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Thread: Bachmann Poor Service and Poor Product

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    Default Bachmann Poor Service and Poor Product

    I bought two Bachmann locomotives three years ago. The ATSF warbonnet F7 has performed flawlessly and is a good addition to my layout.


    The SoPac GP? switcher has been back to Bachmann three times. All for the same problem. Turned it off one night and the next morning it was dead. Lights come on, but no movement.

    So it goes back to Bachmann the first time, they have it for three months, and return it "fixed". Three month later it fails the same way. Send it back and they have it for three months again. Comes back "fixed". Works for six months and fails again in the same way. This time they send me a "new" unit. Just failed again last week in the same way.

    Of course, you don't have a way to talk to Bachmann directly. You have to go through their stupid "RMA" form and can't talk to a supervisor about the problem. Seems they don't want to talk to customers about a recurrent problem that puts you off line for two to three months.

    Anybody got any advice on how to solve the problem? When they work, they work magnificently. But this particular model doesn't work for long.

    Jim

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    Honestly the easiest solution is to no longer purchase products from Bachmann. It's why I don't use their stuff, it's just generally cruddy all around.
    Did someone say whitcomb?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jweir43 View Post
    Anybody got any advice on how to solve the problem?
    Yes, as a matter of fact, I do: buy nothing -- nothing -- in N scale from Bachmann. That's what I've done for 45 years.

    Did I mention "nothing"?

    Oddly, their British outline 00 scale locos are excellent.
    Paul Schmidt

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    Quote Originally Posted by jweir43 View Post
    Anybody got any advice on how to solve the problem?
    The smart alec answer is "cut your losses and get an Atlas."

    The dead serious best advice answer is "cut your losses and get an Atlas."

    Bachmanns are notorious for issues just like you describe. Some models are good, some are garbage, most are hit or miss or nearly garbage. They are all not as good as Kato or Atlas models. Poke around some forums/Facebook et al and you'll hear testimony after testimony of issues with the both the trains and the customer service just like yours.
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    I have had many Bachmann locos over the years and have had only one "dud", the first 2-8-0, in the 90s. I have availed myself of their service a few times and can find no fault with them.
    Last edited by absnut; 28th Sep 2019 at 05:30 PM.
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    Garbage can, that's how I feel with my two Bachmann's, although many say that their steam trains are good, I just am not willing to take that risk.
    KATO or Atlas is where the good stuff is IMO.

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    I have a 44 tonner that works great. Same for a fleet of (rebodied) NW2s. They are a lucky-dip with QA and repairs...
    Cheers,

    Russ

    CEO of Devil's Gate Mining Co.



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    Anybody got any advice on how to solve the problem?


    Sure do! Don't buy another one.

    Their early stuff was pure garbage. I bought an F7, later a U36B. That was enough to tell me that I needed to save my pennies.
    Their recent steamers seemed to be much better and as good as LifeLike heritage steamers.
    But as far as their diesels, personally I wouldn't give a plug nickel for them. Someone said their new GP40's are much better, but I've had enough
    of their nonsense.

    Go ahead Moose.....Say it!

    In my father's woodshop, he had a tattered old sign that he had hanging in his office for years, it read :

    "The price is soon forgotten, but the quality lingers on...."

    You get what you pay for.
    Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice shame on me.

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    Replace the decoder


    I have a fleet of their S4's and haven't had any problems with them. When and if they go down, they'll get new Soundtrax or ESU nonsound decoders. I bought these from Trainworld for $50 each and at that price, I don't mind if I have to replace the decoder, should I have to. I think the problem your having is in the decoder as they are the low quality at best. The S4's have preformed super so far.
    Rodney

    Here is my build of my n-scale railroad
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...-50-8-quot-%29

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    FWIW: Within certain industries it is a given that products made on a Monday or a Friday are never as good as those made on other days (especially Wednesday) because on Monday the workers are getting over the weekend's revelry, and on Friday, they were looking forward to some more; the product suffering as a result due to poor attention to detail on those days. It is possible that the 'B'man experiences' noted above may be a reflection of that phenomenon.

    Over the time that I have been a RR modeller (and For a variety of reasons which are not relevant here), I have rarely been able to purchase anything but B'mann products, and found that, on average, they are 'adequate' for my purposes. This is not to say that I haven't tried other brands: Model Power, Rivarossi, Kato, Trix, Lifelike, Atlas; they have all come - and gone, with the Atlas item (their 2-6-0) in particular, having major problems with pins failing and poor running.

    The 'B'man stuff meanwhile has just continued to run.

    I have used the B'mann Plymouth Switcher mechanisms for some thirty or so years and currently run several recent-build examples under a variety of bodies and in two scales ('N' and 'O'). The quality has certainly improved over that time and I have found that, given a reasonable amount of TLC, (especially at the 'running-in' stage when new) they will seemingly go forever - a small but important detail when they perform at exhibitions. This is not to say that I haven't had failures with the type, but I would suggest that in my specific situation, a lot of that may have been as a result of ignorance on my part rather than a fault in the machinery - as we all do when new to the hobby, the early purchases were 'abused'...

    I can, of course, only relate my own experiences, and to date have perhaps just been lucky, and unknowingly purchased examples made on a Wednesday (see my opening paragraph), but in my specific situation, the B'mann items work, work well and do as I ask them to; specifically running for long, monotonous hours at the exhibitions I attend.

    On that basis, I really can't ask for anything more.

    As I said, FWIW. Thank you.

    PS: One thing I forgot to add: The B'mann 'Manufacturers Guarantees' are worthless outside the USA, so if anything fails, you're very much on your own...
    Last edited by Komata; 29th Sep 2019 at 12:35 PM.
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    Anybody got any advice on how to solve the problem?
    If you’re running DCC, replace the decoder as Bachmann decoders are bottom tier entry level product.
    If you’re running DC, remove the decoder altogether and wire in a LED.
    Good luck

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    this problem is frustrating for most people who find they are facing it.

    b-mann will keep honoring the warranty. How many time are you willing to ship it before
    it becomes clear that the 'fix' is not readily available from b-mann?

    Depending on what you want as an end result, replace the decoder or replace the entire loco...
    if you replace the decoder... you can't send to off to b-mann anymore.

    b-mann makes a wide variety of locos. to be fair, most steam engines from everyone are kits for me.
    I buy b-mann steam knowing that I should expect to do some tune-up work.

    I have avoided the diesel offerings after the 44 tonner, 'cause it is full of poor ideas that were found wanting
    many years ago. it also has at least one brand-new idea that may be good for b-mann and not the consumer.
    so if you care to take my opinion on the subject, please consider getting some one else's offering
    if a suitable model is available.

    believe it or not, I like some of what b-mann has sold in the recent past. As I thought some were a good price/performance.
    this may not be obvious... b-mann has been raising their prices to match what the competition charges.
    I have not seen an increase in quality to match what the competition sells.

    to use steam engines as examples, Kato's FEF is a little less expensive than most recent b-mann steam
    and is by far a better mechanism.

    victor
    Last edited by victor miranda; 28th Sep 2019 at 09:39 PM. Reason: added a few words for clarity

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodsup9000 View Post
    Replace the decoder


    I have a fleet of their S4's and haven't had any problems with them. When and if they go down, they'll get new Soundtrax or ESU nonsound decoders. I bought these from Trainworld for $50 each and at that price, I don't mind if I have to replace the decoder, should I have to. I think the problem your having is in the decoder as they are the low quality at best. The S4's have preformed super so far.
    Ya know, I think i'd like to try that. Help me out here. How do I know which Soundtrax or ESU decoder to buy, and it is a simple pin for pin replacement or do you wind up doing some major rewiring or "Dremel forming" work to make them work or fit?

    Thanks,

    Jim

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    Soundtraxx MC1Z102SQ
    ESU 546883

    Theses are what I use. They both are very good decoders.
    Just need to find the two wires that goes to the motor and the two pickup wires and solder the decoder wires to them.
    You'll have to come up with some LEDs or salvage the ones off the original decoder board and add 1000 ohm resistors.





























    Rodney

    Here is my build of my n-scale railroad
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...-50-8-quot-%29

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    I have a Bachmann GP7 and GP40 (new version). I have not had one problem with them. I replaced the stock decoders with ESU LokSound Select Direct Micro v5 DCC sound decoders. I also detailed them better than any brass diesel locomotive. They both run very well!

    As for the steam, I have not had one problem with them, and I have four of their steam locomotives.

    I suppose some get the luck of the draw, but I have mostly fixed the locomotives myself if I did have a problem with them better than anything Bachmann could do. I'm guessing Bachmann does not actually fix the problem or diagnose what the problem is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gatrhumpy View Post
    I have a Bachmann GP7 and GP40 (new version). I have not had one problem with them. I replaced the stock decoders with ESU LokSound Select Direct Micro v5 DCC sound decoders. I also detailed them better than any brass diesel locomotive. They both run very well!

    As for the steam, I have not had one problem with them, and I have four of their steam locomotives.

    I suppose some get the luck of the draw, but I have mostly fixed the locomotives myself if I did have a problem with them better than anything Bachmann could do. I'm guessing Bachmann does not actually fix the problem or diagnose what the problem is.
    THank you sir for the answer. I am having trouble in two dimeinsions. One is that Locksound says that there is no decoder for this engine that I have that is broken. Number two is how to get the damned thing apart without breaking something important.

    I've been taking engines apart for fixing since my daddy gave me my first American Flyer S-gauge when he came back from the war in '46. I've found that some of them just fall apart easy and some of them are like the 99 year old virgin ... tough as nails to get into.

    This sucker has me beat. I'll post pictures of it tomorrow and ask questions about where to pryl

    Thanks for the response.

    Jim

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    rule # 1 trash the bachmann's. ill never buy another one... rule # 2 BUY kato they just work no ifs ands or buts. rule #3 take the trash out so you dont recover the bachmanns . better yet smash them good with a BFH so nobody else can get them and suffer the frustrations... problem solved once and for good hahahahahahahahahahahaha

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    As long as a decoder will fit in the physical space, that is what I used in my GP7 and GP-40. They've been outstanding runners.

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    I've had my share of awful Bachmanns. I won't buy their cars anymore, no matter how cheap. I have a handful of Spectrum steam locos. The 2-8-0 *Spectrum* consolidateds are nice. The 4-6-0 and the 2-6-0 are pretty good as well, though they don't pull a ton. Which I guess is to be expected. The very latest Spectrum Mountain with Sound is ok. The earlier Mountains are garbage. The diesels? Why bother? They're diesels, everyone makes them. If someone else made a Consolidated or a 10 wheeler or a Mountain, I'd get that instead.

    They should stick to train sets for kids and price them accordingly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sid View Post
    rule # 1 trash the bachmann's. ill never buy another one... rule # 2 BUY kato they just work no ifs ands or buts. rule #3 take the trash out so you dont recover the bachmanns . better yet smash them good with a BFH so nobody else can get them and suffer the frustrations... problem solved once and for good hahahahahahahahahahahaha
    No, use them for weathering practice...

    EDIT: if you don’t, send them to me

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