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  1. Hi everybody! New to the forum here but I have been lurking for the past few months. My wife and I spent three weeks in Japan from mid-May to early June of this year; jumping from Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima, Odawara, and Kanazawa. I have been collecting HO Scale models (mostly modern Amtrak equipment) for years and am slowly building up supplies to construct a layout in our home. So, when we went to Japan, the only thing I needed to purchase as a souvenir was either a modern or iconic Japanese Passenger train in HO Scale. Of course, this forum and some other resources made me realize prior to that trip that N-scale dominates the Japanese market (for completely understandable reasons), so I tempered my expectations before we even got into the country. However, about a week and a half into the trip I felt like I hit the jackpot. I found not just one, but numerous boxes of HO Scale Zoukei Mura 0-Series Shinkansen at a Hobbyland Pochi in Osaka. They had two Basic-Sets, two A-sets, four B-sets, and eight individual motor cars all in their original boxes for sale (see below for a snip of sets available for the Zoukei Mura Shinkansen). After some deliberation with the wife unit about our suitcase situation, I got the green light to purchase a Basic-Set, an A-Set, and a B-set from the Hobbyland Pochi in Osaka. They were all being sold at full retail price despite being used models, however seeing that they were all in extremely good condition (A-A) and the yen is pretty weak to the dollar at the moment I didn't really mind paying retail too much. Fast forward another week, and I found another extremely good condition B-set at a Hobbyland Pochi in Yokohoma for well over half of what I paid for the B-set in Osaka so I snatched up that one as well. So yeah, I really wasn't intending to, but I arrived home back in the United States with a twelve car HO-Scale Zoukei Mura Shinkansen consist that I paid less than $750 for. I still feel extremely lucky and happy that I was able to find and come home with such a beautiful set. Here is where I am looking for some help from this forum... All of the HO American locomotives I purchased prior to this Shinkansen are DCC and Sound equipped from the factory. The future layout I plan to construct will definitely be DCC. In fact, I am likely going to pick up a Digitrax EVOX set this weekend during all the fourth of July sales. So, all that to say, I would very much so love to put a DCC Sound Decoder and Sound System into this Zoukei Mura Shinkansen that followed me home from Japan. However, I have no experience in buying, installing, and configuring DCC Sound Systems into existing locomotives since all my previous models have had DCC Systems installed at the factory. I haven't taken the car body off of one of my Shinkansen models yet, but in my research I saw that Zoukei Mura put provisioning in the motor cars to allow a DCC Decoder to be installed; specifically a LokSound v4.0 Decoder that Zoukei Mura offered for sale at one point complete with Zoukei Mura sound recordings of the 0-Series Shinkansen. The only place I have found any information about that older LokSound v4.0 Decoder was on a Japanese Volks Hobby Heaven online store URL. There are two problems with that Volks page though, the first being that Volks Japan doesn't ship outside of Japan and the other issue is that the Decoder is likely never going to come back into stock again since Loksound has moved to the LokSound v5.0. So, I ended up doing some more research and found that a Hobby Shop/Specialist in Great Britain (Roads and Rails) took it upon themselves to create a sound file for the 0-Series Shinkansen and offer it for sale on a LokSound v5.0 decoder. The Roads and Rails team even created a YouTube video to showcase the model's sounds, and to my uneducated ears it sounds pretty cool. Finally, here is what I am look for help on: Is the LokSound v5.0 Decoder a drop-in replacement for the Loksound v4.0 decoder? (Trying to see if the Road and Rails LokSound v.50 will just be a plug-and-play option or if there is going to be some custom fitting involved with that install) I would love to consist the entire train on a DCC Layoud and have three motors cars: Should I just get three LokSound v5.0 decoders (one for each motor car)? I don't think I really need three sound decoders (two at most), but I'm not well versed enough in DCC Systems to know if I need three of the same, relatively expense decoders in order to make consisting the train easy. Also note that I have never done any speed programming myself and do not currently have the tools and resources to do so. Do you think the Zoukei Mura Shinkansen's motors will be able to handle DCC Pulse Width Modulation okay? Most Japanese Model companies optimize sales (and motors, I imagine) to standard DC because that is what their markets demand. Though, I would like to think Zoukei Mura selected the motors for the 0-Series Shinkansen to be compatible with DCC since they added provisioning DCC Decoder in their motor cars and offered a Sound Decoder for sale at some point. To those of you much more well versed in the 0-Series Shinkansen: How close to the prototype is the Roads and Rails sound files (demo'ed on that above YouTube link)? I'm not a rivet counter but I am curious how prototypical the sounds are. Apologies for the wall of text. However, I don't really have any people close to me that share my love of model trains, so I kind of needed to express to some of those more familiar with the subject material my story of how I got the models and just how elated and fortunate I was to find them! I also obviously am looking for some assistance. Thanks for your patience and your time!
  2. hey all. I'm not so familiar with this site as I am not on here so often, but I have been working on something for the past 6 months I would like to share. I got lucky one day in fall of 2016, and found the original 12 car 0 Series Shinkansen set on eBay. I bought it, and immediately found that the original motors drew too much amperage. 6 cars out of the 12 were powered. after brainstorming for a couple weeks, instead of solving this with a different power pack/transformer, I wanted to go the hard route and came up with the idea of traction motors - if it works on the real thing, why not in HO scale? There are phone vibrator motors that I could use that would fit between the axles perfectly the result of my endeavors is shown in this youtube video: (test car in vid is type 21, I don't have the other cars ready yet) I have a long way to go to get the full train running, but longer I wait to see it on the rails, the more focused I am to get it done. the train set, when finished, will have working head/tail lights, bluetooth control, and various other devices built in to keep the train running. This is all powered with an Arduino Micro.
  3. For forum members in Japan, next Saturday Sept. 17, 10-10:30 pm on TV Tokyo program [bi no Kyojintachi], the topic will be Shima Hideo's D51 and 0 series Shinkansen designs. As this is an art program, focus will be on the mechanical beauty of these rolling stock designs. http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/kyojin/
  4. This Thursday the lead car of the first revenue service 0 Series trainset (1964) was moved out by road haulage from the now closed Osaka Transportation Museum. It will be cosmetically restored and then eventually put on display at the now under construction Kyoto Railway Museum, scheduled for opening in spring 2016. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWZRaww63YY
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