1. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Supporter

    Ok, I got you now. The Kato sound box isn’t a decoder, it’s a sound generator. Doesn’t work like a decoder. The sound is based on input voltage coming from the transformer. You could connnect a lightbulb to the rails and it will sound like an EMD or GS4 or whatever card is in there.
    The back emf is a bonus to help sync, but it is still a manual adjustment to get the sync right.

    Three volts equals 20 mph sounds, for example.
    At least that is the way I saw it and read it to work.
    Cool but not $200+ dollars of cool. I decided I’d Rather have DCC for less money!
  2. Hansel

    Hansel TrainBoard Member

    I like my the KATO soundbox for steam locos, no built in momentum lag like what comes with the Diesel sound card.
  3. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    So, any last thoughts? Follow up ideas?
    Is it actually possible to use your own sounds with it?
    Any cons other than the syncing is annoying?
    I hope to get one for Christmas.
  4. SP 9811

    SP 9811 TrainBoard Member

    You cant use your own sounds. Sounds come from a plug in card. Syncing at times can be annoying, and not all manufacturers of diesel locomotives are available. You have to change the card and re sync with every different locomotive you use. EMD, GE, steam engine etc.
  5. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    @sp9800 Thank you. A 'review' by an individual mentioned an input option but admitted they were not clear on it.
    Most likely I will be using it for the FEF-3, and the ASC-64 and my shinkansen. I won't be running many diesels.

    Attached Files:

  6. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

    The other thing I'm wondering (out loud) is that there is DC, and DC. I use two transistor throttles, one an ancient but wonderful rebuilt CAMA train controller from the 70's, and also a pair of PSI 550 cabtrollers with braking and momentum. Both of those issue transistorized square-wave pulses with variable amplitude. This is NOT regular DC and with most dual-mode decoders, seems to drive them crazy. If I drop over to my old-school MRC Throttlepack (with additional resistors and a second rheostat to make it far more controllable) then they seem to work pretty well, but that's not the normal mode of operations for my hand-held throttles I've come to love.

    Anybody ever find any of these that actually work with a DC transistor throttle? I've already concluded there isn't one, but I'd like to be wrong.
  7. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    So Far
    • Outstanding sound with FEF-3, Yes!
    • Great sound with 'electrics' - I run a lot of 'bullet trains'
    • I can hope the 'Light Steam' works well with the 'Fox Valley' 'Hiawatha'.
    • Very expensive! That is ok, I't it is / will be a Christmas present and the whole family will be contributing.
    • Must change cards to change sounds, (get over it Steve)
    • Can only use with one loco at a time, shrug, that's ok especailly for vids. I have sound effects right out my window.
    Just a Thought - Recording and Playing Back on Computers
    Tablets and laptops of which there are several in my family can all play sounds and port them to speakers.
    The Acela and other trains pass my window at highly predictable times. In theory I can record and play those sounds as well.
  8. Hansel

    Hansel TrainBoard Member

    My layout is steam only now, 1925 era, and I love the Kato Soundbox. Once I get the sound synchronized to one locomotive, the rest of the locomotives are about close enough in synchronization as any other one. I only run one loco at a time so no problem with multiple locos needing sound. All of my locos are small, Moguls or Consolidations, so I don't need to swap out the sound cards.

    Only complaint I have is that if a loco or car causes a short, the Soundbox will go dead and I will have to shut the power off and turn it back on my transformer, just a nit.

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