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Discussion Starter #1
Tell me a little about this locomotive. What type is it, and is it a candidate for DCC. I don't know a lot about actual terrains, what makes and models, etc. I'd like too add sounds and possibly DCC to this if possible. I collect Corvette items, so this one has lots of interest for me. Thanks!



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It looks like a generic EMD F7 to me, but it's hard to be sure from the photo (many of the sporting details are on the front of the loco although an F7 would have vent screens (with the front and rear knees round, like a port hole), which that doesn't have, down where the word Corvette is painted. Other members are better at the spotting details than I am, and may be able to give you a better guess.

Thing is, Hawthorne Village stuff is just generic junk with flashy, unprototypical paint jobs designed to make people who like other things (Corvettes, Coca-Cola, sports teams, etc), pay too much for a cheap train set. If you must have it for it's Corvette theme in your collection, then go ahead and get it. But be prepared for it to be a shelf queen. Depending on how old it is, it may not run at all, and if it does, it might have a very old mechanism and uninsulated chassis, which would require a lot of work to convert to DCC. If what you're really looking for is an operational train, I wouldn't take the chance.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I actually already own it, have for years as a part of my Corvette collection. Got it pretty cheap considering what they go for on eBay right now.

My understanding is that you would just need to insulate the motor to convert to DCC?



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"insulate the motor to go DCC". In NO way is this correct !! Are you putting us on ?! Are you going to buy a $50 decoder and install it in the engine ? Are going to mount a $25 speaker in it too, for sound ? Do you already have a DCC throttle ? If no, an NCE PowerCab is $160.00 ⛰🛤🚦
 

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"insulate the motor to go DCC". In NO way is this correct !! Are you putting us on ?! Are you going to buy a $50 decoder and install it in the engine ? Are going to mount a $25 speaker in it too, for sound ? Do you already have a DCC throttle ? If no, an NCE PowerCab is $160.00
I'm aware of all that, thank you

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You got it Hobo. Its pretty much one of those vintage Bachmann F7s that you can buy with the caboose for 15$, just a different color scheme.
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Since you already have it, why not convert it to DCC! It's not so much isolating the motor as it is isolating the motor brush connections from the chassis, then isolating the lighting from the chassis, Essentially the the track power needs to be isolated from motor and light power (not even a common ground between track, motor and lights) . After you figure out who made it, there are probably lots of help on how best to accomplish this.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Since you already have it, why not convert it to DCC! It's not so much isolating the motor as it is isolating the motor brush connections from the chassis, then isolating the lighting from the chassis, Essentially the the track power needs to be isolated from motor and light power (not even a common ground between track, motor and lights) . After you figure out who made it, there are probably lots of help on how best to accomplish this.
I think that's the plan. I'm not too afraid of the electrical work, might take some tinkering. Looks like decoders are pretty cheap. Will the universal Bachmann decoders work just fine?

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Discussion Starter #11
You got it Hobo. Its pretty much one of those vintage Bachmann F7s that you can buy with the caboose for 15$, just a different color scheme.
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It's amazing how values change depending on the crowd. These go for $300+ for the set on eBay as a collectors item. I don't most of them have ever been run (I didn't pay nearly that for it in case your wondering!)

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Even if someone tried putting that up for 300$ or more, it would likely be relisted repeatedly until brought down to a lower price.
 

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I can't see that as a collector item even for a Corvette enthusiast.

If they painted one up in the 1970 Buick GSX paint scheme I still wouldn't be interested.
 

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🌈 I keep thinking this: If I understand you correctly, you want to keep and modify this engine because of it's paint scheme (livery) being Corvette. If so, what about buying another engine, same type (F7) 'DCC/sound on board' and exchanging shells ? It's not likely they both mount the same. But it's likely you'd only have to make new slots in your shell to match the tabs on the new chassis, and maybe do some minor headlight adaption work...
 

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On ebay, there is a difference between "what they go for", and what they actually end up selling for......
I like to use eBay's "Sold Listings" filter to see about what things are selling for before I buy something.

You'd be surprised, but one of the complete Corvette sets recently sold for $350 plus shipping. Definitely not worth that much in my opinion, but apparently It was to somebody else.


I'd consider doing what telltale suggested and find another Bachmann F7 with DCC (they've made a few recently from what I've seen) and swap the chassis with your locomotive. As far as locomotive value vs. conversion cost it's probably not worth it to most people. If it's what you want though that's all that matters. From what I can tell looking at the Bachmann parts website, most of their F units use the same chassis. I'm not 100% positive of that, but it looks like it to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I like to use eBay's "Sold Listings" filter to see about what things are selling for before I buy something.

You'd be surprised, but one of the complete Corvette sets recently sold for $350 plus shipping. Definitely not worth that much in my opinion, but apparently It was to somebody else.


I'd consider doing what telltale suggested and find another Bachmann F7 with DCC (they've made a few recently from what I've seen) and swap the chassis with your locomotive. As far as locomotive value vs. conversion cost it's probably not worth it to most people. If it's what you want though that's all that matters. From what I can tell looking at the Bachmann parts website, most of their F units use the same chassis. I'm not 100% positive of that, but it looks like it to me.
Yup, not surprised. The Corvette collectors will collect anything and everything with Corvette branding on it. I got a partial set with damage, so it was cheap. Still cool to me, though I'd love the rest of the cars. But not really at that price.

Like I said it's, interesting to me that the perceived value is SIGNIFICANTLY different between the Corvette and train crowds.

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I like to use eBay's "Sold Listings" filter to see about what things are selling for before I buy something.

You'd be surprised, but one of the complete Corvette sets recently sold for $350 plus shipping. Definitely not worth that much in my opinion, but apparently It was to somebody else.


I'd consider doing what telltale suggested and find another Bachmann F7 with DCC (they've made a few recently from what I've seen) and swap the chassis with your locomotive. As far as locomotive value vs. conversion cost it's probably not worth it to most people. If it's what you want though that's all that matters. From what I can tell looking at the Bachmann parts website, most of their F units use the same chassis. I'm not 100% positive of that, but it looks like it to me.
Pffft. 350$ AND shipping??? There are hundreds of better locomotives you could get for that price. I can't understand why anyone would pay that much for a pre-owned vintage locomotive, its not even steam!
 

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I know of NO REASON why you can't install a decoder in that loco. If you like it, run it. Not sure I would go with a Bachmann brand decoder. But swapping to a newer Bachmann chassis also sounds like a workable plan!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Pffft. 350$ AND shipping??? There are hundreds of better locomotives you could get for that price. I can't understand why anyone would pay that much for a pre-owned vintage locomotive, its not even steam!
I think your missing the point. Your looking at it as a model train, they are seeing it as a piece of Corvette memorabilia. I'm betting that buyer doesn't even have any track. Or if he does, it runs around a room full of other Corvette items. I've got several hundred dollars worth of Corvette items sitting on a shelf doing nothing, and this was one of them until my son took an interest in trains.

Different folks, different strokes.


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