Author Topic: Athearn Genesis GP9u install  (Read 4087 times)

KPack

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Athearn Genesis GP9u install
« on: April 03, 2016, 11:44:54 PM »
Here's a locomotive that I just finished installing Railpro in.  It is an Athearn Genesis GP9 model.  There isn't a whole lot of space inside with it being such a small locomotive.  I removed the factory DCC-ready board and all the lights.  I also removed the rear weight.


I then taped the LM-2S down to the top of the motor with a 9-pin plug on it.  I then started trimming and hooking up wires so that there wasn't a lot of excess .  Having the module in place helps me decide how much to take off of each wire.  I then built 2 speakers using tablet speakers and styrene (I buy the speakers from Digikey and they are relatively inexpensive).  I attached them to the frame using clear caulk.  I then plugged in the 6-pin harness (with unused wires removed) and measured, cut, and soldered the speaker wires in series.  Finally I installed all new LEDs, with the ditchlights in series (no flashing ditchlights on the prototype).  I used 1K ohm 1/4 watt resistors for all, then soldered all the leads to the appropriate wires from the module.  I utilized the mounting holes for the rear weight to keep the wires in check....simply drilled a couple holes through some styrene and screwed it down over the wires.  Kapton tape holds everything else in place.


The flywheels are clear, though just barely on the rear.



And here's a video of me testing it.  The Athearn model runs exceptionally smooth and quiet.  The prime mover is Ring's EMD 567, which is correct for this locomotive.  The coupler sounds are from a train simulator game, the stretch sound is from Bill Brillinger, and the Nathan P5 is taken from Youtube as a test.  The horn needs a bit of work to smooth it out.  Unfortunately I can't share it as I don't have permission.  I believe if it is for personal use then it is alright to use someone else's recording though.  Forgive the shakiness....I was recording and moving with one hand and controlling with the other.

-Kevin
« Last Edit: July 07, 2017, 08:02:57 PM by KPack »

nodcc4me

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Re: Athearn Genesis install
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2016, 08:12:53 AM »
Nice work Kevin! I have done a couple of diesels that had to have the module mounted on top of the motor, and the shell just barely fits over it. Even 1/32" more clearance would make a difference. I'm hoping for more miniaturization down the road.
Al

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hirailer

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Re: Athearn Genesis install
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 01:53:32 PM »
Looks really good Kevin. You had even less room than I had on my old Atlas GP-40's. Like Al, my module was mounted on the top of the motor. it almost touches the shell.

Mel
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Jim_N

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Re: Athearn Genesis install
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 02:09:06 PM »
Kevin,

That's a nice clean install and thx for sharing the photos and documentation.

I recently received a Rail Pro starter pack and a bunch of LM-2S modules so am starting to get up to speed.  I am new to hardwiring so maybe you could clarify a point for me.  In your photos it appears to me  that you are only using the speaker wires on the 6-pin side (maybe I am just not able see others).  However, the Ring documentation for LED lights on the LM-2 shows the 6-pin Green and Violet wires going to the lights.  Can you clarify how you are wiring in you LEDs?  Thanks.

Jim

G8B4Life

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Re: Athearn Genesis install
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2016, 11:04:04 PM »
Nice install Kevin.

You seem to get quite good audio from those speakers. Once I get some styrene I'll try making some enclosures  for the sugar cubes as well and see how well they go.

Jim, check the RailPro documentation again, all the outputs can be used for LED's. I can't speak for Kevin but I imagine the loco was wired like this:

Output 1 (9 pin white) wired to the front headlight.
Output 2 (9 pin yellow) wired to the rear headlight.
I can't see any ditch lights in the pictures but probably output 3 (9 pin green) to the ditchlights.

- Tim

Jim_N

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Re: Athearn Genesis install
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2016, 10:11:32 AM »
Tim,

Thx for the clarification re wiring.  I'm waiting for some 8-pin NMRA/9-pin JST harnesses for most of my loco's but I have a Kato RS-2 that won't fit the Ring module and a speaker so I'm going to discard the Kato dcc ready board and go the hard wire route.

Jim

KPack

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Re: Athearn Genesis install
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2016, 10:17:07 AM »
Al and Mel - The Railpro module really isn't much thicker than most DCC decoders, but in a tight installation every little bit helps.  I know Alan has removed the outer plastic casing on some of his installs and soldered the colored wires directly to the board.  Not for the faint of heart, but it worked out well for him.  My favorite place to mount the LM-2S module is right on top of the motor.  Removing all the factory electronics and any mounting hardware for them leaves you with a lot of space.  Plus with teh motor housing being curved you can run wires under either side of the module and keep the install nice and clean.

Jim - The LM-2S is a 6-function module.  In order to have all 6 functions Ring had to put two of them on the 6-pin plug.  There are four output wires on the 9-pin plus the two on the 6-pin.  For this install I only needed four outputs.  The ditchlights on the prototype don't flash, so I didn't need separate outputs going to each light.  I wired the ditchlights on either end in series so only one output fed each pair of ditchlights.  The extra function wires (and the 2 input wires for the that matter) were not needed so removed them from the 6-pin plug to save space.  It's important to note that it doesn't matter which color ouput wire you put to which light.  You can set the specific wire output and what it does via programming with the controller.

Tim - I really do like the sugar cube speakers.  And that fact that I can get TWO speakers in a locomotive like this is always a bonus.  In my opinion two (or four) sources of sound is always better than one.  With one speaker it's too easy to tell where the sound is coming from.  I have a few older locomotives with the speaker in the back of the hood and it just seems "wrong" as they roll by....you can tell that the sound is coming from the wrong place.  With one speaker in the front and one in the back, the sound is focused between the two, which puts it right at the exhaust stacks and horn.  Right where it should be.  The only issue is having to build the enclosures.  It doesn't take too long, but it's an extra step that I don't particularly enjoy.

-Kevin

G8B4Life

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Re: Athearn Genesis GP9u install
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2016, 01:24:31 AM »
Jim, your welcome.

Kevin, I know what you mean by the sound from one end. I have a loco that I installed like that. The speaker was a iPhone type so I turned
the speaker around to get the port closer to the middle which was better but still not great. The next one of them I do I might try putting the LM-2S at the end and the speaker in the middle and see how that sounds. I'll have to find your link to the sugar cubes again and have a look, the one's I have (from eBay) are all about 32 ohm which means I'd need to put 4 in series, not an easy feat in hood units.

Taking the casing off and directly soldering to the board, now that's game! I wonder if the temp sensing works properly without the casing?

As for miniaturisation, I'd like to see the modules come in different types. I know 21MTC is not big in the US but it is elsewhere, and PLuX is getting more support these days. Even a "drop in replacement" style as DCC manufacturers do would be really handy. I think it might have been Atlas that made a lighting board design that nearly everyone copied, and decoder manufacturers made decoders the same size and shape as the board. It is possible that we'll get these one day but I think Ring needs to be a lot bigger before it happens.

- Tim

PatP

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Re: Athearn Genesis GP9u install
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2017, 10:04:03 AM »
Kevin, do you have another link to your posted photos? Sorry, just joined and going through what would be old topics to y'all. Thanks.

G8B4Life

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Re: Athearn Genesis GP9u install
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2017, 10:32:21 AM »
uh oh, the Photobucket ransom has hit RPUG! Strangely I was just reading about this on MRH less than an hour ago.

Pat (welcome!) until Kevin either forks over a huge wad of cash to Photobucket (not likely) to allow his photo's to be viewed by anyone or finds another free hosting provider and update his posts I'm afraid we'll have to look at the horrible ransom notices from Photobucket for the time being.

- Tim





KPack

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Re: Athearn Genesis GP9u install
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2017, 02:33:29 PM »
Give me some time to find a suitable alternative.  I'm going to be dealing with updating all my old threads for a while.  What a mess.

-Kevin

PatP

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Re: Athearn Genesis GP9u install
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2017, 03:17:41 PM »
Sorry, didn't mean to stir anything. I was going through older posts and saw yours on speakers. I just ordered a RailPro setup to convert older locos (sorry Bill, didn't know you sold them) and will be adding speakers, etc.. I was looking at how you did it, maybe get some ideas. I did follow someones post and at least saw the speakers referenced. Styrene should work great as a re-verb chamber (that's how Bose got big sound from little speakers years ago). Anyhow, don't go to extra trouble on my part. The discussion gave me some ideas. Thanks.

KPack

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Re: Athearn Genesis GP9u install
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2017, 04:12:58 PM »
Pat, no worries.  I need to add my pictures to a different site and then look then here.  Nothing bothers me more than going into threads hoping to learn something, but all the pictures are missing.  I'm exploring different options and will update as soon as I can.  The pictures are very helpful when considering how to install sound on your own locos

KPack

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Re: Athearn Genesis GP9u install
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2017, 08:03:44 PM »
Alright, let's try that.  Let me know if we're having issues still with this thread.  I'm trying out linking from Microsoft OneDrive.

-Kevin

William Brillinger

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Re: Athearn Genesis GP9u install
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2017, 10:05:51 PM »
I can see the photos now.
- Bill Brillinger, RPUG Admin

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