Super newbie looking for DCC/Analog control advice for a simple layout

acaciolo

acaciolo

Registered
25 May 2020
7
0
53
PA, USA
Hello,

I am super new to this, and the last time I set up trains was about 40 years ago in my grandfather's basement with my old Lionel 027 setups....so things have changed a little!

I have a man cave/garage that holds my pinball machine collection and a few funky cars and I'd like to do a simple shelf or ceiling hanging track about 20'x30 oval. Pretty simple. I spent a summer in school in Switzerland, so I really like the different LGB RHB models.

My question is...this is going to be more of a decoration running around the room that will turn on when I power up the room. I know I can do that extremely easily with an analog controller, but I am hoping to be able to utilize some of the digital sounds beyond just the running sound that works in analog also. But I don't want to have to make the sounds trigger manually. I am hoping to automate the station announcements, screeching wheels, whistle etc so that they happen at certain time intervals (or with magnets at certain locations like you can do for the whistle.) I realize I might need some software to do this, or many some of the digital controller have the capability to program events like that. Since I will only have 1 train running and no switches, I don't need a massive DCC that can control multiple trains.

Can someone point me in the right direction as to how to do this? thanks in advance!
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,167
307
Ascot
You don't have to go digital to do what you want, if you only have one train running. As you have noted you can trigger sounds from track magnets, and they and the running sounds and lights usually work in analog or digital. You can usually only have one or two sounds triggered by magnets on the train, and these are usually horn, bell or whistle, but with some basic electronic know-how you can have trackside electronics to make station sounds triggered by the magnets on the train. If you want the trains stopping and starting by themselves that is also possible in analog without having to resort to computer control.
To minimise cost you might think about buying a starter set which has oval of track, controller, transformer, loco and wagon. This will all work out of the box and give you confidence to expand. If you eventually don't like the loco and wagon you can sell them on ebay and buy the RhB train of your dreams. If you want to run RhB stock you will need quite big curves, probably R3 (4 foot radius), they don't like R1 (2 foot radius) curves, If you have 20' x 30' space you have room for big curves but you will lose the corners of the room which might be a problem. The kind of hanging tracks you might have seen in shops are typically R1 radius and run small trains like 0-4-0 tank engines. If you're thinking of running a Ge 6/6 with several coaches that is quite heavy so you will need very secure shelves!
 
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acaciolo

acaciolo

Registered
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PA, USA
You don't have to go digital to do what you want, if you only have one train running. As you have noted you can trigger sounds from track magnets, and they and the running sounds and lights usually work in analog or digital. You can usually only have one or two sounds triggered by magnets on the train, and these are usually horn, bell or whistle, but with some basic electronic know-how you can have trackside electronics to make station sounds triggered by the magnets on the train. If you want the trains stopping and starting by themselves that is also possible in analog without having to resort to computer control.
To minimise cost you might think about buying a starter set which has oval of track, controller, transformer, loco and wagon. This will all work out of the box and give you confidence to expand. If you eventually don't like the loco and wagon you can sell them on ebay and buy the RhB train of your dreams. If you want to run RhB stock you will need quite big curves, probably R3 (4 foot radius), they don't like R1 (2 foot radius) curves, If you have 20' x 30' space you have room for big curves but you will lose the corners of the room which might be a problem. The kind of hanging tracks you might have seen in shops are typically R1 radius and run small trains like 0-4-0 tank engines. If you're thinking of running a Ge 6/6 with several coaches that is quite heavy so you will need very secure shelves!
Great advice! I was thinking about a ceiling kit like this Ceiling Train Kit I am a homebuilder, so I have some good carpenters who can do that stuff. For the sounds, I want to make sure I'll be able to active the built in station announcements in some of the LGB RHB models, and I don't know if there is a way to trigger them other than digitally. The RHB models seem to have all the sounds built in that I want, so I didn't really want to go down the path or retrofitting a 3rd party sound card/device. I guess it comes down to...what can I use to trigger the build in sounds? So far, the only information I can find is "digital". thanks!
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
25,897
1,467
Tamworth, Staffs.
You can trigger two sounds. - In addition to running/standing sounds. By track-magnet and reeds in the loco..

If you had a decoder in a line-side box somewhere, you could have a series of reed switches by the track, and use one of these (with a magnet in the loco) to trigger two other sounds. - Perhaps, the sequential station announcements, for example.
A second magnet, could fire squeal, as you approach either a curve, or station??

You would need someone with DCC equipment (or the shop you buy from) to set the decoder(s) to do what you want, when fired from the trigger inputs.

PhilP.
 
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acaciolo

acaciolo

Registered
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PA, USA
You can trigger two sounds. - In addition to running/standing sounds. By track-magnet and reeds in the loco..

If you had a decoder in a line-side box somewhere, you could have a series of reed switches by the track, and use one of these (with a magnet in the loco) to trigger two other sounds. - Perhaps, the sequential station announcements, for example.
A second magnet, could fire squeal, as you approach either a curve, or station??

You would need someone with DCC equipment (or the shop you buy from) to set the decoder(s) to do what you want, when fired from the trigger inputs.

PhilP.
thanks!
 
P

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
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57
Royston
Welcome to the forum Acaciolo, you've already had a lot of advice about the electrics, but one small extra bit. How high up will the layout be? Because dot forget the track will need cleaning regularly and obviously there will be maintenance to carry out
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,167
307
Ascot
Again on a practical front, it will be very nice having sounds triggered as the train runs but don't forget to include a sound on/off switch. After a few hours in a room with the same station announcements you might go slightly mad.
 
acaciolo

acaciolo

Registered
25 May 2020
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PA, USA
good advice on the on off switch! I have a flux capacitor on the top of one of the pinball machines, and the sound gets old after a while! In regards to cleaning, the track will only be about 9' high..and we have lots of ladders!

As of now, I am being told by the vendor that the other sounds can only be activated via DCC.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
25,897
1,467
Tamworth, Staffs.
As of now, I am being told by the vendor that the other sounds can only be activated via DCC.
There are two 'triggers' (on most decoders, when talking LGB) which by default, fire the whistle and bell..
The sounds triggered, are set by CV's within the decoder configuration. So by changing the value held by the CV, the sound being triggered can be altered.

Find another Vendor, possibly? :wondering:

PhilP.
 
acaciolo

acaciolo

Registered
25 May 2020
7
0
53
PA, USA
There are two 'triggers' (on most decoders, when talking LGB) which by default, fire the whistle and bell..
The sounds triggered, are set by CV's within the decoder configuration. So by changing the value held by the CV, the sound being triggered can be altered.

Find another Vendor, possibly? :wondering:

PhilP.
any suggestions?
 
M

Moonraker

Registered
25 Oct 2009
941
84
South Australia
any suggestions?
You don't have to go to the expense and complication of DCC to do what you want. It can all be done with a simple analogue control using MyLocoSound soundcards. All you need to do is to convert a van into a DC soundvan as shown here and couple it behind the loco you want to run at that time. You can place magnets in the track to sound the whistle/horn and a bell automatically. Using the TV remote control, you can set the safety valve, whistle/horn and injectors to trigger at timed intervals. The brake squeal can be set to sound as the train comes to a halt.
In addition you have very simple manual control. Being indoors you can use the TV remote control to trigger any of the sounds; just point the TV remote at the train and press a button...easy.
If you want further advice please contact our US distributor G Scale Graphics in Colorado. The contact is Del Tapparo on 970-581-3567 9am-6pm Mountain Time or email: gscalegraphics@comcast.net .
Regards
Peter Lucas
MyLocoSound
 
acaciolo

acaciolo

Registered
25 May 2020
7
0
53
PA, USA
You don't have to go to the expense and complication of DCC to do what you want. It can all be done with a simple analogue control using MyLocoSound soundcards. All you need to do is to convert a van into a DC soundvan as shown here and couple it behind the loco you want to run at that time. You can place magnets in the track to sound the whistle/horn and a bell automatically. Using the TV remote control, you can set the safety valve, whistle/horn and injectors to trigger at timed intervals. The brake squeal can be set to sound as the train comes to a halt.
In addition you have very simple manual control. Being indoors you can use the TV remote control to trigger any of the sounds; just point the TV remote at the train and press a button...easy.
If you want further advice please contact our US distributor G Scale Graphics in Colorado. The contact is Del Tapparo on 970-581-3567 9am-6pm Mountain Time or email: gscalegraphics@comcast.net .
Regards
Peter Lucas
MyLocoSound
great tip! thanks so much. just checked it out and that looks awesome.
 
D

Del Tapparo

Registered
24 Nov 2009
194
1
Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
You may also be interested in the new G-Scale Graphics APTC (All Purpose Train Control) for track power. Ideal for ceiling railways. Just press a button and watch the train slowly accelerate to speed, making random station stops during its run. You can also set it up for timed interval runs; i.e. automatically starts up every X mins and runs for Y minutes, then stops at the station. Of course you can also use it as a manual controller.
 
acaciolo

acaciolo

Registered
25 May 2020
7
0
53
PA, USA
You may also be interested in the new G-Scale Graphics APTC (All Purpose Train Control) for track power. Ideal for ceiling railways. Just press a button and watch the train slowly accelerate to speed, making random station stops during its run. You can also set it up for timed interval runs; i.e. automatically starts up every X mins and runs for Y minutes, then stops at the station. Of course you can also use it as a manual controller.
that is exactly what I am looking for! perfect. thanks so much
 
D

Dan

Registered
28 Jan 2010
304
25
Eastern MA
I work with Zimo decoders and any sound in a project can be used on the in1 and in2 triggers. Usually bell and whistle, but can be any other sound, it is your RR, your rules!!
Since the left rail is usually bell and right rail is whistle/horn, you could activate a sound car with a magnet in the center of the rails.

LGB makes several different sound cars as follows;

Chicken dance box car (red is DC only, blue is Digital and DC)
cow stock car
European coke car (Things go better with coke)
American coke car (I'd like the world......)
Laughing car
steam car (2 axle)
Diesel sound car (4 axle)
Circus car (2 axle)
Xmas car with 2 sounds (2 axle) 4335S or 43352
Xmas car with 3 sounds (2 axle) 43353
Xmas globe car 10 sounds (2 axle)
XMAS 2017 4 sounds (2 axle)

Xmas powered tender is just steam engine sounds.