bridge rectifier. Just 4 diodes and 4 wires, 2 in, 2 out.

    Connections from track go direct to battery plug?

    Better yet, I can grab a photo of the parts I was sent.
    Maybe that'll help ID what I have, and what I gave to connect, and where?
    And which parts are used, and what is not used.

    Like I stated, the directions are very poorly done, for hooking up to track power.
    I did manage, barely, to hook the sound board up to the MRC CM20 and hold all wires together
    and power up. Have sound, in both directions!

    Now, just a matter of getting all this stuff one connected right!
    I'll get it done, some day!! I hope! Would be so much better, and easier if QSI
    made a direct drop in replacement board! Discovering Phoenix boards are too much trouble!
    Based on MY personal opinion only!!
  10. Greg Elmassian

    Greg Elmassian TrainBoard Member

    Yeah, so just to be sure, you are running AirWire, but from track power.

    Use the Dropin board from AW for the Geep 30...

    So those directions should be ok...

    I see the manual shows how to connect the P8, with the plug in cable, so that should be dead simple.

    The only thing different is powering the drop-in from the track and not the battery.

    Oh, looked at their web site... yeah, no help at all on track power, even the FAQ on their site about it just goes on and on about batteries.

    I can completely understand your frustration, since there do indeed need to be some changes, and I don't think the Phoenix will work exactly right with the standard configuration.

  11. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

    But, do I use the extra cable included separately, or do I use the
    original cable, with the SPDT momentary toggle switch?
    If I get a chance sometime Monday, I'll grab a photo of the components
    I have, and try to find out which ones I need.

    The program jack is in. Need the software that goes with it, someday!
    Don't know that I'll need to change anything. Maybe add a function feature.
    Not concerned either now. Things are just sitting around, waiting for me to
    do something.

    Spending a bit of time, as feel up to it, doing track work outside.
  12. Greg Elmassian

    Greg Elmassian TrainBoard Member

    Yeah, this is worthy of investigation.

    So the key is running constant track power, so you can maintain constant power to the P8.... since you are running track powered AirWire, I would ASSUME that is what you are doing, but I've learned over the years to ask explicitly.

    If you always have constant track power, then I think you are in good shape, but I noticed you were talking a Bridgeworks, so you want to watch the voltage. Bridgeworks are a robust analog DC power unit, but not regulated. You must be careful to not overvoltage the AirWire stuff.

    It's a good idea to have a 24v light bulb connected to the output at all times. This is because under a very light load, the bridgeworks can provide 35 volts to the track, even with the throttle turned down.

    This is virtually never a problem with DC locomotives, because the motor and lights are always hooked up, and the load of a motor will "pull down" this "floating output voltage" right away and you will never see the situation.

    Update: I understand you have the new version BW power supply. They apparently have fixed this overvoltage issue, so do not worry about this.

    Anyway, I think under constant voltage to the track (AirWire max voltage is 28v) you are good, use the cable between the Phoenix and dropin.

    Now, you MUST protect the dropin from reverse voltage, so you need a full wave bridge rectifier between the track pickups and the "Battery input" on the dropin.

    I called Robby, and the 57079 board can be used separately (It's designed to allow the Crest Revolution to be wired in for track power)... clearly you will NOT use the "socket" on it.... it has the bridge rectifier in it, and the filtering (PWC to linear) will allow running on track power that is PWM (sort of, more later).

    Also, did you download the GP30 errata sheet, besides the manual?

    So you need to connect the track power to the input of the 57079, and you need 2 JST connectors. You unplug the track pickup connectors in the GP30 (there are 2, and they have 4 wires on the "pickup side")

    Now you plug your 2 JST connectors to these and this is your track power that will go to the 57079 input. NOTE WELL: The front and rear trucks are reversed from each other, so you need the wires that will go in the 57079 to be one red and one back into EACH of the inputs.

    (this is because one truck is backwards from the other, so what is the right rail pickup on one, is the left rail pickup on the other).

    I'd just wire the track pickups up first, nothing else and test, if no short circuit and track power shows on the 57079, then all you need is the plus and minus output from the 57079 goes to the battery input of the dropin... the rest is wired as per the AirWire instructions.



    Let me do some more digging, I need to see the schematic for that 57079 board.

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  13. Greg Elmassian

    Greg Elmassian TrainBoard Member

  14. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

    I do not have this piece.
  15. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

    Except for one big problem!
    I do NOT have the board you show.
    I have the CRE 57079 4 diode bridge rectifier.
    That's what was sent.

    I'll try to get a photo of the parts I got. Then, maybe I can find out what
    parts are wrong, and hopefully, find out what I'm going to need. And see
    how much MORE this project is gonna cost me!

    Even TRIED, with no reply, to contact Airwire/Phoenix, for
    proper wiring instructions. As well as complain on how poorly
    lacking their instructions are!

    Have 2 loco olives that need to be converted, some day!!
    Have one, that I can't use in any way, since it's in pieces waiting
    for proper conversion instructions to be found so I can complete the job!!
    Obviously, those instructions do NOT exist, and I made a VERY expensive mistake!!

    Had I known I was going to have this many problems, not getting the right pieces
    apparently, I'd have never made the purchase. As a result, I'm out well over $1300.
    Money that could have been used elsewhere instead.

    Yes, extremely frustrated. Yes, giving up hope that I can find the correct parts, much
    less the instructions I gotta have, in order to attempt to complete this project.
    This is now the 3rd time I've been screwed, buying online.

    End rant, yet again!
  16. Greg Elmassian

    Greg Elmassian TrainBoard Member

  17. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

    Parts I recieved, for the conversion of a USA Trains GP30 to Airwire, on track power.

    Airwire drop in board. USA Trains GP30.

    Phoenix sound board and Misc wiring.
    No idea what the On-Off-On momentary SPDT toggle switch is for.

    Misc wires.

    CRE 57079 bridge rectifier board.
    Again, NO idea what it does, or where it goes.

    Battery charging jack, that I do NOT need, since I do NOT run, or trust batteries!!

    And of course, the totally useless instructions that say NOTHING about wiring things for track power.
    Or what most of the pieces I have are used for.
    No idea what parts are actually necessary. Cant find, or get photo(s) of installation I can follow.
    Cant get, or find simple instructions to follow either.
    Only option offered me, was spend close to an additional $200!!

    Send locomotive back, have parts installed($85), ship completed locomotive back.
    Use it as template for other 2 locomotives.

    Currently, I have 2 units still waiting for conversion, some day! Have a 3rd unit, in pieces.
    Started the conversion. But, with no useful information on HOW to do the rest of the install.

    I quit and pretty much gave up on continuing install. Worth continuing? I very seriously doubt it.
    The locomotive is sitting in pieces, as a reminder of the $1300 mistake I made!!
  18. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

    Found a source for the electrical plugs I'm gonna need.
    Should arrive Wednesday. Then, I'll be able to take my chances
    and finally get my locomotives wired. Figure one of a couple of
    things may happen:
    Everything will work
    Decoder and/or sound card blow up.

    All because I can't find wiring diagram(s) or other information on
    wiring things for track power.

    If I do, and something happens, then I'm gonna SAVE the destroyed pieces
    as a reminder of the over $1'300 mistake I made!
  19. Greg Elmassian

    Greg Elmassian TrainBoard Member

    OK, interesting the 57079 has been assigned to several different types of boards, quite different. The current 57079 is completely different.

    OK, so the track pickup wires go to the bridge rectifier "input"... the output plus and minus go to your dropin board, where the battery would normally be connected. You will have to make a small harness one end plugs into the connector "battery input" next to the fuse (they supplied you a connector to mate with that) and then that connects to the output of the 57079.

    On the other end of the 57079 (input), you need 2 connectors and these will plug into the two track pickup connectors, one from each truck.

    The dropin board will connect to your motors. (note that there are 2 sets of leads on each truck, the connectors with 4 wires are track pickups, and the connectors with 2 wires are motors.) The dropin has the connectors to hook directly to the motor connectors.

    I would hook up just the bridge rectifier and the dropin first and wait on the sound... once you get that part working add the sound.

    The switch on the Phoenix lets you change the volume... it's in the P8 manual

    Like I said start without the sound... once that is working then adding the sound should be pretty simple... also leave everything on address 3 for now, since that's also where the Phoenix is set.

    Keep posting, we will work through this.

  20. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

    I have an order in, should be here tomorrow, for the connectors.
    Also have a package of heat shrink tubing coming as well.
    To cover and isolate the wire connections.

    Going to use the same plugs, and wire them between my Aristo GP40's
    for power. So I can spread the power out between both units.

    Power to the motors is plugged in already. Extension plug for lights is plugged in also.
    The only thing NOT done yet, is connecting the power from trucks to the drop in.
    That will be done when plug order arrives.

    The biggest thing I wasn't sure of, was the 57079 board.
    Nothing is/was said about what it was, or where it went.
    Once this first unit is finally finished, and maybe working, I can use it as
    a guide for converting my other 2 units. After I figure out how too remove 2-3 screws
    that stripped out, because they were way too tight!

    Would have been much faster, and easier, I think, if QSI made a drop in RC/sound board.
    Did not know a Phoenix install would be so hard to deal with!
    Both CVP and Phoenix have never bothered to respond to emails sent, in regards
    to the poorly done installation instructions.

    Be glad when this is done, and everything works as it's supposed to. I hope!

    Bad enough, that I still have an ALCo PA, that needs Airwire/Sound.
    Also have a BLW work Goose #6 and an LGB Rio Grande #50 t odd something about.

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