Athearn Big Boy Decode Issues

poozinsc Jul 22, 2018

  1. poozinsc

    poozinsc TrainBoard Member

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    Hello,

    Finally back after a long absence. I'm dusting off the layout and preparing to "finish" it up (as if that ever happens).

    Anyway -- I purchased an Athearn Big Boy and received it last year. I've only had the opportunity to run it twice. I went to run it a third time and no movement at all. The decoder responds to commands ( I can turn sound on/off, blow the whistle, etc.) but the engine simply won't move. I reset the decoder back to the factory defaults and I know this worked as it responds to address 3 now. I am really at a loss as to what to do at this point. I could return it to Athearn or purchase a new decoder.

    If I decide to purchase a new decoder (likely) what is the suggested way to go? I've been looking on the 'net but many of the posts appear to be pretty old.

    Any assistance will be appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Chris
     
  2. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    What happens if you put it on a DC track. Do the drivers turn then? If you don’t have a DC throttle, try taking a section of track with a 9V battery across it. Might not be the decoder but the drivers frozen up.
     
  3. Ghengis Kong

    Ghengis Kong TrainBoard Member

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    Was it purchased used or new? If it is used, it's possible it is from the first run which has known decoder issues.
     
  4. poozinsc

    poozinsc TrainBoard Member

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    Rick -- I put it on a DC track (after tearing my trainroom apart searching for a DC throttle -- lol). That did the trick. Got it moving forward and back -- now it's running.

    Thank you very much.
     
  5. Hatt

    Hatt TrainBoard Member

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    Chris, what command station are you using? If it's a Digitrax one "bigger" than a DCS50/51, then it could be in "track idle" mode which allows function commands to be sent but throttle commands are not: http://www.digitrax.com/tsd/layout-power-and-wiring/powering-your-layout/track-power-on-off-idle/.
     
  6. poozinsc

    poozinsc TrainBoard Member

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    I'm using a DCS50. The engine is operating correctly now.

    Another question -- top speed does not seem very fast. Any ideas? Think it may be the DCS50.
     
  7. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Check the settings for CV 5, or if the speed table is enabled.

    Also, these aren’t speed demons.
     
  8. poozinsc

    poozinsc TrainBoard Member

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    I checked the configuration -- the speed table is enabled. Happy for the confirmation it isn't a speed demon.

    I am enjoying the engine. It's my first engine with sound. So cool.
     

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