Thursday, February 17, 2011

SoundBytes XXXIV

In this edition of SoundBytes, we will re-cap George’s trip to Maryland for the Great Scale Model train Show in Timonium, Maryland. We also have a lot to show including the painted samples of the passenger cars and C-19s. Also, we are releasing a Durango and Silverton caboose to be available for purchasing at your local hobby shop. For our Tech Tip, we will discuss function mapping.

Maryland Trip.
George went for a few days to Maryland to visit some of our dealers in the area, as well as to be at the Great Scale Model Train Show in Timonium, MD. While there, he took some time to visit the B&O Railroad Museum.

This was a fun side trip to see some of the steam locos from the 1800s

and some more modern steam

and diesel locos as well.
This was definitely worth the time on this trip. For more information, visit

On this trip, George visited Trains, Etc. in Lorton, VA
The Moose Caboose in Sykesville, MD,
Model Rail Craft in Havre de Grace, MD,
and trains, Toys and Hobbies in Wilmington, DE.

While there, he was also able to visit a truely great model railroad. Howard Zane,, MMR and author, has his 2850 sq ft. HO Piermont Division layout in his basement.

This was impressive to say the least. Best of all, he uses mostly SoundTraxx sound decoders, except for a few factory-installed by other manufacturers. This layout has been featured on Allen Keller’s series of videos two separate times. Here are a few shots of this layout.

We would like to extend our thanks to Howard Zane and his family for their hospitality in allowing George to come visit this superb layout.

Blackstone Models News!
We have received here in Durango the decorated samples of some of our upcoming projects for Blackstone Models. We have received samples of our passenger cars. One of the exciting features about these cars is they will have full painted and detailed interiors! We are expecting these to arrive here in early spring.

Last to show are the painted samples of the C-19s. We have received all of them here and we are carefully reviewing these to ensure they are as accurate as possible. Here are a few shots for you to whet your appetite with! These are expected to arrive at our facility in early summer.

Last, the second run of Drop-Bottom Gondolas is expected to arrive here in early spring.

New announcement!
Now shipping to the dealers: The Durango and Silverton special run caboose models the 0540 as she appears today for the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. These limited run cabooses are available to all through their local hobby shops. Part number is B340961 and retail price is only $79.95! Don’t miss out on your opportunity to have one of these limited edition cars.

Tech Tip:
The Tsunami decoders have the ability to shift around the function controls to your liking. For example, the short horn can be re-mapped to F5, rather than F3 if you so choose, or the F11 Brake to F8 to more easily access this function by pressing one button instead of two or more. This allows you to arrange any arrangement you desire to best utilize your cab’s controls or match your prototype, and it’s easy to do!
Looking at the Function Mapping chart, Table F in the Steam and Diesel User’s Guide, we see that CV 33 controls what comes on when F0 is active and the loco is in the forward direction.
In the case of the diesel, only the headlamp, a value of 1, is active. If the ditch lights (Which are set to alternate using FX5 and FX6) are desired to turn on and off with the headlamp, then add in 16 and 32 to the 1 that was there, for a total of 49, which will then be programmed into CV 33. So by doing this, the Headlamp and ditch lights will be on when F0 is active going in the forward direction. This also frees up F5 and F6 for other sound effects. Looking at CV 39, which then controls F5, we can activate bell, dynamic brake, short horn, or radiator fans (Or engine RPM +). Just add up the value(s) for any given effects and put the total into the CV. Alternately, if independent control of the ditch lights from the headlamp using only F5 were desired, you would then set CV 39 to 6 (2+4=6). It also applies for CV 40 for F6.
Using this scheme, almost any combination of lighting and sound effects can be contrived. In the next edition, we will show another way of opening up any sound to any function using CV 30.