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As some of you may know, I got a 1971 Lionel Sante Fe Switcher dirt cheap last weekend.  It runs great on the tracks.  Glides effortlessly through switches, across crossings, and up slopes, in both forward and reverse.  

But, the only sound it makes is a non-stop "zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" sound, as it glides along, just like those dang slot cars that everybody was racing in the late 60s.  Sounds nothing whatsoever like a train running on a track.

I guess I will have to go back to the noisy, clanking, cast iron locomotives. :-(

Mannyrock

Last edited by OGR CEO-PUBLISHER
Original Post

Manny why don't you post a video so we can hear it for ourselves?  I agree with Don, there shouldn't be a buzz on DC.  If you put a capacitor across the DC output of the rectifier, it will eliminate the 60Hz ripple.  Beyond that, you might be hearing gears meshing (is the armature thrust play set correctly?) or the copper-carbon brushes clicking as they ride over the commutator segments.  Lionel locos use a flat, pancake-style commutator like a slot car, as opposed to the radial drum-style commutators used on "scale" locos.  Does it make the buzzing sound in both directions?  Maybe one commutator segment isn't flush and the brushes are snagging on it?  Just thinking aloud here.

Last edited by Ted S

I have obviously been very unclear in my prior posts.   My complaint isn't that the engine is too loud with a buzz.  It is that when it is running, it is too quiet, with just a  low grade hum, and "shwooses" around the track in a gliding motion.  

In other words, it doesn't remotely sound like a train  when it is running on the tracks.  No mechanical sounds at all, no clicks, clacks, clinks.    So, there is zero realism at all in running it.

I think that this has more to do with the fact that it is a diesel model, instead of a locomotive.  Even the DC locomotives have mechanical moving parts on the outside of the wheels.  

I know that this sounds silly, but I like my engines to sound mechanical.   

I guess I'll hook a long string of cars to it that have metal wheels and trucks, and see what they does for me soundwise.

Thanks for your advice and comments.

Mannyrock

@Mannyrock posted:

1. I have obviously been very unclear in my prior posts.   My complaint isn't that the engine is too loud with a buzz.  It is that when it is running, it is too quiet, with just a  low grade hum, and "shwooses" around the track in a gliding motion.  

2. In other words, it doesn't remotely sound like a train  when it is running on the tracks.  No mechanical sounds at all, no clicks, clacks, clinks.    So, there is zero realism at all in running it.

3.  I think that this has more to do with the fact that it is a diesel model, instead of a locomotive.  Even the DC locomotives have mechanical moving parts on the outside of the wheels.  

4.  I know that this sounds silly, but I like my engines to sound mechanical.   

Mannyrock

1. Hmm...usually people are more concerned with an engine being too noisy... 

2. Sound card, I guess.

3. A "diesel" is still a "locomotive". And whether a model is running on AC or DC, "mechanical moving parts on the outside of the wheels"  ( I guess you're referring to a "steam engine" here) shouldn't make any sound/noise...

4.  Sound card, I guess...again!

Good luck with all that.

Mark in Oregon

I'm not as big of a diesel fan for the same reason.

They are a different animal from a steam engine. 

The early stylings and the carbody frame hold more of my interest than the "ambiance" of diesels in action. The early RS were the last switcher style I liked a lot.

 But I do like the Plymouths, Vulcans, & esp. Whitcombs though. Again different animals than the large.  Maybe claim it as one of the 4 stroke gasoline engines

Electrics are even quieter, even with sound it's just load up humming and fans cycling. They have to have pantographs vs 3rd rail before I'm smiling too. 

If it was a postwar version you might actually like the "growl" of the vertical open frame motors;  it's growl fills a certain sensory gap between reality and imagination imo. 

A small filter cap wont hurt, but isn't needed ...yet. Future additions may call for some smoothing of the BR ripple, but not yet.

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