So I bought and received a newer MRC Mantua GP-20 Santa Fe locomotive with DCC and Sound from Trainworld. It came in yesterday and I unboxed it yesterday evening. It looks like the standard Mantua GP-20 but with plastic rails. It also came with a remote so that you can control the sounds on a DC powered layout. It appears to have a LED headlight that shines through the plastic of the cab so something will have to be done about that. So far I'm not super impressed with the movement either, I had to crank it up to 50 before it would move...maybe adjusting some CV's will allow me to tweak that. Overall I give it a Meh rating...the price was not bad though considering it is DCC and has sound. Here's a picture and a video of it if you are curious to see and hear it in action on a test track.
Last Edit: Jan 30, 2019 15:02:52 GMT -5 by morland
Interesting. Sounds kind of like the Athearn Genesis dual mode models where the sounds can be activated by remote control in DC mode. Does the remote control anything besides sounds in DC mode?
I tried to look this up on the MRC page, but their catalog seems strangely empty of locomotives right now....
Yep, it is dual mode, you can run this on DC or DCC. The remote really is only useful if you are running it on a DC layout. The remote only controls the sounds and headlight. For instance you can rev the motor up and down to match the speed of the locomotive while running it in DC mode. Pretty handy if you are DC only and want sounds and headlight control.
Last Edit: Jan 30, 2019 17:07:41 GMT -5 by morland
i have three dual mode locos. all of them perform this way. i have suspicions of why. ( the following is observations while running dc)
1 done this way on purpose, so that you can have an idling loco on your table with no fear of it moving. 2 sound system takes "priority" amps. realistically depriving the motor of power until throttle is much higher.
i run a hogger power pack with and adjustable power output. if i crank up the juice a little, it performs just as well as a non sound dc unit.
So I should do a follow up post on this...when I first posted, this locomotive had zero run time. After running it for a while it is more responsive...so the moral of the story is it mostly just needed some break in time. I will say the sound is definitely not as good as any of the other brands but as I've said before the price was good. Also I would add that here lately I've been running this locomotive a lot for a couple of reasons. One it has the classic Tyco/Mantua look and feel and secondly I just like it...I set it at a slow speed pulling some cars and it does a good job of just running the rails.
On to Bull's question...I haven't run it on DC so I don't know what it's like. I will do that over the weekend and post the results.
With regard to the question about decoder equipped locomotives running on DC:
They all run sluggish on dc. The decoder electronics have components that require about 5 volts to start. That leaves only 7 volts for control of locomotive speed. Almost half of the control knob's arc is used up before the locomotive even begins to move.
By removing the decoder you can get this finer control back. On locomotives whose decoder is plugged into an NMRA 8 pin socket, you can insert a dummy plug in place of the decoder to restore dc performance. Some Bachmann locomotives actually include the dummy plug in the box, though they don't tell you what it is on the instruction sheet.
JNXT 7707: What's that you say, Randy Fe?
Jan 20, 2020 14:46:44 GMT -5
wks: None of the football teams adopted the Baby Shark theme song. Perhaps that song would give the same good luck that it gave a certain baseball team in Washington to propel them to champions.
Jan 20, 2020 16:01:08 GMT -5
wks: Hapless teams like the Browns Lions Jets should look into that good luck song.
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JNXT 7707: wks, that song makes my ears bleed
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wks: Imagine how the opposing team feels if the home team blasts that song on their stadium's deep sub woofer speakers at full volume.
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wks: Jerry Jones is contemplating using that song at his new Texas Stadium or whatever that stadium is called.
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JNXT 7707: Jerry Jones would sell his soul to get back to the SB
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rbturner: All I need to know about football; Go PACK!
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