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Connecting a Sound Bug

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  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 18,506 posts
Connecting a Sound Bug
Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, February 1, 2008 9:52 AM

In another thread, it was mentioned that it's possible to connect a SoundBug to track power directly, instead of plugging it into the 1x5 series decoders which have the plugs installed.  This was the original threead:

http://www.trains.com/trccs/forums/1341965/ShowPost.aspx

I've got one of the relatively-new Peter Witt trolleys that comes with a Bachman decoder, so I could save the cost of a motor decoder by connecting the SoundBug directly, if that's really workable.

Does the SoundBug need to be programmed separately?  I guess I'd assumed that it picked up its address from the motor decoder, but maybe that's not the case.

Am I right in assuming that all the SoundBug needs is a track-power connection (2 wires) and then 2 wires for the speaker?

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 18,506 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, February 1, 2008 11:28 AM

What sort of issues?  The decoder that comes with the trolley is a Bachmann one.

I'm also hoping to download a different set of sound files.  My LHS has a PR-2, and I'm sure he'll let me use it.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    December 2005
  • From: East Granby, CT, USA
  • 505 posts
Posted by jim22 on Friday, February 1, 2008 10:32 PM

The SoundBug works pretty well.  It requires connections to each rail, and has a pair of wires to a speaker and a pair of wires to a capacitor.  You might consider the SFX0416 instead.  It has much more memory for sound projects.  If you don't plan to modify the sound program, the same basic SD38-2 sound project fits in both.  I found the soundbug slightly louder. 

My plan to deal with two decoders is to set them to unique short addresses but the same long address. I should be able to switch both decoders to use their short address simultaneously and then address them individually to adjust CVs.

Jim 

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 18,506 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, February 2, 2008 8:09 AM

Well, this new forum seems to be working well.  We've already got a good concentration of expertise here.  Thanks for the input.

How is the availability of the SFX0416?  The Digitrax site lists it as "shipping this week" and Walthers doesn't show it at all.

Also, what speaker impedance do these two use?  My trolley has a speaker cavity built-in, but it's for a 10-mm round speaker.  (It looks a bit bigger, actually, and I could expand the cavity a bit if necessary.  Those are available, but only in 8-ohm impedance. 

Finally, how big are each of these decoders?  There's limited space in the trolley overhead for electronics, and the interior is detailed and visible, so I'd rather not use that.  Thanks again.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    December 2005
  • From: East Granby, CT, USA
  • 505 posts
Posted by jim22 on Saturday, February 2, 2008 12:37 PM

I bought my SFX0416 at the Amhearst show from Tony's.  I'm not sure if he had more of them.  I also bought an SFX004, which he didn't have.  I found that at Johns Hobbies.  Both came with 8 Ohm, 1.1 inch round speakers.

I'm liking the new group too, and I think it will reduce the sink-rate in the general forum.

Jim 

  • Member since
    December 2005
  • From: East Granby, CT, USA
  • 505 posts
Posted by jim22 on Saturday, February 2, 2008 3:33 PM

David, I promise, my soundbug came with a speaker soldered to it that is stamped 8 Ohms.  It is louder than the SFX0416, so it may be designed for a higher impedance speaker, but it came with an 8 Ohm one.  In the text of the installation instructions in the manual it says " Other speakers may be substituted in combinations as long as the total impedance on the Orange/Gray wires is 8 ohms or greater.  Maybe they had a shortage of  32 Ohm speakers, or maybe they just screwed up.  I'll be sure to keep the volume level down when I run it.

Jim 

  • Member since
    December 2005
  • From: East Granby, CT, USA
  • 505 posts
Posted by jim22 on Saturday, February 2, 2008 3:58 PM

Thanks, David.  I'm glad I decided to use the SFX0416 for the GP38 I'm doing now.  I'll see about a 32-ohm speaker for the soundbug.  I didn't notice alot of distortion with the mini-oval.  I didn't run it with the 8ohm speaker it came with very long, nor did I put it in a proper enclosure.  I'll do some more testing before I install it somewhere.

Jim 

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