Prodigy and Atlas Loco

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by Compressor, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. Compressor

    Compressor New Member

    I am so glad I found this nice forum. Great information and people.

    I have an MRC Prodigy DCC unit that I am very happy with. Today I purchased a ATLAS Locomotive (Item 9702 GP-40 Amtrak-Road #660 that has a Atls HI dual mode 4 function decoder in it built in.

    My problem: the trains runs fine in in non DCC mode. I know that by default the decoder addy is 3. It does not run in 3 and when trying to program it, it does not respond after programming. When programming, it seems to get the signal as it moves a tad when I send the program command to it. But nothing else happens.

    I know how to program my prodigy. I've have done this to all the other loco without problem.

    If someone can help I would appreciate it.

    Thank you
  2. Compressor

    Compressor New Member

    I am reading the info that came with the loco. Is it possible that the decoder is NOT installed in the locomotive ie: its not ready to run out of the box??
  3. GeorgeHO

    GeorgeHO Member

    It may say "DCC ready", which some manufacturers use to indicate the connection is there. You'll have to take it apart to see what you have. Also the instructions should say something very specific about programming it if it is "DCC Equipped".
  4. Compressor

    Compressor New Member

    Thank you for your reply.

    I guess I will have to take it apart but I get nervous when doing this. Never done it before. If there is any soldering or more complex work, I will take it back to the shop and have them do it.

    As far as programming it, the manual states that the progamming machine must be NMRA compliant. I assume that the MRC Prodigy is although I did not see any thing written about this on their website.
  5. Compressor

    Compressor New Member

    The box says DCC equipped.
    I took it to the store today. The gentleman suggested calling Atlas which I will do tomorrow.
  6. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    An Atlas loco I have which was dual mode needed to have a plug turned 180 degrees to operate in DCC. The instructions should show where it is.

  7. Compressor

    Compressor New Member

    Hmmm. Thank you. I will look at it in the morning.

    Its funny because it will run in analog. It sometimes lets me program an address to it too but then reverts back to #1 or analog. Does this make any sense.

    Does turning the decoder 180 degress require any special tools or skills. Sorry if the question is stupid but I've never done it.
  8. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Hi Compressor, I don't know much more than you do! My Atlas loco, a more modern era diesel than I know much about, a GE 8-40 something or other, has a removable panel, perhaps a dynamic brake blister, which had the plug I speak of below it. I am not speaking of teh decoder itself, tho this plug is most likely mounted on the decoder. Anyway, it was just a matter of pulling the plug, turning it 180 degrees and reinstalling. As far as I know, all Atlas locos (DCC) prior to them using QSI were this way.

  9. Compressor

    Compressor New Member

    I will do this tomorrow and let you know.
    Thanks Gary.
  10. Compressor

    Compressor New Member

    I called Atlas. It has a simple solution. THe trains comes with a chip but the position of the jumpers is not for DCC. All have to do is move the jumpers.
  11. Compressor

    Compressor New Member

    jumpers moved today and all is well.
    Now why would anyone buy a DCC Equipped locomotive and run it in analog?
  12. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    I think a number of folks transport locos between their home layout and their
    club layout or show. One may run DC, the other DCC. :)
  13. KCS

    KCS Member

    Wait wait wait.....I was reading the box on this new Dash 8-40B I got a couple months ago that it's DCC ready. Are you guy's telling me the chip is already there, all I have to do is turn it over and swap the plugs and be up and running for DCC? Another thing that caught my eye that I was curious about is the lighting. When I first bought it and ran it at the show on out club layout both front and rear lights were working together in both directions but when I got home I messed around with it on a section of track with a Life-Like power supply from an old train set from Christmas a couple years ago and the directional lighting worked like it was supposed to. On our club layout we use Aristo radio controllers all DC analog. Why would the directional lighting not be working like it should on the RC controllers? I bought this locomotive for $50.00 flat brand new still in the factory packaging, never opened so there had better not be anything wrong with it. Sorry for hi-jacking your thread Compressor. It's somewhat still on the topic. :)
  14. KCS

    KCS Member

    On the other hand and I'm not sure of this but I've played with a few Altas loco's before and they had plastic grabs but now come with brass grabs and radiator grills? Gary sense you have the same locomotive (GE Dash 8-40B) and you've taken your apart. How do you get it apart? All I could get off was the radiator grill. This way I'll know later when I get ready for a sound system. I would have bought a Norfolk Southern but the guy didn't have any so I had to settle for a BNSF which was the last two he had and both the same number 8630.
  15. Compressor

    Compressor New Member

    DCC ready means you can put a chip in it.
    DCC equipped means you have a chip in it.

    I see how they would put it as analog now and have people change. Makes sense.
  16. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Hey Charles, I didn't take mine apart, the plug, or jumper was under the radiator grill. That's all I removed. If you took yours off and there wasn't the jumper under it, I guess what Compressor said is correct, DCC ready simply means you can plus a decoder in, DCC equipped mean there is a decoder installed, you need to move teh jumper to change from DC mode.

  17. KCS

    KCS Member

    Thank you Gary for clearing that up. All these year's in the hobby and I know very little about DCC. I just took the grill off and all that is under it is a piece of thin black felt tape holding down 4 wires at the front of the opening. Red and black to the LED and two black going down the sides which i'm guessing is the power pick up wires to the rear truck. So I'm guessing that this chip is going to be really small and thin do to the very limited space. Is there something there protecting the DCC chip from the frame to prevent contact with the metal surface?

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