Author Topic: Does anyone make a sound only decoder?  (Read 410 times)

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Paradise275

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Does anyone make a sound only decoder?
« on: March 26, 2018, 10:42:46 AM »
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I have a number of N scale Bachmann DCC equipped steam locomotives that I would like to ad sound to.
Does anyone make a sound only decoder that can be added to the DCC system?

Rick

Mark W

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Re: Does anyone make a sound only decoder?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2018, 11:02:30 AM »
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Bachmann's decoders are among the worst, especially in regards to motor control.  If you're adding sound, especially for steam, you'll want to have full control and fine tune everything.  Scrap the Bachmann decoder and go with a LokSound or Tsunami.
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jdcolombo

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Re: Does anyone make a sound only decoder?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2018, 02:33:33 PM »
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Agree.  I don't think there are any sound-only decoders available any more, except maybe the Digitrax SFX 0416, if it's still around. 

It's really not worth it, particularly in steam locos where there is plenty of room in the tender for a replacement decoder once you strip the tender bare, and where you'll want to have the steam chuff sounds align with driver rotation.

Get a LokSound.

Here is a thread on how I converted a DCC-ready Bachmann 2-8-0 to sound using a Loksound:
https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=36608.0

And here is a thread on converting a Bachmann Berkshire:
https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=35889.0

I know that the idea of throwing away a working DCC decoder that you paid for as part of the price of the model seems wasteful and wrong.
It isn't.
If you're going to go to the trouble of doing a sound installation, do it right, and get rid of the old Bachmann decoder.

John C.

Steveruger45

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Re: Does anyone make a sound only decoder?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2018, 02:34:44 PM »
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I have a number of N scale Bachmann DCC equipped steam locomotives that I would like to ad sound to.
Does anyone make a sound only decoder that can be added to the DCC system?

Rick

Both MRC and digitrax have made sound only decoders.  There are some you tube videos on these if you google search a while.
I have used a digitrax sfx006 sound only decoder in a 40 foot boxcar as a sound car.  Sound quality is ok and not completely terrible but is not up to esu standards even with the large 14 x 26mm boxed speaker that comes with the decoder.  When I get time I am going to try a different speaker to see if sound quality improves but I am not that hopeful.

I see JC posted just now.  I agree to what he said.  It does make sense to up-budget and get a loksound.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 02:38:17 PM by Steveruger45 »
Steve
Atascocita, Texas

RBrodzinsky

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Re: Does anyone make a sound only decoder?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2018, 02:46:15 PM »
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There is the Soundtraxx SoundCar decoder, but it doesn’t take the place of the loco’s decoder, just adds other sound effects further down in the train.

I agree with the other posts, upgrade to a LokSound and enjoy the excellent sound files and motor control. I did a Bachmann 2-10-2 a couple years ago, and have a K4 in the queue (I may even do it this week, if my allergies subside).
Rick Brodzinsky
Chief Engineer - JACALAR Railroad
Silicon Valley FreeMo-N