An odd idea for a ModelSounds module?

James Day

James Day

Guano Corner Rly - Runs weekly - Guano permitting
6 May 2012
1,727
3
Warwickshire
Not sure how many of you are aware of the stand alone Master Blaster units sold by ModelSounds. These are powered by a self contaned rechargeable battery and the sounds are stored on a Micro SD card. They sell them for all sorts of use with model railways and model boats.

http://www.modelsounds.co.uk/ The units cost £29.99 each plus postage and come with a sound card of your choice from thier catalogue, although you can always add and create your own by buying a blank Micro SD card or two. The cards take the sound in the same format as Itunes so loading anything you like to a card is relatively easy, even for a non-teenager like me!

Like to point out at this stage - I have no connection to ModelSounds except as a satisfied customer. Have to say they are very helpful and supportive and always willing to give advice.

Here is how I used some modules I bought from them....

My chum and I have developed an unusual quirky layout that had it's first outing late last year. It is a loose-lay combination of G Scale Trains and 1/24 slot cars which are in the form of a roadway that crosses the tracks at two level crossings. The cars stop for the trains at the crossings. See the Thread
Tri-ang Minic for the Myopic? for details.

We had already added some sounds in the form of two mechanical US style crossing bells that are activated by the approaching train, however the layout needed more buildings: so we decided to add a saloon, a church and a barn. As well as lights, each building was going to have a sound module activated by the trains to play Saloon style honky-tonk piano, American Baptist style hymn singing and cattle sounds.

We chose the Model Sounds module as they are cheap, easy to use, very effective (loud)! Also on a loose lay type layout that already has plenty of wires the battery in each unit saved laying on a smoothed regulated audio quality supply.

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The Master Blaster Module

As supplied the unit is not remotely switchable, which is what we wanted as it was it to be activated by an approaching train, so this is what we did:

1/ Break open the module - insert a series of small screwdrivers between the metal top and the base and prise away until the base comes loose. The base holds the circuit board and this is what you need access to. Careful not to dislodge or break the plastic control buttons that will tend to float around all the time the unit is open.

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Find the switch on the circuit board. By using a probe lead you can work out which two switch connections you need to tap into to make it switch on and off remotely. Remember the unit takes a second or so to power up so touch and hold the two connections and you will see the blue light come on before the sound starts playing.

In my experience the connections you need to solder to are one in from each end of the five present.

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Solder carefully and quickly making sure your bare wire ends are pre-tinned and short, so as not to cause short circuits

Next you will need to drill a hole in the metal case to let the wires out. It does not matter where you drill it, as long as you make sure you take care you don’t drill into anything inside the device! The wires need to be brought out of the module through this hole - do this before re-assembly!

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After you have done all this make sure you test the module to check it still works. To reassemble the unit just carefully squeeze the base back into the main part of the unit, taking care to line up the openings and cut outs in the top for the various switches and ports. It should just fit back together and stay

Next I mounted the unit inside my building using Hot Melt Glue. Taking care to ensure that the ports I needed access to most frequently are the easiest to get to for charging and perhaps changing the Micro SD card every now and again.

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The Church has already been done. Next one is the Barn and then we are ready for the next outing!

James
 
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Eaglecliff

Eaglecliff

Registered
19 Jul 2010
1,156
6
Derby, England
Yes, I bought one of these a while back from Glendale (see mention elsewhere re their future plans, hope they stay around for a good while yet, my budget isn’t quite totally exhausted...) and it has its uses. Unfortunately, sound is not always popular at exhibitions - it can quickly get a bit wearing, especially if you have to listen to the same “conversation between engineer and pointsman” or whoever every few minutes for hours at a stretch. But I like the “soul train” - must put together a “country music” train - where can I get some musicians?!
 
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James Day

James Day

Guano Corner Rly - Runs weekly - Guano permitting
6 May 2012
1,727
3
Warwickshire
Yes, I bought one of these a while back from Glendale (see mention elsewhere re their future plans, hope they stay around for a good while yet, my budget isn’t quite totally exhausted...) and it has its uses. Unfortunately, sound is not always popular at exhibitions - it can quickly get a bit wearing, especially if you have to listen to the same “conversation between engineer and pointsman” or whoever every few minutes for hours at a stretch. But I like the “soul train” - must put together a “country music” train - where can I get some musicians?!
Funny you should mention sounds being a bit wearing at shows - I formerly exhibited Tri-ang Minic at shows and that featured Wrenn Horn Units, both in the locos and also in a Minic Motorway Fire Engine. The controls for these were given to the public and surprisingly some fellow exhibitors complained! The way to deal with is to look the complainers straight in the eye and say "what horn unit?" It has to be said that I soon tuned out completely to the sound and it was much the same with the crossing bells in November.....and when we used them on the Tyco US-1 and Trains layout a couple of years ago

We are building off switches into the automation circuits to allow these sounds all to be switched off when we chose.

Mind you, I think the kids will love it!

James
 
Riograndad

Riograndad

Model Railroading, boats and oil painting,
6 Jul 2013
1,683
335
65
Northampton UK
I have one of these,I have several cards,big US diesel loco card for my dummy loco,small steam loco card i normally use with my Lil hauler bash,goes under the coal load,and the one I use most is the cow sounds in stock trains,goes into the door opening of Bachmann cars with full doors with ease,I made a plasticard wooden "crate" with a removable top,allows to run on a flat car in disguise,I think they have updated the unit since i got mine but great little sound effects and of course still run when cars/train has stopped,can recommend:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool:the first time i used the cow sounds next door asked if someone had cows in the street,needless to say I turned it down:rofl::rofl::rofl:
 
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Riograndad

Riograndad

Model Railroading, boats and oil painting,
6 Jul 2013
1,683
335
65
Northampton UK
Just a few pics of the "crate" I made for the sound unit,simple to use and can be left anywhere on the layout,steam engines without a tender,,put it on the flatcar,,,city/town/field sounds on the back of a truck,platform ,loading dock,,,,no shiny silver cylinder on view,the top is made with gaps so the sound gets out:cool::cool::cool:Pay no attention to the building in the background,just an experiment.
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gregh

gregh

electronics, computers and scratchbuilding
Just a few pics of the "crate" I made for the sound unit,simple to use and can be left anywhere on the layout,steam engines without a tender,,put it on the flatcar,,,city/town/field sounds on the back of a truck,platform ,loading dock,,,,no shiny silver cylinder on view,the top is made with gaps so the sound gets out:cool:
Very clever.
 
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