Good evening all:
I would like to preface this post by saying that I have done a reasonable amount of research on the OGR forum, and the internet at large, prior to asking the following questions. However, it is entirely possible I missed an applicable post. If so, please feel free to point me in the right direction.
I have 2 MTH PS3 TRAXX European electric locomotives. They are excellent models, and enjoyable to run. The PS3 sound suite for TRAXX motors are not entirely accurate, but it is nonetheless acceptable. Recently however, I came across the ESU Loksound decoders and sound files, and was extremely impressed with the sound quality and apparent loudness, such that I thought it sure would be neat to have. Naturally, it seemed like an interesting new project to convert those 2 motors (plus an Atlas motor) to Loksound DCC. As such, I have a few questions I would like to pose to the group. I am only on a fact-finding mission at this time.
Before I offer these questions, I would like to address 2 potential 'tangents', and kindly ask that they not be discussed to any great extent here. Firstly, the fact that DCC is completely incompatible with DCS, and cannot be run on the same track at the same time. I am aware of this, and would not attempt it. Secondly, the apparent financial (and practical) imprudence of installing a second control system to run 2 or 3 locomotives some of the time. I do not expect to undertake this anytime soon (if at all), and am more curious than anything else, so the imprudence of the idea is not a consideration at the moment. With that in mind, I pose the following:
- Has anyone actually replaced PS3 electronics with Loksound decoders? It seems fairly clear that the Loksound 4.0 Select decoder is the inherent choice for O scale locomotives, so I am aware that such a replacement should be possible on paper. Reality can differ significantly from theory, so I am curious if anyone has made the switch and can offer advice, tips, potential pitfalls, etc. I would only be concerned with basic operation, sound and lights. I would not be so concerned with operating pantographs or even certain lighting features.
- Is anyone using the Loksound DCC system? It is not entirely clear to me what is needed for a basic control setup. For DCS, we have a TIU that controls and can program, and a remote/smartphone for user input. For DCC, it seems that control surface is needed (remote or console), a control box (a rough TIU equivalent), and a separate programmer for decoders as well, (I recall this also from my HO days). It would then seem to me that either the CabControl or 50210 box, with a power supply and the Lok Programmer would constitute a basic DCC enabled system. I would appreciate input from someone who actually runs the system, (as opposed to second-hand info) and can confirm that this is true or if other components are required, (note the layout in question is small, so boosters would not be required).
- Where are ESU components available? The decoders seem relatively easy to find, but the control systems not so much. Tony's DCC can order controls on back-order, and obviously I can look up the dealer list. However, the ESU Facebook page (and other comments I have seen elswhere) suggest that some of the ESU control systems are not readily available at the moment. I am curious if anyone has a 'preferred' dealer for ESU products.
Again, this is only for information's sake to satisfy my curiosity. I do not expect to pursue any of this in the immediate future, (perhaps fall). Thank you in advance for any helpful input.