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DCC sound decoder help

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  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 2 posts
DCC sound decoder help
Posted by Rajesh on Friday, April 27, 2018 5:03 AM

Hi All,

I'm very new to model rail thing and is starting from the beginning. I own a Bachmann Digital commander ready set with 2 locos, both are DCC ready but NO sound, DCC-equipped EMD GP40 locomotive and EMD FT-A locomotive.
(( https://www.amazon.com/Bachmann-Trai.../dp/B000BPPNWE ))

I was trying to install a sound ONLY decoder in EMD GP40. Can somebody please help me out with the selection of a possibly good and reasonably cost effective sound decoder. Have looked in to some of the sound decoders like soundtraxx, loksound,etc, but don't know which suits my loco!

Thanks and regards,
Rajesh   

  • Member since
    December, 2015
  • 3,046 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, April 27, 2018 10:45 AM

Rajesh
I was trying to install a sound ONLY decoder in EMD GP40.

Your terms are in conflict.  In the terminology we use, it cannot be both DCC ready and DCC.  DCC ready (if recently produced) means it is a DC loco, and has a plug into which you can attach a DCC decoder.  The Amazon ad is a DCC unit.

What you propose won't work.  Digitrax has a Soundbug, but there is no place to plug it on your DCC board.

http://www.digitrax.com/products/sound-decoders/sfx006/#lightbox[product]/0/

edit I tried 3 times to make that link clickable

This is how TCS Wowsound does it. 

https://www.tcsdcc.com/Customer_Content/Installation_Pictures/HO_Scale/Bachmann/EMD%20GP40%20WK/EMD%20GP40WK.html

According to their web page, the kit for that is not yet released.  You don't really need a kit, and the installation will be the same with a Loksound select direct or a Soundtraxx Tsunami 2 or another TCS decoder.  You will be replacing the entire Bachmann circuit board. 

The Bachmann sound decoders are considered a low budget, low option alternative.

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 17,766 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, April 27, 2018 1:46 PM

BigDaddy
What you propose won't work. Digitrax has a Soundbug, but there is no place to plug it on your DCC board.

You can use a Soundbug, but you have to hard-wire it.  It needs connections to the track power leads off the trucks, and connections to its speaker.  I have one wired in with a DCC engine, one wired in a dummy locomotive and one I installed in a building to give sound to the little tank engine that only runs down there by the car float terminal.

The Soundbug is an old and limited decoder.  I think the only options are "Steam" and "Diesel" with no model-specific options, although you can program in different sound files if you have a PR-3 programmer from Digitrax.

It you're not a rivet-counting audiophile, you may be happy with a Soundbug.  Otherwise, do it right and go get a sound-and-motion decoder for your specific engine.

Digitrax also makes (made?) the SFX series of decoders.  They are more capable, supporting lighting functions, but for some reason they built them with very weak audio amplifiers so they are almost inaudible on a layout with other sounds.

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

  • Member since
    April, 2018
  • 2 posts
Posted by Rajesh on Monday, April 30, 2018 3:46 AM

Yes, you are right that its a DCC unit. My mistake.

After some searches and studies, came to this one - ECO-PNP Digital Sound Decoders  (http://www.soundtraxx.com/dsd/econami/ecopnp.php).

I hope ECO-PNP suits the purpose in a way that its a budget board compared to others in the market.

Can you please advise on the same?

Thanks,

Rajesh

 

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 10,468 posts
Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, May 01, 2018 12:56 PM

I'd only comment that the decoder is a light-board replacement decoder; you'll need to remove the light-board in the engine and replace it with this one. I'm not sure about the Bachmann engines, but I'd check to see if the decoder installed in it is a light-board type decoder, or is plugged into a receptacle in the light-board. If it has a receptacle, I'd use a decoder you can just plug in.

Stix
  • Member since
    December, 2015
  • 3,046 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Tuesday, May 01, 2018 6:41 PM

The factory light boards have the appearance of being narrower than normal on the Bachmann website.  This could be just an illusion.  An S-1 really is narrow, I wouldn't expect the G50 to be.

I assume this is the DCC board, but the description doesn't really say so.  The other pictured boards are really bare bones DC boards.  There is no where to plug into a decoder, so it would have to be removed and replaced.  Sometimes when you keep a factory lightboard, it is recommended to cut off the capacitors, for better performance; so replacement is the way many people would go.

It looks like a reasonable replacement (assuming it fits width wise) but I have no experience with Econami.

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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