New generation MRC sound decoders

Cajonpassfan Aug 14, 2012

  1. Wriede

    Wriede New Member

    Being new to this, I'm about to embark on my first DC to DCC conversion. It is a Kato N F3A. I don't have the tools or the skills to attempt anything more complicated than a drop-in decoder. But I would like to have sound - even so-so sound is better than none I would say.

    From searching around it appears that the MRC 1957 is my only option - did I get that right?

    There seem to be mixed feelings about MRC decoders, doubtlessly with good reason. What I'd like to learn from those with more experience is are any of you (still) using this decoder? Are you satisfied with how they perfom and have they held up over time?

    Thanks, Willem Riede.
  2. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Supporter

    Good choice for a first install, but get familiar with installing that front coupler. As a matter of fact, take it apart over or in a large box so you don’t lose it the first time.

    I did no sound in mine so can’t help you there, just did lighting. It if your railroad had mars lights, I can suggest a 603 SMD as the perfect light source for the lower light. No frame grinding required.
    Thanks for reminding me, I need to put decoders in two more Kato F3s so I can install the diaphragms and close couplers for the ABA set.
  3. Tony Burzio

    Tony Burzio TrainBoard Supporter

    I have the old MRC sound units in some Kato F units, and I found they have problems when you drop them from a consist. A few of the units will keep the old consist number in the CV, so when you put it back on at the club they “appear” to either be dead or run away (depending on what that consist is doing). I always put my engines on the test track and set the consist CV 19 to 0, then put them on the main track.

    You can overheat this decoder when pulling 100 car trains. Stop every so often and let them cool off. :)
  4. Tony Burzio

    Tony Burzio TrainBoard Supporter

    When using sound-equipped locomotives, find appropriate “pleasing” background nature music on YouTube to play. A couple hours of just your engine making noise will drive you stark raving looney... :)
    mtntrainman likes this.
  5. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

    I have no problems with the 1900 series decoders. They are not the best sounding vs. Soundtraxx or Locsound etc but they are an easy install and work as they should. The BEMF/Load compensation works better than the Digitrax drop in decoders and are easier to deal with for people starting out. You don't have to mill the frame to make things fit.

    Now the warning. MRC/Model Power/JTT was just purchased by Heartland Hobby distributors. Most of the DCC product has been out of stock for a while before this. I hope Heartland revitalizes the decoder line but I am not holding my breath.

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