I've been working on this one for a while. It started out as a plan to add the Thomas the Tank Engine theme song to a Thomas train. Thought I'd share my finished design with the forum.
I decided to build a small module that can be added to almost any O gauge rolling stock. It has a couple of small circuit boards, a speaker, on/off switch, and rechargeable battery, all mounted on a small board that can be stuck to the floor of most cars.
Here's a sample of the sound track I made for typical use. It has has continuous clickety-clack, brake squeals, and boxcar clanging and banging. I ran it with a Beep so there is no sound from anything on the video except my sound module!
(apologies for the lousy sound... in reality they are 3 watts, great sounding cars, with a good quality speaker)
I'm hoping fellow forum members will provide some feedback to my plan to make them available for O gaugers who want to add customizable sound to their trains.
How it works:
- turning on the switch connects the Li-Ion battery to the sound board. The battery is recharged via a micro-USB connector, with any cell phone charger. Battery runs sounds for about 4 hours, and is included.
- sounds are customizable! They are stored as mp3 files on a provided microSD card.
- multiple sound loops may be stored on a card...railroad tunes, holiday songs, or boxcar sounds. I created a "Boxcar Sounds Loop" that has continuous clickety-clack, brake squeals, and boxcar clanging and banging. It will be included with module
- sounds loops can be sequential or single-repeat, so if you set it to repeat, boxcar sounds run continuously.
- module controls include volume up/down, repeat one loop/play all loops.
-all controls, charging port, and on/off are accessible from the sliding doors on a typical boxcar.
- complete system is 1.5" x 5" x 1.75" high, plus speaker. The parts are mounted on a piece of plywood that can be attached to the boxcar floor... speaker placed as needed.
Looking in the door of the boxcar, you can access the on/off switch and charging port. The other door provides access to volume and repeat buttons. You do need to remove shell to change or add sounds to the microSD card.
I have put these systems into a few of boxcars and they have been quite a hit at local train shows! Sold a few units to local show attendees!
My plan is to offer the system to fellow hobbyists. I figure it will be about half the price of commercially available units, and....
--- It can go in any of your boxcars, so you can add sound to whatever railroad line you run on your layout.
---It has customizable sounds... use it for holidays, birthdays, or any special events.. no one gets stuck with sounds that someone else decided on (except for my loop, which is deletable or replaceable)
I'll be at York if anyone want to see a preview! Drop me an email for more info.. details in my profile!
Your thoughts welcomed and appreciated!