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Add Sound To Your Model Railway Layout With An MP3 Speaker! | Model Railway Hints, Tips, How To Articles and Reviews at Model Trains Online

Mike’s just been in touch again with a video showing us a little more of his fantastic OO scale model railway layout, Mountford Parkway and how he added sound to his layout with a couple of rather cool MP3 extension speaker.

How Mike Did It

A little lateral thinking is all that’s needed sometimes to add realism to your layout. Mike’s method of adding sound is actually quite simple and involves nothing more than a couple of low cost MP3 extension speakers and microSD cards. The particular speakers Mike used are Kaidaer 3W Portable MP3 player speakers, designed for user with an iPod or iPhone. But they also come with a handy MicroSD card socket. So what Mike has done is record onto the microSD card a series of sound loops: one for the fabrication shop and then a series of station announcements for his station. These are set to “repeat” via the built-in repeat function on the speaker so they run on a continuous loop!

The speakers can then be mounted inside the respective buildings or hidden by sections of scenery. A very simple but extremely effective way of adding sound to you layout and a great accompaniment to the DCC sound system he’s using for his Locos. It would work for any scale too! Nice one Mike ๐Ÿ™‚

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2 Responses to Add Sound To Your Model Railway Layout With An MP3 Speaker!

  1. Rob Atkinson says:

    Do you know how to record onto an sd card if so please will you spare the time to tell me how .Many thanks Rob Atkinson

    • Justin says:

      Hi Rob,
      There are several ways to do it to be honest. If you wish to record your own real-life samples and use those, then the quality of microphone recordings possible with things like iPods, iPads and iPhones can be very good indeed these days, so you could use something like that to capture the original sounds. This would also record them in mp3 format making them suitable for transferring to the SD card for playing via the speaker.

      Otherwise, if you’re using a file from the web, make sure it’s in mp3 format. Or use a tool like Audacity to convert the file to an mp3 file.

      Then comes the process of transferring it to an SD card. Some PC’s and laptops have an SD card slot in them. If yours doesn’t you can buy a USD Card Reader Adapter from most Pound/Dollar stores which will enable you to open and view the contents of the SD card just like any drive on your computer. Then you can literally drag and drop the mp3 file(s) from your hard disk to your SD card.

      Mike has very kindly sent us a copy of the sound files he’s using on his layout to share with fellow readers so I’ll do my best to get these posted very soon.

      Hope that helps.

      Justin

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