Atlas Model Railroad Co. - Athearn Challenger Decoder Problem
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Author Previous Topic: MRC sound decoder in Atlas RS3 Topic Next Topic: Atlas GP40-2 Gold wont respond
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BRVRR

Posted - 2009 December 10 :  09:16:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit BRVRR's Homepage
I'm sure that this has been discussed before, but I can not find it.

Our Athearn Genesis Challenger which has an MRC decoder has been operating flawlessly for nearly 3 years. Recently however it will not respond to the throttle.

I have reset the decoder to factory specs, CV125 to 1 and the loco responds with sounds. But when it is placed on the track there is no response to the throttle, address 3, or any other input, ie. lights etc.

Does anyone know what I might be missing here?


Remember: It's your railroad.
Allan
See my layout & web site here: http://intergate.com/~acoates149

Country: USA | Posts: 813

D.C.

Posted - 2009 December 10 :  09:30:52 AM  Show Profile
BRVRR,

Welcome to the MRC failure club. Send the loco back to Athearn and hope they replace it with a Soundtrax Tsunami sound unit and decoder. Put a note in with your loco explaining what is wrong. I presently have a challenger and a Big Boy waiting to go back, both have been sent back before.

Dave Rutan
Dayton N Track



Country: USA | Posts: 668 Go to Top of Page

Sharkman

Posted - 2009 December 10 :  1:08:40 PM  Show Profile
What D.C. said.

Our Future is what We Make It!!!!!

Country: USA | Posts: 2559 Go to Top of Page

oldbill_indy

Posted - 2009 December 10 :  7:16:14 PM  Show Profile
Bought one, took it home, tried it out, failed, took it back to hobby shop for refund. Too bad because it has a lot of potential and looks really great.

I insist that Victor gets his Atlantic now!

Country: USA | Posts: 1020 Go to Top of Page

seanm

Posted - 2009 December 10 :  10:53:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit seanm's Homepage
Are these failures HO or N or both? I have an N version and it seems ok so far.

Sean B. McCaskey
"No man is a failure
who has friends" ---Clarence

Country: USA | Posts: 627 Go to Top of Page

elansp

Posted - 2009 December 11 :  12:56:05 PM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by BRVRR





First make sure it isn't consisted. Resetting decoder CV doesn't always work. I have a BLI engine taht somehow got consisted. All sounds worked but the damn thing never moved. I reset the decoder, still didn't work. Finally killed the consist and back to normal...

Good luck...



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mmyers

Posted - 2009 December 13 :  07:12:19 AM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by seanm

Are these failures HO or N or both? I have an N version and it seems ok so far.



N scale. One club member has his apart at the moment installing a Tsunami. His has been back and forth to Athearn service so many times he lost count. Athearn will no longer repair it and he is quite frankly tired of asking. Athearn has pretty much washed their hands of them since changing to Sountraxx as their OEM supplier. Their is no direct drop in Tsunami replacement board so that is not an option while being repaired by Athearn. MRC would not even talk to him about it saying it's Athearn's problem.

Another member's was running fine for a couple of years and just stopped dead while running our layout in October. No amount of reprogramming or tweaking has brought it back to life. He will be installing a Tsunami as well because of the reported (real or not) frustration with the MRC sound decoders.

Martin Myers



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Sharkman

Posted - 2009 December 13 :  10:44:53 AM  Show Profile
I have a buddy who bought a SoundTrax Micro Tsunami yesterday for the same reasons.

Mine are all awaiting the same fate.


Our Future is what We Make It!!!!!

Country: USA | Posts: 2559 Go to Top of Page

BRVRR

Posted - 2010 January 01 :  6:47:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit BRVRR's Homepage
Thanks guys. I still haven't figured out what is wrong with the Challenger. I guess I'll have to bite
the bullet and replace the decoder.

I have several of the various MRC sound decoders and have never had a problem until now. Its really too bad
because the Challenger is a great engine.


Remember: It's your railroad.
Allan
See my layout & web site here: http://intergate.com/~acoates149

Country: USA | Posts: 813 Go to Top of Page

rdc_jay

Posted - 2010 January 01 :  7:31:42 PM  Show Profile
My Challenger (HO) came with a wonky decoder out of the box. Athearn replaced it and, last time I ran it, it now runs fine. Someday after I finish converting engines to DCC I'll convert it to Tsunami. That is, so long as I can do it without taking the locomotive apart. I'm really not up for disassembling a steam engine. This should be do-able though since the MRC is in the tender.


Country: Germany | Posts: 2037 Go to Top of Page

seanm

Posted - 2010 January 01 :  11:54:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit seanm's Homepage
Is Athearn now putting tsunami in teh N-scale Challengers?



Sean B. McCaskey
"No man is a failure
who has friends" ---Clarence

Country: USA | Posts: 627 Go to Top of Page

Sharkman

Posted - 2010 January 02 :  12:10:14 AM  Show Profile
Athearn and MRC parted ways because of the MRC decoder reliability issues. I believe the Big Boys were the first to have the new Soundtraxx decoders in them. The new release DCC F45's and FP45's also have the Tsunami sound installed rather than the MRC.

Our Future is what We Make It!!!!!

Country: USA | Posts: 2559 Go to Top of Page

CSX Robert

Posted - 2010 January 02 :  12:33:07 AM  Show Profile
The N-scale Big Boys have MRC decoders, not Soundtraxx, and so far, they have not produced any Challengers with Soundtraxx decoders. Athearn has not produced a run of N scale Challengers or Big Boys since switching to Soundtraxx decoders. So far, the only N scale locos they have with Soundtraxx decoders are the F45s and FP45s.


Country: USA | Posts: 573 Go to Top of Page

rdc_jay

Posted - 2010 January 02 :  07:57:25 AM  Show Profile
I think the same applies to HO Challengers and Big Boys. If there's a Tsunami decoder the box has a sticker saying "Tsunami". At least that's been my experience so far.


Country: Germany | Posts: 2037 Go to Top of Page

R0Reynolds

Posted - 2010 July 03 :  11:04:39 AM  Show Profile
I recently purchased a second Athern N Challenger, this one with Tsunami DCC. It blows away the MRC both in sound and operation. I researched replacing the MRC with Tsunami and I got this info from Soundrtaxx. The part number is 826601. It is available to order after July 1st per Litchfield Station. Hope this helps those having MRC problems. Ro


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seanm

Posted - 2010 July 04 :  12:44:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit seanm's Homepage
Thanks for thay inf Ro!!

Have you though about upgrading the stock speaker?


Sean B. McCaskey
"No man is a failure
who has friends" ---Clarence

Country: USA | Posts: 627 Go to Top of Page
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