Author Topic: ESU LokSound visits Trainworld - Announces new products.  (Read 1506 times)

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reinhardtjh

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ESU LokSound visits Trainworld - Announces new products.
« on: February 06, 2017, 12:34:31 PM »
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Matt Herman of ESU LLC, USA visited Trainworld in New Jersey last weekend.

Here's a 42 minute video.  http://www.facebook.com/TrainWorldLLC/videos/1621542957861510/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED

For us, the biggest news is right up front.  Matt talks about the new N scale decoders developed for Intermountain and the "generic" ones coming for N scale hood diesel use.  There are 2 versions of the LokSound and one LokPilot (non-sound).  They are in production now and Matt says to expect them at the end of March or early April.

In the video Matt is holding printed information about the new decoders. Hopefully the ESU web site will be updated soon. - I found the PDF of the PR material Matt had  ESU product highlights 2017  Page 8 has the N Scale decoders.

This matches information I got from Streamlined Backshop this weekend also about the new ESU decoders.
LokSound:
ESU 73100 LokSound Select Micro Direct Sound Decoder Drop-In for Pre-2016 IRC Locos

ESU 73199 LokSound Select Micro Direct OEM NMRA DCC Sound Decoder Drop-In for Post-2016 IRC Locos

LokPilot V4:
ESU 54650 LokPilot V4.0 Micro Direct OEM NMRA DCC Sound Decoder Drop-In for Post-2016 IRC Locos


The only downside about the new decoders is that they are Select decoders instead of a V4.0 which means that the only sound files available will be the ones provided by ESU.  You won't be able to customize the sounds like with the V4.0 decoders.  The good part is that they have the same price as the standard Select, Select Direct, Select Micro.

In the video, Matt goes on to demonstrated the new Full Throttle Steam sounds.  On a separate FaceBook post Matt says they are working on a newsletter in which they will announce the steam sounds which should be released by the end of February, maybe sooner and there are some new diesel fils coming as well.  He also teases something about V4.0 pricing which will be announced in the newsletter as well.

With the new steam files Matt says that, unlike the current generic files, they will be heavily specialized toward certain locomotives.  He specifically mentioned PRR K4s and I1sa with Banshee and 3-chime passenger whistles.  Other roads will be similarly done.


If you have time, watch the whole video.  Matt talks about recording sounds about 15 minutes into it and it's interesting to hear him talk about his thoughts.  Of course, there is promoting ESU products.  Lots of talk about their DCC command system and other things.

At 30 minutes in Matt talks about the various formats of the decoders and choosing which decoder for your locomotive.

At about 34 minutes Matt talks about speakers.


« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 12:48:28 PM by reinhardtjh »
John H. Reinhardt
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tehachapifan

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Re: ESU LokSound visits Trainworld - Announces new products.
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2017, 03:16:04 PM »
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Great news, although I was hoping for a sound decoder that was slightly narrower, and perhaps slightly longer to make up the difference, than their current Select Micro. These boards look too long for some projects I have in-mind. Still, glad to see these! :D
Russ

jdcolombo

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Re: ESU LokSound visits Trainworld - Announces new products.
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2017, 04:14:00 PM »
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Excellent news.

I'm actually less excited about the generic boards than I used to be - partly because I worry that they will be too long to accommodate a speaker (e.g., will I still have 13-14mm of length on the frame to put in an 8x12 in an enclosure on the frame, or will I be limited to the fuel tank area?), and partly because as of yet, we haven't discovered a way to add external keep alive (Peteski is working on this - I sent him my SD40-2 board to dissect as necessary to figure this out).   So it may be that some of us modeling transition era end up using Select Micros even after the new board is available.  For modern-era stuff, however, the boards will probably be terrific - plenty of length on an SD70 or GEVO frame to accommodate the board and speaker, and having six outputs allows alternating ditch lights (front AND rear if you want) or combos of ditch lights and beacons.

But I'm really, REALLY, psyched by the new steam files.  I've always thought that purely on sound, Soundtraxx generally trounced ESU's generic heavy steam sound.  ESU's chuffs just didn't have the "bark" typical of late-steam super-power locos like Berks, or the various kinds of 4-8-4's (or that 2-10-4 that I'm still hoping we get some day!).  The chuffs on that 0-8-0 in the video sound MUCH better than what I'm used to hearing from ESU's generic steam files.  And the pdf you linked indicates that maybe they recorded Milwaukee 261, a perfect 2-cylinder super-power engine, along with the mandatory UP FEF.  I'll be really interested to see what locos they recorded (16 new ones, I think, is what the literature said).

So, though I'm somewhat less psyched about the new board, the new steam files make up for any tiny disappointment.  Can't wait to get my hands on these new files for my fleet of Berks.

John C.

« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 04:15:33 PM by jdcolombo »

peteski

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Re: ESU LokSound visits Trainworld - Announces new products.
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2017, 04:24:24 PM »
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Great news, although I was hoping for a sound decoder that was slightly narrower, and perhaps slightly longer to make up the difference, than their current Select Micro. These boards look too long for some projects I have in-mind. Still, glad to see these! :D

The problem with this is size of the microcontroller needed with enough "horsepower" to be able to handle the sound.  If you look at the ESU's new skinny decoder in the SD40-2 the large chip on the circuit board is pretty much covering the entire width of the board.  SO with the current electronics the board simply cannot be made made narrower.  It is the large square chip towards the left end of the board.

2017-01-13_06-18-50 by Adam Henry

I talked to Josh from QSI about making their Tsunami or Titan decoders smaller for N scale and the physical size of the microprocessor is also their limiting factor. He was hoping for one of the brass N scale manufacturers to order a decoder from them and cover the cost of developing a smaller chip but with the N scale brass being pretty much dead, this is not going to happen.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 04:27:25 PM by peteski »
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skytop35

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Re: ESU LokSound visits Trainworld - Announces new products.
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2017, 04:46:07 PM »
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So how did they manage a board for the Atlas S2? Seems like that would be short enough to use just about anywhere.
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reinhardtjh

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Re: ESU LokSound visits Trainworld - Announces new products.
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2017, 05:25:51 PM »
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  And the pdf you linked indicates that maybe they recorded Milwaukee 261, a perfect 2-cylinder super-power engine, along with the mandatory UP FEF.  I'll be really interested to see what locos they recorded (16 new ones, I think, is what the literature said).

They did.  Over the last year or so the ESU FaceBook page has shown Matt out and about recording both steam and diesel sounds.  Some of them were:
MILW 261.
UP 844
Soo Line 1003
V&T 29

John H. Reinhardt
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tehachapifan

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Re: ESU LokSound visits Trainworld - Announces new products.
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2017, 05:50:15 PM »
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The problem with this is size of the microcontroller needed with enough "horsepower" to be able to handle the sound.  If you look at the ESU's new skinny decoder in the SD40-2 the large chip on the circuit board is pretty much covering the entire width of the board.  SO with the current electronics the board simply cannot be made made narrower.  It is the large square chip towards the left end of the board.

2017-01-13_06-18-50 by Adam Henry

I talked to Josh from QSI about making their Tsunami or Titan decoders smaller for N scale and the physical size of the microprocessor is also their limiting factor. He was hoping for one of the brass N scale manufacturers to order a decoder from them and cover the cost of developing a smaller chip but with the N scale brass being pretty much dead, this is not going to happen.

Well, these new ESU boards must be narrower than their Select Micro....unless I'm missing something.

In other words, take the sound decoder pictured above, eliminate the length added by all the drop-in features, LED's, etc., and make it a hard-wire decoder that is as short as possible in addition to as narrow as possible. Now we're talking! ;)


« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 06:17:27 PM by tehachapifan »
Russ

peteski

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Re: ESU LokSound visits Trainworld - Announces new products.
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2017, 07:06:46 PM »
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So how did they manage a board for the Atlas S2? Seems like that would be short enough to use just about anywhere.

The question was why the board is not narrower (not shorter). My explanation covers that.

Here is a photo of IM SD40-2 and Atlas S2 ESU decoders. As you can see both have totally different layouts (many components are the same). The SD40-2 decoder has lots of unused areas on the PC boards.  Bot boards have width limited to 0.320" because of the large microprocessor chip.

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« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 07:08:42 PM by peteski »
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tehachapifan

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Re: ESU LokSound visits Trainworld - Announces new products.
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2017, 07:46:39 PM »
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Peteski, I don't think you're getting my point. The current LokSound Select Micro is a tad TOO WIDE (10.6mm) for many current narrow-hood diesels. These new boards being announced must be narrower or they also wouldn't fit without having to do some sort of mods to the frame and/or shell. My ideal board would be the new (presumably narrower) width of these new boards but only slightly longer than the 25mm long LokSound Select Micro (to make up the difference as needed).


Russ

jagged ben

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Re: ESU LokSound visits Trainworld - Announces new products.
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2017, 07:49:19 PM »
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It's a bit weird that ESU doesn't specify that the new drop-ins are for Intermountain, but I guess we can trust SBS on that.  From what I know, the 'pre-2016' version would not likely fit anything except the tunnel motors and SD45-s.  (That is, without modifications.) 

jdcolombo

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Re: ESU LokSound visits Trainworld - Announces new products.
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2017, 08:08:55 PM »
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Peteski, I don't think you're getting my point. The current LokSound Select Micro is a tad TOO WIDE (10.6mm) for many current narrow-hood diesels. These new boards being announced must be narrower or they also wouldn't fit without having to do some sort of mods to the frame and/or shell. My ideal board would be the new (presumably narrower) width of these new boards but only slightly longer than the 25mm long LokSound Select Micro (to make up the difference as needed).

Hi Russ.

The IM board IS narrower than the standard Loksound micro; I didn't measure it, but I think it is 9mm at its widest point.  As Peteski points out, there is a lot of unused length on the board because they needed to make it fit the "ears" on the frame where the power contacts are.  The Atlas S-2 board is shorter, not narrower, because they didn't have to do that (the S-2 board is hard-wired; no frame-ear pickups).

What I really was hoping for from ESU is an Atlas S-2-length board (actually, shorter, because the S-2 has LEDs on the front and rear for the headlight/backup light that lengthen the board beyond what is necessary - and could be eliminated in a "generic" version meant for hard-wiring lights).  I was thinking that a "generic" board could be, maybe, 35mm long, and 9mm wide - the same width as the S-2 and IM boards, but shorter.  Apparently, however, ESU has decided to go down a different road - a longer board that can fit power pickup "ears" on various locomotives with DCC-ready frames.

By the way - you might find that if you remove the heavy plastic wrapping around the LokSound micro that it will fit the inside of many hood diesels (barely, and with some effort).  I didn't realize how thick this plastic was until I removed it for a particular install; removing it saves about .2 - .3mm of width, and the board itself is usually a tiny bit narrower than 10.6.  So you end up with something like 10.2 or 10.3, and many shells have about this much width inside at the rear (thicker) part of the shell.  It's not an ideal solution, because if you remove the plastic wrap, you not only void your warranty (I assume), but you also then need to be VERY careful about insulating the frame around where the decoder is sitting with kapton tape.  But it mostly works - I've done this with some Atlas GP9's; haven't yet tried this on anything else.

John C.

skytop35

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Re: ESU LokSound visits Trainworld - Announces new products.
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2017, 08:25:30 PM »
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What I really was hoping for from ESU is an Atlas S-2-length board (actually, shorter, because the S-2 has LEDs on the front and rear for the headlight/backup light that lengthen the board beyond what is necessary - and could be eliminated in a "generic" version meant for hard-wiring lights).  I was thinking that a "generic" board could be, maybe, 35mm long, and 9mm wide - the same width as the S-2 and IM boards, but shorter.

Yes, this.
Bill Denton

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tehachapifan

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Re: ESU LokSound visits Trainworld - Announces new products.
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2017, 09:17:35 PM »
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Thanks, John!

Even with removing the plastic wrap, there's just no way I can see to fit the currently-available LokSound Select Micro in, say, the Atlas MP15DC shell. I don't think you can widen the inside of the shell enough and then you have the sand fill hatch inserts to contend with on top of that, if the decoder would go on the front of the chassis with a speaker in the cab. Like you, I want a board around 9mm wide and also as short as possible. While I'm a huge fan of ESU's sound quality, I may have to turn to Zimo for some of my switcher applications...even thought they don't currently offer an EMD 12 cylinder 645 non-turbo file. The closest I can find is a 12 cylinder 567.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 09:29:44 PM by tehachapifan »
Russ

jdcolombo

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Re: ESU LokSound visits Trainworld - Announces new products.
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2017, 09:28:52 PM »
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Thanks, John!

Even with removing the plastic wrap, there's just no way I can see to fit the currently-available LokSound Select Micro in, say, the Atlas MP15DC shell. I don't think you can widen the inside of the shell enough and then you have the sand fill hatch inserts to contend with on top of that, if the decoder would go on the front of the chassis with a speaker in the cab. Like you, I want a board around 9mm wide and also as short as possible. I may have to turn to Zimo for some of my switcher applications...even thought they don't currently offer an EMD 12 cylinder 645 non-turbo file. The closest I can find is a 12 cylinder 567.

If only Zimo had the sound files ESU does, the MX649 would be perfect for a lot of things (and now there's the new MX660, but I'm not sure how long that board is).

Well, we've come a long way since I put my first LokSound Micro into an Atlas GP7; maybe in a couple of years someone will release the "perfect" decoder for us.

John C.

tehachapifan

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Re: ESU LokSound visits Trainworld - Announces new products.
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2017, 09:41:42 PM »
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If only Zimo had the sound files ESU does, the MX649 would be perfect for a lot of things (and now there's the new MX660, but I'm not sure how long that board is).

Well, we've come a long way since I put my first LokSound Micro into an Atlas GP7; maybe in a couple of years someone will release the "perfect" decoder for us.

John C.

Someone probably will at some point, which always causes me to question if I should go ahead and get whatever fits now or wait for something better. :? ;) I may give one of the Zimo's a try just to check it out and because I love their MX621 (non-sound) decoder I have installed in a few locos, but you cant beat ESU's sound quality (including that even-pre-Full-Throttle EMD 567 file you have in your GP7 and I have in my SD9 :D )

PS- I see I modified my post above a little after you already grabbed a quote. Oh, well.


Russ