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Old 03-16-2019, 05:56 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2019
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Modem like noise coming from locomotive

Hi All!

I recently purchased an NCE PowerCab starter set to use with my Athearn Genesis UP 844 with ESU LokSound I received for Christmas.

Ran into an issue. I put the 844 on the programming track. Plugged in the NCE PowerCab and the 844 started making this awful high pitched modem type buzzing sound. Turned it off.

Checked the wires from the NCE system to the programming track and everything looks good. Turn it on again, same noise. Tried to blow the whistle, got another modem like buzzing sound. Tried the bell, got a different modem like buzzing sound. Lights won't work, locomotive won't move. Just makes buzzing sounds. I was able to change the address of the 844 from 3 to 8444, so I know I can access the decoder.

Tried a new Walthers Mainline Gevo with Loksound. Same result. I don't have any other locos with different decoders at this point to test with.

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Old 03-16-2019, 07:31 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Omaha, NE
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Without being there, it almost sounds as if the locos don't have decoders in them, and what you are hearing is the high pitched whine of the DCC wave, in a DC motor.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:38 PM   #3
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Reset the decoder with 008/8 and start over. ESU reset address is 008.

You might also want to inspect to see that the decode is installed correctly. They can be installed upside down to an extent depending upon the decoder. IE., 21 pin, 8 pin, Plux22, etc.
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:39 AM   #4
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Location: Comox, BC
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If a factory defaults reset doesn't work, I would agree that it's one of two things: defective decoder decoder at all.

My very brief experience where a locomotive made sounds like the groans and squeals of an older internet modem signing on was due to the digital current supplied to the rails full voltage and the commutator of the motor vibrating to the changes in phase of the digital pulses. It was a DC setup inside the decoder.
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