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Bachmann class 170

bachmann class 170




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#1 den250

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 22:37

I'm looking for advise with regards to the Bachmann class 170 I have been thinking of buying one for ages but with all the negative things I have herd about them I don't know if to just go out and get a Bachmann class 150 as I do have a later type of class 150 now and I have no problems with it but I only have the money for one I have already pre ordered a class 171 from them although I could be waiting until the end of time to get it. advise greatly received  





#2 No Decorum

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 07:42

I'm looking for advise with regards to the Bachmann class 170 I have been thinking of buying one for ages but with all the negative things I have herd about them I don't know if to just go out and get a Bachmann class 150 as I do have a later type of class 150 now and I have no problems with it but I only have the money for one I have already pre ordered a class 171 from them although I could be waiting until the end of time to get it. advise greatly received  

If you have a 150, you’re happy with it and you want another, I’d say go ahead and get it. If you can manage to put a couple of quid into your piggy bank each week, you’ll probably have enough, or nearly enough, to pay for your 171 when it arrives.

 

I don’t know what negatives you have heard about the 170 but I should imagine that the main criticism is that it isn’t DCC ready. If you haven’t “gone digital” and don’t intend to, that will not be a problem. If your system is DCC, then installing a decoder or two will be very fiddly. These are two-car units, so it would not be quite as fiddly as a three-car unit.

 

At present, we do not know what Bachmann is going to produce. It may be that as the project develops, we shall be told that it will be DCC ready after all. We don’t even know if it will be like the older 150s and have a huge and heavy locomotive-type mechanism taking up the passenger space or be revised to have the motor mounted on the bogie like the current 150.

 

It’s your decision but in your position I’d buy a 150, leave the order for the 171 in place and start saving. I’d also keep an eye open to see what sort specification the 171  will have as the project develops. Plenty of time to cancel then if you don’t like the sound of it and you’ll have a nice little fund to spend on something else.


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#3 beast66606

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 08:18

Fitting decoders into 170s is not that difficult - fitting sound is a degree harder, I milled out the chassis on mine to get the speakers to fit - but if DCC and/or sound is not your choice then that won't be an issue.

 

The 170s we have on Widnes Vine Yard aren't a problem so I'm not sure what negatives are being talked about.


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#4 SRman

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 08:45

Agreeing with the above. They are very nice, smooth runners and the lack of some seats in the motorised coach is well hidden by the deeply tinted glazing.

The colours and finishes on mine are all well done too. The lights are incandescent bulbs so can be wired directly to a decoder and controlled separately if desired.

One minor weakness I have noted on several of my class 158, 159, 166 and 170 models is the very thin wires to the bogie pickups can drop off occasionally. Easily fixed with a soldering iron.



#5 JohnR

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 08:50

Surely if you need a 170 for your layout, you need to get one? It depends on the part fo the country you are modelling, but in some, 170s are so ubiqetous that to have a layout without one will not "feel" right.



#6 Dungrange

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 09:17

I'm happy with my Bachmann Class 170 and don't have any specific negatives to highlight, although with the lighting being incandescent bulbs rather than LEDs I find they are much less bright that other DMUs and diesel locomotives.  It's something that I may look to change at a later date with a lighting kit from Express Models, but as others have said, it is not DCC ready and therefore I doubt I'll do anything about the lighting until I decide to go DCC (the plan for the next layout).  As JohnR has highlighted, some layouts simply need a Class 170.  Class 158 and 170 are critical to a layout representing central Scotland, so I agree that you need to simply decide what you want.  If you need a Class 170 model then the Bachmann model is the best on offer and as far as I am concerned the model looks like the prototype that it is meant to represent.

 

Apart from not being DCC ready, I'm not aware of other negative comments.



#7 TRAILRAGE

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 10:44

I have a Central trains and a SWT version both run absolutely fine. I do remember reading in the long distant past that there was a possible shape issue, but personally I cant see anything wrong with it and they happen to be two of my favourite models both strangely  sounding like the real things! If you need one for your layout (and most people who model the current seen over the last 10 years or so will do) then get one and enjoy it.

 

Cheers Trailrage



#8 joejab95

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Posted 18 June 2016 - 16:12

I have a Chiltern Railways Class 168 (basically a 170), a London Midland Class 170 and an ATW Class 158. All run absolutely fine, I even think the Chiltern one is about 10 years old now and it still runs well. As others have said, these particular units may be critical to a layout and upgrading them to modern standards (i.e. improved LEDs and DCC) is probably worth it if you need one for your layout.



#9 Purley Oaks

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 10:27

When the Southern version is released the franchise may have gone!

Mal


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#10 martin_l_jones

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 13:43

I don't think we've had a duff unit from Bachmann. They all seem to run seamlessly forever. Ive DCC'd the 158s quite easily and upgraded the lights on the 170s DC only which was not easy. Going to get some Express Lighting DCC kits and give one a go. The only issue I can recall on the 170s is a slight wrong colour on the green on the London Midland set.

Edited by martin_l_jones, 21 June 2016 - 13:44 .

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#11 Geneng

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 17:08

My cussed route to a Class 170 with DCC sound
 
Conversion of an analogue Bachmann Class 170, 3-coach DMU was the project.
Now a 2-coach can be done with only 2 decoders by having the motor chassis in the lead car and fitting a second decoder to the trailing car.   But in a 3-coach the centre car chassis obviously requires couplings at both ends so one suggested option to swap the front and centre chassis so saving on a third decoder was going to create a new coupling requirement.   I decided it was either to be 3 decoders, seems to be the popular route to take, or a rewiring job.   Here is the cussed bit, not the easy option.   Decided upon one decoder in centre car and wiring lead and trailer cars through electrically conductive couplings.   On cost grounds alone this is probably comparable with using 3 decoders, depending of course upon choice for  lighting decoders.
I fitted Viessmann 4-pole electrically conductive couplers between the cars so out went all the pickup wiring in the lead and trailing coaches and in went lighting wiring.   I found, having inadvertently snapped two of the rather weak Bachmann NEM socket anchors and replaced with non-Bachmann NEM sockets, was that clearances for the Viessmanns could be critical; latter sockets caused the Viessmanns to foul the bodywork; fortunately a rummage produced some Bachmann replacement sockets - problem solved.   The NEM socket anchors may prove to be a weak link with time as the rigid Viessman connections will make the bogie attachments work harder on track curves.   Wiring checks (with a basic decoder fitted and not my sound one) revealed that despite my efforts I had a lighting wiring issue; the coupling wires are unfortunately all black so only multi-meter continuity testing allowed identification for wiring purposes and I had somehow got one wrong - mixed up a spare with the lead needed for a white.   16 half-coupling wires to get right on a 3-coach train (counting my 4 spare wires).   The modern Bachmann units use a more flexible coupling design and it appears two-way coupling links; does anyone know why they don't require three-way - is it perhaps because they now use polarity sensitive LED lighting as distinct from the old bulb lighting in a 170?   One thing I found fiddly with the Viessmann couplers wiring was keeping it all clear of the bogie wheels whilst still allowing for bogie movement - I did use the existing bogie slots but also some carefully positioned sleeving as wire control.   On test the DMU initially performed well on curves but then there were fouling issues on any 'S' transfer through points to a parallel track - the close coupling meant that coaches fouled when transitioning and derailed.   Current solution is another brand of NEM socket from my spares box fitted only to the lead and trailing cars to adjust the gaps between cars.
Overall I would say a good learning experience but really the separate decoder solution does look simpler.   But if you like a challenge including a lot of soldering and fiddling!