Suggestions on what DCC/Sound decoder to get

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by CRed, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. CRed

    CRed Member


    I'm thinking about getting a Athearn SD45T-2(early) DM&IR Loco,they're DCC ready and I was wondering which sound decoder would be the best to put into it.I'm a beginner so the easier to install the better.Also,are these engines speaker ready or would I have to do something for that?

    One more thing,are the Athearn RTR engines any good?Would a Kato SD38-2 be a better choice?I like the paint job on the Athearn better,it looks more authentic to me while the paint job on the Kato looks washed out a bit,but I think the detailing might be a bit better on the Kato.

  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Kato are widely respected as solid, excellent runners. The choice of DCC sound may depend on which model you choose. Soundtraxx, Digitrax, and others are always expanding the number of available decoders, so you might spend some time searching their sites for specific "drop in" or "plug and play" all-in-one decoders. Many will include a speaker right on the circuit board, so installation is simple.

    You can also check our DCC forum. The moderator there (member name "UP SD40-2") has lots of experience putting decoders into diesels. (I am more of a steam guy myself... ;)).

  3. CRed

    CRed Member

    I hadn't thought of posting in the DCC forum,I'm just simple sometimes.

    Yeah I know Kato is good,when I worked at the local hobby shop they were the cream of the crop,but that was a long time ago and boy things have changed since then.Kato is still very good though.

    The only thing about the Kato is the color,it doesn't look right to me while the Athearn model looks much better.I could always get an undecorated model and have it hand painted and I may just get both and start a DM&IR collection.I got a great deal on a BLI DM&IR Alco RSD-15 to start with.

    I have to check up on their diesel roster now and in the past,I know they used the SD9's and I'm not sure but I think they have used Geeps before also.

    Thank you for your help Andrew.


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