Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New Application Notes, Blackstone Models Announcements, and Setting the Chuff in Tsunami Steam Decoders

May brings nicer temperatures and great weather, but that’s no reason to slow or stop modeling for the summer. With children and grandchildren visiting, families taking time from work to go on vacation, why not stay home and work on model trains together, build a kit, finish that scenery in the corner or install a decoder into that great locomotive model that’s been put off? Besides being a great learning experience for young modelers, it’s an opportunity to spend time with the hobby as a family! With that in mind, we have lots of good stuff to discuss here this month. First, we’ll share some new Application Notes (installation documents). Next we have some special announcements from Blackstone Models. Finally, we’ll share our new SoundTraxx YouTube channel and this month’s Tech Tip, Setting Up an Articulated Chuff.

First Train to Silverton

With the beginning of May comes Opening Day for the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (D&SNGRR) resuming service to Silverton.

For the ‘kick off’ of the summer season, they annually hold a big party at the depot with free hot dogs, live music from the Bar D Wranglers, and access to a few of the first-class cars for scouting out the best seats. We always try to go down to the depot for a fun lunchtime activity.

This year, Narrow Gauge Day was held on May 3 to kick off the summer season of the D&SNGRR. For train tickets and information, visit

New Application Notes

We have been working hard on our Application Notes to help you with decoder installations. These are designed to help give confidence to all modelers that they can install sound in models that are not offered with factory-installed sound.

Bachmann “Standard Line” HO GP7 and GP9
These models use the TSU-AT1000 for EMD 567 (P.N. 828040) and our 28mm (1″) round speaker (P.N. 810054).

Athearn Ready-to-Roll (RTR) HO EMD SD40 and SD40-T
These models use the TSU-AT1000 for EMD 645 Turbo (P.N. 828041) and our 16mm x 35mm small oval speaker (P.N. 810113).

Athearn RTR HO AC4400CW
The new “NS Heritage” models are now arriving in stores, so we thought we’d share this link again for your convenience. These models use the TSU-AT1000 for GE FDL-16 Modern (P.N. 828038) and our 23mm small Mega Bass speaker (P.N. 810129).

Athearn RTR HO AC4400CW Application Note 

Blackstone Models Announces New Frameless Tank Cars!

We are excited to announce a new run of Frameless Tank Cars in the UTLX ‘GRAMPS’ paint scheme. We are offering three new road numbers, available either factory weathered or non-weathered. These are not expected to last long, so be sure to contact your favorite hobby shop quickly for these popular HOn3 cars. These cars are going to be shipping out to our dealers in mid-July.

B340656 UTLX #55339 ‘GRAMPS’ MSRP 67.95
B340657 UTLX #55297 ‘GRAMPS’ MSRP 67.95
B340658 UTLX #55341 ‘GRAMPS’ MSRP 67.95

B340656W UTLX #55339 ‘GRAMPS’ Weathered MSRP 75.95
B340657W UTLX #55297 ‘GRAMPS’ Weathered MSRP 75.95
B340658W UTLX #55341 ‘GRAMPS’ Weathered MSRP 75.95

Blackstone Models C-19 Shipment Update

We have received word that the non-weathered versions of our C-19s have left the factory overseas and are expected to arrive in Durango in early June. Due to a manufacturing flaw in the paint for the weathering, they did not pass our inspections, and therefore have to be completely rebuilt. These are expected to arrive 60-90 days after the arrival of the non-weathered versions. We apologize for any inconveniences.

Now is the time to be sure your favorite hobby shop has your order for these popular locos. The weathered versions of these locomotives are sold out, but we do currently have a limited supply of non-weathered versions available. If you’d like more information on these locomotives, please visit

New YouTube Channel

In an effort to help showcase the features of our Tsunami products, we have started a new YouTube channel. Our first video stars our newest sound file, the NRE GenSet. Be sure to subscribe to our channel as we are working on new videos to add.

Tech Tip: Chuff Type, Conventional Rod vs. Simple Articulated

“More power!” is what Tim Taylor famously said on the TV show “Home Improvement.” With that in mind, it inevitably translates into our modeling – we all love big steam. Whether a 4-8-4 or a 4-8-8-4 Big Boy, the Tsunami has the chuff pattern to match your favorite model! All of our Tsunami steam decoders have the ability to simulate the articulated 8-chuff per revolution of a simple articulated locomotive. This is controlled in CV 112.
CV 112 controls the quantity of airpumps sounded (one or two) to match the prototype. It also allows you to select a simple articulated steam loco, which has an 8-chuff per revolution cadence as it runs down the track. These chuffs from the two sets of drivers on the steam loco can go in and out of sync, so the Tsunami steam decoders allow you to select from four speeds of wheel slip: none, slow, medium, and fast to reproduce the unique shifting cadence as the loco runs down the track.
Using CV 112 also allows you to simulate a double-headed train using a Tsunami-equipped steam loco with a non-sound equipped steam loco and still give the irregular, shifting cadence that is prevalent on most double-head steam consists!

For more information about this feature, see the Steam User’s Guide and refer to page 44.