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Thread: Issues w/ DCC Sound Locos -- Athearn Big Boy & Precision Craft Models E7

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    Default Issues w/ DCC Sound Locos -- Athearn Big Boy & Precision Craft Models E7

    Ok - I still consider myself DC and will never convert all my locos to DCC but I do have a dual mode layout now so invested in a couple of DCC Sound locos since they were a good deal. Unfortunately, I am kinda clueless about DCC and my controller (MRC Prodigy Express) is basic at best.

    So I picked up a Precision Craft Models E7 (it is the 1st run -- http://www.spookshow.net/loco/pcme7.html) w/ sound that was not running. Turned out the DCC control board was not seated in the main board so by re-seating it it is now running (very smooth and quiet -- quiet being the operative word in this trouble shooting post). I also reset it by setting CV8 to 8. However, sound does not function. I reseated all the plugs on the board and was wondering if anyone else had any ideas on what I can do to trouble shoot. I even tried setting the volume high w/ the CV settings and have tried to figure out the mute button but nothing seems to affect sound.

    Next -- I got two Athearn Big Boy DCC w/ Sound units (http://www.spookshow.net/loco/athearn4884.html -- I am not sure what versions, no manual came with them) and sound functions on both (well the basic running / chuffing sound) but they do not run and sound effects do not seem to be working. I read that reseating the main connector from loco to tender is a 1st step if loco does not run -- can I do that without taking apart the tender? There are so many details on these that I am worried about breaking something off every time I touch it.

    Thanks in advance everyone...

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    Ok -- no actual progress but some updates...

    I did get the shell off one of the Athearn Big Boys (both tender and loco) and the motor moved fine when DC power was directly applied to it.

    I tried again to reset w/ CV8=8 on the programming track (and thought I read somewhere that you need to reset, remove from power, and reset again -- so tried that). Both forward and reverse lights flash on reset.

    I also re-seated the cable that runs from the loco to tender (and put a bit of CRC 2-26 in there for good measure). Anyway, still just the chuffing when either the tender or loco are put on the track. No movement and no sound effects (also no movement under DC power either).

    Also confirmed that I have the MRC version -- any idea what they red wire is that is on the decoder? I do not see that on Mark's decoder pic on Spookshow.

    20180812_225539.jpg

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    I think you can kind of see the red wire in my picture (sort of tucked under one end). The old MRC decoders required a remote control to operate on DC layouts, so maybe that's the antenna for receiving signals from said remote?



    -Mark

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    Thanks Mark -- I do see it now... just looking for things that might be causing the issue -- so will not cut that red wire now

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    I know this is an old post but I got both these Big Boys running with sound.

    Turns out that my old MRC DCC controller was not doing well with long addresses or something - does CV 8 = 8 not reset the loco address to 3 when you are using long addresses? Also I could not read anything from any decoders so was going on a wing and a prayer. So basically now that I have an NCE DCC system everything is much easier.

    Anyway, got the Big Boys properly reset so I can play with them... now I literally have too many Athearn Big Boys - anyone want to trade one for a IMRC Cab Forward?

    I also got the PCM E7 to run in both DC and DCC but still cannot get sound. At the price I paid running on DCC and DC means this loco was a good deal but if I can get sound to work than we get into the awesome deal zone so I will persist

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    It is possible to get a readout on the decoder manufacturer, at least on my nCE Pro Cab. I seem to recall that not all manufacturers use cv8 for reset. Should be able to download the factory info from the web once you identify the make.

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