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Excellent review. I wonder where he found a consultant so willing and able to help?
It really was a well written review that kept the politics out of it (pretty much anyway). Sounds like they aren't going to give up on the super socket yet. This loco has no interest for me, but will likely work well for others.
 

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A very interesting review! I have my suspicions as to the identity of the reviewer as many of you do too. Considering the past "unpleasantness" with the K-27 and the three-truck Shay, it's probably best that the reviewer stay anonymous so that the identity of said reviewer doesn't color our perception of the review. Personally, I'm gratefull that 1:20.me has given us such a comprehensive review as Bachmann sure hasn't given us anything but the usual "fluff!" Now, getting to the "guts" of the review, I am concerned about this binding of the valve gear! Also, it would seem that Bachmann is bound and determined to promote that "supersocket" no matter what! I wonder why they felt it necessary to change the socket again?
 

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Stan has changed it every time in every new loco... although I would characterize the davenport as "less than super" ha ha!

The super socket is now a relatively good clone of the Aristo one.. still one entire row of pins is not used. But look at the progress! The new main board is growing by leaps and bounds! What a success, soon it may take a big boy to hold one...

(OK greg, be nice.... oh, I like track power... ha ha ha....)




The Bachmann police will be after me soon! They will no doubt be battering Durango Dan of who the unknown Technical Advisor is!)

Regards, Greg
 

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I liked the review but there are two important questions that for me are still unanswered ...

First of these ... is the valve gear issue noted on the reviewed loco an example of poor assembly (and QC) at B'mann or is it a generalized problem with many or most locos. Sadly, I know that each loco delivered from every supplier needs to be gone over and checked for broken details, loose screws or miswiring. But complex valve gear problems are not fun to resolve

Second ... there was no real commentary on actual operation. Perhaps given the valve gear fix the loco wasnt actually run. But drawbar pull and an informed comment of any likely problem in pulling heavy train on tough grades would be appreciated. For example, the knock on the K-27 now is that the incorrect gear ratio makes pulling a train of prototype length made up of the not too free rolling AMS cars a problem on even the slightest grades.

Regards ... Doug
 

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I have one of these coming, but it's not here yet. Anyone else in the MLS community have one delivered (or ordered?) I too will be interested to see how they chalk up to the one in the review.

The photos in the review, particuarly the comparison photos to the LGB unit show it to be a bit larger than I'd thought it would be after seeing some of the photos on the Bachmann site, which to me is a good thing.

Matthew (OV)
 

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Doug, are you asking about the "timing" issue, or the loose screws issue on the valve gear?

on the operation, seems to run ok after the valve timing is fixed, although the gear train works somewhat differently that the K even though it's a double lead.

I believe more information will be forthcoming on this last item. The gear ratio is good, and I believe the comment was it runs ok after the fixes.

Regards, Greg
 

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So, The K2 board was based on the Aristo socket.

According to Bachmann, the Kay was supposed to accept the Digitrax DG583AR decoder that fits in the Aristo socket.
Several people (including me) reported that when the DG583AR is installed in the socket, the Kay shuts down the booster with a false short circuit. (The Kay outputs very short, but high, current pulses on the rails due to a lack of current limiters on the two huge capacitors.)

When Bachmann announced the Mallet, I pre-ordered. Just as I did with the Kay. When Bachmann published pictures of the Mallet, I noticed the same capacitors and no current limiter. I asked Bachmann, on the Bachmann forum, about this and got the wrong answer. I immediately canceled my pre-order.

To date, nobody has stated that the new Mallet will accept the very decoder it was supposedly designed for, without putting disastrous current spikes on the DCC track signal.

Since I burned up the board in the Kay while making extensive mods to it, primarily due to the lands coming separated during soldering, and Bachmann has still not been able to furnish replacement parts, I think I will hold off a while longer on this loco.

B0B
 

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Greetings All,

This was a very well done review and un biased, thank goodness. All the electronic info is fine but would not change my opinion on wheather I would purchase one. I often remove all existing wiring in a loco a redo it to my liking. The information regarding removing the saddle tanks and the inner most structual stuff really benefited me. When I first caught wind of this loco 6 mos ago my first thought was to kitbash it and make it a more traditional loco w/tender combination. Since, from what the mystery reviewer had written and visuals from the pictures I will have to rethink or re evaluate my future "bachmann bash" project.
I find it more troubling that there may be potential problem with the linkage binding during operation. That seems to be the biggest issue. What good is fancy wiring/loose nuts and bolts/funky couplers/structual frame stuff if the wheels don't go round and round.
Glen
 

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My "take" from all that I have heard is that by putting the valve gear into the right "phase" it can run well. I hope that the information on how to do this is made public, but it appears that it is not simple.

We need the next installment.

By the way, I made a comment about the socket changing. My understanding is that the socket itself is unchanged, in terms of pins, but the physical size of the board that carries it is much larger, and the circuitry "around the board" is somewhat changed.

Again, we will need to wait for another installment in this area, but it APPEARS that the fundamental use of the socked, and the fundamental parts of the socket work as in the K. My apologies to Stan Ames, I did not do a good job in my first comment.

Regards, Greg
 

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Greg


My concern with valve gear is simply ... is the fault on the loco revied just an isolated example and others are correct ... or are all the locos faulty in their assembly
On the issue of kitbashing the loco ... it should be kept in mind that the prototype as proposed is a tiny loco. I do not think that the loco would look scaled correctly with the saddle tanks removed unless the boiler were expanded. In that context the lack of supports and the sizing of the electronics etc should not be an issue. On the other hand if the bashed loco were to represent 1:24 scale then it would be a bigger issue. But is hard to fault the manufacturer for not taking that aspect into account.

Regards ... Doug
 

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Its certainly alot taller than that LGB Uintah in the pic, I'd like either one but I suspect even this "tiny" locomotive would be gargantuan on my even tinier layout, so no cigar from me till I get a closer look.
I'm once again rather put off by the valve gear discovery and once yet again loose screws/parts issue, seams like every offering we get is half assembled, maybe they would do better offering it as a KIT and we put it together, then we can be sure its put together correctly. After all seams like each offering has to be immedialty dissassembled to fix all the loose issues or lubricate this and that. By offering it in KIT form they cut out all the jokers on the assembly line who can't seam to get it right no matter how much rice they threaten to take away at lunchtime for bad construction problems. Whats the difference if we have to tear it apart then reassemble it before we can even run it anyways. it just ends up a KIT on the dining room table, why not cut out the middleman and save us the whole issue of tearing it apart?

(sarcasm intended
)
 

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I think we need to hear from more people about the eccentrics to see what is really up. I suspect since there was little consistency in the one reviewed, that the factory does not know the importance of this alignment to running ability.

But, the above is my personal speculation.

I agree with you completely on the bashing. It's nice to have a loco that lends itself to bashing, but I suspect that this is one of the thing furthest from the minds of the people who go to all the work to make the model in the first place. Cannot fault Bachmann for this. (although that circuit board could certainly have been smaller!)

Regards, Greg
 

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Interesting review - especially since this loco is the most likely next candidate on my personal "WANT!"
list. Hoping I can make it to the Amhearst Railway Society show in Springfield, MA in about 2 weeks (if "Old Man Winter" permits!
- he's had a REALLY NASTY
disposition around here so far this year!) to view it first-hand. Bachmann usually has a booth there with their latest wares on display
- I've usually been able to talk to the "Bach-man" himself about product issues. (Been there with the 3-truck Shay - which although it pulls like a horse, has required far MORE maintenance & modifications than my 2-truck Shays to keep it reliable.
).

In spite of some of the listed problems & shortcomings, I'm still VERY
interested in getting one. The "Meyer" (vs. true "Mallet") suspension I can live with; it might even be a substancial operational asset for me, even with relatively broad (69" min radius, 11.5 foot diameter) curves, I have one curve (even wider, 80" radius, 12 foot diameter), that still came close enough to a chain-link fence post (which also supports the roadbed!
- my railroad's elevated @ 2 feet off the ground), that the normal Mallet boiler overhang was a potential issue. (I had used my Bachmann GE 45-ton diesel - which is a model of a standard-gauged sized cab riding on 3-foot gauge trucks - to check clearance at that point when building the line!
). I suspect some of those who hoped to "bash" it into a "normal" tender engine may be a bit disappointed with the boiler/ saddle tank construction method
- but then who's to say you can't add an "auxiliary tender"
to it! (In a fact from the prototype, Sumpter Valley Railway found that when they converted the former Unitah 2-6-6-2T's to tender engines & removed the saddle tanks, they suddenly became VERY SLIPPERY
beasts! - SV Ry. wound up installing lengths of rail under the running boards
to make up for the weight loss from the saddle tank removal to restore tractive effort to them!
).


I'll also agree that the valve gear phasing / loose screw issues are annoying
QC issues on Bachmann's / Kader's part; this is one of the reasons I didn't RUSH to buy one like I did with the 3-truck Shay. However, before people "bash"
Bachmann too much on this - where else in model railroading are you going to find a loco of this size (& level of detail!
) for a "street price" of @ $600
(I WINCE
every time I come across one of the LGB / Aster Shays on eBay at @ $4500 typical asking price
- that's more than I paid for ALL SIX Shays (4 Bachmann's & 2 Accucraft LIVE STEAM Shays
) currently on my roster!
For the price the Mallet is going for, I'm willing to go on a "screw tightening" expedition.
Tom
 

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Posted By Dougald on 01/12/2009 9:47 AM


Greg


My concern with valve gear is simply ... is the fault on the loco revied just an isolated example and others are correct ... or are all the locos faulty in their assembly
On the issue of kitbashing the loco ... it should be kept in mind that the prototype as proposed is a tiny loco. I do not think that the loco would look scaled correctly with the saddle tanks removed unless the boiler were expanded. In that context the lack of supports and the sizing of the electronics etc should not be an issue. On the other hand if the bashed loco were to represent 1:24 scale then it would be a bigger issue. But is hard to fault the manufacturer for not taking that aspect into account.

Regards ... Doug



Doug

Bachmann has a video of the 2-6-6-2 which includes several slow motion shots.

http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/video.php

at about 2 minutes there is a good slow motion shot which shows the eccentrics. To me they appear to be working properly and working the same as the prototype video.

In the locomotive I have all 4 eccentrics are the same as in the video and the operation is very smooth.

The photo on the onetotwentypoint me blog shows a very funky eccentric

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_jl-RFo6VUnk/SWmDX33bw8I/AAAAAAAABdI/EdBJSBqOwuE/s1600-h/Locked.JPG

I am amazed that this locomotive would even operate for a single wheel recolution.

Both the locomotive I have and the one in the Bachmann video were likely assembled by more trained individuals then the typical production locomotive so one would expect fewer problems. Both of these locomotive do provide two examples of how Bachmann intended them to operate.

So if the operation in the video is wrong then they are all wrong. If the operation in the video is correct then the locomotive reviewed is likely an assembly problem which hopefully is an isolated one.

Stan Ames
http://www.tttrains.com/largescale/
 

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Posted By StanleyAmes on 01/12/2009 7:31 PM
Posted By Dougald on 01/12/2009 9:47 AM


Greg


My concern with valve gear is simply ... is the fault on the loco revied just an isolated example and others are correct ... or are all the locos faulty in their assembly
On the issue of kitbashing the loco ... it should be kept in mind that the prototype as proposed is a tiny loco. I do not think that the loco would look scaled correctly with the saddle tanks removed unless the boiler were expanded. In that context the lack of supports and the sizing of the electronics etc should not be an issue. On the other hand if the bashed loco were to represent 1:24 scale then it would be a bigger issue. But is hard to fault the manufacturer for not taking that aspect into account.

Regards ... Doug



Doug

Bachmann has a video of the 2-6-6-2 which includes several slow motion shots.

http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/video.php

at about 2 minutes there is a good slow motion shot which shows the eccentrics. To me they appear to be working properly and working the same as the prototype video.

In the locomotive I have all 4 eccentrics are the same as in the video and the operation is very smooth.

The photo on the onetotwentypoint me blog shows a very funky eccentric

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_jl-RFo6VUnk/SWmDX33bw8I/AAAAAAAABdI/EdBJSBqOwuE/s1600-h/Locked.JPG

I am amazed that this locomotive would even operate for a single wheel recolution.

Both the locomotive I have and the one in the Bachmann video were likely assembled by more trained individuals then the typical production locomotive so one would expect fewer problems. Both of these locomotive do provide two examples of how Bachmann intended them to operate.

So if the operation in the video is wrong then they are all wrong. If the operation in the video is correct then the locomotive reviewed is likely an assembly problem which hopefully is an isolated one.

Stan Ames
http://www.tttrains.com/largescale/

First off, let me say I don't own one of these engines.
No intention of doing so.
However, I have been following the threads, videos and even the review as posted on the blog.


On your video:
The first part of the video is dark.
BUT WAIT!


Crossing over the paperclip on the track, the front engine has the eccentric pointing forward of the axle.
The rear engine has it pointing aft of the axle.


You even bother to LOOK at the prototype video of 110?
Next, in the Bachmann Video YOU linked:
The "pan" shots down both sides, on white table, no track.
Engineer's side, both eccentrics point.....forward of axle.

On the Fireman's side, lead engine, forward.
You tell me where the rear engine is pointing.

Then, just after the description of the Super Socket, nice, slow pass of the engineer's side.
The reverse links barely pass the horizontal.
And BOTH of them APPEAR to IMPACT the vertical links behind the reverse link proper!

Your statement that the one you and Bachmann have are better assembled is totally flawed.
That means YOU and BACHMANN are showing engines not of the same quality as those sent to the consumer.
How do you think the consumer will feel?

Whoever the Techincal Advisor is needs to be fired.
Obviously doesn't have the expertise to tie his own shoes.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Both the locomotive I have and the one in the Bachmann video were likely assembled by more trained individuals then the typical production locomotive so one would expect fewer problems. Both of these locomotive do provide two examples of how Bachmann intended them to operate.


Stanley,

I can understand receiving your above mentioned perks as the named Tech Adviser for Bachmann....but isn't everyone who purchases this/any product due the same quality control and testing/tweaking?...

Like all in the Hobby, I too hope the reviewed example is just one in a million and all will be well...if not...


And if I may- Are we, as mere consumers, to expect less than something that operates as "intended"? If that is indeed the direction that Bachmann/Kader is headed (and from recent releases it could appear as such)...then NOS looks better everyday!



Cale
 

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Chaps,
For what its worth, typically where Walschaerts valve gear is applied to piston valves, the eccentric will face forward, or lead the main rod crank. When applied to slide valves, the eccentric faces aft. Reason is that the designers intended to the Johnson bar and reverse links to funtion identially regardless of whether piston or slide valves were used so they simply changed the location of the eccentric relative to the main rod.

Piston valves typically have Inside admission and exhause to the outside, while slide valves are the reverse...thats why the valve travel work in opposition in both valve types.

Piston valves became popular as boiler pressures increased and super heaters started to be used, where slide valves performed poorly.

Many Mallets have piston valves on the rear engine and slide valves on the forward engine, becuase slide valves can handle the low pressure steam for the front cylinder, and thus the rear engine has the eccentric facing forward, and the front engine has the eccentric facing rearward.

On the Bachmann model, all chassis units have piston valves, so in principle the eccentrics should all face forward..., I've not looked at the photos, other than have a nice side view of the 110 with all eccentrics facing forward (as seen from one side), as are some of those drawings and sketches around which would make sense. There are some Mallets with piston valves to both chassis, with the eccentrics still facing in opposite direction - you'll notice on these engines, the rear engine's radius rod is lifted from behing the reverse link, whille the front chassis has the radius rod lifted fore of the revese link...in forward operation,..when the Johnson bar is pushed forward, this lowers the forward radis rod, but raises the rear one! Thus the engine still goes in forward motion, despite the radius rod on the rear chassis being at top of reverse link, while forward chassis valve rod has the radius rod at bottom of reverse link. With pneumatic actuators working some of these lifting rods, I have no doubt that the same engine would have had its eccentrics changed over time depending on the set up of the actuators...confused..it all make sense when you check out the photos!

I'd look to see if the model works best with the eccentrics all forward. Also, if the mounting of the eccentric was like the K-27, and could face forward or aft almost equal distances, the actual eccentric travel about the hub should be idential regardless of which way the eccentric faces, and shouldn't bind up like Dave shows. How are those crank pins fixed I wonder...maybe the crank pin is not set in the right position causing the eccentric travel about the axle to be too wide..which will damage rods regardless of which way the eccentric faces.

Darn good review Dave.
I'll wait till I see one in person to decide whether to buy. I'm selling my K-27, dont run it enough!

Ah just found some shots on the internet:
Side view, eccentrics lead main rod on both engine units:

http://loggingmallets.railfan.net/list/wt110a/weyer110ameh.jpg

sketch of the 110 - cant tell if this is original baldwin drawing or some later thing.
http://www.1880train.com/images/locomotive110b.jpg

Also looking at those Bachmann photos and video, the wacky motion with the eccentric rod seems to me to be due to the length of the tab on the end of the reverse links (expansion links for our UK friends) to be about half the length it should be, and slightly iin the wrong angle..but she's not 110, or anyhing else like her, but something Baldwin never got round to detailing, so who's to worry.
David.
 
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