Truck installation


If you want a cost-effective way of adding 100% authentic sounds to your Tamiya truck and can’t quite stretch to the cost of a Tamiya sound unit, then read on as we will show you an inexpensive way of creating your own low-cost truck sounds. Note: this was done with the original Master Blaster (the large silver one). If you have one of the smaller blue Super Improved units (sold in 2015, with the controls underneath), the dimensions of the outer box you need will be smaller, and you will need to mount the Master Blasters in a different orientation due to the new layout of the controls. But the principle remains the same!

What you will need:
Two Master Blaster units, one containing TWO sound files, KN03A (the truck moving forwards) and KN04 (the truck reversing sounds). The second Master Blaster will contain KN05 (the looped horn effect). I will explain more about this set up later, but firstly let’s mount both units into a small box.
The rough dimensions of the box you will need are 120mm long by 100mm deep and 60mm tall. This will acommodate the two Master Blasters in a staggered formation and also allow you to get access to the controls you need to trigger the sound effects.

 

I made my box from Plasticard, over-planked with strip wood to create a packing crate. The crate looks great sat on the back of a low loader. Firstly I prepared the base section of the box and glued both units in place, making sure I could access the controls of one unit from the shorter side of the box, and the other through the longer side. I then built up the crate sides. Before I glued the sides onto the base I made sure the sound chips were inserted and also plugged in the two USB charging leads, as once the crate is completed it would be difficult to access the charging socket on the units.

 

Then I drilled holes in the side of the box to accommodate small brass tubing which was inserted through the hole in the crate and glued to the appropriate button on the unit – effectively allowing me to trigger the sounds on the unit from the exterior of the crate. Now here is the clever bit. The Master Blaster with the engine and reversing sounds needs to be triggered with the SKIP FORWARDS button. Every time the SKIP button is depressed, the unit will play the forward or reversing sound. It will toggle between these sounds with every push of the SKIP button. The unit containing the horn sounds has these on a loop, and this sound is triggered by the PAUSE button. There is around two seconds of silence between each horn blast, so you have a couple of seconds to hit the PAUSE button in between each horn sound. If you don’t pause the unit, the horn will continue to repeat.

 

My own crate was topped off with a off-cut from an old T-shirt spray-painted and weathered – I find this material to be quite acoustically transparent. The crate I made was designed to be portable, so we could demonstrate the possibilities of the Master Blaster at exhibitions, but a “press and release” accentuator servo rod could be added and then the sounds could be remotely controlled from your RC transmitter, providing you have two spare channels available.

 

The cost of the gear you will need to re-create this will be two Master Blasters at £29.99 each plus one extra sound file at £7.99. So, for less than £70.00 you could have a set up that offers you three independent truck sounds and costs around a quarter of the price of the Tamiya multi-function unit. You’ll have to build your own crate though!