Author Topic: Programming MRC Steam Sound Decoders  (Read 612 times)

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Ed Kapuscinski

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Programming MRC Steam Sound Decoders
« on: August 01, 2018, 12:17:21 PM »
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I'm trying to program my dad's MRC steam engines and am having some issues.

They don't answer when I put them on the programming track and try to identify them with JMRI.

I get the "Decoder failed to respond" message.

Anyone have any recommendations?

reinhardtjh

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Re: Programming MRC Steam Sound Decoders
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2018, 12:27:28 PM »
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Do you know the model number?

Most of the early MRC decoders did not have a read back capability.  They were basically write only.
John H. Reinhardt
PRRT&HS #8909
C&O HS #11530
N-Trak #7566

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Programming MRC Steam Sound Decoders
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2018, 12:36:39 PM »
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I don't know, it's one of the relatively recent steam engines.

One of the item numbers is 876081.

I don't see what decoder it should have in it though.

reinhardtjh

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Re: Programming MRC Steam Sound Decoders
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2018, 01:18:29 PM »
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I bet it's this:  0001961 N GAUGE DECODER FOR MP/MIKADO/PACIFIC

Unfortunately it's not listed in the DCC Resources page.

Based on a slightly older Steam decoder - 0001956 Steam which "Supports full read back of CV’s" then I'd assume the 1961 does also.

You might try the resistor trick.  Put a 1K ohm resistor across the programming track and see if the decoder registers then.  Some decoders and engines don't draw enough current to register with the programming circuitry in the command station.  The Bachmann 44-tonner is one example.
John H. Reinhardt
PRRT&HS #8909
C&O HS #11530
N-Trak #7566

robert3985

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Re: Programming MRC Steam Sound Decoders
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2018, 07:13:16 PM »
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Ed,

I was having problems programming the MRC sound decoders that came with the Athearn Challengers and Big Boys when they first came out.

After doing a bit of research, I bought and installed a Soundtraxx PTB-100 Programming Track Booster, and all my problems disappeared.

It now resides on my portable power board for my layout for use on the programming track, but I've gotten rid of all of the early MRC sound decoders and replaced them with Tsunami's.

If you don't have a programming track power booster, the PTB-100 has an excellent reputation, and will solve your MRC sound decoder programming problems.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore