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Atlas new curved turnout

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  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 11,949 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, June 23, 2022 5:39 PM

maxman

 

 
John-NYBW
There was one common flaw with Athearn BB kits that I didn't learn the quick fix for

 

Along with the fact that all the brake appliances on the bottom of the car are in the incorrect position.

But of course, you don't care about that.

 

Not all of them. I really hate broad generalizations. Like "Bachmann makes junk", or "Athearn coupler covers don't work", or "Athearn cars are foobies".

And on this I'm with John. I like cars with nice detail, but not enough to replace hundreds of freight cars that I already have. Freight cars that will roll past you at 45 smph in trains 40 cars long. 

I buy high end detailed cars, and I still buy brand new Athearn/Roundhouse series cars with molded on ladders and grab irons - but on both I often throw away the trucks in favor of my prefered truck - metal, sprung, equalized with floating brake shoes.

Now to call John out just a bit more. It took you 30 years to notice that? How do you put the floor in an Athearn car and not notice that it is not flat?

Just like those who say the metal coupler covers don't work? Have enough mechanical common sense to look closely at the little cover and realize the side tabs just need to be bent a little more so they are truely 90 degress to the cover - without curving the cover. Then snap it on all the way. I have about 400 Athearn cars - I have lost 2-3 covers in 55 years.....

The more I read, on here and on facebook, the more amazed I am....

Sheldon  

    

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • 688 posts
Posted by wrench567 on Thursday, June 23, 2022 7:03 PM

  I've been in this hobby a lot longer than I care to mention. About 80 percent of my rolling stock is kit built where I was the quality control person. So the only person I can blame for running characteristics falls on me. When RTR started replacing the space on hobby shop shelves that was primarily kits, the majority consensus from modelers was RTR meant Ready to Repair. It became standard operating procedure to check wheels, trucks, and replace the couplers with the tried and true #5. Complaints were abundant on this and other forums. The higher the price the louder the voices.

    As for manufacturers claims of operability. I don't go by it. Just because they claim an 85 foot passenger car can negotiate an 18 inch radius, should it really? The first time I saw the BLI centipede, I thought it was the coolest thing. Until I saw it go around a 32 inch radius curve and saw how far the chassis swung out from under the body. Rediculous looking indeed. And yes it hit every line side obstacle you could think of.

   And last but not least. This one's for Sheldon. I never had a problem with the Athearn covers until one cost me a caboose, two hopper cars, and a weeks worth of repairs when one failed at the worst time possible. Even though it was on the car for at least 15 years. Now all my coupler covers are mechanically held on with a screw. Cheap insurance if you ask me. Cost of the cover leaving after fifteen years of service. Caboose $30, H21 hopper $15, and GLA hopper in a paint scheme that's very hard to find. $???? Cost of a bag of screws $3.

    That's all I have.

         Pete.

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 23,060 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Friday, June 24, 2022 6:33 AM

Doughless

I change my off the cuff percentages based on actual data:

Edit:  These are the items I've bought over the past year.  

MP15  Broken handrails

MP15 Inoperable speaker

MP15 Inoperable speaker

MP15  Kept

4 GP15s  Kept

4 NW2s  All Stall randomly (not at turnouts)

GP38-2  2 crooked ditchlghts 

GP38-2 kept

GP50 2 crooked ditchlights

GP50 kept

4 5660 Hoppers Large GATX lettering missing from side (unlike artist's rendering) 

4 Pressureaide hoppers  kept

U23B Vibrates

U23B Vibrates

2 boxcars did not roll

3 boxcars kept

6 3281 covered hoppers (American Limited)  kept.

By my math, 17 items had returnable flaws and 18 did not.  48% of the merchandise.

And I was lucky enough to buy only PECO #8 turnouts and avoided the #6 Unifrog's. LOL. 

Where are you buying this stuff?  The Dollar Store?  Laugh

How could one guy have such bad luck to acquire so many faulty items over the period of just one year?

Douglas, I don't doubt you for one moment. But, something is terribly wrong here.

Rich

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Heart of Georgia
  • 5,078 posts
Posted by Doughless on Friday, June 24, 2022 9:11 AM

richhotrain

 

 
Doughless

I change my off the cuff percentages based on actual data:

Edit:  These are the items I've bought over the past year.  

MP15  Broken handrails

MP15 Inoperable speaker

MP15 Inoperable speaker

MP15  Kept

4 GP15s  Kept

4 NW2s  All Stall randomly (not at turnouts)

GP38-2  2 crooked ditchlghts 

GP38-2 kept

GP50 2 crooked ditchlights

GP50 kept

4 5660 Hoppers Large GATX lettering missing from side (unlike artist's rendering) 

4 Pressureaide hoppers  kept

U23B Vibrates

U23B Vibrates

2 boxcars did not roll

3 boxcars kept

6 3281 covered hoppers (American Limited)  kept.

By my math, 17 items had returnable flaws and 18 did not.  48% of the merchandise.

And I was lucky enough to buy only PECO #8 turnouts and avoided the #6 Unifrog's. LOL. 

 

 

Where are you buying this stuff?  The Dollar Store?  Laugh

 

How could one guy have such bad luck to acquire so many faulty items over the period of just one year?

Douglas, I don't doubt you for one moment. But, something is terribly wrong here.

Rich

 

Trainworld, Hiawatha Hobbies, Lombard Hobbies, High Country Hobbies, MBKlein, etc.  They have liberal return policies and I take advantage of them.  Afterall, if they were a LHS, I would have taken the model out of the box and operated it, and then the flaws would be apparent.... I wouldn't have bought it.  Shipping the item to me for me to then inspect it and test run it, then shipping it back and getting my money back becomes basically a "test drive" that happens 500 miles away from the retailer.  I'm not shy.  I'll return it quickly and undo the sale that wouldn't have happened in the first place if the dealer wasn't 500 miles away.

Since the prices on Ebay have greatly outpaced inflation, I don't buy from ebay dealers or used items anymore.  Most of the above items were new releases.  Some were preorder, although the MP15s were NOS.

The speakers on the MP15 were assembled with wires a bit too short, all of them.  They stretched across the length of the decoder tightly and ripped the tabs away from the speaker.  The speaker did not have metal attachment points but more of a cheaper plastic product that could not be reattached.   Ruined at installation.  The speakers are hard to find.  An odd size with a very thin profile.  Mounting current sugar cube replacement speakers into the MP15 housing is difficult, and, is a modification I should not have to do.

Broken handrails aren't typically that big of a deal.  Except there are no replacement MP15 handrails on the market, or at the producer.  The government took away real MEK, so the repair is more time consuming and less competent.

Ditchlight leds have to be positioned precisely in the housing for them to shine straight ahead.  The pilot mounted kind are very hard to rewire.  The deck mounted kind....the housing sticks straight up..... are easier to fix, but the glue has to be removed or else simply pulling out the wire could separate the wire from the LED.  I have restrung new LED ditchlights in the past on the locos that ranked as being more favorites than others. Time consuming.  Other locos I just send back.  

The particular FMC boxcars that did not roll have an underbody assembly that is different from the same producers models of other FMC boxcars.  Weird.  An easy fix, but why?

Irv Athearn just used the same underbody frame on all of his different FMC boxcars for years...curve and all. You can add different details to the same frame.

The 4 NW2s problem is a strange bird.  Operate fine for a few minutes then will just stop.  A faint crackle like a bug being zapped happens, movement and sound stops.  Sometimes the loco will start to move again on its own, other times it requires a slight jiggle.  Always restarts moving without sound, unitl I hit F8 again.  Its got to be a pickup problem, and I never liked the Walthers trucks after they switched designs away from the flawless Athearn cloned type that Life Like had.  I've has other stalls with Walthers locos in the past.  I love these NW2s, and I've spent time troubleshooting the stall/short and cleaning out the truck pickups (and broke a horn in the process)

I preordered the 5660 hoppers.  The description says GATX roadname.  The artists rendering shows the modern large GATX lettering painted in the upper right side of the hopper.  None of the models have the lettering.  Its something I would have noticed if even a picture of the real model was offered before I bought it.

BTW, not mentioned, I returned two other locos because the paint color was way off from what the preordering artist rendering showed.  I called Lombard Hobbies to tell them the reason they were being returned.  He said "yes, this has become more of a problem for us with the customer only having the drawings to go by".  He accepted them back without hesitation. 

No dealer bashing from me.

However, check out this retailer. TrainLife.com, they seem to take pictures of the models that all other retailers seem content to just use the Producers announcement drawings..  https://trainlife.com/collections/ho-scale-products/products/o-scale-emd-gp39-2-dcc-sound-csx-ex-rdg-patch

 

This isn't a dealer issue.   I stop short of bashing.  I'm just relaying my experiences.

BTW, my return rate of used items bought on ebay is about 0.01%, because each individual item is photographed and flaws are described.  I know what I'm getting, unless its "not as described", which is very rare.  That's good policy.

Maybe I'll just go back to buying that way when the prices come back down to earth. 

But frankly, the experinences with returns and high ebay prices has pretty much soured me on even thinking about buying stuff.  Its not needed anyway.

- Douglas

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • 2,048 posts
Posted by John-NYBW on Friday, June 24, 2022 9:56 AM

I find Doughless's failure rate to be typical of the stuff I buy new if you count both major and minor flaws. Sometimes the flaw is as simple as a small detail part fell off and it can easily be reinstalled in it's proper place. On the other hand, if the part broke off and requires repair in order to reinstall it, that item should go back to the manufacturer to fix on their dime. If I have to glue something back together it's not going to happen. If I do, I run the risk of damaging whatever it is I am trying to glue the broken part back onto which might make in unreturnable. If there is a flaw in an item I buy, I have to decide if it's more trouble to return it than it is to repair it. Lately I find myself more prone to returning faulty items. 

  • Member since
    December 2008
  • From: Heart of Georgia
  • 5,078 posts
Posted by Doughless on Friday, June 24, 2022 11:23 AM

John-NYBW

I find Doughless's failure rate to be typical of the stuff I buy new if you count both major and minor flaws. Sometimes the flaw is as simple as a small detail part fell off and it can easily be reinstalled in it's proper place. On the other hand, if the part broke off and requires repair in order to reinstall it, that item should go back to the manufacturer to fix on their dime. If I have to glue something back together it's not going to happen. If I do, I run the risk of damaging whatever it is I am trying to glue the broken part back onto which might make in unreturnable. If there is a flaw in an item I buy, I have to decide if it's more trouble to return it than it is to repair it. Lately I find myself more prone to returning faulty items. 

 

That reminds me.  I mentioned that I returned 4 5660 covered hoppers lettered for GATX because the lettering was not actually on the models.  I kept two other hoppers that were lettered for a different roadname that I also ordered.  One of those hoppers had a loose part rattling around in the box.  Because these hoppers have so many details, I could never find where this part went.  Its not a small part like a grab iron, so I would think it would be noticeable to somebody who had a better eye than me.  If its not simply an extra part that made its way into the box, and something that could easily be reattached,  then the total tally would have been 5 out of 6 preordered hoppers had returnable flaws.  I've kept it because I can't figure out where the part goes, so it doesn't bother me enough to return or even spend the time needed to investigate the issue.

- Douglas

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