Re: I Need Your Expertise

Mark Gurries

The decision to use a cam or not comes down to how much physical
effort and time do you want to put into the locomotive. It is
also very important to make sure the sound decoder you choose
accepts a cam input. Not all sound decoders offer that option.

You cannot go wrong with a CAM system interms of accurate chuff
rates over the entire speed range of the locomotive. But some
may say it is not worth the effort. All though not a precise as
a cam, you do have the option of tuning the decoders emulation
of chuff rate through a CV setting. That is what the majority
of people do. The tuning tends to be optimize on medium slow on
down speed ranges. In other words speeds were one has a chance
to watch the wheels turn and know when to expect a chuff.
Medium on up speed chuff rate is not worth worrying about.

As to which brand of decoder to use, that is something only you
can decide. People have love and hare relationships with
certain brands of decoders for one reason or another. Some of
those concern may come from a lack of understanding of how to
tune the decoder to get what you want. Somethings are harder to
setup than others between different brands of decoders. Some
may be simply bad luck based or the skills of the person. Many
possible reasons.

What tends to be most important to people is the quality/realism
of the sounds produced. You can become a sound "rivit counter"
on some of these decoders in terms of the sound effects.

What you will want to do in order to get a good start on setting
up the sound decoder is to get a JMRI "Decoder Pro" setup on a
computer. Given the literally hundreds of CV settings relating
to the huge range of tuning options, the only way to get a good
handle on them is to use this program.

On 1/23/12 at 7:36 PM, cstpmo.modeler@... (Gary Johnson) wrote:
List Members

I've looking for years for a special HO brass locomotive. The ones I found
were mostly used and not in very good shape. I finally found a brand new
locomotive. It was more than I thought it should be, but I again had been
looking for a long time and decided to purchase it. When I got it, it was
unpainted. I've thought about putting a decoder with sound. What are your
thoughts on brand? This locomotive is pacific 4-6-2 type.. Do I want a
decoder with a driver cam or not? Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks in advance,

Gary Johnson
CStPM&O Modeler\
Pleasant Grove, UT

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Best Regards,

Mark Gurries
Electrical Engineer
DCC Website & NMRA DCC Clinics:

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