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Model Railroading > Putting Loksound 5 into a new Athearn Genesis CSX ES44DC


Date: 02/07/20 03:25
Putting Loksound 5 into a new Athearn Genesis CSX ES44DC
Author: brfriedm

I finally recieved one of the latest run CSX ES44DC's from Athearn yesterday. I wanted to get the WM one as this unit is very common on the CSX Philly sub which I model and the unit was even a yard switcher this past summer for almost 2 months in my local CSX Yard. So I spent allot of time with it. I honestly have not bought an Athearn engine in some time in fact I have been selling off allot of my Athearn units as the real CSX has been selling off large amounts of engines and many classes have been wiped out including SD60M and I's, GP15's and SD70ACE's which were all represented by Athearn on my layout. I had added LED's to all of them and this is my first purchase of an Athearn engine that has factory installed LED's.  This is also my first purchase with Athearn's new 21pin DCC board with LED support.

My thoughts are they did a magnificent job with both. The LED's are a nice color and the right brightness and the 21 pin board is very nice to work with.  It took me 20 minutes to put Loksound into this unit. Athearn is still using Soundtraxx as its factory sound and I will not buy that dead end product as it is not sound and feature upgradeable.  With the new 21 pin board and an onboard speaker chamber, anyone can do this in no time.

The shell removal was effortless. 60 seconds to remove. 2 screws on the bottom and the couplers and the shell just lifted off. Normally I would not comment on this aspect of the install but after the giant Rapido RS11 debacle with the 3 piece shell and 90 minutes to remove it while destroying the unit, I really appreciated this quick process. No tabs either. Shell removal should be this easy.

After I took off the sell, I removed the dummy 21 pin decoder and installed the Loksound 5 21 pin decoder. 60 seconds to do. Then I removed the weight from the speaker chamber and added a Loksound 28MM round speaker and just taped it in as there was no ability to screw it in.  60 more seconds. I soldered the speaker wires from the ESU decoder to the speaker which took 10 seconds.

Off to the programming station and I downloaded the most recent GEVO sound file and downloaded  it into the engine. Made some custom changes and I was done. She sounds incredible. One note, TCS just announced that they will be offering downloadable sound files in the future. Kudos to them as Soundtraxx lives in the past. 

That is it, she will be getting weathering tomorrow and then into train service.  Have a good weekend.

Bruce

Pictures showcase the new 21 pin board from Athearn and the Loksound speaker and decoder I used. You can order the ESU decoders from dealers preloaded with the sounds you need also at no charge FYI.   You do not need to buy a ESU programmer if u do not want too.









Date: 02/07/20 03:29
Re: Putting Loksound 5 into a new Athearn Genesis CSX ES44DC
Author: brfriedm

I really like that the LED's are wired. Easy to replace and they look so much better then designs that use light pipes.

Completed install

On the programming track getting her sound file. Loksound allows u to add new sound file if they come out or added features. A good future investment and you can redeploy the decoder in another engine if you like.  Using the programmer is very easy.








Date: 02/07/20 03:32
Re: Putting Loksound 5 into a new Athearn Genesis CSX ES44DC
Author: brfriedm

Preweathered and nice and shiney

LED lighting. Well done Athearn. It took you a long time to come around but finally!

Thanks and have a nice weekend.  Bruce






Date: 02/07/20 04:33
Re: Putting Loksound 5 into a new Athearn Genesis CSX ES44DC
Author: hartrick24

   Bruce, you did a awesome review and explanation of your work. I could go as far as putting in the 21 pin and then I'd stop. I lack the confidence to go any further. So I will 
never try what you did. On my 14' X 31' layout there is no weathering of anything which is sad but oh well...

 Steve H...



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/07/20 15:03 by hartrick24.



Date: 02/07/20 09:08
Re: Putting Loksound 5 into a new Athearn Genesis CSX ES44DC
Author: brfriedm

Hey Steve, If the decoder is preprogrammed, all you need to do is solder the 2 speaker wires coming from the Loksound decoder and that is it. 2 minutes. U could do that!

Thanks Bruce

hartrick24 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>    Bruce, you did a awesome review and
> explanation of your work. I could go as far as
> putting in the 21 pin and then I'd stop. I lack
> the confidence to go any further. So I will 
> nerver try what you did. On my 14' X 31' layout
> there is no weathering of anything which is sad
> but oh well...
>
>  Steve H...



Date: 02/07/20 09:39
Re: Putting Loksound 5 into a new Athearn Genesis CSX ES44DC
Author: wheel_slip

Now, if Athearn would just light up the number boards....

Andy



Date: 02/07/20 10:07
Re: Putting Loksound 5 into a new Athearn Genesis CSX ES44DC
Author: brfriedm

I ran Q216 to the new power so I could break in this new unit. I made a video but had to compress it so not sure how the quality will be. Thanks Bruce

brfriedm Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I finally recieved one of the latest run CSX
> ES44DC's from Athearn yesterday. I wanted to get
> the WM one as this unit is very common on the CSX
> Philly sub which I model and the unit was even a
> yard switcher this past summer for almost 2 months
> in my local CSX Yard. So I spent allot of time
> with it. I honestly have not bought an Athearn
> engine in some time in fact I have been selling
> off allot of my Athearn units as the real CSX has
> been selling off large amounts of engines and many
> classes have been wiped out including SD60M and
> I's, GP15's and SD70ACE's which were all
> represented by Athearn on my layout. I had added
> LED's to all of them and this is my first purchase
> of an Athearn engine that has factory installed
> LED's.  This is also my first purchase with
> Athearn's new 21pin DCC board with LED support.
>
> My thoughts are they did a magnificent job with
> both. The LED's are a nice color and the right
> brightness and the 21 pin board is very nice to
> work with.  It took me 20 minutes to put Loksound
> into this unit. Athearn is still using Soundtraxx
> as its factory sound and I will not buy that dead
> end product as it is not sound and feature
> upgradeable.  With the new 21 pin board and an
> onboard speaker chamber, anyone can do this in no
> time.
>
> The shell removal was effortless. 60 seconds to
> remove. 2 screws on the bottom and the couplers
> and the shell just lifted off. Normally I would
> not comment on this aspect of the install but
> after the giant Rapido RS11 debacle with the 3
> piece shell and 90 minutes to remove it while
> destroying the unit, I really appreciated this
> quick process. No tabs either. Shell removal
> should be this easy.
>
> After I took off the sell, I removed the dummy 21
> pin decoder and installed the Loksound 5 21 pin
> decoder. 60 seconds to do. Then I removed the
> weight from the speaker chamber and added a
> Loksound 28MM round speaker and just taped it in
> as there was no ability to screw it in.  60 more
> seconds. I soldered the speaker wires from the ESU
> decoder to the speaker which took 10 seconds.
>
> Off to the programming station and I downloaded
> the most recent GEVO sound file and downloaded 
> it into the engine. Made some custom changes and I
> was done. She sounds incredible. One note, TCS
> just announced that they will be offering
> downloadable sound files in the future. Kudos to
> them as Soundtraxx lives in the past. 
>
> That is it, she will be getting weathering
> tomorrow and then into train service.  Have a
> good weekend.
>
> Bruce
>
> Pictures showcase the new 21 pin board from
> Athearn and the Loksound speaker and decoder I
> used. You can order the ESU decoders from dealers
> preloaded with the sounds you need also at no
> charge FYI.   You do not need to buy a ESU
> programmer if u do not want too.

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Date: 02/07/20 10:08
Re: Putting Loksound 5 into a new Athearn Genesis CSX ES44DC
Author: brfriedm

I believe the new Athearn Genesis 2.0 line has lit number boards and this is really Genesis 1.0 upgraded with LED's and a 21 pin interface. Baby steps for Athearn. Thanks Andy. Bruce

wheel_slip Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Now, if Athearn would just light up the number
> boards....
>
> Andy



Date: 02/07/20 10:38
Re: Putting Loksound 5 into a new Athearn Genesis CSX ES44DC
Author: TCnR

Great review and how-to, photos and Video are great. Sound has really moved up to be a realistic contributor in the hobby.
t4p.



Date: 02/08/20 02:26
Re: Putting Loksound 5 into a new Athearn Genesis CSX ES44DC
Author: calsubd

Ditto, Thanks Bruce !

Ed Stewart
Jacksonville, FL



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