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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone out there installed/used/witnessed Broadway's Rolling Thunder sound system with subwoofer?

Is it trouble free, and as good as they make it seem?

And how about their thunder and lightning kit, anyone seen it live?
 

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I'm just going to throw out this comment, and I hope you won't mind that I can't objectively, or subjectively, and directly answer your question because I have no first-hand experience:

I have yet to see a developed thread conversation on any of the six or seven fora I visit daily/weekly about the Rolling Thunder and how 'neat' or 'useful' it has been for the operator's enjoyment experience. I suspect the reason is that, while BLI may have sold a car-load of them, the experience was not what people imagined once they had it up and running on their layouts.

The problem is one of scale. Water doesn't scale. Smoke doesn't scale. And sound sure as aitch don't scale in our tiny layout spaces, even if we have them in a large bedroom. What is ten feet away has sounds that come from only ten feet away. It competes much too aggressively with the sounds that are coming from nearer your belly, just down below you. Rolling Thunder presents a whole nuther dimension to this by wanting to generate a widely broadcast and intrusive low frequency sound (these travel the furthest), but still in that small confined space.

I would put some money on a bet that says it gets used about as often as full factory default sound volumes in our locomotives. Meaning, almost never.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mesenteria, thanks. Question, you say almost never to full factory default sound volumes, does this mean default is too loud so you adjust the volume down to your liking typically?
 
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I shot this short video at York in 2016. It's the thunder and lightning unit. I thought it was pretty cool and could be fun on a layout. I called the video Rolling Thunder not realizing there was a loco sound system with that name.

 

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I have the rolling thunder without the lightning effects.I like it,though sometimes it won't pic up the locomotive until it is right on top of the receiver.I am not using the BLI subwoofer,I have a 15" subwoofer in it's own cabinet with an amp.You could hook it in to your home stereo.The sound quality is pretty good.
 

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Mesenteria, thanks. Question, you say almost never to full factory default sound volumes, does this mean default is too loud so you adjust the volume down to your liking typically?

Yes, the sound decoders come set to factory settings, meaning full volume....Master Volume at full, with all sounds given equal weighting. It's literally too much. So, most of us cut the Master Volume CV value to at least 60%, and then adjust the most irritating and repetitive sounds to suit our tastes.

I don't think the Rolling Thunder will be so much bother. You simply hook it up, power it up, run a locomotive in the Paragon III series that has the broadcasting capability, and adjust the volume to be suitable to the setting. Adjusting each brand, and installation, of decoders is much more involved.
 

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I have both set ups. But when I bought the rolling thunder they only had the HO set up. Supposedly the N scale set is better for N scale. I am going to get one and sell my HO one. I like both of them, but the rolling thunder seems too loud as alluded to above.

The thunder and lightening is fantastic. I have mine mounted above the layout on the ceiling and a couple of aftermarket LED lights on the back side of my mountains. It is pretty kool, and it plays on a continous loop. Not on a timed loop as it changes quite a bit. You can push the control button to get the lightning and thunder without the rest of the play back. It has wind sounds and even a barking dog. My wife thinks it is the best part of my layouts. She loves it. I have it on subwoofers so you can hear it in the house. I highly recommend them.

Go,to Broadway Limited's web site. They have refurbished units for nearly half price. They are great company to work with, they truly stand behind their products.
 

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I couldn't wait to get on the DCC bandwagon, for the multitude of advantages it offers, including sound.
I like sound... I really do.
But there are times when it just gets irritating, so I either turn it down or shut it off, especially when I want to hear a problem or issue that I suspect is running-gear or wheel related (or just plain too late at night!).

I've witnessed the Rolling Thunder (with lightning) experience, and I have to admit it was a blast... and yes, the barking dog is quite a realistic touch.
But for whatever reason, the guy who owns the system hardly ever utilizes it anymore.
I suspect the novelty has outworn itself.
 

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I hooked mine all up again tonight. The thunder and lightning works great, but I turn it off when working on the train. Have not had it on for awhile. It worked just fine tonight. I do agree, running it continously would drive you nuts!!!!

I then hooked my rolling thunder set up, it really does not work well with the N scale system. I am going to call them Monday and find out if the N Scale system they came out with later works better. It just makes a droning noise, not much change. I turned it off pretty quickly.

I moved a bunch of stuff to set it up like it was supposed to be, put a shelf in under the layout so it supposedly vibrates the board as the train gets closer. Not so much. I will read up on it tomorrow and see if a setting got moved. It seemed to work before, but was just too loud.
 
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