sound cards are manufactured by a German company and are
known for their high quality sound as well as creating
modules for almost every aspect of the RC hobby. In this
review we look at the TBS-5 II fully
proportional sound card specifically designed for the M1 Abrams tank which will be installed
for this review
in a 1/16 scale metal Chunwai-Model M1A2.
1. TBS5 plastic enclosed
in a thick clear shrink bag (M1 Abrams Sounds)
1. Male to male 40 watt
to TBS RC cable
1. 40 Watt Amplifier.
To start with I found
written and filled with reference photos,
installation took all of 20
minutes and the card setup was a snap.
The Card is designed to
run on one or two esc's (Electronic speed controllers)
that simply plug directly into the TBS5 via the
individual esc RC
cable, the TBS5 in turn has built-in RC cables that
run to the RC receiver on Ch1, Ch2 and CH4 depending on
how may esc’s are used. The card it turned on and off
and access all other sounds with the transmitter via RC receiver channel 4 with the
built-in RC cable, so if you have a 6 or more channel
receiver you can move this control to the channel of
The card itself is
powered by the onboard tank battery with a minimum of
7.2Volts or a maximum of 12Volts. The built-in power
leads are descriptive with red as positive and brown
negative; the orange lead is not used. Each wire is
connected to a power point in the tank, for the Chunwai
I connected both the positive and negative to the
corresponding slot on the right side of the solenoid so
when the main power switch is turned on power to
the card is supplied and saves from installing a
separate power switch for the TBS5.
The amp for this review
is the 2 x 40W power amplifier (at 12V, 2Ohm, 10% THD)
the supplied RC Cable is plugged into the corresponding
plug on the TBS5 clearly marked on the instructions
along with a reference photo. It’s important to make
sure the RC plug is plugged in the same way up on the
card and the amplifier; meaning negative on the TBS to
negative on the amplifier. I secure the amplifier to the
rear wall of the lower metal hull on the M1 this so the
Chassis can act as a heat-sink. Next I had to provide
power to the amp via again the the right side of the
solenoid in the Chunwai M1.
The 40W power amplifier
is deigned with two speaker hookups (4 total wires)
for this project I only used one set of wires for
one speaker and taped off the other set of wires.
You can buy speakers from Benedini if you choose, I
use an old Tamiya speaker and fashioned a small echo
box out of plastic card and it sits on top of the
Once installed the
system needs to go through a setup this is done by
turning on the tank and pushing “Programming button”
the card then runs through its setup, easy done.
Tone and Volume
TBS5 has a fantastic set of three small adjusters that
allow for the
base and volume to be set
I found this to be a great in fine tuning the engine sounds
with the tank running sounds.
Using the Sounds
All sounds are set up on
the transmitter on the left stick including the startup
and shutdown sounds;
Move the left stick
right once for the startup/shutdown sound.
Move the left stick
four times right for the main gun sounds.
Move the left stick
five times right for the machinegun sound
Alternatively (Not Reviewed)
Benedini does sell a
digital control system called an encoder a 12
position rotary switch in combination with a push
button. The desired sound is selected by the rotary
switch and triggered with the pushbutton. The encoder
must be fitted into the Transmitter and installed to an
unallocated proportional channel by the customer.
The Benedini TBS5 II is
top quality not just in the tough rugged design of the
card itself or the super easy instillation, but in the sounds
themselves. I tested this card for a few months with
outstanding results, the M1 sounds are out of this world from
startup to all positions of the stick, simply perfection
in sound quality. I found that the volume only needs to
be up halfway, 40 watts is a lot of power for a 1/16
scale tank and this saves on battery power as well.