Yours Truly needs to vent. About decoder installation by some out there. Folks, a decoder is not a light bulb. Really. A decoder is an electronic device. To put it on the lowest level. So, if you install one you need to know how it works and what its general "characteristics" are, so you don't "screw" things up. So here's a little reminder of the general types of decoders out there and their basic installation requirements:
Phoenix sound decoder: it is solely a sound decoder producing an excellent sound. But it requires an additional driving decoder to operate a loco digitally. Here's the catch: the Phoenix sound decoder covers the same CV range as most driving decoders do. So, while programming e.g. the driving decoder you would be programming the sound decoder at the very same time, too. Unless: (like a knowledgeable installer will do) one provides 2 switches to separate the decoders - for future programming. Otherwise, you guessed it, you program the driving decoder while you actually only want to program the sound decoder. Or vice versa. Fortunately, Phoenix is going to move their CV range to be separated from the driving decoder CV values.
Uhlenbrock Intellisound: like the Phoenix is a pure sound decoder that requires a driving decoder. The CV's for the Intellisound decoder are set separately from any driving decoder following NMRA standard. The Intellisound decoder is plugged into the driving decoder via SUSI bus connection. Uhlenbrock has a great sound library and provides really good sound.(see our price list for further detail)
ESU Loksound decoder:sound and driving decoder on one board and their functions are separated by the set-up of the decoder, namely the sound decoder CV's are separated from the CV's of the driving decoder. The sound library is growing plus you can load your own sound into the decoder. The sound decoder characteristics are VERY good.
Lenz : makes driving decoders, only. Has excellent slow speed operation , by the way.
Your Famous Klaus supplies all of the above decoders and installs them for you - naturally according to the old German LGB standards. He says, Uhlenbrock and Lenz driving decoders are very fine decoders which make for easy installation due to their SUSI bus. Klaus is currently testing new/updated (sound)decoders that were announced at the Toy Fair. We will have the results on our web page in April/May. You already do find our product/price list on our website at www.traincraftbyklaus.com
Massoth XLS + LS sound decoder: sound and driving decoder on one board and their functions are separated by the set-up of the decoder, namely the sound decoder CV's are separated from the CV's of the driving decoder. S decoder is plugged into the driving decoder via SUSI bus connection. The driving decoder(s) lack performance in slow speed operation. The sound library focuses on European sounds. The sound performance is good.
On another subject.
We have been asked in the past to open an opportunity/place where LGB locos would be sold with Klaus' stamp of approval (for condition) and value estimate on it. Friends and fans, we are not there yet and are still thinking about it. A few days ago we received a call from a longtime LGB fan whose life changed within the last year to where he has to sell his LGB collection. As you can imagine he is going through some hard times right now. He didn't ask for any help but Klaus and Yours Truly felt he deserved it anyway. He has a Mikado LGB # 23872 that comes in the original LGB box with Original old LGB sound. It was altered to allow operation on track and on battery drive. Please see if any of you who operate on track and battery power as well would like to place an order with the gentleman. You should email Klaus and we will, without any further ado, forward your email to that gentleman. Thank you for your kind support!