Sound vS Cheapness

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by green_elite_cab, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!


    I have enough money to buy either 4 or 5 good decoders without sound, or 1-2 sound decoders, depending on which brand i buy. I want to get my trains running on DCC farily soon, is it worth it to save my money on the sound decoders and buy them, or do you think it is worth it to just get normal decoders for now so atleast i can use the superior running and lighting qualities of DCC?
  2. Freelancer

    Freelancer Member

    A week ago I would have told you to go with the regular decoders and hold off on the sound, but I just got my first sound decoder and I love it! I can't wait to get another one, I just can't decide which loco to equip next. So I would suggest a decoder with sound. However, depending on the type of installation, or if this will be your first, I would suggest getting an inexpensive one without sound to try as your first installation.

  3. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I guess the one i want sound in the Most is my U34CH (in my avatar) but i also want to be albe to get running my railroad quickly on DCC. I'm not sure i want to wait 3 weeks for each decoder ( and loose just about all the money i earned in the process). However, i'd hate even more to buy a normal decoder, then have to pay more for eitehr a new sound decoder, or one of those add on things that would make the combined price more in than if i just got sound in the first place. I guess sound is the way to go.
  4. Tim K

    Tim K Member

    If I can make a suggestion buy at least one dcoder with sound and wait on the others so you can decide if you like the sound option , but I must warn you once you have a sound equiped Loco there is no going back I love my Atlas Gold Dash 8-40C and so does everyone that hears it.

    I also don't think you would have to have sound on all Loco's to get a good effect maybe just two or three on a layout .

    Tim K
  5. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    yeah i already have a steam engine with sound ( lionel Challenger). I only have room on my layout for 3 locomotive, all though i can push it with 4 or 5.

    I doubt my Ge 44 tonner has enough room for sound, so i'm not worried, lol. Loksound lists it as one of it's sound choices, but there is no download for it. Perhaps i can order one of their mini decoders. Thats the only locomotive that will ALWAYS be on the layout. The other ones, like my ALP44 ( which i doubt there is room for sound in there) B40-8, and 3 of my Athern bluebox locomotives are really the only ones that are ever on my layout. I don't need to upgrade the whole fleet. I just don't want to be sittign there for a long time not running trains.
  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I expect that sometime you will have a loco with no room for sound. You may have one already.
    If you buy a handful of basic decoders, you can slowly replace them with sound units and use the basic chips on smaller locos or turntables or whatever.
    Do you have your DCC controller yet? Possibly, buy 2 basic decoders and check it out. then see if you have enough for a single sound unit.
  7. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Yeah i have the DCC equipment, but only the one Lionel Challenger i mentioned with DCC. the DC power pack in short is making me angry because i got use to the speed control given with DCC.

    I think rather than buying basic decoders then upgrading, and handind down, i could just swap decoders when i feel the need to run something else. I think i'd only need 5. If i get the loksound programmer thing, ( sigh, another big ticket item) i can just keep switching the decoders around.

    I think i can shoove one of those mini Loksound decoders into my GE 44 tonner ( and they make sounds for one apperently)
  8. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Cool! :thumb: if you can indeed do that, I may get a 44tonner and do that too! :cool: Say, you mentioned on your site that it's in the paint shop...whaty will it look like?
  9. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    oh, i meant it was getting repainted in Pennsy again. It doesn't have its on shed, so its exposed to the elements. luckily the owners are smart and know where to grab volunteers to clean it down and touch it up.
  10. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    shoot, i got loksound decoder for my U34CH, and now the speaker won't fit. great.
  11. caliban

    caliban Member


    I've two QSI locos and just installed my first sound decoder (Soundtrax LC). And I really like it, BUT if you use these, you can only run the loco on DCC. BUT it's great to run the loco with sound.
    g_e_c have you tried out the cab for mounting the speaking?

    There's a Soundtrax LC with GE sound, made as replacement for the Atlas PCB, I used it for my Amtrak P40. May it is a soloution, you could use the Loksound for another loco with more space. BTW it's half the price but double the work.

  12. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I ended up geting a Loksound decoder today at the NTS in Philadelphia ( great trip, got to see alot of stuff) Apperently, the guide says my decoder can run on DC ( except for the obvious lack of control over the sounds). Its all programmed for my U34CH. At first i though it wouldn't fit, but then i remeber an earlier suggestion by UP SD40-2 to do the Cab mounting that you mentioned.

    that was tireing. It was fairly easy to cut away the plastic that was in the way, but i had to use a hack saw to cut some of the weights. I have it in though, and its the best thing ever. I just wish they had sound for my ALP44 ( and room to put sound in there, lol.)
  13. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    shouldn't the Alp44 sound likre an old athearn? sign1 I swear $250 for a pennsy GG1 and it sounds EXACTLY like an older blue box athearn!!! :eek: :curse: :rolleyes:
  14. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I love sound. I am hooked. That is why I am going DCC. Only one problem, can't find much choice either it is Sountraxx LC at $40-$50 or $100 plus for the high end stuff that I need to go back to school to use. I only need the basics, don't need to hear fireman shoveling coal. If you can here that on a real steam loco he must have a very big shovel. Right now I am mostly using Soundtraxx LC but all sound the same.
  15. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    depends who's sound systme you are buying. I'm looking into another Loksound decoder. the one on the BLI GG1 is a QSI decoder.

    I think the ALP44 might just sound like traction motors without the diesel prime mover. I might be crazy, but the other day i saw an acela moving fairly slow, but the nose it made sounded similar to the whirring generator noise of a GP38-2. I almost wonder if i could use existing sounds to make a "convincing" sound decoder for it.

    then again, there is no room anywhere in that locomotiv, unless i can stuff the decoder int he body somewhere, and put the speaker in what is supposed to be the DCC spot. if there is enough room...
  16. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I'd almost suggest the loksound decoders, because you can buy the "loksound Programmer" and it allows you to hook your decoders up to the computer. from there, you can download the software ( and all of their sound files) for free. then you can literally pick out how you want things and it automaticaly goes in and changes the CVs and all that other incomprensible jumble of numbers for you.

    thats the reason i'm focusing ont eh lok sound, because that way, i can literally swap decoders when i have to ( if they have the right size speaker) and so i don't need to have my whole fleet with sound, just the few i feel like running at the time.
  17. caliban

    caliban Member

    If you get a loksound programmer you can use a european electric loco sound file as starting point and americanize it to fit the Alp-44 (Bell/Horn). The generic electric loco (prototype swiss Re460) or the austrian ÖBB 1044, both work the same way as the Alp-44 (Thyristor). Or the other way round, starting with a GG1 sound file. Please keep posting about your effort with the Alp-44, I've one too.

  18. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    yeah i was just researching all of that this morning. I was actually searching for an RC4 (basis of the AEM-7 or so i'm told) sound file, but then out of luck i happened to come across a picture of the RC4 and the OBB 1044 models sitting next to eachother, and they looked almost the same, and that was good because loksound does have an OBB 1044 sound file. The only problem is I have no clue how to make my own sound file. i'd need to get rid of some european sounds, and add the Nathan K5 horns, bells, and other stuff.
  19. caliban

    caliban Member

    As far as I know it should be possible to rearrange the sound files with the loksound software. With a little copy and paste it should not be that difficult. The 1044 is a kind of descendant from the RC-4.
    Or you use an own recording from the prototype. Just kidding!
    An ALP-46 would be easier, there is a sound file availlable for the 101. The modern electric locos sound nearly the same.

  20. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    is there a loksound decoder website?

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