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I am fitting a Zimo sound chip to a Heljan O Gauge Class 37 diesel locomotive. The screw fittings for the wiring greatly simplifies the task. I have fitted one and the loco number and CVs can be read out fine with a Z21 system. I have the lights on Functions 0 and 10 and sound on Function 1 all working fine. I attached the fan to 5 v and it works but only in short bursts when Function 19 is switched on and then off.

 

However, when I turn the throttle on the loco draws too much power and cuts out the whole DCC system (3,000mAmps). This happens even if the weight is taken off the wheels and the wheels are barely touched with probes attached to the rails. I have set Acc to 10; Dec to 1; TV to 115. Both motors work fine with a 9 v battery and seem to turn easily by hand and operate the wheel motion. I have checked all wiring with a multi-meter and this shows no continuity between motor/rails. The soundchip tests fine on an ESU decoder tester unit. I have fitted several of these chips to other O Gauge locomotives without a problem. Has anyone else had problems with fitting DCC decoders to Heljan O Gauge locomotives?

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5 minutes ago, Irishrailwaymodeller said:

I am fitting a Zimo sound chip to a Heljan O Gauge Class 37 diesel locomotive. The screw fittings for the wiring greatly simplifies the task. I have fitted one and the loco number and CVs can be read out fine with a Z21 system. I have the lights on Functions 0 and 10 and sound on Function 1 all working fine. I attached the fan to 5 v and it works but only in short bursts when Function 19 is switched on and then off.

 

However, when I turn the throttle on the loco draws too much power and cuts out the whole DCC system (3,000mAmps). This happens even if the weight is taken off the wheels and the wheels are barely touched with probes attached to the rails. I have set Acc to 10; Dec to 1; TV to 115. Both motors work fine with a 9 v battery and seem to turn easily by hand and operate the wheel motion. I have checked all wiring with a multi-meter and this shows no continuity between motor/rails. The soundchip tests fine on an ESU decoder tester unit. I have fitted several of these chips to other O Gauge locomotives without a problem. Has anyone else had problems with fitting DCC decoders to Heljan O Gauge locomotives?

its not my area of expertise unfortunately, I'm not too up on Zimo decoders O gauge, or the Z21, you will probably get more replies if you post this on the main dcc sound page rather than a specific thread that not everyone will look at

 

Richard

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No idea of the output of the Z21 system but years ago I fitted the original ESU 7mm sound decoder to my Heljan Cl37 and that ran perfectly (admittedly only on a test bench and a small oval of track) when using the early Digitrax DCS50 Zephyr controller which only has a few amps output. In fact it has run and been fine with all my Heljan diesels.

 

I assume the Z21 is either not giving enough amps for some reason or the Loco is drawing too many due to a mechanical issue causing too much friction in the drive.

 

Have you any way to measure the amps being drawn?

Edited by boxbrownie
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Quick thought…..try disconnecting one of the motors from the system to reduce the load on the controller, you can do this on a rolling road easily or if you only have a track disconnect a motor and loosen the pinch motor mount and lift the motor away from the gear mesh so that bogie runs free.

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This class 56 was sent by a regular customer who asked me to use Coastal DCC sound for a change, it was my first time hearing the coastal 56 properly and its the first time I've used the 20x20x7 speaker in a class 56 instead of taking the fan out, I think this combination sounds particularly good. The speaker is at the opposite end to the fan, between the cab wall and PCB and sounds more than adequate. Find the sound and speaker here https://www.roads-and-rails.co.uk

 

 

Richard

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Bachmann Thomas The Tank Engine with wheeltapppers sound. I decided against using the music and voices that are available because I'm not sure where I would stand from a legal point of view without owning any rights to use them. I know the owners of Thomas have been quite strict in the past.

 

 

Richard

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I bought years ago the Hornby LE blue metallic Thomas edition, and last year I fitted a sound chip (with the voices and music) as my Grand children were coming to stay, they absolutely loved the music and sang along every time, they were more used to the modern version of the music but equally enjoyed the traditional version.

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I've made a few changes to my A class, because I wasn't convinced the second speaker was helping, and having removed it and turned upon the volume of the engine a bit I do think it sounds noticeably better. The EM1 style speaker is now connected directly to the decoder and the sugarcube that was under the PCB has been removed. It's brought the sound in line with my other EM1 speaker fitted models now, where as before I felt like it could do with a bit more bass

 

 

Richard

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Hello Richard. I was thinking of changing the speakers on the Rails Class 18000. The existing is very high pitched and I had to turn the volume well down to safeguard the eardrums.

Are you planning to do an upgrade as would love to get your opinion and a possible listen to a retrofit if you have one planned.

Dave

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On 22/10/2021 at 11:21, Richard Croft said:

I've made a few changes to my A class, because I wasn't convinced the second speaker was helping, and having removed it and turned upon the volume of the engine a bit I do think it sounds noticeably better. The EM1 style speaker is now connected directly to the decoder and the sugarcube that was under the PCB has been removed. It's brought the sound in line with my other EM1 speaker fitted models now, where as before I felt like it could do with a bit more bass

 

 

Richard

I was always told (and read) way back when I was building DIY HiFi speakers that all two and three speaker systems need an electronic crossover to split the signal correctly or else the speaker with the least resistance would get the majority of the signal regardless if they had the same impedance on paper.

 

I’d like to see some proper electronics (audio engineer) reasoning for why we can just link two together (in parallel*) and get a decent result.

 

BTW this latest fitment sounds noticeably better than before, much deeper.

 

*in series I am not sure what happens

Edited by boxbrownie
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50 minutes ago, zr2498 said:

Hello Richard. I was thinking of changing the speakers on the Rails Class 18000. The existing is very high pitched and I had to turn the volume well down to safeguard the eardrums.

Are you planning to do an upgrade as would love to get your opinion and a possible listen to a retrofit if you have one planned.

Dave

Hi, the best I could come up with so far was a pair of 20x20x7 megabass, if you position them carefully then you can do it without affecting the interior lights. I've not done a video yet because I had problems with my loco stalling and it wont run round my inner loop. I've made the speakers available as a pre wired pair to plug in, the sound of the turbine is still high pitched, theres no getting around that, but it still has a bit more bass behind it with the new speakers. the diesel is definitely better with the new speakers.  https://www.roads-and-rails.co.uk/collections/recently-added/products/rails-of-sheffield-dcc-sound-18000-gas-turbine-dcc-loco-speaker-upgrade-plug-and-play-no-soldering-required 

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30 minutes ago, boxbrownie said:

I was always told (and read) way back when I was building DIY HiFi speakers that all two and three speaker systems need an electronic crossover to split the signal correctly or else the speaker with the least resistance would get the majority of the signal regardless if they had the same impedance on paper.

 

I’d like to see some proper electronics (audio engineer) reasoning for why we can just link two together (in parallel*) and get a decent result.

 

BTW this latest fitment sounds noticeably better than before, much deeper.

 

*in series I am not sure what happens

Yeah I thought they might have added some type of crossover but It doesnt sound like it because I tried wiring the speaker both directly to the decoder, and through the PCB and it sounded the same. From past experience, the sugarcube speaker does tend to detract from the bass performance of an EM1 or an EM2 which is what prompted me to try taking it out

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29 minutes ago, Richard Croft said:

Hi, the best I could come up with so far was a pair of 20x20x7 megabass, if you position them carefully then you can do it without affecting the interior lights. I've not done a video yet because I had problems with my loco stalling and it wont run round my inner loop. I've made the speakers available as a pre wired pair to plug in, the sound of the turbine is still high pitched, theres no getting around that, but it still has a bit more bass behind it with the new speakers. the diesel is definitely better with the new speakers.  https://www.roads-and-rails.co.uk/collections/recently-added/products/rails-of-sheffield-dcc-sound-18000-gas-turbine-dcc-loco-speaker-upgrade-plug-and-play-no-soldering-required 

Thanks Richard. Will place order and hopefully with some more base the lower volume will be acceptable. I guess the sound files needed some attentuation on the high frequencies, or I need to go to some more rock concerts!

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1 hour ago, zr2498 said:

Thanks Richard. Will place order and hopefully with some more base the lower volume will be acceptable. I guess the sound files needed some attentuation on the high frequencies, or I need to go to some more rock concerts!

There might be a way to reduce the sound file of the actual turbine file, but so far the individual sound level CVs for each file don’t seem to be available, a lot of decoders you can reduce levels of whistle sounds or crank clank etc, maybe someone will do some digging and come up with a list.

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14 hours ago, boxbrownie said:

There might be a way to reduce the sound file of the actual turbine file, but so far the individual sound level CVs for each file don’t seem to be available, a lot of decoders you can reduce levels of whistle sounds or crank clank etc, maybe someone will do some digging and come up with a list.

The following CV's will lower the volume of the gas turbine

 

CV31 = 16, CV32 = 1
----------------------
CV259 = 128
 

31 and 32 are indexing CV's and need to be set first, then 259 is the actual volume, the default value is 255 which is the maximum, 128 will roughly half the volume of it.

 

Richard

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Richard, quick question I bought one of the Econami Diesel sound decoders from you a while back and wanted to fit it today but found there is no where on the decoder to solder/attach speaker wires…….how do you, or where do you attach yours on the board?

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8 minutes ago, boxbrownie said:

Richard, quick question I bought one of the Econami Diesel sound decoders from you a while back and wanted to fit it today but found there is no where on the decoder to solder/attach speaker wires…….how do you, or where do you attach yours on the board?

You need to find the speaker connections on the model, there aren't any on the 21 pin decoder

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4 minutes ago, Richard Croft said:

You need to find the speaker connections on the model, there aren't any on the 21 pin decoder

That’s a bummer then as there are no speaker connections on the model…..it’s a Heljan 128, an extremely sparse Loco board.

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58 minutes ago, Richard Croft said:

You use the CN6 socket, you can either break the socket and solder to it, to I can send you a free wire, if you want the wire email me your address and I can send it tomorrow

 

Richard

Is that the one spare socket on the board?  Thought that might be for interior lighting on a Railcar version.

 

Great if it’s the speaker socket, cheers Richard.

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14 minutes ago, boxbrownie said:

Is that the one spare socket on the board?  Thought that might be for interior lighting on a Railcar version.

 

Great if it’s the speaker socket, cheers Richard.

Yeah it’s on the board somewhere, I can’t remember where off the top of my head but I just know it says cn6 next to it, that’s the one designed for the speaker

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Hi Richard,

I recently bought a Hornby super detailed HST with TTS sound expecting to up-grade the speakers to your Megabass ones, only to find to my surprise it was already done and WOW so good. I love it. 

So I've up-graded my SWD Bachmann 47 with your double iPhone speaker - another brilliant improvement and used the super slim in my TTS Merchant Navy, also a win.

Now I'm just putting together an order of a selection of speakers and I'm not sure about the 'buy 4 get 1 free'. I'm ordering 4 of the 20x20 x7 Megabass as part of the order. Do I have to put 5 speakers in the cart? (5 would be ok)

Keep the videos coming they're so useful for helping to make a decision, also the videos on fitting sound / speakers.

All the best,

 

Phil B.

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12 hours ago, Wilton 34041 said:

Hi Richard,

I recently bought a Hornby super detailed HST with TTS sound expecting to up-grade the speakers to your Megabass ones, only to find to my surprise it was already done and WOW so good. I love it. 

So I've up-graded my SWD Bachmann 47 with your double iPhone speaker - another brilliant improvement and used the super slim in my TTS Merchant Navy, also a win.

Now I'm just putting together an order of a selection of speakers and I'm not sure about the 'buy 4 get 1 free'. I'm ordering 4 of the 20x20 x7 Megabass as part of the order. Do I have to put 5 speakers in the cart? (5 would be ok)

Keep the videos coming they're so useful for helping to make a decision, also the videos on fitting sound / speakers.

All the best,

 

Phil B.

Thats right, add any 5 individual speakers and the cheapest is deducted automatically

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