Athearn Genesis FEF upgrades

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RJasonB

ITS_MFRR est. 2010
#1
I've had a first-gen Athearn FEF for a while now and have never been fully satisfied with the factory-installed MRC sound decoder. I've been kicking around the idea of replacing it. Tsunami Heavy Steam seems to be the replacement decoder of choice. I'm interested in any comments, tips, suggestions, etc. from those of you who have completed a similar upgrade.

Has anyone adjusted C.V.'s on the MRC decoder to a setting that is satisfactory? If so, would you be willing to share the settings? Same applies to the Tsunami. I don't care for Tsunami steam sounds, but have been told they can be dialed in to be pretty close to an FEF-3.

I am also considering adding smoke units. Athearn recommends Seuthe #9 or #10. These appear to be drop-in units. Is this accurate? Are they constantly on, or can they be turned off? What are the differences between the two? Are there any other smoke units out there that would work?

Looking forward to the replies. Jason.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#2
I've had a first-gen Athearn FEF for a while now and have never been fully satisfied with the factory-installed MRC sound decoder. ....
Has anyone adjusted C.V.'s on the MRC decoder to a setting that is satisfactory? If so, would you be willing to share the settings?
No but the MRC in my 4-6-6-4 has never worked right. Hours of messing with it has not solved the issue. I recommend trashing it. That is what I am going to do.
 
#3
Over the years I have had 6 or 7 MRC controlled Genesis steamers. In my experience non of them have been the same. Settings that helped one had little to no effect helping the next one. They all ran/performed differently out of the box. Over time I have replaced them all with Tsunami's. 1 thing to consider, the Genesis steamers/Tsunami's don't pull well with factory settings. You have to play with the CV's to get them to pull good. I was kindly given those settings and will share them with you if you go to a Tsunami.

Seann
 
#4
Over the years I have had 6 or 7 MRC controlled Genesis steamers. In my experience non of them have been the same. Settings that helped one had little to no effect helping the next one. They all ran/performed differently out of the box. Over time I have replaced them all with Tsunami's. 1 thing to consider, the Genesis steamers/Tsunami's don't pull well with factory settings. You have to play with the CV's to get them to pull good. I was kindly given those settings and will share them with you if you go to a Tsunami.

Seann
I hate to disagree, but there is NO cv setting that will increase a Locos pulling power. Pulling power is a function of weight on drivers, not a decoder setting. The heavier the loco, the more it will pull. Traction tires (which I hate) will increase pulling power and some steamers come equipped with them. But, again this has nothing to do with decoder settings, it's purely a case of friction from the wheel to the rail.
 
#5
I hate to disagree, but there is NO cv setting that will increase a Locos pulling power. Pulling power is a function of weight on drivers, not a decoder setting. The heavier the loco, the more it will pull. Traction tires (which I hate) will increase pulling power and some steamers come equipped with them. But, again this has nothing to do with decoder settings, it's purely a case of friction from the wheel to the rail.
Say what you want, I will not argue. Here is what happened with my case(s). Out of the box the MRC equipped pulled say 40ish cars at club. I removed the MRC, installed a Tsunami, and they wouldn't pull 10 (of the same string of cars) at club. My opinion is LESS PULLING POWER. I was graciously given CV settings to change in the Tsunami decoders and after changing them they now pull the 40 cars at club. (MORE PULLING POWER) I feel in the days of DC only the weight, balance, traction tires etc. were the difference. Now BEMF, and other electronic inputs/outputs from the decoders have an influence. Maybe it is just a matter of wording, don't know. From what I delt with it was PULLING POWER. BTW, Jarrett (sp?) from Soundtraxx, I believe is the one who passed on the CV settings to help the Athearn's perform (if you will) better. So let's agree to disagree.

Seann
 
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