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Anyone out there have experience with QSI Sound and Sierra Soundtraxx Sound, and Phoenix sound who can comment on the pros & Cons of them? Compare the QSI to the others?

Thanks
 

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I have a phoenix sound card and a QSI sound card--the phoenix is in an aristo mikado, and the QSI is in an aristo pacific. The Phoenix card is running automatically--the QSI is being controlled by airwire. I have not tried messing with the software for either system. I like the QSI more

Phoenix pros

great prototype sounds--very sonically "pretty"

Phoenix cons

On the sounds I have used--the generic PRR and the K4--they have a lot of reverb and other post processing which annoys me. I've posted about tis before. Some people don't hear it, but it's there and I hear it and find it a little annoying, especially on the whistle. If you search the sound forum for "reverb" you'll see a discussion.



QSI pros

Ease of installation--on an aristo loco it's just plug and play. drop it into the circuit board. No chuff sensors to install. It responds better to motor load, so the chuff slows down as you go up hill in a much more realistic way than the phoenix, which is triggered by a reed switch on the tender axle

Cost--QSI is a controller and a sound card in one board, and it's a lot cheaper then the Phoenix 2k2 even if you include the airwire adapter card

QSI cons

limited range of prototypes for the Pacific, hard to hear sound files ahead of time on a mac
 

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Bill, I've done a number of Phoenix P5 installations with Airwire controlling them. They're super easy to install. You do need the programming software and cable to fine tune them. If you have the software, it's a snap to reprogramme them. I find them much easier to program than QSI. But I like QSI just fine as well.

I have a number of the REGULAR (Not DSX)Soundtrax steam and diesel modules installed too. They do just fine for me for just allowing trains to run and trigger bell, whistle and horn with track magnets.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input Stan,

My son has one p5 and several 2K2's with the programing cable and loves them. I didn't realize you could program the P5's. I not crazy about the echo sound they make, but do like the brake squeal feature. Sierras sounds better to me ( steam versions) but I have no feel for the QSI sound quality so appreciate your comment, I might try one. Have you tried then Dallee system? I thought about trying it out on a 44tonner but haven't heard much good about Dallee in spite of the low price.
 

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I have all three.

The Sountraxx F3 board works great. The FA is good, but not quite as good as the F3. My Pacific has a Soundtraxx also. The sound from it sounds lightweight comparred to the phoenix that I have in my Accucraft K-4. The Phoenix can be fine tuned as Stan said. Also, I have reprogrammed a Phoenix to a totally different locomotive [easy]. That gives more versatility. It is possible to set chuff, bell, and whistle with reed switches on both. Both can also be triggered from RC-TX units from SOME radio control systems [not all].

The QSI sounds great. The sound is very similiar to the Phoenix. With the Gwire option, sounds can be triggered easily with the Airwire 9000 TX. Sounds can also be triggered automatically.

JimC.
 

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I can add some new info--I just got a second QSI card with the "Gwire" card from using AirWire throttles. I put it in an aristo Mikado. I also bought the QSI "programmer" so I can change sounds and modify sound sets
First off--it took me FOREVER to get it running. I was running windows on an intel mac, and to make a long story short it took some time to get the QSI programmer to recognize a locomotive. you need to have windows xp, service pack 3 installed, and you need to disable the G wire card. Apparently you can do that with a switch, bu they don't quite explain how.
Anyway once it was working I was able to very easily download a new sound file and install it my Pacific.
I also have begun figuring out how to program the sound card using the airwire throttle. also not easy. but now I've got it running and I've very happy with it

pros and cons

Pros
no chuff sensor or reed switch
"feels" like the motor and the sound are more closely connected
Excellent control over many aspects of the operations
Good prototypical sound

Cons
Documentation is awful! You need to switch between the Airwire directions (better) and the QSI directions(terrible, which is awkward.
Sounds are less "pretty" than Phoenix but still have some noticeable processing

All in all I really like and will be sicking with it.
 

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Posted By lownote on 09/03/2008 3:07 PM
no chuff sensor or reed switch
"feels" like the motor and the sound are more closely connected
Excellent control over many aspects of the operations
Good prototypical sound
Cons
Documentation is awful! You need to switch between the Airwire directions (better) and the QSI directions(terrible, which is awkward.
Sounds are less "pretty" than Phoenix but still have some noticeable processing
All in all I really like and will be sicking with it.


Yup, all the above and it still runs and sounds good.. :)/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/hehe.gif:cool:

If you can change CV 56 to 16, you will have chuff switch capabilities. I have my newly bashed steamer running with 2 magnets triggering a reed switch and it sounds great. The cam chuff connector is an accessory item for 4-6 bucks depending on where you buy it. I much prefer the cam chuff over the voltage control using steam. When on a dismal, I use voltage as it sounds great that way.

I find that the g-wire/qsi is a bit more responsive using the T9000 throttle. However, the 1300 will work if as you jump through some hoops.

What a challenging learning curve.... /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue2.gif
 

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That's interesting Stan--I have not monkeyed with the cuff timer yet. I need to install the "gwire disconnect" switch, but of course there are o instructions anywhere on how to do it.

I like the QSI/Airwire system a lot, but they don't make it easy, especially if, like me, you have no prior experience with DCC whatsoever
 

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Stan, when we see each other next time, I'll show you the BEMF synchronized setup with the QSI, it is so accurate it will blow your mind... of course, if you have magnets on the drivers, you can also get them at exactly the right "degrees"....

Glad to hear you are having fun... now you have the T9000, you can get all the sounds easily, I'll wager.

Regards, Greg
 

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Here's a bit of a diagram for you.... There's 2 traces on the g-wire board that with little holes in them. Solder a SPST switch across them. When the switch is normally open, the g-wire works the qsi board just fine. When you close the switch (in the on position) it will disconnect the g-wire radio stuff from the qsi board and you can program the qsi decoder...

Now isn't that easy.......... /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif
 

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Posted By Greg Elmassian on 09/04/2008 7:35 AM
Stan, when we see each other next time, I'll show you the BEMF synchronized setup with the QSI, it is so accurate it will blow your mind... of course, if you have magnets on the drivers, you can also get them at exactly the right "degrees"....
Glad to hear you are having fun... now you have the T9000, you can get all the sounds easily, I'll wager.
Regards, Greg




Hi Greg..... I don't own a T9000 yet.... I used one from a friend. He brought it over with his Airwire and g-wire controlled locomotives. I tried it on my stuff and it worked nicely. I still have the 1300 and like the knob for speed control better on the 1300 over the 9000.
 

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Posted By Greg Elmassian on 09/04/2008 7:35 AM
of course, if you have magnets on the drivers, you can also get them at exactly the right "degrees"....





Does that mean I'll have to remove or adjust the duct tape that holding the magnets on the axle. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/hehe.gif
 

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Navy Tech:

I love the job you did restoring that loco. It looks great.


If you want to run it using the QSI card and conventional DC, you would need the QSI "magnum" card, which has a very convenient row of screw terminals for the connections. That would give you sound connected to speed comtrol and you could trigger the horn by briefly hitting the reverse on your throttle. You could aso trigger sund effects using a reed switch and track magnets.

It comes with directions on how to wire it. It's not hard--there are two track power wires, two motor wires, and wires for the front headlight. If you want to have the little firebox light going you can just wire it to the tracl power leads.

Are you planning to also have the smokegenerator run? That might be a bit more complicated



If you wanted more control over the sounds and lights, you could buy their "Quantum engineer" throttle, which lets you trigger most of the effects on conventional DC. It' conventional wired throttle with buttons that trigger the soundcar




I decided that I wanted to run multiple trains at once, so I went with remote control. To do that, you need to buy an Airiwre throttle (expensive, around $200 bucks, but you only need one) and what QSI calls the "Gwire" card. The G wire card (90-100 bucks) picks up signals from the airiwire throttle. If you do that, you can run it completely by remote control.
 

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I only plan on running one loco at a time so I decided not to go with DCC. I got the smoke generator working on my Loco and it works very good. If the QSI magnam works with DC then I can use read switches to activate the whistle. I will have to shop around for a QSI then since I have heard so many good things about it. Out here in Nova Scotia Canada there is only 2 Hobby stores and neither one carry QSI.



http://users.eastlink.ca/~brownscountry
 

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The one thing a QSI will not do is trigger with magnets. The QSI is basically a DCC decoder that has options for AirWire (very similar to DCC) and DC power.

Ringing the bell is started and stopped by a QUICK flip of the reversing switch twice. Blowing the whistle is enabled by hitting the reversing switch while the loco is in motion (no it will not reverse until you slow to a stop first).

Regards, Greg
 
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