Author Topic: FVM GEVO Sound Project (photos, video link)  (Read 5389 times)

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jdcolombo

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FVM GEVO Sound Project (photos, video link)
« on: December 24, 2013, 12:28:14 PM »
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Though the GE GEVO is about 50 years too new for my 1957-era layout, I nevertheless had to buy the FVM NS Heritage NKP unit.  And after my recent good experiences putting sound in my Atlas GP9's and RS11's, I decided the GEVO needed sound, too, and I thought that since many of you here on The Railwire model the modern era, you might be interested in this project.

So, here goes.  I used my now-standard parts: an ESU LokSound with the GEVO 12-cylinder sound file and the Knowles Fox Speaker.  An entire tutorial follows, but for those of you who want to cut to the chase, here's a link to the final product (I seem to have lost the ability to embed YouTube videos; I keep getting an "invalid YouTube address" message when I try it these days):

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(Be patient - the startup sequence for this loco takes about 35 seconds!)

Now here's how I did it.  Because of the size of this locomotive, I mounted both the ESU LokSound and the speaker at the rear of the frame.  Very little frame modification was required - just taking off the "ears" that stick up at the rear end of the frame and sort of smoothing things out in a diagonal for the decoder.  Here's a photo of the modified frame:



Next, I cut off a couple of pieces of the light board to re-use.  This photo shows the front section of the light board, which I used for power pickup for the decoder and for the front headlight/ditch lights as it comes from the factory.  I also use another tiny piece of the light board with a 1K smt resistor to power the rear light - you'll see this in another photo.



Next, I placed the speaker at the very rear of the frame, and glued on an SMT white LED on the back of the speaker enclosure to use for the rear light.  If you zoom in on the next photo and look closely at the rear of the speaker enclosure, you'll see the tiny yellow speck that's the LED.  The LED comes from Richmond Controls and has the magnet wire leads already attached.



Since the speaker sits right under the radiator housing, I drilled a bunch of #80 holes in the housing for sound egress.  Once it's back on the loco and you do even a tiny bit of weathering, these holes disappear.



Now it was time to start wiring things up.  The next photo shows both pieces of the light board, and I've soldered the cathode lead of the rear LED to the piece with the SMT resistor, which is sitting right behind the front LED/power pickup piece.



The next photo shows the wiring completed.  The LokSound sits right in front of the speaker; the red and black wires are soldered to the pads that sit in the frame ears; the blue wire was soldered to a small piece of wire connecting both the rear light resistor and the front light resistor; the white wire goes to the anode of the front LED (bypassing the small SMT cap on this piece of the board) and the rear LED anode is soldered directly to the yellow wire.  The orange wire goes to the top motor brush; the gray wire to the bottom one, and the speaker wires are soldered to the decoder speaker leads, with the joint insulated with 1mm shrink-wrap tubing.



Here's a photo showing the gray wire soldered to the bottom motor brush; I then put a piece of Kapton tape over this to make sure there wouldn't be any shorts after the shell was put back on.



Here's a side view of the chassis all wired and taped, sitting on my layout:



And here's a view from the top with the radiator housing off, showing where the speaker sits; you can see the rear part of the LokSound decoder, too.



Rear light works!



And so do the front lights:



I think this general layout will probably work for many of the larger modern diesels; once you get back to the GP40-2's, then you might need to use a smaller speaker (e.g., an 8mm x 12mm) to save some length over the 16mm-long Fox.  But someone else will have to figure that out; there are no SD40's in my immediate future! (My next project will be an installation in an Atlas GP30).

John C.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 12:29:49 PM by jdcolombo »

Chris1274

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Re: FVM GEVO Sound Project (photos, video link)
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2013, 01:20:52 PM »
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That's fantastic. Trying this for myself might just be the excuse I needed to get the FVM CSX boxcar GEVO.

carlso

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Re: FVM GEVO Sound Project (photos, video link)
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2013, 06:27:43 PM »
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Very nice John. Not sure I understand the wire connections. Perhaps when I can enlarge and study it I'll figure it out, You like the Loksound decoder because it's smaller than Tsunami or because it sounds better than Tsunami? ? ?

At any rate, nice job and I appreciate the sharing of your talents.

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

jdcolombo

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Re: FVM GEVO Sound Project (photos, video link)
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2013, 07:06:16 PM »
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Very nice John. Not sure I understand the wire connections. Perhaps when I can enlarge and study it I'll figure it out, You like the Loksound decoder because it's smaller than Tsunami or because it sounds better than Tsunami? ? ?

At any rate, nice job and I appreciate the sharing of your talents.

Carl

Hi Carl.

If you have questions about the wire connections, just ask - you can e-mail me directly at jdcolombo at gmail.com

The LokSound Select Micro is the only sound decoder with US-prototype sounds that will fit in an N-scale diesel.  The micro-Tsunami is too wide for this application.  But the more I've used them, the more I think that at least for diesels, they are superior to the Tsunami.  Certainly superior motor control, and the more recent sound files are superior, too, IMHO.  I haven't tried any of their steam files yet, but others like them, and they have a huge advantage over the TSU in that area because they use back-EMF for syncing the chuffs with the driver rotation.  So one of these days I might try one of their steam files.

John C.

central.vermont

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Re: FVM GEVO Sound Project (photos, video link)
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2013, 07:43:19 AM »
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Carl,

I've been watching your installs and it keeps pushing me to do one myself. Great work and they sound super. But I do have one observation and question. I noticed that you have the red wire going to the left side of the loco. This would be the conductor's side. I have always been told that the red wire should pick up power from the engineer's side. Something I have done always. Does this not matter on the LokSound decoders or have I been mislead by this info?
By the way I'm looking forward to you doing lets say a Bachmann 2-8-0 with sound.  ;)

Jon

jdcolombo

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Re: FVM GEVO Sound Project (photos, video link)
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2013, 10:01:55 AM »
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Hi Jon.

You are correct that normal convention is for the Red wire to go to the engineer's side of the loco.  I have them reversed because of a wiring (well, a wire CUTTING) goof.  Normal wiring convention for this loco would be for the Gray wire to go to the top motor brush; the Orange wire to go to the bottom brush, Red to engineer's side power pickup, and black to fireman's side.  But when I cut the wires for the installation, I goofed and cut the orange wire just a hair short to reach around to the bottom motor brush.  So in this installation, the wires are reversed:  Orange to the top brush; gray to the bottom; red to fireman; black to engineer.

It doesn't matter which way you wire things as long as the loco runs in the correct direction (e.g. forward, when the throttle is showing forward).  But you ARE correct that normal convention is for the red wire to be on the right (engineer's side) of the loco.  If you wanted to stick with normal convention, then wire gray to the top brush; orange to the bottom brush.  Which is how I would have done it if I hadn't accidentally cut the orange wire too short!

John C.

carlso

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Re: FVM GEVO Sound Project (photos, video link)
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2013, 10:50:54 AM »
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John - not being sarcastic or anything, but it is nice to hear that I am not the only one to make a cutting boo boo like that. Nice job on the install. And yes your recent posting explains the wiring that did not compute. Thanks.

BTW, I like the Loksound steam noises because they have the open petcock sound available. I am going to put one in a Superturbine AC-9/EM-1 project. I think, since the decoder is so small and does not require a heat sink, that I should be able to place a nice sized speaker in the tender if I gut out all the B'mann stuff first. I shall see.

Carl
« Last Edit: December 25, 2013, 10:55:43 AM by carlso »
Carl Sowell
El Paso, Texas
Southern New Mexico N Scalers, Las Cruces, New Mexico

jdcolombo

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Re: FVM GEVO Sound Project (photos, video link)
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2013, 11:34:21 AM »
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John - not being sarcastic or anything, but it is nice to hear that I am not the only one to make a cutting boo boo like that. Nice job on the install. And yes your recent posting explains the wiring that did not compute. Thanks.

BTW, I like the Loksound steam noises because they have the open petcock sound available. I am going to put one in a Superturbine AC-9/EM-1 project. I think, since the decoder is so small and does not require a heat sink, that I should be able to place a nice sized speaker in the tender if I gut out all the B'mann stuff first. I shall see.

Carl

Oh, I make mistakes all the time.  I've become an expert in recovering from unforced errors!

I heartily recommend the Knowles Dumbo speaker for the EM-1 project.  13 X 19mm, sounds terrific in a good-sized enclosure.  If you gut the tender, you should be able to use an enclosure with 10mm overall depth, which gives you a hair over 1 cubic centimeter of air space after subtracting the speaker depth.  One cubic cm is what Knowles uses for running its speaker response curves. 

Anxious to hear how this turns out, because I'm thinking of using LokSound for everything including steam from here on.

John

central.vermont

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Re: FVM GEVO Sound Project (photos, video link)
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2013, 11:43:13 AM »
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John,

Sorry for the name mix up between you and Carl! :facepalm:  I didn't even catch the orange gray flip, it all makes sense to me now. :D


Carl,

I'll be watching the steam install that you may be posting on the Em-1.  :D

wmcbride

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Re: FVM GEVO Sound Project (photos, video link)
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2013, 07:58:48 PM »
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John,

You are my N scale hero!

What outstanding work and a nice, detailed tutorial. Just when I was going to buy an decoder for an HO install... 

Unfortunately, I have too many FVM GEVO's but I am going to try to copy this effort!

Bill McBride

carlso

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Re: FVM GEVO Sound Project (photos, video link)
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2013, 09:45:00 PM »
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John,

I hope you don't mind my questions. I was going to PM you but decided that your answers to me may help other "train nuts" with projects.

I purchased 4 Dumbo's some time ago and was planning on using one of them in the AC-9. Now in your opinion would I get better sound if I built the enclosure out of sheet lead (which I have on hand) or styrene plastic? Also would it be better if I built the offset chamber, as you did in one install, or would the best be to build the deeper enclosure? I built an offset chamber with a Dumbo and put it in my AC-12 with a Tsunami decoder and I don't think it was that much better than the "sugar cube" I had used in the initial install. Possibly somewhat better but not outstandingly better.
Thanks
Carl
Carl Sowell
El Paso, Texas
Southern New Mexico N Scalers, Las Cruces, New Mexico

jdcolombo

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Re: FVM GEVO Sound Project (photos, video link)
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2013, 10:16:30 PM »
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John,

I hope you don't mind my questions. I was going to PM you but decided that your answers to me may help other "train nuts" with projects.

I purchased 4 Dumbo's some time ago and was planning on using one of them in the AC-9. Now in your opinion would I get better sound if I built the enclosure out of sheet lead (which I have on hand) or styrene plastic? Also would it be better if I built the offset chamber, as you did in one install, or would the best be to build the deeper enclosure? I built an offset chamber with a Dumbo and put it in my AC-12 with a Tsunami decoder and I don't think it was that much better than the "sugar cube" I had used in the initial install. Possibly somewhat better but not outstandingly better.
Thanks
Carl

Hi Carl.

Don't mind at all.  I'd use sheet all sheet lead if I could, but one end of the Dumbo has the speaker "leads" and that end I think would short out if you used lead.  So I've used lead sheet on the long sides with .040 styrene on the short sides and a lead bottom.  I think you could use lead on 3 sides, a lead bottom, and .040 styrene on the "speaker leads" side and be OK.

The way you build the enclosure is really a matter of what shape fits.  The object would be to have an enclosure that has as close to 1 cubic cm of air space as possible.  If you use a standard box around the speaker, then an enclosure that is 10mm deep overall (assuming a 1mm bottom thickness) gets you there.  The speaker is 4.5mm deep, so that leaves 4.5mm of open depth.  If you are using 1mm sheet lead for the bottom, then the sides are actually 9mm, and therefore you would have 4.5 mm of free air space after the speaker depth.  13 x 18 x 4.5 = 1,053 cubic mm, which is pretty close to 1 cubic cm.  The key to the enclosure isn't the shape; it's the overall volume.  Whatever shape that fits and gets you to about 1 cubic cm of air space behind the speaker should do pretty well.  When I built my offset enclosure, it was 25mm long and 8mm deep overall, so  7mm high sides, leaving 3.5mm of free air space under the speaker plus 6mm on the offset side (subtracting 1mm for the thickness of the .040 styrene: 25mm overall, less 1mm for the side = 24mm less 18mm for the speaker = 6mm).  If you do the math, the air space there is 7 x 13 x 6 (the offset to the side of the speaker), plus 3.5 x 13 x 18 under the speaker itself.  That totals to about 1365 cubic mm, or a bit over the 1 cubic cm of free air space I was shooting for.

I thought the offset-side Dumbo was noticeably better-sounding than the "sugar cube" in my speaker comparison video.  So I think if you get a good-sized sealed enclosure around the Dumbo, it should noticeably out-perform the 8 x 12 sugar cube.  It might not noticeably outperform the larger sugar cube if you completely seal the enclosure around that larger one.

John






Smike

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Re: FVM GEVO Sound Project (photos, video link)
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2013, 04:44:07 PM »
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John, thanks for sharring, this is really good info here.  :)

Mike Madonna

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Re: FVM GEVO Sound Project (photos, video link)
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2013, 10:34:22 PM »
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John,
Again, another nice install,  Thank you. Your work has inspired me to do a "different" install myself. I'm wrapping it up now and I'll report when it's complete and tested. Did you ever get around to doing a sound install on an SD-9??
Mike
SOUTHERN PACIFIC Coast Division 1953
Santa Margarita Sub

jdcolombo

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Re: FVM GEVO Sound Project (photos, video link)
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2013, 10:42:42 PM »
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John,
Again, another nice install,  Thank you. Your work has inspired me to do a "different" install myself. I'm wrapping it up now and I'll report when it's complete and tested. Did you ever get around to doing a sound install on an SD-9??

Hi Mike.

I did do the SD9.  I didn't take photos of this one because the process and component layout is essentially identical to the RS11/GP7 installs.  And I didn't do a video of the finished unit because the sound is the same as the GP9's (the 567 V-16 non-turbo).  The install was a little easier because for some reason the inside of the shell is a bit wider (10.5mm, rather than 10 or 10.3).  But if you want to see photos of the chassis showing the layout of the components, I can pop the shell off and take a few.  Happy to do it.

John