Author Topic: 2-8-4 with Micro-Tsunami sound  (Read 3105 times)

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Day One

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2-8-4 with Micro-Tsunami sound
« on: July 04, 2008, 08:01:30 AM »
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My latest DCC project is finished!
I picked up a Pere Marquette 2-8-4 from Klein's when they were on sale a while back and it was the perfect candidate for a Micro-Tsunami.
I used a Medium Steam decoder and a small oval speaker in the tender.
I'll be writing up a how-to install guide when I get the chance but I thought I'd at least share the results so far.

It's my first Youtube video too!
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Matthew Roberts

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Re: 2-8-4 with Micro-Tsunami sound
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2008, 11:00:52 AM »
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Dang! I'm going to have to get me one of those for some steamers! ;D

Does that Berk's shell ride a little high, or is it just me? ??? :D

Mark5

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Re: 2-8-4 with Micro-Tsunami sound
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2008, 06:45:50 PM »
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Dang! I'm going to have to get me one of those for some steamers! ;D

Does that Berk's shell ride a little high, or is it just me? ??? :D

The video looks compressed ie squished from the sides so the loco looks "skinny".

Day One

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Re: 2-8-4 with Micro-Tsunami sound
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2008, 10:50:07 PM »
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yeah that's my fault. my camcorder records in widescreen format and I think I encoded it to 3:4 it was a rush job to get up before I left town again for work.
As an aside, flying into an airport on the fourth is pretty cool! lots of fireworks here in IN.

Matthew Roberts

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Re: 2-8-4 with Micro-Tsunami sound
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2008, 11:07:23 PM »
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Nice berk, tbough. ;D

Day One

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Re: 2-8-4 with Micro-Tsunami sound
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2008, 12:53:15 AM »
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Overall I'm pretty pleased.
The berk looks fantastic. It runs pretty smoothly. The sound decoder has great sound and even with the small speaker I think it sounds great.
I have 2 gripes tho. The pulling power of this thing is pathetic right now. It can pull 3 cars around my normal loop which has moderate grades (not sure exactly what they are) and right now it will barely pull itself up the big grade (again not sure right now what percent it is). I'm sure the thing will pull more when it gets some decent break in time and I have some tungsten putty to add to the thing to put more weight on the front.
Second gripe is how difficult the DCC install is on this thing. Total disassembly is required and there are a lot of delicate detail parts to deal with along with the rods and valve gear to deal with.

up1950s

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Re: 2-8-4 with Micro-Tsunami sound
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2008, 01:51:34 AM »
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Sound really helps with model steams believability . You did good , really good . I assume the quicker , the chuffier it gets . We heard the whistle which sounds great as well , but is there a bell ?

Day One

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Re: 2-8-4 with Micro-Tsunami sound
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2008, 01:46:11 PM »
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There is a bell and the bell ring rate is adjustable. There all sorts of extra sounds that are user configureable. Blowers, air pumps, rod clank, coal shoveling, water stops, oil cans, wrenches ratcheting, etc. There are 6 different whistles to choose from as well and on some DCC controlers that have an analog wheel you can set up a fully playable whistle! And one of the greatest things about the Tsunami sound decoders is that they sense load changes on the motor and adjust the exhaust chuff to match a heavier load of the engine working harder or coasting. Also if you crank the throttle up or down quickly the exhaust load reacts. It's all configurable too. Which is awesome in one sense and also a PITA too since programming the decoders (especially the first time) is a steep learning curve and a long process to get it tuned just right.  I'm using a Digitrax chief system connected thru a locobuffer USB hooked to my laptop with JMRI's DecoderPro and doing programming on the main so I can see the changes in real time. I'm still going to make some small tweaks to it and when I do I'll post another video highlighting more of the sounds etc.

Scott Lupia

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Re: 2-8-4 with Micro-Tsunami sound
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2008, 12:08:48 PM »
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Does the Micro Tsunami have the ability to run off a cam like the larger Tsunami version does?  I installed the regular Tsunami decoder in an HO steam locomotive and used the cam.  It makes the chuff match the rod position perfectly.  In N-scale it would be very tricky to do but worth a try for me.  You are absolutely right about the learning curve regarding the programming of the decoder.  It takes a long time to figure all the settings out.  Not to mention the amount of paper required to download the Tsunami manual. 

Micro Tsunami in the N-scale berk is something I have been wanting to do for a long time.  Glad you did it.  It is inspiring.

scott lupia
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2-8-8-0

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Re: 2-8-4 with Micro-Tsunami sound
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2008, 12:14:37 PM »
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I am gonna have to get one of those and put it in the EL-1 im working on...if it is ever done, that is. I never gave sound much thought until i saw a few videos like this, really helps with the overall image.

Tim
Just say no to dummy couplers.

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Re: 2-8-4 with Micro-Tsunami sound
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2008, 09:02:41 PM »
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Does the Micro Tsunami have the ability to run off a cam like the larger Tsunami version does?  I installed the regular Tsunami decoder in an HO steam locomotive and used the cam.  It makes the chuff match the rod position perfectly.  In N-scale it would be very tricky to do but worth a try for me.  You are absolutely right about the learning curve regarding the programming of the decoder.  It takes a long time to figure all the settings out.  Not to mention the amount of paper required to download the Tsunami manual. 

Micro Tsunami in the N-scale berk is something I have been wanting to do for a long time.  Glad you did it.  It is inspiring.

scott lupia

Yes the Micro does have a hook up for a cam. I've got another Berk that I think I will go ahead and put another Mirco-Tsunami into and I'd like to see if the cam thing is possible. However, I'll have to do some research first to see how it's done. I think the work installing the cam would be worth it just to not have to spend so much time manually matching the chuff sounds to the mechanism.

I've always just downloaded the PDF of the manual onto the computer I use to program with JMRI's DecoderPro. This way I can use the search function and find what I'm looking for quickly instead of having to flip thru the 60+ pages of the manual. It works well for me but of course YMMV.

I hope to work on the install write up tonight and I'll post it up here when I'm done.

randgust

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Re: 2-8-4 with Micro-Tsunami sound
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2008, 10:13:51 PM »
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Awesome.  That's way better than I ever imagined.  Thanks for sharing!

CVSNE

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Re: 2-8-4 with Micro-Tsunami sound
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2008, 08:51:16 AM »
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Cool!!!  ;D

Thinking out loud a little bit  . . . I'm still not convinced we have can overcome the physics of "chest shaking rumble" sounds with N scale models. But, the more I think about it, the less I think that capturing deep bass sounds is all that critical.  Perhaps the approach for sound on an N scale layout should capture the entire spectrum of sounds - the train should be heard but not dominate everything.  Perhaps the approach in N scale is a "whole layout" approach - - the whole birds chirping, brook's babbling, thunderstorm rumbling the distance?

Just a thought and in no way meant to detract from a neat model.  Thanks for sharing.

Remember when "sound" and "N" were impossible.
Modeling (or attempting to model) the Central Vermont circa October 1954  . . .

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: 2-8-4 with Micro-Tsunami sound
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2008, 10:22:42 AM »
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Cool!!!  ;D

Thinking out loud a little bit  . . . I'm still not convinced we have can overcome the physics of "chest shaking rumble" sounds with N scale models. But, the more I think about it, the less I think that capturing deep bass sounds is all that critical.  Perhaps the approach for sound on an N scale layout should capture the entire spectrum of sounds - the train should be heard but not dominate everything.  Perhaps the approach in N scale is a "whole layout" approach - - the whole birds chirping, brook's babbling, thunderstorm rumbling the distance?

Just a thought and in no way meant to detract from a neat model.  Thanks for sharing.

Remember when "sound" and "N" were impossible.

I agree. Besides, I think the "chest shaking rumble" from something the size of a lizard would be somewhat disorienting. I mean, we scale down all sorts of other things (including color), I believe sound needs to be too. That's why I don't worry so much about the "you get no bass" arguments against N sound.

I think the REAL bugaboo is dealing with compression and that weird thing that I, not being too up on audio terminology, seems like a lack of bandwidth in the speaker when it needs to produce complex sounds on top of simple ones.

Day One

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Re: 2-8-4 with Micro-Tsunami sound
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2008, 07:43:05 PM »
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I agree that the sound needs to be somewhat relative to the size of the engine and the layout. I've got the volumes turned way down on this engine so that it does not dominate the whole layout. The last thing I want is to hear the pop off valve blowing in the yard when I'm supposedly many miles away switching in another town.  Even if it is only a few feet away. I spent a bit of time running the engine around the layout w/ the bell and horn playing so as to set it to levels that fit. One consideration that needs to be made is to overcome the sound of the mechanism and rolling stock wheels on the track when it is pulling a train. Again, this is an area where the Micro-Tsunami seems to excel. It will actually increase the volume a set amount as track speeds pick up in order to overcome these sounds. Again, this is something that the user can program too.

The lack of bandwidth that you mention Ed, is certainly an issue with all other sound decoders I've heard, eg, as soon as you hit the horn other sounds seems to trail off. But again, this decoder seems to excel over other decoders in that area too. Most sound decoders are 8 bit DSP's where a$$ the Tsunami's are 16 bit DSP's. This give them a lot more processing power to handle all the sounds and means the sounds have more fidelity, even when played on top of each other.

I'm just really really pleased w/ this decoder. I've got a couple other sound equipped units including a Loksound Micro equipped LL 2-8-8-2, Athearn challenger with the MRC decoder, and a Kato SD45 with a Loksound Micro. I think the Tsunami does the best job of playing sounds and motor control is very good as well.