Large Scale Central

Hello from the BC Kootenays

As I need more info relating to Revo receivers and sound. I’m looking around for most helpful fora. GScaleCentral, some British orientation but certainly helpful, also CAN, USA contributors and now, and new to me, LSC with Revo a not infrequent topic.
My Revo sound issue is simple …no electric sound library and steam doesn’t really convince me. So, go PhoenixSound! …well, I read the thread whether Phoenix is gone? (Might it be a health issue for the owner/operator? Then BEST!! to them.) Got some pointers wrt Zimo but I’d be interested in OTR options too.
No, I don’t want to go DCC, attempts underway to go BP and RC.
My layout is …mid-sized to smallish? About 300ft total track length (sez Mac software Railmodeller Pro). I do not experience serious track power trouble. Avoid wiring going BP sounds good!
I include a combo-illustration of the layout plan and a photo. Things began below a deck, then grew following house wall (sheltered) into covered former firewood storage area.
Avatar, …the RhB engine 632 bears crest of the place we used to live way back last century.

Welcome! looks like you have a great start. I went battery power and RC (in my case Airwire + Phoenix) when I started my layout about 5 years ago and am totally happy with my decision. When I did HO before that, cleaning track made the hobby too much like a chore. Sorry, I can’t help with Revo. Lots of folks here who have experience and I’m sure they have info for you.


TNX Jim! Airwire was in the running. I thought it more costly than Revo and, importantly, the one and only other G Scale modeller, and met recently quite coïncidentally, lives about 1 1/4 hr downstream and offers generous support. He converted his western style steam engines using Revo (analog), just what I was looking for.
The issue is really how to get good sound, Phoenix does work with Revo and offers European sound libraries, but PhoenixSound is some spot of trouble somehow or other. It seems Airwire may be very open and accept other manufacturers sounds. And the costs mount …
Anyway, I’ll look at whatever ‘Revo’ search brings up here. – Best!!

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Welcome, but be aware that the sound you want may NOT be available. I’ve used lots of systems (Airwire included) along with Sierra sound AND Phoenix, but every option I tried seemed to be lacking true integration. Airwire and Phoenix gave me sort of what I wanted, but Airwire does NOT have any native sound; and it sure does appear that Phoenix is REALLY hard to come by lately. (I was never really keen on Airwire anyway). Up until recently I used Revo, but it certainly has issues as well and the sound is just NOT very good. But, it’s OK, depending on what you really want and what you will end up using. I thought Airwire + Phoenix was really cool, but ended up using just the chuff sound and the occasional whistle. Recently I started converting everything over to RailPro. I do like their system a lot, but the steam sound IS rather limiting IF you are trying to get a particular sound. Diesel sound selection seems good and I really like how everything can be controlled from the handset. Plus it IS available! It’s not hard to do it yourself, but if you want assistance, I’d recommend talking with Don Sweet (

Welcome, glad you found your way over here. I’m on my second layout, this one is about 17 years old. I’ve been battery/RC all along, currently using Revo with Phoenix cards, but like you said, Phoenix cards are hard to come by now. I am also rebuilding the existing layout replacing brass and aluminum track with SS, so I can also run DCC. Almost there.

Welcome to LSC, Reinhard;
I’m here in Ottawa Ontario… a lot of the guys here are using the Revolution battery power system, with sound. I’m not into sound myself. I still use the old Aristo onboard Train Engineer.
We have been operating a rather large railroad here, for over 30 years. Check us out at
Fred Mills (613) 723-1911

And thanks to you Bruce.
So, Airwire implies having an outside source for sound, good to be clear on that. Phoenix, I can only hope, will recover from whatever is ailing them. The sound library can be tested and the Retian crocodile sample is ok. So, is ‘Harz’, the steam engine sounds for narrow gauge (close enough for Zillertalbahn steam engines).
The wealth of sound comes with Massoth or Zimo and DCC. However, I’m not inclined to go there.
Clearly, I got going with too little information wrt Revo+sound options as per 2021. The fellow G scaler who has such installed did so quite a while ago. Meanwhile Phoenix items have become rare.
There’s so far only one engine on the operating table (more comfortable than down in the engine shed’s ditch :-). I still could abandon the whole enterprise, rewire the lights of the Eurovapor (LGB 2073), sell what I have on hand, and be happy with old fashioned DC and power track supplied power. Why fix it when it works?
I did not experience much in the way of track power supply trouble having things sheltered (but outside). However, I would have liked to cut short the wiring task, and given my engines a ‘voice’ (limited options with LGB sound cars and magnets to trigger a whistle blow. Note: the bell is foreign to Retian and other Swiss railways.
Some additional sound I have as life capture from Ilanz/Glion station in the Grisons, tri-lingual train anouncement and lotsa arrival noise. Runs off an old iPhone with me triggering the show. Alas the chuff by Revo is tied to voltage and thus fails to sync with piston movement etc. The whistle fits ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ but not an Alpine circumstance.

Hello Freddy out East!
The fellow G scaler’s BP/RC here in the Kootenays dates also back to Aristo Train Engineer. We agree that no need for a big wiring job is one great attraction of BP/RC. His ‘Western’ motive power does just fine with Revo+Phoenix sound. And so I set out to do like him, …however.
It appears that the large majority of modellers seeking a.o. also a ‘sound scape’ realize such with DCC. Certainly much the case in Europe and Zimo possibly tops.
As mentioned, I’m not relishing going DCC. I also had a brief encounter with a RhB #205 (LGB 2045) and Massoth ‘under the hood’. The 14 steps to accelerate/decelerate did not convince me, looked coarse compared to MRC TECH3 PowerCommand with momentum and brakes. But the sounds were great.
Should have chosen to model the railway of which the track bed forms the western edge of our lot, the Kaslo & Slocan Railway. Two Moguls, one Decapod, an assortment of ore cars plus a passenger car and a combine. I could own it all ‘en miniature’, couldn’t I? So much for nostalgia and the Alps when living among the Purcells, the Kokanees, the Goat Range, and a spectacular 3ft rail (history) line into the mountains. …picky Europeans, eh?!

Not “Picky” at all, Reinhard…you model what appeals to you. Remember that it is your railroad, and you are the one that should enjoy it.
I started off with the original LGB Mogul, when it first was produced. I still have it. It was easy to convert to R/C battery…and I never looked back.
R/C battery frees you up from poor electrical rail joints, reverse loops, electrical isolation of sidings…and the list goes on. You don’t need expensive rail clamps either.
I have never really appreciated sound, preferring to just want good control of the locomotives. Being old enough to have experienced real 1:1 scale stem locomotives; I haven’t heard steam sounds that impress me in any way. The cams provided on most Bachmann steam locos does help the timing of the chuffs sound in time with the piston action. You can use rare earth magnets and electrical sensors to make the chuffs fall in time, properly.
Please send me your telephone number, and we can chat.
[email protected]

Thanks, Freddy! I’ll address mail to you in the course of the morning. Right here this much:
BP/RC to control an engine is very much the first gain of such conversion. The chuff, …nyah. Even narrow gauge engines unleash a thunder to be beheld and imitations thru sound modules leave a bit to be desired. It’s a different story with a whistle blow. And no bells on Retian RW locos, but a lot of cow bells or the tinkling of tin bells around the neck of goats …go ‘Heidi’, and to me sounds familiar to my early years.
I do like the idea of - as I term it - ‘stationary sound’. Train moves into or out of a station. While standing the air compressor may kick in. Occasionally when leaving there might be a whistle blow. Otherwise Retian RW uses the whistle at unguarded crossings of small roads or paths. So, there can be simpler solutions (phone or tablet delivering station sounds, magnets activating the whistle).
At this time I do wonder whether I want to tinker with the electrics of a Retian crocodile. Shouldn’t I do justice to things and install and use catenary? Turn loop problem gone, siding blocks not a big deal. However, while catenary of the DIY sort may be much cheaper, it also seems a BIG, big job. Truth be told, I wouldn’t mind to go that route and direct my RR toward Grisons’ modelling only.
Glad for any further discussions here in the forum !
RhB #632 bears the crest of the village of Zizers about 15km downstream from the Canton’s capital Chur (DE, pronounce s.t. like ‘Khoor’), Cuera (Romansh), Coira (IT), those three being spoken in trilingual Grisons. But there’s also the FR Coire and in the early Middle Age the legendary (Nibelungen saga) , Theoderic the Great, had the place renamed as Theodericopolis :-)] Didn’t stick.

I am just saying hi. I have no knowledge of Revo and I have yet to install sound in any of my models so I am no help. But I do welcome you and hope you find your answer and stay and share the hobby with us.

I am just below you in N. Idaho. I have spent a fair amount of time in the Kootenays. Ainsworth area and Nelson primarily. My son played Hockey and we traveled to Nelson several years.

Currently Kaslo in the dark. Power outage. TNX for the Hi! From S of 49 but quite nearby!

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I have been to Kaslo several times. Interesting little town with a rich history. Do you model the railroad that used to operate on that side of the lake? The name escapes me