Adding real radio chatter to HO Metra via LokSound 5.

I few months ago I had seen a really well done Amtrak P42 (https://youtu.be/4mYZ1AqLjMo?t=244) that had real radio chatter and I thought it added so much depth and realism to the model, which led me on a mission to add this to my Metra project.

I ended up purchasing a Bearcat radio scanner, an array of different types of external antennas, and spent probably 6 days in total downtown Chicago recording radio chatter. It took a couple times to figure out what combination of antenna, frequency, and time of day that worked best. Additionally I was looking for very specific audio from BNSF centered around departing Chicago Union Station.

Check out the video below to see an example of where I incorporated the real audio into the model train on start-up.

I also resumed work on a new Arduino based Crossing Gate controller, but this time I’ve incorporated Metra announcements that play at a random interval.

Kato HO Metra with LokSound 5 Select Direct and Custom Sounds

A hobby project I’ve been working on recently. This project involved:

  • soldering small electronic components
  • using a multimeter (to measure current, resistance, amperage)
  • understanding and installing resistors and LEDs
  • painting/spray painting plastic and installing small plastic pieces to the body shell
  • knowledge of DC
  • removing the old light board and installing a new LokSound DCC Select Direct board
  • using LokProgrammer to configure the board and install custom sounds
  • creating custom station and announcement sounds to use within LokProgrammer
  • creating a custom sound schedule with logic for station and route sounds

Photos of the train with the shell off:

Wiring