2 dumb questions...

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by tomustang, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. tomustang

    tomustang Has Entered.

    Last time I was in this hobby was over 10 years ago, I started back up and am wondering 2 things:

    1. Can I run Sound on a DC engine? If so, what would I need?

    2. Is there any downside in running two engine back to back pulling the same load? Only thing I can think of is drawing double the power on one track

  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Some answers...! ;)

    1. Yes. There are a number of ways this can be accomplished, although the easiest is currently to find a dual mode engine already equipped for what you want.

    2. You need to be sure that they run at about the same speed. With DCC, this can be programmed to some extent, but I assume you are talking DC. For DC, it is harder to "tune" the speed of a loco, so you'd want to have a pair that are reasonably matched from the start.

    Unless you are using a "train set" power source, two locos should not provide a challenge to the power pack.

  3. tomustang

    tomustang Has Entered.

  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    That link leads to a decoder that, from what I can tell, requires operation on a DCC controlled layout to work properly.

    To investigate the possibilities of retrofitting for DC, you might want to go to the various manufacturers' web sites. Start with MRC, Digitrax, Soundtraxx. There are others. Alternately, visit a retailer like Tony's Train Exchange to see what they have to say on DC sound.

    EDIT - Found this: Model Trains, Railroading, Sound Systems, Train Sounds which lists what MRC calls "Sound Modules" that plug in a DCC socket when a "DCC-ready" loco is run on DC. They are operated wirelessly or via the MRC "Blackbox".

  5. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Or, join the new century and go DCC! It's not what command control used to be (proprietary systems, no compatibility, had to be dedicated to DCC only)...

    Many decoders are capable of running dual mode (DC and DCC), and the cost is quite manageable. What you're going to pay for sound in 1 loco will get you a DCC sound decoder.

    And the cost has come down a long way. You can get a basic decoder for about $20 (installation isn't that bad, if you can handle a soldering iron).

    Even for a small layout (you can start at $100 for a simple system, $200 for a better one).

    For all the hassles of block wiring, it's worth the extra few bucks for startup costs for DCC. And if you're going to be buying new locos, DCC-equipped locos aren't that much more than non-DCC.

    You should really consider it....

    ... not that I'm biased or anything. ;)
  6. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    tomustang , the MRC AD370 IS NOT just an add on sound decoder, its a full blown DCC sound decoder:winki: . it IS NOT a duel mode sound decoder either, it is meant to run ON DCC SYSTEMS ONLY:winki: .

    the AD370 is an outdated sound system, very simplistic and not very accurate on the sounds:cry: , thats why its so cheap, i don't think MRC is even making them any more, i heard who ever has them are just selling their stock till they run out.

    :deano: -Deano
  7. CRed

    CRed Member

    As MasonJar mentions,just get MRC Brilliance dual mode decoders and the MRC Black Box to activate the sounds and you should be fine.Then when you do decide to go DCC no problems.

  8. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    VERY TRUE:thumb: , HOWEVER, think about this, MRC Brilliance sound decoders are about $129.00 , you can find them on sale at times for $89.00:winki: (i have just over 40 of them in about half my engines, GREAT sound decoders:thumb: ), now take the cost of the MRC Black box, if you installed just 3 of the MRC Brilliance sound decoders and added the cost of a black box, you could have bought a GOOD DCC system and be able to use those decoders to their full potential:winki: . JUST MY THOUGHTS:smilie: .
    :deano: -Deano
  9. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    That's more or less what I was trying to say, but not as well. :)
  10. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    i AGREED with you Squidbait:thumb: , i am sorry:oops: , my bad, i should have quoted your comments in my post also:winki::smilie: .

    :deano: -Deano
  11. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    I wasn't complaining, Deano... so no worries! :thumb:

    Besides, it's been my experience that when you're trying to explain things to people you have to:

    1) tell 'em,
    2) tell 'em you told 'em,
    3) tell 'em that you told 'em,
    4) tell 'em again.


  12. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    sign1 , quite true Squidbait, quite true:winki::mrgreen: .

    Honestly, i not real big on imposing my thoughts on what one should do anymore, as everyone is different, whats GREAT for me might not be for you:winki: . when i seen the reasons tomustang was going to get the MRC AD370, i just had to speak up. i have one of those in my SD50, so i know what they are like:winki: , i just cringe every time i run it:frowns: , i really need to change it out:oops: . i just didn't want him to buy that decoder for the reasons he stated, it wouldn't have worked:cry: .

    :deano: -Deano
  13. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    I agree... actually, I don't know if the Brilliance diesel decoder is any better, but the original diesel one was pretty cheezy. The steam brilliance sounds pretty good, but for the price, I'll get a Soundtraxx Tsunami - some of the best steam sound I've heard.

    Now if only Soundtraxx would do a diesel Tsunami!
  14. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    Out of over 85 engines, its pretty even between MRC Brilliance and Loksound for me:winki: . BOTH are GREAT sound decoders:thumb: . i pretty much use the Brilliance line for EMD's, and Loksound for everything else:winki: . for steam however, i am going with the Tsunami's from now on:winki: .

    :deano: -Deano
  15. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    My only 2 gripes with the Loksound decoders are that the horns tend to sound weak (because they were recorded from inside the cab), and they use 100 ohm speakers, which means I have to use their speakers with their decoders, and can't use their speakers in other apps, since 8 ohm is much more common.
  16. CRed

    CRed Member

    85 engines,eh Deano?Wow!that's quite a fleet you have there.I only have eight,but two of them are DM&IR Yellowstones so I'd be happy with just the two of them on my layout(If it ever gets done:rolleyes:.)

    I'm sending out the WSM model for painting and DCC/Sound conversion and I'll probably use Loksound or the Tsunami for it.

    Maybe tomustang is like me and not ready to get his feet wet in the pool of DCC ,although I have been thinking a lot about it lately.Of course I'm way behind the curve when it comes to techie stuff.Aside from being able to build and repair computers I have no iPod or MP3 player of any sort and have never owned a cell phone even.In fact last year we finally replaced our 15 year old T.V. with a 25" flat screen(Not an LCD)with a built in DVD,our first DVD player!So maybe I'm not the right person to ask about these things.I'm not an complcated man,just feed me,let me have my trains and I'm happysign1!

  17. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    I wouldn't push DCC so hard, except that Tom says he's just getting back into it. If he's starting off without a fleet of locos, to me it just makes more sense to go DCC, right off the bat.
  18. tomustang

    tomustang Has Entered.

    Thanks for all the replies guys, I've been busy so it's hard to get back here

    For now I've just been collecting up rolling stock since they're easier to modify with just changing the couplings and metal wheels

    I did pick up 1 DCC engine, a Bethlehem Steel Switcher, which I'll experiment with sound, from there who knows what I'll do

  19. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    That's a decent little engine, with a dual-mode decoder - so you won't have to make the DCC decision right away. It's also a decent runner - much better than when they first came out. Back then they had 2 power trucks and were a little dodgy. Now they've got a can motor drive. Very nice.

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