Author Topic: One Last Sound Install for 2013 - Atlas VO-1000 (photos and video link)  (Read 3388 times)

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jdcolombo

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Hi everyone.  Now that I have sound in enough of my road diesels to have at least one sound unit per consist, I decided to turn my attention to a bit more challenging project: putting sound in the Atlas VO-1000 switcher that I use to switch the steel mill on my layout.  Again, for those that want to cut to the chase, here's the link to the video (yes, I know the rear cab is tilted slightly; I didn't notice this until after I shot the movie - since corrected, but what you're interested in here is the sound, right?):

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Now for the tutorial.

Although the VO-1000 is large for a switcher, it was clear to me that there was no way to fit a speaker on the frame along with the LokSound.  So I decided to try mounting the speaker in the cab.  Since my usual Knowles Fox was a tad too big for this, I went to a Star Micronics 8mm x 12mm speaker in the same kind of enclosure I use for the Fox: .020 styrene wrapped around the speaker, with a 6mm overall depth including bottom.  Even this was a bit too wide to fit in the cab with all the window glazing in place, and anyway I needed to remove some of the windows for sound egress.  So out came the side and front window glazing (I might replace the front windows with some thin plastic at some point, but for now, it's summer in 1957, and the crew is getting a nice breeze through the missing windows!).  This photo shows the "gutted" cab:



Next, I needed to figure out what to do with the rear light.  On my road units, I don't wire up a rear light because they are always consisted with at least one other unit facing the other way, so I only use front headlights.  But on the switcher, I wanted an operating rear light.  So, I cut off the round plastic headlight insert from the rest of the headlight molding, put it in place, and then glued a surface-mount LED (from Richmond Controls, with wires attached) to the rear.  Here's a photo showing this:



Now I inserted the speaker (firing up toward the top of the cab), routing the LED wires to one side.  Here are several photos showing the placement of the speaker and associated LED and speaker wires (I ended up painting the speaker enclosure black, but took these photos with it still white so you can better see how it was oriented in the cab):







The speaker placement also left room for a 3mm-deep chunk of lead to add some weight (you can see this in the very last photo at the end of this tutorial below).  With that piece done, it was time to turn my attention to the frame and installation of the LokSound.  I determined that I had enough room to mount the LokSound at the front of the frame, with some slight frame milling to let it sit at an angle.  Here's a side shot of the modified frame:



As with my other diesel installs, I cut a small piece of light board off to use for power pickup in the back, and wrapped kapton tape around the frame where the motor brush leads might hit something and cause a short:



Next, I installed another surface-mount LED to light the headlight; the wire will run under the decoder.



Now I decided to test-fit the cab to see if everything worked out the way I thought it would (success!):



With that done, I installed the decoder on the front of the frame and started wiring up the decoder in normal fashion: orange wire to the bottom motor brush; gray to the top; orange to the engineer's side of the frame, black to the fireman's side:



Then I popped on the rear cab and finished the wiring:



With this done, I tested it on the layout, and (much to my amazement!) everything worked.  So I put the front part of the shell back on and checked things on more time:

Front headlight:



Rear headlight:



With that, I'm going to rest until the new year, when I'll tackle some GP30's and more installations in my other road units.  No more switchers!  This was enough - I'll wait for Atlas's S-2, which I hope sounds as good as this one!

Happy new year, everyone!

John C.

6axlepwr

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Re: One Last Sound Install for 2013 - Atlas VO-1000 (photos and video link)
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2013, 11:07:12 PM »
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John,

That is SWEET!

I am very happy I was able to still get speakers. The sound on that switcher is beautiful.
Brian

unittrain

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Re: One Last Sound Install for 2013 - Atlas VO-1000 (photos and video link)
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2013, 11:24:27 PM »
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Awesome sound and videos as always! Love the close up video! 8) really like the weathering on those NKP units they look really good. 8)

sizemore

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Re: One Last Sound Install for 2013 - Atlas VO-1000 (photos and video link)
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2013, 03:43:57 PM »
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Thats pretty stinking cool. Love the sound of that VO!

The S.

jdcolombo

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Re: One Last Sound Install for 2013 - Atlas VO-1000 (photos and video link)
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2013, 09:47:44 AM »
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Thats pretty stinking cool. Love the sound of that VO!

The S.

The sound file I used is not technically the correct prime mover for the VO-1000, which used an 8-cylinder naturally aspirated VO8.  But LokSound doesn't have such a file, so I used the file for the naturally-aspirated 606 (the next generation diesel from Baldwin after the VO).  It's a six cylinder, not an 8, but I'm not going to quibble.  I think it sounds great, and I'm not sure there are any running VO-1000's in existence that could be recorded, anyway.  Or more importantly, I never heard one in person, so to me this sounds absolutely correct!

John C.

garethashenden

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Re: One Last Sound Install for 2013 - Atlas VO-1000 (photos and video link)
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2013, 05:23:16 PM »
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You may have said in a different thread but, where do you get your chips?

jdcolombo

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Re: One Last Sound Install for 2013 - Atlas VO-1000 (photos and video link)
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2013, 05:46:46 PM »
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You may have said in a different thread but, where do you get your chips?

By "chips," if you mean the decoders, they are ESU LokSound Select Micros that I get from Litchfield Station.

The speaker in this installation is an 8mm x 12mm made by Star Micronics; I think it is the same speaker used in the Zimo 8x12 "sugar cube" but I'm not certain.  The enclosure is a simple box built around the speaker with .020 styrene for the sides and base.  I did an earlier thread on how I build the speaker enclosures, but it's just a simple box glued with gel CA to the sides of the speaker with a small exit hole for the speaker wires at one end.

John C.

garethashenden

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Re: One Last Sound Install for 2013 - Atlas VO-1000 (photos and video link)
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2013, 05:59:50 PM »
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Yes I did mean decoders. Thank you.

trainforfun

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Re: One Last Sound Install for 2013 - Atlas VO-1000 (photos and video link)
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2014, 11:13:49 AM »
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This is incredible work John !!!!!
 8)
Thanks ,
Louis



u2milo

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Re: One Last Sound Install for 2013 - Atlas VO-1000 (photos and video link)
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2014, 06:05:15 PM »
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John,

This is terrific.  The unique sound and clarity is really inspiring.   I'm tempted to actually give this a shot.  Thank you for posting. 

What kind of camera did you use to record your locos?  The autofocus seems to track just fine, or is that manual focus?

Thanks again,

Mitch


jdcolombo

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Re: One Last Sound Install for 2013 - Atlas VO-1000 (photos and video link)
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2014, 08:44:44 PM »
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John,

This is terrific.  The unique sound and clarity is really inspiring.   I'm tempted to actually give this a shot.  Thank you for posting. 

What kind of camera did you use to record your locos?  The autofocus seems to track just fine, or is that manual focus?

Thanks again,

Mitch

Thanks!

I use a Sony HD camcorder to do,the recordings, and it is in fact autofocus.

John c.