SoundBytes Crossing Bell
The SoundBytes Crossing Bell is a simple, fully self-contained sound module that plays a grade crossing bell sound.
- Prototypical crossing bell sound
- Integrated speaker & volume control
- Easy to install and use
- Ideal for adding sound to grade crossings
- Powered from 5 to 24VDC
- 20mA idle current, 80mA average draw while playing, 160mA maximum
Note: Please do not use old model railroad power packs as a DC supply. These often produce large output spikes far in excess of their nameplate voltage ratings, are not suitable for powering modern electronics, and will damage SoundBytes modules. Please read this article for more details.
Generic Crossing Bell
Union Switch & Signal Teardrop (Mechanical)
Western-Cullen-Hayes 333 (Mechanical)
Western-Cullen-Hayes 777 (Electronic)
Western Railroad Supply Type 222 (Mechanical)
The SoundBytes module needs 5-24 volts of clean direct current (DC) power to operate. Connect the white wire to GND to activate the sound. Leave the white wire disconnected to turn the sound off.
Red Wire = 5V to 24V
Black Wire = GND
White Wire = GND to activate
The volume can be adjusted by using a small screwdriver to turn the white, square potentiometer on the PCB.
Here is an example showing the SoundBytes module connected to a toggle switch:
1.25"(L) x 1.25"(W) x 1.25"(H)
The complete gEDA design files are available on GitHub.
- 25 in stock
News & Application Notes
SoundBytes Cicada Primer
SoundBytes on Burr Stewart’s BN Layout
Burr Stewart recently installed some SoundBytes Crossing Bells on his Seattle region Burlington Northern layout. Take a look at his operations and modeling!
Buy a SoundBytes Western-Cullen-Hayes 777 bell and get 2 pairs of HO-scale 777 bell models FREE!
* Limited time offer (while supplies last)
Simple SoundBytes Switching
We’ve gotten the question a number of times about how to turn the SoundBytes modules on and off with a switch. It’s actually really easy, but since the question gets asked, I figured I’d do a very quick write-up on it.
First of all, the module requires a clean DC power supply of between 5 and 24 volts. (Note: PLEASE do not use old toy train power packs for this. They do not provide clean DC power, and it’s often far, far over the ratings of the module. Please read this for more details.) The positive side connects to the red wire, and negative / ground connects to the black wire.
To activate the sound player, the white wire needs to be electrically connected to the negative side of the power supply (the black wire). You can do this in any number of ways: a single-pole switch between the white wire and the black wire (SPST or SPDT, either will work), or a push button between black and white wires, or if you want it to play continuously, just connect the black and white wires together permanently. To stop the sound, the white wire should remain disconnected (meaning the switch is off or open).
Here’s a simple diagram showing how to wire it to a toggle switch:
SoundBytes + Scale Sound Systems
Leap Day 2022???
Are you missing Leap Day this year? Honor February 29th with 29% off all SoundBytes modules, now through March 5! https://www.iascaled.com/store/ModelRailroad/SoundBytes
Western-Cullen-Hayes 777 Electronic Bell
Using TrainSpotters and SoundBytes With Crossing Modules
One of the questions we get somewhat frequently is how to use the TrainSpotter infrared detectors and SoundBytes crossing bells with other vendors’ grade crossing modules. After all, we offer the most reliable IR detection for the model railroads in our TrainSpotter line, along with the widest variety of prototype bells in our SoundBytes. Who wouldn’t want to upgrade their grade crossings?
Today I’ve put together a guide for three of the more popular crossing control modules and show what can be done with each. Specifically, we’re going to look at Logic Rail’s Grade Crossing Pro/2, Azatrax’s MRX3, and Dwarvin’s Lamplighter Flasher, along with a cheap popular Chinese flasher module from eBay.
Dwarvin’s Railroad Crossing
If you’re in the market for a simple railroad crossing system, take a look at Dwarvin’s Lamplighter Flasher and Integrated Railroad Crossing. Dwarvin’s easy-to-use, fiber-based Lamplighter – which comes with our TrainSpotter detectors and SoundBytes bell module – makes a painless way to add crossing signals to your layout. Give it a look!
Infesting model railroads, one SoundBytes module at a time. Or three. Three are certainly better than one. Get yours today before their life cycle ends.