Athearn AC4400 very noisy on DCC

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jeffrey-wimberl, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    Last night I decided that it was time to put a decoder in the new AC4400. It runs so quiet on DC that it should just whisper on DCC right? WRONG!! I installed the decoder, placed it on the track and gave it power. I've heard electric can openers that are quieter. I worked on it for a couple of hours to see if I could get it to run quiet, but to no avail. At about 10:00 pm I removed the decoder and rewired the unit for regular DC. I was thinking that maybe it's the decoder that's causing the noise, so I installed it in my Proto 2000 PA1. Expecting to hear a high speed can opener I applied the power and to my surprise the PA eased forward and trundled down the main line with nary a sound. Seems to me that the quiet motors of the RTR Athearn units aren't all they're cracked up to be. I know I won't be buying another one real soon. It's funny. I put a decoder in a cheap BB and it runs without a sound. I put one in an expensive RTR and the neighbors can hear it. Go figure.
  2. radar

    radar Member

  3. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    The motor in the 4400 is held by mounts that are secured by screws
  4. KCS

    KCS Member

    Well, the BB Athearns were known for the noise. If it's a growling nose then put double sided sticky tape on both side's of the motor housing. As for the Athearn RTR I have no idea because I haven't had the pleaser with one yet. A good friend of mine who build's custom locomotives showed me that little trick and they run as quiet as an Atlas or Kato. I like his work because he use's Kato frame's and drive's and drop's a SUPER detailed Athearn body on it and they are works of art. But normally for an Athearn the nosie is created by motor and shell vibration. All mine I take aprt and remove the long metal pickup clip that run's across the top of the motor to both truck tower's and hard wire it for be results but only for DC and not DCC. My knowlege on DCC is very limited saying that I only understand how the whole system work's but I know nothing about the wiring concept. I like DCC but I would much prefer getting it RTR instead of installing it myself because I like putting more of my time into super detailing and building than the eletrical work.

    Now if I'm reading this correctly, I didn't know Athearn started using screw's for their mounts instead of the old white rubber motor mounts that just pushed in and out. Can you take a couple of pictures? I may not know what to tell you on the DCC board but I think I might be able to help with the noise if it's what I think it is.
  5. radar

    radar Member

    its the new hex drive throw the mounts away and fill the depressions with streyn screw the motor back down on 2 layers of elec. tape and away you go nice and quite
  6. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    yeah, my AC4400CW started making noises after a while. I never quite isolated what the problem was.
  7. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    I've ran into the same problem with quite a few of them recently. I isolated 2 with the motors coming apart (copper clip that holds the motor together on top and bottom) and 3 that had poor lubrication in the trucks. A lil lube, and verification of the motors and all was well.:thumb:

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