DCC Sound Conversions
DCC Sound provides an ultimate level of realism to the control of trains on a layout, including better low speed running and realistic operation with real sounds. Sounds are independently controlled and callable via mapped function keys on a DCC controller. Sounds generally include engine start & shutdown, engine running sounds (integrated with train speed), various horns/whistles, train announcements, brake sounds, track and flange squeal, and coupling sounds among many others. As with standard DCC, many trains can share the same section of track and each train can be controlled separately in any direction and speed. Lights stay illuminated at a constant brightness even when the train is sat idle, and can be controlled individually.
DCC Sound brings an astounding element of realism and joy to a layout, from diesel locomotives idling on shed to a steam locomotive flying past a station with a full head of steam. Sound fitted trains are starting to prove quite popular within the hobby, with modellers now starting to upgrade their existing DCC converted trains or entering straight into DCC Sound. With the high level of realism available, it comes as no surprise!
DCC ready trains can be converted by directly plugging a DCC Sound decoder in to an NEM socket, and non DCC trains will need to have the decoder hard wired. A speaker is then installed to complete the conversion. But it isn’t as easy as it sounds here to fit sound decoders and speakers in some scales. The smaller scales especially have very little space for a decoder, let alone a speaker too. And the larger scales (typically O gauge) have a complex mass of wires which can be difficult to identify, unless you know your way around electronics. Quite a lot of work is involved in converting a model to sound in N scale, for example, and this can involve milling of the chassis and filing the speaker housing to get everything to fit including the body shell. I can provide you with a bespoke DCC sound conversion service, installing a decoder of your own choice, or a high quality sound decoder recommended by myself appropriate to your application and from your requirements. All conversions include testing on a test track and programming the decoder to obtain optimal smooth slow speed operation.
The performance of your DCC converted models can be improved further by installing a stay-alive circuit to your decoder. The issue of running over a set of points, or rail joint, to find your model has stopped moving due to bad pick-up no longer exists. This scenario is much more prevalent with Sound fitted models on a short wheelbase, when the sound stops and has to be reset, much to the frustration of the layout operator. I provide a retro-fit service to install a stay-alive circuit to your existing decoder, or as an added option to the conversion service. This service is provided subject to the suitability of your decoder, and an inspection may be required before work commences.
Other services can also be undertaken at the same time as a conversion, such as cab or interior detailing, directional and prototypical lighting, weathering, and servicing (recommended for used models) before a conversion takes place.
To book a conversion or to discuss your requirements click on the ‘Book now’ button below.
The prices in the table below provide a rough guideline, accurate prices will be given when booking a conversion. Please note these prices do not include the price of a decoder, this is charged separately and according to choice.
DCC ready £60 – £90
Non DCC (hard wired)* £90 – £120
* some Farish locomotives (split chassis) require Digi-Hat conversion kits @ £9 each. Generally 1 kit will be required for steam, and 2 kits will be required for diesel.
Owing to the lack of space available at this scale, the majority of chassis’ require milling to allow the placement of a speaker and sometimes the decoder itself. This is the case even for most DCC ready models, where the PCB with the NEM651 6 pin socket has to be removed to allow for more space and milling of the chassis. In most cases this will also require rewiring and modification of the lighting PCB’s. Therefore the conversion prices at this scale vary and represent the amount of work required.
DCC ready £36.00
Non DCC (hard wired) £45.00
DCC ready £42.00
DCC ready (with lighting rewire) £70.00
Non DCC (hard wired) £50.00
Non DCC (hard wired with lighting rewire) £78.00