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Nothing beats standing trackside while a train is flying past. There's the gust of wind, the sight of cars flying by that your eyes can barely keep up with, and the SOUND. The unmistakable sound of wheels on rails, couplers groaning, engines roaring, and the wind whipping by.
Replicating that feeling is difficult in model railroading, but TCS is proud to introduce our best attempt: the all-new Whoosh feature. We spent hours recording these glorious run-bys, and are now including them on our WOWSound decoders in 16-bit CD quality.
TCS is leading the pack with this addition to the sound decoder landscape, first to engineer and debut this functionality on our WOWSound decoder. The first decoder to hit the market with Whoosh was the Bachmann ACS-64. On this model, a press of button 4 produces one of several Whoosh sounds that emulate the passing of a speeding passenger train from a trackside vantage point. Be it level crossings, mountain passes, or wherever else your trains sound their loudest, you can Whoosh right on through.
There are several ways to enjoy Whoosh depending on your running preferences.
Manual. Use Button 4 to operate one randomly-timed Whoosh sequence at any time.
Random. Map Whoosh into a "random sound" slot (R1-R4) with Audio Assist® to hear your model whooshing through different parts of your layout, all without any additional effort from the user.
Tip: Reducing the volume of the traction motor can make the Whoosh sound more prevalent when it's activated. Some users have found this to be useful.
Watch the video below to see Whoosh in action:
If you feel like spreading the word and making your own video demonstrating the TCS WHOOSH, you might just get a message from TCS with a fun prize or discount code.
A quick note on semantics: It turns out that there's not only one way to spell "Whoosh." In product literature, we spell it "whoosh" with two "o"s. In the graphic on this page, it has three! We don't let rules and semantics get in the way when we're spelling sounds. Here are some other common spellings of "whoosh" along with some alternative definitions:
In order to accommodate the vast array of lighting and sound options available with DCC, WOWSound decoders come with two distinct operational modes. These two modes are Sound mode and Light mode. DCC allows for the use of 28 buttons on a throttle. Other decoder manufacturers make use of these buttons for both sound and light functions. On a WOWSound decoder, TCS gives you access to all 28 buttons exclusively for sound functions in “sound mode.” In order to control your lights, WOWSound decoders also have a “Light mode,” allowing for up to 12 additional programmable light functions.
When first powering up a WOWSound decoder, it will default to Sound Mode. In sound mode, you can use buttons 0-27 to control sound functions. In Light Mode, buttons 0-12 control additional lighting functions such as ditch lights, beacons, firebox flickers, cab lights, and more. You should refer to your decoder literature for the number of available light functions on your decoder.
To toggle between Sound mode and Light mode, all you have to do is press button 8 twice in a row. Audio Assist will announce the active mode. In order to change back, just press button 8 twice again. Be careful not to press too fast, or the decoder may register 4 presses and enter the Audio Assist program.
By default, the only light function available in sound mode is F0 for headlight control. In order to access light functions beyond F0, you must enter Light Mode. Light mode buttons will correspond directly to their numbered function output unless otherwise programmed. For example, button 1 in light mode controls lighting function 1. Buttons 0-12 may be dual-enabled on a WOWSound decoder, allowing you to activate both a sound and a light function at the same time. For example, you could tie your shoveling sounds and firebox flicker to the same button. This would simulate the opening of the firebox.
The functions in both modes can be changed or remapped. The easiest way to do this is by using Audio Assist. However, you can also remap functions with CV programming. You should refer to your decoder literature for the default mappings.
We've got some exciting news rolling down the line: TCS is once again pairing up with Bachmann to produce a Pennsylvania RR class K4 steam locomotive with TCS WOWSound built right in!
A beauty to behold, this streamlined 4-6-2 Pacific features all-metal chassis, blackened metal wheels and side rods, die-cast metal trailing truck, separately applied detail parts, and Bachmann E-Z Mate mark II couplers. There are even painted engineer and fireman figures in the cab along for the ride. The locomotive will be available in four different road numbers.
You may have heard "It's what's on the inside that counts" and that's where we come in! Inside this iconic steamer, you'll find a WOWSound DCC sound decoder with Audio Assist® and a Keep-Alive® capacitor built right in. This gives you industry-leading sound right out of the box, no separate installation needed. This model comes packed with our entire library of authentic steam sounds including the whistles and bells from real K4 steam locomotives.
The included Keep-Alive® technology gives the locomotive the ability to run flawlessly over dirty and difficult track. Again, there is no need to fuss with a separate installation. Everything you need to be up and running your railroad in prototypical fashion is included in this model.
The PRR Streamlined K4 from Bachmann will be available November 2018. Check with your local hobby shop for preorder information!
Unlike other sound decoders that only contain sounds for the specific locomotive they are meant for, TCS decoders come packed with an entire library of sounds! Our WOWSound decoders fit in many different locomotives and have authentic sounds recorded from the real thing in 16-bit CD-quality sound.
Many customers will purchase a decoder from us, set it, and use it like that for the remainder of it's service to their railway. Others are always tweaking sounds, making their locomotives as close to prototypical as possible.
Are you curious about how to change the sounds on your WOWSound-equipped locomotive? It's easier than ever to change all the horns, whistles, bells, prime movers, and other sounds in your locomotives using Audio Assist™ from TCS. Navigating the Audio Assist™ menu is fast and easy - there's no complicated CV programming and no hassle involved.
The AS6 is a six-function, drop-in mobile decoder for the HO-Scale, Atlas Alco Switchers (S1, S2, S3, S4). This decoder will replace the lighting board currently in the locomotive and allow you to quickly begin running your Atlas Alco Switcher on DCC.
The AS6 was initially discontinued due to some "irreconcilable differences" (to put it politely) between our designers and the rear LED on the board. It dangled off the back dangerously, threatening to snap off at any point during shipping or installation. TCS and the AS6 decided it might be for the best to go our separate ways.
But the people spoke, and they spoke loudly. "We want the AS6 decoder back for our fleets of ALCO S-units!"
...What choice did we have?
A mediated discussion between our designers and the AS6 was held. Though tensions were high, a clever re-design of the LED mounting was agreed to - providing the AS6 with maximum strength LED adhesion.
Now the AS6 is back and looking better than ever before. They're available now, so stop by your local hobby shop and pick up enough to power your entire armada of Alcos!