Athearn Genesis F-7 has MRC decoder?

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Anyone else have one of these? I ordered one because I saw it demoed and was quite impressed.

I have heard horror stories about the decoder system used in the new Genesis Big Boy and Challenger and was curious as to know if the Genesis F series had the MRC electronics too. <?>

When I get mine I am going to run it through some stringent digital testing.
 
Good idea, perhaps you could document your testing and post a writeup over in the Product Reviews sub-forum?
Yes, Ken, I think I will do that. I enjoy doing product reviews of engines I really believe in. I am hoping that this engine will prove worthy. From what I saw at the dealer, it was an outstanding looking and running unit.

I am just concerned about the decoder issues with the MRC "factory" installations. I don't have anything personally against MRC, as I have used their decoders before and they performed fine. But what I have heard on several threads from the owners of the new Big Boy, they are very unhappy with the MRC electronics . Apparently, the decoder keeps "resetting" while you are running it around the layout ...ouch! bad news. Lets hope its just a fluke.
 

NYC_George

Well-Known Member
F7 MRC Decoder

Anyone else have one of these? I ordered one because I saw it demoed and was quite impressed.

I have heard horror stories about the decoder system used in the new Genesis Big Boy and Challenger and was curious as to know if the Genesis F series had the MRC electronics too. <?>

When I get mine I am going to run it through some stringent digital testing.
I talked to MRC at the Big E train show and they make the decoder for Athearn. I was going to add a second speaker to the engine and took the decoder out and when I went to put it back I forgot what wires went to the motor and which went to the track. That's why I wanted to talk to MRC. They said that they made the decorder but I would have to see Athearn about the wiring diagram. Guess what they didn't have one. So for now I stopped the project. Here's a link to some F7 decoder hints.

http://tonystrains.com/technews/loconews/ath-genfunit-032906.htm

NYC_George
 

jeffrey-wimberly

Dr Frankendiesel
I have one loco that has a MRC decoder and it's a PITA to program. As a general rule, I now avoid MRC decoders like the plague!
 
Hey gang,

I opened my Athearn Genesis F-7 last night. Indeed, its an MRC decoder inside. The instructions say so. However, I had NO PROBLEMS programming , lowering volume,etc. using the CV table given. Furthermore, the initial tests on the DCC layout are FANTASTIC! The decoder will not show (read) the actual value in the CV register, however, if you program a new register, it will keep it.

At first, it was constantly slowing down at a couple spots on the layout which my other engines didn't do---at first I thought it was the engine. But it turned out that those spots had some dirt on the tracks, and this engine is very sensitive to the voltage /signal in the rails.

I ran it for at least two hours, and it looks like this one is a winner.

Note: I would imagine that the Big Boy decoder is a different monster than this MRC unit inside, as the F-7 series is older. I can't imagine people complaining about MRC in the Big Boy if it was the same as this F-7.
 
Hey gang, update on that Athearn F unit...I kept typing "F-7" what I meant was really "F-3". So I will be doing a review for the F-3 soon on the review section.
 

soolinenut

New Member
I have a friend that has a pair of F3a units M&SL and they run fine, you will like your unit. I have a pair of SOO Line F3a units on order now. I use Decoder Pro and this friend came over to fine tune the decoders in his M&SL locomotives. The decoder is the new MRC Brilliance decoders.
Barry
 
So far the F-3 is fantastic! It is much more suspicious of dirty tracks, though, than my other locos. I know it tends to slow down more over a couple areas where the other locos don't. However, it doesn't jerk or stall or anything, just a slight perceptible slow down.

The control and sound are terrific...oh yes, did I mention how cool and highly detailed this Genesis F unit is?!?!?!?
 

MLW

Active Member
Glad things worked out for you.

I'm presently reading the MARCH 2007 Issue of Railroad Model Craftsman (RMC) magazine, and according to them and MRC, NO Athearn Locomotive whatsoever is equipped with a MRC decoder (or MRC sound decoder). I wonder who started that rumor, cuz, I believed it too.

How about that!
 

soolinenut

New Member
I don't think I started a rumor, so please go to the Athearn web site and download the Minneapolis & St. Louis F3A (This is the locomotive I was refering to) owners manual and at the very bottom of the 2nd page it will state. (The dual function decoder is manufactured by Model Rectifier Corporation for Athearn Trains.)
Thanks
 

MLW

Active Member
I haven't said you have started a rumor. Not at all. :)

Me very bad, I meant to say BACHMAN.:mad::eek: So sorry about that
Bachman does NOT used MRC sound decoders.

I just saw a BACHMAN add that saidd "DCC SOUND ON BOARD TSUNAMI"

That should be interesting.
 
Athearn must use MRC decoders

Glad things worked out for you.

I'm presently reading the MARCH 2007 Issue of Railroad Model Craftsman (RMC) magazine, and according to them and MRC, NO Athearn Locomotive whatsoever is equipped with a MRC decoder (or MRC sound decoder). I wonder who started that rumor, cuz, I believed it too.

How about that!

That can't be true. Two sources I have make me think its false. The first source comes from the Athearn Genesis F-3 instruction book , which clearly states that the decoder with sound is a MRC product.

The second source is a local retailer who has delt with Athearn for about 30+ years. He has mentioned the MRC decoder in the Genesis Challenger/Big Boy engines.

If Athearn and MRC are not together involved in producing the new line of products, someone is really pulling the wool over my eyes.
 

MLW

Active Member
Me very bad, I meant to say BACHMAN. So sorry about that
Bachman does NOT used MRC sound decoders.
Like I said, I made a terrible mistake. Its' not Athearn, but Bachman
that does not use MRC decoders.

Sorry
 
Forgiveness is the key

Like I said, I made a terrible mistake. Its' not Athearn, but Bachman
that does not use MRC decoders.

Sorry
Oh, I'm sorry if I sounded curt! It wasn't a terrible mistake...

Actually, I am curious as to the vendor of Bachmann electronics. I own 3 Bachmann steam engines and they have all been fussy (still waiting for one to be returned to me).

I have a beautiful Decapod just sitting here collecting dust, with a Tsunami sound decoder in it--and I can't run the thing because I put it on the rails and it shorts out. I even had a local dealer try to figure out why its shorting to no luck.

I think I am going to send it to Digistar DCC HQ and see if that guy can fix it.

Sheesh...the decoder in it alone cost an arm and a leg!
 

grumpybob

Lake Shore Lines
I have two Genesis F3's with Sound. If they are not MRC's, I would be extremely surprised, as they function just like the other MRC sound boards i have had. I know that the only way to turn the sound down to a reasonable level is to turn the pot on the top of the board as MRC only gives you four sound volumes on their CV listing and these acted exactly the same way.
 

NZRMac

In Training Down Under.
Bachmann decoders are the cheap line from Lenz, not very good according to some guys. The motor drives aren't very quiet.

Ken.
 




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