What Sound System To Use In A USA Trains SD70 Mac ????

Richie

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I have just ordered a USA TRAINS SD70Mac in the Rio Grande Heritage from Jeremy at Dragon G Scale , should be with me in the next 2 weeks . The plan is to add sound but i'm not to sure on what sound system to fit . I only use DC power on my line ( NO DCC) using a Aristo Train Engineer would be nice just to fit it all in the fuel tank so i don't need to remove the loco's body, do like the sound of the Phoenix but not sure which board to buy.
I see in the Garden Railways there is a sound unit made by Zimo for DC & DCC has any one ever used these as i haven't ever seen them forsale here there is also the QSi which i have in my K-27 are they easy to fit to USA Trains loco's as they are not plug & play . Can i use ESU or Massoth or are these just for DCC . Be interested to hear if anyone has a SD70 and fitted it with sound .
Regards Richie
 

Gizzy

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Massoth decoders can certainly be used for DC as well as DCC, although you'll need a power buffer to keep the sound going when the loco is stationary. The LGB and MDC decoders I use also work on DC, but I have no experience of the other makes.

I found in my TE days that it was possible to have enough power on the track where the loco was stationary and the sound stayed on....
 

PhilP

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A Phoenix board will give you an authentic sound. - Loads of volume to annoy the neighbours!
They come as a kit, with more-or-less all you need..
There is a battery to keep sound going whilst stationery.
Normally two reed switches for either 'chuff' or 'effect' triggering.
The last few I have had, have not had magnets in with them, but these were for diesel loco's.
A volume control switch. - Centre off, you hold it one way to increase, the other to decrease the volume.. Let go when you get to the right level.
You can purchase with the correct soundfile already loaded, or get a 'blank' unit and have it programmed. - You would not want to invest in the programming dongle for just one install. I could program it for you if you get stuck.
A Massoth would work, but they are really designed for DCC control, IMHO. - You can add switches to trigger some things if you wish. Again you would need to purchase with the correct sounds loaded, or load them with the infamous PC Module! - I have one of them too.

The other makes you mention I have no experience of. Someone will come along this evening no doubt..
PhilP.
 

Richie

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Many thanks Gizzy about the Massoth decoder thought it would only work on DCC can you use reed switches with these to trigger the horn and bell ? also would this loco be able to run on DCC if one of these was fitted ?

Many thanks Phil about the Phoenix sound unit, which board would this be to be used on DC with the battery back up as there seem to be several different boards some of which look like they are just for DCC ?
 

Gizzy

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Richie said:
Many thanks Gizzy about the Massoth decoder thought it would only work on DCC can you use reed switches with these to trigger the horn and bell ? also would this loco be able to run on DCC if one of these was fitted ?
I know you can with the LGB unit?

I have a Wizzy Cranks which has the horn triggered by track magnets, although I think it did this before I fitted a Massoth decoder.

Massoth made the LGB units anyhow so I guess the answer is yes, but others here will confirm this....
 

beavercreek

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Hi Richie
Phoenix do two boards the PB8 for DCC decoder and battery and PB11 for DC and DCC, for battery, track, in fact everything.
http://www.phoenixsound.com/product...Expensive but you gets what you pays for.....
 

PhilP

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Yes, you can trigger sounds with magnets/switches on the Massoth..
You would not get an authentic SD70 soundfile though. Nearest would probably be the F7..

Phoenix would be the PB11, as Beavercreek stated..
They are more expensive, but no so much when you factor in you get the speaker, volume control, reed switches, a battery pack all included in the kit. - By the time you add that lot to the XLS price, not a lot of difference.
 

Richie

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Hi Mike
Cheers for that ,the Phoenix PB11 sounds fantastic will have to find a few more bits and bobs to sell on e bay to pay for one :D:D have you fitted sound to your SD70 ? .

I see Wolves are playing Colchester tomorrow if there had been any room on the supporters bus I could of payed you a visit .
 

Richie

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Hi Phil
If I was to go with a Phoenix PB11 are they easy to fit could I just fit in the loco fuel tank and use the sound wires ? I have put in Sound traxx in several other loco's which fitted well in the fuel tank. Do you buy your sound boards from the U.K or USA if you get them from the states do you have to pay tax and do you have to pay extra to have the sound put on the board .
Regards Richie
 

beavercreek

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Hi Richie
There are two pins on the USAT pcb that supply power to the sound board. The speaker goes in the fuel tank and you can drill 1/4 inch holes there for the volume switch , the programming jack and, only if you want to, a charging jack for the back-up battery.
The USAT 'sound' slider switch (found as one of four switches under the loco in front of the fuel tank) actually turns the power to the board on and off.

The reed switches can be placed on the front of the fuel tank to detect magnets in the track for bell and horn

It is very easy. Well worth it. here s the list of manuals to look at
http://www.phoenixsound.com/support/support.html
 

PhilP

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Many of the UK dealers carry them.. Some can program a specific soundfile for you. Some will order-in a card with the correct sounds on.
Having the programmer, I just get what is available and load the correct file if necessary.
All the wires are a pushfit connections onto the board (plug for battery). Switch for volume, speaker, etc. come pre-wired and just push-in.
It really is that easy to get up and running.. If you want to play around with things it can take more time, but for an analogue installation, the most awkward thing will be deciding where to put the reed switches. Fuel tank is a good choice, as you can keep them hidden.
 

royale

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As has been said, the Phoenix PB11 comes with sound board, battery pack, speaker, jack socket to connect to the computer interface, volume control switch and two reed switches to trigger the horn and bell plus full instructions for DC. The latest board is the PB11v6, which is an upgraded PB11 so you should also get some cab chatter from the crew and Phoenix do a sound for an SD70. I've just had two delivered from Sandy at Scottish Garden Rail at a very good price. You can download the Phoenix sounds for free. On Google, type in Phoenix Sound Downloads and not only can you download any individual file to your computer, but you can also listen to what each file sounds like to see if that's what you want. The files include North American steam and diesel, and European Steam and diesel. I also have the Phoenix Sound Interface which you need to transfer a sound from your download to your locomotive should you want to make adjustments or completely change a sound file, and Albrighton's not too far away. Some people have been known to mistake the computer jack socket for a battery charging socket and have completely blown their board when they thought they were charging the battery so DO NOT DO THIS. Best of luck.
 

Neil Robinson

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beavercreek said:
The reed switches can be placed on the front of the fuel tank to detect magnets in the track for bell and horn
Excellent advice all round in this topic.
I'd just like to add the following regarding the reeds.
I'm unsure about the SD70 but mounting inside some tanks may raise them too high from the track magnets to trigger reliably. Also too close to a speaker or motor with a good sized magnet may permanently close them.
If they are too far from a bogie the overhang on a curve means that they don't align with the relevant track magnet so may not trigger or even trigger the wrong one. No problem of course if your triggers are all on straights.
I suggest a temporary fix for the reeds and a trial before a more permanent fixing.
 

beavercreek

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Neil Robinson said:
beavercreek said:
The reed switches can be placed on the front of the fuel tank to detect magnets in the track for bell and horn

I'd just like to add the following regarding the reeds.
I'm unsure about the SD70 but mounting inside some tanks may raise them too high from the track magnets to trigger reliably. Also too close to a speaker or motor with a good sized magnet may permanently close them.
If they are too far from a bogie the overhang on a curve means that they don't align with the relevant track magnet so may not trigger or even trigger the wrong one. No problem of course if your triggers are all on straights.
I suggest a temporary fix for the reeds and a trial before a more permanent fixing.
Yes Neil, you are correct, I should have made it clearer, I affix mine at the front outside the fuel tank and they hang down slightly below the bottom.
 

Richie

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Many thanks all for all the info on the sound unit's :clap: Looks like is has to be the Phoenix PB11 sound board just need to find a cheap place to get one have seen some on e bay in the States alot cheaper than here even with the P&P but would i also have to add import tax ? The only over places i know are Garden Railway Centres but i think Andrew charges £25 to add the sound you require and T&M models but he has no prices on his web site , will have a look at Sandy in Scotland . Just need to make some money now to pay for one have a Rivarossi mallet loco and coal wagons to go on ebay .
Most of my other loco's have sound from Sound Traxx and Dallee these are all in the loco's fuel tank with the reed switches on the floor of the tanks the only one i had trouble with was the Aristo UB25 as the tank was to high off the track so with this i just lowered the tank a few MM for the reeds to work . The hardest one to fit was the GP9 very small tank not much room after fitting the speaker but did manage to squeeze in the Dallee sound board a P9 battery and the reed switches for bell and horn no probs with the magnet from the speaker on the reed switches .
 

supagav

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Hi Richie,

I can't put it better than what has already been said before, but I must admit that you really can't go too far wrong with Phoenix! It's not the cheapest option, but it's really reliable with great backup & support. The repair guys from the US are fantastic: friendly and always helpful every time I've called. I've used their boards in all of our stuff and just love the sort of grungy, hard working sounds they produce.

Sandy Taylor up here in the frozen north has always done us a fairly good deal on these units so if you can I would give him a try too.

Good luck and I'd love to see (and hear!) the results! :)
 

beavercreek

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Richie said:
have seen some on e bay in the States alot cheaper than here even with the P&P but would i also have to add import tax ? The only over places

Yes Richie, you will have to pay the VAT at 20% on the item value PLUS the shipping cost. Sometimes the value can...ahem..be 'manipulated' by a friendly dealer...apparently...so I have been told........

Richie said:
i know are Garden Railway Centres but i think Andrew charges £25 to add the sound
I have the programmer so can do it for the cost of the postage Richie

Richie said:
The hardest one to fit was the GP9 very small tank not much room after fitting the speaker but did manage to squeeze in the Dallee sound board a P9 battery and the reed switches for bell and horn no probs with the magnet from the speaker on the reed switches .
With the smaller tanks (like GP9, NW2 and SW4) the sound board can be put inside the hood and the cables to the red switches, programming and/or charging jacks and speakers just pass through the hole in the hood floor into the fuel tank.

With the Soundtraxx Sierra boards, of course if they are put inside the hood (or a fuel tank), the access to the programming buttons is then a problem...have seen someone make two very neat little holes to poke a thin rod through and 'press' the buttons. The Phoenix boards can have all of this done with the programming jack socket
 

Richie

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Hi Mike & Gavin
I have checked out Sandy Taylor's web site and found the Phoenix sound but no prices are shown have emailed him to give me a price looks like he also adds the sound free of charge .

On my PA1 loco Mike the sound traxx board is inside the loco but i can just about get excess to the buttons on the board through one of the side doors that open .
 

chris m01

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One means of getting a remote horn - buy a cheap remote doorbell. put the receiver in the loco connected to the horn loop and fit the doorbell push anywhere you want on the garden.
 

beavercreek

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Chris M said:
One means of getting a remote horn
Mmmmm fnarrrr fnarrrr