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Athearn sound equipped locos. Good or bad?

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Athearn sound equipped locos. Good or bad?
Posted by tuilockie on Sunday, May 28, 2023 10:22 AM

I have two Athearn Genesis sound equipped locos and to say I loathe them is an understatement. I am sure I am the problem, no doubt about that. However, I have sound equipped locos from BLI, Bachmann and Rapido, etc and have  no problems with them whatsoever (I dont like sound, but they all came with it.)

The Athearn Big Boy which I bought a couple of years ago I got to work after a couple of hours of alternatively cussing and praying. Now after sitting on a shelf for 6 months it is not working at all and going back to Athearn for repairs. It never worked on DC.  I will ask Athearn if they can replace the sound decoder(which to me sounds terrible anyway) with a basic decoder that just turns the engine on and off.

I also have a new Athearn Genesis SD70ACE and I can't for the life of me get it to work reliabley. Again the sound quality is that of an elecric can opener. I can't get the loco to respond to the DCC controller at all. The engine jerks, the lights and horn flash  and blast constantly and the sound won't turn off. 

I have attempted to reset to factory settings several times, but to no avail. All my other DCC engines apart from the 2 Athearn sound equipped units are fine and respond exactly as their respective websites say they ought.

With both of these Athearn locos I have had problems right out of the box. I am at the stage that I will never buy another Athearn loco with factroy fitted DCC again. I am not smart enough for Athearn products. Hats off to those of  you who are.

Any suggesetions would be good. Thanks.

EDIT: I took my Big Boy to the local train store and one of the people who work there got it sorted out in all of 30 seconds. My ignorance knows no bounds. 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Sunday, May 28, 2023 11:39 AM

I am sorry when anyone has bad experiences with any manufacturers product.  I think you have Soundtraxx decodeers is those locos.  I have no first hand experience with Soundtraxx or recently produced Athearn engines. 

Athearn is not a brand where there are a lot of complaints in this forum.  There are Soundtraxx haters especially in some other forums.  Besides the poor sound, your second engine shouldn't be doing any of those things.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, May 28, 2023 12:05 PM

tuilockie
"Athearn sound equipped locos. Good or bad?".

I'm not at all familiar with them, but after 40-some years in a steel mill, toy-train noise won't cut it.

I remember the steam age, and with the tracks just across the street, the sounds were imprinted on my brain....and likewise when the diesels arrived.  My imagination takes care of all the sounds that I need.

Wayne

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Posted by wrench567 on Sunday, May 28, 2023 4:28 PM

  Sorry for your issues. I have one Athearn sound equiped locomotive that runs and sounds really good. It doesn't get run much because it's way out of my time frame but I do run it on special occasions. To honor our troops and veterans.

   Have you tried disabling DC in CV29? Wheels and track clean? Have you turned down the volume? The volume set too high can cause clipping and distortions from the tiny speakers. The Big boy could have a multitude of issues. One common problem is the connection between engine and tender. Another is bent side rods due to mis handling or a collision. Steam locomotives, even model ones are complicated machines and some mechanical knowledge is required for diagnosis and repair.

      Pete.

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Posted by Pruitt on Sunday, May 28, 2023 4:48 PM

I bought a Pacific a few years ago (vintage early 2000's) at a train show. When I took it home and put it on the layout I could hear the motor running but the loco didn't move. I learned that both that and the Mikado that was produced about the same time were real lemons. Cracked gears in the drivetrains was one common problem, and another was that the stiff wires to the decoder in the tender tended to derail the tenders even on broad curves!

I did major surgery on the Pacific and got it to run, but it ran like a low cost train set loco. 

I talked to the Athearn reps at the Denver train show last year, and they pretty much admitted that those locos were garbage.

I'd be very careful of buying any Athearn loco manufactured after about the year 2000, and especially after Horizon Hobbies acquired them in 2004. 

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Posted by snjroy on Sunday, May 28, 2023 8:38 PM

How old is the Big Boy? I believe the old version had an MRC decoder. Not the best decoder on market... I own two Athearn locos, a 4-4-0 and a 2-8-0. Both have MDC ancestry, with updated tooling from Athearn. Both run well. The 4-4-0 still has the original MRC sound decoder. Motor control is not great but I'm not too fussy.

Simon 

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Posted by John-NYBW on Monday, May 29, 2023 11:31 AM

I have several Athearn sound locos, an F-3 A/B set and a GP-7. Both are good runners and have never given me trouble. The GP-7 has very anemic sound for a high end engine. It was one of the early Genesis sound equipped locos, so maybe that is the problem. A few months ago I started a thread about upgrading the sound on that one and a few others on my roster. The question was whether I could increase the volume through CV modification, change speakers, and/or change decoders. Unfortunately I haven't had the opportunity to check any of that out yet. The train room and I have been strangers the last 6 months. 

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, May 29, 2023 6:01 PM

I have a number of ancient Athearn engines.  Most are just dummies, as their internals are from the 50s and 60s and not up to modern standards.  However, they're still old friends I like having on my layout and having around to make longer consists than needed on a very flat track plan.  They're all old BB models.

Most have simple Digitrax Soundbug decoders. It's easy to install these in dummy engines with the engines removed, with plenty of space and no interference from drive towers or motors.  I have one Walthers GP9M which for some reason has the same oversized body shell as an Athearn GP9.

I'm not an audiophile.  These are fine for me.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by Morpar on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 5:39 AM

I have the SD80MAC and one of the UP turbines and am very pleased with both the operation and sound. Admittedly I did have to turn down the master volume on both and turn up the bell volume on the SD80, which was easy to do using JMRI on my programming track. 

Good Luck, Morpar

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 9:08 AM

As several replies have touched upon, a big problem answering these type of questions is that most manufacturers have changed whose decoders they use over time. Even though externally the model is the same, the company might have used say MRC decoders 20 years ago, Soundtraxx 10 years ago, and be using ESU Loksound decoders now. Each have different qualities, good and bad points.

Stix
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Posted by tuilockie on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 1:23 PM

Yes, you are right. It is a Tsunami 2. I am seriously considering having it replaced with a basic Digitrax decoder. 

I do believe it is something I am doing. I find it hard to believe that with the 3 Athearn Genesis with factory fitted sound I have had, that all of them came with the problems I have experienced.

Although I am not sure what as all my other decoder equipped locos, including even my Blue Box locos where they are fitted with after market decoders are just fine.

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Posted by tuilockie on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 1:26 PM

Deactiviating CV 29. Yes I tried that. Wheels are clean. I tried to check the pins for the connection between tender and locomotive to see if I had bent any. Does not look as though I have. The side rods look fine to me and there has never been a collision. 

I agree abouth mode steam engines being complicated which is why I will send it off as I dont trust myself to take it apart.

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Posted by tuilockie on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 1:33 PM

snjroy

How old is the Big Boy? I believe the old version had an MRC decoder. Not the best decoder on market... I own two Athearn locos, a 4-4-0 and a 2-8-0. Both have MDC ancestry, with updated tooling from Athearn. Both run well. The 4-4-0 still has the original MRC sound decoder. Motor control is not great but I'm not too fussy.

Simon 

 

Its not to old. I bought it new in 2021. It ran well when I first got it. That was after 2 hours of fiddling around to get it started.

Pruitt

I bought a Pacific a few years ago (vintage early 2000's) at a train show. When I took it home and put it on the layout I could hear the motor running but the loco didn't move. I learned that both that and the Mikado that was produced about the same time were real lemons. Cracked gears in the drivetrains was one common problem, and another was that the stiff wires to the decoder in the tender tended to derail the tenders even on broad curves!

I did major surgery on the Pacific and got it to run, but it ran like a low cost train set loco. 

I talked to the Athearn reps at the Denver train show last year, and they pretty much admitted that those locos were garbage.

I'd be very careful of buying any Athearn loco manufactured after about the year 2000, and especially after Horizon Hobbies acquired them in 2004. 

 

Very interestign and alarming TBH. A friend of mine told me I have waited for the BLI model. 

MisterBeasley

I have a number of ancient Athearn engines.  Most are just dummies, as their internals are from the 50s and 60s and not up to modern standards.  However, they're still old friends I like having on my layout and having around to make longer consists than needed on a very flat track plan.  They're all old BB models.

Most have simple Digitrax Soundbug decoders. It's easy to install these in dummy engines with the engines removed, with plenty of space and no interference from drive towers or motors.  I have one Walthers GP9M which for some reason has the same oversized body shell as an Athearn GP9.

I'm not an audiophile.  These are fine for me.

 

Most of my engines are Athearn BB. A number are fitted with simple decoders and run really well. 

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Posted by jjdamnit on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 2:40 PM

Hello All,

tuilockie
I do believe it is something I am doing.

Operator error is always a possibility.

What DCC system are you using?

Do you use a dedicated programming track or Programming On The Main (POM)?

Some decoders require "cycling" the power- -removing and replacing the unit back on the track- -for the reset to take.

I realize this might not be an option but have you considered setting up a bench programming track?

My DCC system is NCE but I have set up a separate programming track through my Mac Mini using JMRI Decoder Pro software and a Digitrax PR3 (PR3 has been discontinued and superceeded by the PR4).

I also partitioned the Mac hard drive and installed Windows 10 OS.

Newer Macs can run both Apple OSX and Windows!

For some folks changing CVs can be confusing.

The JMRI Decoder Pro is available for both Mac and PC.

It gives you a graphic interface, along with a list of CVs, that makes diagnostics and programming easier.

You can download JMRI Decoder Pro and use it as a standalone CV calculator.

Then you enter the CV values with your DCC system.

Also, Digitrax has an online CV calculator. Then these values can be entered with your DCC system.

One advantage of setting up a separate programming track using JMRI Decoder Pro software is when you add a new loco to your roster you specify which decoder you are programming.

When in the programming mode the specific options and CVs are listed specific to that particular decoder.

I realize this is not an immediate solution to your issues, but this option can definitely help in the setup and troubleshooting of difficult locomotives.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by tuilockie on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 3:21 PM

Hi, I am using a Digitrax DCS 52. Starter DCC controller.

I am using a programming track. Although I have also tried programminng on the main. Good news is that I now have lights and sound in the Big Boy but still no movement. 

I am not to keen on removing the DCC board in a steam loco. I dont trust myself  taking apart a steam locomotive. 

I may have to look at JMRI. I have heard good things about it for sure.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 3:45 PM

tuilockie

I am not to keen on removing the DCC board in a steam loco. I dont trust myself  taking apart a steam locomotive. 

I'm not sure about your locomotives, but my large steamers have the DCC decoder in the tender, not the locomotive.  That may be a bit less frightening. 

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by BigDaddy on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 5:17 PM

MisterBeasley
I'm not sure about your locomotives, but my large steamers have the DCC decoder in the tender, not the locomotive.

My small steamers have decoders in the tender, too.

That said, I am wondering if the OP is doing something incorrectly, that he does not see.  Perhaps if you shared your location, there might be a member close to you that would be willing to help.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

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Posted by jjdamnit on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 5:49 PM

Hello All,

tuilockie
I am using a Digitrax DCS 52. Starter DCC controller.

This All-In-One Throttle/Command Station/Booster is commonly referred to by its name of Zephyer Express.

It's a great unit for expansion. I doubt it's the Digitrax All-In-One Throttle/Command Station/Booster.

Off Topic

I use NCE DCC control with primarily Digitrax decoders- -inexpensive and reliable!

How NCE "handles" multiple unit lash-ups (Advanced Consisting) is different than how the Digigitrax decoder receives these commands. I contacted Digitrax about this issue and they gave me a CV solution. 

Now, back to your issue...

Have you researched which brand, and class of decoders are installed in these specific units?

A quick search revealed that the SD70ACE has a SoundTraxx Tsunami2 sound decoder factory installed.

The HO Genesis 4-8-8-4 Big Boy seems to have been upgraded to an unknown decoder- -not good news for an older model.

According to the SoundTraxx troubleshooting page:

I need to reset my decoder

  • All SoundTraxx decoders can be reset by entering a value of 8 into CV 8. After programming CV8 = 8, cycle power to the decoder (i.e. turn decoder power off and then on again).

Cycling the power is a step people often overlook, especially with a large steam loco and tender.

Removing and replacing can be difficult using 0-5-0s!

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by tuilockie on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 7:37 PM

MisterBeasley

 

 I'm not sure about your locomotives, but my large steamers have the DCC decoder in the tender, not the locomotive.  That may be a bit less frightening. 
 

Good point. Yes, the decoder is in the tender too.

 

BigDaddy

 My small steamers have decoders in the tender, too.

That said, I am wondering if the OP is doing something incorrectly, that he does not see.  Perhaps if you shared your location, there might be a member close to you that would be willing to help.

 

I think I am definitely doing something incorrectly. Highly unlikely for me to have multiple engines and they are all bad. The fact that I am struggling even resetting to factory settings indicates to me that I don't really know what I am doing with DCC.

 

quote user="jjdamnit"]

Hello All,

 

 This All-In-One Throttle/Command Station/Booster is commonly referred to by its name of Zephyer Express.

It's a great unit for expansion. I doubt it's the Digitrax All-In-One Throttle/Command Station/Booster.

Off Topic

I use NCE DCC control with primarily Digitrax decoders- -inexpensive and reliable!

How NCE "handles" multiple unit lash-ups (Advanced Consisting) is different than how the Digigitrax decoder receives these commands. I contacted Digitrax about this issue and they gave me a CV solution. 

Now, back to your issue...

Have you researched which brand, and class of decoders are installed in these specific units?

A quick search revealed that the SD70ACE has a SoundTraxx Tsunami2 sound decoder factory installed.

The HO Genesis 4-8-8-4 Big Boy seems to have been upgraded to an unknown decoder- -not good news for an older model.

According to the SoundTraxx troubleshooting page:

I need to reset my decoder

  • All SoundTraxx decoders can be reset by entering a value of 8 into CV 8. After programming CV8 = 8, cycle power to the decoder (i.e. turn decoder power off and then on again).

Cycling the power is a step people often overlook, especially with a large steam loco and tender.

Removing and replacing can be difficult using 0-5-0s!

Hope this helps.

 

[/quote]

Yes the Zephyr is what I have. It cost around $200. So not the more advanced versions.

The Big Boy I have is a Tsunami 2 sound decoder. I now have sounds and lights, which is an improvement. Just need it to move. 

I have been trying to cycle after I attempt a factory reset. However, I think I am doing something wrong as my attempts at factory reset are not working.

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 9:00 AM

FWIW when I changed / upgraded my DCC system I kept my old Zephyr to use on a small circle of track I use as for break-in runs and for programming, as I found the Zephyr was easier to program with. 

Just to check everything...when you do the factory re-set, are you then accessing the engine via ID 03? It should be changed back to that. 

Are you programming on the programming track in Paged mode? When you press the programming button, it should scroll through the various types. Paged seems to work best. At least on my Zephyr, after you select paged, you can press the loco button and it will come to program the short (two-digit) ID, if you press loco again it goes to program the long (four-digit) ID. The Zephyr automagically adjusts CV29 to allow for the long ID if you choose that, so you don't have to do anything else. 

Stix
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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 12:27 PM

Interesting.  I think that the Athearn Genesis Tsunami 2 equipeed locos are the best on the market.  I own about 25 of them, and never had a problem with any of them.  Some did jerk a little at slow speeds, but that's more about tightness in the drivetrain of a particular loco than any design flaw or systemic assembly problems. 

I've never had a problem with any Soundtraxx T2 decoder installed by Athearn.

Put in on the track and the loco jerks with the lights flashing and horn blaring?  Sounds like a command station settings issue to me.

BTW, setting CV 30 to 2 then CV 8 to 8 is the best reset...and lifting the wheels off of one track for 10 seconds.  After about 15 to 20 seconds of replacing the loco on both tracks, all of the lights should flash at once telling you the decoder has been reset.  Which includes to the factory default address of 3.

And setting CV 215 to 65 with high momentum setting to CV 3 and 4 gives the best perfromance for Athearn T2 decoders, IMO.

- Douglas

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 3:58 PM

Speaking of CV3 and 4, when you (the OP) turn the power up on the engine, does it make a sound of the diesel enging revving up? If so, but it doesn't move, it could be CV3 (start momentum) got set too high...although eventually the engine would move. I suppose CV 5 and 6 (full speed and half speed settings) could have accidently gotten set too low (like to 1 or 3 or something). Maybe try doing the re-set then check that CVs 2-3-4-5-6 are at zero. CV1 (short address) should read 03.

Stix
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Posted by tuilockie on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 7:10 PM

wjstix

FWIW when I changed / upgraded my DCC system I kept my old Zephyr to use on a small circle of track I use as for break-in runs and for programming, as I found the Zephyr was easier to program with. 

Just to check everything...when you do the factory re-set, are you then accessing the engine via ID 03? It should be changed back to that. 

Are you programming on the programming track in Paged mode? When you press the programming button, it should scroll through the various types. Paged seems to work best. At least on my Zephyr, after you select paged, you can press the loco button and it will come to program the short (two-digit) ID, if you press loco again it goes to program the long (four-digit) ID. The Zephyr automagically adjusts CV29 to allow for the long ID if you choose that, so you don't have to do anything else. 

 

I wish I was more knowledgeable then I could do a better job of answering your questions. I am not sure if I am programming in paged mode. I will have a look. I actually just packed the Big Boy up and am taking it in tomorrow for a couple of people to look at. They will likely be able to tell me what I am doing wrong in pretty short order. At least I hope so. 

If it is the decoder, more likely it is me the operator than the decoder IMO, I will then have the decoder replaced with something much more basic.

 

Doughless

Interesting.  I think that the Athearn Genesis Tsunami 2 equipeed locos are the best on the market.  I own about 25 of them, and never had a problem with any of them.  Some did jerk a little at slow speeds, but that's more about tightness in the drivetrain of a particular loco than any design flaw or systemic assembly problems. 

I've never had a problem with any Soundtraxx T2 decoder installed by Athearn.

Put in on the track and the loco jerks with the lights flashing and horn blaring?  Sounds like a command station settings issue to me.

BTW, setting CV 30 to 2 then CV 8 to 8 is the best reset...and lifting the wheels off of one track for 10 seconds.  After about 15 to 20 seconds of replacing the loco on both tracks, all of the lights should flash at once telling you the decoder has been reset.  Which includes to the factory default address of 3.

And setting CV 215 to 65 with high momentum setting to CV 3 and 4 gives the best perfromance for Athearn T2 decoders, IMO.

 

Your post gives me hope and reason to expect that I am most likely the problem here. Just about everybody I have come across thinks highly of Soundtraxx and their products. 

I did try to set the CV30=2 and CV8=8. I got no improvement. I then tried setting CV30=4 as I thought that was for analog. Still no movement.

 

wjstix

Speaking of CV3 and 4, when you (the OP) turn the power up on the engine, does it make a sound of the diesel enging revving up? If so, but it doesn't move, it could be CV3 (start momentum) got set too high...although eventually the engine would move. I suppose CV 5 and 6 (full speed and half speed settings) could have accidently gotten set too low (like to 1 or 3 or something). Maybe try doing the re-set then check that CVs 2-3-4-5-6 are at zero. CV1 (short address) should read 03.

 

For the last couple of days I have totally focused on the Big Boy. I will be looking at the SD70ACE tomorrow night. I feel better about that one TBH as at least it moves now in both DC and DCC.

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 8:41 PM

tuilockie

 

 
wjstix

FWIW when I changed / upgraded my DCC system I kept my old Zephyr to use on a small circle of track I use as for break-in runs and for programming, as I found the Zephyr was easier to program with. 

Just to check everything...when you do the factory re-set, are you then accessing the engine via ID 03? It should be changed back to that. 

Are you programming on the programming track in Paged mode? When you press the programming button, it should scroll through the various types. Paged seems to work best. At least on my Zephyr, after you select paged, you can press the loco button and it will come to program the short (two-digit) ID, if you press loco again it goes to program the long (four-digit) ID. The Zephyr automagically adjusts CV29 to allow for the long ID if you choose that, so you don't have to do anything else. 

 

 

 

I wish I was more knowledgeable then I could do a better job of answering your questions. I am not sure if I am programming in paged mode. I will have a look. I actually just packed the Big Boy up and am taking it in tomorrow for a couple of people to look at. They will likely be able to tell me what I am doing wrong in pretty short order. At least I hope so. 

If it is the decoder, more likely it is me the operator than the decoder IMO, I will then have the decoder replaced with something much more basic.

 

 

 
Doughless

Interesting.  I think that the Athearn Genesis Tsunami 2 equipeed locos are the best on the market.  I own about 25 of them, and never had a problem with any of them.  Some did jerk a little at slow speeds, but that's more about tightness in the drivetrain of a particular loco than any design flaw or systemic assembly problems. 

I've never had a problem with any Soundtraxx T2 decoder installed by Athearn.

Put in on the track and the loco jerks with the lights flashing and horn blaring?  Sounds like a command station settings issue to me.

BTW, setting CV 30 to 2 then CV 8 to 8 is the best reset...and lifting the wheels off of one track for 10 seconds.  After about 15 to 20 seconds of replacing the loco on both tracks, all of the lights should flash at once telling you the decoder has been reset.  Which includes to the factory default address of 3.

And setting CV 215 to 65 with high momentum setting to CV 3 and 4 gives the best perfromance for Athearn T2 decoders, IMO.

 

 

 

Your post gives me hope and reason to expect that I am most likely the problem here. Just about everybody I have come across thinks highly of Soundtraxx and their products. 

I did try to set the CV30=2 and CV8=8. I got no improvement. I then tried setting CV30=4 as I thought that was for analog. Still no movement.

 

 

 
wjstix

Speaking of CV3 and 4, when you (the OP) turn the power up on the engine, does it make a sound of the diesel enging revving up? If so, but it doesn't move, it could be CV3 (start momentum) got set too high...although eventually the engine would move. I suppose CV 5 and 6 (full speed and half speed settings) could have accidently gotten set too low (like to 1 or 3 or something). Maybe try doing the re-set then check that CVs 2-3-4-5-6 are at zero. CV1 (short address) should read 03.

 

 

 

For the last couple of days I have totally focused on the Big Boy. I will be looking at the SD70ACE tomorrow night. I feel better about that one TBH as at least it moves now in both DC and DCC.

 

My comments pertain to Athearn Genesis Diesels with the T2.  I don't know about steam or the big boy, but if its a T2 the basic CVs and operations should be pretty similar.

Why are you concerend about running the locomotives on both DC and DCC?  I would just focus on operating it in DCC for now.

I would think that setting the SD70 CV 30 to 2 and then CV 8 to 8 and lifting it off of one rail for a few seconds it would reset it to factory settings....lights flashing when its reset.  Then it can be programmed how you want it.  It doesn't take special DCC knowledge to reset the loco.

Provided you can access the locomotive by calling up its address. 

Are you saying that once you reset it (and all of the lights flash) the loco won't respond to speed steps on the throttle?   What do you mean when you say that " I get no improvement"?  (maybe you're talking about the big boy)

Do you know what the address is for the SD70?

- Douglas

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, June 1, 2023 8:41 AM

Go to the Zephyr Express manual on page 25, "11.3 Read and Write Configuration Variables". It will explain how to select which method of programming you're using. Key thing is, if you put the engine on the programming track, but have selected Ops on Mainline, you're sending the programming information to the layout rather than the programming track.

That section will also tell you how to read CVs so you can tell whether the information is getting to the engine's decoder or not.

With some decoders, they can be set so as soon as they sense DCC track power they begin making sounds and perhaps even lights, but won't move until the decoder's address is entered into the DCC system. That's why it's so important that you know how to see what the decoder address is, and what address your Zephyr is trying to use. They have to match!

Stix
  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 1,057 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Thursday, June 1, 2023 8:58 AM

  It's a good idea to not mix DC with DCC. Do either one or the other. It's also a good idea to disable DC running when programming CV29. Sometimes when the command station powers up there may be a millisecond of straight DC going to the rails at 14 volts and 5 amps. This could rocket you're locomotive into a dangerous position. Also some decoders claim they work on DC but in reality they run spotty, jerky, and sound terrible.

   Pete.

  • Member since
    July 2020
  • 19 posts
Posted by tuilockie on Thursday, June 1, 2023 7:46 PM

Thanks everybody for your help and suggestions. Truly appreciated. I took my Big Boy to  my local hobby store today and they got it running within a matter of seconds. They said they really did nothing to get it going. So I don't know what was up with it, other than I did something wrong. 

  • Member since
    December 2015
  • From: Shenandoah Valley
  • 9,094 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, June 1, 2023 7:54 PM

I'm glad it runs, but that is not very instructive for you.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

  • Member since
    September 2014
  • From: 10,430’ (3,179 m)
  • 2,292 posts
Posted by jjdamnit on Thursday, June 1, 2023 9:33 PM

Hello All,

tuilockie
I took my Big Boy to my local hobby store today and they got it running within a matter of seconds.

Glad to hear!

tuilockie
They said they really did nothing to get it going.

Not to overstate the obvious, but they DID do something.

Did they get it running on DC or DCC?

If DCC what address?

Now the test will be does it run on your pike.

If you have further problems hopefully a phone call to the same shop will help guide you to success.

Seems like you've found a great LHS to support.

Next up your SD70ACE.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 8,730 posts
Posted by maxman on Friday, June 2, 2023 9:46 AM

BigDaddy
I'm glad it runs, but that is not very instructive for you.

Nor to the rest of us.

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