Sounding too Complicated

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I am trying to get this straight. I never thought HO model railroading could be complicated and overwhelming. I have been researching locomotive sound. If I were to buy Tsunami systems for my Genesis F-7 locomotives, does the unit come with DCC capability? In other words, will the Tsunami sound system allow me to operate the locomotives in DCC were I to go the DCC route, or will I need both a Tsunami sound system and a DCC unit as well?
 

diburning

AlcoHaulic
You need to buy a DCC system. The Tsunami is a decoder. The Tsunami goes inside the locomotive and controls the motor, sound, etc. Each engine needs it's own decoder.
 
So if I were to buy a Tusnami I would have both DCC & sound in one unit? I would have no need to buy a sound decoder and a DCC decoder?

Thanks,

Tom
 

lmackattack

old school
out of the box engines....

some mfg make DC only
some mfg make DCC only
some mfg make DC engines that are DCC ready engines
some mfg make DC sound / DCC ready with sound

if you buy a DCC ready engine, the engine is currently a DC engine but has a plug to install a DCC decoder to convert it to DCC

most decoders are set to run only on DCC but some high end decoders allow for running on DC or DCC but you need to find what the decoder is capable of. My opinion is to stay with one or the other

sorry if its complacated to follow as there are slight diffrences but it still boils down to DC or DCC stay with one or the other and life is all good
 
NZRMac,

Thanks for your help. I will go Tsunami for the two Genesis F-7 locomotives I now own and for the one I will buy upon release. Now indulge me further, please. I have two MSR power packs, one a 220 and one a 6200. I am sure they both produce close to five amps. Will either of these two work with Digitraxx were I to buy such a model?

If you were going to convert to DCC, would you go with an introductory model or would you start out of the gate with an advanced system?



Thanks,

Tom
 

jrbernier

Milw Road in SW Wisconsin
I assume you are talking about MRC DC power packs? They are not DCC - If you buy a DCC system(Digitrax Super Chief for example), you will need at least a 5 amp power supply(those MRC power packs do not put that kind of 'juice').
There is one Digitrax DCC system(Zephyr) that has a feature called 'Jump Ports'. You can attach a pair of your old DC power packs and use them as 'Throttles' to control your DCC engines. The 'Zephyr' is a 2.5 amp unit that includes the power supply and is pretty 'full featured'.

You need to go out to Tonys Trains or Litchfield Station's web sites and read up on DCC. And if you still have questions, post it here!

Jim
 

IronBeltKen

Lazy Daydreamer
...If you were going to convert to DCC, would you go with an introductory model or would you start out of the gate with an advanced system?
...

Are there any modelers in [or a mrr club] in your hometown? If so, I'd find out what they are all using. Chances are it's either Digitraxx or NCE. Whatever brand they are using, that's probably the one to get - that way you'll have a local network of people who can provide technical help with it.
 

lmackattack

old school
Are there any modelers in [or a mrr club] in your hometown? If so, I'd find out what they are all using. Chances are it's either Digitraxx or NCE. Whatever brand they are using, that's probably the one to get - that way you'll have a local network of people who can provide technical help with it.

This is very good advice. not only will a local club be able to help you with issues if you use the same system but if you ever decide to join you will have a throttel!
 

TaeOH

or just Tom...
This has confused me too.

So are ALL DCC sound decoders also DCC decoders that control the engine? The DCC Ready engines with Sound confused me, becuase if you buy one of them you still need another decoder.
 

kbkchooch

"retired" conductor
This has confused me too.

So are ALL DCC sound decoders also DCC decoders that control the engine?
No. There are DCC compatible sound only decoders out there. Soundtraxx for one made them, but I believe they have all now been discontinued as the Tsunami variations are coming on line.




The DCC Ready engines with Sound confused me, becuase if you buy one of them you still need another decoder.

True or for simplicities sake, you can just rip it all out, install a Tsunami, and life is easier. Multiple decoders in engines can be a programming nightmare, or you would have to disconnect one to program the other........not worth it.
 

TaeOH

or just Tom...
True or for simplicities sake, you can just rip it all out, install a Tsunami, and life is easier. Multiple decoders in engines can be a programming nightmare, or you would have to disconnect one to program the other........not worth it.

Well that is good to know. I was getting the impression that buying engines with factory sound was going to be the way to go, so I was looking at the Blue Line. Looks like I need to go Paragon 2 or do it myself.
 

UP2CSX

Fleeing from Al
The Blue Line engines with the DC sound decoders are a nightmare to convert to DCC. Programming the one I have has been a never ending battle to keep them both in sync. OTOH, my Paragon E-7's with the QSI decoders already installed have been flawless. I would never spend the money again on a BL model with the DC sound decoder.
 
UP2CSX,

Thanks for sharing your expertise. I live up in the mountains west of Cajon Pass, and I don't believe there are clubs near me. But I will check into it.

I did just recently bought a BLI sound decoder. If all goes according to plan, I should have room to construct a decent layout. Should I be so able, I will give serious consideration to going DCC. I do like locomotive sound now that I've actually experienced it. But still, I do not envision my running more than two trains simultaneously. Moreover, I am giving serious thought to incorporating my old American Flyer set with my growing HO collection.



Thanks so much,

Tom
 
UP2CSX,

I almost forgot to inquire. How difficult a task would it be to remove the BLI sound decoder from my Blueline 4-8-4 and replace it with a Tsunami?


Thanks again,

Tom
 

ThoroughBreed

Dcc~detail~diesel freak
My question is: why do you want to replace the BLI sound board for? Those boards are designed for those locos and they have sensors on the cams to synchronise the chuff and so forth. The Tsunami doesnt have the link up for those sensors, it just guesses by the output voltage going to the motor.
So, why ruin a decoder that was designed for that particular loco? :cool:
And, all these folks talking Tsunami this and that. It isnt anything but another sound decoder. When you get 2 or more sound locos going at once, you won't be able to tell a tsunami from a $40 MRC sound decoder. That I can vouch for from experience. ;)
Now, if you run one single sound decoder in a consist and get out on a long run, you can still only barely determine some of the sounds it makes. The only way this board is gonna sound great is in a loco that is on display only, and by itself. :rolleyes:
Trust me, get some good deals on the decoders, and use what you can afford. For the price of one tsunami, you can get 2 MRC 1634 sound decoders, with some change left over, about $15-20 to be exact. Thats enough to buy a NCE D13SRJ 4 function decoder for another loco. Now, unless you got money just spilling out of your pockets and have to have the most expensive things out there, then conserve and you'll be able to buy more for your money. :D
Don't price yourself out of the hobby by thinking you have to buy these expensive decoders to be able to enjoy a particular loco. Unless you only plan on having a max of 10 locos in your stable, then spend what you think you'll enjoy hearing.
Now to answer your original question: If you have dcc decoders in locos, then you still have to have a command station to send the different commands out to the locos. A regular dc throttle will not activate all the available functions you'll have with dcc. And, getting BLI blueline locos with the right motor decoders, you'll have no problem programming them on either the NCE powercab or MRC Prodigy Advance2. I have 2 of the AC6000's from the first run, and I had LENZ LE1000W single function decoders in them for a long time. I changed them because the Lenz decoders have a high throttle to movement ratio that cant be adjusted in the cv's. I replaced them with NCE D14SR's that were a sinch to program on the main.
You don't have to buy a big system to get all the bells and whistles that you'll get with the sound decoders. A NCE power cab, and the MRC prodigy express/advance lines have at minimum 16 functions available to get the most out of those sound decoders. The other big name dcc system doesnt have anymore than 14 with the most expensive system, unless you get the computer adapter and install JMRI, and get the wireless handheld..... After spending about $450 or more, you might get above 14 functions with that system. For about $115, you can get the Prodigy express with 1.6 amps and 16 functions; or for about $175 you can get the NCE powercab with 2.5 amps and all 28 functions; or for about $210 you can get the prodigy advance2 with 3.5 amps and all 28 functions; plus you won't be tied down to a large throttle-command station and can get up and walk with your train with these systems.
So think carefully before you plop down all this money on this equipment. For the price of the dcc systems, you can buy a few more sound locos.
/rant
 




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