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throttled the locomotive, and it began to move — silently. Overcoming my initial thoughts that I must have done some- thing wrong or had a defective unit, I pressed F8 and heard the prime mover start up and roar to life. LokSound ex- plains this seemingly curious interface philosophy with points of operational logic. First, leaving the sound off by default at power-on reduces the input current required to start the locomotive and the demand on the control station itself. Second, a prototype’s horn and bell can still be used when the prime mover is off and indeed, by default, you can run both even when the locomotive isn’t moving! To those points, I would add that on a multi-locomotive section of layout, yard, or staging area, all loco- motives need not be audible at all times, but having them powered on standby is handy. For those who prefer instant-on sound at power up like me, the tradi- tional behavior of default prime mover sounds at power-up can be configured by changing CVs 32 and 403. Another default feature is Start-up Delay, whereby the locomotive only be-


gins to move when the prime mover out- put has reached the Notch 1 threshold. This is another prototypically accurate setting that is not widely implemented — many models begin to move as soon as power is supplied, and the sounds catch-up out of sync. If the sound is still muted as noted above, there is still a slight delay — of course, you’d experi- ence this in a real locomotive as well. If you’re accustomed to (or prefer) the “traditional” method, you can restore it with CV124. Motor performance was smooth and responsive throughout all speed steps, and the locomotive was a joy to operate.


Those two quirks accounted for, the decoder behaves much like any other to which you’re accustomed. The de- coder is dual-mode, so it’s analog / DC capable, but like all decoders is best enjoyed with a digital command con- trol (DCC) system since doing so al- lows you to provide more control over other features. A generous palette of 16 horns, two bells, and two brake squeals can be saved into a default profile and locked in with CV48. Vol-


umes for all Function sounds are in- dependently configurable. Six lighting outputs are available and can be con- figured with a range of effects as well. RMC’s L&N prototype did not avail ex- otic or unusual lighting, and the base 430 model does not feature illuminated class lights and predates ditch lights, but Rule 17 (dimmable) effects were appropriately configured by default out of the box. Lighting selections, motor controls, and the full additional range of advanced features are detailed in the complete LokSound Select User Manu- al, available at loksound.com. At press time, a new round of paint schemes is still available, including 2244’s refugee siblings. If you missed out on last year’s run or claimed a standard analog unit, now’s the time to show the Century 430 some love and indulge yourself with a fine-looking (and sounding) locomo- tive. — TONY LUCIO


Bowser Manufacturing Co, Inc. 1302 Jordan Ave. P.O. Box 322


Montoursville, PA 17754 www.bowser-trains.com


SEPTEMBER 2015 91


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