Author Topic: Adding Sound to Battery / Electric Locos.  (Read 3586 times)

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Offline John Candy

Adding Sound to Battery / Electric Locos.
« on: Mar 12 2010 15:08 »
It had not been my intention to install sound, initially for risk of over-complication of the wiring and difficulty of finding yet more space into which to squeeze electronics (I use radio control battery, so in many tank locos there is little, if any, space to spare for 'frills').

The advent of the MyLocoSound cards made by Peter Lucas ('Moonraker' to Forum members) made me think again. The cards are smallish, quite low-cost and come in both steam and diesel versions.

I took the plunge and purchased two steam and one diesel!

At the AGM I was discussing with Ian Driver who commented that he would not fit sound to his locos because the 'chuff' continues even when the loco is slowing (or 'coasting') with the regulator closed and that is unrealistic.
I had not thought of that one....and it got me worried.

A quick 'think through' and play with the sound cards provided the solution!

I had already ordered a quantity of relays, diodes, resistors and digital switches because I needed to build auxiliary control circuits for the whistle / horn functions, so why not an additional control for the 'regulator closed' effect?

Let me explain that the MyLocoSound card draws on the current supplied to the motor to provide the 'chuff' which is synchronized to speed (by reference to voltage) but a separate circuit provides 'steam hiss' which continues when the loco is stationary (i.e. zero current from the motor circuit). The whistle also has its own separate circuit.

So, break the circuit between the motor and sound card and the 'chuff' stops but the steam 'hiss' continues and the whistle can still be sounded (the same of course applies to the diesel, cut the engine 'roar' and it goes back to 'idle' and the horn can still be sounded).

How does all this work? Well, it requires three channels of radio control, one for speed/direction, one to activate the whistle/horn and the other to 'close the regulator'.

The whistle control unit (necessary with the Mac5 and Electronize units which I use, since they do not have suitable auxiliary control functions) was constructed from PCB stripboard, a 'Pololu' digital switch plus a reed relay and protective diode.

The 'regulator' control was of similar construction but the reed relay was replaced by a double-throw miniature relay (the relay is de-activated in normal mode when the 'chuff' is required and activated by the 'Pololu' digital switch when the 'chuff' is to be cut). By choosing the correct channels on the radio control, the speed/direction control and 'chuff' control can be on the same control stick (vertical motion controlling speed and horizontal motion activating the 'chuff' relay).

I will draw up the circuit diagrams and post with photos when I have some time to spare.

John.

Updates on this project can be found at
http://lakes-pages.com/gauge3.co.uk/G3Forum/index.php?topic=344.0
« Last Edit: Jun 12 2010 06:41 by John Candy »
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline keith Bristol

Re: Adding Sound to Battery / Electric Locos.
« Reply #1 on: Mar 12 2010 19:41 »
Sound is well worth the effort on battery locos.....

Offline Moonraker

Re: Adding Sound to Battery / Electric Locos.
« Reply #2 on: Mar 14 2010 01:18 »
Great bit of lateral thinking  John. Email me if you need any technical help.

Regards
Peter
Peter Lucas

Offline cabbage

Re: Adding Sound to Battery / Electric Locos.
« Reply #3 on: Mar 14 2010 13:45 »
I would like a little more care taken with the Vero Board... I am not sure where it is going to fit in the model -but from a personal viewpoint I would like to have the copper clad part of the board damped, either with "Sticky Backed Plastic" -or some form of rubber paint. What people forget, (and yes I have been guilty of it), is that the tracks are only lightly glued to the paxolin. Thus the strain of the vibration can lift the tracks from the paxolin and cause them to short. Applying a damping medium, (the sticky backed plastic), holds everything in place.  Potting it is even better!!!

regards

ralph

Offline John Candy

Re: Adding Sound to Battery / Electric Locos.
« Reply #4 on: Mar 14 2010 15:23 »
Ralph,

Don't worry, I have not quite finished with them yet.

I have to solder angle brass mounting brackets along the unused edge tracks and I have some 'Performix Liquid Tape' (sold for automobile electrical use) which I shall brush over the exposed connections.
I also have an unused spray can of RS 'Conformal Coating' which has sat in the garage for about 25 years and still sounds liquid when I shake it but it may well have lost its pressure, so that may not be any use.

On this bright, sunny, Sunday afternoon am sitting here slaving over a hot iron (no not helping out with the laundry!) putting together my lighting control board for the diesel railcar.

Regards,
John.
My fellow Members, ask not what your Society can do for you, ask what you can do for your Society.

Offline badlydrawnroy

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Re: Adding Sound to Battery / Electric Locos.
« Reply #5 on: Jun 09 2014 19:52 »
I use battery r/c on all my locos, and Phoenix sound systems - yes it's expensive but the results are, to my ears, worth it.  I use Mac5 controllers and pico switches, radio controlled relays, to control whistle and bell (yes, I run American) and the result is a lot of bits and pieces to fit.  My favourite fixing method? Sticky pads.  I use Halfords number plate fixers, 6mm thick and stick like the proverbial.  They are thick enough to ensure that nothing underneath the board can come into contact with anything that would cause a short.  Clean the surfaces before applying (impregnated cleaning cloth supplied with pack) and I promise you it will stay put. They are strong enough to hold  a pack of 20 "c" cells in place!

Offline 454

Re: Adding Sound to Battery / Electric Locos.
« Reply #6 on: Jun 09 2014 21:45 »
Tried it on a flyscreen in our conservatory max temp = 44 deg Celsius. Guess what? It fell off  :(

Dave
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