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Old 07-01-2019, 10:47 AM   #1
shaker281
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Tell me about "Diesel Roar"

My 1957 B unit has diesel roar and I am not sure what else functionally. I found to broken wires and a cold solder joint and repaired all. Then I cleaned the track pickups, wheels and oiled the axles, so everything should be basically sound. When power is applied I get what is probably the diesel roar, a lowbuzzing/humming.

Here is the question (and keep in mind I am bench testing with a 25w transformer): Along with a big resistor and fairly large capacitor there is a coil device with 2 pair of contact points. It doesn't seem to do anything. Is this for a horn? Will it only work with a certain transformer? Or might I have a failed capacitor?

Also, despite having a stud that protrudes through the chassis, it appears not bolted to anything, just free floating. This seems odd.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-01-2019, 11:39 AM   #2
shaker281
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Found this, I think it answers my questions. Bottom line: the speaker may be going out and the capacitor is highly questionable.

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Old 07-01-2019, 12:28 PM   #3
mopac
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You might be one of those guys that want original. Here is my go with it. I watched the video. Even with the repaired B unit sounds, I thought It sounded like crap. Just my
opinion. I myself would not mess with the sounds. They are like the whistle found in
some tenders. Even when working properly it sounds like junk. Again just my opinion. That new to me Hudson I just bought has a new capacitor
and a new speaker. All a waste of money to me.

Here is my suggestion. For 3 of my fly/onel diesel sets I bought a B unit with lionel "Rail sounds". They have the engine sound and a horn. They sound like 100 times better. I
paid between 50 and 100.00 for each off ebay. Each brand new in box. I would use your B unit shell on what ever road name I could find at the cheapest price. One of my sets they did not make a B unit for. I am not good enough to custom paint one so it will just be quiet. Supposely the newer shells were made from the original castings so I would think your shell would bolt right up to the frame.
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Old 07-01-2019, 12:55 PM   #4
shaker281
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That is an interesting take. I'm just getting a little OCD about it. I may just follow your suggestion and get a unit with Lionel Rail Sounds.

After a little testing it might just be that the big honking resistor in there is bad. But the only way to be really certain is to unsolder it. I wont even bother with that unless I have access to a speaker, capacitor and the resistor for testing purposes. Bottom line: an Ebay Lionel B unit may make a lot more sense.

Thanks for the idea. I like originality...up to a point!
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Old 07-01-2019, 01:52 PM   #5
AmFlyer
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Thanks for posting that link. I thought the roar and horn in his repaired B unit sounded pretty good compared to a lot of others I have heard.
I feel the alternative to select is based on the layout you will run it on and personal feelings about originality. MoPacs approach is a great one and not hard to do.
What I dislike the most about the original horn is the need to wire all the track through the actuating button. This gets to be a real PITA with multiple reverse loops and isolated passing and storage sidings. Were I building a small to mid sized layout using all original Gilbert things I would pick a few locations where I wanted the diesel horn to sound. Then put some fiber pins in the track to isolate the length of two or three track sections in each of these places. Wire just those sections through the actuating button. They can be button activated or "always on."
If the diesel roar is too loud it can be made quieter with a different size resistor.
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:20 AM   #6
shaker281
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmFlyer View Post
Thanks for posting that link. I thought the roar and horn in his repaired B unit sounded pretty good compared to a lot of others I have heard.
I feel the alternative to select is based on the layout you will run it on and personal feelings about originality. MoPacs approach is a great one and not hard to do.
What I dislike the most about the original horn is the need to wire all the track through the actuating button. This gets to be a real PITA with multiple reverse loops and isolated passing and storage sidings. Were I building a small to mid sized layout using all original Gilbert things I would pick a few locations where I wanted the diesel horn to sound. Then put some fiber pins in the track to isolate the length of two or three track sections in each of these places. Wire just those sections through the actuating button. They can be button activated or "always on."
If the diesel roar is too loud it can be made quieter with a different size resistor.
Good info, thanks! I'll keep that all in mind.

Regarding the original issue. After a little troubleshooting I am certain the resistor is good. (10 ohms). I actually found a couple 1000uf 16v capacitors and a small (1 1/8") speaker inside an old USRobotics 56K faxmodem and removed them from the circuit board. I will use these for testing. At some point I may buy a chassis with Lionel Railsounds too, but I cannot resist the urge to try and repair this thing. We shall see how this goes.

Last edited by shaker281; 07-03-2019 at 12:41 AM..
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Old 07-02-2019, 07:01 AM   #7
flyernut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaker281 View Post
Good info, thanks! I'll keep that all in mind.

Regarding the original issue. After a little troubleshooting I am certain the resistor is good. (100 ohms). I actually found a couple 1000uf 16v capacitors and a small (1 1/8") speaker inside an old USRobotics 56K faxmodem and removed them from the circuit board. I will use these for testing. At some point I may buy a chassis with Lionel Railsounds too, but I cannot resist the urge to try and repair this thing. We shall see how this goes.
Resist, resist, resist!!!.. After all your efforts, you'll still be disappointed,lol!!. Just get the Railsounds...
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:40 AM   #8
shaker281
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Resist, resist, resist!!!.. After all your efforts, you'll still be disappointed,lol!!. Just get the Railsounds...
Ha - You are not wrong. I've put aside the B unit as it appears neither the wiring, resistor, capacitor or speaker are the problem. That relay-looking contact device (diesel sound generator) doesn't do a thing, for whatever reason. Perhaps the capacitor I scavanged is bad, but it basically sounded the same with either the original or replacement cap - a static-like buzz that was intermittent.

I am looking into the Lionel/AF Railsounds as a longer term goal. Besides the B-unit with Railsounds, what else is need to make it operate? A switchbox? Specific transformer?

Last edited by shaker281; 07-03-2019 at 02:33 AM..
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Old 07-03-2019, 06:13 AM   #9
mopac
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I don't have a layout, so have not run in awhile. Seems the B units have diesel sounds,
bell, and horn. No switch needed for diesel sounds. Sound will change with speed changes.
There is an idle. No special transformer needed but you will need a switch for bell and a switch for horn. Seems a switch comes with the B unit. You will need another one. The switches are lionel sound activation switch. Lionel 6-5906 sound activation button. I also
have O scale and sometimes I get my O and S confused. I use rails sounds on both. If you get a B unit with railsound it should come with a switch and instructions on if you need another switch and how to wire. The lionel 6-5906 are readily available on Ebay or probably any train shop.
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Old 07-03-2019, 06:47 AM   #10
flyernut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopac View Post
I don't have a layout, so have not run in awhile. Seems the B units have diesel sounds,
bell, and horn. No switch needed for diesel sounds. Sound will change with speed changes.
There is an idle. No special transformer needed but you will need a switch for bell and a switch for horn. Seems a switch comes with the B unit. You will need another one. The switches are lionel sound activation switch. Lionel 6-5906 sound activation button. I also
have O scale and sometimes I get my O and S confused. I use rails sounds on both. If you get a B unit with railsound it should come with a switch and instructions on if you need another switch and how to wire. The lionel 6-5906 are readily available on Ebay or probably any train shop.
Can't give a better answer than that!
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