Author Topic: Life-Like PA-1 w/LokSound  (Read 717 times)

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jdcolombo

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Life-Like PA-1 w/LokSound
« on: October 20, 2016, 11:59:04 AM »
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Hi folks.

Before the excellent BLI PA-1's (which are more excellent with their Paragon decoders replaced by LokSound), there was the Life-Like PA-1.  Though the LL was a bit primitive in construction (plastic frame with two hulking lead weights in front and back), it was (and still is) an excellent runner, and I did a lot of work on mine: replacing the numberboards with Kato parts to mimic the NKP's front numberboards; adding a headlight and making the old headlight into a Mars light, etc.  As a result, I'm still pretty fond of my old LL PA-1's, and wondered if it would be possible to put sound in one.

Yes, is the answer:

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The LokSound Select micro is in the back; an 8x12mm speaker with the "double deep" enclosure from Streamlined Backshop is in the front.  I had to do some significant cutting of the lead weights (outside, with eye protection and a breathing mask), but I added a bit of that back in the front with tungsten putty.  Routing the wires was a bit of a challenge, but it all got done, and there are two 220uf, 16v tantalum chip caps for keep alive hidden below the decoder under the back weight.  I used electrical tape to secure everything, because my kapton tape just wouldn't adhere well to the lead weights.

Here's how it sounds:

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My BLI units with the LokSound transplant actually sound a bit better because of the larger speaker I could use in those, but this one sounds pretty good - nice Alco "I'm falling apart" cadence in the prime mover.  If there was a way to make black smoke come out of the stack, it would be perfect!

John C.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2016, 12:00:36 PM by jdcolombo »

seusscaboose

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Re: Life-Like PA-1 w/LokSound
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2016, 12:11:57 PM »
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that unit needs a nice black streak down the middle of it's roof



and it can always run the Point (Ed's Law  :ashat: )


(images used w/ permission)
"I have a train full of basements"

NKPH&TS #3589


Inspiration at:
http://nkphts.org/modelersnotebook

bdennis

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Re: Life-Like PA-1 w/LokSound
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2016, 05:21:01 PM »
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Nice work John.
I have 3 x LL PA1's (D&H). Will have to get get a LokSound decoder and convert one of them...
Brendan Dennis
N scale - Delaware & Hudson Champlain Division

robert3985

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Re: Life-Like PA-1 w/LokSound
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2016, 07:53:33 PM »
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...My BLI units with the LokSound transplant actually sound a bit better because of the larger speaker I could use in those, but this one sounds pretty good - nice Alco "I'm falling apart" cadence in the prime mover.  If there was a way to make black smoke come out of the stack, it would be perfect!

John C.

I always enjoy your excellent and informative posts.  This one brought back a good memory of a friend of the family when I was a kid, who had been in India during WWII and worked on keeping the railroads there running.  When asked an easy way to tell the difference between EMD's and Alco's he told us  "That's easy, just listen to the engine cadence.  The Alco's say "Bucket of bolts, bucket of bolts, bucket of bolts...."

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

tehachapifan

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Re: Life-Like PA-1 w/LokSound
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2016, 12:46:44 PM »
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Excellent install! Sounds and looks great!

Is it an effect of the video or the angle, or is there not much brightness change during the dim phase of the Mars light effect? As I recall, with at least some LokSound decoders there is a CV adjustment for this if using LEDs (LED Compensation Mode) instead of bulbs so that they will dim more (assuming you're using an LED).
« Last Edit: October 23, 2016, 12:49:05 PM by tehachapifan »
Russ

jdcolombo

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Re: Life-Like PA-1 w/LokSound
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2016, 03:35:13 PM »
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Excellent install! Sounds and looks great!

Is it an effect of the video or the angle, or is there not much brightness change during the dim phase of the Mars light effect? As I recall, with at least some LokSound decoders there is a CV adjustment for this if using LEDs (LED Compensation Mode) instead of bulbs so that they will dim more (assuming you're using an LED).

Hi Russ.

It's mostly the camera angle.  When you view the Mars light head-on, it dims quite a bit during its cycle, but I might need to adjust it more than I have.  The best LED Mars light effect I've seen in a decoder is with the Lenz Silver Mini.  The LokSound isn't as good as the Lenz with this effect, although I may be able to tweak it more.  Since the PA's are the only units I have with a working Mars light, I haven't tried to work on this as much as I should.

John

Lemosteam

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Re: Life-Like PA-1 w/LokSound
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2016, 08:08:17 PM »
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John, next time you want to trim one of those weights, use a pair of Xurons with the flat side against the remains, not the waste.  I have snipped large and fairly fine chunks off of those suckers with no grinding.  They cut through these like butter.  I just use and exacto to trim off any unwanted flash or burrs.  NO DUST!