Large Scale Central

New to the fancy electronics

Ok. Wife and I want a steam engine with smoke and sound. I have read a lot on the forum and understand some of it. Now we only thinking one engine on the line at a time but who knows what the future holds. If we bought a engine with smoke can the sound be added to any engine or just certain ones ? Do we need a certain power pack ?


Some manufacturers make (electric) steam locomotives that have both sound and DCC built into them. The Piko locomotive below has both sound and DCC, but will also allow you to run it on analogue DC until you can afford a DCC system. Be advised that the bell and whistle will only sound from magnets placed on track ties until you have actual DCC in place, but I can live with that - and perhaps you can as well.

Regards, David Meashey

P.S. I wrote “(electric) steam locomotive” because I also run (and own) large scale live steam locomotives. They are a lot of fun, but it takes me a long time to save up for one of them.

I have been looking at the Pikos steam locomotives and do like them. We are going to an auction Saturday is the reason I asked. I don’t think any of the locomotives have sound, they are older. So was thinking to add sound. It is possible ? May not worth it just by one with it? If not we will wait on the locomotive. Going to the show in West Springfield MA in April, hope to find more there. Wife and I are just starting out with G trains.

Mark, the other thing to consider are locos with synchronised smoke. I don’t have experience with these, but I love the idea of puffs of smoke rather than a continuous stream.

I have read about that and it does sound fun. Will have to look into that more. I have Lionel O Gage and they do that with a bellows that works off the rods on the wheels.Thanks

short answer : yes.

in your situation i would buy the loco, you like most to see.

generally speaking, it is possible to add steam and sound later.
(depending on the brand and the model that can be easier or complicated. cheap or expensive. in extreme cases, if there is not enough room in a loco, a freightcar can can be used to house soundcard and speaker)
nowadays sound and smoke have evolved very much. in both there are many possibilities from simple and cheap to exceptional and not cheap.

for newcomers i would think it best to start simple and grow step by step.

Mark, you and your wife will have a lot of fun there. I sure did, last year. You’ll be able to discuss many options on effects and control, and perhaps buy a new or used loco or two (and/or add-on gear) that suit your needs. And other stuff.

Assuming we have the LSC “Drag and Brag” tables again (as they’re advertising in the promo), stop by to meet your favorite Benevolent Dictator and several other LSC personages and potentates.

Like Sean McG. :wink:

We have been to a couple shows and they are fun. It would be great to meet some of the people on here and put a face to the name.

In theory, yes. In practice, as mentioned above, there’s an issue of space - both for the sound module and the speaker. (The bigger the speaker the better the sound.) Mylocosound make a general purpose sound module - not too expensive, not too complicated, and good support.

We didn’t get an locomotive at the auction, still on the hunt for just the wright one. Did get a cattle car with sound in good shape and the card works so that was cool. Got 5 boxes of LGB track too so we are gaining, our loop will be about 100 ft. for this year. Thanks for the help, this is a great forum. Mark

I would look into just one system, that is you can buy any engine by any manufacture and add what system you want. This way you are just dealing with one system that will work in many manufactures engine, thus you can buy the engine of your choice. I have gone with Rail Pro battery power and I personally think it is the best, but not the least expensive for sure. There are several systems out there and many used them, I would start to ask questions on this forum, or go back into the old post and many of your question will be answered. If you just want track power and a simple system, I’m sure it can be done for less $150. I personally don’t care for the trailing box car with the sound and battery it that’s the way you decide to go, just don’t like seeing one car all the time. I would think that you need to see how much money you want to put into this over time, most start out with a simple system and work up over the years, thus you probably spend more money over time, but don’t we all.

I think you misunderstood or I didn’t explain it very well. The cattle car has a sound card for the cows mooing not locomotive sounds.