Saturday, December 12, 2015

XPT Sound Project


My Blog has seen little action over the past few months. As we are still waiting for our house to be finished, not much has been happening on the modelling front. In saying that, sound project stuff has still been happening in the background, mainly due to it really only requiring a computer and a few gadgets.

I have wanted to build an XPT sound file since the Auscision model arrived. I reached out using social media for anybody that could get close to the prototype. Lucky for me a gentleman named Dave answered the call! Dave being a driver made recording sounds all that much easier. It's great having somebody that is able to describe how the locomotive works and what sounds should be where.

There was not much to the XPT recordings. It’s a five notch locomotive, has three whistles, no dyno, and no real compressor sounds to be heard. Pretty simple really compared to the steam projects I have been doing of late, however, like most things that seem simple, they rarely work out that way.

I have never been a fan of the way the ESU V4 handles diesel projects, hence why I have mainly stuck to building my own steam projects. I still use ESU diesel projects however, exclusively supplied by Mike Walters at DCC Sounds, mainly because they sound very good. For me the way in which the loco sounds is more important than having to live with a few ESU diesel project quirks. My layout is flat, however the prototype location is fairly heavily graded, particularly leading on to the viaduct. I actually like the manual notching feature as this is really the only way to simulate a locomotive in eight notch at low speed and still have the locomotives whole speed range available.

For my XPT project, I wanted to try and produce a coasting effect as in my steam projects. This means that the XPT can be running at max speed (28) and the engine can be idling without having to use manual notching. With my steam projects I can also simulate a hard working engine at low speed simply by using the throttle. I am still not at this point with the XPT project however I have a few ideas to explore.  

Another aspect that needed capturing is the ability to hold the trailing unit in two notch. As Dave explained to me, this happens so as to service the train’s power etc. He also explained that either the leading or trailing locomotive can be selected as the service unit and was a driver preference thing. As Dave prefers the rear unit servicing the train, that's how I incorporated it into my drive schedule.

Adding these features has really had me thinking. It has been great to do as I have learnt so much more about the ESU sound scheduling.

I have taken a quick video, using my phone (yes not very good I know), of the decoder on the tester. My XPT is not accessible at this time so this is as good as I could do.

The decoder is an ESU V4

Speaker is a Zimo Sugarcube

·       The first part of the video shows start up and notching up the engine using the throttle. It can be seen that if the throttle is cut by one speed step the locomotive engine heads to idle however the model will remain at the selected speed.

·      The second part shows manual notching.

·       The third part shows the notch two servicing feature, when shift is selected (F1) and then the locomotive is selected to reverse (trailing unit) the engine sound is locked into notch two.

The horn recordings I captured were not up to scratch. The horn heard in the video was recorded on the day with Dave however I cannot edit any part of the recording due to an echo.

I still need to add the brake release sounds, better braking sounds, whistles and perhaps a little track noise while coasting.

All in all it has come out ok and I am looking forward to getting the model running with it for testing.

Hope you enjoy the video and once again sorry for the poor phone recording quality.

A big thankyou to Dave for helping me out. Hopefully the guard is ok now after thinking I was trying to hijack the XPT. Much appreciated.  

If this ends up being my last post for the year, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Great New Year.


1 comment:

  1. Linton

    Interesting project, but I have a question.

    You mention having the trailing unit needing to be in 2T/N according to what Dave has said, also this can be on either front or back unit, this is something new to me & certainly was not required when I was driving them, & will check the manual I still have to ensure that is correct.

    We were trained to return the throttle to #1 notch when not powering, same reasons as with deisel loco's.