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Looking for DCC Sound decoder for boats

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  • Member since
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Looking for DCC Sound decoder for boats
Posted by gdelmoro on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 7:29 AM

Hi all,

I have a RR car ferry and a tug boat. I would like to install sound decoders in them. No operation (maybe lights Big Smile ). Anyone have a source? Do they exist?

Gary

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Posted by blabride on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 9:25 AM

I would think most boats of this type used diesels made by EMD or Fairbanks Morse. The ferry I rode last summer from Algiers LA to New Orleans sounded much like an opposed piston or Cat diesel. You could use a Soundtraxx or Loksound decoder in a static set up like several guy's on here have done to get undertable sound. If you search for "under layout sound decoder" some links will show up from this forum.

SB

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Posted by gdelmoro on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 10:25 AM

Thanks SB I’ll try that

Gary

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Posted by carl425 on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 11:01 AM

blabride
You could use a Soundtraxx or Loksound decoder in a static set up like several guy's on here have done to get undertable sound.

I was thinking the same thing.  The fact that you'll have more room in the boats for speaker(s) would likely alter the character of the sound enough that you won't have to worry about sounding like a floating SD40.

I'd also consider using one of the older/cheaper decoders since they will tend to sound more generic than the current stuff.  That may even present the opportunity for an upgrade if you replace an older unit in one of your favorite locomotives and recycle the original decoder for a boat.

I have the right to remain silent.  By posting here I have given up that right and accept that anything I say can and will be used as evidence to critique me.

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Posted by gdelmoro on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 11:32 AM

Sob if l look for an ALCO Diesel decoder that all can control lights that should work?

Typically decoders control headlights and ditch lights I assume it doesn’t matter as long as I don’t go more than 4 LED’s?

Gary

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 11:38 AM

I occasionally spend time on the Columbia River watching trains.  Towboats pass by. My recollection is of a sound like a non-turbo EMD.  I'd consider getting a "GP38-2" sound.

I did a quick on-line search.  One article said 2-strokes are "preferred" in tugboats. Which the EMD is.

 

Ed

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Posted by NP01 on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 12:52 PM

Would you need water sounds?

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 1:14 PM

I also have a carfloat terminal.  One of the engines used to service it is an 0-6-0T tank engine.  I bought an old Digitrax Soundbug decoder and replaced the sound files on the decoder with one of their "sound projects" for a tank engine.  The engine doesn't have room for a sound decoder and speaker, but the carfloat terminal area is very small, so I put that decoder and speaker in a building.  It works well enough for me.

I never got around to it, but I was going to add some seaport ambient sounds like lapping water and seagulls and a big boat whistle.

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

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 2:13 PM

 One sound decoder's source of a Winton engine for an FT was actually a tugboat, so it is not out of the realm of possibilities to use just about any - EMD, Alco, and FM all made marine versions as well as rail engines, in FM's case they STARTED as marine engines and later adapted to railroad use.

 The only ptoblem is the rest of the drive - many more modern tugs are diesel-electric, but the older ones tended to be mechanical drives. The closest thing to tat ona  railroad would be the Alco hydraulic drive locos. Most of the diesel-mechanical locos are smaller ones like 44 tonners and other small critters, and those have much smalelr prime movers than would be found on a big car ferry, small Detroits, or Cat or Cummins.

 You can get pretty close - for effect it may be good enough, only the most knowledgeable would be able to pick out that the sound is not quite right, especially if you jsut throttle up from idle and hold a speed.

                               --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 Tuesday, December 26, 2017 2:14 PM

gdelmoro
I have a RR car ferry and a tug boat. I would like to install sound decoders in them.

Or, why not get a CD of harbor sounds?

http://www.greenfrog.com/bgaudcd_56015.shtml

I use the Steel Mill sounds and I copied the sound files to a cheap MP3 player and run that through amplified computer speakers, also cheap. I use shuffle and loop and it plays all day without any intervention on my part.

Sometimes Green Frog has these CDs on ebay for cheap.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/56015-MODEL-RAILROAD-SOUND-EFFECTS-AUDIO-CD-HARBOR-SOUNDS/291749839363?hash=item43eda54203:g:d5YAAOSwd0BVtVrC

[edit] Yep, checked... they do.

I keep busy enough running trains without having to use my throttle to select and run a tug or ferry boat or blow the whistle every now-and-then. 

For lights I would look at one of RR-MEL's arduino random light setups.

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/744/t/259011.aspx

 

Good Luck, Ed

 

 

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Posted by gdelmoro on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 3:26 PM

Thanks for all the replies. It does not move. Just want lights and engine sound. 

Gary

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 10:14 PM

gdelmoro
ypically decoders control headlights and ditch lights I assume it doesn’t matter as long as I don’t go more than 4 LED’s?

You can add way more than four LEDs without overloading the decoder, particularly if you use higher value resistors. Something like 10,000 ohms will still leave the LEDs pretty bright but they will draw very little power. That will allow you to add cabin lights and gangway lights as well as the normal navigation lights.

I would suggest wiring the LEDs in parallel instead of in series, and use one resistor per LED. Two or three LEDs can be run off of the same resistor but the brightness of each LED might not be the same.

Dave

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Posted by gdelmoro on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 6:15 AM

 Good information as usual on this forum.

My era is 1950 - 1965 so the older Tug may be correct.  I can look for EMD 44 ton decoders and install 2? As if the tug had two motors.

Good to hear I can add more lights. When I actually get to the wiring I’ll likely post some pics and diagrams to see what you guys think.

This is the Walthers HO Tug.

Gary

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Posted by gdelmoro on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 8:30 AM

So far I looked at three decoders recommended on a couple forums.

Digitrax DH126D Great price $17 but does not appear to have sound 

LokSound with an EMD 44 ton Switcher sound (sounds perfect but $86 without the speaker

SoundTraxx SoundCar $48 (I can get an ALCO RS1) $50

Gary

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Posted by zstripe on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 9:23 AM

Gary,

My tug started out as a Walthers tug.....a lot of mods later..including interior, cut down stack, pilot house, different davits for the lifeboat and a lot more. The pilot house, stack/cabin can be removed with one screw down the stack......lot of room in there for any decoder including speaker if You choose. The winch and many other parts do not come in the kit.....scavanged from other ships I used to built yrs. ago. I have since added some deck lights after pic was taken, with what is called Pico SMD chips from Lights4models....they are about the size of a pin head...they will fit anywhere. Eventually the model will go into My river scene on the layout. A work still in progress. The dual stripe on the stack is Not a decal...that is painted on.

The images are clickable to enlarge.

Good Luck in Your project! Big Smile

Frank

EDIT: A clickable link for the lights I used and much, much more..browse thru...You may find some other things You could use on Your project:

https://lights4models.com/

 

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Posted by zstripe on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 3:13 PM

Gary,

Here are some RR Tugs in video's at work with barges/ferry's loading/unloading  for info purposes...check out the one's also on the right side:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVwPoANEqgU

Nice to have a big screen to view....

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 3:26 PM

If you are going to use a motor decoder of any kind, you will need a resistor in place of the motor outputs in order to program it.  As I recall, it's a low resistance, on the order of 50-100 ohms.  Remove the resistor and tape up the leads once it's programmed.

The barge, incidentally, would not have a motor.

This is the carfloat apron on my layout.

I built mine so that the carfloat itself is removeable, so that it can be used as a casette.  I put a couple of small bulbs inside the superstructure at the top.  The turnout points on the apron bridge are powered by a Tortoise from below.

There are no tides in my train room, so the apron bridge is fixed and does not move up and down.  I took great pains to make the whole scene, from the ground in the back, across the apron and on to the carfloat, completely flat so I could pull a whole string of 6 cars plus the 3 "idler" flats with one small tank engine.  I used real metal rails and made sure I had all metal wheels to keep friction to a minimum as well.

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

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Posted by gdelmoro on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 6:00 PM

THANKS MR Beasley!! Did not know that.  I was just going to hook up to the track bus.  Guess I would have FRIED the decoder.

Just so I’m clear off the DCC bus I take a track lead from one track add a 100 ohm resistor and a track lead from the other add a 100 ohm resistor and then connect to the decoder where the grey and orange wires go?

Why do you remove the resistors after programming?

Gary

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Posted by richg1998 on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 7:22 PM

 

I recall the Destroyer I served on in the early 1960's was powered by Fairbanks Morse diesels. What I found interesting were the engines were direct drive. No reverse gear. Stop, start the engine in the other direction to reverse the ship.

The engines were used in subs also. Reason why subs were so smelly inside. I could easily recognize sub sailors in a bar.

Rich

 

N

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Posted by richg1998 on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 7:34 PM

Found this a few years ago to leave the resistor in. No idea about different brand of decoders.

Using a Tsunami as a sound-only decoder

Many folks decide to use these fine sound decoders for their sound generating capabilities and, perhaps, lighting effects. Here are some suggestions:

  • Motor - If you put a 100 ohm 1/2 watt resistor between the gray and orange motor wires or contacts, you can then get acknowledgments back when you program.
  • If you set the Tsunami for Speed Table operation with the USER SPEED TABLE selected and set all speed steps to zero, then you won't be using your DCC power to heat up the resistor when you are running! To do this, read CV 29 and add 16 to that value and write the result back into CV 29. Then set CV25 = 16 and set all the CVs from CV 68 through CV 94 to zero.

N

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Posted by gdelmoro on Thursday, December 28, 2017 6:31 AM

Ok drawing really bad but I think I understand. at the top of the drawing between the grey and orange wires with a 100 ohm 1/2 watt resistor. The rails or bus wires connect to the right and left rail power pick-up spots on the decoder.

Once the resistor is in place can I leave it there? Will i be able to increase speed steps to simulate the tug motor reving up?  Once I connect the speaker I can ring a bell, turn lights on and off or blow a horn?

Gary

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, December 28, 2017 11:53 AM

 You'll want to take the resistor out, a half watt resistor will burn out on higher speed steps. Or program a custom speed table with all 28 steps at 1, and make sure to activate a user-defined speed table with CV29. No load is necessary on the motor leads for the prime mover sounds to ramp up with the throttle.

                                      --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 MisterBeasley on Thursday, December 28, 2017 12:32 PM

The resistor in place of the motor is only necessary for programming.  A programming track will not recognize a decoder without it, and will give you an error if you try to read/write.

You can leave the resistor in, but if you do, the decoder will run power through it.  That can result in a hot resistor.  If you remove the resistor, no current will flow, so no heat.

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

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Posted by richg1998 on Thursday, December 28, 2017 12:49 PM

I and Rinker alresdy posted the solution to leaving the resistor in. It works.

I did this some years ago with a Tsunami Micro.

Rich

N

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Posted by gdelmoro on Friday, April 06, 2018 4:22 PM

rrinker

 You'll want to take the resistor out, a half watt resistor will burn out on higher speed steps. Or program a custom speed table with all 28 steps at 1, and make sure to activate a user-defined speed table with CV29. No load is necessary on the motor leads for the prime mover sounds to ramp up with the throttle.

                                      --Randy

 

 

I finished the ferry and installed a Digitrax SDXH166D DECODER W/ SOUND.

I installed the 100 ohm resistor and changed the speed table to 2 across each step.  Works great, resistor does not Heath up at all.  Also installed nav lights (Red and Green) and assigned a loco # to match the boat number.

Thanks for the help.

 

Gary

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Posted by richg1998 on Friday, April 06, 2018 10:41 PM

FM sounds could work. Many years ago I hear a couple switchers using them.

The Edsall class destroyer I served on had four of those engines. Built in 1943. FM's were unique. Reversable.

No cylinder head.

Rich

N

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Posted by gdelmoro on Saturday, April 07, 2018 6:50 AM

I selected an ALCO RS1 prime mover which sounds pretty good. I‘ll look to see if this decoder has an FM Choice. I would like to find more of a fog horn type sound for the horn.

Gary

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Posted by Paul3 on Sunday, April 08, 2018 10:34 PM

The New Haven had a fleet of steam tugs, but ordered two diesel harbor tugs in New York City called "Cordelia" and "Bumble Bee", built in 1953.  They were EMD powered by 567 V-16 prime movers with a diesel electric drive.  For all intents and purposes, they were GP7's in tugboat form.

The NH also leased 3 tugs that were direct drive 1800Hp F-M power plants with controllable pitch screws.

If you want to know what a NH steam tug's whistle sounded like, watch this YouTube clip starting at 2:18 (headphone users take care; it's a little loud).  At 3:02, you can even hear the steam tug throttle up (it doesn't really sound like a steam loco at all).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-TbwHWB4P0

The movie is "A Great Railroad At Work", a 1942 classic film by the New Haven.  At 3:48 to 6:00 is a nice bit on car float operations, too.

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Posted by gdelmoro on Monday, April 09, 2018 6:33 AM

Paul3

The New Haven had a fleet of steam tugs, but ordered two diesel harbor tugs in New York City called "Cordelia" and "Bumble Bee", built in 1953.  They were EMD powered by 567 V-16 prime movers with a diesel electric drive.  For all intents and purposes, they were GP7's in tugboat form.

The NH also leased 3 tugs that were direct drive 1800Hp F-M power plants with controllable pitch screws.

If you want to know what a NH steam tug's whistle sounded like, watch this YouTube clip starting at 2:18 (headphone users take care; it's a little loud).  At 3:02, you can even hear the steam tug throttle up (it doesn't really sound like a steam loco at all).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-TbwHWB4P0

The movie is "A Great Railroad At Work", a 1942 classic film by the New Haven.  At 3:48 to 6:00 is a nice bit on car float operations, too.

 

Thanks for the video and the info.

Gary

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