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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, so I’m new to the whole sound card thing. I have the newest version of polks (aristocraft) fa 1 with the 3 plugs. Which is the easiest brand/type sound card to use for this? Note I am using old school dc power.
 

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Super Modulator
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I assume you mean the "socket" that has 2 connectors.


Not sure where you count to 3 in either version


Easiest is something that plugs into the socket, which would be the new Phoenix


But be aware it will run slower than an identical loco without the decoder.


Also I'll bet the next criteria is cheaper...


http://www.phoenixsound.com/products/SM18.html




Greg
 

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Greg's referring to Phoenix's "plug-and-play" SM-18 DCC decoder. While I would agree that would be an easy install, if you're using the loco in a DC environment, it is not the way I would go. The DCC decoder will work in an analog DC environment, but the loco requires a minimum of 6 volts to the track in order for the decoder to power on and run the loco. The loco will not begin to move until the track voltage get to this level, and as Greg states, the top speed of the locomotive will be less than that of a non-sound-equipped FA, meaning you could not run the two together. Also, the sound will cut out whenever the track voltage drops below 6 volts. This gets bothersome if you change direction frequently or do a lot of starts and stops.



Instead, I'd use Phoenix's PB-17 sound board. This is a sound-only board which is also a very easy installation. It has an external battery which provides a minimum voltage to the sound decoder to keep the sound running no matter what the track voltage is doing. This prevents sound drop-out. Also, because you are not changing anything in the wiring of the locomotive itself, it will run at the same speed of another FA without sound.



The sound files used by both boards are identical, so you would just ask for the retailer to program your board with Phoenix's Alco sound file (presuming you wanted to be as close to prototypical as possible).



Later,


K
 

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So as I stated "easiest" is using the socket inside:


There are 2 black plastic connectors, in this picture the "dc shorting plug" is in place in the further of the 2 connectors.








Is this what you have?


If you don't use the socket (the easiest as you requested), then virtually any other "DC" sound card is equal effort, and you will have to hard wire to the board in a few places.


All the other DC sound boards are thus pretty much equal in "difficulty"...


Now, if you will reply to the questions about ease vs. cost... perhaps the most economical way would be a MyLocoSound board, significantly cheaper and configurable..


https://www.gscalegraphics.net/store/c13/MyLocoSound.html#/


an excellent dealer by the way..



 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the input fellas. I actually have been looking at the myloco products which will probably be the route I go.
 
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