"Ready-to-use" Sound Projects and Sound Loading
- A sound project is always loaded into the
flash memory of a ZIMO sound decoder. The project is a file that
is composed of the sound sample files for each feature of the
vehicle, as well as the instructions on how to play the files in the
form of flow charts and the configuration data in the form of a
CV list (volume, load dependencies, link between function and
sound keys, random number generators, switch inputs, etc.).
- Freshly-delivered ZIMO Sound Decoders
usually contain by default (except for special orders), a "Sound
Collection" (a special type of sound project, see below). This
preloaded sound collection can always be replaced by one of the
"Ready-to-use Sound Projects" (.zpp Files) from
the Sound Database or by a Sound Project created by the
- NOTE: A "Full Featured" Sound
Project as a .zip file exists for some, but not all
entries in the Sound Database (usually the Free Sound Projects).
These are not loaded directly into the decoder, but with the
help of ZSP (ZIMO Sound Programmer) unpacked and processed.
Within ZSP, assignments and settings can be made; sound
samples can also be taken for external processing or exchanged for
others; thus your own or highly individualized sound projects
can be created. The result is again a .zpp file for loading into
- The "Ready-to-use project" (.zpp file) is loaded into the decoder,
after downloading it from the Sound Database using one of the
following ZIMO products (current
status, according to July 2015):
- MXULFA (current decoder update device); see description of MXULF (A)
- MXDECUP (old decoder update device)
- MX10 (current ZIMO command station)
- MX31ZL ("System Cab" old-generation system)
- Z21 (ROCO command station)
The data transfer from the computer to each device works via USB
stick or online via USB cable.
The ZIMO Speciality - "Sound Collection"
- ZIMO sound decoders usually are delivered
with the "European Steam/Diesel Collection" sound collection.
This includes sound samples and CV parameters for several types
of vehicles (in the case of "European Collection", 4 steam
and 1 diesel), these are included in the flash memory of the
sound decoder. Through a selection CV (# 265), set by the
controller, it is decided which sound (which locomotive) will
actually be heard while driving the vehicle.
- However, the user has the freedom to
create the sound of a locomotive to his or her taste. The user
can, for example, use one of the five existing chuff sets (for
steam locos) in the collection, with any of the loaded whistles
(or with several of them combined) and with each of the other
noises and functional sounds. This is the purpose of the
so-called "CV #300 procedure" which, while listening to the
sounds, allows the selection of various bells, air pumps,
coal shovelling, oil burner, brake squeal sounds etc.
- Even normal sound projects ("normal" = for
a specific locomotive, so no collection in the above sense), can
exhibit properties of "Sound Collections", for example having
multiple whistles available for selection. This is a useful
option if, for example, several locomotives of the same type are
to be acoustically distinguishable.
Free and Chargeable Sound Projects
ZIMO tries to cover the greatest possible
number of model locomotives by appropriate sound projects, and
offers especially high quality. The obvious way, to try to
develop all sound projects by ZIMO itself, is not possible
(due to limited resources) and ZIMO cannot supply the world-wide
market in model locomotives, therefore a network of so-called
"Sound Providers" has emerged. These "Sound Providers"are user
independent sound authors with their own specialty and expertise
with good contacts and cooperation with ZIMO. Therefore there
are sound projects of various kinds in the Sound Database.
Among the sound projects available in the
ZIMO Sound Database, there is a distinction between them shown
by color coding green - blue - red :-
- "Free D’load" (=
free download) Sound Projects
(partly coming from ZIMO itself, including some from Roco):
These sound projects can be downloaded without cost, and loaded
into any ZIMO Sound Decoder. On request, a specific sound
project can be loaded, by ZIMO or a dealer, into a new or into
an existing ZIMO sound decoder. Usually a small loading fee is
charged (in the UK called a "re-blow" fee).
- "Coded" (=
- coming from external "Sound Providers" *)
The "Coded Sound Projects" are contributed by external
ZIMO partners (the "Sound Providers"), who are rewarded through
the sale of "Load Codes". The sound projects
themselves can be downloaded for free from the ZIMO Sound
Database, however, these can be played in the decoder only if
the correct load code is registered in certain CV values. There
is a small fee (in the range from 15.00 to 25.00 euros, see
price list) to have the load code registered at the factory or
this can be done by the user, after a payment of the same fee,
and the load code can be written into the CV values (CV
#260, #261, #262, #263).
- "Preloaded Sound Projects"
are exclusively installed in decoders by retailers or vehicle
manufacturers and made available, sometimes they are already
installed in the vehicle. These special decoders are usually not
delivered by ZIMO itself, but by the respective vehicle
manufacturers and dealers, which are also responsible for the
prices. In the ZIMO Sound Database, these sound projects are
listed but not available for download. A link to each
manufacturer or retailer website provides a way to obtain the
decoder or vehicle with the sound project preloaded.
*) Each sound decoder has a unique Decoder ID
(4 numbers, which can be read - but not written - from CVs # 250-253
each with values 0 - 255). Against this decoder ID, ZIMO or an
authorized partner (including the sound-provider) can provide the
user with a Load Code (after payment of the fee), valid for a
particular bundle of sound projects (e.g. "RhB Heinz Däppen"). This
load code can only be used in the decoder with the specified decoder
The load code is written into the decoder, either directly in
the CVs #260-263, or by a special procedure in MXULF, or by
the "ZIMO CV Setting" (ZCS) program. After that, the
decoder is capable of playing all sound projects of the relevant
Bundle (e.g. every RhB Sounds of Heinz Däppen).
The actual loading of a "coded" sound project, which needs a
"Load Code" to play, takes place in the same way as a free ZIMO
sound project. This is an encrypted data transfer. The loading
of new versions or other projects from the bundle is always