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Old 01-04-2013, 11:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default ESU Loksound XL 3.5 / Smoke Pulse Generator

I have been eyeballing many different decoders available on the market; comparing cost to feature/benefit ratio. I'm upgrading my LGB 2085D mallet, which has a cranky analog board, to digital using it on a 1st generation LGB 55000 MTS unit. I'm particularly interested in the Massoth eMotion XLS, Zimo MX695KV and ESU Loksound XL. It seems all three are priced similarly, however, being fiscally conservative and a good "shopper" I've found the Loksound in a 3.5 version for just $150. The features I'd most like to see are really related to sound and smoke. I won't be controlling any servos. The 3.5 seems to satisfy those needs and I won't need the 4.0 (I don't think).

My questions are:

1) How would I configure the decoder to allow for pulsed smoke? I'd most likely upgrade the smoke generator to a USA Trains unit with the fan like my buddy in Germany has done with his mallet --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHwo5LjNVBo The features listed on the ESU site, as well as the manual, do not elaborate. This unit seems to have it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcuQWoc0Ah4

2) The ESU site also does not clarify if I have to actually order the programmer too. I'd like prototypical sounds, sure, but I'm not terribly picky. If it ships with generic European steam sounds I'm okay with that.

Thank you! All of you on this forum have been great!
Calvin
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default RE: ESU Loksound XL 3.5 / Smoke Pulse Generator

I have two of the loksound xl 3.5 decoders and I like them very much. Excellent, smooth motor control, good lighting options, excellent sound. BUT I don't believe you can run a pulsed smoke generator with the 3.5. There are no connections for a fan. You can power a smoke generator, and turn it on and off, but you can't control a fan with it, so no pulsing. It's not in the manual, and there is no connection for fan control

You need to the programmer to do major changes to the sound package--for example, to change from steam to diesel, or to change the relative volume of different sounds. Everything else you can do by entering CVs or by using JMRI with a different interface.

You CAN control a pulsed smoke generator with the XL 4.0, but I dont have one of those and haven't tried it.


QSI's titan decoders will allow you to run a pulsed smoke generator, but I have not found it to be worth the effort. The documentation QSI supplies is really really bad, and to get a lot of smoke you need to ramp up the voltage to a point where the smoke generator(train LI and USAT modeles) gets alarmingly hot. When I run it at voltage of around 8 or volt the effect is pretty much "meh." 'm planning to try it in a metal loco, which will theorreticaly be more heat tolerant
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default RE: ESU Loksound XL 3.5 / Smoke Pulse Generator

I wonder what that youtube video was showing. Definitely pulsed smoke. I'd message him if I was able to speak German!
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default RE: ESU Loksound XL 3.5 / Smoke Pulse Generator

Hi Calvin,
If the ESU decoder has a SUSI interface it could control a Massoth pulsed smoke maker including load. If not you could still use it and trigger the chuffing with magnets or the hall-effect Massoth pulse generator. Have a read of the Massoth pulsed smoke maker manual and that should help.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default RE: ESU Loksound XL 3.5 / Smoke Pulse Generator

Maybe a smoke generator with a fan, tied to a chuff sensor in some way? Or a built in piston, as on the old aristo pacific? I looked agan at the 3.5 manual and there's no mention of a fan hookup up. I bet it was the XL 4.0.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default RE: ESU Loksound XL 3.5 / Smoke Pulse Generator

Posted By Cougar Rock Rail on 04 Jan 2013 12:05 PM
Hi Calvin,
If the ESU decoder has a SUSI interface it could control a Massoth pulsed smoke maker including load. If not you could still use it and trigger the chuffing with magnets or the hall-effect Massoth pulse generator. Have a read of the Massoth pulsed smoke maker manual and that should help.
Keith
Here again I'm pretty sure the XL 4.0 has a SUSI interface, and the 3.5 does not
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default RE: ESU Loksound XL 3.5 / Smoke Pulse Generator

You don't need the SUSI interface unless you want the load sensitive chuff. If you just want it timed with the cylinders than it should work.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default RE: ESU Loksound XL 3.5 / Smoke Pulse Generator

I get lots of smoke from smoke units at 8 volts, no matter what I run them from... including a QSI.

Greg
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default RE: ESU Loksound XL 3.5 / Smoke Pulse Generator

Hi Calvin,
the ESU 3.5 cannot control directly a pulsed smoke genaerator, the 4.0 can do. But some problems with the "load effect" via SUSI.
I myself run only ESU decoders (3.5XL) in the moment, with the 4.0 I dont have any experience yet.
I also have a massoth smoke unit in a K27. But this one has an independent power supply and a seperate chuff trigger. I only control the power supply for the smoke unit via a relaiis trigerred from the decoder.
That works fine.
The best solution would be the massoth decoder together with the massoth smoke unit, then you will have pulsed chuff including the load effects.
Udo
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default RE: ESU Loksound XL 3.5 / Smoke Pulse Generator

Calvin:

I cannot help but agree with Keith and Udo, your best solution would be a massoth XLS decoder together with a Massoth pulsed smoke generator, you will have pulsed and load-dependent smoke and prototypical sound. We do all the programming for you. Your Massoth XLS decoder would be delivered ready to install along with a good quality speaker at no extra charge.

Mohammed
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