BLI Frisco SW7 with sound

Discussion in 'Electo-Motive Division (EMD)' started by klrwhizkid, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    I picked up one of the Broadway Limited Frisco SW7s in black and yellow; #301 with Paragon 2 sound. The model is nicely made and detailed and runs smoothly (although it was pre-programmed to address 303), and since I am not a Frisco SW7 expert I can't comment on accuracy of the model, but I will comment on the sound decoder.

    The Paragon 2 decoder is yet another incarnation of a typical QSI decoder. As a typical QSI decoder, it is good at making noise. Note that I said noise. I searched Youtube and listened to all of the prototype SW7s that I could find and could not find a match to the UFO-like whirring sound that I hear from this decoder. I hear no exhaust pulse when the throttle is notched up, instead all I hear is an increase in the frequency of the annoying whirring sound; nothing that sounds like an EMD 567 working to move a load. The decoder does have additional interesting sounds pre-programmed to function keys, including City sounds, Livestock sounds, Maintenance Facility sounds, Passenger sounds, Freight sounds, Crew Radio Messages, Radio Chatter in City, Radio Chatter in Rural Settings, Industrial sounds, Lumber Mill sounds, and a few more. It's a shame they dedicate so much effort to adding all those other sounds instead of getting a really good recording of something that sounds like what they supposedly are reproducing.

    I won't repeat my disgust with programming QSI decoders.

    Bottom line; the guts are coming out of this nice model and it is going to get Soundtraxx quality sound; either a Tsunami or one of the new Econami Diesel decoders and one of my Sweet Sound speakers. I am also going to re-work the headlights so the LEDS are pointed out the lens instead of perpendicular to the lens as the were built.

  2. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    A "before/after" video would be nice.

    I have yet to hear a QSI sound product that I'm significantly impressed with. Like you, I don't know what that flying saucer sound is supposed to be.
  3. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Here's a look at my completed installation with a new Soundtraxx Econami ECO-100 Diesel decoder. Note that there is enough room left using the Econami and my Sweet Sound speaker, so I included a Soundtraxx Current Keeper. I used a take-out board from a DCC ready locomotive to make the installation a little tidier.

    Far superior sound and it includes the braking function so the locomotive operates like a real one; apply throttle to get the locomotive moving, apply the brakes to get it to stop.

    Incidentally, the Econami comes pre-loaded with a choice of 5 different prime movers; EMD 567, EMD 645 turbo, EMD 710, GE FDL16 (modern version) and Alco 244, 16 different horns, and 4 different bells.

    IMG_0421.jpg IMG_0422.jpg

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
  4. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Supporter Supporter

    Keith, I'm a real dummy on all this new stuff.
    what is that purple thing?
    where is the motor and gears?
  5. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Sherrell, the purple thing is the Soundtraxx Current Keeper, a capacitor bank that keeps the locomotive running for up to 10 seconds with a loss of track contact. It connects where the normal small 220uf capacitor would connect to the decoder.

    The motor and gears are below the whole works.

    The silver rectangle at the front on top of the front truck is one of my Sweet Sound "sugar cube" speakers. It has more bass response than nearly any other speaker that would fit in a typical HO locomotive.

    Above the speaker is the headlight LED.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
  6. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Anyone wanting to use Decoder Pro with the new Econami decoders needs to upgrade to Decoder Pro 4. Then download the attached folder and unzip it. Read the Readme file to complete adding the Econami decoder definitions.

    Attached Files:

  7. frisco1522

    frisco1522 Staff Member Staff Member

    The version I downloaded is 4.1.1, which has the Econami decoders on it.
  8. tferk

    tferk Member Supporter

    Having just acquired a Broadway Limited SW7 in O&W, which will be renumbered and detailed to match #300, which served in Kansas City during the late 1970's, I am contemplating installation of an Econami decoder. Can you tell me what size Sweet Sound sugar cube speaker you used, and where you obtained it? I am confused by your references to "my"....speaker, are you selling them?


    Ted Ferkenhoff
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Modeling Frisco's Clinton Sub in the Kansas City East Bottoms
  9. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Supporter

    I can't comment on the sound quality of the Broadway Ltd SW7, but I can offer a few tid-bits on the quality of the shell. I don't have any of the recent b/y SW7's, but instead have the earlier release SW7, SLSF 304, in o/w. I think it is the same body shell as used on the later b/y units.

    It's a nice looking model, and it runs well (no sound). The o/w color is a bit faded looking, but that's OK as it looks fine for a unit that has been wearing its last paint o/w job for some time. I have never bothered to count body doors, louvers, or other small detail features of the "SW" BLI bodies. There were differences between the SW7 and the SW9, and the final phase of NW2. I have seen Broadway market this model as a NW2 late phase, and as a SW7. Certainly, there must have been a few differences in the real things, but they are minor I'm sure.

    The glaring difference I notice is the headlight - a dual sealed beam on the model, but a single large light on the prototype SW7 and late NW2 models. Late in life, some of the Frisco SW7's did receiver a dual sealed beam set of lights during shoppings, but unlikely that happened while in b/y colors. You can change it easily, Details Associates has a fine large single sealed beam light housing (229-1015), but I've never gone to the trouble. My SW7 SLSF 304 still runs around with its SW9 lights!

    I think overall it is a nice model, certainly for most all of us, if not for the rivet counters.

    mark likes this.
  10. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

  11. geep07

    geep07 Member

    Did you connect the sound decoder to the exist circuit board?
  12. geep07

    geep07 Member


    After reading your comments, I see that you used a circuit board from a DCC ready loco. Makes sense to me, it keeps wires down to a minimum and neater too!
  13. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Since that installation, SoundTraxx has come out with the ECO-PNP decoder, which eliminates the need to use a sub-board and you could still install a current keeper. I will see if I can get comparison sound videos uploaded.
  14. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Here is an O/W version of the same BLI model. QSI junk sound decoder removed, SoundTraxx ECO-PNP Diesel decoder, my Sweet Sound speaker, new LEDs installed and Current Keeper added. The red tape is 3M Body Molding Mounting tape. It has very good adhesion and durability characteristics. Use it instead of the foam-type mounting tape, which degrades over time.

    IMG_1059.JPG IMG_1063.JPG IMG_1064.JPG

    Attached Files:

  15. Ayerox

    Ayerox Member Supporter

    Keith did a super job on the install of the ECO-PNP, sugar cube speaker and current keeper in my SW # 303. The unit performs flawlessly and now sounds like an EMD! What a huge difference!
    Ozarktraveler likes this.
  16. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    The Flying Saucer sound is some type air dryer on the engine.
    One fine morning in December, after sweeping snow all day and being assigned to the switcher job on Mill Street. I was woke up by the strange sound, the engineer told me it was the dryer. He said "Oh, by the way" "We're on the ground" Those words woke me, faster than the Flying Saucer. December, 1971.

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