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Info re Bachmann K-27 from owners

25985 Views 114 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  BarrysBigTrains
I'm beginning to lust after the Bachmann K-27 but have several concerns that you pioneering owners might be able to help me with. I am in a small town in the mountains of Colo and do not even have access to a hobby shop to look at one. From reading the threads, it appears that Bachmann has now solved most if not all the serious design issues. 1) Am I correct on this?

Unfortunately, I have several curves on my layout where I had to use 8' diameter track. 2) Will the K-27 easily take 8' diameter without larger diameter transition track?

Finally, I had to quit using a Bachman Annie on my Aristo stainless 4 years ago as I am convinced that some sort of electrolysis occurred between the cast drivers on the Annie and the stainless track: required serious cleanup every 10 minutes of operation to the point of serious frustration. (I had no problem with the turned steel drivers of my LGB locos.) Of course, that was just on DC, not DCC which I am presently using. 3) Does the K-27 have power pickup thorough the drivers or throuch a 'shoe' a la LGB? 4) Are the drivers of the K-27 cast rather than turned? 5) Has anyone with stainless track experienced unusual black deposit on stainless while using the K-27?

6) Any recommendations of DCC decoders for ease of installation on the K-27?

Thanks for your input, guys!
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Matthew.... Great response. Thanks for taking the time to cover all the bases for me and at great length. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wow.gif I know it's a great looking loco from the pics in Garden Ry mag, but operation is more important. That'd be an expensive model to park on a library wall! Who is Dave Goodson and how does one go about getting him to modify all those design flaws? BTW, I won't need the loco until next May as my pike is at my summer home in Colo; maybe Bachman will fix some of the problems before then????/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif As they say in Italian, "Speriamo!", i.e. let us hope! Thanks again!
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Good point! Wouldn't you think that premier shops ..e.g. Watts, St. Aubin, etc...would provide the upgraded K-27, esp if you specified same?
Wow, Guys!!!! I had no idea what sort of controversy (ies) I would unleash by my inquiries. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crazy.gif I'm the newbie that innocently started this thread. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/doze.gif I do very much appreciate all the positive input and will go forward with my currently unsatisfied lust for the K-27, but with all the caveats you guys have so helpfully provided.....motor gear ratio notwithstanding. I will operate at the lower speeds and, apparently, in DCC some of the other issues will be minimized. I will be buying next spring and, hopefully, by then some of the major outstanding issues will have been solved by Bachmann taking into consideration all your input. Thank all you guys for the great advice! :D
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As always, you have nailed things down tight. Your curiosity, diligence and relentless pursuit of solutions is virtually incomprenhesible to an unknowledgeable hack like myself. Thank you again for what you bring to the hobby. And thanks for saving me a bunch of money. I'll back off and control my lust: It is a really good looking model, but I don't want a model for my wall. I need a loco my grandchildren can operate with a little supervision. Maybe BAchmann will take all the input developed by you and others and in time offer a loco that will work out of the box. I don't have the knowledge or skill to even begin to do the 'fixes' you suggest. I'm in the process of throwing cold water on my lust for the Kay. Brrrr! I'm already shriveled!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sick.gif
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What this entire thread says: since LGB no longer is manufacturing American style locos, it would be nice if someone could step up and manufacture reliable, uncomplicated equipment, at a reasonable price (e.g. under $1,000) to meet our common market.

We then could each decide on the direction of the power, i.e. DCC, battery, etc. Bob Grosh, Greg Elmiassin (sp?), etc....the guys who have the time and talent (or at least the talent!)...to modify the uncomplicated equipment could then do so. In fact, I suspect they really enjoy taking something simple and complicating it....it's the part of the hobby they most enjoy (I'm just guessing at that, based on their threads and websites.). The Kay is obviously a great looking model :rolleyes:, but complicated in that it requires a bunch of fixes; maybe released before it had been properly vetted. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sick.gif (One can understand the need to get what has been designed and manufactured to market quickly: all that front end negative cash flow produces enormous pressures to do so. Nonetheless, in this case Bachmann is suffering serious damage to its image that will no doubt carry over to later items. Maybe a really bad marketing decision?)

Of course I love having a "DCC ready" loco in which I could simply buy a decoder and literally just plug it in. But, obviously that's a lot more complicated than I imagine due to the variety of power options used in the hobby. I certainly wouldn't mind purchasing a basic loco, buying a decoder plus sockets, etc, etc. as extras if...if...that would make a loco more acceptable to other non-DCC power people. But then I don't have enough understanding to even know what that would entail.

I really hunger for a great-looking and great operating steam loco similar to the one's I see operating within 50 miles of my summer home here in Colo: the Durango & Silverton and the Cumbres & Toltec.

I haven't given up on the K-27....yet. Several of you guys have said you're reasonably satisfied after a couple of major fixes, i.e. slims and counterweight fixes. I'm not buying until next Spring; perhaps later runs will be better. Some suppliers can make the fixes for my untalented, unknowledgeable self and.....we'll see.

My apologies for unwittingly kicking off some heated discussions.....but a discussion that no doubt will serve a good purpose. As always, I am indebted to you brother RR's. You guys in MLS are truly a great bunch....not that you always agree with each other!.....but nonetheless gracious, hospitable and extremely generous. Thanks for always being there for me (as the younger generation says).

(BTW, altho my current posts show me to be a brand-newbie, I have been a first class member for several years, just hadn't posted anything since last summer and apparently MLS reset the postings during the winter. I've been a RR'er for almost 70 years.)
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Jimtyp... Bob's most recent--plus his earlier--comments are deadly. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sick.gif If Bob can't fix something, it can't be fixed. (OTOH, his standards are extremely high because his knowledge and skills are equally high!). /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wow.gif

It sounds as if there is no decoder that will work satisfactorily with the K. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crying.gif H/e, you indicated earlier that you were quite satisified with the K on DCC (which is what I operate on). What kind of decoder did you use? Did you install it yourself?
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Bob...Just got back to the thread. As always, your comments--invariably objective and based on your personal excellent hands-on research--are not just persuasive but definitive. I think your last 9/12 statement is also dispositive of whether or not I will purchase a K. There seems to be a large market out there for the K but..BUT...ONLY if Bachmann undertakes a number of serious fixes which likely would add to the cost. It's a problem, but thanks to you it's Bachmann's problem, not mine. Thanks for "being there" for the rest of us hacks.

Perhaps Bachmann should enlist you as a consultant?
jlinde.... Ten-four and Amen to your comments. Well stated.
Doug.... I agree with much of what you say, but your second assumption "that people care ONLY about whether the loco runs well" is perhaps somewhat of an unfair statement. I think that even with all the negative contributors to this thread, most would agree that it is a great model--as a model. But their point is, "Of what value is a great looking model if it won't operate well?" As Bob Grosh put it very early in the thread, the price of the K was too much just to use it as a model on the wall.....this said after he had devoted uncounted hours trying to make it meet his operating standards.

For myself, I am probably one of the people you put in the category suggested by your second assumption. I love building the railroad; the engineering required; less interested in the model-building side or even in the "running" of the trains. However, about 50% of my rationale for my railroad --at least in my excuses to the wife--is that it's for "the grandkids", of which I have 7 now with another in the oven, ranging in age from 14 down to minus 5 months. I need to buy locomotives that operate well and can stand a certain amount of heavy handling by little hands. Thus, I may be in a very small minority of the hobby.

My point: we in the hobby are a diverse group, not all interested in the same aspects of the hobby. Some are rivet counters and, though I disagree with the pejorative terminology, I fully accept and appreciate their desire for painstaking detail. But that's just not my schtick. Some like to operate; others like to build; others are into the electronics, etc, etc. But, I think saying any one kind of large scaler is "interested only in"... some particular aspect is an unfair characterterization. Most of us would like to have as much as there is out there (i.e. paintstaking detail, easy to apply electronics, outstanding operating characteristics, etc )but find--like life itself--we have to compromise and therefore have to establish our priorities before --rather than after--we buy.

Again, my first priority has to be: it must operate well. (Not just for the grandkids, but also to cover my own deficiencies!) But, man, do I love the look of the K-27! As the author of this thread--though not all the aspects of it--I started out by saying that I "lusted" for a K-27. And its appearance first generated that lust. So, again, it's not exactly right to say it's only how well a loco runs that I--and perhaps others like me--care about.

Implied in your comments is an imporant point. If this Forum--not necessarily this thread--relentlessly picks apart the offering of our few manufacturers, running them down, emphasizing their shortcomings, etc so that the market is virtually eliminated, we soon will not have any company making products for us. No company wants to pay out all the front end costs of design, manufacturing, marketing etc only to have their product dissed to the point of market destruction. We therefore need to exercise caution in how we phrase our critiques and balance them against the good points of the products. Hopefully, the critiques as a fair assessment of all of a product's qualities would be helpful to manufacturers, rather than accusations as to how good it might have been. In this, I fully and wholeheartedly agree with you.

Sorry if I got long winded here. And your comments in no way raised any ire, only that you may have misstated your second assumption without realizing it. I--like you--regret some of the aspects of this thread, but it does I think offer fair warning and truth to fellow hobbyists from men whom we have grown to know and respect through this Forum. Unfortunately, again like life, the truth is not clear-cut for everyone, but like the little boy at Christmas digging through the pile of horse leavings, "There's bound to be a pony in here somewhere!" :D
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Bob.... I always...always...defer to your expertise!

Let us hope that other mfgrs will take the place of those who opt out. Marklin seems no longer interested in the American market, at least the market for American style locomotives. Maybe that's just a re-tooling problem for the time being, but this seems to be a big market they just decided to ignore.

Darn! I wish Bachmann would just fix the Kay. Sort of like Nike's slogan, "Just Fix it!"
Bob... BTW, you helped me put sound and a decoder in my Forney two years ago. A great loco with a great Phoenix sound! I have not bought two sets of locos as you have; maybe I should. Good thought!
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