As It Was in the Beginning. . .In the early days before SoundTraxx, Steve and Nancy worked for a marine electronics company. Nancy was in the marketing department while Steve was in the engineering department. Steve was a model railroader who loved narrow gauge. One day, Steve approached Nancy with an idea to start a model railroad electronics company. He wanted to have prototypical sound and lighting in his brass Fujiama K-36 in HOn3. Nancy, not being at all familiar with model railroading, was not sure what he wanted. He returned the next day with his prized possession to show and Nancy thought it was the coolest thing she had ever seen. They then began to work together and formed the Throttle Up! Corporation in Pocasset, Massachusetts. Their first product was shown to the public in Springfield, MA at the Big Railroad Show in January 1990.
|Our first product, the Hyperlight, released in 1990|
This new innovation was the Hyperlight. This product was the first lighting module on the market that used a processor to control the lighting effect. One module was able to create many different lighting effects, including a Mars light and Gyralight. No longer would modelers need to purchase separate circuits for different lighting effects. The heritage of this product is still evident today in our line of Tsunami decoders.
This was just the beginning…
Blacktone Models Update: Drop Bottom Gondolas
On the plus side, we have a few High Side Gondolas from the second run still available for order through your dealers.
Tech Tip: Tsunami Sound Mixer
When using Tsunami decoders, each sound effect has its own volume setting, as well as an overall volume setting. This allows the modeler to customize the sounds to desired levels. Volume setting CVs are considered percentage CVs, meaning that a value of 0 (0%) turns the sound effect off, while a value of 255 (100%) is maximum volume. These CVs will accept any value from 0 to 255.
CV 128 is used for the overall volume control for steam and diesel Tsunami decoders. The Tsunami decoders leave our factory with CV 128 set at 192, which translates to 75% volume. CV 129 controls the whistle or horn volume. CV 130 is for the bell, and CV 131 controls the exhaust, diesel or steam chuff. CVs from there become model-specific. You can reference the lists of specific sounds in the respective Steam and Diesel User’s Guides.
After learning the array of sound effects available in each decoder, it is time to adjust the sound volumes. By setting CV 128, or overall volume, to maximum level immediately, it diminishes the effectiveness of volume adjustments for the different sound effects using the other CVs. To begin to adjust the sound levels, we recommend starting by turning down the overall volume to about 50%, or set CV 128 to 128. When the overall volume level is lower, the changes made in each sound effect are more audible. Once the adjustments have been made to customize the sound, the overall volume can then be raised to desired levels, and all volume adjustments will be raised equally.
This will allow the locomotive to drop to idle, as was the practice, but it will not play the dynamic brake sound when activated. This is effective when consisting locomotives using advanced consisting.
Using sound mixer CVs, you too can customize your locos to act more like their prototypes and get great reactions from your friends and operating crews!