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Problem with my Athearn Genesis

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Problem with my Athearn Genesis
Posted by nemesys on Wednesday, April 04, 2018 8:59 PM

I just got an Athearn Genesis today, an FP7 with the Amtrak scheme. I put it on the main track and it started purring. It was responding to all commands at address 3. So, I wanted to change its address to its road number. So, I put it on my program track and tried to read some CV values from it. My MRC Prodigy Advance couldn't get the address of the loco. That's the first time that this is happening to me. I was able to program a Bachmann, a Walthers Mainline and a Broadway Imports Limited. So, I decided to go ahead and I carefull set the proper CVs. Put it back on the main track and now the sounds still plays but the loco will not respond to commands, either from address 111 that I tried to set or from address 3. I put it back on the program track and tried to reset it by setting 8 into CV8 and 2 into CV30, as the Tsunami2 instructions recommend. No dice. My locomotive is kinda dead. I did disconnect my terminal tracks from my main layout and tried to reset it there. No luck.

What can I do? Return the loco? It's brand new. I contacted Athearn support but no reply yet. Is there somekind of "hard" reset switch inside the locomotive? What do you do in those cases?

Tags: Athearn , DCC , problem , program
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Posted by 7j43k on Wednesday, April 04, 2018 10:35 PM

One of the classic problems is "makes sound but won't go".

First, you need a program track booster, something like this:

http://www.soundtraxx.com/access/ptb100.php

 

I recommend putting that in and seeing if that fixes things.  It has worked for me.

 

Ed

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Posted by nemesys on Wednesday, April 04, 2018 10:42 PM

7j43k

One of the classic problems is "makes sound but won't go".

First, you need a program track booster, something like this:

http://www.soundtraxx.com/access/ptb100.php

 

I recommend putting that in and seeing if that fixes things.  It has worked for me.

 

Ed

 

Thanks, Ed. I will look to get one if it can help restore my loco.

Are there other many gotchas like this that I will encounter on my journey to modeling? I guess yes, just want to confirm...

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Posted by richhotrain on Thursday, April 05, 2018 5:19 AM

Address 111 is a consist number. All addresses between 1 and 127 are consist numbers.

On my NCE system, I would need to place a zero ("0") before the 111 to avoid treating the loco as part of a consist. So, the number would be 0111. 

Try changing  the cab number from 111 to 0111 and change CV19 to zero using POM.

Rich

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Posted by NS6770fan on Friday, April 06, 2018 9:10 PM
I run with an NCE Powercab (Which I am not impressed with) and whe this happens to me, I ALWAYS make sure that the loco is not in a consist if it doesn’t run.
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Posted by nemesys on Saturday, April 07, 2018 12:40 PM

nemesys

 

 
7j43k

One of the classic problems is "makes sound but won't go".

First, you need a program track booster, something like this:

http://www.soundtraxx.com/access/ptb100.php

 

I recommend putting that in and seeing if that fixes things.  It has worked for me.

 

Ed

 

 

 

Thanks, Ed. I will look to get one if it can help restore my loco.

Are there other many gotchas like this that I will encounter on my journey to modeling? I guess yes, just want to confirm...

 

I got my PTB100 today. Hooked it up to my programming track and to the power as suggested. The green LED flashes indicating that the connections are good and there is enough power from my controller output. I put my Athearn Genesis on the programming track. Tried to read the address from it. The LED stops flashing and stays lit as it is supposed when power is applied to the programming track. But, nothing, my MRC cab displays Err. I tried to set CV8 to 8, doesn't work. I just thrown $60 more in this without any working locomotive. What should I do now? Contact Athearn to return it?

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, April 07, 2018 1:24 PM

I don't have the MRC Prodigy Advance system, but here is what the manual reads in relevant part:

First, “Adr” will flash, prompting you to read the loco address. Press ENTER to read or press SHIFT to skip to the next item. It may take several seconds to retrieve the address. If the decoder does not support read back feature, you will receive an “Err” (Error message).

Did you get the "Adr" message before you got the "Err" message?

Rich

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Posted by nemesys on Saturday, April 07, 2018 1:28 PM

richhotrain

I don't have the MRC Prodigy Advance system, but here is what the manual reads in relevant part:

First, “Adr” will flash, prompting you to read the loco address. Press ENTER to read or press SHIFT to skip to the next item. It may take several seconds to retrieve the address. If the decoder does not support read back feature, you will receive an “Err” (Error message).

Did you get the "Adr" message before you got the "Err" message?

Rich

 

Rich,

Yes, after pressing "Enter", while in reading mode, "read" flashes on the cab. Then, after a few seconds, it displays "Err".

The instructions with the PTB-100 booster mentions that once a command is received and the decoder acknowledges, a yellow LED on the booster will briefly flashes. I checked carefully and the yellow LED never lit up.

When in program mode, the controller doesn't seem to expect any reply from the decoder. It just sends the commands I give it and then wait. Again, when trying to set CV8 to 8, the yellow LED would not come up. I think I'm screwed...

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, April 07, 2018 1:42 PM

Nah, I am not ready to think that you are screwed.

Let's go back to the instruction in the manual. did "Adr" flash?

Rich

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Posted by nemesys on Saturday, April 07, 2018 1:58 PM

Progamming or reading mode?

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Posted by nemesys on Saturday, April 07, 2018 2:02 PM

In reading mode, I press "Enter" when prompted for the address. The cab then displays "read" and the green LED on the booster gets solid green. Then, the cab prompts me again for the address. After a few more seconds, it displays "Err" above "Adr".

In program mode, I'm prompted for the address initially. The 4 bars where the address would appear are flashing and "Adr" is displayed below. I enter "3", then "Send" flashes on the cab. Then, it prompts me for SV. I hit "Enter" to skip, then it prompts me for Acc. I press "Enter" again. Then, "dec" is displayed. I press "Enter". "TV" is now displayed and, again, I press "Enter". Then, "CV#" is displayed. I enter "8", then it displays "CV data" and the prompt for the value is flashing. I enter "8" and press "Enter". The cab then displays "SEnd". Then, it goes back to displaying "CV#". In program mode, there is no error. It just prompts me, I enter the value, it displays "SEnd" and that's it.

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, April 07, 2018 2:03 PM

As I read the Prodigy Advance manual in pertinent part it says,

1. Place the loco on the Program Track. 2. Press PROG to select “rEAd Prog Track” then press ENTER. 3. First, “Adr” will flash, prompting you to read the loco address. Press ENTER to read or press SHIFT to skip to the next item. It may take several seconds to retrieve the address. If the decoder does not support read back feature, you will receive an “Err” (Error message). 

In your earlier reply, you didn't mention the "Adr" message.

Rich 

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Posted by nemesys on Saturday, April 07, 2018 2:09 PM

richhotrain

As I read the Prodigy Advance manual in pertinent part it says,

1. Place the loco on the Program Track. 2. Press PROG to select “rEAd Prog Track” then press ENTER. 3. First, “Adr” will flash, prompting you to read the loco address. Press ENTER to read or press SHIFT to skip to the next item. It may take several seconds to retrieve the address. If the decoder does not support read back feature, you will receive an “Err” (Error message). 

In your earlier reply, you didn't mention the "Adr" message.

Rich 

 

Sorry, yes, it displays "Adr" after pressing "Enter" to "rEAd Prog Track". Above "Adr", there are 4 little bars that are flashing. If I press "Enter", the cab displays "rEAd" for a few seconds, then comes back to "Adr" with the 4 bars flashing above. All this time, the green LED on the booster stays on, meaning that current is sent to the track. Then, after maybe 10 or 15 seconds, the cab displays "Err Adr".

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, April 07, 2018 2:19 PM

Let's sidestep the Programming Track approach for the moment.

Going back to your initial post, has this loco ever moved? Apparently, you get sound and lights but no movement. Is that correct.

Rich

 

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Posted by nemesys on Saturday, April 07, 2018 2:31 PM

Yes, when I got it, it would respond to all commands sent to address 3. It's when I wanted to change its address that things went south. I did change the address of 3 other locomotives and I did proceed like I did for the others.

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, April 07, 2018 2:57 PM

So, the booster didn't solve the problem.  Someday it will, so the money isn't a total loss.  It made all the difference on my T55 locos.

Anyway, this topic might be helpful:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/744/t/209634.aspx

 

It's one of the things that turned up when I did a search for "mrc prodigy can't read cv".

Which is one of the things you seem to be having a problem with.

Another search that might turn out to be useful would be: "mrc prodigy tsunami can't reset".  But I kinda wonder if reading a number of CV's might prove to be useful.

From what I've seen, USUALLY, if a decoder works at all (and yours did, remember), the trick is finding out what's programmed wrong.  Or what you do/did wrong.

 

Ed

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, April 07, 2018 3:28 PM

If you are able to reset the Tsunami to factory default on the mainline (POM), that will reset the address to 3.  I know you said that the default prompts make no difference on the Programming Track, but will they work programming on the main?

Rich

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Posted by nemesys on Saturday, April 07, 2018 7:19 PM

7j43k

So, the booster didn't solve the problem.  Someday it will, so the money isn't a total loss.  It made all the difference on my T55 locos.

Anyway, this topic might be helpful:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/744/t/209634.aspx

 

It's one of the things that turned up when I did a search for "mrc prodigy can't read cv".

Which is one of the things you seem to be having a problem with.

Another search that might turn out to be useful would be: "mrc prodigy tsunami can't reset".  But I kinda wonder if reading a number of CV's might prove to be useful.

From what I've seen, USUALLY, if a decoder works at all (and yours did, remember), the trick is finding out what's programmed wrong.  Or what you do/did wrong.

 

Ed

 

Ed,

I did carefully read the thread that you referenced. That didn't help. I was thinking at some point that maybe I accidentally locked the decoder but I never touched CV15 or CV16. I did give it a shot, following the procedure recommended by Soundtraxx when you dont' know the code that locked the decoder. Each time, I would set CV15 to a value, then turn off the power, then turn it back on and try to read the address of the loco, then CV16. Sometimes, after waiting maybe 20 seconds, in reading mode, the address of the loco would be reported as 5872. Of course, I put it on the main track and tried that address but it would not respond. From the thread, I then set control to loco "0" and then tried some commands. This time, the loco would turn the light on, would start the mars light, would play any sound I wanted but it would not respond to the throttle.

I've tried to reset the loco multiple times on the main track by setting CV 8 to 8 and CV30 to 2, each time, turning off the power, no luck. It would not respond to address 3. I'm not sure what I can do at this point. I might look for a hobby shop in the area that could maybe reset it. Or I will return it to Ahearn.

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, April 07, 2018 7:38 PM

I'm running out of anything that might be helpful.

Except.

Perhaps join the Soundtraxx Yahoo group.  I've found the various DCC groups to have people who KNOW THINGS.  As opposed to myself.

 

Ed

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Posted by nemesys on Saturday, April 07, 2018 7:51 PM

7j43k

I'm running out of anything that might be helpful.

Except.

Perhaps join the Soundtraxx Yahoo group.  I've found the various DCC groups to have people who KNOW THINGS.  As opposed to myself.

 

Ed

 

Success!!!!

Well, not a complete success but I'm a happy camper right now. In a desperate attempt to recover it, I removed 4 lighted Amtrak cars that I didn't think about but were probably using some power. Then, I put my Athearn on the main track and then did try to set CV8 to 8 and CV30 to 2. I turned off the power, then turned it back on and then, the loco was finally responding to my commands on address 3!

I tried to change its address but no luck. So, I'll keep it at address 3 for now.

Thank you all!

P.S.: I've tried to put it back on the programming track to try to read its address. No luck. The controller would just give me "Adrr Err" after 20 seconds. That's a bit annoying if I can't change its address. That means I can't get another loco using a Tsunami decoder. Even with the booster. I might try to find an adapter for the specified voltage specified by the booster and try that instead of the power coming from the controller as suggested by Soundtraxx.

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, April 07, 2018 8:40 PM

OK, now that you got the loco to respond to short address 3, put it back on the Programming Track and see if you can read any CVs. Don't worry for the moment about trying to program a long address.

See if you can read the value in CV8 (Mfg ID) and CV7 (Version No.).

Let us know if you can get that far.

Rich

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Posted by 7j43k on Saturday, April 07, 2018 11:20 PM

nemesys

 

Success!!!!

Well, not a complete success but I'm a happy camper right now. In a desperate attempt to recover it, I removed 4 lighted Amtrak cars that I didn't think about but were probably using some power. Then, I put my Athearn on the main track and then did try to set CV8 to 8 and CV30 to 2. I turned off the power, then turned it back on and then, the loco was finally responding to my commands on address 3!

I tried to change its address but no luck. So, I'll keep it at address 3 for now.

Thank you all!

P.S.: I've tried to put it back on the programming track to try to read its address. No luck. The controller would just give me "Adrr Err" after 20 seconds. That's a bit annoying if I can't change its address. That means I can't get another loco using a Tsunami decoder. Even with the booster. I might try to find an adapter for the specified voltage specified by the booster and try that instead of the power coming from the controller as suggested by Soundtraxx.

 

 

I think Rich will join me with an: "Ease up, big fella." (from Cowboy TV days).

Let's get all calm and chill, and all that.

YES!  A very good thing (AVGT).

I think some more of that thinkin' stuff will be useful.

 

And, hooray!!

 

Ed

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, April 08, 2018 4:42 AM

Yes, I am in agreement with Ed. You (nemesys) are now on the right track, so to speak.

I don't think that there is any problem with the Programming Track or the PTB-100 which you likely need to read CVs on decoders like the Tsunami.

I think the problem is in the decoder, not the decoder itself but the programmed CV values.

My guess is that when you programmed the long address of 111, you selected a consist number. If so, that changed CV19 from zero to 111. Some decoders are known not to clear certain CVs even after a reset to factory default.

So, at this point, you want to regain the ability to read CVs on the programming track. And, of course, you need to regain the ability to program a long address.

If the Programming Track continues to cause problems in this regard, I would at least try to reset CV19 to zero on the mainline (POM). I just have a suspicion, right or wrong, that CV19 may be at the heart of the problem.

Rich

 

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Posted by bandmjim on Sunday, April 08, 2018 7:09 AM

I don't have MRC so don't know how they handle things, but, if you can control the loco with addy 3, a short address, try changing  addy POM to a number above 128, and see if that works, then if it does change it back to short addy 111 if that is the desired number and see if that works.  Have heard that you can not change a short addy to another short addy on the main, POM. and yes check CV 19 make sure it is 0.  Many people are confused as to what is a short address, and what is a long address, and some systems handle them differently, I think.

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, April 08, 2018 11:34 AM

Building on Rich's concerns with "consist", maybe you should clear all consists from your command station.  As a matter of housekeeping.

I recall accidentally pushing a button on my throttle at the wrong time, and then the loco would make sound, but not move.  It had something to do with consisting, I believe.  I did do a reset, and all was repaired.

 

Ed

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Posted by nemesys on Sunday, April 08, 2018 12:21 PM

richhotrain

OK, now that you got the loco to respond to short address 3, put it back on the Programming Track and see if you can read any CVs. Don't worry for the moment about trying to program a long address.

See if you can read the value in CV8 (Mfg ID) and CV7 (Version No.).

Let us know if you can get that far.

Rich

 

Rich,

I put the loco on the programming track again. Trying to read CV7 generates a "CV Err". Trying to read CV8 gives 254. I tried 3 times to read from CV8 as 254 seems to be a bogus value. Each time, it did return 254. I'm not sure I understand...

I tried again and here is the right sequence:

  • I chose "Prog rEAd"
  • I pressed "Enter" when prompted for the addres
  • After maybe 20 seconds, the cab replied "Adr Err"
  • I went to the CVs and entered CV7 and pressed "Enter"
  • After again maybe 20 seconds, the cab displayed "CV Err"
  • I pressed "Shift" and entered "8" to read the value from
  • After 20 seconds, "254" was returned by the cab
  • I entered 8 again because "254" sounded bogus to me. Again, the cab returned "254"
  • I then decided to read CV7 again
  • This time, the cab returned "254" again
  • I tried reading CV19. Same thing, "254" was returned

So, it seems that the first time I try to read a CV, it will return an error. Then, each subsequent time, the controller (or the decoder?) will return "254".

I should add that I also have an older Bachmann EMD60 that still had the horn couplers but is DCC equipped. I haven't been able to read an CV value from it either. I was initially able to change its address to "2" using my previous controller, the Bachmann E-Z Commands controller. Never had any problem setting addresses with it. Unfortunately, after getting my Prodigy, I sold it since i didn't have any use for it.

Finally, to take the power out of the equation, I tried to find a power adapter with 15V-500mA output. Didn't find any in the dozens I had. Then, I remembered I had this old Tyco controller. So, I measured the output of the accessory pins on it. It did measure 21VAC. I decided to connect the PTB-100 to its power. Everything seemed OK, the green LED on the booster was slowly blinking.

I repeated the same operations above, trying to initially read the loco address, then CV7, then CV8 and CV19. I got the exact same result. On the first read of CV7, I got "CV Err". Then, on the second read, I got "254". From then on, it didn't matter which CV I tried, they were all returning "254".

I tried again my old Bachmann. Same thing.

Does anybody can make any sense of this?

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, April 08, 2018 2:31 PM

To check the basics - You have the PTB-100 connected to the terminals for the program track on the base unit, and the other side of it is connected to track which is NOT part of the layout? To eliminate any issues, even if it is connected with insulated joiners, try a completely standalone piece of track

Don't use that power pack, you are exceeding the limits of the PTB-100. The maximum input voltage is 18V AC. Yellow wires to the program track connection, orange wires to a truly isolated piece of track.

                               --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 richhotrain on Sunday, April 08, 2018 5:31 PM

Yeah, recheck the wiring on the PTB-100, per manual:

INSTALLATION OF THE PTB-100

Typically, the PTB-100 will be permanently installed between the Command Station and the programming track. Be sure the programming track is electrically isolated from the rest of the layout wiring. Make your connections with the power supply and Command Station turned OFF.

There are just three pairs of connections to be made:

1. Connect one BLACK wire to one output of your Command Station power supply. Connect the other BLACK wire to the other output. These are the same outputs as connect to the power inputs on your Command Station. 

2. Connect one of the ORANGE wires to one rail of the programming track (Do not connect to the mainline!). Connect the other ORANGE wire to the other rail.

3. Connect one YELLOW wire to one Programming Track connection on your Command Station (these could be labeled 'Prog', 'Program Track' or something similar.) Connect the other YELLOW wire to the remaining connection.

Rich

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Posted by nemesys on Sunday, April 08, 2018 5:39 PM

richhotrain

Yeah, recheck the wiring on the PTB-100, per manual:

INSTALLATION OF THE PTB-100

Typically, the PTB-100 will be permanently installed between the Command Station and the programming track. Be sure the programming track is electrically isolated from the rest of the layout wiring. Make your connections with the power supply and Command Station turned OFF.

There are just three pairs of connections to be made:

1. Connect one BLACK wire to one output of your Command Station power supply. Connect the other BLACK wire to the other output. These are the same outputs as connect to the power inputs on your Command Station. 

2. Connect one of the ORANGE wires to one rail of the programming track (Do not connect to the mainline!). Connect the other ORANGE wire to the other rail.

3. Connect one YELLOW wire to one Programming Track connection on your Command Station (these could be labeled 'Prog', 'Program Track' or something similar.) Connect the other YELLOW wire to the remaining connection.

Rich

 

Yep! I just checked the connection. Everything is according to the book. The black wires are connected to the output. The orange wires are connected to the programming track, which is of course completely isolated from the main track. The yellow wires are connected to the program track output on the controller.

I'm not sure what else I can do.

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, April 08, 2018 6:16 PM

Have you tried to Program on the Main (POM)?

Rich

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