Wednesday, November 20, 2013

3818 Makes Noise

While I am a fan of German engineering, I am lucky my PSM 38 only required a decoder and not a boiler. This was the easiest DCC install so far. The beauty of these locomotives is that the chassis is not live, nor the tender. The driving wheels have separate electrical pick ups and the tender bogies are insulated from tender and eachother. All that was required was to add a few connectors, throw the speaker in the boiler, wire up the power pack and off she goes.

I love Zimo sugar cube speakers however when I received the last couple in the mail they looked different. The quality was not as good as usual. I have since ordered some more from another supplier so I can see if there is a quality issue or they have in fact changed them a little.

Once installed the speaker didn't seem to sound as good as usual. I don't know if the large boiler makes it sound different as all my steam installs so far have been in little locos. If the new batch of speakers look like the previous lot I will swap it out.

Another factor which is probably more likely the problem is that I created the sound file. I used 38 class chuff, whistle and relief valve sound recordings and manipulated them in Audacity. The 30 something wav files I was left with were transferred into my favourite ESU project file. I have not run 3818 on a layout yet so have not heard it having a proper go. I am quite happy with the cylinder beat sound however the whistle still sounds funny. Whistles are horrible things to do! At this early stage in my DCC sound interest, whistle editing just doesn't seem to work. I have listened to so many 38 class whistle recordings. What I came to realise is that it has the worst sounding whistle of all NSWGR locomotives. It is however very distinctive and that means it has to be right. It seems when being recorded the sharp blasting noise effects recording systems all very differently.

I am a little chuffed (ha ha I know, I crack myself up) with my sound file. It's not the best but its cool to hear your efforts playing along in a loco. I have learnt a lot about the individual ESU driving sound files by doing this. I took the Lokprogrammer software into work the other day to show one of our Avionics Design Engineers. I think he was amazed at the level of programming flexibility when It came to adding sound to toy trains.

As you all know I buy locomotives to use. This brass pacific is sure to rack up a few miles now. Sound makes it more fun. You would not have heard me say anything like that in regards to sound this time last year! All this fan dangle electrical gibbers.

Here is another really bad video. I need a radio cab ha ha.