Thursday, March 1, 2012

SoundBytes XLVII

Its time for another edition of SoundBytes. We hope you have been enjoying the look into the world of SoundTraxx and Blackstone Models. This time, we will discuss the upcoming Blackstone Models Releases.

We have been shipping the SurroundTraxx to our dealers for a while now. We are interested in hearing back from you about your experiences with our product. If you are interested in sharing your successes with SurroundTraxx, please send a short 1-2 paragraph description of your SurroundTraxx setup.

Be sure to include information about your layout, how many locos you have, and how you have been able to get the complete sound for your layout. We are interested in taking some of these testimonials and re-posting them here for others to read as well, if desired. Please send these to:

Upcoming Releases:
Now that we have received and shipped out the new run of K-27s,

our next products to arrive will be the new boxcars and stock cars, expected to arrive here in late spring. These are 6 new Denver and Rio Grande Western road numbers for each, both weathered and non-weathered. Don’t forget to place your reservations for these cars now!
Arriving around early summer will be our very popular East Broad Top hopper. These cars are very popular with many of the cars getting close to being sold out!

Be sure you have these reserved so you are not left out! We are producing a painted/unlettered version as well as a painted version with the EBT Herald and data, but no road number for those who are looking to amass a large fleet of these cars as well as 6 pre-lettered and numbered cars with various heralds.
Expected to arrive in mid-summer will be the new run of passenger coaches

and the third run of the extremely popular Tank cars.
For more information on all future releases, please visit

Tech Tip:
We are now supplying many of the major HO model train manufacturers with our Tsunami Dual-Mode Sound Decoders and some with our Dual Mode Non-Sound Mobile Decoders. We get many questions regarding the design of these models and what are the default settings. Let’s take a few moments to discuss how a project is developed and designed for the various manufacturers and where to find information about their decoders.
Once we reach an agreement on supplying a decoder for a model, both parties work together to hammer out details. The other manufacturer will supply information, desires and specifications for the model in question, and we design a circuit board to fit in the given space that will be easy to install during assembly that matches their specifications. We then send sample decoders and a checklist for them to approve. This can cover everything from fit into the model, CV default settings and operational requests, volume settings, etc. Once the samples are approved, we then are given a target date as to when the decoders are needed. We then collect the components and circuit boards and get them built by the date requested. Once the boards are built, we ship them to the address specified and they are forwarded on to the assembly floor for that manufacturer. We do not generally supply the speakers or lighting for the models, just the decoder.
To find the specific defaults for the locomotives, start at  Down in the lower right corner, there is a box labeled Quick Links.
Select Factory-Installed Decoders from this list. Then, you will be asked to select a manufacturer from Athearn, Bachmann, Bowser, Intermountain, S-Helper, and Walthers. For this explanation, we will select Bachmann. There, you will find a brief description of their products and sound Decoders supplied. Under this, a list of all the locomotives we have manufactured decoders for can be found. Selecting any of these will pull up a page listing the default values for the various CVs for that model.
Up in the upper left corner are various documents related to use with that model manufacturer’s Tsunami decoders. These can be very helpful as well.

Knowing where to find this information can help with programming any Tsunami factory-equipped locomotive to meet the desires of the discriminating modeler.