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Atlas Mark V turnout

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Atlas Mark V turnout
Posted by 1arfarf3 on Saturday, November 6, 2021 4:25 PM

Any problems, concerns, etc with these compared to other brands for DCC use?

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, November 6, 2021 9:48 PM

Since the Mark V turnout is the newest offering by Atlas, and introduced well into the DCC era, I doubt there would be any problems at all to worry about.

Overall, Atlas turnouts are very high quality.

-Kevin

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Posted by JDawg on Saturday, November 6, 2021 9:55 PM

SeeYou190

Since the Mark V turnout is the newest offering by Atlas, and introduced well into the DCC era, I doubt there would be any problems at all to worry about.

Overall, Atlas turnouts are very high quality.

-Kevin

 

I'll second what Kevin said. Atlas turnouts are high quality, dependable, and will last the duration of your layout. As far as dcc goes, I can't say for certain, but I think they have an optionaly powered frog. You should be fine to leave the frog dead, or power it with your preference of switch machine, ground throw, etc.

JJF


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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, November 6, 2021 9:59 PM

Atlas turnouts were DCC friendly before there was DCC.

Been using Atlas turnouts for about 35 years, always happy.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by 1arfarf3 on Sunday, November 7, 2021 4:09 PM

Im new to this DCC stuff.

 

 

I'm new to this DCC stuff.

1. Why power the frogs, then?

2. Peco SLE-88 a Unifrog?

3. How do you avoid having power from both directions?

Thanks.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, November 8, 2021 5:29 AM

1arfarf3

Im new to this DCC stuff.

 

 

I'm new to this DCC stuff.

1. Why power the frogs, then?

2. Peco SLE-88 a Unifrog?

3. How do you avoid having power from both directions?

Thanks.

 

In DC did you ever use power routing all rail turnouts like Shinohara, Walthers, or TruScale? Did you ever build your own turnouts? If not I suggest you stay with Atlas or buy some good books like Paul Mallery's trackwork handbook and his two electrical books.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, November 8, 2021 7:36 AM

1arfarf3
I'm new to this DCC stuff.

That is OK.

1arfarf3
1. Why power the frogs, then?

Frogs only need power if you intend to run very small locomotives where crossing over a short dead piece of track (the frog) would cause the locomotive to stall.

1arfarf3
2. Peco SLE-88 a Unifrog?

I have limited experience with Peco turnouts.

1arfarf3
3. How do you avoid having power from both directions?

Using Atlas turnouts, this really does not matter so much.

As Sheldon suggested, Atlas turnouts are the easiest to use, and require no special electrical knowledge.

I have been involved with the building of a couple of large layouts using Atlas HO scale turnouts and everything was OK.

-Kevin

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Posted by Remeyer53 on Monday, November 8, 2021 7:39 AM

As far as DCC is concerned there does not seem to be any problem with the Mark V. However, at least the #6 turnouts have a serious problem with the point hinge falling apart. Nice idea, but the retaining ring on the bottom that holds the points in place falls off easily and is very difficult to replace. Out of the 8 new turnouts on the club modules, three have needed to be replaced before they even went in operation.

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Posted by Water Level Route on Monday, November 8, 2021 8:27 AM

1arfarf3

Im new to this DCC stuff.

 

 

I'm new to this DCC stuff.

1. Why power the frogs, then?

2. Peco SLE-88 a Unifrog?

3. How do you avoid having power from both directions?

Thanks.

 

I'll answer your questions as listed based on my experience/knowledge.

1. Probably only needed for equipment with limited electrical pick-up.  Think a trackmobile or (typically) older locomotives that only got power from two wheels on each rail.

2. That is an electrofrog.  The third letter is the tell.  No third letter is an insulfrog, an E is an electrofrog, and a U is a Unifrog.

3. Insulated rail joiners.  However, depending on your track layout, wiring, and/or goals, these may not be necessary.  Would need more detail to provide advice on this.

Hope this helps.

Mike

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Posted by 1arfarf3 on Monday, November 8, 2021 10:43 AM

The layout is #56 Dayton & Northern in the 101 Track Plans. Thinking of using Peco code 100. I will power frog due to short engines.

Where 2 switches form a cross over, where are insulated joiners used? Each mainline will be on separate power districts.  

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Posted by Lakeshore Sub on Monday, November 8, 2021 1:25 PM

The Dayton and Northern is a 6'X12' rectangle that is open in the middle.  Outer and inner loops that go around the rectanlge with an egine facility, yard and sidings. The plan in the book shows gaps that would be needed to mutiple train operation on a DC layout.   There are no return loops in this plan so technially for DCC operation, there don't need to be any gaps in the track  on the layout as published, even at the crossovers.

    Remember, when using DCC that direction is controlled by the decoder in the engine not the polarity on the track so you don't need to isolate any of the tracks from each other with this plan.   Not sure that you really mean power districts for each of the loops because they don't need to be controlled separately using DCC and a layout of this size could be powered by even the smallest of DCC systems available for muti-train operation.

This is all assuming that you are using the published version of the plan and aren't making any changes to the plan as it is.  Are you making any changes to the plan as published?   Hope this helps.

Scott Sonntag

 

 

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Posted by trainnut1250 on Monday, November 8, 2021 3:36 PM

1arfarf3

Im new to this DCC stuff.

 

 

I'm new to this DCC stuff.

1. Why power the frogs, then?

2. Peco SLE-88 a Unifrog?

3. How do you avoid having power from both directions?

Thanks.

 

I would suggest a couple of things here:

First take some time to thoroughly aquaint yourself with the basic wiring schemes for turnouts - good turnout wiring practices are pretty much the same for DCC and DC. To get started either Sheldon's books or cruise on over to Alan Gartner's site (caution - it can be overwhelming)

One of the things that makes this more complicated is that many track makers have changed how their switches are wired over the years. For example the Peco electrofrog - when you find versions from different years they are wired differently, same with shinohara and micro enginering.

This is another reason why it is important to learn about basic switch wiring schemes so you can deal with anything you might encounter....

Another suggestion is to buy some different turnouts from the varioius manufacturers and see which ones suit you best. Now if you are looking to build a small layout this might be overkill, but if the project is large, it can be an enlightening thing to do.

 

Have fun,

Guy

 

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Posted by crossthedog on Monday, November 8, 2021 4:15 PM

SeeYou190
Frogs only need power if you intend to run very small locomotives where crossing over a short dead piece of track (the frog) would cause the locomotive to stall.

Kevin, I would only slightly quibble with the words "only" and "very small" here. My old Roundhouse Atlantic 4-4-2 from the 1970s is not what I would call a small engine at all, and it will go over very few unwired turnout frogs without jerking just a bit or stopping altogether. It can nowise make it across the big (Atlas) curved turnout frogs without electrical assistance. That's why I'm powering all my frogs (and also so that I can run my dad's old Mantua 0-4-0 booster, which hasn't got a prayer traversing any unpowered frogs).

-Matt

 

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by Lakeshore Sub on Monday, November 8, 2021 5:08 PM

Lakeshore Sub

The Dayton and Northern is a 6'X12' rectangle that is open in the middle.  Outer and inner loops that go around the rectanlge with an egine facility, yard and sidings. The plan in the book shows gaps that would be needed to mutiple train operation on a DC layout.   There are no return loops in this plan so technially for DCC operation, there don't need to be any gaps in the track  on the layout as published, even at the crossovers.

Scott Sonntag

As an addition to my own comment:   I would agree with many of the latest comments, in that you might have to experiment to see which brand of turnout works with the plan that you have chosen.  The book mentions that the default on all turnouts are a #4 frog except where specified and nothing is specified on the 23 turnouts on this plan..

Scott Sonntag

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, November 8, 2021 5:51 PM

Remeyer53

As far as DCC is concerned there does not seem to be any problem with the Mark V. However, at least the #6 turnouts have a serious problem with the point hinge falling apart. Nice idea, but the retaining ring on the bottom that holds the points in place falls off easily and is very difficult to replace. Out of the 8 new turnouts on the club modules, three have needed to be replaced before they even went in operation.

 

Code 100 or Code 83? Because the code 83 products are not Mark V, and only the #8 code 83 Custom Line turnout is even identified with any "Mark" designation - Mark IV.

I have no doubt that you had some problem turnouts, defective product does happen. But I have nearly 100 Atlas Custom Line code 83 turnouts from various production dates and runs since their introduction up to recent production and have had no problems, especially no problems with the point hinge. And I can see no noticeable difference between any of them.

Atlas "Mark V" turnouts, just introduced this past spring, are an improved version of the CODE 100 TURNOUT, bringing the code 100 product up to the appearance and tollerance standards the code 83 product has always had - THAT DOES NOT MAKE THE CODE 83 PRODUCT "MARK V" - Altas has never called them that.

https://shop.atlasrr.com/b-introducing-new-atlas-ho-code-100-mark-v-customline-turnouts-390-series.aspx

READ THE PRESS RELEASE CAREFULLY - it clearly says MARK V is code 100.

I will leave you all to the rest of this non sense, all my trains have been running just fine on the 100 defective Atlas turnouts I have...........

Sheldon

    

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, November 8, 2021 7:40 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
all my trains have been running just fine on the 100 defective Atlas turnouts I have........... Sheldon

Sounds to me they are not actually defective if trains are running fine.  Or are you taking the Mickey out of the other people posting here. 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, November 8, 2021 8:54 PM

riogrande5761

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
all my trains have been running just fine on the 100 defective Atlas turnouts I have........... Sheldon

 

Sounds to me they are not actually defective if trains are running fine.  Or are you taking the Mickey out of the other people posting here. 

 

I'm just reporting my experiances just like everyone else - sarcasum? yes. 100, or 200, or 300, that work, against a couple of defects?

Spike is on a crusade against Atlas turnouts, I'm on one in favor of them.

I have built, or helped build six or seven LARGE layouts in the last 25 years all using mainly Atlas code 83 track. And a few others using PECO turnouts, and few others using hand layed turnouts. I saw no advantage or improved performance from the second two choices.

I have built a layout with hand layed turnouts, I only do that for "specials" now. And actually I have figured out how to curve Atlas #6's and #8's into large radius curved turnouts and have used Atlas points and frogs to hand lay special turnouts.

I started in this hobby with TruScale wood roadbed turnouts which another forum member will tell you are junk. They worked fine too.

I don't need or want little throw bar springs, I don't want power routing. I do want yard ladders that make up with 2" centers, I like spending less.

I have never had any of the reported problems.......

And like I said, if they are code 83, they are not "Mark V".

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, November 8, 2021 10:12 PM

Lastspikemike

Hey, we have 8 Atlas turnouts on our layout. They are cheap. They are not good quality except for the #6 Superswitches which are very good but not cheap. They don't have sprung throwbars and Atlas switch motors don't fit them so they are not installed. Very good quality though. But as expensive as Peco so?????  

We substitute Peco wherever we can. Much better build quality. The new Walthers line is well designed and very well made. Not cheap. Unfortunately the ME Code 70 turnouts I bought are not as good as they promised to be. They aren't as expensive as Peco or Walthers and the relatively poor quality shows the price effects. Nice looking but they don't work well.

I still think Peco are best value although the new Insulfrog may be a tiny frog too far. 

 

The Super Switch uses the exact same points and frog as the Custom Line turnout, it simply has more correct tie layout and a long diverging route that always needs trimming.

The manufacturers suggested retail price of the #6 Super Switch is $27.95.

The manufacturers suggested retail price of the #4 and #6 Custom Line turnout is $26.95.

The manufacturers suggested retail price of the #8 Custom Line turnout is $27.95.

The switch machines do not fit the Super Switch because it is intended for under the layout switch machines or other more advanced control methods.

More expensive? Maybe in Canada, I would not know, but not here. Better? look and work the same as all my Custom Line turnouts.

OK, I have had enough play time, more important stuff to do.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, November 8, 2021 10:15 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Spike is on a crusade against Atlas turnouts.

Spike is on all kinds of crusades, but for the life of me, I don't get his severe hatred of Atlas products.

-Kevin

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, November 8, 2021 10:26 PM

SeeYou190
 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Spike is on a crusade against Atlas turnouts.

-Kevin

I'm not at all a fan of Atlas turnouts either. Track, yes, but turnouts, certainly not.

Probably a bias I developed way back when I first started model railroading in the early 1970's. For the life of me I could not get Atlas turnouts to work properly. Trains usually derailed on them. Probably my fault, but I didn't have that problem with other brands. So I have never used any Atlas turnouts since then.

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, November 8, 2021 11:11 PM

Pruitt

 

 
SeeYou190
 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Spike is on a crusade against Atlas turnouts.

-Kevin

 

I'm not at all a fan of Atlas turnouts either. Track, yes, but turnouts, certainly not.

 

Probably a bias I developed way back when I first started model railroading in the early 1970's. For the life of me I could not get Atlas turnouts to work properly. Trains usually derailed on them. Probably my fault, but I didn't have that problem with other brands. So I have never used any Atlas turnouts since then.

 

 

But it is a completely different product now, has been for over 25 years, that was 50 years ago.

Do you hold that kind of bias against other products? Autos? Appliances? Lawn Mowers?

You should take a $20 gamble and look close at a code 83 Custom Line turnout. If you don't like it, I will buy it from you and pay the postage. 

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, November 8, 2021 11:16 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Spike is on a crusade against Atlas turnouts.

 

Spike is on all kinds of crusades, but for the life of me, I don't get his severe hatred of Atlas products.

-Kevin

 

I think I know why Spike does not like Atlas. He complained about the flex track, he thinks it should stay bent to allow his "unique" approach to laying track, expecting to fit it all together before attaching the track to the roadbed/table top. And I would bet his unique track laying method has found Atlas turnouts to be too "fragile" for that method as well.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, November 8, 2021 11:21 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
He complained about the flex track, he thinks it should stay bent to allow his "unique" approach to laying track,

Yep, that is why I said "products" and not just "turnouts".

I cannot recall anyone else... ever... not having success with Atlas flex track. It is absolutely the easiest product on Earth to make layouts from. Maybe some products are better detailed, but easier to use? HA!

-Kevin

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, November 8, 2021 11:56 PM

SeeYou190
I cannot recall anyone else... ever... not having success with Atlas flex track.

Besides the "flex" feature, I'm glad to have sections of track in one meter or one yard lengths. Compared to 9" sections of Snap-Track that's a lot of rail joiners saved. All my yards and staging tracks are "flex" track yet there isn't much of a curve anywhere to be seen.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 12:08 AM

Truth be told, Atlas flex track is the best choice, hands down. The worst flex track is Peco, hands down.

During The Great Atlas Flex Track shortage a few years back, I was forced to buy Peco flex track for a project. I quickly replaced it as soon as Atlas flex track became available once again.

Rich

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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 12:21 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
But it is a completely different product now, has been for over 25 years, that was 50 years ago.

Do you hold that kind of bias against other products? Autos? Appliances? Lawn Mowers?

You should take a $20 gamble and look close at a code 83 Custom Line turnout. If you don't like it, I will buy it from you and pay the postage. 

Sheldon

Maybe it is different, but from what I've seen at the club, it's still a problematic product line.

In some cases I do hold onto a bias against product lines. I will never buy an Apple computer because they simply stopped supporting one my late wife bought, about three months after she paid their premium price for it. She'd always been an Apple fan; after that she switched to PCs. I'll never buy another Amana appliance because I bought a washer and refrigerator that were both junk. I owned a brand new BMW Z3 some years ago. it's the ONLY car I ever had to have towed into a service department - twice. It was covered under warranty, but I'll never own another one.

As far as turnouts go in general - I build my own using Fast Tracks jigs, with excellent results. I like Peco turnouts, and Walthers were pretty good, too, but I don't buy any anymore, because the jig-built ones outperform any commercial turnouts I've ever owned. Plus they're less than half the cost of even the cheapest.

richhotrain
Truth be told, Atlas flex track is the best choice, hands down. The worst flex track is Peco, hands down.

Rich

On the other hand, Peco code 70 flextrack is the best I've ever owned. I like ME rail, but hate their hard-to-form flextrack.

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 12:28 AM

LOL, Mark you are being quite the contrarian this early morning.

I will partially agree with you though. When we built our new home, now 22 years ago, we paid a premium upgrade charge for a MoenStone kitchen sink. For many years, Moen had a lifetime unlimited warranty on its sinks. However on the MoenStone sink, it was a 15 year limited warranty.

After 15 years, 3 months, the sink failed, developing a large crack stretching out from the drain. Despite repeated pleas, Moen would do nothing, and the MoenStone product was no longer available as a replacement. My wife will never buy another Moen product.

Rich 

Alton Junction

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 5:49 AM

Pruitt

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
But it is a completely different product now, has been for over 25 years, that was 50 years ago.

Do you hold that kind of bias against other products? Autos? Appliances? Lawn Mowers?

You should take a $20 gamble and look close at a code 83 Custom Line turnout. If you don't like it, I will buy it from you and pay the postage. 

Sheldon

 

Maybe it is different, but from what I've seen at the club, it's still a problematic product line.

 

In some cases I do hold onto a bias against product lines. I will never buy an Apple computer because they simply stopped supporting one my late wife bought, about three months after she paid their premium price for it. She'd always been an Apple fan; after that she switched to PCs. I'll never buy another Amana appliance because I bought a washer and refrigerator that were both junk. I owned a brand new BMW Z3 some years ago. it's the ONLY car I ever had to have towed into a service department - twice. It was covered under warranty, but I'll never own another one.

As far as turnouts go in general - I build my own using Fast Tracks jigs, with excellent results. I like Peco turnouts, and Walthers were pretty good, too, but I don't buy any anymore, because the jig-built ones outperform any commercial turnouts I've ever owned. Plus they're less than half the cost of even the cheapest.

 

 
richhotrain
Truth be told, Atlas flex track is the best choice, hands down. The worst flex track is Peco, hands down.

Rich

 

On the other hand, Peco code 70 flextrack is the best I've ever owned. I like ME rail, but hate their hard-to-form flextrack.

 

 

Well OK Mark, you might want to consider not buying any appliance from the Whirlpool Corp because that's who owns Amana now. It is just a brand name, slapped on a long list of products made in the same factories with the same parts as a long list of other brands now owned by Whirlpool. I don't know how long ago your bad experiance was, but the original company is long gone...... 

Right now I am replacing a Samsung frig that came with the house. It is junk, I won't be buying a Samsung to replace it. But my next TV is likely to say Samsung based on decades of good service from several of their TV's.

And I am still amazed at all these stories of problems with Atlas turnouts after my lifetime of good results.

I can build turnouts myself, without a bunch of expensive jigs, but I like the electrical features of the Atlas product, and I want to spend my time in other ways. I'm starting a layout that requires 120 turnouts, I will build the special ones.

BMW Z3- haha, I was once a shop foreman in a BMW dealership. One of my best friends is a retired BMW mechanic. Bring Money Withyou - engineered for peformance, not for reliability. But I buy practical cars, not toys. If I wanted a car as a toy it would be something like a 1958 Impala with a 348 tripower, or a lightly hot rodded 1969 Checker Marathon.

I prefer cars you get into rather than cars you "put on". But my 2015 FORD FLEX Eccoboost that goes 0-60 in 5 seconds is practical and fun.

Apple - I simply don't like how they do business, so I never bought anything for my own use.....

And for the record, PECO makes great roducts, but the features of their turnouts do not fit my needs. I'm not paying more to then have to modifiy them for my needs.

Take care,

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 7:27 AM

1arfarf3

The layout is #56 Dayton & Northern in the 101 Track Plans. Thinking of using Peco code 100. I will power frog due to short engines.

Where 2 switches form a cross over, where are insulated joiners used? Each mainline will be on separate power districts.  

 

If you plan on building a published plan, you should check to see which turnouts it was designed with.  I don't know if 101 Trackplans specifies brand (which would have been from the 1950s or 60s), but there are some slight differences in how each brand of turnout might fit exactly into a published plan.

PECO code 100 has a curved diverging route, designed to mimic a true curve.  Most turnouts that folks have been arguing about have straight diverging routes, designed for a train to sort of glide off of tangent instead of turn.

Building a crossover with two turnouts that have curved diverging routes makes an undesireable S curve in the crossover, both curved routes being placed back to back. 

I would avoid using PECO code 100 unless the published plan specifically calls for it because it might change the angles of the diverging tracks coming off of straight.

All of the other turnouts mentioned here are pretty much interchangeable when designing plans, with maybe little nips and tucks here and there that should not be a problem. 

- Douglas

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Posted by Pruitt on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 9:02 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
 Well OK Mark, you might want to consider not buying any appliance from the Whirlpool Corp because that's who owns Amana now. It is just a brand name, slapped on a long list of products made in the same factories with the same parts as a long list of other brands now owned by Whirlpool. I don't know how long ago your bad experiance was, but the original company is long gone......

I know about Whirlpool's ownership. The refrigerator is about 12 years old, and it has always had a problem maintaining a set temperature. The washer is about two years old. Amana used to be a reputab le company, but when Whirlpool acquired them it became their "entry level" (read: junk) line. As a result, I'm much less likely to buy anything made by Whirlpool than I was before.

Right now I am replacing a Samsung frig that came with the house. It is junk, I won't be buying a Samsung to replace it. But my next TV is likely to say Samsung based on decades of good service from several of their TV's.

I like their TVs. I've never had any experience with their other appliances, though. I've heard that LG appliances are very good...

And I am still amazed at all these stories of problems with Atlas turnouts after my lifetime of good results.

Many of the problems I had with Atlas could have been my own mediocre (at best) track work of the times, but I had more difficulty with them than any others (including AHM's turnouts).

Another product line I hesitate about is Bachmann. I had a few of their locos from the days of the pancake motors, and as you might guess was very underwhelmed. They did a big turnaround, though. Some years ago I bought a brand new DCC-equipped Bachmann-branded diesel (GP9?) at a train show for about $30, just out of curiosity. When I got it home I was absolutely floored with how well it ran. This was Bachmann?!? To this day, though, when I see something from Bachmann my initial reaction is "Ugh!," though they probably don't deserve that anymore. I really liked their Spectrum line. I wish they hadn't rolled so many of their locos back into their "standard" line.

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