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  • Topic: Best DCC decoder sound for GE 7FDL16 ? (Aristo Dash9)

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    • December 13, 2016 10:45 AM EST
      • Charlottesville, Virginia
         
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      Best DCC decoder sound for GE 7FDL16 ? (Aristo Dash9)

      Looking for sound for my Aristo Dash 9.  Who has the best for this engine?  Amps and drive not important.

    • December 14, 2016 6:36 AM EST
      • Eastern Massachusetts
         
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      Best sound could be relevant to what you think is best, I would possibly think differently.  And how do you run your trains?  DC, DCC, battery, some combination of these?  Are you PWC in DC?

      A full featured modern decoder can control sound for acceleration, running, coasting and even startup  sequences plus control smoke realistically.

       

       

    • December 14, 2016 8:42 AM EST
      • Charlottesville, Virginia
         
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      Best Fidelity, the most accurate reproduction of the sound is the main thing.  Good bass response- there looks to be plenty of room for a good sized full range speaker (or two) in the Dash9.  I run battery but generate my own DCC signal internally, up to 3 amps give or take.  Because of that I am flexible on the motor control aspect- so I am open to HO decoders as well. I'm looking at QSI, the HO versions are about $100, they look to be programmable in terms of sound files but I have never used or heard one.

    • December 14, 2016 9:32 AM EST
      • Pleasanton, California
         
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      I prefer Phoenix Sound boards and they have a Dash 9 sound ROM that you can listen to on their website.  I have 10 of theirs I installed in my locos and railcars.  They are fully programmable through their Computer Interface $90.  They are a little pricey.  The P-14 board at $140 is the least expensive to the most expensive PB-11 at $265. 

      ____________________________________

      Dan DeVoto

      P-Town & West Side R.R.

      Pleasanton, California

      https://www.youtube.com/danstrains

    • December 14, 2016 10:33 AM EST
      • St. Louis, MO
         
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      These days I'd consider the new Soundtraxx Econami or Tsunami -- they have a new 4 amp model with screw terminals, and the diesel variant has a 7FDL-16 sound included.

       

      They're really nice decoders in HO, though I don't have experience with the large scale version as of yet.

       

      I do think the sound quality is a bit better than that of the Phoenix.

      This post was edited by Robbie Hanson at December 14, 2016 10:33 AM EST
    • December 14, 2016 12:56 PM EST
      • Charlottesville, Virginia
         
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      Yes, I have an Economi in my Aristo U25B.  The HO version.  Good sound.  But I was thinking since the Dash9 is so much larger, I would like to do something a bit more profound, perhaps stereo etc and not the same sounds.

       

      This post was edited by Martin Sant at December 14, 2016 8:52 PM EST
    • December 15, 2016 12:08 AM EST

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      Since you're driving the motor through your own ESC, and using the decoder as a standalone sound board, I'd go with the Phoenix. I've tried using a Tsunami as a stand-alone sound system, but it (and other motor-sound decoders) are designed to link the sound specifically to the motor itself, most using some form of BEMF detection. When the motor is being driven off of another ESC, there's no BEMF for the decoder to read, so the sounds don't sync properly to the motion of the locomotive.

       

      Phoenix is a standalone sound system, so it doesn't look for motor BEMF to control its sounds. In the DCC environment, it bases its sounds based off of changes in speed steps and direction. It interprets how quickly the speed steps are changing, and which values they're changing to. In a non-DCC environment, it reads motor voltage and polarity, and reacts to changes in that, and also changes in speed as determined by a chuff trigger (steam) or speed trigger (diesel).

       

      Having said that, presuming this question is aimed at providing sound for your Xbee-controlled loco, I wonder if you couldn't simply control a standard DCC motor/sound decoder instead of relying on a separate ESC. The new sound boards from QSI, Soundtraxx, and TCS are simply superb when it comes to integration of motor motion, load, and prime mover sound. (TCS's large scale version should be on the market in very short order.) It's unlike anything I've run in the past--and far superior to Phoenix in terms of auditory realism.

       

      Later,

       

      K

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    • December 15, 2016 9:10 AM EST
      • Eastern Massachusetts
         
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      Using HO sound units is great, but be careful to check the voltage ratings as many ho units do not go over 20 volts.

      Realistic sound could mean a sound decoder that sees the engine at idle vs running vs accelerating and giving different motor sounds for this.

      ZImo has a ho decoder that goes to 1.5 amps (MX645P22) and has a 30 volt rating with a 2.5 amp surge and 50 volt peak  plus it controls smoke units, lights, and different engine operating sounds.  And at $100, you can install 2 (one for each motor block).  Function 2 can be programmed to flash ditch lights with the horn, otherwise they are just on like forward headlights.  Sample sound file on the    zimo.at    site.

    • December 15, 2016 10:30 AM EST
      • Charlottesville, Virginia
         
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      Thanks guys.  I'm using the Economi HO at 14 volts, Lipo battery power as it were. It seems quite happy at that voltage.  I will take a look at the zimo.  I probably need to start a decoder collection :)

       

      Also, Kevin, yes, I can reconstruct any DCC message I want on the client side so a full function decoder that drives the motor and takes advantage of the BEMF is certainly a possibility.


      However, my DCC output stage is based on the LMD18200 which will only go to 3Amps. I have not done any real world measurements but 3Amps is probably borderline for the Dash9? Not sure on that. 


      In the Economi HO unit I have, it doesn’t really care that no motor is there. At specific speed messages, the sound ramps up or down. True, no BEMF but I have a current sensor and a wheel revolution counter in my test locomotive, so part of the fun (yes, I’m strange) is to figure out how to tie all that together and essentially implement the BEMF effect in the firmware and make it programmable. Nevertheless, that’s just conjecture at the moment, I don’t have any code to do that yet.


      So, now that you mention it, perhaps a better path for me is to research more DCC Amps. It would certainly simplify the hardware requirements, the widget for the network link and the decoder for the actual control. Cut out the relay, the sensors and the ESC. Hmm. I like that :)

       

      Martin

      This post was edited by Martin Sant at December 15, 2016 10:32 AM EST
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