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This is a premium soundfile for your chosen Zimo sound decoder purchase. Cannot be bought on its own. Does not include decoder. Also available as a reblow or coded download please call.



Class 31 ActiveDrive SL V17.07

Please spend a few moments to read these notes which have been produced so that you may obtain the maximum satisfaction from your new sound scheme.

The sounds should work perfectly when the decoder is fitted correctly. Individual locos may require some fine tuning that you can achieve with your DCC controller.

What is ActiveDrive SL?

This is a system developed to allow more prototypical sounds to be deployed across a wide range of operating conditions.

The sounds have been programmed in such a way that you, the user, may change the way that the sounds respond to your driving style or needs. This avoids the need for reprogramming and all the additional costs that would imply.

Engine Start Up.


The fuel lines are pressurised with a priming pump prior to starting. F14 has the sound of this pump which can be played before switching on the main engine sounds.


I have separated this from the start up sounds so that you can choose to use it or not.


F 1 will crank and start the engine which will then settle down into Idle


Throttle Response Scheme.

As supplied, the decoder will produce the sounds of a Class 31 with a train on the hook.

After the start-up routine the loco will stand with the diesel engine, the Prime Mover (PM), ticking over at idle.

The sounds will respond to the throttle control in the following way:

Select speed step 1. The brakes will release, the PM will increase power to get the loco moving, and will continue until at higher speed, a further ramp up will be initiated until the final high speed running sounds begin. The precise speed steps will depend upon your model, so I suggest you make a note of the actual figures for your later use.

The sounds will spool down at similar points on deceleration.

The model can be driven in this way without ever needing to use any control other than the throttle .

For those of you who prefer something more immersive, in this custom version there are extra control features to further enhance your driving pleasure.



No matter what actual speed your model is travelling at, or which engine note range is playing, reducing the throttle by 10 speed steps (of 128) will spool down the engine sounds to ‘Coasting’

The coasting sound will continue until you accelerate; at which point the sounds will change to those relevant to the current speed.

Alternatively, to force the engine to play idling sounds, or to avoid engine ramp up when pottering about the yard, use F6 at any time

Notch Down

During any driving sound ‘loop’, at any speed, it is possible to cause the engine power to spool down to the level immediately below. This is easily achieved by reducing the speed by one step only E.g., if the loco is playing power band 3 sounds, reducing speed with your throttle by one step will cause the sound to immediately spool down to the sound of power band 2, if in power band 1, it will spool down to idle.

Acceleration of one speed step or more will immediately ramp the sound back up to the higher power. So you can now, at any road speed, vary the engine note by reducing or adding a single speed step.

Heavy Train/Light Engine Mode Selection

The default setting is for ‘heavy train’. Inertia is high so acceleration (and deceleration) is restricted.

Activated by F5, Light Engine enables multi-function changes with one key. The switched features include reduced inertia setting to allow more rapid acceleration and engine sounds which accelerate differently.

F5 can be operated at any speed to give another way in which the engine sounds at a given road speed may be modified instantly.

Note. This works best if you switch F5 on or off whilst the engine sounds are playing in idle. Once switched, you can leave it that way, but any further change should also be made with the engine sound again playing the idle loop. Just to be clear, the actual speed is unimportant, but the engine sound must be idling. You can achieve this in several ways as discussed above.

Dynamic Inertia

A combination of new features is included in the automatic operation of the throttle which will affect how the model responds to your control inputs.

The operation is identical in either ‘heavy’ or ‘light’ mode.

Put in simple terms, the wider you open the power controller, the quicker the engine sounds ramp up and for the first time on any decoder, the acceleration rate increases correspondingly.

What does this mean in practice?

If you use your controller’s throttle gently, with modest speed step increases, then the engine will rise and fall automatically and the model will accelerate according to the momentum setting. This is by default high for ‘heavy’ and low for ‘light’.

If however, you open the throttle rapidly, the engine will ramp up to full power and acceleration will be approximately 3 times quicker. This change in acceleration rate is variable and dependent upon throttle operation.

Working Brakes

This exciting feature finally enables you to stop your locomotive by using a prototypically progressive braking force which will actually cause your model’s speed to be retarded under you direct control, whatever momentum you have set in CV4.

F2 will give the sound of air brake applications. They can be ‘dabbed’ or held for varying length. The sound will respond accordingly.

However, if the throttle is reduced beforehand, as a real driver would do before braking, a braking force will be applied which will continue to increase the longer F2 is held. Short dabs will provide speed trimming, held down continuously will result in a controlled ‘Emergency Stop’.

PowerCab users please note that the Horn/Whistle button operates the same sound/function as the F2 Key, but set as ‘momentary’. This facilities the precise operation of the brakes and should be used instead of F2.

Other systems may have F2 set to operate as ‘momentary’ by default, or can be set to do so.

Speed Lock

This feature allows the road speed to be locked whilst the throttle control is used to control the engine power sounds playing.


Accurately simulating the sound of a heavy train slowly climbing a gradient with engine at full power is as easy as depicting it coasting down a gradient with the engine at Idle with this single new feature.


Here’s how it works.


Engage the SpeedLock Key, (F7) to fix the model’s road speed temporarily. The throttle now directly controls the engine sounds only. Increase speed steps to apply more power, decrease speed steps to spool the engine down to lower power bands or to Idle.


Disengage the SpeedLock Key when you wish to return control of the model’s speed to the throttle.



Engine Speed-up

This differs from Speed Lock in that it can be used whilst the throttle is still in use to control road speed.

F8 is a complementary key to F6. Whilst the latter forces the engine sounds to Idle, F8 will speed up the engine to maximum.

Remember to switch this key off before stopping!

Live Volume Control

Provided the sound is switched on and the ‘fade’ button is not active, it is possible to change the overall  volume to suit changing needs.

Engage F27 and the sound levels will gradually reduce, eventually to silence

Engage F28 and the sound levels will gradually increase, eventually to maximum.

In each case, disengage the F key when the desired level is attained. Set F27 and F28 as ‘momentary’ if your DCC controller allows you to do so.

Note: If the volume controls appear to not function, check that F19, F27 and F28 are disengaged before making a further attempt.

It’s now down to your skill and knowledge to simulate any eventuality!




Your decoder is configured for white lights on F key 0, tail lights on F key 10 (only if physically separated from the whites), and cab light(s) on F key 20


If your model includes or if you intend to add lighting then in order for the decoder to operate individual or pairs of lights, they must have physically separate connection to the decoder as follows.


No 1 End         white lights to Function Output 0f (white wire in the case of wired decoders)
                        tail light to Function Output 1 (green wire in the case of wired decoders)

                        cab lights to Function Output 3


No 2 End         white lights to Function Output 0r (yellow wire in the case of wired decoders)
                        tail light to Function Output 2 (brown wire in the case of wired decoders)

                        cab lights to Function Output 4


All lighting features soft ‘on’ and ‘off’ by default. This is to simulate the way that tungsten lamps warm up and cool down. Additionally, lamps have been dimmed to be closer to realistic illumination levels. (To make them brighter if you wish, increase the value in CV60).


If head and tail lights are on F0 and cablights are all on FO1 set CVs below to the values listed

127=0,  128=0,  436=10,   438=1,  440=1.                                  

Function List


F Key



Setting CV





Sound On/Off



Brake Key (see text)



Low Horn (Hold to extend play)



Two Tone Horn



Light Engine



Engine Idle



Speed Lock



Engine speed-up



Flange Squeal



Function Outputs 1 and 2 (Tail Lights)


11 ON

Buffering up


11 Off




Spirax Valves



Low Horn (Hold to extend play)






Wagons Clanking






Despatch Whistle



Door Slam



Fade All Sounds



Function Outputs 3 and 4 (Cab Lights)



Shunt Mode



Fan output O gauge



Volume down



Volume up



Paul Chetter Lincoln July 2017

Delivery & Returns

Delivery & Returns

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