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Topics - Steve Stockham

Large / Excellent service from the Service Dept.!!
October 07, 2009, 06:55:26 PM
Dear Bach-man,
  Please pass on my sincerest "thanks" to the service/parts dept. staff! I had lost a cylinder cap off of my K-27 and I gave them a call. They got back to me right away and were able to send me a replacement for the lost part. The cost was $3 plus shipping which was very reasonable! This is precisely the kind of service that I had hoped to get and I wasn't disappointed! Kudos all around!! ;D

Steve Stockham
Large / Long Caboose release date?
May 28, 2009, 07:29:07 PM
Hey B-Man!
  I hope your summer is starting off great! Speaking of summer and starting off..... what's the latest on the release of the Long Caboose? It's almost June and the crew of the Kansas Central & Colorado RR are getting "antsy" waiting for it! It seems they are tired of just running short "bobbers" and are really looking forward to those new long beauties! We are hosting the Wichita Area Garden Railway Society's June meeting on the third weekend and the railroad management was dearly hoping to have the new caboose for display and demonstration purposes. Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated!

Steve Stockham
Large / Spectrum Long Caboose - Any idea when?
December 20, 2008, 02:21:43 PM
Dear Bach-man,
  First, let me wish everyone at Bachmann a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I see that the Mallet is going to make it under our trees in time for Christmas and I was wondering if you have any idea when we might expect the Long-Caboose to arrive? I understand that production in China halts for the whole month of January. If the Caboose is not ready for shipment before then (and I think we won't be surprised if this is the case) it would seem that the soonest we will see it would be April or possibly even May 2009. Could you give us a better idea when we could expect it's arrival?

Steve Stockham
Large / An r/c battery K-27 has finally arrived!!
February 02, 2008, 10:54:16 PM
  Yes!! After years of waiting, a D&RGW #463 is now ready to run on the Kansas Central & Colorado R.R. fufilling a long standing dream of mine! I was within a week of ordering an Accucraft brass #463 for almost $3000 when the news broke that Bachmann was planning on producing one. Knowing the detail that Bachmann puts into it's Spectrum engines, I decided it would be worth the wait. Well, the K finally arrived and I have to say that it definitely was worth it!! ;D
  What is different about this K than some others that have been reviewed here and on the LS forums? Mostly that I pre-ordered it from Caboose Hobbies (something that I never have done until now!) and had them immediately send it to Northwest Remote Control Systems where Dave Goodson gave it a full "going over." He "fixed" the counterweight problem, performed a number of "customer modifications" (all are described on Large Scale Central) and installed an RCS r/c battery power system.
  How to describe my first impression of this locomotive.......blown away!! This engine has it all!! The "difficulties" that have inevitably cropped up with a new model have not been a factor with this one as Dave had taken care of them first so my experience was essentially a "pure" one.
  The engine starts with almost no power and the action is as smooth or better than the Connie (which is saying a lot!) The Sierra system sounds fantastic! I asked Dave about this and he said he used a big speaker! My personal preferance is for the K-36 #488 sound board so that is what he installed.
  I have no problem with those that want DCC in their locomotives. I even understand that some feel that the new electronic innards are the wave of the future in Large Scale but for me, the beauty is in the simplicity and ease of operation. My K was jostled rather roughly and a connection was broken in the chuff. Dave walked me through diagnosing the problem and then fixing it. Fortunately (because of the KISS principle) it was an easy fix which I had no problem doing myself. The silver lining to this is that I found out that Bachmann designed the K-27 to be easily accessible! Thanks!
  Bottom line: This is far and away the sweetest locomotive that Bachmann has ever produced! I really don't see how they can keep improving upon their products as the level of detail is so fantastic that the bar has been set at Olympic heights! What Dave has done for me is to remove all the unnecessary new-age DCC electronic stuff and go with the tried and true "old tech." I, for one, couldn't be happier! 8) ;D
Large / A very sincere Thank you to Bachmann from WAGRS
December 17, 2007, 08:42:16 PM
Dear Bach-man,
  Please extend our sincerest "Thank you" to everyone at Bachmann Industries. Your contributions for "door prizes" at our first WAGRS Christmas Dinner helped to make the event a complete success! Around 35 people met on a chilly night at the Hometown Buffet in Wichita, KS. The entertainment was a slideshow of the club's activities, a DVD of the Polar Express BOOK (produced by one of our members), an interpretive (and hilarious) reading of the "Cajun Night Befo Christmas" by Jim Carter (pimanjc) and a very interesting slide show program on the history of Wichita with special emphasis on railroads presented by a Wichita Library Historian. This was followed by the drawing for the door prizes. Every atendee won something and my wife won one of your mugs! (Very nice!)
   We at the Wichita Area Garden Railway Society would like to wish everyone at Bachmann Industries a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday season!! ;D

Steve Stockham
President WAGRS
  Stan Ames is the coordinator (he categorizes it as "spokesman") for a NMRA sponsored "DCC Working Group" which is working on a "universal socket" that would be mandated for all Large Scale engines from ALL manufacturers. Now why would this be a "bad" thing? Because it is being designed by DCC people with a DCC agenda that have little or no experience with Large Scale. They are trying to develope a 22 pin "Super Socket" that will make all of our older non-DCC compatable "Heritage Locomotives" obsolete. Again, what's so bad about that?
  Well, it just so happens that the r/c battery industry (which has a significantly larger percentage of the LS market) is NOT an active part of this group which is working in secret and who's members are also secret!  We don't know WHO is making decisions for us!!
  Worse, this WG is struggling with some major problems with their design which if not corrected could spell some real headaches for Bachmann!! (Remember the "Quasinami" fiasco? Our r/c battery systems don't work with this unit!)
  Worse yet, all of this new stuff isn't cheap! How many of us will care to spend an extra $100 or so just to have electronics that we can't use? I sure as heck don't!! >:(
  A level headed suggestion by Tony Walsham of RCS Systems, Dave Goodson of Northwest Remote Control Systems, myself as a r/c battery layman user and nearly everybody on the thread over on MLS where this is being discussed, is for the use of screw terminals which would allow for inclusion of "heritage" equipment as well as various manufacturer's proprietary pin and sockets now currently in use. This suggestion was paid lip service but has been "double-talked" into a "decision to be made after we have decided on the socket design." The concensus among most people on the thread is that Stan Ames has an agenda and is NOT interested in changing the design to use screw terminals. This is unacceptable. Period.
  I am a Bachmann enthusiast and I have five of my engines converted to r/c battery. I have NO interest in this design if it doesn't take into account the needs of the r/c battery community. Bachmann dropped the ball rather badly with the "Quasinami" unit not being r/c battery compatable. If Bachmann decides to adopt this design as is then it will be a BAD decision for Bachmann Industries! :(
Large / Tsunami or Quasinami?
February 28, 2007, 09:15:23 AM
  Since the new 3-truck Shay has hit the retailers there has been some questions about the DCC compatible digital sound system "with Tsunami technology." Specifically, is this system a "special OEM system made specifically for Bachmann" and is not a true Tsunami system with all of the functions of the Tsunami that is installed in the H0 models?
  If this is so (and from what I am understanding from various threads, this is) then is this merely a "stop-gap" measure until the "true" Tsunami system is developed for large scale use or is this what we have to look forward to in future Spectrum models?
  The reason I ask this is that this system (for reference's sake and to distinguish it from the H0 Tsunami system I will call it the "Quasinami") doesn't seem to have any external triggers. I use r/c battery my units and my personal choice, RCS systems, doesn't seem to be compatible with this sound board! If I can't use this "Quasinami" system with RCS then it is worse than useless to me as I will have to spend extra $$$ just to have it torn out!
  Further, the "Quasinami" apparently can't be sold separately so there is going to be some concern if there are problems electronically with the system. I mention this because Curmudgeon has already found a problem with the wiring not being secure and has posted an "authorized" fix! If I had problems with the sound system what should I do? I have read that people have called Bachmann and Bachmann has replied that they need to call Soundtraxx and when they call Soundtraxx they are told that they need to go through Bachmann as this is a Bachmann deal..... ??? What can be done if there's a problem? Unfortunately, calling the service dept. doesn't seem to be the answer.
  A lot of this resistance to DCC stems from the fact that what we are seeing is raising more questions than answers! It would seem from the full page ad in the latest Garden Railways that Bachmann is committed to DCC in large scale and a partnership with Soundtraxx in particular. There are definite concerns that I and many large scalers have about this new system before we will spend our money on it.
  I am especially concerned that certain people have mentioned that Soundtraxx's Sierra sound system is "old technology on it's last legs." If true, Tsunami would seem to be my only option if I want to stay with Soundtraxx so you see my dilemna. (I, of course, can go with Phoenix but then we get into the $$$ issue and if I have to pay extra $$$ for a "Quasinami" only to have it ripped out so I can add a Phoenix so my r/c system will work properly.... :-[
  I'm not trying to cause trouble or a flame war but I and others on the largescale websites have some legitimate concerns about this new system and I was hoping to get a clarification if possible. Thanks!
Large / Retro-fitting the 36 ton Shay
February 03, 2007, 06:00:03 PM
  No, it's not what you think! I have already had the power trucks retro-fitted. No, what's happend is that I had my Shay out running around the layout after having the snow plowed. Unfortunately, there was a chunk of ice to the right side of the track that was hidden by the powdery snow which the snowplow was able to navigate but which the fragile plastic plate under the front running board (which practically scrapes the track) of the Shay didn't miss!  :(
   I understand that that the 38 ton Shay has metal rather than plastic plates (I know the Heisler does as I have one.) My question: Will these metal plates retro-fit onto the 36 ton Shay? The plastic ones are certainly fragile enough! If they will, then the next problem will be how to get some.... :-\