Sorry for the dumb question ... but...

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by vanda32547, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. vanda32547

    vanda32547 Member

    Does the sound of the engine running, whistle, bell, steam, etc. come from the locomotives themselves or from the DCC System console somehow? I am new to this and am considering going with DCC for my new layout but I am somewhat confused about the particulars of this system.

  2. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member


    I too am confused, just getting into DCC.

    I do know that the sounds don't come from the engines themselves. When you install a sound system, a speaker is placed somewhere in the engine. It could be in the cab for diesels, the tender for steamers, etc.

    But the DCC "console" (decoder/seperate speaker) produces the sound.

    Understand? It's a little difficult, I know. I'm having enough trouble with DCC and the operational procedures myself, but hey, it's a learning process!
  3. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    The whistle/horn and diesel sound/choof choof etc comes from the loco itself.

    It requires a "sound decoder", which is a little circuit board that goes inside the loco itself. The DCC console/controller sends computer signals along the tracks which are picked up by the circuit board in the loco. For sound, this little circuit board also has a little speaker attached to it.

    i.e. you configure, using the controller, the little circuit board inside the loco, to say it is "loco number 21" or whatever number, and when you press the buttons on the controller, it sends a computer signal along the tracks to, say, "loco number 21 + whistle", and the speaker inside the loco will TOOOOOT!!. Or, the controller sends a computer signal along the tracks to "loco number 21 + turn headlight on", or "loco number 21 + increase speed 1 notch" or "loco number 21 + go in reverse", or "loco number 21 + turn engine sound on", etc etc etc.

    get the idea?
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The DCC controller tells the chip to turn sound on or off, but the chip itself produces the horn or whistle, steam chuff or diesel roar. You should check that the decoder has the appropriate sounds. I know there are British firms producing sound chips particular to certain classes of locomotives.
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Soundtrax in the U.S. also uses prototype locomotive sounds for their chips.
  6. Alan B

    Alan B Member

    The sounds come from a speaker. The speaker is controlled by a decoder. The decoder receives commands from the throttle or base unit whichever one is controlling the address of the sound decoder.

    The sound decoder may be of a type that also controls the locomotive's motor and lights, or it may be a separate decoder. It does not need to be mounted in the locomotive. Some locomotives have little or no space for a speaker. In that situation, the sound decoder and speaker can be mounted in another car or unpowered locomotive. You may even want different sounds from different parts of a train. For example, a steady diesel coming from modern reefer cars. This can be mounted in a reefer with appropriate rail pickups.

    MRC, has a remote speaker system. You can purchase this system for very little money and have a whole bunch of sounds. While not synchronized with your locomotive, the MRC system does a great job of honking horns, tooting whistles and ringing bells, and even has a conductor to call "all aboard!"

  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    There are other sound systems that use speakers placed around the layout, like a stereo system. These are probably less convincing as the sound doesn't follow the train unless you play with the balance control. They are usually not linked to your loco either.
  8. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

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