Athearn DCC

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by nicknero, Nov 24, 2006.


    COMBAT Member

    So you are saying Loksound can do what I want? I have heard the "sound" part from them isnt the best. Is this true? Thanks for the advice!!!
  2. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    heres what i am saying, I AM NOT GOING TO TELL YOU LOKSOUND IS THE DECODER YOU HAVE TO BUY. thats all i need is to sell someone on a decoder, then they might not like it, and blame me for their purchase, sorry, not going to happen;).

    HOWEVER, right now, at this time, to do the MULTITUDE of things you have listed on the previous post you made, there are ONLY two sound decoders out right now that come close to doing ALL the things you are wanting out of a sound decoder that will work in an Athearn SD70MAC, and Loksound is the better of the two IN MY OPINION for what YOU are wanting to do;). the other is MRC Brilliance. i have OVER 20 of each of these decoders, and they work perfectly for what i want them to do:thumb:.

    MY ADVICE TO YOU, would be to talk with others that have these sound decoders and get more feedback on them, then just what MY opinions of them are;). BOTH ARE EXPENSIVE(OVER $100.00 unless you are lucky enough to find them on sale), so i would hate to have you get one, just by my word, then not like it;).
    DO SOME RESEARCH, TALK WITH OTHERS TOO, this will give you a more rounded feel as to what way you want to go;). OR, wait to see what the Tsunami for diesels is like when it comes out:thumb:. for all you are expecting out of a sound decoder, you have just a couple this time;).

    :D -Deano

    COMBAT Member

    Thanks! I am going to buy what ever you suggested and hold YOU responsible. Just kidding!
    Serious, thanks for the info. It is appreciated! :)
  4. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    I have changed the decoder in this unit to a 4 function non sound decoder, and set the 2 extra functions to activate when the F2 functions is used as a horn, and the ditch lights do flash back and forth like the prototype.:thumb:

    COMBAT Member

    I just ordered one of these too. Mine is a 4 function decoder with sound. I cant wait for it! :)
  6. wdsrwg

    wdsrwg Member

    Thanks for starting this one Nick.
    Deano, That pic is exactly what I have
    in my 4400. Now, do I remove the 9-pin
    and go to the 8-pin or, just plug the
    8-pin in and go?
    The pix help but still confused as to
    how to get this thing running!
    And, is that 9-pin module for DC?
    I feel really dum!
    :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:
  7. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Can this decored also manage the train power? I've been lookign for which decoder i want and there are 1 or 2 hamr choices. Making the "right" decision for what i want is difficult and i don't want to spend 30 bux to have to ebay it 2 days after i get it :).
  8. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    Russell:wave:, on ANY other DCC ready circuit board, EXCEPT Athearns:rolleyes:, you could just plug in the 8 pin plug(on the decoder) into the 8 pin socket(on the circuit board), put the shell on and go!:thumb: i will walk you through the easiest way to make the decoder work on an Athearn circuit board;).

    1. see the 9 pin socket on the circuit board, cut the socket off LEAVING THE WIRES CONNECTED TO THE BOARD.
    2. cut the 8 pin plug off your decoder, LEAVING THE WIRES CONNECTED TO THE DECODER.
    3. NOW, the wires are color coded, so solder the wires from the decoder to the wires that are left on the circuit board in the engine that the 9 pin socket was connected to. (green to green, etc.)
    5. put the shell back on and go!:thumb:

    HERE is a pic that will show you what is what;). i hope this helped:D -Deano

    COMBAT Member

    Its a shame they just cant make the plus fit. You know I was told there is a conversion plug that you plug both ends into and have to cut nothing. Ever heard of this to confirm it?
  10. NYNH&H

    NYNH&H Member

    The Digitrax decoders have the 9 pin socket on them. It is plug and play. I have one like that. Not sure why you would have to solder if you have the right decoder. I tried with an 8 pin decoder, but it fit loosely in the board, so I used a 9 pin decoder. I wonder why Athearn's 8-pin socket doesn't work right? Oh well, the 9 pin JST is so easy. I wish all locos had those.

    EDIT: I use a DH123D. For a Genesis, if it has separate functions for the ditch lights, then you would want a DH163D. These are true plug and play. They take about 5 minutes to put in, most of the time is unscrewing the coupler boxes to get the shell off, and then putting it back on.
  11. wdsrwg

    wdsrwg Member

    Alright, I'll give it a try! hamr

    What's the worse that can happen?
    Oh..... just forget I even said that! :rolleyes:

    Thanks for the help Deano. :thumb:

    I'll keep you posted.

  12. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    Nice info. Thanks! :)
  13. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    NYNH&H, you answered your own question;). "IF" you choose a certain decoder;). thing about it is, NOT everyone wants a DH123D, or a DH163D decoder in there engine, i most certainly wouldn't. Myself, I choose LokSound, or MRC Brilliance sound decoders to put in my engines, i STRONGLY feel BOTH of those are FAR SUPERIOR to the DH123D or DH163D, even if you disconnected the speaker and ran them silent. But hey, thats just MY OPINION;). OTHERS, might prefer an NCE decoder, or whatever, THIS IS WHY i gave the install instructions that i did.

    And i want to add, NOT ALL Digitrax decoders 9 pin plugs fits the 9 pin socket on the Athearn circuit boards:eek:. my dad bought a Digitrax 9 pin decoder he wanted me to put in his Athearn AMD-103, ended up the Digitrax 9 pin decoder was SMALLER then the Athearn socket:(. i 86'ed the digitrax decoder and installed one of my spare MRC Brilliance decoders in it:thumb:.

    IF the Digitrax DH123D or DH163D are the decoders for you, it sounds like they ARE plug and play, and like NYNH&H said, should be an easy install:thumb:. (i know for a fact that on the DH123D, you better MAKE SURE IT HAS THE "D" ON THE END OF IT, because the DH123 WILL NOT plug into the Athearn 9 pin socket, its to small).

    IF you prefer a decoder or sound decoder that IS NOT specifically meant for the Athearn "DCC ready" engines, the way i described how to install the decoder or sound decoder would be the easiest way to do it:thumb:.

    FINAL NOTE: NO 8 PIN PLUG WILL FIT TIGHT IN ATEARN'S 8 PIN SOCKET ON THERE "DCC READY" CIRCUIT BOARDS! it says IN ATHEARNS INSTRUCTIONS to "solder" that type of plug in:rolleyes:...yea, good luck on that one:rolleyes:.

    :D -Deano
  14. NYNH&H

    NYNH&H Member

    NCE and TCS make JST decoders as well. I just know and use Digitrax decoders, and for a non-sound decoder, they do anything anyone would ever want them to do, including the uber-advnaced transponding.
  15. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    My dcc system is coming in on thursday, i've taken the day off on thursdya and friday and this is perfect becuase i plan to wire my 2 good engines w/ dcc and get them humming around my layout :).

    Is there a model number on the mrc or loksound?

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