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Athearn DCC Ready Questions

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  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SF Bay Area
  • 104 posts
Athearn DCC Ready Questions
Posted by Green on Sunday, September 18, 2011 8:58 PM

So I am planning on purchasing an Athearn U50. The description on the model says that it has a dcc ready wiring harness. Can some one explain what that is? Is it like the BLI Blueline? Where one removes a dummy chip and insert a dcc harnessed decoder? If that is the case, it would be fairly easy to install a mobil decoder.

Secondly, if one wanted to install a sound decoder, what is the easiest means to achieve that? I am assuming that sound decoders will require some soldering. I am partial to the tsunami sounds. Are these difficult to install compared to other manufacturers.

Thank you in advance from a novice.

  • Member since
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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, September 18, 2011 10:01 PM

 Esentially, yes. Athearn locos with the DCC Quick Plug have a 9 pin plug with a dummy plug in it a small board with some diodes to control the directional lighting in DC. You pull that off and connect any decoder that has a 9 pin conenctor on it. Get a decoder with a 9 pin plug and no harness.

 For Sound, there is a Tsunami in the form factor of the Athearn circuit board. Since all the wires on the board are held on with those little palstic caps, removing the factory board is easy. The connections on the Tsunami are in approximately the same physical location. The decoder is, easy, mounting the biggest speaker and enclosure you can fit is the hard part.  The problem is there is currently not a Tsunami with the proper motor sounds for a U50. Nor anyoen else's, at the moment. You'd have to go with one of the generic GE FDL sounds, although the U50 has twin diesel engines.

                                   --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
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  • From: SF Bay Area
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Posted by Green on Sunday, September 18, 2011 10:36 PM

Randy,

Thanks for the info. As you mentioned I found the generic GE sound decoder on the soundtraxx website. I also looked up the install manual. It doesnt seem to difficult.

On a side note, is their any indication that someone may release a true U50 sound decoder?

 

Thanks,

  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • 724 posts
Posted by hobo9941 on Sunday, September 18, 2011 11:27 PM

Just guessing here, but since they all were scrapped, there aren't any around to make recordings from. And since there were only a few produced, it is not in great demand.

  • Member since
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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Monday, September 19, 2011 6:39 AM

 Since it was basically a pair of U25's in a single carbody, it probably can be faked with a U25 recording. The new QSI decoders with stereo capability is going to make possible some really good dual-motor applications, like E units.

               --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SF Bay Area
  • 104 posts
Posted by Green on Monday, September 19, 2011 8:59 AM

rrinker

 Since it was basically a pair of U25's in a single carbody, it probably can be faked with a U25 recording. The new QSI decoders with stereo capability is going to make possible some really good dual-motor applications, like E units.

               --Randy

 

Great. I am going to look into it.

 

Thanks,

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: SF Bay Area
  • 104 posts
Posted by Green on Monday, September 19, 2011 9:38 PM

Randy,

 

I cant make left to right on the QSI website. Do you have a suggestion on the specific QSI decoder? I am assuming its a Titan, but can find part numbers with the specific sound files.

 

Thanks

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Western, MA
  • 5,398 posts
Posted by richg1998 on Monday, September 19, 2011 9:51 PM

Simulating dual prime movers in the below link.

http://www.mrdccu.com/curriculum/soundtraxx/tsunami.htm

Store the link in Favorites. You will need it. Study the Curriculum links also. A lot about the Tsunami and sound.

Rich

 

Failure is not an option. It comes bundled with Windows.

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 17,177 posts
Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 11:09 AM

 They don;t have a U50 yet in the Titan, I was just syaing that the stereo feature means it will be possible for someone to do it, and do it right without using reverb to simulate it. I suppose another option, since it's a large loco, is to use 2 decoders. Would really work if the loco has 2 motors, one driving the front set of trucks and one driving the rear set.

               --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    June, 2010
  • 2 posts
Posted by HUSKER73 on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 3:27 AM

I have a U50 on order right now and have been doing some research. This link might help you out for a kit that is ready for the U50:

 

http://www.internettrains.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=IMT-SOUNDATHU50&Category_Code=HSCLOCDSLATHRTRU50

 

I haven't decided whether I am going to use the Soundtraxx or the QSI yet...Brian

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  • 310 posts
Posted by Harley-Davidson on Friday, September 30, 2011 9:41 AM

Mark, from Internettrains, write me yesterday that SOUNDTRAXX is right now improving the sound decoder for the new Athearn U50. It will be available in 4-6 weeks. I´ll prefer to wait it.

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