CNR 1 :: Upgraded decoder

 photo TSU1000-Cummins_zpstucqs9fe.jpg
(Soundtraxx doesn’t offer the Cummins Diesel sound suite in the TSU-1000 – but they will do a custom install of it if you ask)

I was worried about the Soundtraxx Tsunami decoder in my model of CNR Number 1. It sounded great, but occasionally it would just stop running.

I thought it might be a heat issue, or possibly an issue with the current draw of the locomotive: The decoder is from the TSU-750 line, because that’s the only decoder size offered with the GE Cummins Diesel sound suite. I had room in the model for the larger TSU-1000 and I prefer to use them whenever possible, but that didn’t appear to be an option.

I wondered why Soundtraxx doesn’t offer the Cummins in a TSU-1000. So I fired off an email asking if it something they would consider doing – and if not, could I get a custom load of the Cummins sound suite into a TSU-1000? After all, it’s just a file on a computer – and it’s not like Soundtraxx has to build a custom decoder to accommodate different sound files.

Sure enough – I could get a custom file loaded, and for a reasonable cost no less: about $10 for somebody’s bench time. The TSU-1000 with Cummins sounds arrived last week and as the photo above shows, I wasted no time in upgrading the electronics in my CNR 44 Tonner.

Obviously, it sounds the same as it did before… and now that I’ve tweaked various CVs it runs the same too. (It is still, however, set to the factory default of Address 3: I packed away my programming track as part of the prep for the home renovation and I won’t be able to change the address until I find it.)

I’m still having a few issues with this unit’s operation but I suspect dirty pick-ups on the wheels. I can’t remember if I cleaned them properly when painting the unit. I’ll check that next. I’ll also check my installation to make sure I haven’t pinched anything in the drive system.

Meantime, the upgrade has given me another quarter-amp of wiggle room in this unit and that’s 25 percent more peace of mind, so I’m glad I did the upgrade.

 photo Extra1East-StWilliams_zpsv2fmfkbl.jpg
(Extra 1 East rolls through St. Williams)

I’m sure others working on a River Raisin Models S scale 44 Tonner will appreciate knowing they can get a TSU-1000 for it. This could be useful to those in O scale who have a two-motor Rich Yoder Models 44 Tonner, too: I would use a TSU-1000 with Cummins custom-load for one motor, and employ a Soundtraxx MC2H104P9 (1 amp silent decoder) for the other.

Thanks, Soundtraxx, for the excellent customer service!

7 thoughts on “CNR 1 :: Upgraded decoder

  1. That is all very useful information. As well as the RRM brass model, there is also the kit produced recently by Smokey Mountain Model Works.

    I owned a RRM 44 tonner for a while (I sold it to a friend, which I now regret!) and had trouble with the running. I had purchased it from another friend, who had given it a light blast of airbrushed weathering. A bit of attention with some cellulose paint thinners on the tyres and the backs of the wheels made all the difference to the running: it simply purred along the track after that. Or it did until it tried to demolish a groud level signal on East Lynn… For some reason, the engine must be susceptible to the slightest bit of dirt on the wheels.

    By the way, going from .75A to 1A is a 33.3% increase: an even better change in your confidence. 😉

    Mr. Pedant.
    (And yes, I do also frequently say, “You mean fewer, not less.”)

    • It’s getting better: I opened up the locomotive yesterday to clean the wheels and wipers.
      I also applied some graphite to both (Neolube, actually – which is graphite suspended in an alcohol carrier).
      When reassembling, I took extra care to keep all wires/cables out of the way of the mechanism – in case my overheating problems were caused by friction/rubbing that forced the decoder to work harder than it should.
      It ran much, much better after this work.

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