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Tsunami 1 vs Tsunami 2 decoders

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Tsunami 1 vs Tsunami 2 decoders
Posted by railandsail on Thursday, February 13, 2020 1:12 PM

So what are the opinions, virtues, etc of the first Tsunami verses the Tsunami 2 sound decoders.

I've been offered a deal on the #1's from a gentleman who likes to replace the older ones with the number 2's.

If I am not a real 'rivet counter' about sounds, what else do I lose??

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, February 13, 2020 4:21 PM

 If you are getting a significant discount, you won't miss much. Some braking things, additional remapping abilities, a bit improved motor control. 

 If you are getting these for only $10 or so less than a new one, probably not worth it, but if you are getting them more like $20-$30 or more less than a new one, go for it. I'm not really a fan, but a Tsunami at an MRC price point is hard to pass up.

                                   --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by bandmjim on Thursday, February 13, 2020 5:10 PM

If all you are interested is getting a sound decoder I would compair them in price to the Econami from Soundtraxx, if close in price I would go with the Eco. much better deal.  I find the TSU 1 ok for sound but lacking in other features compaired to the TSU2, motor control and and ease of programming and consisting/speedmatching ease are big issues I can think of that would make the difference in going with the TSU2 for me.  Again if all you want is sound then I would still go for the Eco. over the TSU1 regardless of price unless it was about half the price of the Eco., just me.

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, February 13, 2020 5:55 PM

 I dunno what would make speed matching easier - they STILL steadfastly refuse to put in CV6 for mid speed so simple 3 step spee dmatching can be used - one of the main reasons I own no Tsunamis of any sort.

                             --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, February 13, 2020 6:02 PM

Didn't Tsunami 1's have problems with getting hot?

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, February 13, 2020 7:13 PM

 Only the Micro ones.

                    --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by gmpullman on Thursday, February 13, 2020 7:14 PM

BigDaddy
Didn't Tsunami 1's have problems with getting hot?

I probably still have two-dozen or so original Tsunamis. Never had one fail or get hot. Maybe it was a one-off batch?

The motor control was a bit limited but you could play a little with it and get decent results. I believe the main complaint was the anemic sounding horns and a limited selection of them.

A while back Soundtraxx had a trade-in deal where you could send them working sound decoders of other manufacturers or earlier Tsunami sound decoders and they wouyld send Tsunami II replacements for, IIRC, the cost of postage.

I took advantage of that and in addition I have several locomotives with OEM installed Tsunami IIs in them.

I'm still primarily a Loksound enthusiast but I have also given Soundtraxx a second chance on the Tsunami II. Their improvements were very welcome and I'm very satisfied with them.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by bandmjim on Thursday, February 13, 2020 7:31 PM

Randy, all of the TSU2's and the Eco's that I have do have the 3 step speed, CV's 2-6-5.  A game changer over the TSU1 I will admit.  

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Posted by railandsail on Friday, February 14, 2020 9:40 AM

I must admit to being a total novice with respect to this sound/DCC decoder questions.

Weren't the Tsumani's suppose to be a BIG step up from the original Soundtraxx decoders?   From the sounds (pun) of things those T 1's were not as big a deal as they were publized to be??

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, February 14, 2020 12:01 PM

 They were. I have one of the old DSD sound decoders, and it tems of quality of sound and the drive, it's way down there. The drive doesn;t bother me - I installed it in a dummy loco with as big a speaker as I could get in there, but it doesn;t even use a high frequency drive, so you get a lot of motor noise both mechanical buzzing AND through the speakers, though the capacitor ont he speaker wire helps filter some of that out (at the loss of the low freqency actual sounds you WOULD want to hear).

The problem, to me, was this. When they announce the original Tsunami and the features it would have - it was way beyond any other sound decoder on the market. But they were years late in delivering the product, by then, the OTHER sound decoder makers had also upped their game, and the Tsunami was nothing special compared to other top tier sound decoders. Compared to older Soundtraxx, and older decoders by all the others - they were MUCH better. But you can't compare against your competition from 2 years ago. 

                        --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by peahrens on Friday, February 14, 2020 12:31 PM

My first loco (this time into MR) is a 2011 Genesis GP9 that had a Tsunami.  I replaced it with a LokSound as the horn sound was inferior, an issue that has been reported elsewhere, but unsure for which sound packages that issue applied. To be fair, I also upgraded the speaker from the standard oval, which should have contributed to the improved sound.

I totally agree with the issue on speed matching.  I want to be able to do the low/mid/top speed 3-point speed curve that Randy mentions, so I think that can be an important consideration for anyone wanting to easily consist locos.

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, February 14, 2020 1:55 PM

 That was one of my other reasons I got rid of the one Tsunami I had. The horn was horrible. No amount of fiddling with the equalizer or reverb could fix that. 

 On some reviews of locos with Tsunami2, they sound the same as the old ones, on others, they are clearly updated, or at least cleaned up, recordings. But if you already have one - the only fix if they come out with a better version of that same sound is to buy a new decoder.

 There are some who complain that ESU doesn;t have an equalizer. I've not felt the need for one, however, they were recently talking about possibly adding one to the V5 decoders. No, you do not have to get a new decoder if they actually do add this feature and you want it - you simply upgrade the firmware. Without even opening up your loco. Until they need to do something that exceeds the processor capability of the microcontroller they used, they can keep adding feaures without making you buy new hardware - like upgrading your computer to a new OS. Unless you started with the lowest end hardware you could find, you can upgrade and still have a perfectly usable machine but with new features for years. The big thing they did this with already was the Drive/Hold feature. It was not in the original V4/Direct decoders when they were released, it was added later. But people who bought their decoders before the feaure was added were not hosed, just upgrade the firmware and you now have the new feature.

 All this is getting down n the weeds though. Brian says he is not a sound rivet counter, so an original Tsunami is still betetr than no sound. If he is getting them for less than the price of a new Econami, they are probably a good deal. Paying what they cost new? Don't bother. Newer decoders are also at the same price point, and for the same money you would be better off buying the newest ones.

 ALthough - there are all levels of rivet counting. Am I a sound rivet counter for wanting my Alcos to sound like Alcos, my EMDs to sound like EMDs, and my - wait, I don't really have any others, GE wasn't in the loco business yet in my era. I guess my rivet counter bit is cusomizing my sound files so my RS3s have the M3RT1 horn and also putting that horn detail on my locos, replacing single note honkers or multi chime ones that came on them. It's one of those things though that instnaly palces the loco with specific roads, and along with cab roof drip rails pinpoints it as a Reading loco. As fleets got broken up with COnrail, you could alway stell which locos were originally Reading just by looking for the drip rails on the roof.

                                         --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by Spalato68 on Saturday, February 15, 2020 1:30 AM
Brian,
 
Here is one example how Tsunami 1 can sound and run if you have enough space for decent baffle and speaker, and set it up correctly (link).
 
The main disadvantage compared to Tsunami 2 is motor control. It is inferior to any current (and many earlier) decoders in that department, but still not so bad. There are methods published on the Internet how to get reasonable running with it (example here).
  
In fact, sound of Tsunami 1 is pretty good, except that some horns were really too quiet. Tsunami 2 offers much better motor control, more sound recordings, more sound functions.
  
If you can get a decent discount, why not give it a try? I think a price of 50-60 USD is reasonable, if decoder is functioning properly. But be prepared – it will never perform in motor control department as any current sound decoder (ESU, Tsunami 2, TCS WOW, Zimo…).
 
Hrvoje
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Posted by trainnut1250 on Saturday, February 15, 2020 1:55 PM

Brian,

I have been using Tsunamis since the first run of them many years ago. My advice would be to avoid using the old ones unless you are getting a smokin' deal on them. Very early TSU 1s had issues (they fixed them for free). Later TSU 1s were stable. Soundtraxx doesn't support these decoders at all now no fix is available.

The 750s had issues with overheating and sensitivity to shorts. The econamis have run very well for me but the differential in price is not enough to offset the limited functions for me.

Bottom line for me: (I have installed lots of decoders in small brass and other small steam) is that your time is the most expensive part of the equation. To have to go back and re-install/replace a decoder due to decoder failure is not fun....speaking from experience. So I would buy new current versions and avoid the old stuff...

The TSU 2 is an excellent deocder that has solved most of the drawbacks of the TSU1.

 

Your mileage may vary,

Guy

see stuff at: the Willoughby Line Site

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Posted by Bayfield Transfer Railway on Saturday, February 15, 2020 3:28 PM

The biggest problem with the Tsunami 1 is the Back EMF feature.

They don't call it that, but it's in there.  It defaults to OFF, and it takes 3 CVs to set it.  Those CVs are buried deep in the technical reference.

The person who told me about this uses them and says they're great once you get the (@#%& Back EMF set.

 

Disclaimer:  This post may contain humor, sarcasm, and/or flatulence.

Michael Mornard

Bringing the North Woods to South Dakota!

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