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MTH Locos with Proto 3.0 sound decoders

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  • Member since
    December, 2010
  • 56 posts
MTH Locos with Proto 3.0 sound decoders
Posted by trainluver on Sunday, November 13, 2011 3:10 PM

Hello modelers,

I am asking this question to see how you feel about the sound decoders that come in the MTH SD70ACe's and SD70M-2.  I have read where some modelers prefer to put their own decoders in these locomotives.  I have also read that you don't get full access to the decoder features with a regular dcc system that you would normally get with a DCS control system.  

I am looking to purchase a couple of these units with DCC and sound but want to know if I am getting my monies worth.  I have a NCE DCC system that I will be using with them.  If anyone has these and uses NCE DCC system please share your experience.

  • Member since
    May, 2008
  • 4,612 posts
Posted by Hamltnblue on Sunday, November 13, 2011 4:20 PM

The best thing to do with the SD70 is get the DCC ready version and install a Soundtraxx decoder with a couple of speakers.  I picked up 2 of the proto 3.0 before the DCC ready was available.  They sound and run good but the lack of individual sound controls, default master volume, as well as the ability to speed match with non MTH loco's.  I believe the newer releases have included more CV's but not sure which one's.

 

Springfield PA

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, November 13, 2011 7:51 PM

 They finally came out with somethign I want, the FA-1's in Reading.

                --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: South Carolina
  • 1,713 posts
Posted by Train Modeler on Monday, November 14, 2011 1:31 PM

trainluver

I am looking to purchase a couple of these units with DCC and sound but want to know if I am getting my monies worth.  I have a NCE DCC system that I will be using with them.  If anyone has these and uses NCE DCC system please share your experience.

If you're going to purchase them with DCC everything should be fine with your NCE system.   The issue is DCS where there is limited CV usage, etc.  

Although I like mine with DCS in part due to function controlled couplers.    MTHs details I think are superior to Athearn's by the way.

Richard

  • Member since
    April, 2010
  • 132 posts
Posted by fender777 on Monday, November 14, 2011 5:40 PM

I have a MTH sd70 ace and use the NCE powercab and all the sounds work well.My favorite loco by far.Also pulls allot of cars.Bob

  • Member since
    May, 2008
  • 4,612 posts
Posted by Hamltnblue on Monday, November 14, 2011 7:02 PM

Randy,

Lin's is taking pre-orders for the Bowser Alco C630. It will be available in Reading and a choice of sound or not.

Springfield PA

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 17,915 posts
Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 9:04 PM

 That's the second run. Too new for me, I do first-gen, my cutoff is 1956.

                 --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

  • Member since
    June, 2005
  • From: Lynnwood, WA
  • 286 posts
Posted by dave hikel on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 1:27 AM

Hi trainluver,

I own several MTH SD70ACe's, one SD70M-2, and several other MTH HO engines.  All of my MTH engines are equipped with Protosound 3 and I run them with NCE DCC.  They are smoothest running and best pulling engines I own.  I have never had any problems programming or operating them with my NCE Power Pro system.

Early releases of the SD70's did not support advanced consisting, custom speed mapping, or function mapping in DCC.  All newer released (since last February) do support these features in DCC.  All MTH SD70's that were shipped without these features can have them added with a free software upgrade.  Loading the updated software requires an MTH DCS system.  If you decide to purchase one or more engines I'd recommend checking with your dealer to ensure the engine has the latest software update.  Any reputable dealer should be able to upgrade the software for you before you buy.

The PS3 is one of the better sounding decoders on the market, and has BY FAR the best speed control.  Every MTH locomotive comes out of the box speed mapped to operate in one scale mile per hour increments when your DCC system is set for 128 speed steps.  Set the speed on your ProCab to 21 and the engine does 21 SMPH.  This makes it extremely easy to consist MTH locomotives.  You don't have to do any programing of CV's.  Just build the consist and go.  MTH uses an optical speed sensor on the flywheel to measure actual speed output.  Currently, all other decoders on the market use BEMF to infer motor speed.  BEMF works, but it is two orders of magnitude less accurate.  You can always speed map other engines to run as close to the MTH speed map as possible.  That's what I do with non-MTH engines.  Others prefer to set their own speed curve.  Until last winter, you couldn't program a custom speed map into an MTH engine.  That has now changed.  Any MTH HO diesel or electric engine can now be custom speed mapped.

Since you know you want sound and DCC I'd suggest buying the PS3's, rather than DCC ready.  A PS3 locomotive will cost you about $225 street price. The going price on a DCC ready version is about $160.  A Tsunami decoder and a coupler speakers from Tony's Train Exchange will cost you about $115 + shipping.  If you go with the PS3 you can save yourself $50, save the time and hassle of installing the decoder, and have have superior speed control.  You definitely get your monies worth with a PS3 engine.

Dave
  • Member since
    December, 2010
  • 56 posts
Posted by trainluver on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 2:05 AM
Thanks, great advice. The videos I have seen on YouTube have been favorable. Thought I would check with everyone here. MTH it is.
  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • From: Denver, CO
  • 3,130 posts
Posted by Motley on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 12:44 PM

trainluver
Thanks, great advice. The videos I have seen on YouTube have been favorable. Thought I would check with everyone here. MTH it is.

You'll be very happy. I have 3 of the MTH Aces, and they pull like Clydesdales on steroids!

I will be getting at least 4 additional of the new comfort cab recent releases.

Michael

Director -
Mile-HI-Railroad
Prototype: D&RGW

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 17,915 posts
Posted by rrinker on Thursday, November 17, 2011 4:18 PM

 This works because MTH builds the deocder AND the loco. All other decoders are 'generic'  in that they can be installed in any loco that has physical space to fit it.  You can't simply add an optical tacho wheel and have it work - you need to know motor RP across the voltage range as well as loco geering and wheel size in order to calibrate it to get 1smph speed steps. BEMF can do this just as well, provided you have the specification for strength of BEMF at a given RPM for the motor to calibrate it.

                --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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