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SurroundTraxx DSP-80

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11 years 7 months ago #10007 by ron222
SurroundTraxx DSP-80 was created by ron222
Anyone know about this product? Is it available? Is it any good? Whats the deal! Is it really cool? Ron

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11 years 7 months ago #10009 by pray59
Replied by pray59 on topic Re: SurroundTraxx DSP-80
I have been watching this product since I first seen it shown at the 2004 NTS in Seattle. As far as I know it can only be used with Digitrax systems, because of the transponding feature required to switch sound zones.

There was talk a couple years ago that they were going to make it compatible with other DCC systems, but I have not heard any more on the subject.

What i did see, I liked. They had a loop of track hooked up and several speakers setup at the NTS. There was an N Scale loco traveling around the loop, and the sound followed the speaker closest to the locomotive. It was just what I wanted for Z. Years and years passed, but no release was to come. I had forgotten about it until this post. I guess it is finally released now.

Too bad I am too heavily invested into NCE. At this point in the game, sound can be added into a boxcar and follow the trains around, and buy another decoder to hook to a computer sub-woofer under the layout, and you can have realistic rumble too, all for cheaper than the Surroundtraxx system.

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11 years 7 months ago #10012 by ron222
Replied by ron222 on topic Re: SurroundTraxx DSP-80
Do you really have luck with Z and sound decoders? Any pics of installs of decoders? Really want to use decoders but saw the SurroundTraxx and started thinking. Does your method really work well dor Z. Thanks Ron

pray59 wrote:

I have been watching this product since I first seen it shown at the 2004 NTS in Seattle. As far as I know it can only be used with Digitrax systems, because of the transponding feature required to switch sound zones.

There was talk a couple years ago that they were going to make it compatible with other DCC systems, but I have not heard any more on the subject.

What i did see, I liked. They had a loop of track hooked up and several speakers setup at the NTS. There was an N Scale loco traveling around the loop, and the sound followed the speaker closest to the locomotive. It was just what I wanted for Z. Years and years passed, but no release was to come. I had forgotten about it until this post. I guess it is finally released now.

Too bad I am too heavily invested into NCE. At this point in the game, sound can be added into a boxcar and follow the trains around, and buy another decoder to hook to a computer sub-woofer under the layout, and you can have realistic rumble too, all for cheaper than the Surroundtraxx system.

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11 years 7 months ago #10017 by Dr.G
Replied by Dr.G on topic Re: SurroundTraxx DSP-80
I saw the system at soundtraxx about 2 years ago. If I remember right, they are trying to figure out a way to decode multiple DCC systems at the signal, not at the decoding unit (otherwise it really doesn't work as well). This means that they have to have conflict of interest issues resolved from each company. I heard the system and it rocks! If you use the digitrax sound transponder unit, I think you can use any encoder, including NCE. Like I said, it was two years ago and I was there for a different reason so take my info with a grain of salt. ;)

Cheerz!
Doc :woohoo:

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11 years 7 months ago #10075 by pray59
Replied by pray59 on topic Re: SurroundTraxx DSP-80
Well, I have fit a sound decoder in a Marklin Pacific tender, but it reset's every few inches of loco travel. Kim Vellore was going to build a charging circuit to fix the problem.

I have a boxcar with an MRC sound decoder inside, but it sounds like crap. All hiss, and no rumble.

I also have an MRC under table Diesel sound module, but it sync's with only one loco address, and although it sounds OK, it don't follow the locos, especially along the track we setup at shows.

The Surroundtraxx system follows the locomotives by transponder in a block, so you need components of Digitrax transponder detectors on each block, so it's really only compatible with Digitrax systems. Since you can get mobile sound decoders in all scales EXCEPT Z, there is no market for Surroundtraxx except Z Scalers, and most Z Scalers choose NCE instead of Digitrax, due to it's ease of use.

So what do we need? We need a new type of block detector that reads all locomotive addresses inside a block to trigger the Surroundtraxx into properly controlling the sound.

I think scratch the Surroundtraxx system and start over with a new design...

Special block detectors get installed on each module or block of a home layout, and a 4" full range speaker, with amp and control circuit get mounted each module. A new NMRA DCC standard gets made to add that each second (or agreed upon time interval), every powered decoder brodcasts it's address and it's speed (or turnout direction so it can also update CTC panels). Each block detector listens for broadcasts, and if a loco is in it's block, it outputs that loco's address and speed into the appropriate sound. At a transition from one block to another, sound volume goes up into the new block, down in the previous block, and slowly ramps up to 1/2 volume in the block that the train would reach next.

All the special block detectors get connected to the sound system's command controller on it's own network, and that controller tells each block what sounds to reproduce. Make it capable of say 99 blocks, so large clubs down to a basic 4 zone starter home layout can use the system.

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11 years 7 months ago #10077 by ron222
Replied by ron222 on topic Re: SurroundTraxx DSP-80
It should be available very shortly. I was told before the New Year! Sounds really great for Z scale and others. Very EXPENSIVE. Ron

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11 years 7 months ago #10080 by Dr.G
Replied by Dr.G on topic Re: SurroundTraxx DSP-80
pray59 wrote:

The Surroundtraxx system follows the locomotives by transponder in a block, so you need components of Digitrax transponder detectors on each block, so it's really only compatible with Digitrax systems. Since you can get mobile sound decoders in all scales EXCEPT Z, there is no market for Surroundtraxx except Z Scalers, and most Z Scalers choose NCE instead of Digitrax, due to it's ease of use.


I wonder if there's a way to "hack" Digitrax transponders to NCE output (I know Digitrax and NCE have different coding patterns)....Just pondering... :unsure:

Doc :silly:

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11 years 7 months ago #10083 by ron222
Replied by ron222 on topic Re: SurroundTraxx DSP-80
Hope it gets shipped soon. Ron

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