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Discussion Starter #1
I have little knowledge of DCC and sound but I would like to add sound to my DCC equiped Bachman Baldwin 2.8.0 Consolidated Loco.
What economical sound chip would I need?
 

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A SoundTraxx Tsunami sound decoder is a popular choice for that locomotive.
Different levels are generally priced from $65 to $85.
IMO, ESU Loksound is better quality (but a bit more expensive).
 

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it seems something like toothpaste -- they all work, i mean the big brands -- but perhaps ESU has the programmable sound feature which could be nice. on the other hand you have to buy their programmer.
 

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Do all of the DCC-on-board Bachmann locos have a socket to add a sound decoder? I have a couple smaller units and just assumed some day I would need to strip them down and replace the whole decoder.
 

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Don't forget you'll have to install a speaker in the tender...Word has it this is a a very tough job...And the extra cost for it and the decoder I'd guess hovers around $75 (+-)...
You could cut your losses now and, if within your means, could buy another Connie DCC/Sound on board..and sell this one on line.. 🛤🌄🌵
 

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Do all of the DCC-on-board Bachmann locos have a socket to add a sound decoder? I have a couple smaller units and just assumed some day I would need to strip them down and replace the whole decoder.
I have never seen a locomotive with two DCC sockets.

You remove the conventional DCC decoder and replace it with a sound decoder.

And yes, ESU is top of the line on both sides of the Atlantic. Infinately programmable with their hardware. The disadvantage for you is that it keeps all of your purchases ESU if you expect to program a decoder. The advantage for ESU is keeping it all in the family and more sales and profit.

I don't know of another manufacturer though, that offers this flexibility with their DCC decoders.
 

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Ah ok, I thought I had seen some models where the sound was an add-on to the main decoder. I've been using Tsunami 2 decoders in my recent locos (which is also an all-in-one device), but there's no socket involved there and the previous discussion made it sound like the sound board was an addition rather than a replacement.

I've done a conversion of two Bachmann 4-6-0's which have the small, older style tender. I would imagine the 2-8-0 is at least the same size? The first thing I do is rip out the Bachmann "DCC-ready" board because it adds nothing and takes up a lot of space. Tape or shrink-tube all of your connections so you don't get any wires crossed, and modify the tender shell as desired for sound. The hard part is figuring out where to place all the components so they'll fit. I just place everything inside the shell and check for interference with any protruding bolts in the floor of the tender. Once I have it worked out, I assemble everything together upside-down so the parts fall into the shell, then use tweezers to start fishing the wires out of the way of the assembly screws and make sure they're not pinched by the shell. It does take time and patience to get it all put together.
 

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I have never installed a decoder in anything from scratch, nor do I have any steam on my layout, yet. I buy locomotives that are either already sound equipped or are DCC ready in the case of older, one of a kind consignment items I buy from a Euro shop in Chicago. Plug-n-Go.
 

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Yeah I can understand most people going that way. I grew up building electric and electronic circuits so to me it's not a big deal to trace the wiring, re-wire a grounded frame loco for DCC, or squeeze an existing decoder into a tight space, but it does require a good eye and steady hand for fitting things in place. On the other hand I'm terrible at sculpting mountains, although I'm starting to learn a thing or two about scenery.
 

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I was a Minuteman II electronics technician/analyst in the Air Force, but I really have no love of electronics. To me, it's just a means to an end. I wired and programmed a full size Boeing 727 flight simulator for my own use, but I didn't really enjoy it. It was, as I said, a means to an end.

I can, did, or will, learn to do just about anything to get what I want in the end.
 

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I was a Minuteman II electronics technician/analyst in the Air Force, but I really have no love of electronics. To me, it's just a means to an end. I wired and programmed a full size Boeing 727 flight simulator for my own use, but I didn't really enjoy it. It was, as I said, a means to an end.

I can, did, or will, learn to do just about anything to get what I want in the end.
My orientation to layout building as well. I have to run my trains on something semi-realistic looking, so I have had to develop some skills. But the train-running is it for me. Getting a layout to run them on is merely a means to an end.
 

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Micheal wrote:
"I have never seen a locomotive with two DCC sockets."

I have.
The Athearn RTR SD-40.
It has an 8-pin connector and a 9-pin connector.
I bought the DC version and both connectors had "dummy/jumper boards" installed.
 

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I did a total board replacement with the tsunami2-pnp ("plug n play") ... that replaces all existing boards -- i did this on a not really all that old sd60 from walthers. you have to match the exact model with your engine of interest on their website so you get the correct sounds. (then of course buy that -- i got mine at the now gone retail shop of M.B. Klein, aka "modeltrainstuff" online)

you'll need a decent soldering iron, some very narrow gauge wire, possibly a magnifying glass -- solder... shrink wrap is nice. don't forget a speaker. the sd60 i mentioned had a speaker mount already so i just stuck it there. maybe a so called "3rd hand" -- that is something to hold it besides your hands. and maybe a magnifying glass... which doesn't mean you absolutely need all that it just nice to have some of it.

this is quite a bit more work than the socket install... the reason i did this is because. i mean i just did it. also i had the idea that I'd get more DCC commands and this was a GOOD THING. Like more is better right? 11 is louder and all that? That's what i was thinking anyway.

anyway, it kind of fit in the existing screw holes. I also fried every existing LED. Did I mention that? Ok I forget to add this -- when the output says 12v and you are connecting LEDs you SHALL put in some resistors. I mean otherwise they burn out super fast. Lesson learned.

But I fixed that too by buying some more LEDs and resistors and I may have even looked as some resistor calculators somewhere online.

For some of this places like "adafruit" and "sparkfun" are good sources for novice or so. Then of course you've got the big boys like digikey and mouser for those that just have to see it all.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thanks for all your replies, I don't want to replace the Loco and someone with more knowledge (and experience) will be fitting it. Perhaps a forum member could point me to a economical make and retailer. Would this suffice? The Tsunami TSU-2200.
 

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Yes I see we over did it. But I used the decoder selector on their website and it came up with that model. Then you want the steam profile. I assume there's room. Is there a speaker already? I believe it suggested one.
 

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all my big steamers have TCS WOW DECODERS in them
ESU is the go to for diesels
i will say tsunaimi2 is a great decoder but i only have it in 1 diesel
 

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all my big steamers have TCS WOW DECODERS in them
ESU is the go to for diesels
i will say tsunaimi2 is a great decoder but i only have it in 1 diesel
And electrics. No one has better sound samples for Euro locos than ESU. Steam included.
 

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Micheal wrote:
"I have never seen a locomotive with two DCC sockets."

I have.
The Athearn RTR SD-40.
It has an 8-pin connector and a 9-pin connector.
I bought the DC version and both connectors had "dummy/jumper boards" installed.
Do you leave one dummy installed in a socket depending upon which decoder pin configuration you install, or are both removed upon installation of no matter which pin configuration you use?

I've never seen or heard of that before.
 
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