I guess the truth is, I just haven't seen many simplex models... I must be American
The effect is superb I agree. When you say "without DCC" are you talking about a homemade DIY version or are you asking if the modules can be adapted to work by themselves?
I don't know much about DCC but don't know anything about Zimo so I went investigating.
I found that there is a Zimo module for O Gauge but it's power consumption probably puts it way out of our battery capabilities. It doesn't answer the question about non-DCC opertion, of course.
Large Scale Decoder
MX696N Zimo - Large Scale Decoder
This item is in Stock and available for dispatch
Current Rating - Avg 4 Amps , Peak 10 Amps
Size - 55 x 29 x 18 (mm)
Functions - 8 (2Amps Total Max)
RailCom - Yes
Asymmetric DCC - Yes
BEMF - Yes
KeepAlive/Standby (Available) - Yes
CVP Products in the US make a DCC based r/c system called Airwire 900 designed for garden railways using onboard batteries and it can drive DCC sound decoders. They make a device they refer to as a converter that picks up the DCC signal from the transmitter and feeds it to the sound decoder, so all the DCC sound functions are available.
Airwire was just coming into use when I took up garden scale, but since my main interest is live steam, it wasn't something I was interested in. Deltang came out around the same time and was potentially more useful to me.
I haven't had much to do with DCC since changing scales, but from memory it's in the standard that DCC decoders can run on DC track power. I never used it and always turned the function off, as it tended to make decoders flaky. Decoders could handle pure DC on the track, but were also flaky if the power came from a modern pulse power controller.
Theoretically you could use something like an RX-65 to drive a DCC sound decoder, but I can't imagine a DCC sound decoder coping well with the output waveform of the Rx/esc and there would be no way to access the various sound functions. An expensive DCC sound decoder would be reduced to about the same functionality as a cheap greeting card sound module.
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