January 2, 2017

A Tale of Two Locos

Tsunami installed with speaker before I cut down tender 
Today I added a Tsunami T1000 sound decoder to engine Haupt. It previously had a cheap Digitrax decoder without sound. So it was a fairly simple matter to swap the decoder. The trick was finding space for the speaker. I liked the sound of the QSI 1.06 inch HB speaker I had on hand. To fit it in the tender, I cut away part of the brass front wall of the tender. Then I made a styrene enclosure for the wood pile core.  I drilled out a series of holes in the front and top of the box to enhance sound transmission. Then I painted it black.

New wood pile core
Once it was installed on the tender with the speaker snugly fit inside, I added small pieces of cut twigs to build a wood pile. The wood pile is a bit big, but I need the box to cover the entire DCC assembly.   With the decoder Haupt can easily pull 10 cars. But the design train length for now is 6 cars due to the sidings at Falmouth. I could run more, but the curved turnout at Falmouth is just not reliable enough to use in op sessions with longer trains. I actually plan to get rid of it.

With the Haupt conversion to sound, all five locos are now equipped with  DCC and sound, though one is a diesel! I am not sure it's worth fixing that one. Maybe once it gets a steam decoder it will stop being a confused little snowflake and start pulling some cars. Oh well.
Adding wood to the painted core

While I was testing the locos, I also did a little tweaking of track and switch stands. The humidity changes usually causes problems and it takes a bit of tweaking to get it to operate reliably.

I made a short video summarizing the installs. I should note that in the video I stated that Haupt had a stock pick-up. That is not correct. Several years ago I added all wheel pick up to the tender. I forgot I did that even though I also documented the process in this blog post.  Tonight I saw the pickups while working on the tender.  That helps it run better, with just an occasional stall. But it really sounds good, at least to my hard of hearing ears. I ordered a Soundtraxx "Current Keeper" to prevent stalls. It looks like an easy retrofit. I'll post results when I get it installed.

Now it's on to track and freight cars.


  1. Bernie! Nice work on both locos though I understand the mild frustration of the low pull factor of the Osceola. But to have the Haupt able to pull 10 is quite attractive.
    We look forward to a time when we, DC and I, can infiltrate... I mean visit for an ops session.

    1. I plan to lay some track in Aquia Landing soon. So op sessions can begin soon thereafter, as least to test. I'll let you know. But any ACWRRHS person has to show up in period attire!

  2. The Haupt definitely looks and sounds great, pulling like a beast!