Author Topic: Atlas GP7 w/ESU LokSound (photos and video)  (Read 7374 times)

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jdcolombo

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Atlas GP7 w/ESU LokSound (photos and video)
« on: November 08, 2013, 04:38:08 PM »
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My latest sound project is an Atlas GP7 (renumbered as a GP9 for the NKP) with an ESU LokSound decoder and a Knowles Fox speaker.

Photos of install:





Short video of completed installation:

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John C.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 06:56:11 PM by jdcolombo »

avel

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Re: Atlas GP7 w/ESU LokSound (photos and video)
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2013, 05:22:09 PM »
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Wow, awesome sound!
iamaman27 on the youtubes

robert3985

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Re: Atlas GP7 w/ESU LokSound (photos and video)
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2013, 05:31:43 PM »
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John, This is verrrrry timely for me as I've got a couple of dozen UP Geep 7's and 9's to DCCize and equip with sound.  Just one question, are you happy with the sound?  I note no ventilation holes in the body, none in the frame.  The install looks like a piece of cake (frame mods aren't a problem for me and my mill). 

Thanks again.

packers#1

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Re: Atlas GP7 w/ESU LokSound (photos and video)
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2013, 05:39:49 PM »
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Very nicely done sir!
Sawyer Berry
Clemson University graduate, c/o 2018

jdcolombo

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Re: Atlas GP7 w/ESU LokSound (photos and video)
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2013, 05:58:06 PM »
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Hi Bob.

Well, there ARE ventilation holes in the body - I used a #80 drill bit to drill a hole between each fan "blade" in the two rear top fans at the outer edge of the fans.  The holes are so small that you can't really see them (particularly after dry-brushing with some black paint), but by the time you get them all drilled, they allow for quite a bit of air flow from the speaker, which is mounted at the rear of the unit.  I chucked the drill bit into my Dremel, which made relatively short work of this task - I think it took about 10 minutes to drill something like 28 holes.

The rest of it is pretty straightforward.  I wrapped the speaker with .020 styrene cut 5.5mm deep (the bottom is also .020 styrene) to create the enclosure (used gel CA to attach the styrene to the speaker).  You have to do a bit of milling on the back end of the frame to accommodate the speaker and a bit of milling to the front to accommodate the LokSound, but not a whole lot - you've got to create enough space so that each of them sits back from the edge of the frame enough to clear the plastic numberboard/light inserts in the body.  The headlight is an SMT sunny white LED that I bought from Richmond Controls, wired with a 1/8-watt 1k resistor.  I didn't put a rear light on this unit, but it would be easy enough to add a similar SMT LED at the rear.  The nice thing about this frame is that the center section (where the original board went) can be used to stash all the wires and the wire joints between the decoder and LED's and speaker.  I did use a piece of the old circuit board at the rear to provide a place to solder the power wires for the decoder; I just cut about a 1/4" section of the old board with the power pickup tabs and stuck it in the slot at the rear of the center section; it's hard to see from the photo because it's covered in Kapton tape.

I wish the LokSound was about .5mm less wide; even though I thinned out the inside of the shell a tiny bit at the front, it still causes the shell to bow out just a hair.  I might try just a tad more thinning on my next one, but it all fit - tightly.  And the sound is really impressive for the small space.

The LokSound has really terrific motor control.  I don't know why the Germans seem to do this consistently better than US producers.  TCS is pretty good, but not as good as Lenz or ESU.  And the MRC decoder I tried was just awful (though the sound was pretty good) - jeez, I don't know how they stay in business.

Going to try an install in one of my ALCO RS-11's next.  Can't wait to hear that ALCO 251 prime mover, though I won't be able to have it belching blue smoke!

John C.

robert3985

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Re: Atlas GP7 w/ESU LokSound (photos and video)
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2013, 08:57:35 PM »
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John, Thanks a million for the info.  I'd been considering buying one of the MRC decoders because I'd heard they were "much improved".  Good thing I didn't do that.  My experience with them in the Athearn Big Boys and Challengers was so bad that I had serious doubts about them.

MRC stays in business because of their PR department.  When you read the BS in their promos, the MRC decoders read like the best, most advanced things in the model railroad world.  I've read some contributor's remarks about them here and at TB...they like 'em.  Particularly the "easy to install" part.  One even complained that the sound was too loud.  He couldn't get the decoder to respond to his CV mods to turn the volume down.

My experience with Loksound decoders has been very positive, so this is good news for me.

Thanks once again.

carlso

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Re: Atlas GP7 w/ESU LokSound (photos and video)
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2013, 08:59:53 PM »
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Hey John, I know that you will NOT do it but if the wiring for decoder was screwed up , you might see that smoke.

Carl
Carl Sowell
El Paso, Texas
Southern New Mexico N Scalers, Las Cruces, New Mexico

superturbine

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Re: Atlas GP7 w/ESU LokSound (photos and video)
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2013, 09:05:29 PM »
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VERY NICE INSTALL, AWESOME SOUND!

nstars

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Re: Atlas GP7 w/ESU LokSound (photos and video)
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2013, 06:29:52 PM »
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If you want to hear the Alco 251, then take a look at this video.


Both the PA and the E8 have loksound select decoders with CT Elektronik sugarcube speakers. And yes, I do know the PA should have been the 244 engine, but we just liked the 251 sound and used that file. If I want I can always reprogram it with the 244 sound file. That is the nice part of the Loksound Select Decoders.

Marc

jdcolombo

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Re: Atlas GP7 w/ESU LokSound (photos and video)
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2013, 06:59:22 PM »
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Nice!

Yep, that's the ALCO - always sounds like it's ready to fall apart, yet there are still some hauling freight today. 

Can you tell me which sound file (#) that is?

John C.

robert3985

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Re: Atlas GP7 w/ESU LokSound (photos and video)
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2013, 08:56:34 PM »
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I had a good friend in the dojo who was a friend of my dad's who worked on diesel locomotives in WWII in India.  One of his many sayings was the way to tell if the prime mover was an Alco was to listen when it started up, because it said "Bucketofbolts bucketofbolts bucketofbolts..."

nstars

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Re: Atlas GP7 w/ESU LokSound (photos and video)
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2013, 10:28:30 PM »
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Can you tell me which sound file (#) that is?

This was quite a funny installation in a certain way. The decoder was bought as a Loksound Micro Select decoder, the box was labeled Loksound Micro Select, the decoder looked like a Loksound Micro Select decoder, but when programming it turned out to be a Loksound V4 Micro decoder. The sound file used was therefore #74462 "LSV4.0-Diesel-ALCO251-Electric-Start-R1". Although it needed the Loksound V4 file, I can assure you the sound is the same as #73802 "LSSelect_direct_micro-Diesel-ALCO251-V3-R3" with prime mover #2 chosen. I checked it with another decoder which I programmed at the same time and which was indeed a Loksound Micro Select decoder.

It may look complicated but fortunately it sounds good. And I can tell you the type of speaker is half the job. FYI the volume of the decoder is in the video set at 65% of maximum, the speaker can handle 100% with no problem, but then it's just too loud. You would be able to hear it all over the house.

Marc

sp org div

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Re: Atlas GP7 w/ESU LokSound (photos and video)
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2013, 02:43:28 PM »
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First one I've seen fit anything that sounds that good in a Geep...
Flippin' awesome!
Jeff
http://espeeoregondivision.blogspot.com/

cnw mike

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Re: Atlas GP7 w/ESU LokSound (photos and video)
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2013, 06:07:52 PM »
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I second the idea ESU needs to shave about a half a mm from the width. One thing I've done when installing it in narrow hood units is to install it at an angle. This is especially easy in high nose units like your geep. Just fill the frame to an angle at the nose.

robert3985

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Re: Atlas GP7 w/ESU LokSound (photos and video)
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2013, 07:57:23 PM »
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Does the circuity go clear to the edge of the board?  Seems like shaving off .010" from either edge wouldn't be that difficult since a quarter mm is a mere .0098".  If filing the board isn't possible, it wouldn't take long to fashion a little sanding block to take ten mils off the inner walls of the body where the board is positioned, leaving the bottom of the body alone but spreading that part enough to go over the unmodified board.

I'll have to wait until I get my ESU decoder and the speaker just to mess with it, but those two things will be what I'll be looking at to make the board and speaker fit better.