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richrua
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No, not a sound bag of chips, but the other kind. Now that I have managed to make a leap of thirty years from dc to dcc, I am a bit disappointed that sound chips are so dear. It is great that the 071 s come with a pre-installed speaker. Good idea - saves us a bit of hassle. I wonder will the next batch of locos come with on board sound? seems like a logical step. I would say that an 071 or 201 with pre-installed sound would sell very well, especially if the cost was a wee bit lower than separate sound chip and loco.

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No, not a sound bag of chips, but the other kind. Now that I have managed to make a leap of thirty years from dc to dcc, I am a bit disappointed that sound chips are so dear. It is great that the 071 s come with a pre-installed speaker. Good idea - saves us a bit of hassle. I wonder will the next batch of locos come with on board sound? seems like a logical step. I would say that an 071 or 201 with pre-installed sound would sell very well, especially if the cost was a wee bit lower than separate sound chip and loco.

 

Feel the same way. Hornby are selling a new range of locos with their 'TTS sound' chip and speaker for only £25 more than non sound loco. Hopefully we will all look back in a few years time when the market standard has become DCC sound ready locos (ie speaker and DCC socket installed), and sound decoders costing max €30-40 from all the key players. Hornby are leading the pack on sound for now. 2 channel sound seems adequate. I know many feel LokSound v4 and Zimo are the current high spec sound benchmarks, but do we really need 8 concurrent sound channels if a 2 sound channel decoder can still deliver 16 different sounds? Especially if a TTS type decoder is as affordable as £25.

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yes i was looking at the hornby ones. To me the 071 should come with sound on board. They have everything else!

 

Portable internet devices have let 'out of the bag' how cheap micro electronic components really are. The raw materials in decoders cost decoder manufacturers mere cents, their margin is absolutely staggering. In the future sound and DCC may well become standard specs on all locos, as may lighting in coaches, and weathering as standard. In 2014 why don't coach doors open? 25 years ago locos had no lights and no cab detail, just empty mouldings. It has come a long way and will probably continue to 'raise the bar' for what is accepted as 'norm' rather than expensive novelty features aimed at early adopters.

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Portable internet devices have let 'out of the bag' how cheap micro electronic components really are. The raw materials in decoders cost decoder manufacturers mere cents, their margin is absolutely staggering. In the future sound and DCC may well become standard specs on all locos, as may lighting in coaches, and weathering as standard. In 2014 why don't coach doors open? 25 years ago locos had no lights and no cab detail, just empty mouldings. It has come a long way and will probably continue to 'raise the bar' for what is accepted as 'norm' rather than expensive novelty features aimed at early adopters.

 

Sorry, Noel, but you're ignoring the little matter of the numbers. The phone in your pocket - the manufacturer makes them BY THE MILLION. The sound chip guy is probably turning out hundreds?

 

I haven't heard a Hornby "chuff" or "gurgle and roar", so can't judge whether their £25 version is up to the quality of the £50 - £100 version, often specifically "made to (Irish) measure".

 

Sorry to repeat myself - we're in a minority sport and you pay for your pleasures in such a situation!

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Sorry, Noel, but you're ignoring the little matter of the numbers. The phone in your pocket - the manufacturer makes them BY THE MILLION. The sound chip guy is probably turning out hundreds?

 

I haven't heard a Hornby "chuff" or "gurgle and roar", so can't judge whether their £25 version is up to the quality of the £50 - £100 version, often specifically "made to (Irish) measure".

 

Sorry to repeat myself - we're in a minority sport and you pay for your pleasures in such a situation!

 

Hi Leslie, yes I appreciate the different economies of scale, but the raw electronic components on a decoder are fairly vanilla produced by the gazillions for other purposes. It's fairly inexpensive now days to sub out tiny productions runs of pcb assemblies to Chinese companies (ie 5-10k units). While the market for decoders is small it must be at least 50,000 units per annum in the UK alone, not to mention Germany, Austria, Scandinavia and US markets. The uniquely 'Irish' bit is just a zero cost sound file. Hornby seem to be targeting the 'toy' market with their £25 extra for a decoder, sound and speaker, on basic detail loco bodies. I appreciate 'cottage' industry manufacturers in developed countries are not at the races in terms of unit costs compared to Far East, but its inevitable that as DCC becomes more mainstream that production shifts east. Cheers Noel.

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I wouldn't assume for a second the sound files and associated config are zero cost.

 

Hi BK, Well yes somebody had to record them but that's a once off cost, I meant material reproduction cost per decoder is zero. Digitrains charge 1 penny per sound file only because their online store software doesn't allow a price of 0.00. Once the sound file exists, it exists forever, no physical component cost beyond the decoder. Chatting to somebody recently they expressed a preference for the Zimo sound files of Irish GMs rather than the LokSound 4.0 compatible recordings. Does anybody who has had or listened to both have a view on this?

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Chatting to somebody recently they expressed a preference for the Zimo sound files of Irish GMs rather than the LokSound 4.0 compatible recordings. Does anybody who has had or listened to both have a view on this?

 

I have both Loksound and Zimo decoders. I think the sound files on the Zimo chips are better quality recordings, also they are taken from actual Irish locos while the Loksound equivalents use genric engine sounds from US locos that use the same prime mover as Irish locos.

 

Having said that I prefer the Loksound decoders. Zimo's motor control is second to none but Loksounds are much faster to respond to throttle changes and they have a manual notching feature.

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I have both Loksound and Zimo decoders. I think the sound files on the Zimo chips are better quality recordings, also they are taken from actual Irish locos while the Loksound equivalents use genric engine sounds from US locos that use the same prime mover as Irish locos.

 

Having said that I prefer the Loksound decoders. Zimo's motor control is second to none but Loksounds are much faster to respond to throttle changes and they have a manual notching feature.

 

Thanks for the feedback. I have a 071 LokSound 4.0 and found the manual notching awkward to use once the loco is moving. Its fine stationary other than the delay waiting to bring the loco back to idle. It's seems to need to complete a cycle and cannot be stepped right down on demand, or am I missing something?

 

Having said that I find it very impressive and reminiscent on my early memories of CIE GMs.

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Noel,

I am not on DCC sound yet. Can you explain what the manual notching function is exactly? Sorry for my ignorance.

Thanks

It allows you to hange the engine revs independently of the loco's speed. You can rev the engine right up to simulate trying to get a heavy train started or you can lower the revs to simulate coasting.

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Thanks for the feedback. I have a 071 LokSound 4.0 and found the manual notching awkward to use once the loco is moving. Its fine stationary other than the delay waiting to bring the loco back to idle. It's seems to need to complete a cycle and cannot be stepped right down on demand, or am I missing something?

 

Having said that I find it very impressive and reminiscent on my early memories of CIE GMs.

 

When using manual notching on the Loksound you have to press the necessary function key once to notch up, then press it AGAIN otherwise the engine will continue to notch up. The same applies to notching down. Now this can be awkward on the Loksound as they assign notching to high numbered function keys. I don't know what controller you are using but on my Gaugemaster Prodigy to access functions above 12 for example I have to press SHIFT+F1+F2 and then do the same to deactivate the notching.

That's why when I bought my Loksound chip from Olivia's Trains in the UK I asked them to reassign the manual notching to F4 and F5.

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It allows you to hange the engine revs independently of the loco's speed. You can rev the engine right up to simulate trying to get a heavy train started or you can lower the revs to simulate coasting.

 

I find these two functions (F18 notching up and F19 notching down) very awkward to control. They seem to have a life of their own. You have to turn F18 on and then wait until the delivered revs are attained but then quickly turn it off to stop the upward progression.

 

Then to turns revs down you have to engage F19 and wait as it steps down until idle is reached. When the loco is in motion it steps down to idle rather than the correct rpm for the current loco speed. It might have been nicer if F18/F19 could be used to step up and down one rpm range per press of the FN key rather than switching on a function that had to work its way through the motions of staged rpm climbing until stopped. It is probably a restriction imposed by NMRA DCC standards for controlling functions that was drawn up long before sound became popular. But as a user I find it too clunky to bother using and find it unrealistic. Or perhaps I have misunderstood how it is meant to be used.

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I find these two functions (F18 notching up and F19 notching down) very awkward to control. They seem to have a life of their own. You have to turn F18 on and then wait until the delivered revs are attained but then quickly turn it off to stop the upward progression.

 

Then to turns revs down you have to engage F19 and wait as it steps down until idle is reached. When the loco is in motion it steps down to idle rather than the correct rpm for the current loco speed. It might have been nicer if F18/F19 could be used to step up and down one rpm range per press of the FN key rather than switching on a function that had to work its way through the motions of staged rpm climbing until stopped. It is probably a restriction imposed by NMRA DCC standards for controlling functions that was drawn up long before sound became popular. But as a user I find it too clunky to bother using and find it unrealistic. Or perhaps I have misunderstood how it is meant to be used.

 

That's why I had mine assigned to "one push" function keys, the notching is much easier to control.

 

I think it stems from the fact that most function keys on DCC controllers are set to "latching", that is once you press them they stay on until pressed again. This is actually a setting on the controller and not the decoder. Some controllers allow you to change the latching settings for function keys, the Bachmann Dynamis is one that I know of.

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That's why I had mine assigned to "one push" function keys, the notching is much easier to control.

 

I think it stems from the fact that most function keys on DCC controllers are set to "latching", that is once you press them they stay on until pressed again. This is actually a setting on the controller and not the decoder. Some controllers allow you to change the latching settings for function keys, the Bachmann Dynamis is one that I know of.

 

This is where the Lenz LH100 handset beats the rest. Any of the function keys can be set by the user to be either 'latched' or 'momentary' for any locomotive, so you can have a function button programmed to be latched for one locomotive, and momentary for another. Not that you would want to do that. My locomotives have all had their functions standardised to the same function buttons, regardless of the origin of the sound decoder. It is not difficult to do if you follow the manufacturers instructions for the decoder.

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Thanks guys. I will re-read the NCE documentation to see if I can set some of the FN buttons to 'momentary' mode. I presume this is done with either the controller or cab settings, but with the decoders I may be able reassign sound functions to lower FN numbers to avoid use of the shift key on cabs. Is this correct?

 

That's why I had mine assigned to "one push" function keys, the notching is much easier to control.

 

I think it stems from the fact that most function keys on DCC controllers are set to "latching", that is once you press them they stay on until pressed again. This is actually a setting on the controller and not the decoder. Some controllers allow you to change the latching settings for function keys, the Bachmann Dynamis is one that I know of.

 

This is where the Lenz LH100 handset beats the rest. Any of the function keys can be set by the user to be either 'latched' or 'momentary' for any locomotive, so you can have a function button programmed to be latched for one locomotive, and momentary for another. Not that you would want to do that. My locomotives have all had their functions standardised to the same function buttons, regardless of the origin of the sound decoder. It is not difficult to do if you follow the manufacturers instructions for the decoder.
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Thanks guys. I will re-read the NCE documentation to see if I can set some of the FN buttons to 'momentary' mode. I presume this is done with either the controller or cab settings, but with the decoders I may be able reassign sound functions to lower FN numbers to avoid use of the shift key on cabs. Is this correct?

 

Looks like it isn't possible to do :( Shame, as I have the NCE Powercab myself

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/80262-nce-powercab-changing-latching-keys/

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Noel, you could also try remapping the notching feature to lower function buttons. I understand it's a bit involved with Loksound decoder, but it might be worth a try.

 

Thanks. I find the iPhone app handles this quite well much better than any cab as you have instant access to any sound function without needing shift keys, and the function buttons are labelled with the sounds. Personally notching is not a sound function that has particularly interested me so far. The automatic sounds out of the MM 071 are good enough for me.

 

It would make sense to standardise on ones own functions and remap all decoders so that the same buttons perform the same functions on all locos, especially as you recommend with the 10 most common functions on the 1st the buttons.

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  • 4 weeks later...
I understand that Mr Soundguy who pioneered the recording of Irish loco sounds is working on a new version of the Zimo soundproject in order to make notching and revs on braking possible.

 

Yes Keith confirmed the same to me earlier. I hope to test one of the new sound chips for 141 locos next week. hyper.gif

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keep us posted on that Noel

 

Sure. Will post a video next week when I get some time to fit the decoder and speaker to one of my 141s. I've heard his 071 chips and they sound good at move off, acceleration, deceleration, coasting and breaking. If the new 141 sound programme does what it claims on the tin, I will be a happy bunny, but can't judge till I've heard it with my own ears. I'm taking a punt on this.

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Absolutely jaw dropping, very hard to tell that was a model, loved the increase when under pressure , :trains:

 

Yes it does look good. Nice layout too. I'm hoping the 141 sound turns out as well. Not sure about the 071 doing 200mph scale speed at times. :)

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I've just received sound decoder for MM 141 from Mr Soundguy. Will post video later on the original 141/181 sound thread. It arrived within days of ordering with a supplied speaker that fits in MM 141/181 bodies without modification, just solder two wires to loco PCB. Pics to follow. This is Keith's latest version with 'real drive' sound mix. It runs on Zimo MX644D chip.

 

Rear case of speaker removed, two short wires soldered on

B0636B3D-E52A-414B-812C-DEA23DE2FF32.jpg

 

Speaker sits in MM supplied speaker cradle. A little bluetac stops any vibration.

EB08248D-43DF-48D8-BEE3-FD21F5FFE63E.jpg

Edited by Noel
Lexdisia
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