DCC decoders and sound

Are the DCC decoders separate for control and sound?

 

Are you able to buy something like a NCE decoder and later add sound?  

 

What sound options would there be if you installed a decoder for control and then wanted to add sound? 

Howard

Original Post

Hi Marker,

You can go separate DCC decoders for sound and motor control; however, understand that sound-only decoders are pretty much a thing of the past from the tier 1 sound decoder manufacturers simply because these vendors have improved their motor control from the early sound decoder days and these sound decoder suppliers are doing some great things when it comes syncing the sound with the motor control, like “auto-notching” from TCS, so you lose this with separate sound and motor control decoders.  You can still go this route of separate decoders if you want but understand that you will be getting an “extra” motor control in the sound decoder whether you want it or not such as the case if you use a separate HO sound decoder for the sound portion. 

 

Also, programming becomes a nightmare since you would either have to add a switch to disable one decoder while programming the other when using the same address for both decoders within one locomotive or use two different addresses and then consist the two motor and sound decoders with one locomotive – another logistics headache.  In my opinion, you are just better off using an all-in-one combo motor/sound decoder right from the get-go if onboard sound is what you are after.  Pricey, I know, but the alternative is not worth it. 

 

Also, with the dual motor vertical drives, I find that they have jackrabbit speeds if the motors are wired in parallel as they come from the factory, but behave very nicely when wired in series.  However, understand you basically cut your top speed in half since each motor is getting only half the motor control voltage.  Therefore, Atlas or MTH dual motor vertical drive locos will max out at about 45-50 Scale MPH but have very nice slow speed.  You can experiment to see what works for you.

 

Scott K

Austin, TX

Thanks again Scott!

 

I thought that your answer was probably the case regarding sound.  There seems to be some nice units with sound out there.  I guess I'll just have to take it a bit slower and go with the DCC decoders that handle motor control and sound.

 

I would rather have better low speed and with your answer, you answered a question I forgot to ask.  I've seen a number of references to series wiring but I wasn't sure it was so common.  The top speed is fine as I don't have that much layout.

 

You really helped my understanding with you posts in both threads.  Thank you.

 

BTW, It seems like I'll either run dummy A's or forget the detailed interior, probably forget the interior.

 

Thanks again

 

Howard

Originally Posted by marker:

Are the DCC decoders separate for control and sound?

 

Are you able to buy something like a NCE decoder and later add sound?  

 

What sound options would there be if you installed a decoder for control and then wanted to add sound? 

There is always Phoenix Sound which can be added to NCE decoders. There are rather elaborate sound decoders but i can easily build my own horn/bell or whistle bell sound board.  That's enough noise for me.

Lou N


Zimo produce O gauge sound decoders as well as non-sound, feature only and accessory decoders. The sound decoders come preloaded with an expansion of steam sound and 1 diesel scheme all selectable by way of CV adjustment. ESU make the LokSound V4.0 which has great sound features and motor control.

 

Please check our DCC sound decoders UK store providing a small range of top quality British Steam locos built from custom recording sessions of each locomotive.
ESU Loksound and Zimo Available for 0, 00 and N-gauge.

The ESU Loksound decoders are awesome. I have the XL and the Select L in a number of locomotives. Great sound with lots of options. Amazing motor control right out of the box, with no tweaking. If you have the Lokprogrammer, you can have a lot of fun with different sound files, etc.

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