Author Topic: Decoder for Atlas GP-7  (Read 371 times)

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Cwhowell2

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Decoder for Atlas GP-7
« on: May 20, 2019, 09:12:48 PM »
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Can anyone suggest a non-sound decoder for the Atlas #48152 GP-7 TT Ph.2?  Thanks  (Oops - can't upload photo)

robert3985

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Re: Decoder for Atlas GP-7
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2019, 09:43:30 PM »
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Can anyone suggest a non-sound decoder for the Atlas #48152 GP-7 TT Ph.2?  Thanks  (Oops - can't upload photo)

@Cwhowell2  You can install either the TCS CN or the TCS CN GP non-sound, split decoders easily in your Atlas GP-7's and GP-9's.  There may be a difference in the chassis specs between "old" and "new" versions, the TCS CN GP being classified as for "old" Atlas GP's, and the TCS CN not having an "old" or "new" designation.

Way back when I wasn't totally sold on N-scale sound, I installed the TCS CN GP's in two Atlas GP-30's and several TCS CN's in my Atlas GP-7's and GP-9's with relative ease. 

Download the comprehensive instructions on how to do it, and follow them exactly.  You'll have to do some slight chassis mods, but it's nothing that can't be done with a file and Dremel.

Photo (1) - TCS CN Split Decoder installed in one of my Atlas GP-9's:


I have no complaints whatsoever with these decoders other than they don't have sound.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

Steveruger45

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Re: Decoder for Atlas GP-7
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2019, 09:46:27 PM »
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Or this one from TCS if it’s the newer dcc ready frame.
https://tcsdcc.com/1279
Nce make a similar one too.

Ah. I just double checked your part number 48152 on Atlas web site and see it was released in 2001.  In which case it looks like it will have the older non dcc ready frame. So the TCS CN or CN-GP will be the ones to get. The difference in these two is the number of functions. The CN-GP has one more function iirc.  If you just want fwd and rev lights then the CN is all you will need.  I’ve used both and they work well.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 09:57:38 PM by Steveruger45 »
Steve
Atascocita, Texas

jdcolombo

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Re: Decoder for Atlas GP-7
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2019, 10:05:02 PM »
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While the TCS CN/GP is fine, another alternative would be to get an ESU LokPilot Micro V.4:

https://store.sbs4dcc.com/ESU54684LokPilotV4.0MicroNMRADCCDecoderNEM6516PinWiredPlug.aspx
(This has a wired plug; just cut off the plug for hard wiring).

The Lokpilot Micro is small enough that it will fit on the "shelf" under one of the light boards, and you can then use the old lightboards for power and lighting (you'll need to cut the traces to isolate the LEDs from the power pickup); motor will be hard-wired, but it has to be hard-wired with the TCS decoders, too.

The reasons I suggest this are two-fold:
1.  ESU's motor control is better than TCS, though if you're not a stickler for VERY slow speed operation, you may not care.
2.  The Lokpilot V.4 is compatible with engines that have LokSound decoders.  If you think you may one day buy a sound-equipped engine and want to MU your GP7TT with an ESU-sound-equipped engine (like an Atlas Master GP20), it will be much easier to do so (and you will be able to take advantage of advanced features like Drive Hold) if you have a LokPilot V.4 in your non-sound unit.

The cost and installation time would be similar (actually, the LokPilot is a few dollars cheaper than the TCS), with the added complication of having to cut traces on the light boards.  But performance and future compatibility would be better with the LokPilot.

John C.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 10:27:54 PM by jdcolombo »

Steveruger45

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Re: Decoder for Atlas GP-7
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2019, 10:17:00 PM »
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I agree with everything John said.  In fact I have changed all my decoders, including the TCS CN’s and CN-GP’s I had, to either loksound or lokpilot and for all the same reasons John has highlighted.
Depends what your goals are.
Steve
Atascocita, Texas

robert3985

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Re: Decoder for Atlas GP-7
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2019, 08:28:47 PM »
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Any new decoder I presently install in an engine is now a sound decoder, either a Soundtraxx or ESU Loksound.  Although I still have a few engines that are non-sound, all of my Digitrax (sound and non-sound), TCS, MRC and any others are being replaced with Soundtraxx Tsunami and Econami (for steam) and ESU Loksound (for diesel). 

@jdcolombo  John's points about the difference between ESU's Lokpilot Micro V.4 and the TCS CN and CN GP are completely valid, particularly (as he points out) if you're on the road to converting your engines to ESU Loksound decoders sometime in the future, which I didn't even think about. 

On the other hand, I have no complaints (other than no sound) about the TCS CN and CN GP decoders, and they work great for the operations my Geeps are assigned to on my layout....including both mainline, and branchline as well as industrial slow speed operation.

But, John is the expert, and unlike him, I have never done a head-to-head comparo of the two brands, so I'd listen to him and get better slow speed operation, save a couple of dollars and have the best non-sound compatibility with future ESU Loksound decoder installs.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore
« Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 10:42:04 PM by robert3985 »