Does anybody know why Bachmann did a complete U turn on the issue of
fitting chips? At the Bachmann DCC demo at Model Zone last October the
response was that hell would freeze over before they prefitted chips. I
wonder if Hornby fitting chips had something to do with it.
I think this is a big mistake by both Bachmann & Hornby. I'd prefer all
locos to be DCC ready but not pre-fitted with decoders - at least not unless
the decoder quality is going to be on a par with Lenz Silver and Gold.
It does of course depend on how you interpret "DCC ready"!
Its no good fitting an 8 pin socket if there is no space for a decent
decoder and it's wiring harness.
You also need to be easily able to access a storage space without damaging
injector pipes etc. by removing the body; more easily done with diesel than
steam outline of course.
If that is going to be a problem I'd prefer a half decent decoder ready
You have to agree it makes business sense though, as punters are being
charged at least £10 for a chip that has probably cost less than £1, so
that's £9 profit for Bachmann and not £14 + for Lenz.
I have also come across allot of modellers who do not have the slightest
idea of how to fit a chip and they are almost afraid of doing so, until
For these people fitted chips seem a good idea, ever if we know they
probably are not.
In message , Kevin
The American Bachmann has been fitting chips for some time. My USRA
2-10-2 came with a chip in it. (Mind you, the bogies on the tender were
screwed up too tightly, so the tender would derail at the first
opportunity. Loosening the trailing bogie a tad has solved that
"David Westerman" wrote
No argument with that.
Absolutely, but that is something which it ought to be possible at the
design stage. Manufacturers might also like to consider more use of the
NEM651 (as opposed to the NEM652 8-pin socket). The 6-pin NEM651 could find
widespread favour in many British outline steam models.
But that should be a design feature whether the loco was to be used for DC
or DCC operation, as maintenance is a need irrespective of the mode of
I don't want half-decent decoder and don't want to pay for them at all - I
want the best there is, or I'd prefer to go back to DC.
As a matter of interest - what chips are Bachmann supposed to be
factory fitting ? Their own 4 function chip at least - I hope. At least
that has the "silent" option compared to the single function chip, or
even the socketless chipped PCB in the trainsets.
Can't wait for the Hornby retooled class 56 with DCC sound which they
will anounce for 2007 !!!! Well, they can't let Bachmann steal the
market can they ?
You can improve the performance of the DCC fitted 25/3 in the Digital
Freight set by snipping the plethora of capacitors which surround the motor.
This improves matters and reduces the buzzing, but even then it's still a
pretty naff decoder.
If that's going to be typical of the decoders which will be supplied with
the DCC 'On Board' locos from Bachmann and/or Hornby I want nothing to do
IMHO you are being unfairly critical, the LE1000 performs as
advertised. It was introduced as a cheap decoder specifically for
those who did not want or could not afford to splash out on top of the
range models. Clearly Lenz were not going to provide full 'Gold'
features at less than half the price whilst people are still prepared
to pay the premium prices but the LE1000 does its job competently and
I have no intention ofreplacing those I have. However I won't be
getting anymore as there is now more competition in the budget price
area and better decoders are available from TCS or Northcoast for very
little more, well under Gold prices.
I don't argue with any of what you say and if the LE1000 style decoders (or
similar) meet your requirements then that's fine - each to his own.
All I'm saying is that if I'm going to play with toy trains then I want to
play with the best I can afford, and whilst I'm not willing at this time to
contemplate spending GBP100+ on a sound decoder, I am perfectly happy in
spending GBP19.50 (less discount) for Lenz Silvers (Golds are only necessary
if you want their advanced features) for the vastly improved running
qualities that these offer.
What I'm not willing to contemplate is the increased price of a ready-to-run
loco just because Bachmann or Hornby want to add cheap mass produced LE1000
quality decoders, which I'm only likely to want to remove and dump before
fitting a quality decoder.
'DCC Ready' is in my humble opinion the correct route for the RTR
manufacturers to follow, but if they choose to go for 'DCC Fitted' (or 'DCC
On Board') then I believe they should be looking at the quality end of the
decoder market, but I fear they won't.
Keith, I have to take issue with you because myself and my mate went
through the DCC starter set "learning curve".
I bought a Roco HOe DCC starter set with a lokmaus 2, a HOe steam
engine, 2 wagons, an oval of track, 3 points and track to make a loop
and a siding.
My set cost me =A3167 from a well known retailer in Oxfordshire. I
purposely bought the set to transfer the decoder into a very similar
Austrian loco, and resold the dechipped loco on ebay for approx 65% of
the original set price. This provided me with the DCC control system
for HO and HOe which I am perfectly happy with, as well as a DCC loco I
am very happy with.
I consider the set to be "a starter set", something you can add to, get
the feel of, but most importantly, be a good ambassador for DCC, and
make you want to progress with DCC.
A year later, my mate decides to model 1980s BR blue diesels,
particularly keen on class 25s and eventually digital on-board sound.
Knowing someone who has a spare blue 25 body, my mate decides that the
Bachmann diesel freight starter set is his way forward and pays =A384ish
for the aforementioned set.
We both decided that the 25 was electrically noisy. Having bought other
Bachmann type 2s and fitted them with the Bachmann 4 function decoders
we realised that it was possible to alter CV50 for "silent running
mode" which made a considerable difference.
The only problems were
1) couldn't alter CVs using the Bachmann EZ command unit
2) couldn't alter CV50 on the "trainset" 25 with it's cheapo LE1000
My Lokmaus2 controller was able to change the CVs (at least 1-99) so
that was sorted, but the "starter set" in my opinion is not that.
I don't think the noisy class 25 endears anyone to DCC, experiencing
that as the first engine will be a turn off, indeed was a turnoff to my
mate, who had fortunately experienced quiet engines before that.
Bachmann's cheapo approach to introducing the "starter set" is just
that - too cheap. I think it should be rebranded as a DCC sampler set.
Finally, I would urge anyone who is unhappy with the noisy class 25 to
contact Bachmann and tell them what you think of it. I can't say
anymore but my mate is a little happier now - especially after fitting
a SouthWestDigital class 25 sound chip to it !!
I paid =A3167 The loco performed exach