Northern Tablelands Express approaching Ardglen Tunnel

Northern Tablelands Express approaching Ardglen Tunnel
Click on the above photo to see the Main North Album at Flickr

Friday, February 5, 2016

Linton’s Loksounds.


Last night I had the pleasure of Linton Towelly visiting the Main North, demonstrating his Brass Z13 and the Auscision XPT, equipped with Loksound decoders.

I have been following Linton’s Blog http://stonequarrycreek.blogspot.com.au/ where he has been discussing his sound projects for his some of his locos complete with YouTube videos, to get what he considers a better operating loco sound. Tonight I saw two of his projects “running” on the Main North – in a word WOW!!!!

See Linton's Blog entries about the Z13 and the XPT including the YouTube videos, at:
http://stonequarrycreek.blogspot.com.au/2016/01/a-revamped-z13-most-of-house-and.html

As you know. I’m predominately a steam loco operator, I was gob smacked when he ran the Z13 from Werris Creek to Broadmeadow. There has been some construction on the layout lately (installing Armidale Staging and now Hawkesbury River Station – a future Blog entry), so there was some dirt around. The 4-4-2T 13 Class ran on the on the layout without missing a beat.

I have done hundreds of decoder installations, what amazed me with Linton’s Z13 “installation”, it had 2 crew and I could see through the Cab. Not a “big” thing I hear you saying, but where’s the decoder, speaker and the TCS KA2 installed? There's NO Tender on the 13 Class. 

The Zimo Sugar Cube is located in a home made lead “casting” in the Smokebox. The Loksound Micro is somewhere, I think he said on the floor behind the driver. He did “split up” the KA2 where 4 capacitors of the KA2 were under the Coal Load and the fifth is up the front of the loco. I thought I did well, getting my 30 Tank equipped but I have to redo it and add crew, now I have seen Linton's Z13.

What a fantastic “installation”.

Running the loco, the sounds were just as amazing as the installation – fantastic.

Stationary, the 13 had all the appropriate sounds and more. Accelerating the loco, the Chuffs were loud until the loco was slowed by “one” Speed Step (using 28 Speed Step mode), where the Chuff volume reduced. Increase the Speed by “one” Speed Step, the loco Chuff volume increased. Reducing the speed to slow down approaching a Station, the Chuffs were very quiet, simulating coasting. To stop at the Station, F6 is pressed to operate the Brake. Great to see the Brake on F6 so we NCE users can see that the Brake is ON. Very impressive, so much so that I thinking of operating with "Brakes", in the future.

Linton explained that he was not happy with the way standard Diesel decoders operated, as he had driven the real thing. He wanted his Diesels to sound more like what he had experienced. In endeavoring to achieve this, Linton posted a message on the Loksound Yahoo group. I saw the replies at the time and they were less than complimentary, so he soldiered on without "their" help.

There are two Loksound decoders installed in the XPT, both operating on the same address (not consisted). On power up, the “rear” Power Car notched up (to level 2). This effect is due to one (either the front or rear), continually supplying the electrics for the XPT when stationary.

Countless hours mucking around with his recordings, the Audacity software and the Loksound Programmer, Linton was able to achieve his desired “notching” effect.  Some might say to use Manual Notching but if you have used this feature, I understand why Linton worked so hard here.

I wish I had time to take some videos but it was already the wee hours of the morning but I took a photo of the XPT as shown below. 



One of the great things about this Hobby, it has so many different disciplines. 

What Linton has done with these Loksounds, is nothing short of AMAZING. 

Linton, thanks for the visit.   

2 comments:

  1. Hi Marcus,

    Thankyou for the invitation to visit the Main North! Your layout is very impressive. I have never operated on a layout like this before and it most certainly has got me thinking about layered layouts. What I really loved about it was that it feels like you are actually travelling long distances between locations. Not having a line of site to the destination all the time really helps encourage the imagination. I had a great time and once again thanks.

    For someone like you, who has put so much into DCC for us all to benefit, to comment so kindly about my sound work is unbelievable.

    Thanks for the comments, it was great to have the opportunity to show you and Lawrence the sound stuff first hand. I look forward to future running days. Hopefully I can repay the favour in Bundanoon one of these days.

    Linton

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    1. Hi Linton. The night was very informative and lots of fun. Let me know when you have time to make another trip to the Main North and I'll organize an Operating Session, including running the XPT. Regards Marcus

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