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Starting to explore DCC a bit. I have 3 engines that came with DCC and sound and I am pretty impressed.. I saw a Kato SD70M for a very, to me, reasonable price. It listed some decoders that would be a drop fit. But I don't think they have sound.

Do all or most sound decoders have motor control also?
Do these DCC ready PNP units already have space for a speaker?

I have several older, not to old, diesels Atlas, Like Like, etc. I just started pulling them out to see what I had. Haven't really got them all identified yet. Are these easy to update? They look mighty small, switchers mainly but a few road engines, too.

Also have some steamers, too, Bachmann that were supposed to be DCC ready and the Model Power Mikado and Pacific that is list as Sound Equipped in their MRC guise on Spookshow so I'm hoping they can be upgraded.

I've been collecting 10-12 years waiting for my space to appear and it looks that time is now. I thought I was going to go DC but the more I learn, probably not.

Thanks
Frank
 

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DCC & sound

Starting to explore DCC a bit. I have 3 engines that came with DCC and sound and I am pretty impressed.. I saw a Kato SD70M for a very, to me, reasonable price. It listed some decoders that would be a drop fit. But I don't think they have sound.

Do all or most sound decoders have motor control also?
Do these DCC ready PNP units already have space for a speaker?

I have several older, not to old, diesels Atlas, Like Like, etc. I just started pulling them out to see what I had. Haven't really got them all identified yet. Are these easy to update? They look mighty small, switchers mainly but a few road engines, too.

Also have some steamers, too, Bachmann that were supposed to be DCC ready and the Model Power Mikado and Pacific that is list as Sound Equipped in their MRC guise on Spookshow so I'm hoping they can be upgraded.

I've been collecting 10-12 years waiting for my space to appear and it looks that time is now. I thought I was going to go DC but the more I learn, probably not.

Thanks
Frank



Frank;

Typically any DCC decoder will operate the motor and lights, whether it has sound, or not. So if you get a sound decoder, yes, it will also operate the motor and headlight. There are some rare exceptions that have sound only, but they are oddballs, not mainstream. They might be used to add diesel sound to a "dummy" B-unit or to a modern mechanical refrigerator car, for example.
Much more common are motor and light only decoders. Many factory equipped DCC locomotives will have a motor and light decoder but no sound. This type of "soundless" decoder is cheaper than one that has sound. Sound is a selling feature, so if a locomotive has sound, the manufacturer will normally advertise that fact.

Some "DCC ready" locomotives may have a cavity designed to hold a speaker, but others don't. You would have to ask the dealer, or manufacturer, of each particular locomotive, unless that feature is specifically mentioned in the advertising. On-board sound in N-scale usually means very small speakers. A larger speaker fitted in a second unit, can often make a major improvement in sound quality. This is also a possible location for a decoder. Such a dummy unit, tender, or dedicated car, would need to be permanently attached to the locomotive, by a draw-bar, and wires.

As for updating older locos with DCC decoders, that too will vary with the individual loco. Most N-scale locomotive's shells are filled solid with a metal chassis, wall-to wall, and floor to ceiling. To add a DCC decoder, its sometimes necessary to have the mechanism-housing/weight milled to make space for a decoder. (Some HO-scale locos are pretty well filled up too.) Again a dummy unit, tender, or car may help in some situations.

Another factor in DCC conversions is the quality, and electrical current draw, of the motors in some older locomotives. Make sure that the current capacity of any decoder you buy exceeds the maximum "stall current' of the loco you plan to install it in. You can measure the stall current with a multimeter in series with one track feed wire from a power pack. Hold the loco down on the rails until it stops turning it's wheels (aka stalls) with power full on.

MRC made a different, oddball, version of DCC at one point. I don't know much about it, but others here may be able to help you.

good luck;

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:
 

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If you do a search you should find some videos on how to install DCC sound decoders. The new ESU board will fit in a lot of DCC ready Atlas locos, the hard part is the speaker. I just install it in 2 Intermountain SD45-2 locos. You need to know how to solder to PC boards, very small connections.

Lots of information here, you will need to join in order to view some pictures.

https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=31981.0

Lots of decoder install here.

http://tcsdcc.com/installations/n-scale
 

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If you're looking to install DCC and sound into a locomotive not originally designed for it, Aztec Engineering (http://www.aztectrains.com/frames_2.html) sells modified frames for accommodating Digitrax sound decoders for many popular models. You send them your frame and they send back one that's modified. I've bought several and they're the real deal. Very nice craftsmanship and they work really well.
 
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