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March 23, 2019, 07:12:48 PM
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Author Topic: N Scale FRED on the horizon?  (Read 264 times)
Radioguy

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« on: March 06, 2019, 09:13:35 AM »

As we see rolling stock and a truck available in HO from Bachmann now, what about N?

Like you, I've seen aftermarket ones on eBay, both pickup and (watch) battery-based, so I wonder when, if, and why haven't we already, see/seen one alongside HO for N here. Seems to me to be more sensible to have it available in at least HO and N on rollout, if not other scales.

Of course, HO could be "the" test in sales, but a FRED seems a pretty basic staple in contemporary consists. I was more surprised we didn't already have one in all scales Bachmann issues contemporary stock in than surprised it's just HO so far.

Anyhow, I'd love to know if it's in the works here.
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Maletrain

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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2019, 09:52:07 AM »

There is already an N scale version from "Firefly FRED" that uses rail power and comes already mounted on a truck, which you use to replace one truck on any piece of rolling stock.  The coupler extensions come in short, medium and long.  It is not cheap ($25).  And, it is not easily taken off one car and put on another, like the prototype is designed to be.  So, for display, it is fine, but for operating sessions, it is about the same as having a caboose - you need to make sure that the car with the FRED is put at the end of the train when you build your train.  Worse, it is much more conspicuous when your car is not facing the right direction than it is with a caboose (at least, that is true for most of us that don't go to the trouble of putting actual lighted marker lamps on our cabooses).

And, the FireFly FRED is patented, so there may be some inhibition to Bachmann making something too similar.
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Radioguy

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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2019, 01:10:00 PM »

There is already an N scale version from "Firefly FRED" that uses rail power and comes already mounted on a truck, which you use to replace one truck on any piece of rolling stock.  The coupler extensions come in short, medium and long.  It is not cheap ($25).  And, it is not easily taken off one car and put on another, like the prototype is designed to be.  So, for display, it is fine, but for operating sessions, it is about the same as having a caboose - you need to make sure that the car with the FRED is put at the end of the train when you build your train.  Worse, it is much more conspicuous when your car is not facing the right direction than it is with a caboose (at least, that is true for most of us that don't go to the trouble of putting actual lighted marker lamps on our cabooses).

And, the FireFly FRED is patented, so there may be some inhibition to Bachmann making something too similar.

Oh, like I said, I had seen those but was thinking of Bachmann when I posted.

But I get it. If you're one who uses cabooses and sticks to that era this is no need. I, like some who buy the more contemporary Bachmann releases, only run modern-day layouts and consists. For those folks, well those who run N, it's odd not to have one to begin with from Bachmann, but to have one, only in HO from the outset...even more odd. To me, at least.

Going back to the existing ones, considering HO is one scale away from N, wouldn't any actionable similarity (at least in the litigious sense you're implying) already be met already and especially with the actual IRL FRED? I'm no patent attorney, but I have to assume that there's a downscaled version that doesn't violate any patent from Daniel Meyer (aka Firefly FRED) or GATR Works (are theirs patented differently than Daniel's?)

Either way, those are a great small project providing something those of us can afford buy, but Bachmann obviously saw the appeal, if not need, and acted on it for HO. I have to assume that were they to do it in N as well, it would likely be a little more reasonably priced than the former ones. Let's see?  Smiley
« Last Edit: March 06, 2019, 01:12:16 PM by Radioguy » Logged
Radioguy

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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2019, 02:20:48 PM »

Ooh, just noticed this:

https://patents.google.com/patent/US8869708B1/en

Looks like Daniel mentioned N and Z specifically. The again, GATR Works has one, which may mean they have a different design, as Bachmann might as well.
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ACY


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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2019, 05:02:04 PM »

Bachmann would need their own unique design. They may not choose to offer the FRED in N scale as it likely would not be cheaper than the existing ones available.
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thewizard

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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2019, 03:48:10 PM »

Ooh, just noticed this:

https://patents.google.com/patent/US8869708B1/en

Looks like Daniel mentioned N and Z specifically. The again, GATR Works has one, which may mean they have a different design, as Bachmann might as well.
I'd imagine that if someone wanted to invalidate it they could do so easily. It's a trivial design, and already implemented in other scales. I don't think that you can patent size?
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plas man

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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2019, 03:57:03 PM »

I would have thought that the patent was for one item or invention or whatever you want to call it  '
as two scales are mentioned then two patents would be needed ?
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