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N8502 Little Bigger Sounds pre-recorded sound effect module with 52mm Speaker

                                                              

Sound board overview:

  • The N8502 is a digital, 16-bit pre-recorded sound effect module using a  high-speed audio processor & 32M-bit serial flash memory..

  • On-board voltage regulation to allow DC input power from 7 to 20 volts.

  • On-board input voltage reverse polarity protection.

  • Sound module is 1.38” x 0.60”.

Amplifier board overview:

  • The N8415 is a Class D (switching) audio amplifier, designed to provide a gain of up to 24dB with less than 10% total harmonic distortion & noise (THD+N).

  • Output power: 2.5Watts with 4-ohm speaker, 1.5Watts with 8-ohm speaker.

  • Filterless architecture allow this amplifier to drive speakers directly without the need for low-pass output filters.

  • Amplifier efficiency is much better that equivalent Class AB amplifiers.

  • On-board voltage regulation allows DC input power from 7 to 20 volts.

  • On-board volume control

  • On-board ferrite EMI filtering

  • Two audio inputs: DAC input for connection to Ngineering’s Little Sound  modules, and a AUD input  for standard low-level audio output from devices such as small portable radios and recorders.

  • Small 1.50” x 0.60” size allows placement in even the tightest spots. 

Important notes: 

A low-wattage iron with a pointed tip should be used for all connection of wires. Too much heat or solder can damage the wires or module and void the warranty. 

We strongly recommend that all wires and the appropriate solder pads on the module be pre-tinned prior to attaching wires to the module.

Connecting the Sound board & Amplifier:

The modules tiny sizes and thin construction will allow them to be placed so they are easily hidden from view. Both modules only have circuitry on the board top side. The bottom of the boards can be used for mounting with the small square double-sided sticky foam pads that are included in the product package.  

Also included are nine 6” lengths of #32 insulated wire (3 red, 1 blue, 1 violet & 4 black). These can be used for power, control, sound to amplifier and speaker extension wires. Two of the red wires can be soldered to the DC+ Input pads on both boards & two of the blacks to the DC–  pads. The blue wire can be connected to the Start control (details below) and one of the black wires to a Gnd (DC–) pad. The violet wire can connect the DAC sound board output to the DAC amplifier input.

The remaining red and black wires can be used to extend the speaker wires . Also included are two pieces of 3/64” (green) shrink tubing to insulate the solder joints should speaker wires be extended.

In certain applications, placing the speaker farther away from the N8301 may be necessary. This is OK providing the wire extensions are #30 wire or larger and the extended length is 24” or less. Twisting the longer wires is recommended to help with spurious noise cancellation (clearer sound).

Track powering:

If Little Sounds will be used in model railroading rolling stock (DCC), we recommend  controlling voltage input by using our N8131 DCC Trak-Pak  (sold separately).

Note: For products shipped July 15, 2016 or later, see section marked REV A below

Note: The following information applies to products shipped PRIOR to July 15, 2016

Sound Effect tag:

Included in the product package is a  small card-stock tag indicating the name of the sound effect programmed on the module, and  the type of start control for the effect.

Start control:

The standard Little Sound module is pre-recorded with a single sound effect that can have a run time, in some cases as long as 5 minutes. Playback of the effect is initiated by connecting the Start control (pad #3) to Gnd (DC–). The blue wire and  black wire connected to a GND (pad #11) can be used for this purpose.

One of four different types of start control are programmed  to every N8300, depending on the type of sound effect being played. 

    Momentary latch (interruptible):

This type of start control initiates playback when pad #3 is momentarily shorted (connected) to Gnd (pad 11). Playback will run through the entire length of the sound effect, then stop. If pad #3 is shorted during playback, playback will stop & start over. 

    Momentary latch (continuous):

This type of start control initiates playback when pad #3 is momentarily shorted (connected) to Gnd (pad 11). Playback will run through the entire length of the sound effect, then stop. If pad #3 is shorted during playback, playback will continue to the end of file without stopping. This is useful for effects triggered by proximity detection. 

    On/Off:

This type of start control initiates play whenever pad #3 is connected to pad  #11, but immediately stops playback when the connection is broken. This is a useful control method for effects that are synchronized to other features, such as trains entering or leaving a grade crossing and the associated crossing bell sound.

    Loop:

This type of start control will initiate playback, then continuously loop from the end of the effect to the beginning again, as long as pad #3 remains connected to Gnd (pad #11). This can be useful for unattended displays that require a continuous sound effect.

 Optional controls (pads 4, 5 & 6):  

Little Sound modules can be custom programmed (for a very nominal fee) at a customer’s request. In some cases, it may be desirable to  have more than a single sound effect programmed on a module. The N8300 has additional control pads (4, 5 & 6) that can be used  to initiate the start of up to three additional sound effects. In this mode, selecting (shorting to Gnd) either pad 3, 4, 5, or 6 will start the effect associated with that choice. The only limitation is that the total playback time of all effects cannot exceed 5 minutes.  Ngineering can also program customer supplied sound effect files into our Little Sound modules (again, for a nominal fee). 

Start control can be performed using many different types of switches: Push-buttons, toggle switches, DCC decoder functions,  and magnetic reed switches, to name a few.

The above information is included in the instruction sheet with each product

REV. A (applies to products shipped as of July 15, 2016)

Sound Effect tag:

Included in the product package is a small tag (the small sheet with the barcode) indicating the name of the sound effect programmed on the module, the type of start control(s) available for the effect, and  control pad connections & effect playback details.

 Start control:

The standard Little Sound module is pre-recorded with a single sound effect that can have a run time, in some cases, as long as 5 minutes. Playback of the effect is initiated by connecting ONE of the control pads (pad #3 thru #6) to Gnd (DC–). A blue and/or black wire (included) can be connected to GND (pad #11) for this purpose.

  Playback once:

This type of start control initiates playback when the appropriate Start Control Pad is momentarily shorted (connected) to Gnd (pad 11). Playback will run through the entire length of the sound effect, then stop. A push-button type switch of reed switch energized by a magnet is best suited for this type of control.

Continuously loop playback:

This type of start control will initiate playback, then continuously loop from the end of the effect to the beginning again, as long as the appropriate Start Control Pad remains connected to Gnd (pad #11). This can be useful for unattended displays that require a continuous sound effect. A toggle type switch (on-off) is best for this control.

On/Off (start & stop playback):

This type of start control initiates play whenever the appropriate Start Control Pad is connected to pad  #11, but immediately stops playback when the connection is broken. This is a useful control method for effects that are synchronized to other features, such as trains entering or leaving a grade crossing and the associated crossing bell sound. Motion sensors and block control devices can initiate this control.

Multiple sound effects:

Little Sound modules can be custom programmed (for a very nominal fee) at a customer’s request. In some cases, it may be desirable to  have more than a single sound effect programmed on a module. The N8301 has a total of 4 Start Control Pads (3 thru 6) that can be used  to initiate the start of up to four total sound effects. In this mode, selecting (shorting to Gnd) either pad 3, 4, 5, or 6 will start the effect associated with that choice. The only limitation is that the total playback time of all effects cannot exceed 5 minutes.  Ngineering can also program customer supplied sound effect files into our Little Sound modules (again, for a nominal fee). See our website for details.

Start control can be performed using many different types of switches: Push-buttons, toggle switches, DCC decoder functions,  and magnetic reed switches, to name a few.

The above information is included in the instruction sheet with each product

Reset control:

Pad #7 can be shorted to Gnd to halt sound playback and reset all controls.

Volume control:

The volume is controlled by a small precision potentiometer located on the Amplifier board (see board image above). Clock-wise rotation increases the volume. Use a small blade screwdriver to turn the control. This control has approx. 200 degrees of rotation with stops at each end. Do not force rotation past the stops or damage will occur.

Getting the most out of the speaker:

Without going into too much (boring) detail,  a bit of technical info should be helpful.

Speakers create sound by rapidly moving their speaker cone which moves / vibrates the air in front of them (or behind), creating the sound that we hear. Inside the speaker is a small coil of wire attached to the base of the cone and positioned inside a magnet. Electricity produced by the sound module running through the coil causes this coil to vibrate which vibrates the speaker cone. Viola - sound!  However… there’s a catch…

Speakers have a front side… and a back. When the speaker cone is rapidly moving  in and out to produce sound out of the front, it is also doing the same thing out the back side. Unfortunately, when one side is pushing air the other side is “pulling” air. This effect on the air surrounding the speaker has a self-cancelling effect known as being “out-of-phase”. Simply put: “Nature abhors a vacuum”. The air pulling effect tries to “reach around” the speaker and grab the air being pushed on the front side. The result is greatly reduced sound output from the speaker.

The solution: A speaker enclosure!

A small speaker “box” that “captures” the sound coming out of either the front or back of the speaker will eliminate this problem and the amount of sound volume and tonal quality of the sound will be dramatically improved. The “box” should be the size (length and width, or diameter) of the speaker, at minimum with an opening that the speaker can fit in or the speaker cone can fit over. It can be made of any fairly rigid material (styrene, etc.) and can be whatever size (length, width, height) that is available for your project.  A somewhat larger box will help with the deeper sounds the effect may have. The included speaker has double-sided tape for easy mounting.

In the near future, Ngineering plans to have pre-formed speaker enclosures for our N8315 (15 x 24mm) and N8328 (28mm round) speakers as an accessory product. We are working with potential manufactures to produce these. They may be either vacuum formed or cast plastic. Our decision will be based on both quality and cost. They should be quit inexpensive.  Stay tuned...

 

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