DCC for Athearn HO engines

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Wiring for DCC : One Thread

I got the MRC command 2000 and I have several athearn locos and I want to find a decoder for them. Is there a brand that works best for Athearn trains. I am also looking wiring charts or diagram for the Athearn engines. I did take one of mine about and I see how it is wiring and I noticed know wires. Any help you can give me would be great. I have been searching the web to no avail.


Mike Parker

-- Mike Parker (MIKE81800@mcleodusa.net), December 29, 2001


I have one write-up on an Athearn PA-1 in my web page. Take a look at it and see if it will help you. http://www.WiringForDCC.com

Diesels more modern than covered wagons can be tight for space. Several of the big manufacturers are producing decoders that are shaped to fit into these diesels over their generic decoders. More are getting added all the time. Check their web pages to see what they offer and which locomotives they fit.

If you find multiple choices, then pick the decoder that has what you want and the least of what you don't want. In short, start with the fanciest and work down the list of offerings to the simplest. I find this faster than the other way around. Stop as soon as you hit a decoder that doesn't have what you want and back up one.

Realize that the MRC 2000 is a basic command station not supporting many sophisticated features. Be sure whatever features you want in your decoder are supported by the MRC 2000 or plan on someday replacing the MRC 2000 - definitely a choice for some people.

-- Allan Gartner (wiringfordcc@augustmail.com), December 30, 2001.

System One has a decoder made specific to fit Athearn GPs. Look for it at www.ttx-dcc.com.

-- Don Vollrath (dvollrath@magnetek.com), January 02, 2002.

Dear Mike,

The advice the other two gentlemen have given you is very good. Moreover, Digitrax makes a product for installing decoders into the non Genesis Athearn locomotives. It is called the DHAT Digitrax 9 pin wire harness with solderless connections for Athearn Standard Locomotives. The instructions are very clear and detailed for Athearn products. This harness can be used with any decoder that is detachable, Digitrax DH121s, Digitrax DH142s, NCE D104s, and Lenz 102XF-JST, etc. This is a great way to go for a person who does not want to solder and needs a guide to wiring the locomotives. Retail cost is $8.95. Another plus is that once you see how the wiring fits into the locomotive you can then hard wire them in and save money.

Another point well taken is to get decoders suited for your DCC System and what features you want the decoder to perform. Most of the quality decoders from Lenz, Digitrax, NCE, System 1, Zimo, and TCS have 4 Digit Address, 128 Speed Steps, Advanced Consisting, and user loadable speed tables at a minimum.

-- David F Butts (davidbutts@sprintmail.com), January 16, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ