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Thread: MRC 2-8-2 sound decoder woes

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    Default MRC 2-8-2 sound decoder woes

    ...So this isn't my week for decoders... My kid was helping run my MRC/Model Power 2-8-2 with DCC and sound around the layout, and hit some random buttons (I didn't see exactly what). Now the whistle makes some other sound that is definitely not the whistle... though with the mediocre sound of these decoders I'm not exactly sure what it is supposed to be. I've tried changing the whistle type (no effect) as well as resetting the decoder with both CV 125=1 (as it says in the manual) as well as CV8=8 (just in case). It also developed a quirky little noise like it is starting to whistle every time it starts moving, but it's just a quick little chirp. I also popped the tender shell off to look, and though I'm not exactly sure what I was looking for, I don't see anything that looks out of place. Oh, and I also tried resetting the Power Cab just in case. Two other sound decoders run just fine on the layout. I'm stumped. I had considered upgrading the decoder anyway and maybe this will force me to do it, but wanted to see if you guys had any ideas. Thanks in advance.

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    According to the instruction pamphlet, decoder reset (CV125=1) does not reset features such as bell, horn, chuff, etc to factory defaults (which is kind of dumb, but whatever). If it were me, I would just brute force it and individually reprogram each of the sound related CV's to its factory default (as listed in the pamphlet). I'd think that eventually you'd hit upon the one that's causing the problems.

    If you can read the CVs to verify their values, that would be helpful.

    -Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookshow View Post
    If it were me, I would just brute force it and individually reprogram each of the sound related CV's to its factory default (as listed in the pamphlet). I'd think that eventually you'd hit upon the one that's causing the problems.
    Great idea, but no luck. I did discover that programing different values into CV50 (which is supposed to select the whistle type) just selects different, non-whistle sounds... so I can choose between a long air release, coupler noise, etc. but not a whistle... Weird stuff.

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    It might be time to check with MRC. The instruction pamphlet says that a full instruction manual is available on their website but I'll be darned if I could find it.

    -Mark

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    Is it possible that somehow the whistle function got remaped ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookshow View Post
    It might be time to check with MRC. The instruction pamphlet says that a full instruction manual is available on their website but I'll be darned if I could find it.
    I think you're right - sent them an email this morning. I'll post back when they answer.


    Quote Originally Posted by mikec6201 View Post
    Is it possible that somehow the whistle function got remaped ?
    I kind of think that may be it, but I can't find any information on how to map it back correctly. Hopefully MRC can supply some info to help with that. I had no more luck than Spookshow on finding any more instructions than the front-and-back sheet that came with the loco.

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    Sometimes the NCE throttle will remap the whistle , it happened to me , but I'm not sure what I did to fix it .

    Found the steam decoder manual https://www.modelrectifier.com/v/vsp...20steam%20.pdf

    A quick glance it looks like there shouldn't be a way to function map , but I could be wrong .

    A tsunami 2 decoder would sound really good , but you would want to replace the speaker too ....Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikec6201 View Post
    Not the same decoder as the one in the MRC/Model Power steamers.

    -Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikec6201 View Post
    Found the steam decoder manual
    There is a similar two page (or more accurately, front and back of a single sheet) manual that came in the box with the loco, and it doesn't give any info on function mapping either. In theory there is a larger manual out there somewhere, though I can't find it. No response from MRC yet, but it's only been two working days. I agree another decoder would sound better, and may end up going that route, especially if MRC doesn't come back with anything useful. I have a loksound in another steam loco that sounds great, and I've heard good things about the Tsunamis also. And if I'm doing all that, I may try to improve the pickup either with different trucks or a different tender while I'm at it. Before I launch into that project though, I wanted to see if I could just get the silly thing to work again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikec6201 View Post
    A tsunami 2 decoder would sound really good , but you would want to replace the speaker too ....Mike
    So upon further reflection....

    DSCN6213.jpg

    I have a Tsunami II and speaker on the way, and a Bachmann USRA tender I already had that I'll see if I can replace the stock tender with for better pickup. I also started grinding off those cast-on hand rails so I can replace them with something better. Probably time to start a new thread.

    No word back from MRC, but it's only been five working days and my guess is they're busy with the convention in Chicago, so I can't really hold that against them. The more I thought about it though, there are some things I would like to improve with this thing, and the decoder weirding out is a good excuse to do it.

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    Resetting it didn't work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gatrhumpy View Post
    Resetting it didn't work?
    Nope. Multiple times.

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