Dec 24, 2018
Can you have some sound on DC? If so what sound system would be the best?
Some dual mode (DCC and DC) decoders provide a limited number of on-board sound functions (bell, exhaust, whistle/horn) when operating in DC mode, with sounds triggered at particular track voltage, or in other cases by a remote control.
It is not cheap but the sound is amazing and it is very versatile. I've heard it in action at a train show.
I have BNSF, IAIS, CSX, UP, AMTRAK, and Metra nearby. No matter what time, I just open a window !!!
Wish I live closer to the tracks would be much easier.
Very nice! I wonder if you can speed up or eliminate the momentum? I don't like using momentum.
This Unboxing Video from James might just be what you are looking for?
My Bachmann NKP Berkshire and PRR K4 Pacific will make some steam sounds on DC, like the Chuffing, but there is no real control over the bell, whistle or other sounds unless you have a controller like the one in the above video.
Looks like a nice unit for DCC, I was looking for DC.
I am a DC only guy and have found Broadway Limited fits the bill if you want sound. They have several Diesel engines and recently have added a couple of steam engines in N scale. In order to manually activate horn and bell you need to purchase separately their analog Master Contol Module (about $45.00). This unit also enables you to adjust cv's which I found to be a great investment as you probably will have to adjust minimum and maximum voltages to get the best performance out of these engines as sound equipped units steal some of the juice from the motor. I personally just love having sound on my all DC layout.
At this time I am NOT a DCC operator, but will be in the future. Never really gave sound much of a passing thought until I picked up some of the ATHEARN 4-6-6-4 Challengers. WOW! N-Scale steam with sound! Was running a pair of Challengers on a Club layout, at a train show and had some HO guys come over and ask where all the noise was coming from. And the Challengers would run on straight DC also!
I'm in the process of rebuilding the INDIANA RAILWAY at this moment and will be going 100% into DCC for the use of sound and ease of layout wiring.
As far as reading back emf goes, isn't this just the same as connecting a dual mode sound equipped decoder to the rails?
Tried this once, but the problem was that every single time the decoder was losing contact due to not quite squeaky clean rails, unpowered frogs etc the sound would hiccup - not good...
Just my 2¢
Well it can’t lose contact to the rails because it is before the rails, so I think that issues is one you would not have.
I have the Kato sound box. The sounds are great, but what gets old quick is the messing with the knobs to sync the locomotives.
But to read back-emf it needs contact to the locomotive, and gets upset the moment that is lost, even if only for a fraction of a second.
Which is why a decoder inside the locomotive will work, but connected to the rails did not work for me...
It’s still in the circuit. It can read back emf. It’s no different than a stationary mobile decoder, it just has the leads going to the rails instead of being mobile and going to the motor.
No, it's not (just take your time to think it through).
Normal operation: decoder -> rail -> wheel -> motor -> wheel -> rail -> decoder
No contact due to dirty rails/wheels/frogs/whatever: decoder -> rail -> ups, no further contact to nothing...
Power supply+ >backemf>rail wheel motor etc. power negative.
It’s a little different because it is dc, not DCC.
You are already dealing with a variable power supply, not a constant one. Ergo losing power due to a bad spot on the track would “maybe” begin to reduce throttle, depending on time duration, not cause a start up sequence. But the loco would also be going slower, so the sound would still fit the behaviours exhibited.
I just don’t see it being the deal you do, because the “decoder” isn’t reliant on computer commands sent via digital pulses to tell it what sounds to select out fo a table of possible sounds. It just reads voltage (speed) and back emf (chuffs or load). The back emf is used to Grosly tune a gross sync, it isn’t automatic. The controls are to fine tune it yourself, and every loco is different so everyone of them requires tuning.
To analogies a different way, it’s the difference between analog and dogital tv.
Digital tv is awesome, great picture great sound, name of station and program and maybe even into about the program.... but as soon as you mess with the ability to receive those digital pulses at the proper levels ofr timing (like by moving More than 1-2mph) it all quits working. Digital is All or Nothing.
With analog, you got none of the awesomeness, but the thing still worked at 80 mph. It wasn’t timing sensitive. At worst you did a little fine tuning by hand to get it to clear up a bit. Analog is all or really good, or good enough, or partially snowy but usable or sonpwly and near unusable, and only then... nothing.
This is the same thing.
Respectfully, End users have stated it isn’t a problem, and I think you are making a mountain out of a molehill because your mental construct is based on an analogy of your real world experience, but that analogy isn’t completely accurate.
In any case if you only had a small layout, and one locomotive in the middle of the train at a time to run, like our Japanese brothers and sisters, this would be a much better solution than hacking up an Evangelion to fit a decoder in it, and then running lighting wires 2-3 feet thru multiple cars to read the head and tail cabs.
Pretty dang sure that’s why this came to exist. The fact that it works well for American single loco layouts is serendipitous. But still f—— load of dollars for what it is. You could do two DCC systems, and two sound decoders for less than this thing costs, of that’s your boat.
Well, let me put it this way: I tried it (the decoder connected to the rail trying to read back emf in order to synchronise sound).
I’m unclear, What did you try, the Kato or a DCC decoder to the rails?
The decoder - see above - that's how the thing started, me saying: