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BLI Locomotive problems

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  • Member since
    September, 2017
  • 3 posts
BLI Locomotive problems
Posted by USS Wisconsin on Sunday, September 10, 2017 5:31 PM

I have recently purchased a HO BLI E7A and after I unboxed it and put it on my track all the sounds and lights worked but it didnt move. Later with the help of my father and brother we discovered that one wire on the DCC board was disconnected after we soldered it in the locomotive would move. however i am a perfectionist and noticed that something in the locomotive makes a grinding sound when moving and is very slugish in acceleration and deacceleration and from what track space i have doesnt move very fast. My question i guess is is there something wrong with the locomotive and what could it be or am i just paranoid like my father says i am?

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
  • 21,315 posts
Posted by selector on Monday, September 11, 2017 1:01 PM

It should move smoothly.  However, and especially newer locomotives, they can often stagger a wee bit in the first through fourth speed step.  Sometimes is goes away, sometimes it only goes away after running for a few minutes and everything warms up some.  And this is not just BLI's's hobby-wide.

The better drives coupled to the most modern decoders are unbelievably smooth.  Even so, a 'better drive' mechanism in DC should be buttery smooth.  So, sometimes the factor left flapping in the wind is the decoder itself. Many need setting up by the owner/operator to get the best performance out of the drive across the range of speeds.

I have an older 'stealth' model of a BLI Class J 40804.  This means it was marketed without a decoder for DC operators's sakes.  I had a friend install an original model of the Soundtraxx Tsunami.  I didn't like the way it moved at low speeds.  Then I saw a post written by a fellow who didn't like his Tsunami's performance any more than I did, except he did something constructive about it.  He delved into the extensive manual and began to experiment with instructions on how to get great low-speed performance.  I followed his instructions and found that I could get amazingly smooth movement at speed step "1".  To be clear, this was as good as, or better than, any LokSound decoder I have.  From a Tsunami!!

So I don't prattle on for the next ten minutes, it might be the drive, and BLI should look at it.  But don't hesitate to save yourself the costs of shipping it back by tweaking a few performance CV's first.

  • Member since
    December, 2015
  • 3,192 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Monday, September 11, 2017 5:38 PM

You shouldn't have to solder wires or take apart the trucks to look for garbage in the gears.

It may well be within your skill set to do so, but if you mess up, BLI is going to say "it's not our fault".

 I poked around the internet and I couldn't figure out who makes your decoder.  Loksound decoder are noisy for some people, not for everyone, but those that experience noise, don't usually complain that they are also slow.


COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    November, 2013
  • From: various locations
  • 2,111 posts
Posted by BMMECNYC on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 8:51 PM

I poked around the internet and I couldn't figure out who makes your decoder.

Its BLI's proprietary decoder (Paragon insert a number).  From what I understood from email conversations with them about a separate issue (covering all paragon 2 decoders), they have their own in house decoder people.

All of that said, 

I would send it back at this point (to BLI) or at least call them or email and describe the problem.  Their customer support has been pretty good each time I have contacted them.

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.
  • Member since
    November, 2006
  • From: NW Pa Snow-belt.
  • 1,409 posts
Posted by ricktrains4824 on Thursday, September 14, 2017 9:02 AM

BLI loco's have been hit-or-miss, QC wise, for me. (But that is just a manufacturing issue, not limited to any one manufacturer in any field.) 

On my one that had issues, BLI service dept was great and got it taken care of quickly, and at no charge for me. (Other than shipping to them, which is not that expensive when dealing with an HO scale locomotive.)

My other one runs flawlessly.

I would contact them and have them take a look at it, and either repair/replace the offending unit. 

CURIOUS: Which wire was loose? That may have a point in the issue...

Ricky W.

HO scale Proto-freelancer.

My Railroad rules:

1: It's my railroad, my rules.

2: It's for having fun and enjoyment.

3: Any objections, consult above rules.

  • Member since
    September, 2017
  • 3 posts
Posted by USS Wisconsin on Friday, September 15, 2017 1:00 PM

it was the wire leading to the motor the color was brown

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