Bachman -- a bust ?? & Riverossi too.

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Dave Harris, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    I just gave my new Spectrum Shay a trial & a new Heisler as well. I can't believe how they will not move unles you have about 30 % power on & then they take off like a dragster -- I relly expected better "crawl" from them.
    I have 4 MDC Shays I reworked motors & gearing on , including adapting Grandt line ring & pinion gears to the wheels, that will crawl slow enough to take 5 -6 minutes to go 3 feet.
  2. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    I have the Shey and love it. Nice and slow easy going.
  3. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Smooth running at slow speed model steam locomotives right out of the box? Just doesn't happen consistently with every single model of a production lot. Spectrum steam seems to be a little more hit or miss than some other, more expensive brands.

    Has all the flash been cleaned off the gears? Are there any obvious binds? Is the model properly and sparingly lubed? Has the model been broken in?

    There are really 2 choices - 1) return the model and hope you get a better one on the replacement. 2) using your MDC experience, disassemble the model and fix everything wrong you can find in the gear train.

    my thoughts, your choices
  4. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    I just caught that the only real complaint is that both engines do not run slowly on starting. There is another possible cause beside the drive train issues I already discussed.

    Are you using a rheostat-based power pack? Newer locomotives often use too little current to be controlled at slow speeds with the traditional rheostat. Especially if there is any drive train bind at all. Even without any kind of bind, the current when running will be less than just before starting to move. A mechanism bind, even a slight one, exaggerates the effect. The rheostat will drop less voltage, thereby increasing track voltage, when the motor current drops as soon as the model starts moving. Thus, the model starts with a lurch, and moves out at a good clip. Particularly if the rheostat has insufficient resistance to control the engine in the first place.

    If you are using an old or train set power pack, switch to an MRC Tech 2 or later Tech series (or equivalent). The important point is to use transistor voltage control, not rheostat. If the engines still won't run at slow speeds, then you definitely do have a drive train issue.

    hope this helps
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    As usual, Fred has posted some great advice. One other thing I would add is that you didn't mention if you have run the locomotives enough to break them in. Doing a break in might help the operational characteristics if you haven't done it already. With the Bachmann, you could send it back and have it replaced under warranty, with the Rivarossi, the company has been in and out of bk so often in the last couple of years, that I don't know who would handle warranty issues for the heisler.
  6. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    My Spectrum Shay strarts at a low setting and runs very well. There is no high speed to it. Half speed and full speed are practically the same
  7. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    Well my HO Spectrum Climax cruises along nicely at about 6-7 MPH, I would assume the Shay should to. Did you give it a break-in run - 15 min. running continuously forward at about 3/4 throttle, then the same backwards?? That can make a big difference.
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I would second the break-in advice. I was very disappointed with both my Bachmann Spectrum 10-wheeler's and Consolidation's performance until each had at least an hour's running time (forwards/backwards, and different speeds). Also playing with the starting voltage (DCC) lead to smoother starts and better low speed performance.

  9. rekline

    rekline Member

    I guess it is just me, My Spectrum K4 ran great out of the box. Guess I got lucky.
  10. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

    I can't really add much here except from my own experience. My HO Rivorossi 3 truck Heisler which was converted to AC for a Marklin setup by International Trains in Florida ran very well out of the box. It doesn't have sound but then again it's very small. It will crawl at 2-3 scale mph but is only hauling 4 log cars and an observation car. It travels on a setup with 3 main lines with a total of 160 feet of track, with sidings, etc. It operates on the log loading and log processing part of the display. By the way, this is my first response on this forum. Hello to everyone.
  11. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    rhtastro: Hello and welcome.

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