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New EBay Athearn Genesis F7 A/B DCC; Sound not working at all

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New EBay Athearn Genesis F7 A/B DCC; Sound not working at all
Posted by gdelmoro on Friday, March 02, 2018 6:46 AM

Hi,

I’m not asking which is the best. I am interested in the Pros & Cons of each compared to each other. decoder, detail, Lighting, Motor control, etc.

I want a warbonet F7 A/B set. When sold like this are they speed matched?

Gary

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Posted by EMDSD40 on Friday, March 02, 2018 7:31 AM

My personal experience........Have 15 BLI locomotives, steam and diesels including PRR F-units.....very pleased with their products. Athearn locomotives including Genesis series units...too many to count but very pleased with their products. Not the same with Walthers...130’ TT is piece of junk. Over past two Christmas holidays received 7 SD70ace and 1 SD60m locomotives and everyone of them broken out of the box (lights,snowplows,handrails). I cancelled 2 ES44ac unit’s I had ordered more than 2 years ago based on past history. Instead purchased Scale Trains ES44AC unit’s and they are great. Going forward, I will not purchase Walthers locomotives .......poor quality. Again, this is my personal experience, best of luck in your decision.

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, March 02, 2018 7:48 AM

 I think Walthers skimps on packing. When those locos were Life like P2K, most of them came packaged in a larger box that had the shell not attached to the chassis. Of course that required a sheet tossed in the box telling you how to get it out without destorying it, but it wasn't difficult - with fine detail you can't just yank on the plastic and expect nothing to break. At the end, LL was packaging things witht he shell on and hoping the box was cushioned enough, and I'm going to say it isn't. There are, of course, other brands that ship like this and don;t get broken parts on nearly every model shipped.

 Athearn would win hands down if they would just quit with the light bulbs already. I'm partial to Bowser myself, but if you want all the grabds and lift rings you have to add those yourself. Excellent smooth and quite runners.

 Unless one's broken, two locos of the same model from the same run from the same manufacturer will be plenty close to run together without going through a bunch of effort tweaking speed tables. 

                                    --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

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

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Posted by The Jet Clipper on Friday, March 02, 2018 10:01 AM

While I can't say the same for the BLI or Walthers units, I have an Athearn Genesis Warbonnet F3, and I love it! Pretty nice detail (a little plain, but this one is over 10 years old), very quiet, and a real nice paint job to boot. My only gripe is the lighting. It has bulbs, when Walthers units have LED's. I din't know about the BLI units.

You can find Genesis units at around $100 on Ebay all the time.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, March 02, 2018 10:37 AM

I really doubt if their manufacturer actually speed matches them, but as Randy mentioned, they should run fine together.  If they aren't synced to your liking, then you can fiddle around with the speed matching.

I just looked at the Walthers web site, and at the set you want, and no speed matching info is given, so don't expect it.

A call to Walthers would answer your question.

Mike.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, March 02, 2018 12:06 PM

There is a consensus among modelers that the Highliner based Athearn Genesis F has the best rendered EMD bulldog nose out of all HO F3/7/9 based models.  The EMD bull dog nose has been notoriously difficult to get accurate.  The other brand that has gotten the nose right is Rapido, but theirs is a Canadian FP model.

Intermountain, P2k and Stewart have made some very decent F units.  When BLI came out with theirs, the number boards on the nose looked too big; I never considered BLI F units to be in the same class as Genesis, IMRC and Proto 2000.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, March 02, 2018 12:48 PM

rrinker

 

Athearn would win hands down if they would just quit with the light bulbs already. 

LOL  I love the smell of burned out Athearn incandescent bulbs in the morning.

OMG, are they still putting those awful bulbs in their diesels???  I finally swapped them out after three replacements for Richmond Controls SMD LEDs.  But the Athearn Genesis F7s are sweet. I have the older non sound ABBA units. They are not speed matched.

The BLI F7s are very nice as well. I have an F7 ABBA consist of those as well. Smooth runners.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Wolf359 on Friday, March 02, 2018 1:32 PM

I don't have any experience with Broadway Limited, but I do have an Athearn Ready-to-Roll Southern Pacific F7A, and I am very happy with it. It has good performance and is very quiet even at higher speeds. However, I also have a Bachmann F7A and a LifeLike F7A that both died, I have since converted them into dummy units. So I'd go with Athearn. But that is my opinion. Hope this is helpful.

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Posted by DigitalGriffin on Friday, March 02, 2018 2:08 PM

Genesis is the bargain and runs like a champ.  Some complain of the window details not being right.  Broadway limited weighs a ton and will pull a lot.  Walthers is the most detailed, but most costly.

So you have your choice.

As to speed matched, that's a mixed bag.  subtle varations between production units may cause one unit to respond slightly differently from another.  BUT the difference is so small, it won't make a big difference during consisting.

Don - Specializing in layout DC->DCC conversions

Modeling C&O transition era and steel industries There's Nothing Like Big Steam!

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Posted by khier on Saturday, March 03, 2018 3:53 AM

I have the Walther's F3 Proto 2000, Genesis F7 and Walther's F7 also Proto 2000, all in the War Bonnet scheme. Detail wise they are all excellent, although the superiority of the Genesis is often advocated, which my aging eyes seem to miss. I have not really run them.... just took them out of the boxes, programmed the decoders, checked the functions, and back inside the boxes. Walther's engines are equipped with LED lighting, while the Genesis prefers the pre-historic approach of bulbs. However, if you decide for the Genesis you should avoid by all means the early sound locomotives equipped with the MRC decoder. It is simply a piece of junk that is not worth the money. Better seek DC Genesis and fit  Digitraxx or ESU decoders yourself.

As for the price, they are both expensive. My impression though the Genesis can be hunt at a reasonable price on Ebay as a second hand, while the P2K is more likely to find reduced at shops. I have recently seen the P2K F3 DCC + sound online for $139, and the F7 DC between $99-149.  

Regards


Walid  

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Posted by Ironstef70 on Saturday, March 03, 2018 8:28 AM

I'd with Walid on this; one particular company alone don't tells the whole thing. The decoder that's inside now matters much more to me. And that's often half the value of the loco. It's worth paying attention.

My favorite "stock" locos are my Broadway Limited AC6000, then my recent ET44AC Scale Trains. Both are heavy (smooth and strong pullers), never failed to any programming problem (the Scale Train has ESU LockSound decoder which is my favorite decoder type after the TCS). So depending of what you do with your locos, you may prefer a particular type of decoder if you want to use them in consists. TCS are the easiest ones for programming; you do it right on the track without the need of a computer. Then ESU locksound, if your local club has a programming software, as they have plenty of options, are easy to synchronize, then very dependable. I now hate the Tsunamis; poor sound options and unreliable. So I now prefer customizing my own locos with my favorite decoders.

One rule of thumb; if you intend to run locos in consists: try to build you fleet with locos sharing the same type of decoders. I use TCS in most of my big six axel mainline locos, then ESU Locksound in smaller line 4 axels locos and switchers. It's much easier to synchronize engines with same type of decoders. Momentum, brake rate, acceleration steps, then now keep alive chips, and soon enough battery assistance... So many parameters to micro-manage. Differences in the latter will involve accelerated wear of your mechanical components over time. Better stick wit one same decoder company. Once you've done the speed tables accurately, they'll run in a similar fashion no matter the situation (dirty tracks, dead sections, electro or insul frog switches, shorts, else...).

So if you're not into customization, better stick with one brand (Athearn Genesis, Intermountain or else...) which usually offers items in your favorite railroad livery.

Fussy rivet counters as I am tends to prefer customization, as I am never satisfied with stock items. Otherwise, better have good friends in your local Club :)

 

But from recent experience, Scale Trains offers great quality product, and their Rivet Counter line is museum detail quality. 

Still, all companies make decent products, it's just a matter of what are your needs. As a Canadian, I have a sweet spot for Rapido, but Atlas, Bowser, it's matter of your preference. Collectors may favor A limited edition Rapido, but if you want to get a youngster into the hobby, a cheap but dependable Bachmannn never fails, and kids won't bother if it's prototype or not. Walters certainly may not be perfect, but their prices are very competitive, with unbeatable product range.Good luck with your shopping!

Stephane

Stephane (Ironstef70)

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Saturday, March 03, 2018 5:22 PM

Wolf359
but I do have an Athearn Ready-to-Roll Southern Pacific F7A, and I am very happy with it.

The problem with the Athearn RTR F7 isn't how it runs, but how it looks. It is based on tooling made in the 1950's and looks very crude.   The windshield openings have always looked aweful to me; way too big and squared off around the corners.  The rest of the shell looks a bit like it was carved out of clay, crude and poor rendition of details like the nose head light housing, the number boards, the air grills on the sides and the roof fans.  Athearn's paint jobs have improved vastly in the past 20 years but paint jobs on a 60+ year old shell still doesn't hide what is underneeth.  I remember when Stewart Hobbies came out with their F units in the late 1980's I celebrated; Stewart aren't state of the art anymore but they were a quantum leap over the old Athearn Globe blue box (nee RTR) F7A.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by Boglwe on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 2:21 PM

I have a Walters f7ab and I love them. I model dm&IR but I oull out the warbonnets once in a while because I feel they did a really nice job. The actual model is good. But the sound and the motor are superb. Just my opinion. Yeah, I do have about 12 BLI rsd15s, sd9 and a couple others; great intentions but they just kinda miss the mark mark in a few spots; specifically for me the mid range sound and engine. 

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Posted by khier on Thursday, April 26, 2018 4:04 AM

riogrande5761

The problem with the Athearn RTR F7 isn't how it runs, but how it looks.

 

Do you know if the "hard to find" highliner shell would fit the RTR chassis?

 

Regards

 

Walid

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, April 26, 2018 6:10 AM

khier
 
riogrande5761

The problem with the Athearn RTR F7 isn't how it runs, but how it looks.

 

 

Do you know if the "hard to find" highliner shell would fit the RTR chassis?

 

Regards 

Walid 

Walid,


It is my understanding the Highliner shells were manufactured to fit the Stewart/KATO chassis when they were first tooled.  It is because those were the best chassis at the time they were tooled and are still considered the best by many. 

You can still get those Stewart/KATO chassis on Ebay and at train shows - they tend sell in the $40-50 price range and are smooth as butter and easy to get prototypical coupling distance using the Kadee #450 kit.

For the past 8-10 years approx, Bowser has been selling the Stewart F unit's and chassis under their name, with a different motor and circuit board but the basic chassis should still be the same.

I don't know if the Athearn chassis will fit but I'm guessing it may.  They can be had for cheap enough so it's worth a try if you don't want to go the Stewart/KATO/Bowser chassis route.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by Trainman440 on Thursday, April 26, 2018 11:05 PM

Hello gdelmoro!
I asked the same question about a year ago. I wanted the well known Santa Fe Warbonnet f7 set. I ended up buying a pair of Athearn Genesis engines. I also have a single MTH f7a. 

The price range is usually what I see being sold on Ebay/in stores. 

Athearn Genesis ($200-$500 for a pair)
pros: best detail of all!!! Runs well, quiet. Has Tsunami1000 sound. 
cons: incandesent bulbs tend to burn out easily. $$$

Athearn Genesis (older, yellow box version) ($100-140 for a single)
pros: decent detail, cheap, runs well, quiet
cons: incandesent bulbs tend to burn out easily. MRC sound. 
Proto 2000/Walthers ($200 - $500 for a pair)

pros: runs well, quiet. Has Tsunami1000 sound. Detail is okay. Number boards light up. 

cons: a few batches of their engines had the wrong red color...it was too way dark. This to me is a deal breaker, especially for the price. 

Broadway Limited Paragon 3

pros: I heard it runs well, quiet. Detail is okay. newest soon-to-be released version has paragon 3 which is nice. 

cons: N/A

Broadway Limited BlueLine ($120-$250 for a pair)

pros: runs well, quiet. Detail is okay. Number boards light up(???)

cons: Has blue line sound which I believe is QSI. Personally not a fan. 

MTH ($100-130 for a single)

pros: I love their proto sound 3.0 sound personally. Number boards and class lights light up. Runs well, quiet. Detail is okay. Paint is somewhat glossy. Very powerful! Theyre really good for the price. 

cons: Some people hate proto sound 3.0, claiming its not DCC compatible, however Ive had no issues with it. It is a newer version that is DCC compatible. 

-------------------------------------------

FOLLOWING HAVE NO SOUND/DCC

Intermountian

pros: runs well, quiet. Detail is okay. 

cons: No gleaming metal paint finish. incandesent bulbs(???). 

Kato/Stewart 

pros: Kato is famous for their excellent drive. These can be easily found on ebay for cheap. 

cons: since they were produced so long ago, the detail is kinda lacking. No gleaming metal paint finish. incandesent bulbs. 

Athearn RTR ($40-$70 for a pair)

pros: cheapest, runs well, quiet

cons: basically no detail, incandesent bulbs. Detail is really off from the prototype. No metal gleam(obviously). Its more of a toy imo. 

--------------

I hope this helped in some way. 

Take everything with a grain of salt. 

Personally, I would choose Athearn, MTH, or Broadway Limited. 

Charles

---------

PS I did a comparison a while back(with my kiddy-voice, im now 18 lol) comparing MTH and athearn genesis. Click on my YT channel on the link below! I dont remember how bad the video was, but you can see the sheer amount of detail on the Athearn & MTH models. 

 

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles L.

Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO!

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLb3FRqukolAtnD1khrb6lQ

DrW
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Posted by DrW on Friday, April 27, 2018 12:16 AM

Trainman440

Athearn Genesis ($200-$500 for a pair)

pros: best detail of all!!! Runs well, quiet. Has Tsunami1000 sound. 
cons: incandesent bulbs tend to burn out easily. $$$

Athearn Genesis (older, yellow box version) ($100-140 for a single)
pros: decent detail, cheap, runs well, quiet
cons: incandesent bulbs tend to burn out easily. MRC sound. 

Trainman440,

In general, I agree with your assessment. I just do not see the differentiation you make between earlier and newer versions of the Genesis F units regarding details. As far as ATSF F units are concerned, Genesis produced first the versions "as delivered" by EMD, i.e. without nose lift rings, grabs on the side of the nose and above the windscreens, antennas, etc. The Santa Fe added all these "details", starting in the mid-1950s. Most newer Genesis models represent this "modernized" version. Thus, the difference in detail is prototypical, and not due to an improvement of the accuracy of the model.

JW 

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Posted by Yannis on Friday, April 27, 2018 2:54 AM

If you are after prototypical accuracy then Genesis/Highliners' shells are the way to go with respect to ATSF prototypes. Other shells can work but with more work.

For mechanisms and running qualities other members have already covered the topic.

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Posted by gdelmoro on Friday, April 27, 2018 9:36 AM

Thanks for the replies.  Hard to find Genesis AB’s DCC & Sound.  On back order a several dealers.  BLI says see dealer but I can find the f units at any of the dealers that come up in google searches.

Gary

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Posted by Trainman440 on Friday, April 27, 2018 10:01 AM

JW - 

oh....I never considered that. Thanks for the info, my bad!

Gary - 
Athearn Genesis f7 pairs are commonly found on Ebay. 

The Athearn genesis modernized version I was talking about was released in 2010. They are a rare sight on Ebay. I bought my AB pair with Sound for an unbelievable $204. 

AFAIK, BLI models havent been released yet. 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles L.

Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO!

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLb3FRqukolAtnD1khrb6lQ

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, April 27, 2018 12:40 PM

Charles, that was my first thought too but the OP is after war bonnet units.  Those are probably a lot harder to find.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

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Posted by Trainman440 on Friday, April 27, 2018 2:57 PM

riogrande5761

Charles, that was my first thought too but the OP is after war bonnet units.  Those are probably a lot harder to find.

 

I was refering to Warbonnet units....
There's none currently on the Ebay market but usually there are. 

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charles L.

Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO!

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLb3FRqukolAtnD1khrb6lQ

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Posted by gdelmoro on Friday, April 27, 2018 6:39 PM

I’ll keep checking eBay

How does the Walthers product compare?

Gary

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Posted by khier on Tuesday, May 08, 2018 12:00 PM
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Posted by CMStPnP on Wednesday, May 09, 2018 1:22 PM

I like my Milwaukee Road Intermountain F-7A (it came with DCC and Sound both), very impressed with it (very bright headlight and mars light).     Also like the BLI CB&Q E-9's.   I am easily satisfied though, soooo.     I used to have almost exclusively Athearns on my last layout in the 1980's back then I felt Atlas was the best BUT Atlas only made a FP9  back then.

Atheran Genesis I only have two locomotives so far and their headlights are kind of dim compared to the others.    Otherwise OK.

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Posted by richg1998 on Wednesday, May 09, 2018 1:38 PM

Maybe ten years ago I bought a BLI F7 A/B DC set, no lights  set and installed SoundTraxx with 28mm speakers and LED's to match my BLI F3's. Ran them as ABBA NYC Pacemaker freight. Only had thirty Pacemaker freight cars and proper caboose. I could not afford the proper steamer.

Rich

N

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Posted by gdelmoro on Wednesday, May 09, 2018 6:06 PM

khier

Thanks Khier,

Bad timing - just purchased another loco $357 and about $200 in electronics so I cant justify buying another so soon.  

I Like being married Embarrassed. Appreciate your help.  

Got to wait now till my annerversary in august And my Birthday in August Geeked

Gary

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Posted by gdelmoro on Saturday, May 26, 2018 6:10 PM

Gary

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Posted by gdelmoro on Friday, June 01, 2018 4:59 PM

The package arrived today.  The way I got it is I agreed it would be a birthdy gift. Since my BD is not till August I wanted to try it to make sure everything worked.

Put the a unit on the main, turn on power, select Address 3, Nothing. Same with the B Unit.  Put both on the programming track to read the decoder, Unable!

Good thing I tested it.

I contacted the Ebay seller and told him/her. 

Waiting .......

Gary

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Posted by gdelmoro on Friday, June 01, 2018 5:12 PM

Clearly says DCC & Sound

Gary

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