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Author Topic: Bad luck or poor product?  (Read 3151 times)

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Offline DJM Dave

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Re: Bad luck or poor product?
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2016, 08:39:35 pm »
I started with a digitrax dcc system and having enjoyed many years of trouble free running I moved up to an NCE system, and again have had no problems with any loco's except for 2 sticky Farish 37's.

I have never used a Farish decoder in any of mine, using Lenz, digitrax, etc.

And , whilst not wishing to brag, with over 100 faultless loco's all with decoder or sound fitted, I've not had any of the faults you have described and suggest re evaluating your system, wiring, track laying etc. it's so easy for every one of us to cause any one of these problems and swear blind we haven't, until we spot a very small silly mistake that we kick ourselves for.

Hope you get it sorted soon because once you do, you'll realize that it's immense fun.

Cheers
Dave

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Offline Railwaygun

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Re: Bad luck or poor product?
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2016, 09:49:42 pm »
After fitting the decoder the Fairburn first looked OK but after a while I noticed blue sparks above the rear 4 wheel truck of the loco.  These have gradually become more noticeable after a further month of running on a test loop with DCC.  Now this week the loco began stopping periodically and there is an oscilating noise. 

this suggests an internal shortand it is no surprise the loco has died. I gather it is  a so-and-so to convert (there is a thread describing it on the NGFrecently ) and its wiring needs revisiting.

the fact that 6/7 (?) locos are failed suggests a common problem, but without checking each decoder / loc -  ( a decoder tester is an invaluable aid -

https://www.wicknessmodels.co.uk/shop/controllers/esu-controllers/product/640-esu-dcc-decoder-tester?gclid=CjwKEAiAzuK0BRCW4tiLpJT-8TISJADV8cw9TKSeTJuwiMycPKkW9fm78XfSSMLNpfWquSjR38XsuxoCyzbw_wcB 

 at least you can work out whether it is the decoder or the loco which may be at fault)

it is difficult to advise further. A local club or a local dealer may be the next stop, or even a local member??
« Last Edit: January 15, 2016, 09:51:25 pm by Railwaygun »
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Offline silly moo

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Re: Bad luck or poor product?
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2016, 04:58:27 am »
I am relieved to hear that Roy has not had problems with Bachmann chips, that gives me hope that mine will be ok on the club's set up. I've bought Digitrax chips in the past but they have got very expensive here so I thought I'd take a chance with a Bachmann one.

I will fit it to a loco sooner rather than later so that if it does go up in smoke I can take it back for a refund.

I hope the OP finds a solution to his problem it must very frustrating and expensive.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2016, 05:01:34 am by silly moo »

Offline roniom

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Re: Bad luck or poor product?
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2016, 09:37:29 am »
1. I decided to use all Bachmann/GF hardware to minimize compatibility issues - everything is their make.
2. Therefore as stated earlier the controller is Bachmann.
3. Everything is new.
4. All the provided manufacturers instructions were followed.
5. I am looking for the experience of others and testing of this loco is stopped while I hope to get to the bottom of the problem (but not making any progress).

1. completely unnecessary using DCC (or DC for that matter!) - that is part of the point of NMRA compliance. My point being that Bachmann equipment is not necessarily the best or most suitable...
2. which Bachmann controller?
5. Sure but you admit that you carried on running it despite the fact it was shorting away to the point that it is now worse - that sounds like a recipe for trouble.  I would start by trying to work out what is shorting - does it short on DC or just DCC? Are the wheels correctly gauged? Is it shorting in a particular place on your track eg a point?

Just to clarify.  I did not carry on running the loco KNOWING it was shorting.  The sparks were first noticed when the room light was dim.  At that point I did not know whether it was from an electrical pick-up or not.  It took a while to see where it was coming from because they were faint and intermittent.  They seem to happen on the curves when they did (but not the point).  When I homed in on the exact area of the loco (rear truck), I realized there was no electrical pickup there.  I could try removing the truck but the screw is microscopic.  I will probably go back to Bachmann first, now that someone has told me they do have a technical department (thanks).

The controller is the one that came with the Country Coal set, as is the track i.e. E-Z command.  From what I am hearing from others, there are quality issues with this controller?

No, I have not tried removing the decoder and returning to DC yet.   I will certainly do that before the loco goes back though.

Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Bad luck or poor product?
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2016, 02:47:48 pm »
The E-Z Command ?  Ahhh, well ... It's OK for an entry-level system but is pretty much a "toy controller" (like the Hornby ones); you'd be better in the medium (but certainly long) term to look at a replacement unit; especially if you're considering DCC Sound.

Your only choice (should you insist on remaining Bachmann) is the Dynamis; the new version is PC-compatible (I am unaware if JMRI can interface with it though), but it can be pricy.  The older version is still available if you hunt (but isn't PC-compatible); sadly, there is no upgrade path from older to newer (thanks a lot, Bachmann  :thumbsdown:).  Now; this style of controller may be something you like (I have no issue with it, personally), but you may prefer those long slabs of plastic with dozens of buttons on (think of an extremely cluttered TV/video/DVD remote) and a long cable connecting to the command station - you're moving outside what Bachmann do at this point (and, to be honest - the Dynamis is a rebadged ESU unit, not a Bachmann unit).  Best thing to do is to get to a retailer (or a Show) that has various types to try, and see what style you are happiest with; and then choose from within that style.

Offline roniom

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Re: Bad luck or poor product?
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2016, 05:41:29 pm »
The E-Z Command ?  Ahhh, well ... It's OK for an entry-level system but is pretty much a "toy controller" (like the Hornby ones); you'd be better in the medium (but certainly long) term to look at a replacement unit; especially if you're considering DCC Sound.

Your only choice (should you insist on remaining Bachmann) is the Dynamis; the new version is PC-compatible (I am unaware if JMRI can interface with it though), but it can be pricy.  The older version is still available if you hunt (but isn't PC-compatible); sadly, there is no upgrade path from older to newer (thanks a lot, Bachmann  :thumbsdown:).  Now; this style of controller may be something you like (I have no issue with it, personally), but you may prefer those long slabs of plastic with dozens of buttons on (think of an extremely cluttered TV/video/DVD remote) and a long cable connecting to the command station - you're moving outside what Bachmann do at this point (and, to be honest - the Dynamis is a rebadged ESU unit, not a Bachmann unit).  Best thing to do is to get to a retailer (or a Show) that has various types to try, and see what style you are happiest with; and then choose from within that style.

If the controller is OK for entry level then that's fine because that is where I am as far as DCC goes.  I've been modelling on and off for 50 years but never had time to do much of a layout.   At this stage, having retired, I did plan a decent N layout.  The Graham Farish DCC set was my way of starting in DCC.   However, I do not expect these sort of problems with new equipment from a common manufacturer.  Everything is on hold until I find out where the failure is.  For information, the other two (also new) and now chipped Graham Farish locos seem to be running OK on the GraFar test loop.  I have no reason to doubt the wiring or the new track.

Offline Maurits71

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Re: Bad luck or poor product?
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2016, 05:52:56 pm »
evening.

Firstly. I would doubt your wiring to be honest firstly. DCC is much more delicate than analogue and if you think you can get away with 2 wires you are wrong. advisable is to have 2 droppers each side every 30-60 cm.

secondly. it's hard to believe for me that only 1 out of 7 loco's works. I have over 50 dcc loco's and have a fault rate of next to nothing. and if they fail it's either a lack of maintenance of me being clumsy.

Do you have the trains one by one on your track or all at the same time ?

Do you allow me to say that I believe there's some user error in place here ?, if you live locally Cambridge please feel free to contact me and I will check all your running stuff together with you.
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Offline Only Me

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Re: Bad luck or poor product?
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2016, 05:52:35 pm »
Ok heres how we
May be able to help with checking your track...
Post a diagram of your layout including where you have connected power feeds.

We may be able to point out potential issues? What points do you use, are they electrofrog of insulfrog?

Paul
« Last Edit: January 16, 2016, 05:54:22 pm by Only Me »



Offline EtchedPixels

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Re: Bad luck or poor product?
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2016, 05:55:38 pm »
Some of the things you describe like waddling sound nothing to do with DCC and everything to do with badly assembled locos - which unfortunately is not uncommon from either Bachmann or Dapol and they seem to assume that QA is done by customers returning stuff not by the company. Others sound like DCC related funnies of some kind.

The other thing I ask just to check if you are having bad behaviour and the like - do you have anything on the circuit that isn't DCC compatible - the obvious thing being the relco and gaugemaster electronic "track cleaner" devices ?

Alan
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Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Bad luck or poor product?
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2016, 09:06:57 pm »
if you think you can get away with 2 wires you are wrong. advisable is to have 2 droppers each side every 30-60 cm.
Oh come on ... No he's not wrong.  That's the entry point ...  Yes, droppers every X cm (spacing depending who you ask) or one per piece of track is the best advice, but don't accuse him of being wrong when we all know he isn't  ::)  If the entire run of track is the small loop that comes with the set, then the basic connection is perfectly fine.

Quote
if you live locally Cambridge
He may .... Cambridge MA is a possibility; there may be others.  You did see the Stars & Stripes beside his name, yes ?

Offline Maurits71

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Re: Bad luck or poor product?
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2016, 11:37:53 am »
Mike

PRC lives in England ;)
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Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Bad luck or poor product?
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2016, 11:58:12 am »
Yes - except your reply seems to be to Roniom - who lives in the USA  ::)
I have no reason to doubt the wiring or the new track.
I would doubt your wiring to be honest firstly.

Where threads split into several differing aspects (because other people chip in with similar issues), it would be better if you actually said who you were replying to, instead of implicitly implying you're replying to the last person with those problems, or (as in this case) the person immediately prior to your post ... ::)

So - were you replying to this, as it appears, or not ?  If not, who to  ???

Offline PRC

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Re: Bad luck or poor product?
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2016, 12:13:43 pm »
PRC here, England.

It looks as if there have been enough on this thread displaying grief with GF, DCC and all the trimmings, that we're all getting a bit confused as to who's moaning about what.

My problem is basically with GF loco quality. And from what I've understood so far, 'so what's new?' seems to be the response. I'm going to leave my grievances at that, and from now on intend to spend my hard earned pension with Fleischmann.

As an excellent example of my lack of faith in British outline product, a GF diesel was recently plucked from a dealer's shelf at random, carefully placed on a length of test track and, straight out of the box, did b-all. Dead as a do-do. I don't think the dealer was particularly surprised.

Sadly, to make matters worse, nor was I.

We just scrubbed around it with a shrug and I was then shown instead a Fleischmann model delivering a perfect level of quality. How can I not be impressed?

Offline MikeDunn

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Re: Bad luck or poor product?
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2016, 12:37:11 pm »
Well, that's not normal for GraFar in my experience; Dapol is another matter  ::)

I think we're all hoping that the DJM kit lives up to the hype - and remains at that level.  That will be a much-needed kick to the other two ...

Offline PRC

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Re: Bad luck or poor product?
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2016, 12:55:01 pm »
Unfortunately that's what my own experience has proven Mike, I cannot of course vouch for others. I wish it were different as I'm naturally a fan of the British scene, but I can't be doing with any anxiety as to whether the next loco purchased online, from a high street dealer, or whatever, is going to be yet another disappointment. I'm like a kid with a new toy, and it has to live up to what's shown on the box. Maybe I'm just old fashioned :(.

 

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