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Wouldn't this also give them reason to cancel future training classes for technicians. If so you may need to modify your signature line!
Why do I have to modify my signature? Nothing about my status is changing.
Just curious, and I wonder, would they be willing to let the average capable owner remove defective part and send in for a replacement part, as opposed to sending in the whole blasted unit? :unsure:
And exactly how do they identify that "average capable owner"? Offering that option open's Pandora's Box to anyone that thinks they're capable. When you've been in the repair game for a while, you'll get to see a lot of ugly stuff that was done by "average capable owners"! :eek:
 

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I guess what I am saying John is how are you renewing your certification with Lionel as a repair tech. My LHS has a "Factory Autherized Lionel Service Technician" but he got that title in the early 90's and never returned for any follow up training. I'm not exactly willing to let him open up some $2000+ loco when his creditials are basically as good as an "average capable owner". I would gladdly take the class if Lionel offered it but maybe this is only offered to authorized service centers?
I don't expect any future training from Lionel as far as my certification is concerned. It's been many years since Lionel has trained anyone, I don't remember when the last training classes were held. As for repairing modern electronics, I actually don't think I'm behind the 8-ball on that score. Having spent a ton of time designing flight critical avionics for commercial and military aircraft, I think I'm pretty well equipped to deal with model train electronics.

It's not additional training I need, what I need is the basic service information on the modern locomotives and boards. Simple stuff like board pin-out diagrams and locomotive wiring diagrams and I'm all set for the electronic end. FWIW, many people have already trusted me with their $2,000 locomotives, and I expect many more will. Although I still do quite a lot of board level repairs, the whole industry has been moving to non-repairable boards. When you look at the modern boards in the Lionel or MTH locomotives, there are less and less repairs possible on them. I know of very few train techs that are equipped to deal with a lot of the surface mount technology that is currently in use. As parts shrink, the equipment to service the boards becomes more specialized, and way more expensive! My equipment for board repairs stops at my hot air rework tool, the next step up the ladder is getting way too expensive!

Incidentally, I also develop electronics specifically for model train upgrades...
 

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Very well-stated, John. Those newer boards are another reason why I stay away from the newer Lionel locomotives.
Well, you have to stay away with anything that has electronics if you want to avoid the non-repairable stuff. :D I remember well when I could repair almost any board, first with thru-hole components, and even when we went to the early surface mount stuff. It was all large enough to deal with using common tools. If you've ever opened up a cell phone, you'll see most of the components are actually too small to identify without magnification! Most of the resistor and small caps there are 0.2mm x 0.4mm, think about trying to solder one of those in! :D

Like I said, as in everything else, we've become a throw-away society, nothing is made to be repaired nowadays. Add to the fact that most products have a very limited lifespan, and you get lots of piles of trash!
 

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So apparently there are no longer any Independent individuals who are Authorized Service Stations just those dealers that are listed as Service Stations.
And exactly where did you come up with this "fact"? It's news to me, and Lionel has not communicated with me to tell me I'm no longer an Authorized Service Station.
 

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TJ, Joe needs to reread the notice sent out to all registered Service Stations and Dealers. It states that REGISTERED Service Stations will continue to be offered parts at a discount and they will keep them on a list unless they decide to leave the system. Maybe Joe has heard something different since but I have yet to see that announcement. I one received was dated the 13th.

Pete
Pete, can you post a copy of what you got here? I haven't gotten anything yet.
 
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