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Discussion Starter #1
I realize this is a long shot but here goes anyway....

I picked one of these up @ MB Klein before the "new" batch came in and the prices went up to $200. Sure enough, like the BLI before it, this one wouldn't run either so I sent in another request for an RMA and was told they're only processing one return a week and I'd have to wait for a manager to send the authorization.

The BLI went back about a month ago so I'm a wee bit confused about their response, but whatever. I figured since I'm waiting, I may as well see if I can't figure out what's wrong with it in case it's something easy to fix. Pulled off the tender shell and the trouble was immediately apparent-Long Duc Dong wasn't exactly paying attention during assembly and mashed the hair thin wires running from the decoder to the motor with the tender shell, resulting in torn insulation and a high open. I moved the wires over a bit, put the shell back on, and now she's running. Not well, but running. The wires are long enough that I could cut out the bad section and still have enough length to solder them back together, but without complete disassembly I'd have to make the repair really close to the tender's plastic "underframe," which could result in some serious meltage.

Before I proceed I need some information. This engine actually runs extremely well at at a snails pace-in fact it creeps along almost imperceptibly, far slower than any other engine I own, but at anything above a crawl it gets a little jerky. Am I deluding myself thinking this will smooth itself out with a little run time?
Also, it appears to have exactly 4 speed steps. At 25% throttle, it lights up, gets noisy, and starts sloooooowly moving. Turning the dial up results in no change in speed until it hits 50%, same again until 75%, and only a slight increase from there to full throttle. This isn't a deal breaker...but is it normal? My layout is DC at the moment so I can't do anything about programming the decoder, but could that be all it needs?

Thanks guys!
 

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I realize this is a long shot but here goes anyway....

I picked one of these up @ MB Klein before the "new" batch came in and the prices went up to $200. Sure enough, like the BLI before it, this one wouldn't run either so I sent in another request for an RMA and was told they're only processing one return a week and I'd have to wait for a manager to send the authorization.

The BLI went back about a month ago so I'm a wee bit confused about their response, but whatever. I figured since I'm waiting, I may as well see if I can't figure out what's wrong with it in case it's something easy to fix. Pulled off the tender shell and the trouble was immediately apparent-Long Duc Dong wasn't exactly paying attention during assembly and mashed the hair thin wires running from the decoder to the motor with the tender shell, resulting in torn insulation and a high open. I moved the wires over a bit, put the shell back on, and now she's running. Not well, but running. The wires are long enough that I could cut out the bad section and still have enough length to solder them back together, but without complete disassembly I'd have to make the repair really close to the tender's plastic "underframe," which could result in some serious meltage.

Before I proceed I need some information. This engine actually runs extremely well at at a snails pace-in fact it creeps along almost imperceptibly, far slower than any other engine I own, but at anything above a crawl it gets a little jerky. Am I deluding myself thinking this will smooth itself out with a little run time?
Also, it appears to have exactly 4 speed steps. At 25% throttle, it lights up, gets noisy, and starts sloooooowly moving. Turning the dial up results in no change in speed until it hits 50%, same again until 75%, and only a slight increase from there to full throttle. This isn't a deal breaker...but is it normal? My layout is DC at the moment so I can't do anything about programming the decoder, but could that be all it needs?

Thanks guys!

gimme30;

Welcome back!
I don't have a definitive answer for your question, but I'll give you the (quite possibly dubious) "benefit" of my hunch.
If I remember correctly you are using a low-end DC power pack, is that correct? If so, and to some extent with any DC power pack, your degree of control over a DCC locomotive, using DC, may be limited. Certainly you won't have the fine speed control that a DCC controller, set for 128 speed steps, will, over that same locomotive.
So my hunch is that you fixed the only problem. Since returns are, apparently, very delayed at best, you have a decision to make. In the immortal words of your avatar, "You need to ask yourself one question, Do I feel lucky?" "Well punk, do you?"

Technically, what you have already done voids the warranty, and the return privilege, if the dealer wants to be a real pr***k about such things. I doubt it, but one never knows.
What may perhaps be more likely, is that when you send it back, they will find that it runs (possibly beautifully on their DCC system) and they will think you're a nut & send it back. Then you could get into a long cycle of shipping the loco back and forth.
However, there is a gamble in keeping the loco. What I suggest would be to find somebody with N-scale and DCC, ideally in your area; or, if necessary, farther away. (like me) and have them test your locomotive. I certainly would not solder the wires, or do any other disassembly/repair, if you have any intention of returning the locomotive. If they can tell you messed with it, warranty goes out the window.

Good Luck & Have Fun & write in occasionally;

Traction Fan :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the welcome back TF! Yes, I've been remiss in my forum posting duties....but when it's nice out like it has been I can hear my bike yelling RIDE ME from all the way out in the garage and, like the wife, it's not something easily ignored. Besides, the bike always runs great, unlike these golblasted stinkin' locomotives!

Your memory is intact, I was indeed using a cheapo power pack, a Bachmann unit that came with a Dewitt Clinton set I just couldn't resist. But it was on it's way out so I've since upgraded to a NEW and IMPROVED cheapo power pack, MRC's Railpower 1300. Which works fine. But no, I don't feel lucky! I won't be buying any more steamers until Kato (or Atlas or Athearn) comes out with one...(cue the violins here;)) I just can't take the heartbreak!

Actually I'm just sick of the whole return process. Even wifey doesn't complain about my train spending any more, she knows it'll just be refunded.

Back to the Mogul.....

I was hoping someone that owned one would chime in, as I don't know anyone around here modeling N and the local hobby shop isn't exactly train-centric. (Hobbytown:rolleyes:) I only took the chance on this one based on mostly positive reviews, including Spookshow's take on it and his A rating on the current(ish) issues. Model Power was the only brand left I hadn't tried-not counting the Euro brands, and I'm not quite ready to take that leap yet. Anyway, loosening the bottom plate smoothed out any jerkiness, so the deciding factor here is whether or not I'm stuck with just the 4 speed variations. I could almost live with full throttle all the time as the top end on this thing is actually really slow, but it's still a little faster than I normally like to run them. That is, when I'm not intentionally trying to launch them across the room.

I suspect eliminating the open may help a little, but as you said it'd void the warranty so...still on the fence there.

Urgh, I have to get to work. Thanks for your thoughts TF, I'll have to get back to this later!

Take care!
 

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Aw, go on, take the leap.
 

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Thanks for the welcome back TF! Yes, I've been remiss in my forum posting duties....but when it's nice out like it has been I can hear my bike yelling RIDE ME from all the way out in the garage and, like the wife, it's not something easily ignored. Besides, the bike always runs great, unlike these golblasted stinkin' locomotives!

Your memory is intact, I was indeed using a cheapo power pack, a Bachmann unit that came with a Dewitt Clinton set I just couldn't resist. But it was on it's way out so I've since upgraded to a NEW and IMPROVED cheapo power pack, MRC's Railpower 1300. Which works fine. But no, I don't feel lucky! I won't be buying any more steamers until Kato (or Atlas or Athearn) comes out with one...(cue the violins here;)) I just can't take the heartbreak!

Actually I'm just sick of the whole return process. Even wifey doesn't complain about my train spending any more, she knows it'll just be refunded.

Back to the Mogul.....

I was hoping someone that owned one would chime in, as I don't know anyone around here modeling N and the local hobby shop isn't exactly train-centric. (Hobbytown:rolleyes:) I only took the chance on this one based on mostly positive reviews, including Spookshow's take on it and his A rating on the current(ish) issues. Model Power was the only brand left I hadn't tried-not counting the Euro brands, and I'm not quite ready to take that leap yet. Anyway, loosening the bottom plate smoothed out any jerkiness, so the deciding factor here is whether or not I'm stuck with just the 4 speed variations. I could almost live with full throttle all the time as the top end on this thing is actually really slow, but it's still a little faster than I normally like to run them. That is, when I'm not intentionally trying to launch them across the room.

I suspect eliminating the open may help a little, but as you said it'd void the warranty so...still on the fence there.

Urgh, I have to get to work. Thanks for your thoughts TF, I'll have to get back to this later!

Take care!
Gimme30;

At least you have a bike to ride. My geezercycle chewed one of it's crankshaft* bearing assemblies into steel confetti on my most recent Costco run. I ordered a new set of bearings from Amazon, and they are expected to arrive in AUGUST! Fortunately my kind wife took pity on me and found one of the few full-service bicycle shops still in business in San Diego that would order the bearings, and they are expected this coming Friday.
No bike for a week is a whole lot better than no bike for two months!
Do you remember that old song about "I'd like to get you on a slow boat to China?"
Well, on the way back, the galley slaves union rep., Charlton Heston**, demanded a long rest period for the rank file (they sweat a lot down there you know) and no water skiing by the officers on the way back. This is the "good ship lolligag" that Amazon uses for its prime shipping! If you could use a few more laughs, check out my two new threads in the Union Station section of this forum.

regards, and jealousy "blowin" in the wind' though your hair ;

Traction Fan :mad:

* For your benefit smog sniffer, the "Black Beauty" geezercycle's crankshaft is located between the pedals I push, and push, and push, and now can't.

** This is a reference to the old movie "Ben Hur" which may be before your time.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
TF, just how old IS the geezercycle? Or is it more a matter of mileage than age? Either way, you must really be pumpin' away to chew up crank bearings!
Maybe you should consider upgrading. I mean, why wait til Friday when Wallyworld could have this beauty on your doorstep in 2 days!
543953


**Pink, because I know you like to impress the ladies. :p

*** Lessee, Charlton Heston, Ben Hur...wait, I get it! Charlton ben hur over the table and had his way with hur! That was before 'lectricity, right?
 

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Ha! Enabler!

I've actually been eyeballing these two:
View attachment 543947
View attachment 543948

But who the heck is Fleischmann? For all I know they could be EuroBachmann....or Mongolian Model Power......
And the couplers, ugh!
Those are both very nice locomotives.

There are no bad European brands. They are all excellent quality models. Some are still better than others in areas of detail, but you won't have trouble with anything you choose.

Fleischmann, Roco, Brawa, Trix, Märklin, Bemo, A.C.M.E., and Piko are all well respected brands around the world.

Gützold, and Jägerndorfer, are somewhat super high end for many of their models, but others are priced as reasonably as the former. Gützold makes incredibly detailed steam locomotives with every pipe and fitting that was on the prototype.
 

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TF, just how old IS the geezercycle? Or is it more a matter of mileage than age? Either way, you must really be pumpin' away to chew up crank bearings!
Maybe you should consider upgrading. I mean, why wait til Friday when Wallyworld could have this beauty on your doorstep in 2 days!
View attachment 543953

**Pink, because I know you like to impress the ladies. :p

*** Lessee, Charlton Heston, Ben Hur...wait, I get it! Charlton ben hur over the table and had his way with hur! That was before 'lectricity, right?
gimme30;

What a dirty mind you have!
In the movie "Ben Hur" , Charlton Heston played a Jewish guy sentenced to slavery on a Roman galley. Being the star of this old flick, Charlie gets loose and captures the captain of the recently sunk galley. Later he takes a ride you would have liked, in a racing chariot. The baddy has big o'l knives sticking out of his chariot's axles and gos around cutting the other racers off, at the wheels. It is an old movie but it's "modern" enough that it has sound, and was filmed in color. No, it doesn't predate electricity smart guy.
The geezer cycle is about ten years old. It was done in by ATS (acute testosterone syndrome) Real men don't read directions, at least until far too late. Turns out I was supposed to have those bearings greased annually. Um, oops! :confused:
My wife will get a laugh from your pink golf cart suggestion. I hate pink.

Jeff Foxworthy found a fan in his audience who hailed from Mississippi. Foxworthy (himself a redneck) said with, great enthusiasm, "Hey,are you from Mississippi ? When the guy said yes, Foxworthy pointed to the stage lights and replied :This electricity is somethin else isn't it ?

Traction Fan :)
Ha! Enabler!

I've actually been eyeballing these two:
View attachment 543947
View attachment 543948

But who the heck is Fleischmann? For all I know they could be EuroBachmann....or Mongolian Model Power......
And the couplers, ugh!
Gimme30;

Have you accepted an invitation from MichaelE to "Go over to the Dark Side" (of the Atlantic) He offered me one when I mentioned that few American railroads used electric locomotives. (unlike Europe, & the rest of the world, where they are common) Being vested up to the edge of bankruptcy in the Milwaukee Road, I resisted.
If you want to go overseas in your epic quest for a steam locomotive that runs well, Michael's your guy for Europe.

I'll put in a suggestion for Japan, on behalf of my favorite locomotive maker, Kato. They don't make many steamers at all, but the ones they do make, like all their products, are excellent. The only Kato, US prototype, steamers I've seen are the 2-8-2 Mikado, and the 4-8-4 Northern. The Mikados, and maybe the Northers as well, are out of production, and either would be very unhappy with your 9-3/4" curves, even if you could find a used one. However, Kato makes some Japanese prototype steam locomotives that look good, and run super smooth, just like their American cousins. I have two. One is a 4-6-4 "Hudson" (named after the world's cutest grandson, mine) and a ten wheeler? (excuse my senior moment) Each has only six drivers, not eight like the Mikado & Northern, so they could probably handle your layout's hairpin bends.
Both are also good "Americanising" prospects too, since we have had plenty of Hudsons & ten wheelers.
You might also consider the Roundhouse brand little 2-8-0 Consolidation "old timer." (named after me) It is short enough that it should handle tight curves, and is a nice smooth runner. The 8 drivers on it are small, and close together, so the rigid wheelbase is similar to that of a larger, six-drivered loco. Mine is shown below.
Another possibility on the used market is an old "ConCor" brand (but made by Kato) J3 4-6-4 Hudson (there's that grandson again) It's a famous US (NYC) prototype, and smooth runner. It's old, early Kato, so the mechanism though superb for it's time, is not AS smooth as current production. Still, it could crawl form tie-to-tie at impressively slow steady speed.

Good Luck & Good Hunting;

Traction Fan :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Have you accepted an invitation from MichaelE to "Go over to the Dark Side"
You know it brother! I did some poking around and it turns out Fleischmann has been around forever, possibly even longer than you have! Plus they're German, and Germans make good stuff. Their website on the other hand is a little lacking...no mention of minimum radius to be found anywhere, although that could be a deficiency of google translate. And then there's the coupler. Apparently, these conform to NEM 355 which as far as I can determine only means they're equipped with a coupler box. You may remember my attempt to replace the Rapido on Tomix's cleaning car? That did NOT go well. The recommended MT coupler doesn't actually fit and I wound up ruining the whole contraption on one end. No way am I going through that again.

If Kato were a stripper there's no limit to the amount of cash I'd stuff in her G-string but as you said, they don't make anything other than the FEF, which of course is too big for my layout. I do have one of the Japanese market engines, pic posted here: Get anything new?
Runs fine, (not great) but it's too light to pull more than 4 or 5 cars. As for used specimens, I've been burned one too many times on fleecebay so not going there again.

I've had your namesake loco on backorder for some time now (an Athearn version: https://www.trainworld.com/manufacturers/athearn/athearn-06806-old-time-2-8-0-d-rgw-944/) but the way they keep pushing out the date means I'll be an old timer before it ever gets released!

Btw, the Mogul's going back. Which means I'll have $$ to spend on that steampunkalishous GtL.....
 

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You know it brother! I did some poking around and it turns out Fleischmann has been around forever, possibly even longer than you have! Plus they're German, and Germans make good stuff. Their website on the other hand is a little lacking...no mention of minimum radius to be found anywhere, although that could be a deficiency of google translate. And then there's the coupler. Apparently, these conform to NEM 355 which as far as I can determine only means they're equipped with a coupler box. You may remember my attempt to replace the Rapido on Tomix's cleaning car? That did NOT go well. The recommended MT coupler doesn't actually fit and I wound up ruining the whole contraption on one end. No way am I going through that again.

If Kato were a stripper there's no limit to the amount of cash I'd stuff in her G-string but as you said, they don't make anything other than the FEF, which of course is too big for my layout. I do have one of the Japanese market engines, pic posted here: Get anything new?
Runs fine, (not great) but it's too light to pull more than 4 or 5 cars. As for used specimens, I've been burned one too many times on fleecebay so not going there again.

I've had your namesake loco on backorder for some time now (an Athearn version: https://www.trainworld.com/manufacturers/athearn/athearn-06806-old-time-2-8-0-d-rgw-944/) but the way they keep pushing out the date means I'll be an old timer before it ever gets released!

Btw, the Mogul's going back. Which means I'll have $$ to spend on that steampunkalishous GtL.....
gimme30;

That Athearn "old timer" looks like the motor's in the tender. That arrangement means that the bulk of the weight is also in the tender, not in the locomotive. The drive shaft between loco and tender, means the drive that moves the train along the track is in the locomotive, with likely little or no weight over the driver wheels. This does not make for decent traction, and it may not pull much as a result. The few locos I've had with a tender-mounted motor, some old Rivarossi HO-sale 4-4-0 Americans and two Bachmann N-scale 4-4-0 Americans, have all been quite wimpy pullers. My roundhouse brand "old timer" has the motor in the locomotive, where it should be. It's such a small locomotive that I won't try to use it to pull any more than a few cars, but I think it's at least a better design. You might check if it's still available.
Athearn is a very good brand, so they may have compensated for the tender-mounted-motor configuration by filling their "old timer" loco with depleted uranium or something else that's like you motorcycle guys, extraordinarily dense, & heavy. 😊 (Don't laugh too much.That's actually been done once in the "cotton brute" diesel, custom-made to pull very long trains on N-Track layouts!)
As for your new Kato 2-6-0 "Prairie" steam loco , When you scratch-build a brass, American style, body to put on it, that should help it to pull better. 😄
MichaelE will know far better than I, but i think some European model trains are designed to operate on very tight curves. Many European homes have very little spare room, so the layouts tend to be smaller, and thus curves tighter? He should also be able to tell you what "NEM 355" means.

regards;

Traction Fan :)
 

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I just saw your post and I am having the same issues with my Mogul 2-6-0. Of course, as I am just getting back into this hobby this is the first engine that I invest in. I bought it as I found out that my grandfather worked on them for the Illinois Central Railroad in the 1910s. Sentimental I guess. It's hard to find IC railroad stuff in N-scale.

I contacted the shop I bought it from who informed me that MRC is no longer making this model so the choice is to keep it (going slow on DC or DCC control) or return it for a full refund. No replacements are available. It took 4 weeks but I just received the RMA. I am disappointed for sure but now feel better that I am not the only one with the lack of speed issue and that it is not anything that the novice (me) did or didn't do.

Thanks for letting me vent. So I better make a decision soon.

Regards,

Peddler32
 

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I just saw your post and I am having the same issues with my Mogul 2-6-0. Of course, as I am just getting back into this hobby this is the first engine that I invest in. I bought it as I found out that my grandfather worked on them for the Illinois Central Railroad in the 1910s. Sentimental I guess. It's hard to find IC railroad stuff in N-scale.

I contacted the shop I bought it from who informed me that MRC is no longer making this model so the choice is to keep it (going slow on DC or DCC control) or return it for a full refund. No replacements are available. It took 4 weeks but I just received the RMA. I am disappointed for sure but now feel better that I am not the only one with the lack of speed issue and that it is not anything that the novice (me) did or didn't do.

Thanks for letting me vent. So I better make a decision soon.

Regards,

Peddler32
Peddler32;

If you haven't already done so, you might go back through gimme 30's thread here, to the beginning. He's had pretty bad luck with some of his loco purchases, and his layout, and his Atlas Snap Switch turnouts, etc.
I've tried to help him whenever I could, and that also shows up in both this thread, and another of his earlier threads called "Kato GG! leading/trailing trucks derail like crazy."
How long have you been out of the hobby, and what was your prior experience? If there is anything I can help you with, please let me know.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
....MRC is no longer making this model
Yep, not a word about loco's on their site-and no way to tell who's making them now.
You sure picked a tough road name to model! I found all of TWO diesels, a GP10 from Intermountain and Atlas's GP35. We're not exactly overwhelmed with choices in N scale, especially when it comes to steam, and finding IC equipment is going to be a challenge. You might get lucky on the secondary market.

He's had pretty bad luck with some of his loco purchases
Unfortunately this is too true, and not limited to any particular brand either. But I received a great pair recently! I'm partial to D&RGW and picked up a couple GP30's from Atlas and man are they GREAT runners! Super smooth, super quiet, and almost as good looking as I am.
Nonetheless that GtL is on my short list-just as soon as I can figure out what it will take to change couplers.
 
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