Athearn Big Boy - Turning Sound Off

chinapig Aug 3, 2009

  1. chinapig

    chinapig TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Folks

    I've just got a Athearn Big Boy (off eBay) and am extremely pleased with it in every respect apart from not being able to control the sound volume.

    I’ve tried double clicking F0 but nothing happens.

    I can switch F12 on and nothing happens.

    I’ve even tried changing the values in CV49 but the sound is not affected.

    Can anyone help me with where I’m going wrong, please?

    Cheers, Ted
     
  2. AB&CRRone

    AB&CRRone TrainBoard Supporter

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    Double clicking F0 mutes the sound for my Challenger and programming CV49 to 0 does as well. I assume you are programming CV49 using Ops mode.

    I don't know anything else to suggest other than starting afresh by trying to restore default settings (programming CV125 to 1), noting that this programming does not always work.

    A troublesome decoder, to say the least.


    Ben
     
  3. chinapig

    chinapig TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the reply Ben. This is most strange. I did as you suggested and tried to restore the default settings by changing CV125 to 1. Everything appeared to be as before. Even the loco address was still 4001 and not the default 3. I read back CV125 and it was 1 – if it had restored the default it would be 0.

    I checked a few other CVs and most of them were not the default value.

    I mucked around with CV49 a little bit more and all it did was change the loco speed (odd numbers appear to make it go faster, even ones return it to the normal speed – or the other way around)

    It sounds as if I’ve got a different decoder than the one specified I the booklet.

    Weird.

    Ted
     
  4. AB&CRRone

    AB&CRRone TrainBoard Supporter

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    Weird? Yes!

    Athearn has a "Contact Athearn" email page that can be used for technical questions. http://www.athearn.com/About/Contact.aspx You don't need to tell them where it was bought, if from an individual rather than an authorized dealer.


    Ben
     
  5. chinapig

    chinapig TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for that, Ben. I've just fired off an email. Let's hope they can throw some light on it!

    Cheers, Ted
     
  6. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    If I remember correctly, for the challenger, F12 is the volume button and sometimes it takes a few presses to change it. It should go from off to 25% 50% 75% and 100% and then cycle back to off (or some variation of that). This would be in no relation to whether the F12 icon on the hand held is displayed as active or not.

    I assume this is the same for the Big Boy.

    Let us know what Athearn says.
     
  7. Powersteamguy1790

    Powersteamguy1790 Permanently dispatched

    There are several CV's to work with, to change the sound characteristics on the Athearn "Big Boy".
     
  8. AB&CRRone

    AB&CRRone TrainBoard Supporter

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    That might be the answer. With the strange behavior of those that have been tried, the individual CV's are worth a try. The primary ones affecting sound are:
    CV51 - Whistle volume
    CV53 - Bell volume
    CV56 - Chuff volume
    There are a bunch more but they are just incidental sounds.

    I hope this is not one of the locos that a modeler has installed another decoder, Soundtraxx for instance. Might not hurt to ask the seller about this.


    Ben
     
  9. Powersteamguy1790

    Powersteamguy1790 Permanently dispatched

    Ben:

    With sound decoders, I've found that you must work with all CV's that are even remotely related to sound. I still have that manual packed away, but there are a few more CV's to deal with.(relating to sound volume)
     
  10. chinapig

    chinapig TrainBoard Member

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    Hi, I'm seeing the seller later today (to look over some of his other stuff as he's changing scales) and I'll ask about whether he's had any problems. I'll also fiddle with the other sound CVs. I've been waiting for an opportunity to get a Digitrax PR3 PC Interface to make CV programming easier and have now ordered one - perhaps this will help especially in identifying the chip if it's been changed.

    Gotta make some progress somewhere, surely.

    Cheers, Ted
     
  11. AB&CRRone

    AB&CRRone TrainBoard Supporter

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    Ted, let us know what you determine. My Challenger responds to changes in the programming of the CV's mentioned above (whistle, bell, chuff) without having to program any of the other sound related CV's.


    Ben
     
  12. chinapig

    chinapig TrainBoard Member

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    Hi,

    On further playing around I have found that setting CV57 to 0, which should turn the Brake Squeal Volume off, actually turns the Chuff Volume off. It’s starting to look like it’s faulty or a different decoder than what it should be.

    Athearn have responded and asked me to make sure I’m changing CV125 in Ops mode, which I was anyway. Let’s see what they come up with.

    I spoke to the fella I got it off yesterday and he said it was standard and untouched. The loco is “factory weathered”. This wouldn’t have any significance would it? I must say the weathering job is absolutely superb.

    I’m probably going to wait until I’ve got my PR3 before I go much further with this.

    Thanks for your help and comments, Ted
     
  13. Geep_fan

    Geep_fan TrainBoard Member

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    hmmm, out of a hunch, check the horizon hobby site and get the soundtraxx tsunami manuels for the big boys. I know somebody who got a bigboy with soundtraxx, but it came with the old MRC instructions.
     
  14. AB&CRRone

    AB&CRRone TrainBoard Supporter

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    Certainly worth a try. The Tsunami CV's are:

    CV 128, Master Volume Control
    Primary Audio Mixer CVs ​
    are as follows:
    CV 129, Whistle mixer level
    CV 130, Bell mixer level
    CV 131, Exhaust mixer level
    CV 132, Airpump mixer level
    CV 133, Dynamo mixer level
    CV 134, Blower mixer level
    CV 135, Rod clank mixer level

    CV 136, Steam hiss mixer level



    Ben
     
  15. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    ??? I don't think Athearn made any weathered N-scale Big Boy's???
     
  16. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    Sounds like a LokSound decoder. In LokSound decoders, CV49 bit 0 turns load control(Bemf compensation) on or off, so even numbers in CV49 turn it off and odd numbers turn it on. Also, CV57 controls the time between chuffs and entering a 0 tells it to use a wheel sensor, which would turn the chuff off if there is no sensor. You can download the manual for LokSound decoders here.

    Is this actually HO? The reason I ask is there is a Hornby/Rivarossi Big Boy that can be purchased weathered and with a LokSound decoder from the factory.
     
  17. CarlH

    CarlH TrainBoard Member

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    chinapig, can you provide us a link to the eBay auction that you won when you purchased this locomotive?
     
  18. chinapig

    chinapig TrainBoard Member

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    It’s definitely a Loksound! According to the manual CV8 reading 151 identifies it as such. Brilliant detective work, Robert. I thought the “weathering” might not have been “factory” as I could find no reference on the web of Athearn producing that finish. That’s partly why I mentioned that comment. Did Athearn produce the Big Boy with a Loksound decoder, though?

    I’m just printing out the 72 page manual for some light bedtime reading but it should sort my problems out!

    Carl, here’s the eBay link. I picked the loco up personally and he seems pretty genuine yet there is something that doesn’t quite meet the eye here.

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130319452394

    By the way, after listening to all of the detail, Athearn got back and asked me to take the loco back to the shop or send it back to them. Full marks for what seems a fair response.

    Thanks a lot for your help, guys. Most invaluable.

    Ted
     
  19. N-Jineer

    N-Jineer TrainBoard Member

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    Hmm....

    Handheld Wireless Controller...unless I'm mistaken, that would be for the factory fitted MRC decoder, not the Loksound. I base that on being an Athearn Challenger owner.

    Not a bad price Ted, considering someone has:

    a. done a pretty good job of weathering it

    b. installed a superior decoder

    Enjoy the loco - I love my Challenger, even though I'm not a UP fan; I'm glad I got it from the US when the £ was worth almost US$2 - HM Revenue & Customs not hitting it for VAT and import duties when it arrived over here was just icing on the cake.:pbiggrin:
     

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