Home Page    Digital Sound Decoders    LC Decoder Specs    SoundTraxx Prices    Order Info


Choosing the right Digital Sound Decoder

Testing the Locomotive Stall Current

Testing your locomotive’s stall current is the first and most important thing you should do. The manufacturer of the locomotive may have provided this information for you, but beware! There are occasionally situations where a motor may not meet the manufacturer’s specifications. Likewise, this measurement should not be confused with it’s operating current. Therefore, we highly recommend that you do the following:

1. Place the locomotive on a section of track powered with a conventional DC power pack set to the same track voltage as your command station (typically 12-14 volts). [C Series Digital Sound Decoders are designed to work at N and HO track settings only and are not recommended for use with track voltages above 16 volts.

2 Connect a DC ammeter in series with one of the trackfeeders. If your power pack has built-in meters, they may be used for this purpose.

3. While grasping the locomotive to prevent it from taking off, turn the power pack on.

4. Stop the motor from turning by grabbing hold of the flywheel or driveshaft.

5. To ensure the most accurate current measurement, be sure that the power pack voltage remains at the voltage set in Step 1.

6. Measure the current the locomotive is drawing while the motor is stalled. This is the stall current and must be less than the decoder’s rated capacity.

Choosing the Right Sound

Choosing the right sound for a particular locomotive can be a very personal and subjective job. Many sound effects can be adjusted, such as the exhaust rate, bell ring rate or type of airpump. Consider the relative size of a steam engine when selecting a steam decoder. The prime mover (i.e. EMD, ALCO) is probably the most important factor when choosing a diesel decoder.

Wherever possible we’ve indicated the ‘correct’ sound for a particular model. However, in all cases, we suggest you choose the sound that you like best. Our website (www.soundtraxx.com) contains sound files which you can listen to in advance of your purchase to help you in your decision.

Other Considerations

Not all Digital Sound Decoders share the same features. For example, some decoders have more lighting effects than others. Carefully examine the Comparison Chart at the rear of this catalog to match the decoder features to your needs before making your decision.

Lastly, you may want to look at other Soundlraxx Digital Sound Decoders. SoundTraxx manufactures other models whose features vary from the LC Series. Ask about other SoundTraxx decoder options.

(The above information reproduced here courtesy of SoundTraxx)