Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Post From Wichita Kansas


It has been quite a while since I updated my blog. For some reason I have not been concentrating on it much lately.

Danielle and I have recently moved into our new house and it is basically taking up most of our time. I hoping to have a modelling space soon.

Meanwhile, I have been doing some work on ESU diesel templates and built up a new D57 class project. As most reader would be aware, ESU released their 'Full Throttle' feature recently. In my opinion, the new feature is just a new method of manual notching. They have added a speed hold function, coast function, eight notch function and a brake. The speed hold function locks the electric motor to the selected speed and allows the throttle to adjust the prime mover sounds. The coast function allows the user to force the locomotive prime mover sound into notch one/idle at any speed. The eight notch function does the opposite and forces the prime mover sound into notch eight and the brake function stops the locomotive (momentum settings are best set high) with any speed step selected.

I don't want to sound negative however ESUs concept is kind of ridiculous. Sure this has resolved the issue of separating prime mover speed from track speed however it is a messy solution. Like I said, in my opinion.

Here are the reasons I do not like it:

1. After having pressed the 'Hold' function and after having used the throttle to change the prime mover sound - once the 'Hold' function is released, the locomotive will accelerate or decelerate to the selected speed. To prevent a change in speed, it means that you must remember the speed at which you started. Some may not care about the speed change. Its a personal thing.

2. Pressing a function button to hold a speed, manipulate the prime mover noise, then deselect the speed hold to be able to slow down again is really quite stupid. For one, when shunting this is dumb.

3. Function buttons are prime real estate, particularly if you are a NCE user. Who wants to continually look at function buttons when shunting?

4. Consisting will be impossible with any other decoder or non 'Full Throttle' Loksound decoder.

5. The coast and eight notch ability can be done without function buttons.

I get the feeling that someone discovered a few check boxes that were not really used (they have been there for a long time), worked out that if you use a second sound slot as a control slot, that they could create a new method for manual notching. It seems the firmware update was used to add new function terms.

The one great thing that came out of this is the 'brake' function. While this has/is available on other decoders manufactured by others, it is a welcome addition to ESU.

When I built my XPT project, I built it with the ability for the prime mover notches to be selectable on the way down. This allows you to coast at speed or select notches at will. Having tried to create a better diesel ESU project, (I have never been satisfied with any diesel sound files due to the way they
drive) I was very interested to see what ESU had come up with regarding 'Full Throttle'.

Well as you can probably tell, I was disappointed ha ha. I decided to go back to the drawing boards and build a full eight notch diesel project that was completely driveable, sound and loco speed by the throttle. No function buttons.

As I have not recorded an eight notch diesel locomotive, I had no sound files to use in my new template. I ended up using ESUs EMD 645 project, deleted all the sound flow slots, substituted my new template and loaded the file into my Auscision 422 for testing. Last week I was able to run the 422 on Ray Pilgrims Bylong (thanks Ray). Rays layout is beautiful as most of us know but the main challenge was to convince Ray that a Loksound decoder, with a diesel file was useable without having to play the thing like a piano. It was great to see Ray find the project easy enough to drive. I have to admit, although in Candy, the locomotive looked great slugging up the 1 in 40 grades with it's prime mover sound adjusted to suit.

Anyway without banging on about it, I hope to modify my whole diesel fleet. This will most likely mean having to record quite a few locomotives so I have audio files to use. The 48, 45 and 43 are high on my priority list.

I have attached  two videos of the 422 and a video of my latest 57 file. I am sorry for the poor narration on the 422 videos. In regards to the 57 file, I have to make one small timing change.

422 Class - Part A and B

422 Class - L. Towell - Throttle Notching - Part A

422 Class - L. Towell - Throttle Notching - Part B


I am currently in Wichita, Kansas and have attached two photos from the trip so far. One is the SR71, no more needs to be said about that and the other is a steam locomotive that I have no idea about.

Thanks for taking a look.



1 comment:

  1. Linton

    I enjoyed running the 422 and you have used a much more sensible approach to notching than the ESU 'Full Throttle' latest effort.

    I will catch up when you are back.

    Ray P