Railroad Sounds System
Version 2.0, ©2002, Challenge Products

The RAILROAD SOUND SYSTEM (RRSOUNDS) was developed by Challenge Products to provide Sound Card Support for PC model railroad control systems. Any PC with a Sound Blaster compatible sound card running model train functions using control software may benefit from RRSOUNDS.

The RAILROAD SOUND SYSTEM does not provide the software for model railroad control. RRSOUNDS simply adds the sound function to applicable software. The control software must either have a "DOS shell-out" capability, or the ability to issue DOS Interrupt calls. The shell-out provides a simple access to the RRSOUNDS driver software. Systems such as the CTI Model Railroad Control System (Version 4.0) or custom developed software written in BASIC can provide the shell-out capability. In addition, C, BASIC or Assembler written software can access RRSOUNDS directly using the DOS Interrupt call.

When a controlling software system makes access to the RRSOUNDS driver, it can request sound services to play portions of a pre-defined .WAV file. Using this technique, many different sounds, and play modes can be requested, all coordinated with the model railroad control activities underway. For example, playing engine startup sounds when the control system is starting a model engine, or playing crossing whistles when the control system detects a trains approach to a grade crossing.

The basic RAILROAD SOUND SYSTEM consists of a sound driver program, RRSOUNDS.COM, and a program called PLAYCLIP.COM which is used as the "DOS shell-out" interface between model railroad control software (such as the CTI's TBRAIN TCL program) and the RAILROAD SOUND Driver Program.

Three utility programs are also included in the system to help prepare sound files for use with the RRSOUNDS.COM program. Since all wave files must be in standard 11 kHz, mono, 8 bit recording format, a utility called CONVWAVE.EXE is included to convert most any standard wave file format into the required format.The second utility program called WAVEUTIL.COM is used to view, edit (copy, delete and insert) portions of a wave file and generate the definitions (.DEF) file necessary for us in RRSOUNDS.COM.An additional program, PREVIEW.EXE, is included in the RAILROAD SOUND System to test the sound support on the user's system and preview the railroad sounds developed with the WAVEUTIL program.

A sample wave file of railroad sound clips (diesel, steam, trolley and misc.) is included with the system. These sound clips can be used as is or as the start for developing custom wave files.

The System requirements are minimal. Older PCs running DOS (Version 3 or later.) are just fine. A DOS System with just 640k base memory is adequate. Of course a Sound Blaster or compatible sound card and associated speakers are necessary to reproduce the railroad sounds.A mouse is not used for the RRSOUNDS driver program, but is optional for the Sound Preview program. It is highly recommended for the WAVEUTIL program.

The Railroad Sounds System is only available from Challenge Products. A LITE version is also available for sampling at our shareware prices. This LITE version can also be downloaded free from the CTI Electronics web site.

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