• HO Atlas Amtrak Dash 8-32BHW Decoder

  • Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.
Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.

Moderators: 3rdrail, Otto Vondrak, stilson4283

  by The-Bandwidth-Limited
 
Hey folks,

I'm brand spanking new around here, though I have been lurking on and off for awhile. I'm seeking some help from some more knowledgeable and experienced model railroaders in a problem I have had no luck really getting a handle on. About two months ago I won an action on Ebay for an HO Atlas Dash 8-32BHW locomotive in Amtrak Phase 5 paint scheme, road number 517 (Item #7278). It was a good buy, the item is in brand new condition and looks to be actually new in the box. None of the grab irons had or still have been installed and all the packaging is still as is. It is a Silver Master Series locomotive, and that means it is without a decoder and only designed to run on a DC layout. I, however, run on a DCC layout and would very much so would love to have a sound unit that prototypical sounds, or as close to prototypical sounds as possible.

So I'm going to start firing off some questions here, so bear with me here because I have never done a decoder install and I don't necessarily know what it entirely entails. What decoder should I get if I want prototypical sounds of the Dash 8-32BHW? Will said decoder be able to support flashing ditch lights? What speaker should I get and where should it get housed? Do I need a mount for the speaker and decoder? Are there any other components I need to install in order to get DCC and sound? Would you recommend me install it myself or should I get a professional to do it? If professional is the case, I live near a hobby store, should I use the technician there who charges a dollar a minute, or should I send it someplace else to get worked on?

Thanks in advance everyone,
The-Bandwidth-Limited.
  by B44NYC
 
Hi, and welcome to the forum.

Soundtraxx GE Dash 8-32BW, TSU-1000 GE FDL-16 modern, decoder# 827117, speaker baffle kit# 810054. That would be the decoder for that locomotive. If your LHS has it, ask them to do the installation for you, If not, I would suggest Tony's Trains or Yankee Dabbler as an installer.

Good luck.
  by Backshophoss
 
The Silver Series as a 8-pin plug for DCC conversion,you will need a 8 to 9 pin adapter harness,and Digitrax SDH164D
decoder,it has fuction outputs for ditch lights,if your local shop is a Digitrax Dealer,they can upload the proper sound files
with the PR-3 programmer.
  by The-Bandwidth-Limited
 
Thank you both for the replies, I appreciate the time and effort you took to reply.

I did a about an hour of research on both decoders. The Tsunami decoder definitely has the correct prime mover, as well as 16 air horns to choose from. From those I should be able to select the correct one as to the prototype (which is the K5LA, if I'm not mistaken), correct? Also I believe I saw through a Google search the the TSU 1000 does supposedly support flashing ditch lights. Can you confirm that as well?

Now, the Digitrax decoder seems to only be able to handle sounds through their Sound Depot, and they do have a sound file for a Dash 9-44CW, which uses the same prime mover. However, comparing that sound file to the Tsunami one was like comparing a Honda Civic to a Merc SLS. The Tsunami just sounded so much better, well at least on my computer. So I should assume that the Tsunami file would sound better within my locomotive as well, right?

The only thing I couldn't find online was how the speed control between the two compares. Which one has the better speed control? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say Tsunami, because I think I'm beginning to see that you get what you pay for when it comes to decoders.

Once again, thank you both for your assistance. Any more assistance would be greatly appreciated as well.
  by Backshophoss
 
IF you can,upload JMRI and the Java Langauge to your computer,then you can customize the sound files and program almost
any decoder. JMRI upgrades at least 1 time a year and gets better each time.
Soundtraxx will require a rewire of the entire loco,removing the old lightboard to install the soundtraxx decoder,
the Digitrax would be a quicker conversion,plug-in,wire the ditch lights and speaker mounting.

$60 an hour labor rate :( ouch!!!
  by trains4one
 
Just wondering why someone would suggest putting a GE FDL-16 sound decoder in a GE Dash 8-32bw locomotive. The GE 7FDL-16 in the actual locomotive is rated at 4000HP. The Dash 8-32bhw used at GE 7FDL-12 locomotive, rated at 3200HP. ESU Loksound is supposed to have this in a direct replacment decoder soon.

And I'm not trying to be nit picky, but I want my 2 Dash 8-32bhws to sound like the proto type.
  by trains4one
 
B44NYC wrote:Hi, and welcome to the forum.

Soundtraxx GE Dash 8-32BW, TSU-1000 GE FDL-16 modern,
The actual correct sound would be GE 7FDL-12, rated at 3200 HP. A 7FDL-16 would make the locomotive a Dash 8-40BW.

ESU LokSound is working on the sound files for their Direct line of decoders. There will be one going in each of my Dash 8-32BWHs.
  by ApproachMedium
 
Take it from me, both the FDL12 and FDL16 sound exactly the same. I have worked around both motors for the last few years and I can not hear a difference. It sounds like a GE.
  by Backshophoss
 
Agreed,when in a mixed consist of P-42's and P-32BWH's,you cannot hear any difference,a LA based P-32 will be the 3rd unit
on the Chief between LA and Chicago to cycle to/from Beech Grove and will be online leaving ABQ
The P-32BWH was the "test bed" of the P-40/42 concept.
  by ApproachMedium
 
You cant hear a difference if one is sitting by itself. I have been working on and around P32ACDMs for the last 3+years. I have also dealt with before that the p40s for at least a year, operated the P40s at NJT and I could not tell the difference sound wise inside or out other than that the dual modes the blower fans run at full speed. The diesel engines sounded exactly the same.