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Looking for an HO DCC & Sound articulated 2-6-6-2

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  • Member since
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Looking for an HO DCC & Sound articulated 2-6-6-2
Posted by gary233 on Saturday, July 07, 2018 8:47 AM

Hi all,

I’m in the market for an articulated 2-6-6-2.  All I see is Mantua.  Anyone have experience with these? What decoder is in them, do they run smooth?  Is there a better product available?

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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, July 07, 2018 9:38 AM

I’ve had a Mantua 2-6-6-2 for several years.  It’s a good runner and the sound is adequate, not enough bass for me.  With out sound it is a very noisy runner, the sound covers the noise.  It creeps very nice and general performance is very good.  My only negative is the noisy running but it isn’t noticeable with the sound on.
 
As for the decoder I’ve never opened it up because it worked great out of the box.  I only changed the address to match the road number, I don’t have a clue what brand the decoder is.
 
It’s one of the very few locomotives I’ve bought new and if I wanted a second 2-6-6-2 I’d buy another Mantua.  The detail ranks pretty good in my books and it will pull a dozen over weight log cars up my 3½% grades.  I would rate it in the upper 90% range as a quality locomotive.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by richg1998 on Saturday, July 07, 2018 10:17 AM

I did a little searching and it seems it has a factory MRC decoder.

I did find a couple links where a couple guys substituted a different decoder.

Rich

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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, July 07, 2018 10:35 AM

I set up my Mantua for programming on JMRI and it says its an MRC (143) 1639.  I bought it in 2010.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
 
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Posted by gary233 on Saturday, July 07, 2018 10:35 AM

Thanks for teh replies. This and other forums are full of problems with MRC Decoders but if ther loco is as good runner I cant replace it with a Lok Sound or other decoder.

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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, July 07, 2018 10:54 AM

I think that the problems other see with MRC decoders are man made.  I have a dozen MRC decoders and I’ve never had any problems, some are 12 years old.  I really like the 1700 series decoders.
 
I’ve only had one DCC decoder fail and it was infant mortality, DOA out of the box.  I have MRC, Digitrax and Soundtraxx decoders and never had a single problem with any of them.
 
They have all worked very good.  Randy walked me through the proper programming using Decoder Pro to set the motor CVs because from the factory they were not set to the proper values for my 3½% grades.  Since I set them up correctly all of my decoder work GREAT.
 
I have two MRC 1731 decoders each powering a pair of Canon EN22 motors in my Rivarossi articulateds that work perfect.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by tstage on Saturday, July 07, 2018 11:15 AM

RR_Mel
I think that the problems other see with MRC decoders are man made.

Mel,

I'm glad you're happy with your MRC decoders.  I have one bad MRC sound decoder experience that was installed in a friend's F-unit years ago when their decoders were fairly new to the market.  While the motor-control was decent, the prime mover sounded like a UFO taking off.  The sound was distorted and the volume wasn't even load.

I'll stick with my Loksound and TCS decoders.  If the Soundtraxx Tsunami 2 decoders do have improved motor-control (that some claim) then maybe I'll give one of those a try sometime.

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by rrinker on Saturday, July 07, 2018 11:34 AM

 I got one MRC decoder to see for myself. The board wuality is sub-par compared to any of the others - ie, sloppy soldering, etc. But it does work, it runs the loco fine, and it makes noise. The bigger problem is the quality of the noise - it's supposed to be an Alco 244 for an RS3. It sort of kind of sounds like an Alco. Horns are mostly muddled, even worse than Tsunami ones. It has a large election of horns, which is nice, however there is no documentation that says setting the horn CV to say, 5 results in a Leslie 3 chime or something. And an email to MRC tech support elicited a respone of "we don't keep track of that"  What? So while I have no judgement on long-term reliability, just about everything else about them says "don't bother"

                                  --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 gary233 on Saturday, July 07, 2018 12:02 PM

Any one else able to attest to running performance? Slow, pulling power, etc.  If they run good I can switch out the decoder.

How about Bachmann Spectrum HO 2-6-6-2?

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, July 07, 2018 12:09 PM

gary233

Any one else able to attest to running performance? Slow, pulling power, etc.  If they run good I can switch out the decoder.

How about Bachmann Spectrum HO 2-6-6-2?

 

I have a Bachmann Spectrum 2-6-6-2 that I bought 14 years ago. It came NIB DCC Ready, and I installed an NCE D13SRP decoder. One of my all time favorite HO scale steamers.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by snjroy on Sunday, July 08, 2018 7:10 AM

I believe the Mantua is much smaller than the Bachmann and more appropriate for a logging operation. I own one, a 70s model. It runs well, but I added a tender for the decoder and extra electrical pickups. I can't comment on the latest runs.

Simon

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, July 08, 2018 11:18 AM

snjroy

I believe the Mantua is much smaller than the Bachmann and more appropriate for a logging operation. 

Yes, the Bachmann Spectrum 2-6-6-2 is a coal drag.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by richg1998 on Sunday, July 08, 2018 12:14 PM

You can also join the Bachmann forums and ask in the HO forum. There are users of the 2-6-6-2 there. I have seen discussions of this loco there. The site shows a lot about this loco also, parts list, DCC info, etc.

If you go to the HO forum and search that forum even without being signed in you can see discussions including the Mantua loco but the discussions are dated.

Rich

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Posted by BNSF UP and others modeler on Sunday, July 08, 2018 6:16 PM

Or you can cruise through ebay...

 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, July 08, 2018 6:19 PM

My Bachmann USRA 2-6-6-2 is a nice-running locomotive, but it's not DCC equipped...

It's not an especially good puller, though, possibly due to the fact that both tenders are equipped with wipers for all-wheel pick-up...perhaps a little more pressure on them than is needed.

Wayne

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Posted by richg1998 on Sunday, July 08, 2018 10:08 PM

Bachmann still seems to have parts for the 2-6-6-2 and the tender does have a place for what looks like a 28mm speaker and a PC board to plug in a decoder.. They sell a sound module.

The loco did come DCC ready as I recall.

I would look at the TCS site for conversion.

The discussions I remember the past few years, it was a good runner.

The links I found seem to indicate the Mantua is a little noisy but the sound verson seems to cover it up.

Rich

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Posted by snjroy on Monday, July 09, 2018 6:22 AM

The Rivarossi 2-6-6-2 is also a good option. A very smooth runner and good puller. 

Simon

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, July 09, 2018 9:31 AM

The Bachmann 2-6-6-2 is a USRA light Mallet. I believe it has been offered with sound; at least I know many Bachmann engines have come with the 'budget' Tsunami. I believe all of them come DCC ready with lightboard and 8-pin receptacle, however the early ones don't have an opening in the tender for a speaker so you have to add one (i.e. drill some holes in the floor).

One thing to note is the Bachmann engine is a 'true' Mallet - that is, double-expansion, with high and low pressure cylinders. That means for sound it would only have four chuffs per driver rotation like a two-cylinder engine, as steam was exhausted from the high pressure rear cylinders to the low pressure large front cylinders, and then exhausted up the stack. The Mantua engine IIRC is an articulated but not a Mallet - all four cylinders are the same size and all use steam directly, so all four cylinders exhaust directly up the stack for a total of eight 'chuffs' per revolution. So on the Mantua one, you'd want to a use a sound decoder allowing for a synchopated chuff.

Stix

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