As part of the updating of the DCC sound for Charlton, I fitted a new speaker into the Class 45. This was the first locomotive I tried to put a chip into, and I used the small round speaker supplied with the Loksound decoder. I had never been happy with the sound quality on this locomotive, so I replaced the original speaker with a much better ESU 20x40mm speaker. The difference is quite startling and certainly less tinny. I have now settled on using either iphone speakers or the ESU 20x40mm speakers on all the locomotives.
Class 45 at Charlton station.
The use of better quality speakers and running multiple trains together, means that difference in the volume of different locomotive has become quite apparent. As a consequence, I have been playing with adjusting the master sound levels on the decoder, programming them using my NEC Powercab. I am now getting to a point where one locomotive does not completely dominate the others. What is also very noticeable, is that running in a train that is not sound fitted, after using several sound fitted locomotives, the non-sound fitted locomotive is very one dimensional in comparison. So from now on, I am only going to use sound fitted locomotives on the layout. I only need a maximum of four locomotives plus a DMU to operate the layout, so this is quite achievable. I plan to fit sound to a number of locomotives over the next few months, for key classes suitable to North Devon, such as a warship and a Hymek.
Class 45 running around its train.
Leading an engineers train out of the sidings, back towards Barnstaple.
On other project fronts, the class 31 has had the Hornby TTS chip removed and this has been replaced with a Howes sound decoder - this now drives and sounds like a dream. The class 122 is nearing completion out of the workshop, although my air compressor has broken recently, and is providing irregular spray patterns - which has held up the class 122 dmu. This has the added complication of poor quality spray finishes on some of my projects, which will need to be remedied when a new compressor arrives. Until then, there is always more detailing to go on the layout - the car park has been added to the layout and this requires finishing off and detailing - especially the addition of a fence which has made absolutely zero progress. I have ordered a few trees for behind the station and the station lights still require being added. Although these details still require sorting out, especially the station lights, I am confident that with a couple of days modelling I will be able to finish these projects. So I am happy to start looking for exhibitions to take the layout too. Problem is I have no idea how to obtain invites for shows. I would like to start early next year exhibiting the layout so any recommendations on how I would achieve this would be most welcome!!