Brilliance Sound Decoders

I was looking over the specs for MRC's new Brilliance sound decoders and balked when I came to this statement, "synchronized diesel engine sounds
with eight notches"... That means the engine sound only changes every 16 steps!? Looks like a reluctance on the part of MRC to truly live up to their promise that these decoders are brilliant! Any thoughts?
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Frank Eva
Digital Railroader LLC
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Presumably that corresponds to the 8 notches on a prototype throttle. Broadway Limited's factory decoders have 8 distinct throttle steps. At least the one in my E7A does.
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Norman Morgan <> http://www.norm-morgan.com
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A real throttle has 8 notches, rather than a gradual, smooth increase in power?
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Yes
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I watched a crew run a train and I assume they needed a speed that was somewhere between two notches because the engineer was toggling the locomotives between the two notches. Sounded interesting as the engines would rev up then slow down but the train maintained a constant (slow) speed.
I'd be interested to know if the 'notched' decoders have the lag often found on the real thing. Ie) Locomotives notch up but the train does not immediately speed up. Alternately, the engineer may back off a couple notces and the train keeps on going at the previous speed.
Jb
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Reviewed on Tony's Train Exchange. Sort of a B, B+ maybe. He recommends a better decoder for your prize locos.
Steve Newcastle NSW Aust
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Digital Railroader wrote:

The prototype has eight notches or "runs." "Run eight" is top speed.
Go trackside near the exit from a yard, and listen as the engineer notches up the engines. Impressive!
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OK - since I can't do that, can you tell me - do you hear a gradual change in engine noise, or does it jump higher with each notch and remain at that level until the engineer moves the throttle to the next notch? Remember, I'm asking this sincerely, I'm not trying to be a wiseguy...
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| OK - since I can't do that, can you tell me - do you hear a gradual change | in engine noise, or does it jump higher with each notch and remain at that | level until the engineer moves the throttle to the next notch?
Distinct "jump." Remember the diesel is powering a generator that is doing the real work. The notch setting the engineer is using is related to the amps of current necessary to do the work. Amtrak's F40's would be at run 8 in the station because of the current needed by the passenger cars.
CTucker NY
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Christian wrote:

Are you sure that a F40 would be running at run 8 in the station? Since the locomotive needs to keep a "small amount" of pulling power to the train in order to keep the cars stretch during any braking. Air brakes act on the rear car first and then moves forward. The engineer will have to keep relieving the engine brakes to allow the stretching action to take place. Another thought regarding "8 notches" is that this is only referred to the road locomotives. Switchers have no notches, just free wheeling on the throttle. Of course this is all based on when I worked for the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific on the west coast over the "loop".
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| > amps of current necessary to do the work. Amtrak's F40's would be at run 8 | > in the station because of the current needed by the passenger cars.
| Are you sure that a F40 would be running at run 8 in the station?
It had to do with the HEP - head end power - which fed off the prime mover. Locomotives that supplied the HEP had to turn fairly consistent RPM's. And, yes, they are very loud at the station. I've never heard one in an enclosed station, but in the outdoor stations you can't hear yourself think. Whereas freight trains are all but silent on the other track.
CTucker NY
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Christian wrote:

Full RPM, yes, but not full power. These could vary the number of cylinders in use with power demand. When just running HEP (IIRC) they only used four cylinders. And, the main traction generator was not in use at all (though turning with the rest of the 'stack').
Dan Mitchell ===========
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Yes, it brings up a good question - I have a Broadway NW2 on order, with sound, and I'm wondering how it will handle the sound with no distinct notches???
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On Sat, 17 Sep 2005 20:31:43 GMT, "Norvin (remove SPAM)"
wrote:

No it doesn't. once the train is stopped the throttle goes to the idle stop. Most likely it was already there before the train stopped. The engine brakes are kept bailed off such that the braking is all done by the cars, inertia keeps the weight of the engines pulling against the coupler of the first car

Nope, its' around the other way. The air valve that is relieving pressure on the train line is in the locomotive, not on the rear car, thus the initial pressure drop occurrs at the point of release, and propagates to the opposite end of the line, such that the brakes on the rear car are the last to release and the last to apply.

This is somewhat applicable to handling a freight train, but doesn't apply much to a passenger train, especially the short trains that are the norm these days. There is very little slack in a consist of six or seven passenger cars; so little, in fact, that it is not noticeable.

I have spent thousands of hours in switchers, from S-2s to SW1500s. I've operated Alcos, Baldwins, EMDs and Fairbanks-Morse, and I've never seen one with a notchless throttle. Maybe you saw dynamic brake controllers that were notchless, but not a throttle.
The best guess for the FP40 and its attendant high RPM at rest, is that the engine is kept running in notch 5 to provide Head End Power for the train. Speed control is by changes in excitation to the MG, while engine speed remains constant. At notch 7 the engine speed either goes to max, or is linked to the throttle setting. While I have never operated an FP40, I have operated locomotives that were configured to work in that way.
Froggy,
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Froggy wrote:
>> ...... Air brakes act on the rear car first and then moves forward. >> >> >> > Nope, its' around the other way. The air valve that is relieving > pressure on the train line is in the locomotive, not on the rear car, > thus the initial pressure drop occurrs at the point of release, and > propagates to the opposite end of the line, such that the brakes on > the rear car are the last to release and the last to apply.
Froggy, what brake schedule do loco-hauled passenger cars currently use? When visting the US some years back I saw some cars with HSC schedule equipment - is this still used? Are there any operators using electro-pneumatic brake on loco-hauled stock?
All the best,
Mark.
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wrote:

Don't know Mark. I no longer drive trains and haven't for quite some time. My interest in things railroad does not extend into the minutia of things such as the inner workings of air brakes, especially in today's context. That does not mean that I do not know how to use air brakes, or what makes them work, it just means that beyond describing the engine driver's duties and actions in the use of brakes in the handling of a train, I should leave more detailed explantions of the interior workings of the things to the people who actually maintain and repair them. I have a bunch of air brake manuals from Wabco, New York, and others that I have collected over the years, but I have never found them to be especially interesting reading. I have a friend who still works for NS. He is a former engine driver who now works in the car department. He can answer all your questions. I will ask him when I see him next weekend and post the reply later.
Froggy,
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Froggy @ thepond..com wrote in

I've enjoyed reading your insights here. The only railroader in my family, my granddad, passed away nearly 30 years ago. 30 years and I still miss him like it was yesterday!
He spent over 50 years working for the L&N (1908 - 1959).
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Norman Morgan <> http://www.norm-morgan.com
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wrote:

I'm glad you enjoy it. Thanx. Froggy,
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OK - if that is the case, I suppose a change in sound every 16 steps is according to prototype. Would that also be the case with steam engines? I ask because MRC has similar wording for their Brilliance Steam Decoder - "8 steam chuffs", I believe...
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"8 steam chuffs", I believe..< Not sure what they would mean by this for a steam engine. Steam would not have any steps but a steady increase related to speed. Probably ad writers who have no idea what they are talking about.
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