Steve Todd's ET44 LokSound Guide
An Article by Steve Todd
The just-released (Run 5) of HO Tier 4 locomotives from ScaleTrains.com (SXT), feature ESU 5 Sound Decoders. However, they do not include the latest version of the authentic Tier 4 Prime Mover sounds. No worries, as the latest sound file is available from SXT through a link to download it onto your decoder. The file number is 93414.1 Version 11, Revision 7.
After about six months of observing and recording actual prototype Tier 4 locomotives, I’ve prepared a Programming Guide for SXT’s latest sound file release.
After several months of trial and error, or I should say… trial and adjustment; I’ve developed what I believe to be a very accurate guide that takes full advantage of the new sound program.
These settings were developed on both a home and a large club layout. Therefore, some users may find the levels to be a little high for a home layout or a little low for a club layout. Having this in mind, I developed the volume levels so they could be tailored to fit any operating environment, with minimal adjustments.
I have set the sound volume levels to be a match to the prototype, from a viewing distance of approximately two feet. That is equal to viewing the prototype from a distance of approximately 150 scale feet. If you find for instance, that the Prime Mover sounds need adjustment, you can adjust just that volume, and still have very accurate Horn, Bell, Air Compressor, etc., sound levels.
Adjusting the Master Volume CV after programming, is not really necessary, as all of the other sound volumes are set well below their maximum setting. In the Guide, the Master Sound Volume is set to maximum; therefore, do not set the Master Sound Volume, until after you’ve completed the programming process. After much testing, I found that setting the Master Sound Volume to maximum, was the best setting for optimum overall sound quality. Of course, you can adjust any of the sounds. I’ve just given you a very accurate starting point.
I hope you enjoy the results of these settings on your locomotive(s)!
It was a fun project for me, and really makes my locos come alive, and I wanted to share my experiences with others.