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1  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Blue Comet set on: December 28, 2017, 01:09:48 AM
Owl,

The Blue Comet set is a few years old (not sure of the exact range of dates, Loco Bill will pop in and fill in that blank), however I would recommend rather than investing time and effort in repairing what you have, Bachmann sells complete chassis assemblies for the ten wheelers. The chassis they are now selling are far superior to the one you have, and considering that you have the skill set to dig deep enough to determine the issue, you certainly have the skill set to swap out the complete chassis.

Welcome aboard the Crazy Train of large scale!.

Bob C.
2  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Brass Gears on: December 12, 2017, 10:38:15 PM
It has been some time since I have had my K27 open, but if memory is holding up, I believe the worm is steel and the gear is brass. If you maintain the proper lubrication on the gears, they will last a very long time. These kinds of drives are used in every thing from copiers to rock crushers that work 24/7/365 crushing hundreds of tons of rock a day. Quite honestly Bill, your comments indicate to me that they were either not properly lubricated or not properly installed (gear mesh was off).
3  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: To: The Yardmaster Subject:Large Scale Parts Availibility on: November 28, 2017, 02:49:20 PM
Well, all that me we fine for the short term. However, the economic environment will eventually rebound, even if slowly,  and what then. Kader makes no new product to generate interest in the market. Kader makes part prices too high or parts unavailable for the folks who already have product they wish to repair and keep running because there is no new product. That about sums up Greg's evaluation.

Can't get what you want from the manufacturer, go to the junk tables at trains shows. Another good observation, until the junk starts getting scarce and the prices of junk rise due to lowered supply. Sooner or later that runs out as well. At some point the hobbyist looks at his collection of now non running equipment and tosses in the towel. Ok, maybe some new junk for a short bit. That about sums up Bill's perspective over the long term.

Sooner or late when the manufacturers decide that the economic environment is again able to support new product, will there be buyers available to purchase said product. I am heavily invested in Bachmann products, and found it quite disheartening when I basically had to strong arm Bachmann to get a replacement gear for one of the newest locomotives they released. Will I invest in used Bachmann products when the part environment is bleak, probably not. Will I invest in NOS at the current pricing considering the parts availability, absolutely not. And I don't believe I am alone in this thought process. Maybe Bachmann doesn't care, maybe they are moving out of large scale entirely, who knows? Only the bean counters at the top.

This is my opinion only, but I don't believe I am alone.
4  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: What happened to cause the downturn of the large scale market sales? on: November 18, 2017, 11:17:22 PM
Norman,

To begin with, large scale is a niche market of a niche market. Model railroading for the most part is a niche market of the overall hobby market, and large scale is a niche of that. Depending on one's perspective, there are those that believe you get more for your hobby dollar in smaller scales.

Are large scale modelers dieing off and not being replaced, resoundingly yes. But that is not just in large scale, it is in all scales. Model railroading is a delayed gratification hobby. Our youth are primarily an instant gratification society. Today, even the shake the box kits take too long. Combine that with the overriding question: "What is interesting about trains today?" For every mixed freight I see, there are at least 3-5 unit trains......endless double stacks, coal hoppers, or tank cars. Now add to that, when dad is held at a grade crossing, all the children hear is grousing about the ^&*()^&*() train holding up dad's already late schedule.

The cost of model railroading has gone totally out of control as well. Tell me what 10 year old on their allowance (unless it is the child of daddy war bucks) can afford a couple hundred dollars for a DCC equipped (or at least ready) starter set at the Hobby Lobby price of over $100.00. (Price is based on an HO set.)

I read other boards as well, both large scale and small scale, and the overwhelming commentary is that none of the manufacturers are offering any new equipment, repaints at best. The conundrum for the manufacturers is that they don'e want to tie up capital in development, manufacture, shipping, distribution of a new product for it to sit on shelves for years before they get their investment back. And the customer is looking to other means to acquire the desired product, therefore reducing the manufacturers market share even more.

Even though we have lost a couple of manufacturers, and several of the larger distributors, those remaining are cautious about how much they invest. I am a 1:20.3 modeler and am quite certain if I want other than eBay second hand of what has been already manufactured, I will be either scratch building or bashing something used. Although Bachmann has not come out and straight up said it, 1:20.3 is dead.

I joined the model railroad fraternity back in the early 1970s, and back then there were craftsman kits, some shake the box kits, some RTR, some imported brass, and lots of small mom and pop shops making detail and scratch building parts. I see the advent of affordable laser cutters and 3D printing bringing that model of the supply chain back into the forefront. The alure of large scale to me was the ability to cut my raw material on my 10" contractor's table saw, raidal arm saw and other shop tools. Other than trucks and couplers I can make every part I need for a piece of rolling stock. IF I can purchase the car I want RTR at a price point I feel is reasonable, I am going to do that.

There are my opinions and my perspective on the hobby as a whole and where I believe it is headed. If others can provide so clarity of vision that the hobby is headed in another direction, I am open to their opinion.

Bob C.
5  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: My North Star Express Has its' Tender But My Track Powered JS Cars Squeak on: November 10, 2017, 08:48:07 PM
I will firs ask 'Did you lubricate the axle ends with a good quality plastic compatible oil or grease?" I have had far more axles squeak than electrical contacts.

Next, unless you use an oil or grease that is 'electrically compatible', you will add more resistance to the circuit and possibly create more issues. If I used anything I would possibly use a bit of graphite. Keep in mind that oil and grease are both insulators. The transformer outside your home on the pole is insulated with oil.
6  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Idea for a new shay on: September 19, 2017, 04:11:47 PM
Jeff,

Although I agree with Jerry in content, it might have been said a bit more tactfully. That said, I suggest you read my post in this thread http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/board/index.php/topic,33756.0.html, and it might give a little clarity to Jerry's comment
7  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? on: September 14, 2017, 09:18:44 AM
Rusty,

A late comer to the  party, but please let the 'Know nothing busy body' make an observation. Not being knowledgable on the Train Power controller I went to the USA Trains site to get educated. Reading the info one statement jumped out at me and raised a red flag.

"DIAL-A-GAUGE
The variable control not only limits the output voltage but sets the waveform appropriate to the scale train being run. This feature makes the TRAIN POWER 10 a pack for all gauges."

It has been my experience that a statement like this indicates either DCC control or PWM (Pulse Width Modulation), both can cause issues with Bachmann electronics. I suspect this may be why simple Ten Wheelers with almost no electronics work and the Rail Truck is giving you issues. I don't know how to set the Train Power to Linear DC, but maybe Joe can help you there. I don't know this to be the fix, but this has not been addressed in the conversation so far.

Good luck finding a resolution, I am sure one exists somewhere.

Bob C.
8  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Bachmann Brass Track on: September 08, 2017, 09:40:41 PM
Andrew,

A word of caution on Bachmann curve track. The Brass track comes in two sizes - 4 foot diameter (2 foot radius), and 8 foot diameter (4 foot radius). This is acceptable for small wheelbase steam and diesel locomotives, but not going to work well for larger ones. As an example, I have a Spectrum K27 that will negotiate a 10' diameter circle, but it does not like it. My wifes USAT GP7/9 will do 8 foot, but does not like it. If all you plan to run is short wheelbase locos, then the smaller (and 8 foot diameter is on the smaller spectrum) curves are OK. If your plans include The larger 6 axle diesels, or larger USAT and Aristo steam, the I would look to find the largest diameter curves you can stand.

Happy Railorading

Bob C.
9  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Bachmann Brass Track on: September 06, 2017, 05:44:20 PM
@Greg - I haven't found any secret stashes....just commenting on what 'will' work. I am aware that Hillmans are getting to be scarce as hen's teeth, but they do occasionally show up on Ebay. I simply answered the OP question as accurately as I could.
10  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Bachmann Brass Track on: September 05, 2017, 09:20:16 AM
Andrew,

Generically, yes, all those manufacturers mentioned will play together. That said, they do not all use exactly the same dies for extruding the rail so profile of the rail may not match exactly.  Manufacturers mold their tie strip to provide proper track gauge for their rail profile, that is why one manufacturers tie strip may not fit another's rial. This will also carry through to slip joiners, some will work across brands, others not so much. My recommendation would be to use slip joiners common to the brand where possible. When joining differing brands I suggest using a Hillman or SplitJaw type of clamp.

Bob C.
11  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Problems with PhotoBucket deleting my photos in many of my posts. on: August 20, 2017, 04:30:23 PM
Some day folks will come to the realization that 'Free' ain't free. What Photobucket has done to folks is effectively 'Ransoming' their photos, although if one reads the T's and C's of usage, Photobucket effectively OWNS anything you place in their storage....that is the HOOK to the free storage. Personally I find it difficult to understand why folks continue to look for a 'Free' service when the Photobucket scenario is only one of several services that were free and went pay for in the past and that will follow into the future.

I pay nominally $11.00 per month (a little over $130 per year) for my Godaddy web hosting services, guaranteeing my continued services so long as I pay the bill. I know what, when and where things are going to happen on my service, not to mention it is backed up religiously by Godaddy. I also maintain a multitude of CD/DVD and thumb drive backups of all my important photos and documents.

FWIW,

Bob C.
12  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Any announcements for large scale from NMRA convention? on: August 06, 2017, 11:15:35 PM
Bill, add to your commentary, mine located here http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/board/index.php/topic,33756.0.html
13  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Release of K-27 on: July 22, 2017, 02:34:08 PM
It has be relayed to me that with the passing of Lee Riley, the 1:20.3 champion in the board room, so has passed the 1:20.3 Spectrum product line. This is NOT a statement directly from Bachmann, but so far has very closely paralleled any responses from Bachmann about 1:20.3 future product.

From a business standpoint, I can understand their point of view. The 1:20.3 line of product is a niche market of a niche market. Model railroading as a whole is a shrinking market, especially in the scale model builder market for vendors. Large scale is a niche market of model railroading in the first place, overshadowed by HO and N scales. The 1:20.3 marked is heavily overshadowed by the 1:29 crowd making 1:20.3 a niche marked of a niche market. From the board room, folks are looking at bottom line, not necessarily the wants and desires of a smaller group of buyers. Combine that with the fact that we as the buyers complain about the high cost of our niche market products, not wanting to pay the cost of the company recovering it's investment to produce a, for a specific product, short run. The shorter the product run, the higher the per piece price .... simple economics.

Personally, I believe the 1:20.3 market is going to regress to the scratch builder / basher, taking what is available in old stock and available parts and make what it is you desire. This may be the case for large scale as a whole, not just 1:20.3, due to the very soft market for hobby products. The cost effective availability of 3D printers and 3D printing services like Shapeways, and free or very inexpensive software like Sketchup have very significantly changed the landscape for the remaining manufacturers in large scale.

Along these lines, I would suggest that Bachmann Industries offer the most common needed spare parts, and keep them in stock. Bahcmann has re-introduces the popular ex-Aristo Craft Egg Liners. Their motor blocks will sell well as replacements for existing product in the field and for folks looking for a motor block for a unique build of their own. Having spent 40+ years in the mechanical design field, I understand that not every design is a winner out of the box. A second suggestion to Bachmann is, when a design flaw is brought to your attention by customers, it would be wise to either a) quickly find a long term fix for the issue, or b) maintain stock of parts to repair the issue. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but available parts to keep my equipment running would go a long way to keeping my loyalty.

My largest complaint with all the manufacturers is their unwillingness to tell the truth to the customers. Short quips like above from Bachmann Industries, to me, is far more damaging to customer loyalty than stating the real truth. Yes, the quip is truth, but leaves a tremendous amount to be desired and can be interpreted in many ways. Some good, some not so good. I believe it would be better if Bachmann chose to direct that interpretation.
14  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: couplers on: March 30, 2017, 01:56:05 PM
Howard,

If you can't find the Spectrum couplers on the Bachmann parts site, you can substitute Kadee 'G' couplers. The 830 box should mount directly where the Bachmann box mounted. And an FYI, the Kadee coupler will mount directly in the Bachmann coupler box.

Hope this helps.

Bob C.
15  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: D&RGW Tank cars on: February 22, 2017, 11:11:00 PM
Mudhen,

I am not for sure that such a list exists per se, but I gather you have done the usual 'Google Search' already. My next suggestion would be to become a member of the Narrow Gauge Discussion Forum (http://ngdiscussion.net/phorum/list.php?1) if you are not already a member, and post the question there. Another source, which helped me gather up the numbers for the 'Gramps' cars in the 11XXX number series was on the  Friends site (https://www.cumbrestoltec.org/images/stories/Dorman_Catalog/RD053_DRGW_Tank_Cars_Catalog.pdf). Hope this will aid in your search, and good luck.

Bob C.
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