Athearn Genesis Challenger DCC Trouble

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Kris, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. Kris

    Kris New Member

    I'm having trouble with my Athearn Genesis Challenger when I attempt to use DCC. In DC, the engine runs perfectly... no problems at all. But, I can't even get the train to make a sound, let alone move, when in DCC. The odd thing is that it ran just fine in DCC the first time I used it. Now, only the number boards light up... so at least I know power isn't the problem. Also, my cab recognizes the engine by its default address of #3, so there is some sort of communication going on. I've tested my other locos in DCC on the same track and they work fine. The control system I am using is the Prodigy Advance.

    If anyone could please help me out with what the problem might be and how to fix it, I would be very greatful.

  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Was it made to run in both dcc and dc? I didn't realise it, but Deano told me that many of the dcc decoders will be destroyed if you try to run the locomotive on dc.
  3. Kris

    Kris New Member

    Yes, it was made to run on both DC and DCC. This was one of Athearn's selling points. It's one of those that automatically recognizes what type of track it is on and runs from there. The trouble with the DCC started before I placed it on DC. At first, I thought that the motor died, but since it runs on DC, it's apparently fine.

  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Is the decoder seated properly?

    I ask because I had a similar problem recently when I installed a decoder in my doodlebug. Ran great on DC. Installed decoder. Intermittent problems on DCC, including lights working/not working.

    Turned out I did not have the decoder seated properly in the harness (harness was plugged in properly). :oops:

  5. Kris

    Kris New Member

    I haven't cracked open the boil yet to check the chip. When yours operated on DC but had trouble on DCC, did your sounds and such work on DC? My sounds are working perfectly in DC, which is why I think that the chip is in correctly.
  6. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    Kris:wave:, i have TWO of the Athearn challengers, and love them dearly:thumb:. i ONLY run DCC, and fortunately have had NO problems, well...on one of them a wire was touching the speaker and making a buzzing sound. simply moving the wire solved the problem:thumb:. ANYWAYS, DON'T OPEN THE BOILER!, if you are going to check the chip, its in the tender;).

    as i said, i run ONLY DCC, you mentioned it ran well in DC, correct me if i am wrong, but don't you have to hook up a hand held device that comes with the engine to enable the use of sounds when running on DC? have you disconnected this device to run on DCC, if not, i suggest you do;). ALSO, just for the heck of it, go to CV29, set the value at 2. go to CV7, set the value to 32. last go to CV8, set the value to 143. by doing that, you will have set the engine back to "just bought" condition, might be worth a try;).

    Russ:wave:, i haven't had DC burn out a decoder(i have dads layout setup to run both), but DCC sure CAN burn up a DC motor:eek:.

    hope that might have helped, :D -Deano
  7. ripvanwnkl

    ripvanwnkl New Member

    Kris, I had exactly the same problems as you with my new Athearn Genesis Big Boy which I believe uses the same MRC decoder as the Challenger. I verified the problem was with the decoder at my LHS on their Lenz 100 DCC layout. After numerous e-mails with both Athearn and MRC, I mailed the loco and tender back to Athearn for warranty repair. They replaced the tender and it works OK on DCC now, except only the headlight still won't work on DC or DCC.
  8. Kris

    Kris New Member

    Thanks for the help. I actually did try setting the CV values back to factory settings when the problem first started. When I first turned it on in DCC, the engine moved ok, but wouldn't make any sound. So, I shut down the system and tried again. This time, the engine made it's idling sound, but that was it... the other sounds wouldn't work and the engine wouldn't move. So, I restared again. This time, it completely died. That's when I switched to DC and it worked fine. As far as I can tell, the decoder is communicating since I didn't get an error message when I played with the CV values. However, it still doesn't want to run, or make any noise in DCC. I also removed the batteries and such from the hand held DC controler, just in case there was some interference going on. Of course, that didn't work either. This is just really aggravating considering I had only run the engine once before, and it worked perfectly in DCC. Now, nothin.

    I also sent and e-mail to Athearn about the problem. They replied asking me to contact MRC and see if they can fix it. If not, then Athearn simply said that "other options" would be considered... whatever that means. So, I'll be e-mailing MRC tonight.

    Thanks again.

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