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1  Discussion Boards / N / Re: S4 has a Blown Decoder on: February 20, 2020, 06:29:43 PM
I ended up selling the carcass for a little bit less than I paid for a replacement from Trainworld.  Good bargain at about $55.  I'm using Bachmann Spectrum Magnum power packs, no problem so far.

It MUs quite nicely with my Atlas VO1000, the original Korean version.
2  Discussion Boards / N / Re: Updates to N scale Metroliners or E60? on: February 20, 2020, 06:21:32 PM
Well, I got close with the Atlas motor, but ended up swapping the entire thing out for a new Tomix drive.  The friction in the OEM trucks and drive train was just more than I could overcome with a new motor.   I pieced it together into the plastic frame of one of the trailer cars, so now it's got a completely new drive train.

I used the Tomix motor mount, which nested into the frame nicely, but caused the motor to ride a little high.  This made the drive shafts a wee bit too diagonal and created some friction going around the tight bends of the layout.  My friend Randy Gustafsen fine tuned it for me, and it runs great now.

The only original equipment from the drive is the zinc weight, which I have screwed to some styrene blocking.  I put the original side frames onto the Tomix trucks, which fit surprisingly well.  It sits just a hair higher than the trailer cars, but not enough to affect coupling or clearances.  Given the simplicity of the Tomix drive, it would be dirt simple to put a decoder in it.

And, as I mentioned, it runs like an absolute champ now.  I think there's an opportunity to breathe new life into these models.  The carbodies lasted quite a while in the real world, with a couple of different configurations, the later ones had the mechanical blister above the roof line.  But the distinctive cab end remained the same throughout.  I'd love to see an updated version using the nice Budd tooling that Bachmann did for the latest round of Amtoobs.

Next I'm going to try to coax my E-60 back to life.  The old 3 pole motors in them are terrible, and of course, it suffers from Cracked White Gear syndrome...  I'm going to start by substituting a Life Like 5 pole motor from an old GP18, then see where we go from there.


3  Discussion Boards / N / Re: New Parts for Old Trains? on: January 29, 2020, 12:42:44 AM
You're not wrong, James.

I guess I'm clinging to my youth by wishing for those carcasses in my junk box to rise from their grave.  Lately I've been on a bit of a retro kick, pursuing the N scale equivalent of a Lionel Collector...  We used to call it "N Scale High Rail"

I've already endeavored to build an entirely new drive for an old Metroliner, and I'm presently working on repowering an E60 using a better 5-pole motor... but I'm hung up on the split gears.

In all reality, I'm not looking for true prototype fidelity as much as I am an inveterate tinkerer, and I just want to try to make the old dogs run a little better (or at all!) than they did out of the box.  If you go to the auction sites and type in "N scale used repair" in the search, there's a ton of Bachmann products out there begging for new parts...  Not something Bachmann should be particularly proud of...  Especially given the enormous leaps forward they've made with their higher end Spectrum releases.

I believe there's a market out there as those of us who grew up in the 70s in the Dark Ages of N, as we try to reclaim some of our memories.  I've got some old Rivarossi steam and Trix and Rapido diesels I love from that era, and they run as smoothly as ever ... with a little coaxing and some contact cleaner, of course.  The fact is, Bachmann sold some interesting prototypes that no one else has ever released, such as the E60 and Metroliners, and it would be nice if they either offered some retrofits for the old ones, or newly tooled Spectrum versions to fill the void.


4  Discussion Boards / N / New Parts for Old Trains? on: January 27, 2020, 12:26:41 AM
Back in the 80s and 90s, Bachmann produced a lot of locomotives that were halfway decent runners, some with pretty good detail, but most of them had the problem of having their white nylon gears, which also served as the drive axles, split, which renders the locomotive useless.

More recent releases utilize a superior design and black delrin plastic gears, which are much more durable.  So far, the only locomotives that have been reintroduced from the old days with the better gearing in N scale are the Plymouth switcher, the 0-6-0 shifter, and 2-6-2 Prairie, the 4-8-4 Northern, the trolleys and the Spectrum F-7 series.  (There may be others, but they don't leap to mind).  Everything esle that Bachmann has released since changing over to the better gears have been entirely new designs, which has been a great improvement in every respect.

But the older Reading style Consolidation 2-8-0 (not to be confused with the newer Spectrum Baldwin model) and its sister, the 2-8-2 Mikado, as well as interesting and well done engines like the E-60 Amtrak electric, and the small 0-4-0 switcher haven't seen the light of day in a couple of decades.  These models turn up frequently on the auction sites, but the cracked gear problem makes them hard to buy or sell.

I've tried purchasing 3-D printed replacement gears for my Mikado, but they didn't fare too well.  It would be nice if we could get factory fresh replacements that match the geometry of the old ones, but made from the modern, more durable plastic. 

If not that, it would be nice to see those old models reintroduced with current level of detail and technology.  I really enjoy my Spectrum steam, and my S-4 and 44 ton switchers.

Any thoughts from the Bach Man?

5  Discussion Boards / N / Re: New Layout in 2 x 4 space. on: January 26, 2020, 11:53:50 PM
While 4x8 is the defacto standard for a starter layout in larger scales, it's too big and cumbersome to be portable.  You express and interest in being able to move the layout outdoors to enjoy in the warmer months.

I recently began building small modules using commercially available track as a standard, and the modules can be as small as 14" square.  While the standard uses the track from another manufacturer, if you're not interested in joining a club that displays large modular layouts, I'm sure you can work out something using Bachmann's EZ track system.

By using small modules that can click together to make a loop, you can make a plan that can be easily expanded by adding modules, and also have something that's easily portable and easy to store when it's not in use.  I recommend looking up T-Trak on line and see if that would fit your ideas.

There are numerous other resources on line if you search "small N scale track plans" or something along those lines.
Have fun with it, either way!
6  Discussion Boards / N / Re: Updates to N scale Metroliners or E60? on: August 28, 2019, 12:11:58 AM
Well, now you HAVE to release a new drive.  I just figured out how to repower mine with an Atlas motor!  


If nothing else, can you run some new pantographs?  Or make the pans on the E-60 available as separate parts?  They're not so bad looking.

7  Discussion Boards / N / S4 has a Blown Decoder on: August 27, 2019, 05:16:37 PM
I have a Bachmann S4 that has a dual mode decoder.  I no longer have a DCC controlled layout, although I have occasion to visit others who do.
I have been running it on my DC cab control layout, and it was doing fine.  Then one day, while running lazy loops around the track, it up and died.  I've tried resetting CVs (I still have a DCC cab, I just don't use it on my present layout) and it won't even read back.

Has there been a problem with your decoders failing under dual mode use?  Is there a process by which I can see about replacing it (other than dumping another $45 into an engine I bought for $50?)

Is there a bypass board available that I can put in it so I can run it on my DC layout?

Many are the questions.  Let's see how you make with the answers.
Thanks in advance.
8  Discussion Boards / N / Updates to N scale Metroliners or E60? on: August 27, 2019, 05:05:43 PM
Hey, Bach Man.
I've been on a bit of a nostalgia kick lately, collecting older N scale models from the late 60s and 70s.  When I was a kid, I had an Amtrak N scale Metroliner set from Bachmann.  It was a dog, and over the years it got parted out.  I recently accumulated a new (to me) set of Penn Central cars, and I've enjoyed running them.  I changed the headlight to an LED and blacked out the cab windows so it doesn't look like it's on fire anymore. 

But man, the drive is still a dog.  It runs for a short time, then overheats and stalls.
The shells aren't bad, even by modern standards, but given the great strides forward Bachmann has made in many of their other products, is there a chance that the Metroliners will ever see the light of day again?
They'd look really good running next to the new GG-1 you produced.
If so, they'd benefit from body mounted couplers, better pantograph detail, and of course, a smoother drive.  Interior lighting would be fun too.
I'd also be interested in a re-tooled E-60 in N scale.  The model has always looked pretty good, but again, the drive is wanting.

Can you tell us if those of us along the Northeast Corridor can count on these models being updated?
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