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Thread: Bachmann's 'new' Light Mountain with DCC and Sound

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    Default Bachmann's 'new' Light Mountain with DCC and Sound

    Supposedly, the 'new' Bachmann Light Mountain is a first rate performer. Has anyone sprung for one yet? If so, how about a report? Particularly interested in pulling capacity.

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    spookshow did a review

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    he did, but Mark didn't mention any specifics about pulling ability, i.e. 'can pull X amount of cars" etc.

    I kind of use stats like that to figure out how a loco will work with me. On my layout, I seem to be able to be able to pull about 2/3rds of what most figures come in at on 'straight and level track', whatever that is.

    I have no intentional grades, and it's just track on a board, basically...but curves (and a lot of them) play into the equation. Understandably, that translates into friction from the flanges and the physics of it all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by P-LineSoo View Post
    he did, but Mark didn't mention any specifics about pulling ability, i.e. 'can pull X amount of cars" etc.
    I most certainly did.

    -Mark

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    This is the line from @Spookshow 's review

    "Pulling power is simply outstanding as mine was able to pull every single 40' boxcar I own (all 41 of them) without any wheel slip. Pulling a prototypically sized passenger train (9 heavyweights) doesn't even cause it to break a sweat."


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    Oh, THAT line.

    Duh.

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    you have no idea how many times I've said that....

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    Apologies to Mark, who provides a fantastic service to us all with his research and expertise!

    I seriously think that I'm losing it. I had better stock up on Depends and drool cups.

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    I'm sorry to report that the reviews on ModelTrainStuff are all over the map. The positive reviews comment on how nice it looks. The negative ones say it doesn't pull worth a damn. I was ready to pull the trigger on one until I read that. Yes, I am talking about the DCC with Sound new ones.

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    The chassis design is such that fixes to the chassis will stay fixed.

    that means that one that can't pull, needs the bearing pockets filed/ground level.

    victor

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    Quote Originally Posted by P-LineSoo View Post
    I'm sorry to report that the reviews on ModelTrainStuff are all over the map. The positive reviews comment on how nice it looks. The negative ones say it doesn't pull worth a damn. I was ready to pull the trigger on one until I read that. Yes, I am talking about the DCC with Sound new ones.
    You have to take reviews with a grain of salt . The negative performance reviews could have a lot to do with the persons railroad . Not everyone has good track work , keeps the rails clean , could be trying to pull up a steep grade , tight radius curves may come into play , not enough feeders . The list can go on . So you need to consider that when reading customer reviews and decide for your self . I trust Mark's reviews to be a fair and accurate assessment

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by aflica View Post
    You have to take reviews with a grain of salt . The negative performance reviews could have a lot to do with the persons railroad . Not everyone has good track work , keeps the rails clean , could be trying to pull up a steep grade , tight radius curves may come into play , not enough feeders . The list can go on . So you need to consider that when reading customer reviews and decide for your self . I trust Mark's reviews to be a fair and accurate assessment

    Steve
    hi Steve,
    I agree with your post and I want to split a hair.

    this line sums up how I think and feel about Mark and his reviews.
    " I trust Mark's reviews to be a fair and accurate assessment."

    the hair split is that he usually only tests one.
    (or... I have the impression he does not test a dozen)

    I think he does a good evaluation when deciding what may be a problem
    from when he has a manufacturing defect.

    I have yet to see an offering from b-mann that does not include a range from good to bad.
    so when Mark states his pulled 41 cars I know the loco can pull that much.
    Normal b-mann Quality Control will vary somewhat from there....

    I think the loco is a better design than the old lt mtn.
    Once we know B-mann's price for replacement motors,
    we will know the price of ownership and operation.

    I usually look for evaluations that call out a loco for spitting out crankpins
    or drivers falling off. pulling problems are hard to consider in a review.

    victor

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    I didn't mean to say that I don't trust Mark's evaluation, but more in line with what Victor is saying. One review is not usually a large enough sampling or representation for me to 'go' on. I like to read quite a few reviews and take the 'average' of them -- not mathematically, but more the overall feeling I get after reading enough reviews til I feel satisfied. There's always going to be someone who gives an item a bad review because they didn't like the packaging, or because they had no idea how to use the product properly, or because of a multitude of other user-related reasons. There's also the possibility that QC isn't consistent on an item and one person's sample is stellar while another is a piece of crap.

    This is kind of what I was driving at here. Mark had a good experience, a couple other people had a good experience, a couple other people had a bad experience. What this tells me personally is that $200 is a lot of money for a crap shoot as to if I get a 'good' one or not. I'm not a gambler by nature, and to those of you who find $200 to be what you'd spend on a night out, well my hat's off to you. That's not my situation, $200 is a lot of money for a...a...dare I say it...toy train.

    But all is good in the end. I used this finding to light a fire under my arse to work on the Mountain that I do have, a first gen Bachmann that Spookshow gave a "C" to. I'm very happy to report that it went from pulling 5 cars maximum to pulling 14-15. That's good enough for me, for now. I also had it pulling the varnish to the tune of 8 cars. Happy enough.

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    Every steam locomotive Bachman has produced for the last 13 years has received an A rating on the Spookshow site.
    One man’s opinion, so grain of salt and all that.
    A sample size of one or two from a lot run of 5k or 10k is nowhere close to as to being an accurate representation of the running qualities of the entire production run.
    As you know, to think otherwise is foolish.
    Spook’s opinion, is Spook’s opinion.
    If he got a good one he will rate as such, and if he got a bad one, he rates it that way.
    Looks like he’s on a roll of good ones for the last decade or so.
    I can’t say the same goes for me.
    While I find his commentary on the locomotives chassis and inner workings mostly accurate, I seldom agree with his grading curve.
    I don’t take that grading into consideration when making a new purchase, especially when it comes to Bachmann.
    Bachmann has always been, and continues to be, try before I buy.
    I have tried many Bachmann steamers in the last decade, I have bought very few.
    YMMV.
    Read as many reviews as you can before you try for yourself, before you buy.

    My first run Lt. Mountain will pull 14 40’ box cars un-modified, wonder what a shim will do?
    Guess I got a good one.

    The Spookshow site is a treasure trove of information

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    Well kids, here's what I can tell you about the "New" Bachmann Light Mountain with DCC and Sound.

    I ordered one from M.B. Klein and it was promptly shipped and delivered, arriving yesterday. My first surprise was that the sound worked with DC....as my layout is DC only. I had been under the impression that 'all that digital stuff' required DCC. The sound is very impressive and fun and adds a ton of fun and realism to operation! It's tinny, but you're not going to get earth-moving bass out of a micro-transducer. If they added bluetooth, I could run it through the vintage Pioneer SX-939 and 12" Cerwin vega system in the office/train room, but that's overkill. Applying a little throttle makes the sound come to life...the engine sits and huffs and chuffs as any live steam loco would while at idle. Apply a little more and the bell rings and the chuffing aligns very closely with the movement of the running gear. Let it run at a fixed speed for a bit and the bell shuts off. Run it around the curve and it will make flange-rubbing screeches. Brake and it makes brake noises. Very fun!

    Electrical pickup seems near flawless. It has a minor issue with a couple of spots on my layout that fussy locos have trouble with. The cure for that is more feeders and a good cleaning of the track moreso than any fault of a locomotive. The tender is hardwired to the loco, unlike my old Mountain.

    It is one beautiful and fun to operate locomotive. It doth not shake or shimmy or do the mashed potato or the twist. Very smooth.

    Now...let's get to pulling power. I think the manufacturers are wising up to Spookshow and sending him their very best because this thing is no stump-puller. I didn't have a ton of time to play with it, but on my larger-radius-curve route on the layout, it would pull 4 heavyweight passenger cars...not 5. So far, I have 8 freight cars behind it and it will pull that. I will add more cars tonight.

    Now, on my layout, this is about average for a steam loco. Only the Bachmann Spectrum Consolidations and the Kato FEF-3 will pull more. This Mountain is in the same class then as the Model Power Pacific, the Rivarossi Pacifics and the smaller Spectrum steamers such as the 10 wheeler and the 2-6-0. So it's not terrible. But it's not great, either.

    I won't experiment with Frog Snot or anything until I decide whether or not to keep the unit. And I suppose I need to decide soon, since I'm leaving for 9 days in Montana tomorrow.

    I'll try to post a video tonight.

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    Excuse the dust (pine pollen season) and air cond. noise... here's a video of the Bachmann Light Mountain on a DC layout.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeIISUrT_Ng

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    Well done! Sounds great!

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