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Noel

Which DCC sound chip for MM 141/181

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Hi Folks

 

Could any of you kind folk who have DCC sound working well on MM 141 or MM 181 locos please let me know where you sourced your sound chip and speaker, and also if you are happy with it. I understand it should now be possible to fit a speaker inside an MM 141/181 loco body without cannibalising it.

 

The only two sources I am aware of are Model Shop Belfast and Mr Sound Guy. Are these two different sound files, or the same?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Noel

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I have both Mr Sound Guy (Belfast Model Shop), and the sound Glenderg posted the link to, which I find to be the better of the two, even though it is not strictly correct, being a 16 Cylinder engine instead of an 8 Cylinder.

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I have both Mr Sound Guy (Belfast Model Shop), and the sound Glenderg posted the link to, which I find to be the better of the two, even though it is not strictly correct, being a 16 Cylinder engine instead of an 8 Cylinder.

 

Thanks guys. DV, do you mean you preferred the modified LokSound to the Zimo in BMS?

 

The video in glendergs link is fabulous, but I didn't think the loco had that classic GM hi-pitched spooling up and down noises. It sounded a little like a BR diesel instead, but in fairness that may have been because in the video she was only shunted at low speeds and perhaps the decoder didn't get a chance to spool up the motor sound. The 071 chip I've heard had a more classic GM sound. If BMS uses the Mr Sound guy decoder, then that seems to narrow it down to three choices, BMS (Zimo Mr Sound Guy), Olivia's Trains (LokSound customised as per video) or put an MM071 chip in it (LokSound). Anymore 141/181 owners out there with sound chips? I'd read on one of the forums opinions that Zimo may not be as smooth a drive decoder as others, but that could be a myth?

 

PS: How did folk get on fitting speakers?

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Yes Noel, I prefer the modified Loksound to the BMS Zimo. I find the Loksound decoder has better synchronised sound with movement than the BMS Zimo, it also has manual notching which the Zimo doesn't. I don't see how you can fit an 071 sound decoder to a 141/181, as they don't sound anything like an 071. I think the modified Loksound sound as per the video sounds pretty much like many of the 141/181s did sound.

As for fitting a speaker to a 141/181, it could not be simpler. There is already a speaker mounting fitted to the loco, all you need is a 40mm x 20mm speaker to mount on it, and attach the wires to the circuit board.

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Hi, Noel.

 

That's my loco in the link that Glenderg posted. I have to agree with Dhu Varren that the Loksound decoder has much better response when driving it. The problem with the Zimo decoders from MSB is that the engine sound does not respond quickly enough to throttle changes, which would'nt be so bad if they had manual notching but they don't!

As for the engine sound in the Loksound; it is pretty accurate. It's an EMD 567 which is what was originally fitted to the 121 and 141 class locos. Dhu Varren is quite right in pointing out that it's a 16 cyl rather than an 8 cyl engine which was fitted in the 141's but it's pretty close.

Like you said it does'nt really get a chance to spool up to hi revs as it's just shunting, but it sounds great when notched right up! With the Loksound decoder you can have the loco stopped and then turn the throttle straight up to say speed step 10 and the engine sound will go straight to a high notch which is very realistic. That just does'nt work with the Zimo decoders where the loco will be up to speed long before the engine sound catches up with it. You literally have to adjust the way you drive the loco to how the decoder behaves.

 

As for installing the speaker, here's a link to my workbench where I describe how I did mine in detail. It's a simple enough job.

 

http://irishrailwaymodeller.com/showthread.php/77-Graham-s-Workbench/page10

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Thanks DV and IrishThump. That very informative and great to get feed back from 'the horses mouth' so to speak. Does anybody have a video of the LokSound 'spooling' up in a 141/181 as you describe when it moves off. The 071 I have is very good at the synchronisation you describe. I spoke to one supplier on the phone who claimed the MM LokSound file v the Zimo file was chalk'n'cheese implying that the sound file used on the zimo was far superior, but it appears not to be so from both of your experience. You have saved me a few bob. Thank you.

 

In the article below it looks like the author made unnecessary work for himself with the mods to the chassis to fit his chosen speaker in. I'm hoping for an easy 'plug and play' install just having to solder the speaker wires to the MM pcb.

 

http://www.murphymodels.com/files/Class_141_Sound_DCC_MR130_058-061.pdf

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As for installing the speaker, here's a link to my workbench where I describe how I did mine in detail. It's a simple enough job.

 

http://irishrailwaymodeller.com/showthread.php/77-Graham-s-Workbench/page10

 

Thanks that link explains it. One question, I assume you removed the supplied speaker cradle that is pre fitted in the MM 141/181? And replaced the plastic moulding with the modified speaker.

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All the Sound guy /MSB decoders were recorded from IE locos,071 was 088,201 was 212, and the 141 is I think 188 (with permission from IE.The 001 class sound chip was recorded a few years ago at Downpatrick but is not available just yet.I love the 071 chip and in particular the horn sounds are great.

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As regards the speaker in the 141 loco, I have heard two arguments as regard taking off the back of the speaker so no cutting/filing is needed for it to fit as space is very tight in the body.However it has been said that the back of the speaker is needed to properly get out the bass sound and hence why some people do this modification.

Most speakers have this chamber to reflect the sound out, however just removing the back will save a hell of a lot of work.

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When I fitted my first two 141s with sound, Mr Sound Guy from DCC Supplies, I fitted one with a modified bass reflex speaker using a similar method to the above, and one was fitted with a standard 40 x 20 speaker using the cradle provided. In all honesty, sound wise, I could not tell them apart. I don't believe these bass reflex speakers are all that they are cracked up to be. Ultimately, I replaced the modified speaker with a standard one, and used the modified speaker in another loco that required a slightly smaller speaker.

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Here's a couple of quick videos....

 

The first one just has the loco standing still while I run up through the engine notches. The second one is 142 shunting some container flats. It was difficult working the throttle while trying to film everything with my phone but hopefully you'll get the effect of the engine sound!

 

 

[video=youtube;_NTj-YS61WU]

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Here's a couple of quick videos....

 

The first one just has the loco standing still while I run up through the engine notches. The second one is 142 shunting some container flats. It was difficult working the throttle while trying to film everything with my phone but hopefully you'll get the effect of the engine sound!

 

 

[video=youtube;_NTj-YS61WU]

 

Sounds good to my uneducated ear. Nice to hear it. Made me smile!:D

Filed a mental note, I'll be sticking with the Loksound when I get to sound unless we have something newer by then.

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Here's a couple of quick videos....

 

The first one just has the loco standing still while I run up through the engine notches. The second one is 142 shunting some container flats. It was difficult working the throttle while trying to film everything with my phone but hopefully you'll get the effect of the engine sound!

 

Thank you very much for posting that. It sounds really great and the second video confirms the rapid change in sound to match throttle speed inputs.

 

So just to confirm I have understood a few points:

 

  1. The loco in the two videos is LokSound v4.0 with a modified 071 sound file supplied by Olivia's models (i.e. pre-burned with the modified file)
  2. Olivia models changed the prime mover sound for an EMD 567 from another file they had
  3. The spooling up and down sounds were automatically matched to throttle settings (i.e. not manually notched on 2nd video)
  4. The breaking sound was automatic

 

Have I got that right?

 

And the BMS Zimo chip does not spool up quickly with early throttle inputs. One of the things I like about the MM LokSound 071 decoder is that the sound spools up almost before the loco moves like the real thing and automatically notches up during early accelerations (i.e. rapidly matches speed changes). From what you are all saying the BMS Zimo chip does not do this which seems a major omission.

 

PS: Forgive, but did real world 181s sound much different to 141s?

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Thank you very much for posting that. It sounds really great and the second video confirms the rapid change in sound to match throttle speed inputs.

 

So just to confirm I have understood a few points:

 

  1. The loco in the two videos is LokSound v4.0 with a modified 071 sound file supplied by Olivia's models (i.e. pre-burned with the modified file)
  2. Olivia models changed the prime mover sound for an EMD 567 from another file they had
  3. The spooling up and down sounds were automatically matched to throttle settings (i.e. not manually notched on 2nd video)
  4. The breaking sound was automatic

 

Have I got that right?

 

And the BMS Zimo chip does not spool up quickly with early throttle inputs. One of the things I like about the MM LokSound 071 decoder is that the sound spools up almost before the loco moves like the real thing and automatically notches up during early accelerations (i.e. rapidly matches speed changes). From what you are all saying the BMS Zimo chip does not do this which seems a major omission.

 

PS: Forgive, but did real world 181s sound much different to 141s?

 

Yes, Noel, That's pretty much all spot on.

 

I simply asked Olivia's Trains to replace the engine sound on the 071 sound file.

 

I did'nt use manual notching at all in the second video, the spooling sounds were the result of the throttle changes.

 

The braking sound is automatic but it's adjustable or can be turned off altogether.

 

The Model Shop Belfast chip just is'nt as responsive, I think part of the reason for this is that the Zimo chips link the throttle changes to the actual speed of the motor rather than to the throttle setting.

 

The 141's and 181's were fitted with different engines and there was a noticable difference between the sound of the two. The 141's were originally fitted with the EMD 567C while the 181's came with the EMD 645E.

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When I fitted my first two 141s with sound, Mr Sound Guy from DCC Supplies, I fitted one with a modified bass reflex speaker using a similar method to the above, and one was fitted with a standard 40 x 20 speaker using the cradle provided. In all honesty, sound wise, I could not tell them apart. I don't believe these bass reflex speakers are all that they are cracked up to be. Ultimately, I replaced the modified speaker with a standard one, and used the modified speaker in another loco that required a slightly smaller speaker.

 

It may be a matter of opinion, but I have been working with Mr Soundguy since 2007 to enable Irish soundchips to be available and find that the larger Bass Reflex speaker (when left intact) is best for the 071 sound while the smaller Bass Enhanced speaker is much better than small round speakers. Bass Enhanced speakers fit the MM071 models without any problem but some filing is needed to fit them to the MM141/181s. Its a matter of choice really but I think the full sound effect is worth achieving even if this effect is muted at exhibitions due to general acoustic interference. Mr Soundguy is working continually to improve the sound from the Zimo chips which are in continual development.

 

It is worth checking out the video Irish Rail Archive Volume 5 GM Powered which features 001, 071, 121, 141, 181 and 201 Classes starting/stopping/in full cryto remind us what the prototype actually sounds like! Reproducing these effects in 4mm/foot is the challenge.

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It may be a matter of opinion, but I have been working with Mr Soundguy since 2007 to enable Irish soundchips to be available and find that the larger Bass Reflex speaker (when left intact) is best for the 071 sound while the smaller Bass Enhanced speaker is much better than small round speakers. Bass Enhanced speakers fit the MM071 models without any problem but some filing is needed to fit them to the MM141/181s. Its a matter of choice really but I think the full sound effect is worth achieving even if this effect is muted at exhibitions due to general acoustic interference. Mr Soundguy is working continually to improve the sound from the Zimo chips which are in continual development.

 

It is worth checking out the video Irish Rail Archive Volume 5 GM Powered which features 001, 071, 121, 141, 181 and 201 Classes starting/stopping/in full cryto remind us what the prototype actually sounds like! Reproducing these effects in 4mm/foot is the challenge.

 

The actual sound from Mr Soundguy's chips is not the issue, the recordings are top notch and are most likely the best available at the moment. The main issue is how the soundfile is set up on the decoders themselves. Like I said, if he simply made manual notching available on the Zimo decoders then they would be pretty much perfect.

To be honest I don't understand why he switched from Loksound to Zimo.

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I would agree entirely with irishthump that the quality of the sound from Mr Soundguy is not an issue, it is how the sound responds to changes in what the loco is doing is the problem. I was running both BMS Zimo decoders alongside Loksound decoders, and try as I might, I just could not get the Zimos to respond anywhere near like the Loksounds. In the end, I disposed of the Zimos, and replaced them with Loksounds.

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The actual sound from Mr Soundguy's chips is not the issue, the recordings are top notch and are most likely the best available at the moment. The main issue is how the soundfile is set up on the decoders themselves. Like I said, if he simply made manual notching available on the Zimo decoders then they would be pretty much perfect.

To be honest I don't understand why he switched from Loksound to Zimo.

 

The reason was the unavailability of Loksound chips at reasonable prices. I know he is working on an improved version of Zimo which will allow GM engine notching to be varied at full speed and hopefully better capture the 071 at full cry.

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The reason was the unavailability of Loksound chips at reasonable prices. I know he is working on an improved version of Zimo which will allow GM engine notching to be varied at full speed and hopefully better capture the 071 at full cry.

 

The current Zimo decoders support the manual notching feature, the soundfile itself has to be modified to allow manual notching to be used.

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The reason was the unavailability of Loksound chips at reasonable prices. I know he is working on an improved version of Zimo which will allow GM engine notching to be varied at full speed and hopefully better capture the 071 at full cry.

 

See also discussion and video on 071 soundchips here: http://irishrailwaymodeller.com/showthread.php/3635-sound-chips/page3

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Zimo MX644D sound decoder and speaker from Mr Soundguy installed in MM B141 ready for sound checks

 

Will post video later

 

76016BA7-2AF5-4CA9-8BC4-0D9FBA65FF2C.jpg

Edited by Noel

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That's a big speaker shoehorned in there! Is it enclosed at the back?

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That's a big speaker shoehorned in there! Is it enclosed at the back?

 

Yes it fits perfectly in the MM loco provided speaker cradle. EDIT: I later added some blue-tac under the speaker to anchor it in the speaker cradle and stop vibration which could cause sound distortion.

 

015D9FEF-9A76-437B-A9DE-F3257CD388C3.jpg

Edited by Noel

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Apologies for the poor video, it was shot in a hurry on a hand held phone and sound quality not great, but you will get the general idea what the loco sounds like.

 

MM 141 loco with Zimo MX644D sound chip, ESU speaker and latest version of Mr Sound Guy sound mix for 141/181

 

 

These chips use a driving and sound programming system called 'real drive' which I am learning how to use (see the 071 video recently posted on the forum for a description of real drive). I still have a few CVs to adjust for things like breaking, and duration of break screech noise, etc. Mr Sound Guy "Keith" has been incredibly helpful and has moved popular sound functions to F1-F9 so that they can be quickly accessed without needing shift keys. He also made some last minute fine tuning adjustments over the weekend before shipping to me.

 

Initially I found the new coasting and braking method of driving a little alien, but now that I have got used to it, I love it, very real way of stopping a loco at a station or shunting. He has created a light engine mode F5 for light yard work, engine only, or light train which reduces the automatic level of notching up (i.e. less revs needed for lighter load).

 

Over the weekend I will try and record a better video using a tripod with different types of operations (e.g: shunting, coupling up, heavy train move off, light train move off, coasting, automatic notching up and down, etc. Hopefully I will have tuned a few sound CVs by then.

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Noel, just pure magic, who done, superb piece of work

 

Thanks but I can't take any credit, its all the work of Keith Pearson (MrSoundGuy). He has been very helpful. I contacted him shortly after this thread was started. He was very helpful and told me about his new sound projects which seemed a big improvement over the 1st version of the 141/181 especially in relation to realistic automatic notching and coasting. All I've done is install it and exchanged emails with Keith on the features I would prefer. I ordered mine only last Friday and it arrived within days. He kindly held over the weekend as he wanted to make some final tweaks which he played back to me over the phone. Now that is what I call excellent customer service. I suggested moving few functions to the lower 10 FN keys so they could be directly accessed on most DCC cabs, which keith duly did. Top 'guy' forgive the play on his trading name. :)

 

Excellent Noel, sounds great.

 

Cheers but credit to Keith Pearson for building this new sound mix with new programming. Last night I added more blue-tac around the edges of the speaker to anchor it to the MM supplied speaker cradle which stopped vibration at higher volume levels. The default volume out of the box is set at CV266=64, but I have lowered it to 45 which sounds about right on our layout (i.e. you can hear wheels on rails from coaches as well as loco engine). I've a little more tweaking to experiment with but overall I am delighted I went with the new Zimo.

 

Me being me, I will probably get a modified LokSound as well at some stage in the future, just to compare, but I already have LokSound in 071, so it should be similar in behaviour. I prefer the auto notching on the new 141/181 Zimo and especially the breaking/coasting type of driving - very realistic. But on the strength of this weeks trials, I'm going to order two more Zimos for my other MM baby GMs.

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Very impressive!

Although I've ordered myself a Lokprogrammer, I might be tempted to get one or two of these. Does Mr Soundguy offer a reprogramming service for decoders?

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Very impressive!

Although I've ordered myself a Lokprogrammer, I might be tempted to get one or two of these. Does Mr Soundguy offer a reprogramming service for decoders?

 

I understand that Mr Soundguy is planning reprogramming (reblows in the jargon). See also new post on his 071 Zimo soundchip: http://irishrailwaymodeller.com/showthread.php/3635-sound-chips?p=59009#post59009

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Noel, how did you get the decoder, I was on their site and it's says it's still a work in progress?

 

Hi John.

 

I ordered direct from MrSoundguy (i.e: Keith Pearson), mrsoundguyuk@gmail.com .

Placed order via email and paid via paypal.

 

Noel

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OK so I have now had plenty of time trying out the new version of the 141/181 Zimo sound decoder. I also have LokSound in 071. Both are excellent but quite different in some respects. I couldn't really say one is better or worse then the other, just different. The difference is in the area of driving method and driving style, which will be personal to different operators. Some folk will prefer the directness of driving the LokSound, while others will prefer the Zimo 'Real Drive' experience. This Zimo is quite different from the MSB variants which were an earlier incarnation of the sound program.

 

Having been used to and very happy with the LokSound style of driving, initially I was all at sea with the Zimo, and initially didn't like the long acceleration and deceleration characteristics requiring braking. It took time and I had to make a mental break from the direct driving style of the LokSound (i.e. lower interita lag from throttle changes). The Zimo needs to be driven more like the real thing and stopping distances require planning ahead, just like driving real locos. Its a far cry from the instant non-inertia control experience of DC rotary knobs. Driving the Zimo decoder felt alien for a while, but I persisted and have adjusted my driving style. I am very pleased the way it turned out despite my initial frustration as I adjusted to 'real drive' techniques. It may not be everybody's cup of tea, but the realism of the engine sound matching power rather than mere track speed, the automatic notching, coasting and braking has won me over. I just love the way the brakes work with a coasting train approaching a station.

 

hyper.gif

 

There are a few nice little touches with the sound, for example the loco notches up slightly when brakes are applied if coasting, and notch down again to idle when the brake pressure is reduced after a stop. The horn sound recording is fantastic with push to activate short horn and long horn. The flange squeal sound is the biz on final approach to station or departing over point work and around bends at low speeds. F5 activates light engine mode for shunting and free loco running (i.e. less RPM sound needed and inertia values lower).

 

Typical Departure Sound Sequence

  • F10 Coach Doors Slamming
  • F9 Guards whistle
  • F6 Break release - Air release
  • F2 Short horn – safety warning
  • Notching - Loco starts moving after notching up
  • F8 Flange squeal
  • F3 Long horn on the main
  • Engine Notching up and down automatically and loco accelerates to target cruising speed

 

I prefer the brake sounds on the LokSound recording as they sound a little exaggerated and hence sound better on a model layout. The Zimo brake noise are probably a more accurate sound but lack a bit of 'punch'. Overall though the Zimo engine sounds and notching have impressed, especially the realistic method of driving. You pile the power on and nothing happens for a moment, but slowly she moves off, engine notching up and trashing while heavy train very slowly accelerates. As target speed is gradually attained the loco notches down to cruising power. It took some adjustment, but now I just love it.

 

hyper.gif

Edited by Noel
Lexdisia

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