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Author Topic: Climax DCC Sound-equipped  (Read 6145 times)
Kor Elzenga

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« on: September 13, 2013, 09:06:10 AM »

Hello Guys,

A couple of questions since the situation is not quite clear to me. I have some assumptions but I'd like to verify if they are correct.

1. The engine is advertised as DCC sound-equipped. The specifications also mention '… plug & play electronics interface to accommodate the control system of your choice, etc…' I interpret this as the engine being fitted with "only" the sound part or a DCC installation, but not the decoder part for running it on DCC. Is this the correct assumption?

2. Consequently the sound can be fully used with a DCC command center / controller, but you can't run the engine with it. In order to run the engine you have to use DC power, or have I misunderstood that? (the answer to statement / question #1 will mainly answer that).

3. I thought that in general more complicated sound effects can only be utilized completely with a proper DCC controller, and that with DC power sound effects are much more limited. Or is this DCC sound card capable of producing all the sound effects with DC power as well? Why would it then be specifically designated DCC sound-equipped?

4. If the sound effects are more limited with DC power why would this engine come without a DCC controller but with a complete DCC sound system? Moreover, you have to remove the sound card in order to install a DCC decoder on the "p&p electronics interface", judging by what I have been able to find on the internet, so why would you need a "DCC sound card" in the first place.

5. Does anybody know if the sound card can still successfully be used after installing a DCC decoder? How should the sound card be connected / installed in that case? The p&p interface is already used by the DCC decoder, so where does it need to go?

6. What type or brand DCC decoder would you suggest in either situation, with and without the factory supplied sound card? Pros and cons for both situations? (replacing the entire sound card with a sound-equipped DCC decoder or just a simpler DCC decoder and retaining the original sound card in whatever way)

Just curious since I recently acquired one of those "DCC sound-equipped" Climaxes. It's waiting for me in the USA and I was wondering what to expect and if I could already prepare something for it if necessary. I intend to use it with DCC ultimately anyway.

Thanks a lot in advance for your answers, tips, suggestions.

Kind regards,


Kor Elzenga
Xanton & Western Union Rail Road
Wassenaar Division
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Bucksco

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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2013, 09:22:32 AM »

The DCC/Sound Climax is equipped with a DCC/Sound decoder. In other words the DCC decoder has a sound chip built in. The decoder can be easliy removed. If you want to use another DCC decoder and a separate sound card you might want to consider the non-DCC version of this loco.
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Kor Elzenga

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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2013, 11:02:07 AM »

Hello Yardmaster!

Thanks very much for the reply! I believe that answers my questions, at least for now. I'll just check how it works with the built in card then. Probably I'll go with that option.

Kind regards,

Kor Elzenga,
Xanton & Western Union Rail Road
Wassenaar Division
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2013, 12:22:57 PM »

Kor, the DCC decoder that's installed in the Climax is a variation of the Soundtraxx Tsunami motor/sound decoder. It's been beefed up for the higher current draw common to large scale locomotives, but beyond that, it's very similar in operation. The decoder controls both the motor and the sound, so there's no need to worry about needing to fit another decoder unless there's something specific you'd want to control that the stock board might not let you do.

http://www.soundtraxx.com/factory/OEM_pages/bachmann/bachmann.php

The list of CVs for the Climax can be found under the Fn3 tab.

Out of the box, the locomotive will be set to DCC address 3 (default), and will run on any DCC system with that locomotive address selected on the controller.

The only "odd" thing about the Tsunami decoders is that they do not use CV5 to set the maximum speed as other decoders do. Instead, they use "forward trim" and "reverse trim" to adjust the speed table proportionally. (CVs 66 and 67 respectively). The page I linked to above also has a link to the Steam User's Guide (on the left), which will let you know the particulars of the Tsunami decoder.

The Tsunami does have a number of automatic sounds that trigger when running on traditional DC. There are factory defaults set for which sounds play when, but these can also be adjusted via the CVs. (You do need a DCC system to adjust those CVs.)

If--for whatever reason--you decide you don't like the Tsunami board, you can plug in any other plug-and-play decoder in the socket just as easily. I've got a QSI Titan installed in mine.

Good luck!

Later,

K
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 12:25:10 PM by Kevin Strong » Logged

Kor Elzenga

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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2013, 01:28:09 PM »

Hello Kevin,
Thank you for your extensive answer. The "Yardmaster" already answered the main question, and thereby implicitly the others, but you expand on them. I'm a big fan of your articles in Garden Railways, but it's a surprise to get a direct answer from you to my questions. Besides answers to the Climax 'issue' you have also answered, or at least pointed in a direction for solutions to, some questions I have for my other motive power.
I am contemplating using a QSI Titan for my K-27 and for my also recently acquired C-19. What are your experiences with them? How well can they be programmed.

One issue that's holding me back a bit with the Titans is the fact that they have a whole array of sounds on board and you have to choose / configure a specific combination to get the desired, though synthesized (if I understood it correctly) sound for a particular locomotive.
The approach for most other sound decoders is using sound samples from the "real" thing, which of course means that they need to supply an extensive library of sounds for all the available types if engines. The QSI approach is actually more "old fashioned ", but on the other hand more efficient. The downside could be that the sound for a particular engine is not really attainable. On the other hand the sound quality with 16 bits seems very promising and high quality / fidelity.
What are your experiences with the QSI? Would you recommend it for the K-27 and the C-19?

I'm aware that these questions no longer concern only the Climax engine, but are more general DCC related.

However I would welcome some advice on these issues, if you have the time.

Thanks again for your help and good luck with your Tuscarora Railroad. (Plus all the good stuff through GR)

Kind regards,

Kor Elzenga
Xanton & Western Rail Road
Wassenaar Division
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2013, 04:09:36 AM »

The QSI is all digital, so all the sounds are recordings of actual locomotives. Each decoder does come with an array of options for the various sounds; a dozen or so whistles, a half dozen chuffs, bells, airpumps, etc. There's a default soundset on each decoder, but changing the particular sounds is as simple as changing the CV for that particular sound. (I would recommend getting their programming software interface if you're going to go that route.) I must admit having a great deal of fun "auditioning" various whistles and bells to find one I like.

I'd definitely recommend it for the K-27 and C-19 if you wanted to go that route. QSI has a "K-27" default soundset that uses a recording of the whistle that's on D&RGW #463 if memory serves. (And--again--you can always change that.) I've got a K-27 here that's equipped with an older-generation QSI that runs very well and sounds great.

As an alternative--assuming you've got a bit of patience--is to wait for Soundtraxx to finally release their C-19 Tsunami board. It's been "in the works" for quite some time, but they're evidently still working out some kinks. But--like the Climax Tsunami--it will have a few different whistles to choose from and all the features of the small-scale Tsunami boards.

Later,

K
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Chris9017

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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2013, 09:29:34 PM »

Is it possible to get the whistle and bell to work off magnetic reed switches by adding after market reed switches and get them hard wired into the sound board or am I better off removing the sound unit and installing a Phoenix sound to get more options for basic DC?
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Tony Walsham

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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2013, 05:43:33 AM »

For regular DC track voltage and not DCC, the answers are No and Yes.
You might even be able to sell the fitted Tsunami decoder.
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Tony Walsham
Founding member of the battery Mafia.


(Remote Control Systems).
john1937

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« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2013, 05:51:09 PM »

I thought you might like to see a 1:1 version of the Climax. This is #1694 running on PBR on 22 September 2013 (a thank-you train for those who restored the Climax or helped fund it.
http://s872.photobucket.com/user/john_1937/media/Climax1694_zpsed1e1829.jpg.html

http://s872.photobucket.com/user/john_1937/media/Climax1694atBelgrave_zps63527068.jpg.html
This model does not require digital sound! Cheers.
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