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Most of the guys I know don't like them. One issue is that they do not always follow the NMRA standard for the application of the CVs. My buddy who learned this had to call their tech line because there was no documentation.
They do seem a little flaky.
However the same guy who had to call the tech line to figure out what CVs did what, also said he has about 8 in service for a long time. I think he bought 10 and might have burned out 2 due to mistakes in installation. So he says for the price, he is not unhappy. However, he doesn't seek them out.
I use primarily NCE D408SR in my larger O Scale locos. These are very stable and work fine. And if you do manage to blow one up, NCE will replace it for $25. list is well over 50. Street price is sometimes as low as 50.
I have used some Lenz and a bunch of Digitrax ones in locos that lower current draw - 1 amp or less. The Lenz seem impossible to kill, they do have an overload protection built in. The Digitrax have a hhigher load rating but they can be made to smoke if overtaxed. I have not been able to get the smoke back in them when it gets out either. I got the Digitrax from an estate deal really cheap.
Penn$y...did you send the decoder in to MRC, or contact us, for warranty purposes?
which decoder did you have problems with?
prrjim...all of our decoders follow N.M.R.A. standards and r.p.'s...don't forget certain cv's are mandatory, which we follow, others are optional or recomended which lets the manufacturer have some give and take on them
Unfortunately for your firm, your product has developed a bad reputation among hobbyists. I don't know what you do to correct that. I think it is a slow process to rebuild confidence in your product.
As to your statement about meeting NMRA standards, I have more than one source whom I know that says all CVS did not. You are the only source, whom I don't know, whom also has skin in the game, who says they do.
Now it may be splitting hairs to say you have gone afield only in NON-specified or non-standard but recommended practices. I don't know. I am not enough of a gambler to find out.
The first MRC decoders were terrible at best I had one in HO. I have two of the new ones in O scale and am happy with them. The motor control is much better and the sound is good. The only beef I have is the brake squeal is way off with the movement of the loco. I have tried to fix it with CVs and just decided to turn it off. Other than that you can’t beat it for the money.