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Offline H0  
#1 Posted : 04 August 2013 23:22:37(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,544
Location: DE-NW
The sets 60948 and 60949 are suitable for ER 20 (Hercules), TRAXX, and Ludmilla locos from Märklin 36xxx hobby range.
The decoder from 60948 comes with pre-installed ER 20 sound, the set 60949 comes with pre-installed TRAXX sound.
Other sounds can be uploaded with a CS2.

The sets contain four parts:
Speaker, speaker bracket, new PCB for the loco, sound decoder.
Contents

This is the loco (TRAXX) in the original state:
Original state of the loco
You have to unsolder three wires (two brown, one red) and the two connectors of the motor.

The flex connectors for the lights can simply be pulled out of the sockets:
Step 1

After unsoldering the three wires, you can remove the four screws and take the old decoder PCB out (don't lose the plastic toothpicks).
Wires unsoldered.

After unsoldering the motor:
Motor unsolered.
Note the adhesive tape on the motor.

The new board moved onto the motor.
New board on the motor.
Note: I screw the new board into place before soldering the connections to the motor.

Board and plastic toothpicks (aka cardan shafts) back in place, ready to fasten the screws.
Toothpicks in place, ready to fasten the screws.

Here the connections and the soldering is done:
Screws are tight, all connections soldered.

Here flex connectors and decoder are also in place:
Flex connectors and decoder in place.

Now push the two white wires through the hole in the frame:
Now for the speaker (two white wires)

Speaker installed and white wires connected:
Speaker connected.

The conversion is rather simple. The loco will keep the original (yellow) LEDs.
Is it worth it? The RRP for the sound sets is Euro 99.99, but sometimes you can get them for about Euro 65.
Only you can answer if it's worth it for you ...

Update: With the new mfx decoder the loco runs worse than with the original fx decoder. I won't do any more conversions with these sets. A conversion with ESU LokSound and white LEDs from Schönwitz doubles the costs, but loco looks much better and performs much better.

Update 2: The best settings I found so far for these decoders in those locos are motor type "c90" and K parameter set to 32 instead of the factory default of 64.
Motor runs more quiet than with the original fx decoder, probably due to the higher PWM frequency. Loco starts moving with a jerk that I cannot seem to get rid of.
The three-pole Mabuchi motor in those locos surely ain't no c90 motor. But it seems with the settings "DC soft" and "DC hard" the decoder tries to adjust to the motor "on the fly" and the loco speed at speed step 1 varies a lot. In c90 mode the decoder behaves in a deterministic way.

Edited by user 18 December 2015 08:57:44(UTC)  | Reason: Update: Added warning about worse performance after conversion. Update 2: Found improved settings.

Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
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Offline RayF  
#2 Posted : 04 August 2013 23:28:20(UTC)
RayF

Gibraltar   
Joined: 14/03/2005(UTC)
Posts: 15,487
Location: Gibraltar, Europe
Thanks Tom. very informative!
Ray
Mostly Marklin.Selection of different eras and European railways
Small C track layout, control by MS2, 100+ trains but run 4-5 at a time.
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#3 Posted : 05 August 2013 02:15:50(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 16,838
Location: New Zealand
My only gripe with the Marklin mSD sound decoders (and I've said this before in the forum) is that the sound volume is quite low, even when set to maximum volume. I usually replace the standard 8 ohm speaker with an ESU 4 ohm speaker of the same size, which gives a bit more sound volume.
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Offline kimballthurlow  
#4 Posted : 05 August 2013 02:26:41(UTC)
kimballthurlow

Australia   
Joined: 18/03/2007(UTC)
Posts: 5,673
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Hi Tom,
Thanks for that comprehensve "how-to".

Personally, I have now used 3 of the 60965 steam sound decoders in old brass locos from the 70s.
I find both decoder and larger speaker fit well inside the boiler, and am very satisfied with the performance.

The only downside is I have European whistles in US steam engines, but that is a small issue.
Most of the US decoder purveyors reserve a CV to give you a choice of up to 8 whistle sounds.

regards
Kimball
HO Scale - Märklin (ep III and VI, C Track, digital) - 2 rail (USA and Australia) - 3 rail (English Hornby Dublo) - a few old O gauge.
Offline xxup  
#5 Posted : 05 August 2013 03:03:48(UTC)
xxup

Australia   
Joined: 15/03/2003(UTC)
Posts: 8,964
Location: Australia
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
My only gripe with the Marklin mSD sound decoders (and I've said this before in the forum) is that the sound volume is quite low, even when set to maximum volume. I usually replace the standard 8 ohm speaker with an ESU 4 ohm speaker of the same size, which gives a bit more sound volume.


Is that safe? I can remember the HiFi people telling me to always ensure that I have the correct impedence speakers or I would "blow" my amplifier.. Confused
Adrian
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Australia flag by abFlags.com
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#6 Posted : 05 August 2013 04:41:50(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 16,838
Location: New Zealand
Yes, the Marklin decoders are rated to take either 4 or 8 ohm speakers, I checked that first in their specs.

Most hifi amplifiers are rated to handle 4 ohm speakers, anything lower could be an issue, as the lower you go the closer you get to a short circuit. Then there are speakers like some electrostatic or ribbon based speakers, which might have a nominal 4 or 8 ohm rating, but dip into 2 ohms or lower at certain parts of their frequency range. That's when you need an amplifier that can deliver bucket loads of current into such a nasty load. Dynamic speakers usually present a much kinder load.

Edited by user 05 August 2013 11:13:39(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Offline H0  
#7 Posted : 05 August 2013 07:45:04(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,544
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
I usually replace the standard 8 ohm speaker with an ESU 4 ohm speaker of the same size, which gives a bit more sound volume.
I wonder if the difference comes from the speaker (maybe better) or from the impedance (specs say 2.3 W at 4 Ohm and 1.2 W at 8 Ohm).

I tried an ESU speaker with my first and only ESU Loksound conversion. The speaker is 8 Ohm, big (20x40 mm) - and I had to turn the volume down quite a lot.
I want to make a test with ESU speaker and Märklin decoder one of these days, but haven't yet. I expect that one or maybe more speakers inside the loco would improve the bass sound and would make diesel locos more impressive.

BTW: With ESU Loksound, the sound varies much more depending on the speed changes the loco is going through. With about twice the costs you get a better sound decoder and white LEDs (but that could be the subject of another review).
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
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Offline river6109  
#8 Posted : 01 September 2013 04:26:26(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,667
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Tom, what about the sound itself, having observed you have used both of them (Märklin/ESU) which sounds better and how many functions can you establish ?

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline H0  
#9 Posted : 01 September 2013 09:53:01(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,544
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post
Tom, what about the sound itself, having observed you have used both of them (Märklin/ESU) which sounds better [...]?
I installed the ESU Loksound in a BR 234 loco. The sound is much better than what Märklin provides for the BR 232 models.
I thought the speakers would make a big difference, but I don't hear much difference between different speakers.
The ESU decoder with the ESU speaker was very loud - I reduced the volume quite a bit because I thought it sounded distorted and was afraid the speaker was overloaded. I was hoping for better bass sound, but I'm not sure it's really there.
With the ESU decoder, the sound reacts on throttle changes (speeding up sound gets "louder" for a while, speeding down sound gets "softer" for a while).
But I'm biased: I always thought the mSD was cheap while the LokSound was better value for the money (even though probably a bit overpriced).

Originally Posted by: river6109 Go to Quoted Post
... and how many functions can you establish?
The ESU project for the BR 232 uses 22 functions from the start. With light functions I now have 24 functions - this is the limit of my CS1, not the limit of the decoder.
I'd prefer a 25th function for shunting mode - maybe I'll kick one of the sound functions out to get that.

mSD sound projects come with a maximum of 16 pre-defined functions. But 16 also is the decoder limit, so to establish light functions you have to kick some of the pre-defined sounds out (a Cargo loco doesn't need a "the tickets, please" announcement (that cannot be heard outside the train in real life anyway)).
Some sound projects only have four pre-defined functions (e.g. BR 285: only two sound functions, diesel engine and one horn).

It seems that ESU allows to modify the predefined sound projects (if you have a LokProgrammer). Märklin allows creation of new sound projects, but AFAIK existing sound projects cannot be modified. I have no intention to do either, so I rely on good sound projects supplied by the decoder manufacturer.
Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
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Offline H0  
#10 Posted : 07 February 2014 21:42:42(UTC)
H0


Joined: 16/02/2004(UTC)
Posts: 13,544
Location: DE-NW
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Is it worth it? The RRP for the sound sets is Euro 99.99, but sometimes you can get them for about Euro 65.
Only you can answer if it's worth it for you ...
Update: With the new mfx decoder the loco runs worse than with the original fx decoder. I won't do any more conversions with these sets. A conversion with ESU LokSound and white LEDs from Schönwitz doubles the costs, but loco looks much better and performs much better.

Regards
Tom
---
"In all of the gauges, we particularly emphasize a high level of quality, the best possible fidelity to the prototype, and absolute precision. You will see that in all of our products." (from Märklin New Items Brochure 2015, page 1) ROFLBTCUTS
UserPostedImage
Offline river6109  
#11 Posted : 09 February 2014 03:13:12(UTC)
river6109

Australia   
Joined: 22/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 12,667
Location: On 1965 Märklin Boulevard just around from Roco Square
Tom, going back to one of your earlier post 9, 01 Sept.2013.

the way I map any sound decoder, the sound itself I map under F0 lights and this gives me an extra slot, although I never have the acceleration/shunting mode together

regards.,

John
https://www.youtube.com/river6109
https://www.youtube.com/6109river
5 years in Destruction mode
50 years in Repairing mode
Offline Moritz-BR365  
#12 Posted : 21 May 2014 00:00:04(UTC)
Moritz-BR365

Germany   
Joined: 02/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 680
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: H0 Go to Quoted Post
Is it worth it? The RRP for the sound sets is Euro 99.99, but sometimes you can get them for about Euro 65.
Only you can answer if it's worth it for you ...
Update: With the new mfx decoder the loco runs worse than with the original fx decoder. I won't do any more conversions with these sets. A conversion with ESU LokSound and white LEDs from Schönwitz doubles the costs, but loco looks much better and performs much better.

I replaced the original decoder of my 36850 (BR 185) with the mSD 60949 and the Traxx mtc21 adapter, tonight. It was very easy and: The 3-pole motor doesn't work perfect, there is still a little jerk when start moving, but it is less then before and the loco can now drive much slower!

So, it is worth to pay the 57€ for a better sound decoder and better driving performance.

I'm not ready with finding best CV values. It may could be better. And I will add a buffer capacitor to solve short current brakes.
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Offline Moritz-BR365  
#13 Posted : 21 May 2014 23:06:55(UTC)
Moritz-BR365

Germany   
Joined: 02/04/2013(UTC)
Posts: 680
Hello again,
here my results from switching a buffer capacitor to the mSD decoder.

On this picture, Yous see the buffer capacitor (which is too big. I have to replace with a smaller one, the case can't be closed:

UserPostedImage

And here You can see, where to solder the cable for the capacitor:

UserPostedImage

It works well, the lights remain for a second on and the motor doesn't stop abruptly. So, when there is a short power interrupt, the sound will continue, as well as the light and driving.

I think, it is worth to spend 2€ for this enhancement and fits well to the mSD decoder, easy to install.

Moritz
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Offline intruder  
#14 Posted : 31 May 2014 15:07:23(UTC)
intruder

Norway   
Joined: 16/08/2006(UTC)
Posts: 5,532
Location: Akershus, Norway
This is my approach to he 60949 conversion
Märklin 36611 conversion
I am very happy with the locomotive performance
Best regards Svein, Norway
grumpy old sod
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Offline mmervine  
#15 Posted : 12 August 2016 02:03:55(UTC)
mmervine

United States   
Joined: 30/01/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,769
Location: Keene, NH
Walthers has the 60949 kits on sale for ~54USD. I have always used ESU decoders, but for this price I couldn't resist. I normally run my Traxx loks doubleheaded and I had a couple of sets without sound. I installed the 60949 kit in a trailing unit as my lead unit already had warm white lights. I removed the light jumpers, so that the lights will always be off in the trailing unit.

I have to agree with Tom that the motor performance wasn't as good as it should be. Thanks to him for his recommended adjustments to the motor type and 'K' value. These changes made a big difference. I adjusted my lead unit's parameters (ESU LP) to match the 60949 performance as closely as possible. I have to say that for what I paid for this kit, I am happy with the results.
Märklin C-track, Digital, ECoS, multi-era French & Swiss
http://www.ete-ene.org/m...mervines-layout-gallery/
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