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Blue Line Sound??

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Blue Line Sound??
Posted by loathar on Wednesday, August 6, 2008 12:17 PM
I was looking at some Blue Line locos at FDT and they are really nice looking for the $$$. It says they are DCC ready with sound.Confused [%-)] How does that work? Do they come with one of those car alarm style remotes to control the sound on DC? How does the sound work when you add a decoder and switch to DCC? Can you control the sound with your DCC system?
Any idea who actually makes these sound systems?
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Posted by cacole on Wednesday, August 6, 2008 4:02 PM

All of your questions would be answered if you go to the Broadway Limited Imports or Factory Direct Trains web site and click on Blue Line and read about the models.

Here's a good place to start:  http://www.factorydirecttrains.com/blueline-2.aspx

The Blue Line models are basically a Broadway Limited model with their own sound system in it instead of using the QSI sound decoder.  The Blue Line models I have sound better than QSI.

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Posted by locoi1sa on Wednesday, August 6, 2008 4:41 PM

  Loathar

  After more than 8,000 posts this is the first you heard of the Blueline?

 BLI is makeing there own sound decoder for them. They work on plain DC but limited. You need to get the programer from them to make all the sounds and change some CVs. By putting in a DCC decoder you can control all the sounds on DCC. I have a few Blueline steamers with TCS T1 decoders that run and sound great. Some people have trouble programing the decoders and some of the early Bluelines had issues with consisting.

     Pete

 I pray every day I break even, Cause I can really use the money!

 I started with nothing and still have most of it left!

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Posted by loathar on Wednesday, August 6, 2008 6:41 PM

cacole-I clicked all over that site yesterday and didn't see that video!Dunce [D)](thanks!)

locoi1sa-I'd heard of them but never paid attension. I just assumed coming from BLI/PCM that they would be WAY out of my price range.

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Posted by cacole on Wednesday, August 6, 2008 9:10 PM

Loathar,

I don't know if you noticed, but if you click on one of the Blue Line models in the left column, such as the ALCO RSD-15, and then scroll down the description of features under the photo, there is a link to hear sound samples of each model. 

For example, scroll down the page to listen to the model's sound:

http://www.factorydirecttrains.com/bluelinealcorsd-15.aspx 

 

 

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Posted by loathar on Thursday, August 7, 2008 7:46 AM
cacole-That's what caught my interest in these. The sound files sound great! But if you go to MRC's site and listen to their modern diesel switcher sound bite you'd swear an MP-15 was coming out of your computer speakers!Laugh [(-D]Wonder how accurate they really are?
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Posted by cacole on Thursday, August 7, 2008 8:53 AM

 loathar wrote:
Laugh [(-D]Wonder how accurate they really are?

Depending on the quality of your computer speakers, the BlueLine sound files are extremely accurate to exactly what the engine's speaker produces.  Unless MRC has made some drastic improvements over the past few months in their decoders, or has changed the type of speakers they provide, the on-line sound is not what you're going to hear from your model.  The quality of the speakers in the model determine what you're going to actually hear more so than the decoder in some cases.  BlueLine uses a square speaker standing on edge and properly baffled.  MRC decoders come with a smaller, round speaker, which can make a big difference in sound quality.

 

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Posted by JulesB on Thursday, August 7, 2008 11:06 AM
 locoi1sa wrote:

  Loathar

  After more than 8,000 posts this is the first you heard of the Blueline?

 BLI is makeing there own sound decoder for them. They work on plain DC but limited. You need to get the programer from them to make all the sounds and change some CVs. By putting in a DCC decoder you can control all the sounds on DCC. I have a few Blueline steamers with TCS T1 decoders that run and sound great. Some people have trouble programing the decoders and some of the early Bluelines had issues with consisting.

     Pete

I have two Blue Line SD40's.

Mine came with a sound board and a DC decoder in the 8 pin socket. The DC decoder works in conjuction with the DC sound controller unit they have availible which is for use with DC. The DC setup uses CV's, many of wich are the same as DCC CV's, including CV-15-16 which are used for locking one or the other decoder out so you don't accidently program both at the same time.

So. Before you install a DCC decoder it's a good idea, you do it in OP's mode, set CV16 to 2 and CV15 to 0. Now your sound decoder is locked. Now install your motor decoder and program it on the programming track.

Another thing. You have to set your sound decoder for a 4 digit address or the motor decoders 4 digit addres wont make any sounds. Do this before installing your motor decoder. 

Also on the SD40 a jumper had to be moved if you wanted to control your lights with the throttle. Don't know about other Blue Lines, RTFM!!!

Motor dec= CV16-1

Sound dec= CV16-2

When CV16-15 match that decoder is unlocked.

Jules

 

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Posted by jbinkley60 on Thursday, August 7, 2008 6:09 PM
 JulesB wrote:
 locoi1sa wrote:

  Loathar

  After more than 8,000 posts this is the first you heard of the Blueline?

 BLI is makeing there own sound decoder for them. They work on plain DC but limited. You need to get the programer from them to make all the sounds and change some CVs. By putting in a DCC decoder you can control all the sounds on DCC. I have a few Blueline steamers with TCS T1 decoders that run and sound great. Some people have trouble programing the decoders and some of the early Bluelines had issues with consisting.

     Pete

I have two Blue Line SD40's.

Mine came with a sound board and a DC decoder in the 8 pin socket. The DC decoder works in conjuction with the DC sound controller unit they have availible which is for use with DC. The DC setup uses CV's, many of wich are the same as DCC CV's, including CV-15-16 which are used for locking one or the other decoder out so you don't accidently program both at the same time.

So. Before you install a DCC decoder it's a good idea, you do it in OP's mode, set CV16 to 2 and CV15 to 0. Now your sound decoder is locked. Now install your motor decoder and program it on the programming track.

Another thing. You have to set your sound decoder for a 4 digit address or the motor decoders 4 digit addres wont make any sounds. Do this before installing your motor decoder. 

Also on the SD40 a jumper had to be moved if you wanted to control your lights with the throttle. Don't know about other Blue Lines, RTFM!!!

Motor dec= CV16-1

Sound dec= CV16-2

When CV16-15 match that decoder is unlocked.

Jules

 

The decoder locking scheme you describe does work fine.  I've used it often.  Another option I've chosen is that I leave both decoders initially to default then use Ops mode to program the 4 digit address to both at the same time.  Afterwards I use Page Mode programming to program the motor decoder and Direct Mode programming to program the Blueline built-in sound decoder.  The jumper needs to move if you want to contol the lights from the motor decoder.  If you leave it as is, the lights should work from the sound decoder.   

 

 

Engineer Jeff NS Nut
Visit my layout at: http://www.thebinks.com/trains/

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Posted by dadret on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 7:23 AM
I got my first Blue Line loco a couple of weeks ago -a 4-8-4 steam loco - and its great.  All you have to do is add a mobile decoder which is quite simple.  If you buy one from Factory Direct you can order the decoder right along with the loco.  Sound is very realistic and its a lot cheaper way than buying one with all the decoders built in.  I think the decoder I bought was about $30 and it only took a few minutes to put in.
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Posted by peterjenkinson1956 on Thursday, August 14, 2008 5:34 AM
hello loather     its peter from aus    got 9  blue line locos  all sound great  got locos with qsi  also sound good   i like the tower 55 locos       you should be able to pick up blue line for 109 dollars  the same cost of a qsi sound unit    peter
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Posted by loathar on Thursday, August 14, 2008 11:45 AM
Hi Peter! I've been reading on some other forums that the Blue lines have some quality control issues. Quit a few people say they've had to send the units in for service. You haven't experienced this? They ARE a really nice looking loco for the money.
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Posted by cacole on Thursday, August 14, 2008 8:39 PM

 loathar wrote:
I've been reading on some other forums that the Blue lines have some quality control issues. 

Loathar,

The main complaint about Blue Line sound decoders has been the difficulty of programming them and a motor control decoder so they will operate correctly together.

Joe Fugate wrote quite extensively on this problem and different ways to get around the problem.  Go to this thread and read the last two or three pages:

http://cs.trains.com/forums/467545/ShowPost.aspx

My experience with Blue Line has been a really mixed bag.  Broadway Limited has been trying to solve some of the problems brought up on these forums and e-mails they have received from users by redesigning their sound decoder, but problems sometimes still crop up.

I have two Blue Line RSD-15 engines that took their programming perfectly on the first try, even with motor control TCS-T1 decoders already installed.

I subsequently purchased a Blue Line AC6000 and it has been nothing but trouble.  Their ditch light scheme is all FUBAR.  Out of the box, the ditch lights flash rapidly for only a very short period of time, and then go completely off, and there is nothing in their Technical Reference Manual on slowing down the flash rate or keeping them on.  This is not prototypical at all.  A FAQ on their web site tells which values to program into which CVs to get the ditch lights to stay on and to be turned on and off by F7, but then they don't flash when the horn is blown.

By moving a jumper on the Blue Line circuit board, lighting functions can be controlled by the motor control decoder, according to their instructions.  But the way their ditch lights are wired, no amount of programming can get the motor control decoder to turn them on and off, or get them to flash; it seems that they are still being controlled by the Blue Line decoder.

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