Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Xaniel, Nov 24, 2002.

  1. Xaniel

    Xaniel Member

    Yesterday, I went to my local hobby shop and saw ane guy trying one loco with sound. Really cool, with realisct sounds like the diesel engine accelarating as the man turned the knob, decelarating as well, air from the brakes when the loco stopped, horn, bells...

    Then I came back home and started to search on the net... but my knowledge on this subject is... well, let's face it... NOTHING!

    Then I thought.. The-Gauge will be the answer to my doubts...

    Well, what do you guys know about sound system for N-Scale? cheap? good, a thing not to buy?

    I've seen on shamus site a thing about sound, but it's good for environmental sounds. I'm looking for somthing that could make me feel like I went inside of a loco.

    What about a good power supply? Some one told me about Gaugemaster...

    Thanks for your time!
  2. Vic

    Vic Active Member

  3. alex_mrrkb

    alex_mrrkb Member

    One thing I would personnally stay away from is the MRC sound station (it's on the back of mosts "Model railroader" magazines I've bought.

    For thoses who don't know what it is, it's just a pair of speakers and a sound generator.

    I haven't tried it, and never will. I just can't cope with the idea that the sound doesn't actually come from the locos. It definitly think I'd look like a fool showing my layount with such a unrealistic sound system ... the loco enters a tunnel but the sound is the same ... the loco is far but the sound is the same as when it is near ... Plus you don't have any relation with speed.

    I hope I'll have sound on my layout, and soundtraxx seems like the only way to go ($$$).
  4. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    I have seen and heard sound systems in HO and larger scales but so far nothing for N scale. The problem is the speaker size or sound producing electronics. They are so small for N gauge that the sound would not be realistic. Let's hope new technologies will improve in the years to come. On my layout, I have resorted to playing the Greenfrog sound tapes as background and it does help to create some realism.
  5. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Robin, As you know I model in HON3, the problems of installing a speaker in say a loco tender are many. I have to resort at times to actually cutting down a 1" speaker to get it to fit but if that is done right the sound quality does not suffer. My sound system is a Soundtraxx non-DCC system. It does have a radio controlled throttle however. Quality sound can be obtained from even the smallest of speakers in the following manner:

    The first thing to remember is that low frequency sound is non-directional and that high frequency sound is directional. The tiny speaker that will mount in an engine or car is entirely adequate for the high frequency (read high pitched) sounds.

    By installing the small speaker in the loco we will only hear the high frequency sound coming from that but since it is directional our ears and eyes will follow the loco as it moves.

    Now since the low frequency sounds are non-directional our ears and eyes don't care where they come from...all we need to do is to be able to hear them for effect.

    I have installed under the layout in a central location a 10" sub woofer speaker which is also fed by the sound system. Since it only responds to the low frequency sound it provides the needed "fill" to make the sound realistic. When a sound equipted train is running the combinations of the two litteraly "fools" one's ears, brain and eyes into thinking that all of the sound is actually coming from the loco. The effect is so realistic that it is startling.!!

    Now this idea is not my creation....its sorta SOP with all sound systems where speaker installation vs sound quality is a problem. Soundtraxx devotes an entire chapter to it in their instruction manual. All I can says is it works and my locos sound real!!:)

    Didn't mean to write so much.....trying to stay awake after stuffing myself with turkey and dressing~~:D :D

    BTW...I also have a 200 watt amplifier that I can switch in if needed to "rattle" the neighbor's windows!!!:D :D :D In addition to hearing the loco you "feel" it too!!:D :)
  6. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Thanks for the good news Vic. Makes sense so will have to look toward soundtraxx in future
  7. marty w.

    marty w. Member

    If you are using DCC, checkout the soundtraxx #DSD-090LC for N scale. Their are a few guys on the Yahoo Groups Soundtraxx List that have installed these in dummy desiel units or steam loco's with big tenders.
  8. JMD3

    JMD3 New Member


    You can also check out the latest Model Railroader. It has an article on equiping locos with sound. Includes details for the Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0 with great pictures.


Share This Page