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Author Topic: Bachmann Standard Line  (Read 14148 times)
adari

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« on: February 06, 2011, 01:40:22 AM »

Is there a way to make the motors run smoother on Bachmann Standard Line locomotives. I though that maybe installing a better decoder would do it.
Please Help,
Adam
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ACY


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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2011, 01:44:45 AM »

Installing a new motor would help, installing a better decoder cannot really make it run any smoother. You get what you pay for, but the locos are a pretty good value though.
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adari

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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2011, 01:51:02 AM »

I can agree with the value part. I got mine for a price I would've had paid 5 years ago and still have gotten a discount. This was my first standard line engine I had bought in 5 years also. In the interim I have been buying Proto 2000, Athearn and BLI.
Adam
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Doneldon

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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2011, 09:46:04 PM »

adari-

You should be able to find some very good can motors on
ebay for $10-15. They will likely cost a good deal more at
online sellers or at a bricks and mortar store.
                                                                    -- D
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adari

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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2011, 10:03:48 PM »

Doesn't the newer standard line stuff already have a can motor in it.
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richg
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2011, 10:06:48 PM »

Is there a way to make the motors run smoother on Bachmann Standard Line locomotives. I though that maybe installing a better decoder would do it.
Please Help,
Adam

Learn to be more specific with your question. Scale, type of locomotive? Using DC or DCC controller? Some expect a DC controller will produce a good running loco.

Rich
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ACY


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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2011, 10:08:03 PM »

Learn to be more specific with your question. Scale, type of locomotive? Using DC or DCC controller? Some expect a DC controller will produce a good running loco.
Don't you mean a "DCC controller", not a DC controller?
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ChrisS

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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2011, 10:08:36 PM »

I have found that poor running factory dcc locos will
Run considerably better with a high quality decoder. All off mine get rePlaced with tsunami decoders, and they are much smoother
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ACY


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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2011, 10:12:11 PM »

I have found that poor running factory dcc locos will
Run considerably better with a high quality decoder. All off mine get rePlaced with tsunami decoders, and they are much smoother
That is not usually the case with Bachmann standard line locos.
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Doneldon

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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2011, 10:51:32 PM »

adari-

Yes, virtually all if not all current locos come with can motors. But, just as with decoders and DCC systems, there are good can motors and not-so-good can motors. You need a quality motor and a quality decoder to have the greatest chance of a smoothly running loco.
                                                                                                                         -- D
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Joe323

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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2011, 11:41:27 PM »

The Standard Line Bachmanns are Ok.  I have 5 of them im my fleet.  But they are a bit noisy.
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adari

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« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2011, 12:10:26 AM »

I think I am going to replace the motor and add a TCS decoder. Thanks guys!!!
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r0bert


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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2011, 12:23:56 AM »

To improve performance, especially at low speeds,  remove the European RFI supression capacitors from across the motor leads.
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adari

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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2011, 08:58:59 AM »

To improve performance, especially at low speeds,  remove the European RFI supression capacitors from across the motor leads.
I was looking at the TCS website and there are three of these on the motor. Should I cut them all or just 1 or 2. http://www.tcsdcc.com/public_html/Customer_Content/Installation_Pictures/HO_Scale/Bachmann/Spectrum_GE70/Bachmman_Spectrum_GE_70.html
Thanks r0bert.
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Atlantic Central

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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2011, 04:25:26 PM »

First, there are a lot of locos in the standard line, some run better than others, the motors are not the only issue, if there really are any "issues".

As Rich suggested, be more specific.

I have multiple copies of standard line GE70 tonners and 2-8-4's - All run great.

All have had their DCC decoders removed and I run them on Aristo Craft Train Engineer wireless radio throttles.

So without a specific loco to comment on, no one can really help you. It is foolish at best to judge these products by the "brand" or the "group". Each different loco is a different design with its own strengths and weaknesses. Same is true with Spectrum locos or other brands - another reason to be more specific about a problem you are trying to solve.

Personally, replacing motors in Bachmann locos sounds crazy to me. I have about 40 Bachmann locos, Standard and Spectrum, diesel and steam. They all run great. some did need some minor adjustments and I have learned lots of little tricks to make them run their best, but none started out as terible runners.

The following are a number of small improvements I have developed, in some cases with the help of others, for many of the current and recent Bachmann HO locomotives, mostly those in their Spectrum line.

Here is a repost of some of my Bachmann loco tips:

After mentioning some of these items in another post, John requested I elaberate. Much of this info I have posted before, either here or on the Bachmann board, but for those who missed those - here goes:

But first a disclaimer - I run DC, using Aristo Craft Train Engineer wireless throttles. Some of my performance related changes are directly related to the use these throttles or in some cases, you may see an improvement with any DC throttle, but maybe not to the same degree as the Train Engineer which has a pulse width modulated output.

Tip #1 - remove the motor circuit RF suppression capacitors. They are generally located on the circuit board often right near were the motor leads are attached. Sometimes they are disc type, on most newer models they are PC board type. Removing them will lower the starting speed and lower the slowest operational speed. It will also correct problems with some brands of aftermarket decoders.

This mod is especially effective on the 2-8-0, but does improve EVERY loco, and I have now removed ALL such capacitors.

I do this to all brands of products that have such RF filters in place. In addition to Bachmann, I have found them on some Intermountain and Proto2000 DC versions.

Tip #2 - add weight to the tenders - if you run long trains or do lots of backing, or back whole trains into staging, this will vertually eliminate tender derailments while backing. Additionally it greatly improves electrical pickup and is one key step in eliminating problems with the tender to loco wires.

Some other brands also need weight, but this is mainly a Bachmann issue. I add about 2 oz to most all Bachmann tenders. It seems to have no negative effect on pulling power as it is less than the weight of one freight car.

Tip #3 - OK, now we get loco specific - Spectrum USRA Heavy 4-8-2 - I modify the drawbar by bending a "dip" into it as close to the loco end as possible - about 1/8" in length and depth. This provides better clearance for the wires, which plug in directly above the drawbar on this model, and shortens the drawbar slightly, which improves the locos appearance. I run all my locos close coupled as I have large curves, but this mod does not seem to effect the use of either position or decrease useable minimum radius.

Tip #4 - replacing Bachmann couplers with Kadee couplers - generally the coupler pockets are too shallow to allow Kadee's to drop in. To solve this I gently file down th shank of Kadee #148's until they fit - I never use generic couplers on anything.

Tip #5 - the previously Spectrum, now regular line 2-8-0 - I add a small amount of additional weight in the domes. Not sure it really helps much, but I feel better about it. I also remove the metal spring from the pilot truck. This does seem to show a measurable increase in pulling power, if only by a few cars.

Tip #6 - the new regular line 2-8-4 - it is very easy to add about 5 oz of weight to these and greatly improve their pulling power - I will try to get a picture up showing the boiler off and the weight added. Mine will pull 35 cars on level track after the added weight.

Tip #7 - tender swaps - the following is a copy of a post from some years ago on the Bachmann board regarding tender swaps. It contains most everything you need to know about Spectrum tender swaps and how to do them without major rewiring or moving/replacing circuit boards:

Tender Swap – Bachmann medium Vanderbilt oil tender (Item #89905) with 63” driver 10 wheeler (Item #82307)

 

Initial test using jumpers provided with the tender – dead short, no operation.

 

Original plan – move 10 wheeler circuit board into new tender. This proved unworkable for several reasons, 10 wheeler circuit board too large and wires too short to fit into Vanderbilt tender without major modifications to both the tender and the circuit board.

 

New plan – can existing circuit board from Vanderbilt tender be rewired to work with 10 wheeler. A simple examination of both circuit boards revealed that while different, they both have the same basic connections, so the problem must lie in pin assignments in the connectors.

 

Tracing wires and a few simple checks revealed that the two wire connector simply brings the loco pickups to the circuit board. Reversing the wires on one end of the two wire jumper corrected this. Now the loco runs but in the wrong direction.

 

Two of the wires on the four wire plug are the motor leads. Reversing them gave us correct operational direction.

 

This only left the front headlight. The circuit board in the Vanderbilt tender is for the 2-8-0 which has 12 volt lamps for lighting. The 10 wheeler uses LED’s, this is the main reason the circuit board is different. Rather than trying to modify the circuit, I simply replaced the loco headlight LED with a 12 volt lamp.

 

Additionally I added weight to the Vanderbilt tender bringing it weight to about 5 oz. and replaced all couplers with genuine Kadee #148 on both the loco front and tender.

 

Result – loco now converted, runs well with original 10 wheeler draw bar and looks great.  

 

 This issue seems to be tied to what tender cam with what loco in the first place. I do not have all of the Bachmann spectrum locos, but from what I have seen, read and experienced, the following may be a good beginning of a compatibility chart:

 

Light Mountain & Consolidation will work with all of the "medium" tenders.

 

Heavy Mountain and 2-6-6-2 will work with the long coal tender, hicken tender and long vandy tender

 

Russian shares same tender with some 10 wheelers, so I am guessing they share the same circuit board.

 

The 10 wheeler is really a wild card here because it comes with three different tenders, depending on roadname. Some have the low, small "pre 1900" looking tender, some have the small tender from the Russian and one has the same tender as the consolidation, but obviously with a different circuit board.

 

But again, I think most of these differences are just the pin assignments and the type of headlight.

If anyone has other Bachmann tender swap questions, I can likely help, just ask. I have used Spectrum tenders behind a number of other brands of locos with good results as well.

This is quite long now, so I will leave it at this. Feel free to offer your thoughts or ask questions.

Sheldon


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