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I am pleased with MRC sound decoder for ATLAS S-2 and S-4

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  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Richmond, Texas
  • 393 posts
I am pleased with MRC sound decoder for ATLAS S-2 and S-4
Posted by RDG1519 on Friday, March 14, 2008 6:51 PM

Those looking for an easy, very good solution for adding sound to your ATLAS S-2 and S-4 should consider the new MRC sound decoder. My overall opinion FWIW is I like it a lot.

 Sound is a touch "tinnie" due to the penny size speaker with not much of a baffel. I had to quiet the sound down to the lowest settings and this made a big big improvement in sound quality. There are ancillary sounds such as the compressor and air release that come alive when you quiet down the engine exhaust. Some sounds are random and makes the little switcher very entertaining. The bells are selectable, the volume and period between rings is adjustable. Same with the horn. These are also selectable and of course the volume is adjustable. The lower settings have a much more believable sound. From start up sounds, idle sounds, and running sounds MRC has done a very good job.

Some say the sound recording is from a 244 and not a 539T for these engines and I think this is right. The exhaust rumble and that peculiar ALCO sound has more to do with the combustion control system that controls ignition, RPM's, spooling up etc. I have the LokSound  sound decoders for the S-1 and S-3 non turbo charged 539 and there is a difference but not that perceptable. For 68 bucks, including a speaker, from Tony's this is an economical easy sound project in what is otherwise a tough sound project due to size.

The installation is easy. Remove the light board, solder the pick up wires to the "lands". You need to file a few spots on the frame to make it fit and this is minor. I used electrical tape to insulate the frame from the new decoder as the power is directed to the lower brush via the frame and to the upper brush via a copper bridge that is bent on the bottom of the decoder board to touch the upper motor brush holder. Older versions of this switcher has 1 screw holding the light board, newer ones have 2. Mine was the older version. The LEDs are positioned to provide headlight and tail light. The original ATLAS has only a headlight in the older versions, I do not know about the new ones.

This decoder uses the latest technology in controlling the motor and when you "mute" the sound the motor is super quiet and will not chatter.

My thinking is if we knew the speaker "ohms" we could use a slightly larger speaker or better a nicer baffel and this would improve it. However you would then be able to see it.

I am so pleased I will add another one of these to my fleet.

Great grandson of John Kiefer, Engineman Philadelphia and Reading Railroad, 1893 to 1932
  • Member since
    November 2002
  • From: Thornton, CO
  • 763 posts
Posted by jwils1 on Saturday, March 15, 2008 8:11 AM
I'm really pleased with the motor control of this decoder.  It's much improved over a couple other MRC decoders that I have.

Jerry

Rio Grande vs. Santa Fe.....the battle is over but the glory remains!

  • Member since
    June 2004
  • From: Orig: Tyler Texas. Lived in seven countries, now live in Sundown, Louisiana
  • 25,640 posts
Posted by jeffrey-wimberly on Saturday, March 15, 2008 8:20 AM
 davidmbedard wrote:

Let us know how long the decoder lasts....

David B

Sign - Ditto [#ditto]

Ditto on that. I had nothing but bad luck with MRC decodersDead [xx(]. How can a company that makes such good power supplies and other electronics make such horrid decoders? 

Running Bear, Sundown, Louisiana
          Joined June, 2004

Dr. Frankendiesel aka Scott Running Bear
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  • Member since
    November 2002
  • From: Thornton, CO
  • 763 posts
Posted by jwils1 on Saturday, March 15, 2008 8:38 AM
 jeffrey-wimberly wrote:
 davidmbedard wrote:

Let us know how long the decoder lasts....

David B

Sign - Ditto [#ditto]

Ditto on that. I had nothing but bad luck with MRC decodersDead [xx(]. How can a company that makes such good power supplies and other electronics make such horrid decoders? 

I'm wondering if these things are changing for the better with regard to MRC decoders.  This one is so much better than some of the older ones and has some nice features.  Of course time will tell as to how well it performs.

I especially appreciate MRC's efforts to make sound decoders to fit certain locos that have been difficult to fit for some of us.  And to include the speakers that fit in such tight quarters is helpful.  For those of us that don't have the skills or knowledge for such installations this is very welcome.

Jerry

Rio Grande vs. Santa Fe.....the battle is over but the glory remains!

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