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soundtraxx surroundtraxx

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  • snookdust@aol.com
    I was at the NMRA conv. in Ft Lauderdale and spent some time at the Soundtraxx table. The sound is fabulous and depending on how many blocks you have it will
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 7, 2002
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      I was at the NMRA conv. in Ft Lauderdale and spent some time at the
      Soundtraxx table. The sound is fabulous and depending on how many blocks you
      have it will follow all the way around .It has 6 tracks and each can be
      programed for steam-deisel (ugh) -grade crossing bell -thunderstorms and
      others. It should be out in Jan. You'll need dcc ,blocks, Digitrax block
      detectors and speakers and their unit. I didn't get a price but sounds like
      with the price of the block detectors and all might be high. The
      down-side---I already have 5 DSX decoders and speakers under the layout and
      they will be surplus. No I won't tear up my C-16 tenders to put sound in
      there. Bob Veefkind


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • duncan harvey
      Bob, Thanks for the response. You are the first I have heard from. I understand about the need for DCC, which is one of the reasons I was asking - I have yet
      Message 2 of 12 , Aug 7, 2002
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        Bob,

        Thanks for the response. You are the first I have heard from. I
        understand about the need for DCC, which is one of the reasons I was
        asking - I have yet to buy my system. Also understand about the need for
        the detectors. But, I don't quite understand about the need for DCC blocks.
        What are these and why are they needed? Will this unit work with a NCE, or
        Lenz, or some other DCC system, or just with Digitrax?

        Thanks for the information you have shared. Any more will be greatly
        appreciated.
        Duncan
      • Al Sandrini
        Bob, The great thing about the new system is that you can increase the bass sounds in the speakers under the benchwork and then use the high pitch sounds from
        Message 3 of 12 , Aug 7, 2002
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          Bob,

          The great thing about the new system is that you can increase the bass sounds in
          the speakers under the benchwork and then use the high pitch sounds from the
          locos as travel about on your layout. We have never been able to get enough
          good chuff sound from the small speakers needed in HOn3 (not to mention what I
          can [or is it cannot] fit in my HOn30 locomotives).

          Are you going to the convention in RI?

          Al Sandrini

          snookdust@... wrote:

          > I was at the NMRA conv. in Ft Lauderdale and spent some time at the
          > Soundtraxx table. The sound is fabulous and depending on how many blocks you
          > have it will follow all the way around .It has 6 tracks and each can be
          > programed for steam-deisel (ugh) -grade crossing bell -thunderstorms and
          > others. It should be out in Jan. You'll need dcc ,blocks, Digitrax block
          > detectors and speakers and their unit. I didn't get a price but sounds like
          > with the price of the block detectors and all might be high. The
          > down-side---I already have 5 DSX decoders and speakers under the layout and
          > they will be surplus. No I won't tear up my C-16 tenders to put sound in
          > there. Bob Veefkind
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          > HOn3 list web pages are:
          > http://www.railwayeng.com/hon3/
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/archive/Hon3/
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/files/HOn3/
          >
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        • Boone Morrison
          ... Al - As a fix on that I got some inexpensive ($60) self powered speaker units designed for folks to hook onto their computer. There is a powered bass
          Message 4 of 12 , Aug 7, 2002
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            >Bob,
            >
            >The great thing about the new system is that you can increase the
            >bass sounds in
            >the speakers under the benchwork and then use the high pitch sounds from the
            >locos as travel about on your layout. We have never been able to get enough
            >good chuff sound from the small speakers needed in HOn3 (not to mention what I
            >can [or is it cannot] fit in my HOn30 locomotives).
            >
            >Al Sandrini
            >

            Al - As a "fix" on that I got some inexpensive ($60) "self powered
            speaker" units designed for folks to hook onto their computer. There
            is a powered bass reflex housing and two, or four (depending on the
            model) tiny high frequency speakers (about 4" square). The balance
            between bass and treble can be adjusted. The bass speaker can go in
            any convenient spot, and the small units fit great up under the
            benchwork...in my case in four locations. As you know, bass is "non
            directional" in that it pervades the space and does not seem to come
            from any particular "direction", so location does not matter.

            The result with this plugged into the Soundtraxx unit is just
            fantastic!!! I can get the whole darn room to "rumble" appropriately,
            and the volume potential is FAR louder than any would want....a near
            full volume the windows rattle with the whistle sound...:-)

            My unit was made by Cambridge Sound Labs and sold at Walmart here.

            A fallback to be sure, but the cost is darn attractive.

            With my tiny HOn3 locos, onboard speakers would be a joke...

            Aloha, Boone
          • Al Sandrini
            Duncan, From what I heard, Soundtraxx is using Digitrax s technology of talking decoders so that the systems know where the locomotive is on the layout. The
            Message 5 of 12 , Aug 7, 2002
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              Duncan,

              From what I heard, Soundtraxx is using Digitrax's technology of "talking
              decoders" so that the systems know where the locomotive is on the layout. The
              DCC blocks are needed so that each "block" has its own speaker. When a
              locomotive enters a block, the sound follows it into that block. As it moves to
              another "block", the sound follows the locomotive there. The blocking has
              nothing to do with operation, only to let the sound follow the loco. If you
              would be satisfied with one large speaker directly under the center of your
              layout, you would not need to do any blocking.

              At this time, I believe that they will only work with Digitrax (and maybe the
              newest Lenz) decoders. As other companies tweek their transponding decoders,
              they will eventually produce a transponding decoder which will do what the
              Digitrax ones do at this time.

              I am not an expert in DCC, but I had asked these same questions about a year ago
              to those at Soundtraxx and Digitrax (yep, over a year ago).

              Al Sandrini

              duncan harvey wrote:

              > Bob,
              >
              > Thanks for the response. You are the first I have heard from. I
              > understand about the need for DCC, which is one of the reasons I was
              > asking - I have yet to buy my system. Also understand about the need for
              > the detectors. But, I don't quite understand about the need for DCC blocks.
              > What are these and why are they needed? Will this unit work with a NCE, or
              > Lenz, or some other DCC system, or just with Digitrax?
              >
              > Thanks for the information you have shared. Any more will be greatly
              > appreciated.
              > Duncan
              >
              >
              > HOn3 list web pages are:
              > http://www.railwayeng.com/hon3/
              > http://groups.yahoo.com/archive/Hon3/
              > http://groups.yahoo.com/files/HOn3/
              >
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            • szczowicz@aol.com
              All, If, as has been suggested, this system merely add a bass speaker to the already installed on board loco speakers, there is no advantage. As Boone has
              Message 6 of 12 , Aug 8, 2002
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                All,
                If, as has been suggested, this system merely add a bass speaker to the already installed 'on board' loco speakers, there is no advantage. As Boone has already indicated, bass is omni directional, treble is directional and it has nothing to do with speaker, type of system etc. It is purely physical and is to do with the spacing betweeen our ears. To hear bass frequencies directionally our ears would need to be anything up to 16 feet apart.
                If you Boone, are not getting enough bass grunt from your set up (and I suspect you are) add another similar unit or better still go for one of the high end models. Because bass can either be 'clean' or 'muddy' and some of those computer bass boxes sound like the swamp lands of Florida.
                But if blocking is involved I wonder whether this new set up doesn't do away with on board speakers and allows a multi speaker set up to follow the loco round the room fading from one speaker to another. Dead easy to do in theory and although it could be expensive at first certainly cuts down on installation costs as the locos won't need to have speakers fitted. The sound would be a lot better too.
                Mark
              • duncan harvey
                Al, Thanks for the additional information. It is about what I had figured. I am leaning toward the NCE system and have just heard something about a
                Message 7 of 12 , Aug 8, 2002
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                  Al,

                  Thanks for the additional information. It is about what I had figured.
                  I am leaning toward the NCE system and have just heard something about a
                  transponding decoder they are about to release, or have already released.
                  My hunch is that this new decoder is their answer to the need for this sort
                  of thing. Since all decoders, more or less, operate with all DCC systems, I
                  was hoping I could use the NCE system for locomotive control and the
                  Soundtraxx system, with the Digitrax detectors and all, for the under-table
                  Surround Sound aspect.

                  Thanks again for the explanation and added information. This is a
                  development worth watching. My PFM sound, with additional bass speaker
                  under the table and small speaker in the tender of a C&S, HOn3, 2-6-0 is
                  very impressive, but I can only run one locomotive at a time. This new DCC
                  sound, with the added surround sound feature will, I think, greatly improve
                  the attraction of DCC, to many. Take care.
                  Duncan
                • Kevin Kelley
                  Duncan.... I ve been using the NCE Procab system with soundtraxx decoders and I m a big fan. The cab is easy to use (you can toggle through different
                  Message 8 of 12 , Aug 8, 2002
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                    Duncan....

                    I've been using the NCE Procab system with soundtraxx decoders and I'm a
                    big fan. The cab is easy to use (you can toggle through different
                    locomotives by 4 digit loco number), and the sound is pretty good.

                    Keep an eye on the decoders you buy. Some Soundtraxx have background
                    sounds (DSD-150) while others don't (DSD-100LC). The ones without the
                    background sounds kind of peter out when they are stopped for more than a
                    minute or so. You can definitely use the DSD-090 in HOn3 applications
                    even though the decoder is listed as N gauge in some catalogs. One of the
                    only real problems with Soundtraxx is that your electrical pickup has to
                    be perfect. Flywheels help get a loco across small electrical gaps or
                    dirty track, but the sound will cut out momentarily when this happens and
                    it really takes away from the effect. The main fix for me has been to add
                    pickups to locos at every opportunity....I added pickups to the tender of
                    an Athearn Genesis 2-8-2 Mikado and saw major improvements. That, and
                    cleaning the track before every session. I can see how the under-table
                    systems with block detection would be a advantage. Bass tends to "fill"
                    an area, and it's hard to tell where it's coming from, so perhaps a
                    combination of on-board decoders with the bass coming from block detected
                    speakers would be the best of both worlds.

                    Anyway, there seems to be no limit to how sophisticated you can get with
                    these things.

                    KK
                  • Jon Bentz
                    Duncan: I m new to this group and this is my first posting. I invested in an NCE system for my N scale (Denver North Park & Western) layout and am planning to
                    Message 9 of 12 , Aug 8, 2002
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                      Duncan:

                      I'm new to this group and this is my first posting. I invested in an NCE
                      system for my N scale (Denver North Park & Western) layout and am planning
                      to buy another for my HOn3 Rio Como (currently in the planning stages).

                      I have only the best things to say about the NCE system. It is extremely
                      easy to use and is compatible with all newer Digitrax and Lenz decoders
                      conforming to NMRA DCC standards. I've been informed by a local dealer that
                      it is also compatible with the current Soundtraxx system. NCE also offers
                      free upgrades to their system. I don't know if the transpoding feature will
                      be included in this. However they are offering up grade kits for wireless
                      control for existing throttles and systems.

                      Anyway - just thought I'd throw my 2¢ in.

                      Thanks

                      Jon Bentz
                      Edmonds, Washington

                      > From: "duncan harvey" <train3guy@...>
                      > Reply-To: HOn3@yahoogroups.com
                      > Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 09:22:23 -0600
                      > To: <HOn3@yahoogroups.com>
                      > Subject: Re: [HOn3] soundtraxx surroundtraxx
                      >
                      > Al,
                      >
                      > Thanks for the additional information. It is about what I had figured.
                      > I am leaning toward the NCE system and have just heard something about a
                      > transponding decoder they are about to release, or have already released.
                      > My hunch is that this new decoder is their answer to the need for this sort
                      > of thing. Since all decoders, more or less, operate with all DCC systems, I
                      > was hoping I could use the NCE system for locomotive control and the
                      > Soundtraxx system, with the Digitrax detectors and all, for the under-table
                      > Surround Sound aspect.
                      >
                      > Thanks again for the explanation and added information. This is a
                      > development worth watching. My PFM sound, with additional bass speaker
                      > under the table and small speaker in the tender of a C&S, HOn3, 2-6-0 is
                      > very impressive, but I can only run one locomotive at a time. This new DCC
                      > sound, with the added surround sound feature will, I think, greatly improve
                      > the attraction of DCC, to many. Take care.
                      > Duncan
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > HOn3 list web pages are:
                      > http://www.railwayeng.com/hon3/
                      > http://groups.yahoo.com/archive/Hon3/
                      > http://groups.yahoo.com/files/HOn3/
                      >
                      >
                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                      >
                      >
                      >
                    • duncan harvey
                      ... From: Kevin Kelley To: Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2002 9:49 AM Subject: Re: [HOn3] soundtraxx surroundtraxx
                      Message 10 of 12 , Aug 8, 2002
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                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Kevin Kelley" <kelleykb@...>
                        To: <HOn3@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2002 9:49 AM
                        Subject: Re: [HOn3] soundtraxx surroundtraxx


                        >
                        > Duncan....
                        >
                        > I've been using the NCE Procab system with soundtraxx decoders and I'm a
                        > big fan. The cab is easy to use (you can toggle through different
                        > locomotives by 4 digit loco number), and the sound is pretty good.
                        >
                        > Keep an eye on the decoders you buy. Some Soundtraxx have background
                        > sounds (DSD-150) while others don't (DSD-100LC). The ones without the
                        > background sounds kind of peter out when they are stopped for more than a
                        > minute or so. You can definitely use the DSD-090 in HOn3 applications
                        > even though the decoder is listed as N gauge in some catalogs. One of the
                        > only real problems with Soundtraxx is that your electrical pickup has to
                        > be perfect. Flywheels help get a loco across small electrical gaps or
                        > dirty track, but the sound will cut out momentarily when this happens and
                        > it really takes away from the effect. The main fix for me has been to add
                        > pickups to locos at every opportunity....I added pickups to the tender of
                        > an Athearn Genesis 2-8-2 Mikado and saw major improvements. That, and
                        > cleaning the track before every session. I can see how the under-table
                        > systems with block detection would be a advantage. Bass tends to "fill"
                        > an area, and it's hard to tell where it's coming from, so perhaps a
                        > combination of on-board decoders with the bass coming from block detected
                        > speakers would be the best of both worlds.
                        >
                        > Anyway, there seems to be no limit to how sophisticated you can get with
                        > these things.
                        >
                        > KK
                        >
                        >
                        > HOn3 list web pages are:
                        > http://www.railwayeng.com/hon3/
                        > http://groups.yahoo.com/archive/Hon3/
                        > http://groups.yahoo.com/files/HOn3/
                        >
                        >
                        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • duncan harvey
                        Kevin, Thanks for the information. I understand about the in production Soundtrax stuff. I will go that way, but want better sound. Something more
                        Message 11 of 12 , Aug 8, 2002
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                          Kevin,

                          Thanks for the information. I understand about the in production
                          Soundtrax stuff. I will go that way, but want better sound. Something more
                          comparable to my PFM sound unit. It has the under-table speaker for the
                          bass sounds. It workes great. The Soundtrax sound is way too tinny. It is
                          missing the bass. Having the blocks and more under-table speakers is good,
                          too. I have noticed that with my system, when I am on the other side of the
                          room, with two mountain ranges, two aisles and two peninsulas between me and
                          the bass speaker, it sounds weird. Having the bass sound progress with the
                          train, and turn off behind it, will be a big advantage.

                          So, my plan is to purchase a NCE system, complete with two or three
                          radio controlled hand helds, Soundtrax digital sound decoders, the new
                          Soundtrax system, the Digitraxx (or NCE, or Lenz if they will work with this
                          set up) locomotive decoders and the new Digitrax layout detectors. It will
                          be expensive, so I will do it gradually. But, then I should have all the
                          advantages of good (PFM like) sound and DCC.

                          Again, thank you for your thoughts.
                          Duncan
                        • duncan harvey
                          John, Thanks. And I think I ve heard that NCE is the only system that has a radio control unit that can receive transponding, or back EMF signals, or some
                          Message 12 of 12 , Aug 8, 2002
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                            John,

                            Thanks. And I think I've heard that NCE is the only system that has a
                            radio control unit that can receive transponding, or back EMF signals, or
                            some such. That is one of the many reasons why I have chosen it for myself.

                            Thanks, again.
                            Duncan
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "Jon Bentz" <jb@...>
                            To: <HOn3@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2002 10:07 AM
                            Subject: Re: [HOn3] soundtraxx surroundtraxx


                            Duncan:

                            I'm new to this group and this is my first posting. I invested in an NCE
                            system for my N scale (Denver North Park & Western) layout and am planning
                            to buy another for my HOn3 Rio Como (currently in the planning stages).

                            I have only the best things to say about the NCE system. It is extremely
                            easy to use and is compatible with all newer Digitrax and Lenz decoders
                            conforming to NMRA DCC standards. I've been informed by a local dealer that
                            it is also compatible with the current Soundtraxx system. NCE also offers
                            free upgrades to their system. I don't know if the transpoding feature will
                            be included in this. However they are offering up grade kits for wireless
                            control for existing throttles and systems.

                            Anyway - just thought I'd throw my 2¢ in.

                            Thanks

                            Jon Bentz
                            Edmonds, Washington

                            > From: "duncan harvey" <train3guy@...>
                            > Reply-To: HOn3@yahoogroups.com
                            > Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 09:22:23 -0600
                            > To: <HOn3@yahoogroups.com>
                            > Subject: Re: [HOn3] soundtraxx surroundtraxx
                            >
                            > Al,
                            >
                            > Thanks for the additional information. It is about what I had figured.
                            > I am leaning toward the NCE system and have just heard something about a
                            > transponding decoder they are about to release, or have already released.
                            > My hunch is that this new decoder is their answer to the need for this
                            sort
                            > of thing. Since all decoders, more or less, operate with all DCC systems,
                            I
                            > was hoping I could use the NCE system for locomotive control and the
                            > Soundtraxx system, with the Digitrax detectors and all, for the
                            under-table
                            > Surround Sound aspect.
                            >
                            > Thanks again for the explanation and added information. This is a
                            > development worth watching. My PFM sound, with additional bass speaker
                            > under the table and small speaker in the tender of a C&S, HOn3, 2-6-0 is
                            > very impressive, but I can only run one locomotive at a time. This new
                            DCC
                            > sound, with the added surround sound feature will, I think, greatly
                            improve
                            > the attraction of DCC, to many. Take care.
                            > Duncan
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > HOn3 list web pages are:
                            > http://www.railwayeng.com/hon3/
                            > http://groups.yahoo.com/archive/Hon3/
                            > http://groups.yahoo.com/files/HOn3/
                            >
                            >
                            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                            >
                            >
                            >



                            HOn3 list web pages are:
                            http://www.railwayeng.com/hon3/
                            http://groups.yahoo.com/archive/Hon3/
                            http://groups.yahoo.com/files/HOn3/


                            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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