New to on30

davidone Jan 1, 2013

  1. davidone

    davidone TrainBoard Member

    I love the size and detail of on30 models. Im getting my first climax from Bachmann trains with Dcc and sound. I know it has a dual mode decoder.

    Beings I run dc only how can I control the sound, ie whistle etc.

    Sorry for the simple question.

    i have had a layout before in N scale but it was also dc controlled, as I'm getting older I need larger trains.

  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    If there is a control you can use, it will need to be an external add-on. I cannot think of such an item available. Perhaps someone else would know.
  3. USAF_Andrew

    USAF_Andrew TrainBoard Member

    Didn't BLI have a special controller so that you could actuate the bell and whistle of their sound equipped locomotives on DC layouts? Its probably only for their stuff though. I think MRC also has a DC control system to work with the dual mode sound decoders.
  4. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

    The Bachmann models generally use Soundtraxx decoders. I believe what happens with them is that the sound is on and you just get sort of a randomized sequence of sounds.
  5. railtwister

    railtwister TrainBoard Member

    MRC made a unit they called the Black Box, which connected between your power pack and tracks, which had a throttle and function controls for running a DCC/Sound loco using your DC power pack. They also make the Tech 6 unit for running DCC and DC locos.


    For the most part, MRC's DCC controllers are strictly DCC only and cannot run a DC loco using the "zero stretching" method on address "00".

    Atlas made the "Quantum Engineer" for controlling sound on their locos equipped with QSI Quantum sound units, but it wouldn't work on all sound locos.

    Broadway Limited has their DC Master Analog Control Module for use with their Blueline and Paragon sound locos, but again, it won't work on all locos.

    Both the Atlas and BLI units are stated to only work with some sound locos, not all, so it looks like the best option for controlling different sound boards is DCC. If you also want to occasionally run a DC loco not equipped with a decoder, both Digitrax and Lenz offer this feature, while both MRC and NCE do not. This means that the Digitrax Zephyr Extra may be the best option for your money if you want to run both, but remember that you cannot leave a DC loco on DCC powered tracks for very long (even parked at idle) without risking overheating and/or burning out the motor.

    Bill in FtL
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2013
  6. centralRR

    centralRR TrainBoard Member

    My Climax with the factory sound doesnt like analog DC, but its stunning on DCC. After changing some things using decoder pro at my buddies house, I changed the headlight to the Dyna-lite mode where the light intensity goes up and down as the generator spools up and I lowered the volume on the flange squeel and the chuff. I have a 3rd truck kit from Backwoods Miniatures coming now. Today I picked up a Broadway Limited D&RGW C16 #278 and a Bachmann Shay from an estate. I plan to use Bachmann's Dynamis wireless system, available for just over $100 on ebay. For the small On30 layout with one operator, its the most bang for the doller. I love narrow gauge and logging, just got tired of high brass prices for geared engines that will need lots of upgrades to run like the On30 Climax and the difficulty of installing sound and DCC in a C16 in HOn3, it can be done but its not for the faint of heart. Welcome to On30, just getting going myself. Mike

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