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scoomby

Reblowing ESU Loksound V3.5

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Hi All

 

Due to ever increasing number of sound decoders that I have (mostly ESU type), I am thinking of purchasing an ESU lokprogrammer so I can reblow some of them to improve the sounds or move them into a different loco class.  A lot of them are loksound V3.5 which are either factory fitted or Olivia's sound.  Is it still possible to reblow the ESU loksound V3.5 with the lokprogrammer?  If so, is it easy to obtain the sound files other than the limited offering on the ESU website?  I heard legomanbiffo offer some of best sounds for diesel.

 

Some of the locomotives that I want to reblow is as follows:

Hornby R2803XS BR Sub Sector AIA-AIA Diesel Class 31 31233 - V3.5 (factory fitted sound)

Hornby R3036XS BR RAILFREIGHT Class 08 Diesel Shunter DCC Sound Fitted - V4.0 (factory fitted sound)

Bachmann 32-404DS Class 25/2 Diesel 25276 BR Blue - V4.0 (factory fitted sound)

Bachmann 32-387 Class 37 Diesel 37506 Railfreight Red Stripe - V3.5 (Olivia's sound)
Bachmann 31-475A Class G2A 49064 BR Black Late Crest with Tender Back Cab - V3.5 (Olivia's sound)
Bachmann 32-802 Class 47 Diesel 47035 BR Blue Full Yellow Ends Domino Head Code - V3.5 (lifted from a Bachmann sound fitted Class 47)
Bachmann 32-040DS Class 20 Diesel 'D8113' BR Green With Discs/Tablet Catcher - V3.5 (factory fitted sound)

Bachmann 32-525DS Class 55 'D9007 PINZA' BR Two Tone Green With Sound - V3.5 (factory fitted sound)

Bachmann 32-977 Class 66/9 Diesel DRS/Stobart Rail '66411' - V3.5 (Olivia's sound)
Bachmann 31-426A 4 CEP CLASS 411 EMU LATE SR GREEN WITH YELLOW WARNING PANELS - V3.5 (Olivia's sound)
Bachmann 32-481 Class 40 Diesel D369 BR Green Small Yellow Panel - V4.0 (Olivia's sound)

 

I also have 2 x ESU's that I haven't fitted yet, an ESU V3.5 with Class 40 (Olivia's sound) and an ESU V4.0 with Class 37 sounds (lifted from a Bachmann sound fitted Class 37)

I was thinking of using them in a Class 44 and Class 70 respectively.

 

Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.

 

Thanks


Steve Coomber

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Edited by scoomby
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It is certainly possible to reblow the v3.5 decoders with a LokProgrammer. Finding suitable sound projects for the v3.5 decoders may be a little more difficult.

Legomanbiffo has some suitable projects still available. You could ask Howes and/or SouthWest Digital if they have any suitable projects still available. In legomanbiffo's case, I can order and pay for the sound project to be emailed to me, after reading the decoder and supplying him with the serial number. The sound file can then be locked to that decoder only, so it prevents piracy of his sounds. As I am in Australia, this saves two lots of postage and the danger of damaging or losing a valuable decoder in the mail. It is also a lot quicker!

Some Class 66 sounds are available free from ESU's own libraries, but may have different horns from UK versions; also, I'm not sure if they would suit a 66/9.

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As SR man says, there are sources but not as many as there are for v4's and v5's

 

A lot of the Legomanbiffo range is available on the 3.5 but these will usually be his older sound projects, so for example he does a 37 for a 3.5 but it wont be his nice new 37 with wheel slip etc, some features such as manual brakes and drive lock aren't available on the 3.5 either. Most of the Howes range are available for the 3.5 because thats what they were originally made for and were then converted to work on the newer V4 and V5 decoders.

 

Although SR man mentions it, just to make it clear, if you had multiple locos you would need to buy multiple files, so if you had 5 class 47's you couldn't buy one sound file and load it onto all 5 models, you would have to give a serial number for each decoder and a file will be provided locked to each decoder, so don't expect to make huge savings. It's more for the convenience of not having to send all the decoders away and it makes setting up ESU decoders easy, you can move functions and set up different lighting modes for example.

 

The class 66 sound file on the ESU website is quite good but from memory only works on the V4 and V5, its not a V3.5 file. Theres also a file for an 08 but it's not particularly good compared to Legomanbiffo.

 

 

Richard

 

 

Edited by Richard Croft
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Thanks for the advice so far.  It's helping me lean towards getting an ESU lokprogrammer just for the convenience of not having to take apart each loco and having to put the decoder in the post for reblowing!

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17 minutes ago, scoomby said:

Thanks for the advice so far.  It's helping me lean towards getting an ESU lokprogrammer just for the convenience of not having to take apart each loco and having to put the decoder in the post for reblowing!

With most V3.5 installations you will be limited to the 20x40mm rectangular speaker or 23 and 28mm round ones, but it's still worth going into the model to make sure that the speaker is sealed to prevent sound escaping from the back of it, if they are factory fitted or Olivias sound then this isn't likely to be the case so big improvements can be made there. Use pre made enclosures and seal them with PVA glue where possible, or where space is more of an issue a ring of black tack around the speaker also helps. If you play a good sound file through a bad, unsealed speaker it wont necessarily sound much better than what you have now.

 

Richard

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You have a very good point there Richard.  With the V3.5 installations, speaker choice is very limited.  Your youtube video showing the performance of different speakers was very interesting.  What would be very interesting also is doing the same demonstration but this time with steam sounds.  I would have thought that treble would be more important than bass with steam sounds so choice of speaker may differ for steam locos.  You also made a good point about the factory fitted sound locos, I expect that not all of them are sealed so that is something I can check.  With regards to the Olivia's sound loco's, I fitted them myself and I ensured the speaker was fully sealed which might explain why they typically sound louder than the factory fitted sound locos.  In some cases, I had to reduce the sound level by adjusting CV63 as they were too loud!


Steve

Edited by scoomby
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I've recently acquired an ESU lokprogrammer and was using it a lot over the weekend.  What a great piece of kit and it's very easy to use including setup.  It's so easy to adjust CV settings, upgrade firmware, download new sound projects, etc.  One by one, I hooked up all of the loco's fitted with an ESU loksound decoder and discovered most of them required a firmware update, one of which fixed a sound bug in my Bachmann Class 55 Deltic with factory fitted sound!!  I also discovered some new sounds on some of the ESU loksound fitted loco's that were undocumented (e.g. station announcements).  For anyone that owns a reasonable number of ESU loksound decoders, I recommend buying this.

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5 hours ago, scoomby said:

I've recently acquired an ESU lokprogrammer and was using it a lot over the weekend.  What a great piece of kit and it's very easy to use including setup.  It's so easy to adjust CV settings, upgrade firmware, download new sound projects, etc.  One by one, I hooked up all of the loco's fitted with an ESU loksound decoder and discovered most of them required a firmware update, one of which fixed a sound bug in my Bachmann Class 55 Deltic with factory fitted sound!!  I also discovered some new sounds on some of the ESU loksound fitted loco's that were undocumented (e.g. station announcements).  For anyone that owns a reasonable number of ESU loksound decoders, I recommend buying this.

Legomanbiffo does a large range of V3.5 Projects.  E.Mail [email protected]   for more details:

 

The list is:  

 

Classes  03,  08,  24,  25,  26,  31,  33,  37/0,  Paxman & MTU HST Class 43,  47,  50,  56,  67,  70,  85,  87,  90,  91,  92,  101,  105,  108,  Derby Lightweight,

 

Classes  142,  150,  153,  156,  170,  205,  221 Voyager,  304,  315,  321,  323,  350,  370,  373,  507/508,  West Coast DVT.

 

Charlie

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I now have several diesel locos with Legomanbiffo sounds and they are great.  I am now trying to improve speaker performance which is difficult with the V3.5 loksound decoders as they use 100 ohm speakers and speaker choice is very limited.  A lot of the factory fitted locos do not have the speaker sealed into an enclosure which will obviously improve performance.  Does anyone know where I can find some 20x40mm speaker enclosures?  I probably want to get about 10 of them.

Thanks in advance.

Steve

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5 hours ago, scoomby said:

I now have several diesel locos with Legomanbiffo sounds and they are great.  I am now trying to improve speaker performance which is difficult with the V3.5 loksound decoders as they use 100 ohm speakers and speaker choice is very limited.  A lot of the factory fitted locos do not have the speaker sealed into an enclosure which will obviously improve performance.  Does anyone know where I can find some 20x40mm speaker enclosures?  I probably want to get about 10 of them.

Thanks in advance.

Steve

Email Charlie again ([email protected]) and he should be able to help

 

Richard

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The speaker enclosures should not be difficult to get as they are the same for 100 ohm or 4/8 ohm speakers.

Many of my v3.5 fitted locos have two speakers in parallel (both sealed, of course). I agree that it is difficult to get speakers equivalent to the really good range available for the newer versions, but combinations of speakers can still improve things a bit. As an example, some of my diesels have a bass reflex or bass enhanced speaker together with a smaller round speaker (23 mm or 20 mm) to push the higher end. The main thing is not to exceed a volume of 50 (out of a possible 64 steps), otherwise you risk damaging the decoder amp. I have often found that I need less than half of that volume - around 20 to 25 - to get very reasonable results.

The main snag with all of the above is that there isn't always room for larger speakers, particularly in steam locos. Some, like two of my Heljan class 33s, and a Heljan Hymek, started off with two 23 mm round speakers, one in the tanks, the other angled against the cab bulkhead at one end, with that second one having a severely cut down sound chamber to get it to fit within the body. Even that difference means the speakers behave differently and give slightly different tonal qualities that complement each other. Others, like a class 24 and a class 37 have a normal 20 x 40 mm oval speaker in the assigned space but fitted with a sealed sound chamber, plus a small 20 mm round speaker in the nose (class 37) or shoehorned into the body at the other end (class 24).

As long as these decoders continue to work well, I see no reason to spend money replacing them with newer versions. Replacing the sound projects with bif's or Howes' ones is beneficial in many cases, though.

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