what sound decoder to get for P2K Alco S-1?

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by Go Big1, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Go Big1

    Go Big1 Member

    I just recently ordered 2 locos from trainworld. The first has DCC and QSI sound already installed, and the second is just DCC ready. The DCC ready loco is a PROTO 2000: CHICAGO & NORTHWESTERN ALCO S-1 # 1227 SKU 21354

    I want to install a DCC sound decoder into this loco when I get it, but am not sure which decoder to get. I looked at Tony's Train Exchange, and read one of the PDF's on decoder installation, and it listed that I should install a DH163PS, DH123PS or DZ123PS. Aren't all 3 of these decoders just for DCC, and not sound? :confused:

    Any help would be appreciated. These are the first 2 loco's I have ordered, and the S-1 will be my first attempt at adding a sound decoder to a loco. I would like to order the sound decoder now so that I can install it when the loco arrives. Thanks

    PS - the other loco I got was this one! :mrgreen: Walthers Model Railroad Mall -- product information page for 920-31391

    I can't wait to get it! :thumb:
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  2. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    Mike:wav: , i didn't look up the Digitrax numbers you provided:oops: , but i think i recognize them, and i believe your right, they are NON-sound decoders.

    i am really NOT one to recommend ANYTHING to anyone these days, as i have found what works GREAT for me, might not for the next guy:winki: .
    HOWEVER, i have a couple Loksound decoders that you might want to check into:thumb: . my list is a little old:oops: , but check out these:
    part # 72494 (various Alco SW switchers, non-turbo)at the time my list was made, this decoder was under development .
    OR, not really meant for your engine, but the closest one to it that was available at the time my list was made:
    part# 72400 , this was really for FA 12 cyl, but it would give you the Alco sound, and IS available.

    You can check into the Loksound decoders more, Here:

    As far as the U28B, i have one, UP of coarse:mrgreen: , it runs & looks FANTASTIC!:thumb::mrgreen: GREAT CHOICE!:winki::mrgreen:

    i hope that helps:thumb:

    :deano: -Deano
  3. Go Big1

    Go Big1 Member

    Deano and Slekjr, thanks for the input. I dug around Tony's Train Exchange website again and found the area for sound decoders. The list I came up with before was from a decoder installation PDF on their website, so I was in the wrong area :oops:.

    It looks like that Loksound #72494 is the right choice for the Alco S-1. Now I just need to see if I can find it for less money! The price on Tony's website...$109.95 :eek: For some reason I was thinking that sound decoders were in the $35 - $60 range. :v8:

    Thanks again for the help guys!

    EDIT: I just looked some more at Tony's Train Exchange website. About the only other decoder I could find that seemed compatible is the Soundtraxx DSD-100LC for Proto 2000 (specifically item 820072 for Alco). Is this a sound decoder that would work for my P2K Alco S-1 or is this too generic of a decoder? And given that it is half the price of the Loksound, what are the drawbacks?
  4. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    Cheap sound decoders sound just like that - cheap. The MRC diesel decoders (last time I listened) give you a generic engine/exhaust noise, and sounded (to me) cheezy.

    The Loksound decoders are expensive because they have quality sampled sound, and a decent onboard sound processor. The problem you're going to have is getting your non-sound-equipped unit to sound as good as the one that came with factory sound. The factory sound units (QSI) are very good, and they have a custom chassis for sound installation. I haven't seen the S1's, so I don't know where the speaker is (fuel tank, maybe?) but on the hood units, they have two speakers back-to-back over the drive line in the cab area.

    Speaker selection is also key to getting good sound - the bigger the better.

    At the moment, there's no such thing as a plug-n-play sound decoder system. You're in for a bit of a chore in installing in a switcher, since the trick isn't finding a space for the decoder, but finding a space for the speaker, and giving it a good, enclosed space to pressurize for decent sound volume.
  5. Go Big1

    Go Big1 Member

    Squid, I think you just answered the question to my edit regarding "you get what you pay for" in terms of quality on the sound decoders. I am guessing that the soundtraxx decoder I listed for $55.95 is going to have more generic sounds, and not as good a sound in general compared to the loksound.

    As for the challenge of installing the decoder, hopefully I am up to the challenge. While the model railroading stuff is new to me, I can at least say that I am a pretty handy guy (having done a lot of electrical and HVAC work in the past), which I am hoping will help shorten my learning curve!
  6. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Actually, the SoundTraxx decoders are pretty decent. If it's an LC decoder, it won't have some of the fancier motor-control frequencies that the LokSound ones will (like back-emf) and you can download sampled sounds for it, so you can get specific horns, bells, etc.

    That said, I don't like the Loksound horns, since most of them seem to have been recorded from inside the cab, and so sound thin to me, compared to the Soundtraxx ones.
  7. rut-one

    rut-one New Member

    Speaker(s) wont fit.

    I bought the Locksound 72495. I could get the decoder in but there's no room for the std speaker. I order a smaller speaker. This speaker comes in a pair and you have to use both to get the correct impedance (100 Ohms). I just couldn't find any where to place the speakers.


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