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Getting a Phoenix P8 to chuff

312 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  cephius
I'm trying to figure out what to do to get chuffing with a Phoenix sound P8 decoder. It is in a Bachmann 4-6-0 (starter set engine) that I just put an Airwire P4 w/ battery in and using a T5000 controller. I didn't realize the Phoenix steam sound board did not have anything to trigger the chuffing. From another forum someone gathers that it's not in autochuff mode. From looking at the manuals it seems as if this is something that has to be preprogrammed in the board to do and I don't have a programming interface to do it. So... what combination of magnet/sensor/reed switch do people recommend for something like this and where do you get them? I'll probably put it on the tender wheels since that's where everything is. I've done a couple diesels but this is my first steam and don't have the knowledge a lot of you do. Anyway everything else is working good on it, just that when it's moving the engine sounds are just idling sounds. Let me know. Thanks!
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Same answer, you either get the Phoenix programmer, or put it on a DCC system and flip the right CV.

I thought the 4-6-0 already had a chuff switch?
I thought the 4-6-0 already had a chuff switch?
It does, on the front axle as far as I know.
Easiest route seems to be use the existing chuff switch. The sensor on the tender wheels never seems to be exactly 1/2 the drivers, and without the programmer or DCC system, you cannot tune it.

The 4-6-0 Big Hauler has pick-ups to provide a chuff signal. The wires lead back to the tender. Just clip them from the original sound board in the tender and connect them to the Phoenix P8 terminals for chuff trigger. No programming needed for two chuffs per cycle.
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I would just try to find one of the Phoenix computer interfaces. Then you would have access to All the sound options for fine tuning and also saved in a file.
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While the programming software can be downloaded free from the Phoenix web site, the wire harness connection required to send the commands to the sound card is expensive. Over $80.00. Not worth it for a one time use. The preset parameters work well on steam locomotives, so programming is usually not required.

NOTE: The USB to Soundcard handshake is unique. Phoenix does publish the specifications, so if you have the skills, you can create your own harness.
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