Author Topic: Decoder for Atlas GP7/9  (Read 2015 times)

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Bob Bufkin

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Decoder for Atlas GP7/9
« on: August 06, 2007, 08:27:31 PM »
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What's the best DCC decoder for use in the Atlat GP7/9.  DN163AO?  I planning on finally going into DCC.  Also what is a good starter system?  This old dog is trying some new tricks!
Bob

wm3798

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Re: Decoder for Atlas GP7/9
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2007, 11:28:02 PM »
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The Digitrax crowd will quickly insist that you assimilate, but I gotta strongly recommend the MRC Prodigy Advance.  It is as simple as I am.  Perhaps some of the crew from Sunday can offer a quick in-service review of their experience on my layout, and compare them.  I believe it's a great system to start with, yet it offers almost all of the capabilities of a more costly and complex Digitrax system.  The new wireless upgrade is also now available, and is by all reports much more flexible than Digitrax's wireless system.  (Programming and consisting without plugging in...among others.)

I just picked up a DN163A2, which is listed as the right guy for the Atlas GP30.  I have a GP-9 that I'll check it in.  (I also bought another WM GP-35... Bless me Father for I have sinned again!!) just to make sure the decoder has a home in case it doesn't fit the 9.  I'll be tinkering with it tomorrow night... I'll let you know what I discover.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

mavrick0

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Re: Decoder for Atlas GP7/9
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2007, 06:00:21 AM »
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The DN163A2 is the correct decoder for the new decoder ready GP7/9's.  Now just keep in mind that Atlas made a mistake with a batch of these a few years ago that the box did say decoder ready but they are not which then requires either frame milling and wired decoder or trying to get a new frame from Atlas that is decoder ready.

As for systems I'm a digitrax fan but the best suggestion is if you know a few people that are running different systems try them out first, or go with what the LHS carries and can support you better on.

wm3798

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Re: Decoder for Atlas GP7/9
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2007, 09:13:00 AM »
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Yes, I can confirm that the DN163A2 is the guy.  However in the GP-9, you'll want to swap the short hood LED from the factory board, which extends out past the cab.  You could probably get the desired result by installing a clear acrylic light tube, but you'd probably still get the "Fire in the Cab!" effect...

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

amato1969

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Re: Decoder for Atlas GP7/9
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2007, 09:14:17 AM »
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Bob, I love my NCE system.  The cab is wonderful for programming, and there's a starter set now available for a lot less money than the full set.  I would encourage you to check out the NCE products...

  Frank

keystonecrossings

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Re: Decoder for Atlas GP7/9
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2007, 10:36:33 AM »
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In selecting a DCC system, consider this...

Will you be inviting others to operating sessions on your layout?

Will you be operating on other DCC user's layouts?

If one or both of the above answers is "yes", try to find out what everyone else in your area uses. Compare that to your list of "finalists". Give "extra points" towards the popular system in your area. Why?

1. Peer support.

2. Interchange of throttles. In my area we have crews bring their own throttles and radios. The owner only needs a couple of throttles.

In my area Digitrax rules. The layout owners typically have 4-6 throttles but op sessions have 12-15 people. Most bring their own throttles. One layout is NCE and that owner needs to supply throttles for everyone... about a dozen. That gets expensive.

A while back I had this discussion with Tony Koester. In his area NCE rules. He bought a Digitrax Zephyr for testing on his new NKP layout but the jury was still out on the eventual operations system. Don't know if he made a final decision yet or not.
Jerry Britton, PRRT&HS #6111
PRR Middle Division in HO Scale - http://jbritton.pennsyrr.com
Keystone Crossings - http://pennsyrr.com

Bob Bufkin

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Re: Decoder for Atlas GP7/9
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2007, 05:07:53 PM »
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Thanks for the info so far.  Jerry - was thinking about the Zephyr since the price seems right.  I'm not great at soldering, electronics, etc., so anything with Plug and Play is right up my line.  Would have to check into some of my older units, since I would very much like to convert some of them. I do have the PCM E-7's and a couple Atlas units which are DCC equipped.
Bob

tom mann

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Re: Decoder for Atlas GP7/9
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2007, 07:43:14 PM »
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I really have to say that the Digitrax system that I've used is very unintuitive to use.  It appeared to be the classic case of "designed by engineers" and lacked even a passable user interface.

John

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Re: Decoder for Atlas GP7/9
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2007, 07:53:38 PM »
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I really have to say that the Digitrax system that I've used is very unintuitive to use.  It appeared to be the classic case of "designed by engineers" and lacked even a passable user interface.

Maybe you should bring me something else then :)

bsoplinger

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Re: Decoder for Atlas GP7/9
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2007, 08:25:18 PM »
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I too would suggest the NCE Powercab as a good starter system. Even the MRC Prodigy Express is a decent starter system. I've never used a Digitrax system that I thought was even half as intuitive as either the NCE or MRC systems.

Just my $0.02  :)

If you are going to be using a club system or be a regular visitor at another's layout, what they use should definitely be taken into account, as others said knowing the system and being able to add an extra cab to things is always good.

TiVoPrince

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Re: Decoder for Atlas GP7/9
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2007, 09:44:23 PM »
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