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    • August 10, 2018 2:40 PM EDT
      • Reedley, CA
         
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      Sounds for Buildings

      Has anyone had any experience with adding sound to model buildings?  I'd like to add some basic saloon type sounds to a building as well as recreate the "ticking" of the telegraph machine in the train station.

      I'm toying with the idea of using a inexpensive blue tooth speaker synced with a playback source such as an iPod or other type of mp3 player.  I have a small digital music studio out of my home so am fully capable of looping tracks and sound effects.  I'm just looking for the pros and cons of doing it this way.

      Thanks,

      Richard

    • August 10, 2018 3:42 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      I think you can find inexpensive players that read from an SD card. I would not want to be adding multiple bluetooth music streams and have to maintain the radio links.

       

      If you can find one that auto starts on powerup that would work well... I know they are out there and cheap.

       

      Greg

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    • August 10, 2018 4:01 PM EDT
      • Santa Ana, CA
         
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      I use a computer speaker system with one speaker in the main station that plays station-type sounds (carts, dogs, people, etc.) and the other speaker in the water tower (engine yard and machine sounds).  These are connected to an MP3 player.

       

      I made a 300 second stereo loop in Audacity taking sound bites from the 'net back when you could easily download them.  I split this into ten 30-second sections.  When a train pulls into the station, it's magnet retriggers a reed switch tied to the sound loop, beginning at any of the 10 segments at random.  It will then play up to 300 seconds, then shut down, starting at that point in the loop.  This keeps it from getting boring.  Also, it doesn't take 300 seconds for a train to go around the loop, so without this "random start" it would be the same sounds each time the train returns.

       

      I got the MP3 player from Dave Bodner.  It was his prototype and can do as many as 80 random start points (eight banks of 10).

       

      We also have an MP3 player that plays "The Low Rider" (like 6 different versions) as well as other "War" and "Cheech and Chong" tracks in the station where the Low Rider train parks.  The amp gets its power from the rails, so it only plays when the trains run, though the MP3 player loops continuously throughout the day until I turn it off or it runs out of charge.

       

      Our barn has cow sounds and the stock car has sheep that get figgity traversing rough terrain..., or when the ranch hands approach.  (We have some very attractive sheep and lonely ranch hands.)

       

      Sometimes, the Jazz band plays in the town square (cassette player) and the singer sounds exactly like Aretha Franklin.

       

      Finally, somewhere along the line I picked up a telegraph sound module.  The telegraph message is the same as the one you would hear at Dizzyland in Anaheim.

      This post was edited by Todd Brody at August 10, 2018 4:31 PM EDT
    • August 11, 2018 10:37 AM EDT
      • Reedley, CA
         
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      Went to Office Max back-to-school shopping with my son yesterday and found an Ativa wireless blue tooth speaker on sale for $6.  Sounds great for the application that I plan on doing.  Battery is rechargeable and only lasts 2 hours...but at this price I figured I could by several back ups and with the use of velcro swap the speakers as they need charging. The speaker also uses an SD microchip so I don't even need to blue tooth it.  Ordered 4 16gb cards on Amazon which should be here Monday.  

      I found the telegraph sound from (as Todd Brody calls it "Dizzyland") and plan to loop it adnausium.

      For the "saloon" I'm going to mix a few tracks of ambient chatter with some ragtime piano playing...think it will sound pretty good when done.  

      This is becoming fun!!

      Richard

    • August 11, 2018 10:42 AM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Cool Richard.  Great idea.  I have some other ambient noise Ideas I'd like to use around the railroad.

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    • August 11, 2018 2:18 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      I could find players for under $2 but could not tell if they would "auto start"... so the speakers will play from the SD card? Great.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


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    • August 11, 2018 2:39 PM EDT
      • Santa Ana, CA
         
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      I had a cheap player that would not auto-start.  So I made a 555 timer activate a solonoid that would physically "punch" the switch to make the track start.  That worked fine.

       

      The problem then became that each time it would start, it would revert to a reduced volume setting that was too low to be practical for the application.    That's why I went to the player that just continues to play throughout the day. 

    • August 12, 2018 12:08 AM EDT
      • Reedley, CA
         
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      I sure hope the saloon and piano playing mix I created today sounds good...as I'm rendering the mp3 audio for 2.5 hour clip it's taking forever on i7 processor...

    • August 13, 2018 11:35 AM EDT

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      Richard Mynderup said:

      Has anyone had any experience with adding sound to model buildings?  I'd like to add some basic saloon type sounds to a building as well as recreate the "ticking" of the telegraph machine in the train station.

      I'm toying with the idea of using a inexpensive blue tooth speaker synced with a playback source such as an iPod or other type of mp3 player.  I have a small digital music studio out of my home so am fully capable of looping tracks and sound effects.  I'm just looking for the pros and cons of doing it this way.

      Thanks,

      Richard

      Richard - Your posting got me thinking about an inexpensive way to add sound effects to buildings. 

      I have been using a very capable & inexpensive MP3 board, called the DFPlayer, in a host of projects. 

      Normally you connect it to an Arduino, PIC or other microcontroller but it does have a mode that works with minimal components.

      Have a look at my notes here:  http://www.trainelectronics.com/Arduino/MP3Sound/Simple/

      I put together a very simple way to use the DFPlayer without soldering or any exotic electronics.

      The player sells on Amazon for less than $10 and for much less on eBay.  If you have a good "junk box" of parts you need little more than the board & an old MicroSD card.

      Please let me know if you have any questions

      dave

    • August 13, 2018 2:55 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Yep, $14 for 5 of them on Amazon:

      https://www.amazon.com/DFPlayer-Player-YX5200-Support-Arduino/dp/B07BDD8BF3/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1534186413&sr=8-4&keywords=dfplayer&dpID=51o0QYF9rKL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • August 13, 2018 4:43 PM EDT
      • Reedley, CA
         
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      Here is a picture of what I'm playing with.  The blue tooth speaker was $6 at Office Max.  I purchased a few SanDisk micro SD chips and some velcro.  The SD chip goes into a slot in the speaker and plays.  Since there isn't any volume control using the chip I have to test mix my sound sequences in my studio computer.  But the speaker is battery powered and rechargeable and lasts 2 hours.  I picked up a total of 4 speakers and figured I could swap out one speaker for a charged backup using the velcro.  I'll outfit the other two with some sounds for the train station.   Will see how it all pans out.  But pretty inexpensive and no wiring.

      Richard

    • August 13, 2018 5:40 PM EDT

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      Nice solution, Richard - strange that there is no volume control when they allow you to play from an SD card.

       

      dave

    • August 13, 2018 6:02 PM EDT
      • Reedley, CA
         
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      David, I purchased a little better speaker for my son...it cost a whopping $10 at Office Max.  It does have volume control...so I may have to return the cheaper and go with the more expensive .  It is a bit time consuming trying to get the right volume of mix then rendering out a 2.5 hour mp3...

      Richard

    • August 13, 2018 6:40 PM EDT
      • Reedley, CA
         
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      David...my bad. There is volume control. It’s just integrated with track selection.  So far the speaker has been going for 2’hours. I’m quite pleased

      Richard

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