Monday, October 10, 2011

Missing in action but back again...

Things have been quiet on the blog for the past month as I have been off work looking after my wife Chris as she had a hip joint replacement, makes you suddenly feel old. She had been having increasing leg pain over the previous year and we put it down to sciatica as she has a bad back. Eventually we got her to see about it and after the usual weeks waiting to see the specialist he went through the roof and scheduled her for the operation on 6 October. Now that obviously didn't happen as he rang us two days after that first visit to ask if she could be in hospital the next day, it was that bad.
All is well now, she can manage quite well and I returned to work today but she won't be back to work for another month or two.
Although I was the apprentice chief cook and bottle washer I soon got things under control and managed to get into the garage now and again. My previous GSV sheep van chassis post  was done during one of these moments.
What have I been up to since?
Well, I have been playing with Decoder Pro and the Soundtraxx Tsunamis in my steam locos trying to extract more of the good stuff from them. I now have several locos that will chuff heavily as they move away and then the chuff will almost disappear as they start to cruise along. Also if they come to a grade they will start to chuff heavily again as the Tsunami senses the load coming on. Similarly if the chuff will drop away as they drift down a grade. All very satisfying and I want to point out that when the chuff drops to a drift and increases again I am not changing the throttle unless of course I was starting or stopping.
Here is a quick and rough video of the effects.
I had been trying to achieve this effect for some time and finally worked it out.
First up you need to put some momentum into the loco and as I use the NCE ProCab I used 6 in the 0 - 9 range accessible from the momentum button. I should also mention that the NCE command station can be set up to have half the momentum acceleration setting when decelerating or a one to one relationship, I use the one to one so acceleration and deceleration settings are the same if using the ProCab momentum button. Note that the use of the momentum button on the cab will overwrite any CV 3 and CV 4 momentum settings in the locomotive but I use the button to try to replicate the load that is behind the locomotive, I use a low setting of 2 or 3 for just the locomotive when running 'light'.
The difference this time around is that one of the BEMF CVs has to be set to 0, this is CV 212 which is the Motor Control Intensity CV on the Advanced tab, then CV 188 on the DDE tab (Dynamic Digital Exhaust) has to be adjusted until you get the right responses, this might come down to adjusting CV188 by as little as only one or two once you are in the 'ballpark' area.
It seems that CV 212 turns off BEMF to the motor as the response returns to being like a no BEMF loco but some sort of sensing of the motor load is going on so maybe it is only half turned off, who knows?
It really comes down to adjust CV188, test and listen, then do it again and again until you zero in on the right value. I found that around 60 was a good starting point.
Other DDE sound CVs also need to be adjusted and there is no easy way to explain this, just try it out.
Here is a link to my Decoder Pro file for my Austrains C36 set up for auto chuffing.
The down side of the auto chuff is that without the BEMF it doesn't keep in time too well and I installed a can chuff arrangement which is much more realistic.
And here is a link for the same C36 set up for a cam operated chuff (perhaps a subject for another blog).
It appears that as each model loco is a bit different that you may have to play with the CVs for your own Austrains C36 but have a go you might like it.
If you don't like it then just use Decoder Pro to reinstate your own settings (assuming the you saved them in Decoder Pro first.
Other locos I have done by copying and modifying the C36 file are 2 Trainorama C32s, and 2 brass D50s so it will be interesting watching at the next Bylong operating session when the boys start to run them.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ray

You have captured the sounds very very well.

Also looks as if you have got the S cars rolling well for the 36 to haul that load & looks good.

My only thought is to try & drop the sharpness of the exhaust a touch for a slightly more throaty sound, also the side rod clump or what it should be called is the big end knock, is not metallic enough, which is typical of all the sounds I have heard.

Have you thought of doing something similar (if possible) with the QSI sound in the garrat? I have in the past just muted the sound when going downhill, & then picked up the speed & turned the sound back on at the run in to any grade, it actually sound great that way.

The big thing to me would be to have the other sounds other than the exhaust, still working & be able to be heard when in drifting mode.

Will be loading a copy of your values into my files for future reference.

I trust that Chris will recover well & my regards to her for a speedy or speediest recovery as possible.

Colin

Anonymous said...

Ray.

Meant to ask; The video I gather is of the non cam model?

Also, as for the point about them all being different, it was the same in the 1:1 scale group as well.

All that was needed with them was a slight out of adjustment with valve settings & it would make a heck of a lot of difference. Bathurst had a fitter who was exceptional with the settings, the best there was.

South Coast Rail said...

Ray,
best wishes to Chris and hope she recovers soon.
You have a need speed with grand kids
Bob

Ray P said...

Colin

The sounds have more bass in realty, my camera doesn't capture the sound too well I might have to try an external microphone.
I have the big end knock turned down and why you feel it doesn't have enough of a metallic feel about it is possibly due to the poor sound recording and the fact that the C36 has had the equaliser adjusted for more bass which unfortunately will be applied across all sounds thereby softening the knock.
The QSI decoders don't have the adjustments necessary but do have a small amount of the effect built in. I don't do anything with the QSI sounds when running, it seems too much bother.The C36 did all those sound changes by itself reacting to the layout grades and the load behind.
What other sounds would likely be heard when drifting?
The C36 is running with the cam as I found it was the only way to get the proper effect. The auto cam is OK when the BEMF is turned on but is less so in this setup.
I will pass on your best wishes to Chris.

Ray

Ray P said...

Bob

Thanks, I will pass on your best wishes to Chris.

Ray

Anonymous said...

Ray

When in drifting mode, the general sounds that are usually available when in neutral & non operating sounds (QSI) should also be heard.

The main ones are the air pump especially after brakes are released when it goes into charge, which, is what we here on startup. The dynamo, blower, safety valves & the injectors.

The dynamo was always heard when the lights (any) were on, & some were louder than others, it was constant sound as was the blower. The other two can be left at auto settings without any worry.

For me this is one of main dissapointments with sound, especially the QSI where you cannot mute just the exhaust when running downhill, & not have the other sounds available that are cut out when you go into ops mode. Therefore, the reason I increase speed at the top of the grade prior to going down hill, & then mute them, & turn them back on at the bottom of the grade.

You are right with on board sound, I am just starting to put all my Chinese steam Mini Dv's onto computer & edit them, & the sound via the camera is actually very tiny, & the old camera that I recorded them on was 2nd from the top, in a consumer pro camera over $3500.00 in 2001.

One can only hope with QSI is they can fix things up with their new decoder.

What you have done is excellent.

Colin