Any diesel horns out there? : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

Does anyone make a 'sonalert' or other similar electronic device that sounds like a diesel horn? Seen any published circuits to make one? Even a single note Wabco honker would be a nice addition for DCC as many of the mid-feature decoders have extra function outputs available to turn it on & off. Soundtrax is great, but too expensive and quite bulky.

-- Don Vollrath (, August 16, 1999


I have not tried it, but I remember reading an article where they take the sound unit out of Christmas and Birthday cards that allow you to record your own message and use as a sound source. You could record Horn, bell, etc. Check some of the recient books on model railroad electronics.

-- Clark Gregory (, December 31, 2000.


Also, Radio Shack sells a sound module that is under $20. Note now that Soundtraxx has generic units which are now less expensive.

Allan Gartner

-- Allan Gartner (, December 31, 2000.

I have done the electronic greeting card trick. Finding a 'clean' source of the sound and getting it recorded into the module was fun. I found a good honk on a RR sounds CD. It took several tries to get it recorded w/ just the right audio level. The unit I picked out of the card requires continuous battery power for memory retention (It also didn't like +5 volts. A learned experience). So I had to keep the battery cell and use a transistor circuit to replace the open-the- card-switch to start & stop the sound from the DCC decoder 'open drain' driver. Another transistor amplifies the sound. It works but is still a jumble of 3-D parts glued to the back of a speaker to get it mounted into a loco. I was hoping to find a more complete and compatible micro-module. Holteck made such IC components, but none pre-recorded w/ RR sounds. Digikey dropped their product line several years ago. The Radio Shack unit is rather large. A sonalert tuned for 350-500 Hz would still be ideal.

The DSX units have lots of other prototypical sounds than just the horn or whistle. They are looking more attractive as other layout costs decrease.

-- Don Vollrath (, January 02, 2001.

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