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decoder install in a athearn genesis 2-8-2 mikado

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decoder install in a athearn genesis 2-8-2 mikado
Posted by Nataraj on Sunday, May 28, 2006 11:46 PM
I want to install a decoder in my new ( not yet arrived ) athearn light mike and I wanted to purchase a decoder before it arrived.

So, I was wondering, is there a 8-pin or JST connector in the tender??
And what decoder would you reccomend???

Is LokSound( v3.5 ) a good one?? I have heard nothing but rave reviews, but it has a 8-pin plug, and I am not sure if there is a 8-pin "outlet" in the tender.

I would love to hear from all of you who have installed a decoder in this engine before!! Thanks in advance!!!
Nataraj -- Southern Pacific RULES!!! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The GS-4 was the most beautiful steam engine that ever touched the rails.
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Posted by scubaterry on Monday, May 29, 2006 3:05 AM
I put a Digitrax DH163 for motor control and a Soundtraxx DSX for sound. The tender was very easy to work with. I was able to put two med oval speakers in. Just make sure you get the bottom of the speakers sealed good and you can use the tender shell as the enclosure. I chose to put the speakers firing down rather than up thru the coal. FIring down you have room for two speakers the other way would only allow one. It sounds great. Just as good as my QSI units I think. Not as many sounds but plenty good. I am trying to remember what kind of plug it has and I can not remember. Unfortunately I have most of my RR stuff packed. Hurricane season starts this week and I want to be prepared this year. I live in the Florida Keys and last year with four major stomrs I spent a great deal of time packing and unpacking my stuff. I left out six locos and several dozen cars to putz around with. The lite Mike is packed away. I am sure it is a 2 X 4 pin (two rows four pins each). I would say go with sound (if you are DCC) or for the time being put in a motor decoder and add the speakers and sound chip as funds become available. My Athearn Genisis Mikado was the very first loco I bought when I started this MRR thing.
Terry[8D]
Terry Eatin FH&R in Sunny Florida
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Posted by tstage on Monday, May 29, 2006 3:26 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by scubaterry
My Athearn Genisis Mikado was the very first loco I bought when I started this MRR thing.
Terry[8D]

Terry,

You and I are too much alike. [(-D] Actually, my first was technically a Rivarossi 0-8-0 Yard goat. But after 2 days it quit on me, so I returned it to the LHS and bought the NYC Athearn 2-8-2 Mike. That's how I got started modeling the NYC.

Tom

My web site: 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 scubaterry on Monday, May 29, 2006 3:48 AM
Tom - I forget the road name mine was but it was not NYC. I road the NYC many times as a child. We lived in Upstate (waaaay upstate) NY and my granddad was a RR engineer in Bellefountaine, Ohio.

I removed the old Rd name and # when I got it and ironically just decaled it for the NKP two weeks ago (after five years). I model the NYC and the NKP as one entity . They just have different loco yards and routes on my layout. The BLI Mike I just bought is also NKP. My bowser Lite mike will be NKP as well. I all ready have a butt load of NYC locos so I am trying to build up my NKP fleet. I just bought two of the new Atlas run of Gp-7's for NKP.

Man you get up early too! Can't sleep my wife is working a double shift today and with Memorial day weekend iit s is crazy down here. All Ready had a triple fatality night before last and probably will go to five soon. Two survived the crash and are in critical condition. So me and the dogs are surfing the night away waiting for Momma to come home..
Terry[8D]
Terry Eatin FH&R in Sunny Florida
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Posted by dave9999 on Monday, May 29, 2006 8:34 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by Nataraj

I want to install a decoder in my new ( not yet arrived ) athearn light mike and I wanted to purchase a decoder before it arrived.

So, I was wondering, is there a 8-pin or JST connector in the tender??
And what decoder would you reccomend???

Is LokSound( v3.5 ) a good one?? I have heard nothing but rave reviews, but it has a 8-pin plug, and I am not sure if there is a 8-pin "outlet" in the tender.

I would love to hear from all of you who have installed a decoder in this engine before!! Thanks in advance!!!


Yes, the Mike has an eight pin plug in the tender with a dummy plug installed.
Simply unplug the dummy plug and plug in the decoder. Dave

EDIT: Now that I think about it, The Mike might of had the flat plug that plugs
directly into the decoder. It has been awhile and I actually cut the wires and hard wired the decoder(not recomended) because the LC decoder that I used
did not have the removeable plug at the end of the decoder. Soundtraxx has
a PDF on the installation. Here's a link. Good luck, Dave

http://soundtraxx.com/documents/appnotes/athearn_mikado.pdf
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Posted by cacole on Monday, May 29, 2006 9:25 AM
The Mikado tender has a JST 9-pin header that matches those found on decoders. If you want sound, get a decoder that has a JST connector and not the NMRA 8-pin plug. If you just want motor and headlight control, any decoder with a JST header will suffice.
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Posted by Nataraj on Monday, May 29, 2006 11:05 AM
Thanks!! Dave, thanks for the link, it helped.

Does anyone know if the LokSound has a JST connector under the shrink wrap?? I ask because I have never done a speaker install, and wanted the ease of plugging it in. I am not sure how to atach speakers to the tsunami.

Thanks for the help!!
Nataraj -- Southern Pacific RULES!!! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The GS-4 was the most beautiful steam engine that ever touched the rails.
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Posted by Nataraj on Monday, May 29, 2006 10:05 PM
Does anyone know if the LokSound has a JST connector under the shrink wrap??

Any loksound users out there???
Nataraj -- Southern Pacific RULES!!! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The GS-4 was the most beautiful steam engine that ever touched the rails.
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Posted by cacole on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 11:07 AM
I don't know about the LokSound, but the Tsunami has a JST header under the shrink wrap. The speaker must be soldered to the decoder's wires, so if you think you will ever need to remove the decoder you'll need to use a plug and socket for the speaker connections because the speaker will need to be glued in place so it doesn't rattle around loose.

Photos of the LokSound decoder, such as those found at http://www.digitrains.co.uk/product_3.html show it permanently connected to a speaker, and with an NMRA 8-pin plug on the end of a harness; however, I can't tell if it has a JST header or if the harness is soldered to the decoder.

The speaker used by LokSound is a 100 Ohm version, which is extremely difficult to locate in the US, so that's probably why they provide their own. The wires between the speaker and decoder seem to be about 2 inches long and the harness appears to be 3 or 4 inches long.
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Posted by Nataraj on Tuesday, May 30, 2006 9:31 PM
Thanks. I like the loksound because the speaker is included. I have NO experience with this. I really hope I can make the LokSound work with this engine.

I will ask my hobby shop this week.

Thanks!!
Nataraj -- Southern Pacific RULES!!! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The GS-4 was the most beautiful steam engine that ever touched the rails.
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Tsunami decoder install in a athearn genesis 2-8-2 mikado
Posted by mecovey on Monday, December 25, 2006 11:21 AM

Merry Christmas!

I received a Tsunami TSU-1000 along with a 1" speaker and sheet of lead for making the baffle for the speaker. I haven't installed a decoder since the Keller Engineering "Onboard" days and could use advice, opinions etc. I plan to install the speaker under the coal load in an Athearn Mike. The Mike has a DCC plug that extends into the tender while the TSU-1000 has 9 wire leads from the end that connects to the plug.

The installation notes on the Soundtraxx site shows decoder installation in this engine however the decoder being installed is the Soundtraxx DSD-1000LC and describes cutting the shrink wrap approximately 1/8" to expose the wire harness. The harness is to be removed and apparently plugged into the Athearn DCC plug after removing the jumper. Since the Tsunami instructions state the warranty is void if I cut the shrink wrapper, I need to know if the wire harness is removeable as in the picture of the DSD-1000LC and if the resulting decoder is then a "plug and play" installation (minus the speaker wiring and installation of course).

Common sense says the decoders are made the same way and the process is the same however since there are so many guys on this forum that know much more than I do about DCC etc I thought I'd better ask.

Any help would be appreicated.

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Posted by cacole on Monday, December 25, 2006 11:30 AM

The Athearn Genesis Mikado I have uses an umbilical cord that goes through a slot in the front of the tender with a 9-pin JST header on the end.

A Tsunami decoder has a JST header under the shrink wrap, which can be carefully cut away to expose the socket and remove the supplied harness.

Earlier version of the Genesis Mikado had problems because the shrink wrap around the harness between the locomotive and tender was too stiff and would not allow the locomotive to negotiate curves without derailing.  The cure was to very carefully cut away small sections of the shrink wrap so the umbilical cord was more flexible.

Tony's Train Exchange, Loy's Toys, Litchfield Station, and other DCC decoder suppliers sell speakers with enclosures.  An oval speaker with a proper enclosure will produce better sound than a round speaker because it has more cone area.

 

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Posted by mecovey on Monday, December 25, 2006 11:45 AM

Thanks for the quick response. is there anything in particular I should watch out for during the install?

 Mike

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Posted by cacole on Monday, December 25, 2006 12:11 PM

You have to open the tender up to put the speaker in, because it won't fit through the slot.  You also must drill holes in the bottom of the tender below the speaker so the sound can get out, or drill very small holes in the coal load if you want the speaker to be under it.  Where you place the speaker is going to depend on the speaker's size and shape.  Fasten the speaker with silicon Goop or double-sided foam tape around the edges so it doesn't rattle around loose.

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Posted by mecovey on Monday, December 25, 2006 2:34 PM

Again thanks for the quick response. I'll pull off the tender shell because even though the Soundtraxx site says the decoder will slide through the opening (step 14 on the Athearn Mikado Digital Decoder Installation notes) I have my doubts. It's not a big deal because I have to pull the shell to install the speaker anyway.

My wife ordered the decoder from Loy and he included the appropriate speaker part number LS-O 1" Oval speaker 8 ohm, 1 watt 200-20K Hz. He also included a sheet of thin lead along with instructions on how to make an enclosure. Loy says... "There's no need to drill holes in the shell to let the sound out. The sound will not only get out without the holes, it is usually amplified and made better by the shell."

 The instructions are fairly comprehensive regarding enclosure construction. I can fax you a copy if you would like. I suppose I can always drill holes after the fact if it turns out that I need them to let the sound out.

I think my primary points of concern are:

 1.The disconnect between what the web site shows on decoder installation and what the decoder instructions show as far as what wires are connected to what and

2. Whether the decoder minus the wiring harness will simply plug into the Athearn DCC plug.

One end of the decoder has 2 purple wires, a white wire and an black wire conntected to a red wire with a capacitor in between them.

The other end (the wiring harness end) has green, red,orange,blue,white,yellow,gray,black and brown wires. The instructions that came with the decoder don't say anything about removing the wiring harness and they show a tan wire going to an optional cam. (I didn't get the cam since the regualr chuff is close enough for me). I don't have a tan wire and it doesn't say anything about where the white wire goes on the this end. ( The white wire on the harness end is shown connected to the headlight.)

You mentioned your Mike has a 9 pin JST plug - I'm assuming mine does as well unless Athearn put out more than one style. I got mine right after they first came out.

The web site indicates I should purchase 8 pin connectors and wire them to the harness. Is that really necessary or again will the decoder simply plug into the Athearn DCC plug? The web site I'm looking at incidentally is:http://www.soundtraxx.com/documents/manuals/quickstart.pdf

Thanks again for your patience and help.

 

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Posted by cacole on Monday, December 25, 2006 3:15 PM

The two purple wires go to the speaker.  The wires with the capacitor connected simplify installation because with previous SoundTraxx decoders you had to wire the capacitor into one of the speaker leads, and SoundTraxx is now doing that for you.

Remove the Tsunami harness and it will plug directly into the Athearn header.  The recommendation to purchase another harness with the NMRA medium 8-pin plug is for installations where there is a DCC socket in the tender, such as Bachmann Spectrum models.

I'm sure your Mikado is the same as mine because I don't think the design has changed.  The conflicting information about harnesses, plugs, etc. is because different models require different ways of installing the decoder.

For the Athearn Genesis Mikado, remove the dummy plug from the end of the Athearn harness, remove the harness from the Tsunami, and plug them together.  Solder the two purple wires to the speaker, and you're done other than programming the decoder.

To get the most out of the Tsunami, go to the SoundTraxx web site and download their two manuals. 

Don't fasten the Tsunami to the tender.  It needs to be able to move around as the engine goes around curves, through turnouts, etc.  That's another one of the disadvantages to the Athearn umbilical cord approach.

 

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Posted by mecovey on Monday, December 25, 2006 3:32 PM

I look forward to the install which should be pretty straight forward thanks to you. Good idea about not securing the decoder to the tender. I'll let you know how it went.

Thanks againSmile [:)]

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