ZSBA BALDWIN PREMIUM SOUND FOR ZIMO
ZSBA Activedrive-Pro Baldwin narrow gauge steam loco sound project
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-Pro
This is a system developed to allow you, the user, to 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.
Operating Your ZIMO Sound Decoder.
As supplied, your new decoder will work in a ‘heavy train’ configuration, but you will be able to switch between the available sounds using your DCC controller by following the straightforward instructions below.
This project utilises Zimo’s ability to switch between the sounds of a heavy train load or sounds of a light engine.
These are all fully configured within the project, waiting for you to make your choice.
You can revert at any time.
All the CVs have been optimised but you may need to make minor adjustments to perfect it for your individual tastes.
There are many Functions, most of which have an individual sound attached. Some will perform a physical function (like turning on the lamps, if fitted), and some will do both (depending on equipment installed). Please study the list below.
Some of the sounds have a finite length and will play from start to finish when selected. Other sounds will ‘loop’ until switched off, whilst others will vary in length, depending on how you operate the F keys on your DCC controller. I’ll leave you with the pleasure of finding out which is which.
In any of the driving sound sets, increasing the speed step by 1 or more will produce an acceleration sound for a few seconds. If you wish continuous acceleration, ease the throttle setting upwards rather than 0- 128 in one jump!
Similarly, in each sound set, a reduction of 1 speed step or more will stop the exhaust beats and the loco will ‘coast’ (or drift) for a few seconds before resuming exhaust beats. Continuous drifting can be simulated by easing the throttle settings down, one step at a time.
All sounds may be modified (including changing or removing them) individually, and the volume levels of each one may also be varied to your own needs. For this, and much more information on your decoder’s outstanding abilities, please download the latest Decoder Manual from,
The Sound Sets
There are two sound sets loaded on your decoder.
Set 1 Heavy Loaded. This is the one to use if you have a heavy train on the hook.
Set 2 Light Engine. At very slow speeds, this set will simulate a very lightly stressed loco. This becomes more aggressive with acceleration, and as speed increases. Inertia and momentum settings reduced.
Special Zimo Function on F5.
As supplied, it is possible to toggle between Set 1 and Set 2 (change from one to the other and back again) and this may be done even whilst the loco is moving, with no loss of sound. This is useful to vary the sound of the exhaust beats. But it really comes into its own when you run light loco up to a train, couple up and chug away with the heavy sounds.
All you need to do to make this happen is to press F5 on your DCC controller, and press again to change back.
Heavy Mode default setting
This is the default setting. Inertia and momentum have high settings to reflect the high mass of a loaded train. Maximum power would be required on a real loco to lift a heavy train. This means that as well as opening the regulator, the driver would allow maximum steam into the cylinders with the reverser fully open.
During acceleration, the exhaust beats will bark aggressively, but the tone and volume will soften after a few seconds as the real driver would advance the steam cut-off to reduce steam entering the cylinders, increasing the efficiency of the engine.
Light Engine Mode
Engaging F key 5 will switch the exhaust sounds to a different set of samples, so the ‘chuffing’ is less aggressive in nature and quieter. This represents the reduced ‘cut-off’ on the reverser on real locos.The Inertia and Momentum settings are automatically reduced when Light Engine Mode is selected. The physical characteristics are changed so the model responds more urgently to control inputs. Acceleration is more brisk and stopping distance is reduced.
In either Heavy or Light modes, flipping the throttle quickly to high speed steps will cause the model to accelerate 3 times more quickly from standing than if the throttle is gradually opened. This is automatic, no F keys are involved.
So now, the rate of acceleration is determined by how wide you open the regulator, just as it would on a real locomotive.
F2 will give the sound of brake applications. F2 can be ‘dabbed’ or held for varying durations. The sound will respond accordingly. This also actually slows the loco if you reduce the throttle settings and use the brake.
Shunt Mode Inertia and momentum are reduced to zero. Selected by F17.
Heavy load wagons clatter
This is the sound of wagons or carriages couplings taking up slack and snatching when you accelerate or slow down. The response is variable upon how roughly you drive. Does not play in light engine mode of course. Switched on with F13.
Variable flange / wheel noise
Selected by F9 this will select flange and wheel noise but it is speed related and changes as you drive. It doesn’t play when stationary or at higher speeds. Low to mid range is where you’ll hear this feature.
Reactive steam blow off / cylinders blow out
On F15 this is the sound of the driver clearing the cylinders before and during setting off, this plays constantly when stationary but pulses with the chuffs as the loco moves off.
Live Volume Control
Provide 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.
Rod Clank Volume
This version has heavy rod clanking included. You can change the volume of these sounds to suit your requirements.
CV286 Higher values will increase volume, lower values will reduce volume relative to the other sounds.
F10 locks the loco speed but allows the throttle to alter the intensity off the chuff from maximum attack down to coasting to simulate a driver keeping his train moving over different track conditions.
Function Keys List
There are 26 Function Keys used in this sound project. Please see below. Some of the sounds have a finite length and will play from start to finish when selected. Other sounds will ‘loop’ until switched off, whilst others will vary in length, depending on how you operate the F keys on your DCC controller. Some keys have a control function rather than a sound.
Function keys list
F0 Lghts F&R
F1 Sound on, heavy mode
F2 Brake key, see text
F5 Light engine mode, see text
F6 Coal shovelling
F9 Speed dependant flange and wheel noise, see text
F10 Speed lock, see text
F12 Water filling
F13 Wagons clattering, see text
F15 Cylinder blow out, see text
F17 Shunting mode CV 3 & 4 values = 0
F18 Guard's whistle
F19 Fade sounds
F20 Coupling sound
F21 Air pump start and fast
F22 Air pump slow
F23 Safety valve
F27 Volume down
F28 Volume up