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Athearn Genesis Mike with a problem

Posted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:36 pm
by mec_alf
I've got an Athearn Mike that has turned into a chip frier - literally.

The problem started with the red power wire coming adrift from its solder tag - so no propulsion. After dismantling the loco I was able to resolder the wire and checked it on DC power where it was quite happy. I then re-installed the TCS decoder and re-set it on the programming track. So far, so good.

I then put it on the main line where it leapt forward, with the controller on speed step 0, and blew the decoder; there's damage to both top and bottom insulating material on the decoder.

Trying it with a brand new NCE decoder on the programming track was a waste of time. My Gaugemaster set wouldn't program the decoder, nor would it read back any CVs. Plug in an Athearn dummy plug and connect it to a DC power supply and everything is fine, but on DCC: nothing.

Do I hard wire a decoder or is there something simple that I've missed?

Re: Athearn Genesis Mike with a problem

Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:56 pm
by torikoos
Hello Maineu18b (?)

Do you mind sharing your first name, that 'talks' easier.

To me initially it seems like the TCS decoder was damaged when the wire came loose initially but still functioned.
When it was exposed to full track power and current, it blew.

The problem with the NCE in combination with Gaugemaster (which is MRC in disguise) I cannot comment on (other than that I know that MRC doesn't follow the DCC spec 100%).
Do you know someone near where you could program your loco using another system (Lenz , Digitraxx, NCE, etc) ? I think that because it worked previously, and it works now on DC, means there's probably nothing seriously wrong with the loco.


Re: Athearn Genesis Mike with a problem

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:35 am
by mec_alf
Hello Koos,

That's possible, and I'll try it with my elderly ROCO Multi-maus once I've found its instruction manual.

I've got several other locos running the NCE decoder, all programmed on the Gaugemaster set, which reduces the likelihood that the two are incompatible.


Maineu18b - as I commented elsewhere, as soon as I find out who I am, I'll properly identify myself :)

Re: Athearn Genesis Mike with a problem

Posted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:10 pm
by mec_alf
Upon much closer inspection I found that the screw securing the red wire to the chassis wasn't screwed fully home, permitting the tag to "float". A quick tightening up resolved the problem.

Sometimes the obvious solution isn't the correct one.

Re: Athearn Genesis Mike with a problem

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:04 am
by torikoos
excellent, that's good news :-)