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136  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Web Site Information on: October 19, 2012, 05:43:12 PM
"Will it stop people from buying Bachmann products if this information takes some time to research when another companies information is readily available in one location, maybe (That is called good marketing)."

I think your suggestion is helpful.  I also think that the product info on competitor websites is much more comprehensive, e.g. Atlas, especially their past products lists, and often has bigger product photos e.g. Athearn.  I would have thought Bachmann would naturally want their website to outshine their competitors.

Bachmann do, of course, have this forum, in which they do lead their competitors.

Bill.
137  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Spectrum 2-8-0 issue on: August 24, 2012, 06:32:19 PM
I had problems with too-tight screws when trying to remove both the loco body and the tender top on the Spectrum MEC 2-8-0.  I got the tender top off, but gave up on the loco for fear of damaging it.  I also had problems when dismantling the non-Spectrum WM 2-8-0 to fit sound.  I suggest that Bachmann should adress this issue in the factory, as the ability to dis-assemble locos is essential for maintenance and for, e.g., fitting DCC and / or sound.

Also, all my Bachmann engines come with detailed parts diagrams, but no dis-assembly sequence.  First time around I often remove a screw only to find that it is not actually the one which secures the body, and need not have been touched.

Off-topic I know, but I also never got an answer to my question about how to remove the boiler domes from the Baldwin 4-4-0 without damaging the loco, in order to fit the old-time alternatives supplied with the model.  If Bachmann supply alternative parts they should also provide instructions on how to use them.  Are these domes glued on, and if so, how strong is the glue?  Can they be removed?  I don't want to destroy an expensive loco in trying the wrong approach.

Bill.
138  Discussion Boards / HO / Question for the Bachmann – your policy on sound for new non-Spectrum locos? on: August 19, 2012, 07:30:00 PM
Dear Mr Bachmann,

On 30 March 2012 in response to a question on sound you said:

“The new sound module setup was initiated with the HO scale EM-1 and the new On30 Heisler. Starting with these two items all Spectrum locomotives will be equipped with a dual mode decoder and a premounted speaker . The user will have the option of purchasing a sound "module" that will mount on this decoder for sound (creating a full SoundTraxx Tsunami). In other words Bachmann will now offer one version of a Spectrum locomotive with an optional sound module available for it. There will no longer be three versions of the same locomotive offered (DCC Ready, DCC on Board or DCC Sound on Board).”

OK, that is clear for Spectrum, but what is the policy for new non-Spectrum locos?  You introduced the S2 in your 2012 NMRA leaflet, but for some railroads they are DCC Ready and for others they have Sound Value.  This seems a change in policy from previous recent non-spectrum locos, e.g. the S4 and the ALCO Mogul, which had both options for each railroad.

To make this specific, if I wanted a Western Pacific S2 with sound, should I be waiting for an inevitable Sound Value version to be released, possibly in vain and see all the DCC ready versions sell out, or buying the DCC Ready version and sourcing my own sound unit, or maybe you will be releasing a Sound Value conversion kit for the DCC ready locos?

The current position seems a bit strange.  If I want a Western Pacific with sound should I feel cursed that there is no Sound Value version, or blessed that I can fit a full-spec Tsunami without being left with a redundant sound value chip?

TIA,
Bill.
139  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Spectrum Ma & Pa, SAL and general 4-4-0 / 4-6-0 questions. on: July 11, 2012, 06:40:27 AM
Hi, I have now found that:

The real SAL #159 (the number used by Bachmann for the “Richmond”) was one of a pair (159 & 160) built 1898 by the Cooke Locomotive and Machine Works of Paterson, New Jersey for the Florida Central & Peninsula Railway.  These two seem well inside wood burning territory, and I have also found a photo of an FC&PRR 4-4-0 with a straight chimney and a tender loaded with wood, so I know I don’t need a spark arrestor for a wood burner, though most of the FC&PRR wood burners shown do have spark arrestors fitted.

The real SAL #106 and 108 (the numbers used by Bachmann for their “Baldwin”) were a pair built 1889 by the Rhode Island Locomotive Works for the Seaboard. I don’t know where they operated.  I assume that as Bachmann used the numbers they may have started from photos, and I wonder if anyone has references?  The info I have is that many SAL coal burning 4-4-0s which moved south when relegated to branch line work were converted for wood burning, but I don’t know what the conversion entailed.

That leaves my remaining modelling question, how are the domes on these 4-4-0 models secured and how easy is it to swap the domes without damaging the engine or paintwork?

TIA,
Bill.
140  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Spectrum Ma & Pa, SAL and general 4-4-0 / 4-6-0 questions. on: July 09, 2012, 07:22:49 AM
Hi, thanks for advice so far.  I have now received my SAL Baldwin and Richmond 4-4-0s, the jumpers are included and converting to plain DC looks straightforward, but I have further questions. 

Very nice models!  And a nice contrast between domes, chimney, fittings, tenders.

How easy is it to swap the boiler fittings without damaging the loco or paintwork? 

The Baldwin comes fitted with what I term medium fluted domes on the boiler, but has a packet containing a set of what I term extreme fluted domes.  The exploded diagram suggests that the domes sit on pegs which are part of the boiler casting.  There is no indication of how the domes are fixed, but I assume they are glued.  Is that correct and how firmly are they are fixed?  And are the boiler and domes painted before assembly or sprayed afterwards?

I don’t necessarily intend to do any dome swapping, as I have not yet found a photo of SAL #108 and so for the present I am assuming that those fitted are correct, but it might be an option if Bachmann re-issue the 4-4-0 with new numbers, as using the extreme fluted domes would further distinguish the engines.

Should the Baldwin have included wood and oil bunker loads for the tender?
Should a wood burner have a spark arrestor chimney?

My Baldwin only had the coal load, and the exploded diagram only shows that the Great Northern should have an oil bunker, and the wood load is not mentioned at all, but the description on MB Klein’s website said the SAL model should include all three options, and when I contacted Klein’s they generously sent me a wood load taken from another model. 

The importance is that the SAL 4-4-0s were mainly used on branch lines and some did burn wood until quite late as it was cheaper than coal the further you got from Alabama!  But I am not sure if it is enough just to change the tender load from coal to wood.  I have not yet found directly relevant photos.

What is the provenance of the Bachmann choice of road numbers? 

I cannot find Baldwin 4-4-0 #108 or Richmond 4-4-0 #159 in the Seaboard loco rosters or in any google searches.  Has the Bachmann invented these engines, hence my inability to find them, or have I just not looked hard enough?  #108 might be an ex-Georgia & Alabama engine with its pre-1911 number, or #108 and #159 might represent engines after 1911 when surviving 4-4-0s were renumbered into a single 100 series.

I appreciate this may be the wrong site to ask some of these questions, but as Bachmann produced the models, presumably based on some research, it seems the place to start.

Any chance the Bachmann will re-issue the Baldwin 4-6-0 as a SAL engine? 
The 4-6-0 was the most numerous SAL type at one time, and was used both for passenger and freight.

TIA,
Bill.
141  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann Annoucements for new locomoitives on: June 06, 2012, 06:35:40 AM
A few tweaks would turn the 2-8-0 into a passably Ma & Pa #41, and complement Bachmann's other Ma & Pa engines.  A few more fittings would produce #42 and #43.

Bill.
142  Discussion Boards / HO / Spectrum Ma & Pa, SAL and general 4-4-0 / 4-6-0 questions. on: June 06, 2012, 06:20:07 AM
Hi, I am wondering:

1. Are the Ma & Pa 4-4-0 #4 and #5 models identical apart from the numbers, or are there other detail differences? (Bachmann 83403, 83404).

2.  Do these two and the other Richmond and Baldwin 4-4-0s and 4-6-0s with the dual mode chip come with jumpers so that the chip can be disconnected?

3.  Specifically including SAL Richmond #159 (Bachmann 83408), and SAL Baldwin #108 (Bachmann 80104).

I ask because I have decided to retain a DC layout as it is not practical to convert all my older engines to DCC and sound, (and I want all the engines on my DCC layout to have sound as there is no point in having some with and others without), but I have found that under DC the older DC / DCC ready engines can be controlled much better especially at slow speeds than their dual mode chip fitted exact counterparts.  My specific example is the Baldwin 4-6-0 DC, DCC ready Ma & Pa #27 (Bachmann 82302) compared with the DCC & sound Ma & Pa #28 (Bachmann 84905).   I have found this with two different controllers: an old H&M Duette (my test track), and a more modern Gaugemaster Combi (my old layout).

Grateful for any info.  As I have to buy on-line I can't ask the retailer.

Thanks,
Bill.
143  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Most popular HO Bachmann Steam Locomotives on: May 29, 2012, 04:58:07 AM
Hmmm.

On serious, I would say that Railroaders go for large layouts whilst Modellers go for small ones, as life is just not long enough to fully detail a large layout.

On favourites, mine are the Baldwin 4-6-0 and Richmond 4-4-0, both for level of detail and for accuracy for the Ma & Pa.  But they will obviously never be all-time best sellers.

On future all-time best sellers, I would agree that the 2-6-0 may have the greatest potential.   However, a Baldwin 0-6-0 tender loco with quality and detail to match the newer spectrums could be up there.  But then I might just have in mind Ma & Pa #29 + #30.  Sadly the current 0-6-0 doesn’t cut the mustard, and the 0-6-0T has too short a wheelbase not to stall on some of my pointwork.

Bill. 
144  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Western Maryland 2-10-0 on: May 14, 2012, 12:27:47 PM
Hi, I did not know there was a Spectrum Western Maryland Decapod with sound.  I am assuming this is the Russian Decapod.  Can anyone tell me the Bachmann product number so I can search for it, and also what livery it is in, please?

Thanks,
Bill.
145  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 2-6-0 undecorated????? on: April 23, 2012, 09:12:33 PM
The 2-6-0 is the perfect shortline engine, and I would have thought would be the perfect candidate for an undecorated release.  The undecorated Baldwin 4-6-0 with sound went first at Kleins and everywhere else.  I know, I missed it!  The undecorated Baldwin 4-4-0 with sound has only hung around because for some reason folks like Trainworld are asking $60 more for it than for the decorated versions.

Bill.
146  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Sound Modules for new DCC Equipped locos question on: April 02, 2012, 06:19:53 AM
Thanks for your replies.  OK, I understand now!

Hi, Jonathan, on 2-8-0 tenders, the original tender base of my WM #766 (older, non-Spectrum Bachmann 51306 DCC, no sound) is moulded with the mounting ring and perforations for a speaker.  As I think this was the edition before the current edition (WM #760, non-Spectrum Bachmann 51307 DCC, no sound), it seems that the non-Spectrum 2-8-0s have been shipping with the speaker ready tender chassis for some time.

In contrast, the tender base of my unlettered, Spectrum 83601 DCC no sound 2-8-0 (bought to provide Ma & Pa #41), has a solid tender base.  The tender chassis shown in the Bachmann spares catalogue is even older, and dated July 2010.  Bearing in mind the importance of a good seating for the speaker it would be good if sound ready tender chassis mouldings appeared in the spares catalogue soon for folks who need one to replace their older chassis.

Thanks again,
Bill.
147  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Sound Modules for new DCC Equipped locos question on: March 30, 2012, 05:19:16 AM
Thanks for your reply.  Yes I am new to DCC and Sound.  In fact I am still running my layout on DC, and getting the DCC Dynamis equipment is my next step. I do have the Model Railroader “Basic DCC Wiring, etc., A beginners guide to decoders, DCC systems and layout wiring”.

 But your reply still leaves me confused:

1 You say Bachmann do not sell sound modules.  I now see that the page on the Bachmann website which I clicked on, which clearly states “Bachmann also sells a separate sound module to plug into the 21-pin connector”, is actually a link to SoundTraxx.com. (On the Bachmann website click on “Parts and Service”, then on “DCC On Board”, then on “SoundTraxx Tsunami”).   Are SoundTraxx anticipating a Bachmann product not yet available but of which they have advance notice?

2 You say I can buy another brand decoder, and to just make sure it has an 8-pin plug.  But the webpage referred to says that the new (i.e. shipped after late 2011) Bachmann DCC models expect a 21-pin connector.   And if these new models already have “a SoundTraxx Mobile Decoder that has a 21-pin plug and a speaker already installed.”, then simply buying a third party sound decoder will not work, because it will duplicate that part of the sound installation already present.

3 So to move to specifics, it seems like if I buy Bachmann 51307 Western Maryland 2-8-0 #760, if I get one which shipped from Bachmann before late 2011 it will have no sound equipment, just DCC, and will take any sound card with an 8-pin connector, plus speaker.  But if I buy one which shipped after late 2011 it will have a partial sound installation including “mobile decoder” and will need a specific complementary module with 21-pin connector, and that module does not seem to be listed anywhere.

What I am keen to avoid in all this is the need to do any soldering, as I am pretty sure I could not solder it fine enough with all those pins so close together.  At present I am running WM #766 (older Bachmann 51306 DCC) with the tender top fitted onto the fully sound equipped tender base from Spectrum 84509 (MEC #507) which I saw being discounted, but that is an expensive way to get to a sound equipped loco, but it should have all the correct programming ready done.  It seems to work in limited fashion under DC in dual mode, but I have yet to see if it is perfect under proper DCC control.

Bill.
148  Discussion Boards / HO / Sound Modules for new DCC Equipped locos question on: March 26, 2012, 06:33:58 AM
OK, I may be dim, but can someone explain this, please?

I found the Tsunami SoundTraxx page in the Parts and Service section on the Bachmann website and it says:

“Beginning in late 2011 Bachmann Spectrum locomotives that are ordered with DCC come equipped with a SoundTraxx Mobile Decoder that has a 21-pin plug and a speaker already installed.”

It then says:

“Bachmann also sells a separate sound module to plug into the 21-pin connector. The sound Module and the mobile decoder plugged in together act the same as the Tsunami found in the 2009-2010 released Spectrum models.”

Now, I am looking inside my older HO sound equipped 2-8-0 tender and I see three things: a DCC decoder; a speaker; and what I take to be a sound card.  Two wires (yellow and orange) run from the sound card to the speaker (soldered connections) and seven wires (blue, white, yellow, grey, orange, red and black) run from soldered connections on the sound card to an eight-pin plug which is plugged into the main DCC decoder board.

Does the website info mean that Bachmann have now split the components / functions which I have on one sound card and put them onto two separate cards, a decoder and a sound module?  If so, does the “SoundTraxx Mobile Decoder” which now comes with each new DCC loco hold all the loco specific  information, e.g. all the sounds and instructions specific to a 2-8-0, and the “separate sound module” is a generic unit needed to make it work but the same unit can be used with any loco?

The Bachman page concludes by saying:

“Listed below are the locomotive models that currently are or will be shipped with Tsunami Digital Sound Decoders installed.  Select your model from the list to link to a quick reference document specific to that engine. “

“When referencing CV defaults for locomotives built after Spetember 2011, the values in Italics are only applicable if the sound module is plugged into the decoder. “

The list includes the 2-8-0, but no CVs in the document relating to the 2-8-0 are in italics.  That almost seems to read as if all the 2-8-0 sound functions will work without the additional “Sound Module”. 

There is a picture atop the 2-8-0 sheet of Western Maryland #744, but the WM 2-8-0 currently available is #760 (Bachmann 51307).  There is no mention of any sound equipment in the description of Bachmann 51307 on the website product information.  It would be very helpful in the website product information said in the entry for each loco “To fit this loco with sound you need to buy component xxxx”.

I have only found two “Sound Modules” listed in the Bachmann product information, one for the B&O EM-1 2-8-8-4, and one for the 14-Ton Two-Truck Stearns-Heisler.  Where is the module for the DCC 2-8-0?  They are not in the “Parts and Service” section either.  And I don’t see these modules listed by retailers such as MB Klein either.

TIA for enlightenment!
Bill.
149  Discussion Boards / HO / Q for the B-Man? Will the Sound Tender from the 2-10-0 connect to the 2-8-0? on: March 12, 2012, 05:08:45 AM
Here’s the situation:

I have a small shunting layout built for diesels which I am adapting to Ma & Pa steam 1952 (year I was born and the last 4-4-0 (#6) was retired), with DCC and sound. 

The Ma & Pa still had three Baldwin 2-8-0s (#41, 42, 43) which it retired between 1952-57.  They looked quite close to the Bachmann 2-8-0 (except for the headlight being on top of the smokebox), but seem from photos to have had a shorter tender.

The crucial headshunt in my yard will only hold the Bachmann 2-8-0 plus a 40’ boxcar (I have a Western Maryland 2-8-0). If the tender were a bit shorter a 2-8-0 could shunt a 50’ boxcar.

The 2-10-0 and the high boiler Baldwin 4-6-0 both have a tender which looks shorter and would not disgrace a 2-8-0 on a shortline, though it is not quite the same as the Ma & Pa 2-8-0 tender, so I am thinking of acquiring one of these to pair with an unlettered 2-8-0.  It would also make a contrast with the WM “visitor” (the WM met the Ma & Pa at York, PA).

My questions are: 

Are the 2-10-0 and high-boiler 4-6-0 tenders the same? They look quite similar, but the unlettered, sound equipped  4-6-0 seems hard to find now, whilst the unlettered, sound equipped 2-10-0s seem more available and cheaper.

Would these tenders plug directly into the 2-8-0?  I have read on this board that the wiring of the connector pins differs between Bachmann loco classes, and I do not want to plug it in and fry the decoder.  What wiring changes would I need to make?

Are the sounds pre-programmed into the 2-10-0 tender “meatier” than those programmed into the 4-6-0 tender, as might befit the bigger engine?

Alternately, as Bachmann already seem to have made quite an investment in the Ma & Pa, how about you issue the 2-8-0 with the shorter tender in Ma & Pa livery, even if only as a special edition run, to complete the fleet?  It would be nice if you could move the headlamp rather than me have to do it!  (It just needs the lamp from the 4-4-0 or 4-6-0).  And a painted tender would be so much better than waterslide transfers from the Ma & Pa Society.

Hoping you or fellow steam railroad CEOs can help with advice, if not with a special run Ma & Pa 2-8-0!

TIA, Bill.
150  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Is there a list of Bachmann past products on this site or on the web somewhere? on: February 26, 2012, 02:20:11 PM
It would be very helpful to have a list of Bachmann past products with product numbers.  This would help in searching for an out of production item on google, ebay, etc.

For example, I am currently trying to find a list of HO high boiler 4-6-0s with sound, without sound, and DCC ready, to see if any would be of interest to me.

It would also help in identifying an item seen for sale, especially when the seller does not know much about it.  For example I have recently seen a 2-8-0 on ebay with a product number (11412) which bears no relation to the current catalogue series, and I am having difficulty in finding out if it is DCC ready, as it is sealed in its original shrink wrap and the seller does not want to break the seal.

Bachmann Europe produces a list of all past products in OO and N scales for the British market which it updates annually. (http://www.bachmann.co.uk/past_and_present.php).  But I cannot find anything similar for Bachmann US.

Is there such a list?  Bachmann must have the info in their records.

Or can anyone privide a comprehensive list of the HO Baldwin 4-6-0s?

TIA for info,
Bill.
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