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Author Topic: G scale Climax - installing DCC and sound  (Read 6393 times)
bwolfe

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« on: November 16, 2008, 04:16:03 PM »

Would like to install DCC and sound in a G scale Climax, nothing in manual to be of any help.  Any advice? 
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Tom Lapointe


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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2008, 04:46:27 AM »

Since the Climax predates Bachmann's building locomotives "DCC-friendly" Wink , there's a bit more work involved; you have to isolate the motors from the electrical pickups on the trucks, for starters.  Sound will also be a tight fit  Undecided as well - I used a Phoenix 2K2 board in mine (minus the back-up battery pack, which isn't needed for DCC operation anyway).  If I were doing it now, I'd use the much-smaller (& less-expensive as well!  Grin ) Phoenix P5.  The internal sound switches in the cylinders are miswired Shocked as the loco came from the factory (they're wired in series, pretty much making them useless). Sad  I was able to get acceptably close sound sync using the "auto-chuff" feature on the 2K2 board (also available on the P5).  You'd either need the Phoenix programmer (a good idea to get if you plan on using more than 1 of their boards) or have someone program the board for you.  Exact wiring depends on what DCC decoder you're using (I used a Digitrax DG-583S).   Hope that helps some.   Wink                                                             Tom
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Peter O

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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2008, 01:29:46 PM »

Another option would be to go for a combined DCC/sound board. I've had great success with the LokSoundXL board which has the added advantage of being very compact.

The Loksound XL has excellent motor control, autochuff feature and plently (for me) volume. Rumor is you need a 100ohm speaker, but that's not true - they work with any 8-16ohm speaker with the correct jumper setting.

I get mine from Litchfield Station who has the best prices and for no extra cost they will load whichever sound file you want.  They're not cheap, but do cost less than a seperate decoder and Phoenix P5.

Here's the link to the US Sounds page. Scroll down to you find Climax and click on the > to play a sample.

http://www.esu.eu/index.php?id=345&L=2

82553 Climax   geared steam locomotive type

Good luck. Peter.
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Peter O

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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2008, 01:32:21 PM »

Forgot to add something. I think you will find this site invaluable.

http://www.girr.org/girr/tips/tips5/climax_tips.html

as George has paved the way in doing DCC in most the large scale engines.

Peter.
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Tom Lapointe


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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2008, 01:48:17 AM »

Peter, your comments got me curious a bit & I tried looking up some specs (& sound samples) on the LokSound decoder.  (My Climax DCC / sound conversion happened to be a "2-stage" affair  Wink - I had originally converted it to DCC without sound when I converted my entire railroad over to DCC).  I added sound when a Phoenix 2K2 came up at the right price on eBay (this was before Phoenix came out with the P5).  I assume you used the XL (G scale) version of the 3.5 decoder?  If I remember correctly, I measured the Climax's current drain at @ 2 amps before converting it, so at 3 amps rating for the XL version, the LokSound decoder sounds adequate.  Guess I have to download their programming software if I want to check out the sounds, though. Undecided  I agree it's cost-effective, just slightly more than a Phoenix P5 sound board. Smiley         Tom
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Peter O

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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2008, 10:56:57 AM »

Tom, unfortunately the Loksound programmer while very powerful in giving you total control over the sounds, does not let you simulate a locomotive running without the interface unit and a decoder. The QSI software is much cooler from that respect.

With just the Loksound software you can play all the individual sounds, bell, whistle, shovelling, airpump etc, and the various components of the chuff, but since most sounds have multiple parts (initial, loop, and end), you don't always get the full effect.

There's a ESU Loksound Yahoo Group which has a great deal of information and can help with some of the more complex programming options (and you can get VERY creative with the programming). The latest version of the decoder has 16Mb storage which gives plenty of room for custom station announcements etc. I have Tom Hanks, from the Polar Express movie, making my "all-aboard" announcemnt.

Again, the small size is a real advantage compared to another products I've used ( ie. the QSI dcc board). I was able to fit the Loksound XL in the boiler of a Bachmann Spectrum 2-6-0 above the existing PC board, and still keep the Bachmann smoke unit. I can send you a photo before I jammed it all back in if your interested. I also installled one in a Bachmann 2 truck Shay with good results.

The unit seems relatively immune from dropouts etc., I just wish it was $50 cheaper. But, you get what you pay for.

I'm now experimenting with the MRC 001819 which is very reasonably priced, but with 20 locomotives to convert, you need to cut some corners.

Peter.
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