Railsounds => NoSounds

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  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Wappingers Falls, NY
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Railsounds => NoSounds
Posted by Enzo the Baker on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 9:06 AM

After recently returning to model railroading after many years and finally dedicating some basement space for a permanent layout, I picked up a really nice Lionel 6-18598 New York Central RS-11. It's 19 years old, but in like-new condition and barely (if at all) used. As it's my first experience with Railsounds, I was pretty impressed!  That is, until I opened it up and installed the 9V battery for Railsounds. Since then it still runs fine but produces absolutely NO sound.  The sound switch is in the correct position and volume control set, but nothing. Even the diesel horn, which previously worked with the horn lever on the transformer, is silent.  Tried two different transformers (non-Command) but no change. I thought maybe I had dislodged a connection when I installed the battery, but everything looks nice and tight inside. 

Any ideas on what I may have done to cause the sound to go out, and more importantly, how to fix it?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

---Frank

 

 

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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 6:34 PM

I'm not familiar with Railsounds, but with MTH ProtoSounds it was a specific rechargable battery that the locomotives used rather than an off the shelf 9 Volt.  Maybe it has to have the correct Ni-Cad or Nickel Mertal Hydride battery to function?  Might be best to contact www.Lionelsupport.com.

Welcome aboard!

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Posted by rrswede on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 7:22 PM

Welcome to the Forum, Enzo.

As with Penny, I am not familiar with Railsounds but, based on your model number, the locomotive was from ~2000 and had RailSounds with CrewTalk and TowerCom. The RailsSounds version was probably RS2.5. 

I've attached a link to Installation Instructions for the 2.5 that possibly could assist you. One thing I noted is that "the only purpose for the battery is to supply power to the Railsounds circuit so it can produce shutdown sounds after power has been removed from the track in Conventional Mode.  In Command Mode, you can shut down the engine while track power is present.  For this reason, if you will be using the engine primarily in a Command Control environment, you do not need the battery".

Based on the fact your locomotive and sound functioned prior to installing the battery and the above comment about the funcion of the battery, have you removed the battery to see if you can duplicate your prior experience?

swede

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Posted by rrswede on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 7:29 PM
Here is the link https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/fileSendAction/fcType/0/fcOid/15649413467037590/filePointer/40989966854478174/fodoid/40989966854478165/Digital%20Dynamics%20Railsounds%202.5%20Installation%20Instructions.pdf
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  • From: Wappingers Falls, NY
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Posted by Enzo the Baker on Thursday, August 22, 2019 9:56 AM
Thanks for the reply. Railsounds runs off of track power, but uses the battery to provide power for the "shutdown" sounds after the train is stopped (and track power is zero). According to the manual, just a regular 9 volt alkaline battery is needed.
  • Member since
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  • From: Wappingers Falls, NY
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Posted by Enzo the Baker on Thursday, August 22, 2019 10:05 AM

rrswede

Welcome to the Forum, Enzo.

As with Penny, I am not familiar with Railsounds but, based on your model number, the locomotive was from ~2000 and had RailSounds with CrewTalk and TowerCom. The RailsSounds version was probably RS2.5. 

I've attached a link to Installation Instructions for the 2.5 that possibly could assist you. One thing I noted is that "the only purpose for the battery is to supply power to the Railsounds circuit so it can produce shutdown sounds after power has been removed from the track in Conventional Mode.  In Command Mode, you can shut down the engine while track power is present.  For this reason, if you will be using the engine primarily in a Command Control environment, you do not need the battery".

Based on the fact your locomotive and sound functioned prior to installing the battery and the above comment about the funcion of the battery, have you removed the battery to see if you can duplicate your prior experience?

swede

 

 

Thanks for the welcome! 

Right, since I'm running in conventional mode the battery is only there to provide shutdown sounds after the train is stopped (i.e. no track power). Disconnecting the battery was one of the first things I tried after the problem started but alas, no joy.  I'm guessing at this point that I either fried something when I installed the battery (the plastic over the battery clip was still on, so this was the first time a battery had ever been connected to this locomotive), or it went into some weird no-sound Command mode that I can't get out of.  

I'll check the link to see if it can provide any clues.

 

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Posted by Enzo the Baker on Friday, August 23, 2019 4:44 PM

Unfortunately the RailSounds manual referenced in the link above didn't provide any help on this particular issue, so I'm still where I started.

I'll putz around with it and keep searching the interwebs for info, but if any one has any other ideas, please let me know!

Cheers!

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Posted by tarheeltracks on Saturday, August 24, 2019 8:18 PM

Sound boards can start acting crazy without any warning. I had a C-420 diesel about the same year as your locomotive,just started blowing the horn about every 10 seconds and a steam locomotive the sound became distorted. I had to replace both boards. Another steamer the sound was eratic while running,with that one I removed the board and reseated it on the pins and all was fine. They can be fickle for sure!! It does seem strange lossing the sound after you installed the battery, but like I said they can do some crazy things.If you do go inside the locomotive poking around just be careful and make sure all the boards are seated,no loose plugs or pinched wires. I don't know if resetting the R2LC board would help but you need a TMCC base and handheld to do that as far as I know.

Good luck and happy railroading!!

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Posted by rtraincollector on Saturday, August 24, 2019 8:40 PM

before you buy another board, try disconecting it and reconnecting it. Sometimes they need to just be reseated

 

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Posted by Enzo the Baker on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 11:48 AM

As unlikely as it seems, the problem appears to be the speaker in the bottom of the locomotive.  After removing and reinstalling the Railsounds power supply and sound control boards with no improvement, I decided to check the speaker (although I thought there was no way it could have been blown). The 8 ohm speaker tested out at 18,000 ohms, and when fed audio from an external source, produced no sound.  I then hooked up an external speaker to the locomotive and applied track power, and voila, Railsounds!   

I've ordered a replacement from Lionel, so hopefully I'll be able to put this issue to bed soon.

Thanks to all for the help and suggestions!

 

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Posted by phrankenstign on Friday, September 13, 2019 10:39 AM

Just out of curiosity, how much did Lionel charge you for the speaker?

Do you know the impedance and wattage it's supposed to be capable of handling?

What size speaker is it?

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Posted by Enzo the Baker on Friday, September 13, 2019 11:36 AM

phrankenstign

Just out of curiosity, how much did Lionel charge you for the speaker?

Do you know the impedance and wattage it's supposed to be capable of handling?

What size speaker is it?

 

The speaker was $9, plus $10 shipping, plus tax, for a total of $19.63. A bit outrageous for such a low-end speaker, but it's an exact replacement part. 

I probably could have found a cheaper substitute at Parts Express (like maybe this one: https://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-ce-series-ce70-30p-8-1-1-4-x-2-3-4-full-range-driver--285-119), but I didn't want to take the chance of it not fitting.

The Lionel part is 8 ohms, and 0.5w.  

Cheers,

Frank

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