Author Topic: BLI Announces Non-PRR USRA Heavy and Light Mikado  (Read 3606 times)

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glakedylan

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Re: BLI Announces Non-PRR USRA Heavy and Light Mikado
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2019, 08:24:14 PM »
+1
sent SOO a PM hoping he was having a better day
i suppose he will not get it, being banned...
nevertheless, he is in my thoughts and prayers are ascending
for him...may there be peace


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and all may care for each..."

CodyO

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Re: BLI Announces Non-PRR USRA Heavy and Light Mikado
« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2019, 10:19:40 PM »
0
I am happy to see more N-scale steam.  I guess the issue I have is that the street price of this loco will probably be around $230.  You can find the revised version of the Kato Mikado and pick them up for around $80-100, add your own decoder, and customize it however you want for much less than what BLI will charge.

I dont think you'll be at much less than what BLI wants. By the time you add a decoder and install the factory details the BLI model has I think your investment in time and money will be more than the street price of the BLI models
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nickelplate759

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Re: BLI Announces Non-PRR USRA Heavy and Light Mikado
« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2019, 12:31:27 AM »
+2
I dont think you'll be at much less than what BLI wants. By the time you add a decoder and install the factory details the BLI model has I think your investment in time and money will be more than the street price of the BLI models
This got me thinking along similar lines.  I've been slowly rebuilding an old Rivarossi Berkshre (thread here: https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=44735.0 ).   Here's an estimate of what I've spent on it so far:

1. Non-functional but good-looking Berkshire - $25 (about 30 years ago!)
2. Sagami motor - $25
3. TCS M4 decoder - $50
4. TCK KA4 - $25
5. 3 Tiny wired LEDs - $5 (I bought a few more)
6. 3 1000 Ohm resistors - $1
7. Replacement frame and other spare parts - $25
8. 1 NWSL wheelset - $4
9. 8 Fox Valley wheelsets - $8
10. Micro-trains coupler kit - $8
11. TCS wiring harnesses - $10

That's $160 so far, and doesn't count tools, glue, weights, solder, etc.   And there's no sound - adding sound would cost at least $75 more (more expensive decoder, speaker and enclosure).

Suddenly a $250 engine with sound doesn't sound crazy - IF it's the engine I want.  When it is, I spend the money if I have it (I'm thinking of the Rapido Turbo, for example - well worth the price to me).

That said, I've been having a ball with this project, and for me that's what I enjoy most about this hobby - it's not about what I can buy, it's about having fun making/doing stuff.  I've had hours of entertainment from this Berkshire.  For me, money well spent.


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peteski

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Re: BLI Announces Non-PRR USRA Heavy and Light Mikado
« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2019, 01:18:49 AM »
0

1. Non-functional but good-looking Berkshire - $25 (about 30 years ago!)
2. Sagami motor - $25
3. TCS M4 decoder - $50
4. TCK KA4 - $25
5. 3 Tiny wired LEDs - $5 (I bought a few more)
6. 3 1000 Ohm resistors - $1
7. Replacement frame and other spare parts - $25
8. 1 NWSL wheelset - $4
9. 8 Fox Valley wheelsets - $8
10. Micro-trains coupler kit - $8
11. TCS wiring harnesses - $10

That's $160 so far, and doesn't count tools, glue, weights, solder, etc.   And there's no sound - adding sound would cost at least $75 more (more expensive decoder, speaker and enclosure).

Suddenly a $250 engine with sound doesn't sound crazy - IF it's the engine I want.  When it is, I spend the money if I have it (I'm thinking of the Rapido Turbo, for example - well worth the price to me).

Kato Mikado would not need all those items, but the loco itself will cost probably around $80.  I also suspect that Kato Mikado will run much better than the BLI loco (it is one of the best running steam locos out there). But you do have a point about the costs of upgrading an older loco adding up. 

I'm also surprised at the $50 cost of a non-sound decoder!  You could get a small ESU or ZIMO decoder for about $15 less (and of course a Digitrax decoder for about half the price of TCS).
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Nato

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Do we really need another 2-8-2?
« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2019, 03:20:21 AM »
0
 :|      Do we really need another 2-8-2? Yes and no. There are the KATO's which we will not see rerun anytime soon, and the current Model Power locomotives with sound which are not bad, but still have some tech issues,electrical pickup etc. Yes the Broadway Locomotives look wonderful and I'am pretty sure they will be state of the art, and yes I would like to see road specific locomotives UP 4-8-2 like they have offered in HO, but I'am pretty sure I will end up ordering a couple, it is just a matter of deciding what road names or UNDEC.              Nate Goodman (Nato). "Whoo-whoo-kachoo. More Steam!"    :|

BruceG

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Re: BLI Announces Non-PRR USRA Heavy and Light Mikado
« Reply #35 on: May 23, 2019, 09:58:29 AM »
0
Can they use the chassis for the PRR mike? It may just be they are trying to get the largest return on tooling to fund other versions.

If they can, I wonder if they could also use the new shell to make a more accurate version of the GN unit?

Bruce

mike_lawyer

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Re: BLI Announces Non-PRR USRA Heavy and Light Mikado
« Reply #36 on: May 23, 2019, 10:25:46 AM »
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Kato Mikado would not need all those items, but the loco itself will cost probably around $80.  I also suspect that Kato Mikado will run much better than the BLI loco (it is one of the best running steam locos out there). But you do have a point about the costs of upgrading an older loco adding up. 

I'm also surprised at the $50 cost of a non-sound decoder!  You could get a small ESU or ZIMO decoder for about $15 less (and of course a Digitrax decoder for about half the price of TCS).

Here is my line of thinking -

Kato Mikado - $80
Zimo Decoder - $35
Traction Tire - $12
Add wire, details, etc. - time and a few bucks

Yes, you will have some additional time and effort added in, but I would bet that the Kato with those upgrades will outperform the BLI locomotive.  Not knocking BLI in any way, I just think the Kato is such a value at $80 that it will be hard to beat.

Mark5

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Re: BLI Announces Non-PRR USRA Heavy and Light Mikado
« Reply #37 on: May 23, 2019, 12:30:28 PM »
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Where are you guys buying $80 Kato Mikes? (link)

BruceG

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Re: BLI Announces Non-PRR USRA Heavy and Light Mikado
« Reply #38 on: May 23, 2019, 12:56:13 PM »
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Another thing to consider: A Kato Mikado advertised as “ new” is not new, even if unused. I’ve encountered at least one locomotive that suffered from age (and possibly poor storage conditions) even though it had very little run time.

mike_lawyer

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Re: BLI Announces Non-PRR USRA Heavy and Light Mikado
« Reply #39 on: May 23, 2019, 02:15:18 PM »
0
Where are you guys buying $80 Kato Mikes? (link)

If you know what you are looking for, you can find Mikados from the 2nd and 3rd run (with the revised drivers and Code 55-compliant leading and trailing trucks) for around $80-90 on the auction site.  You just have to be patient.  Not all of them sell in that range, but I have found ones in that range, and many in any event less than $100.  I have four sitting on my workbench right now, and I paid less than $100 for each of them.

Also, you can find them sometimes on the popular web forums in the for sale section.

eja

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Re: BLI Announces Non-PRR USRA Heavy and Light Mikado
« Reply #40 on: May 23, 2019, 08:07:49 PM »
0
If you know what you are looking for, you can find Mikados from the 2nd and 3rd run (with the revised drivers and Code 55-compliant leading and trailing trucks) for around $80-90 on the auction site. 

How do you tell which run is which ?  Particular when buying on line.

jdcolombo

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Re: BLI Announces Non-PRR USRA Heavy and Light Mikado
« Reply #41 on: May 23, 2019, 08:34:45 PM »
+2
There's no question that the Kato is a wonderful engine.

BUT . . . it is a Heavy Mike.  If you need a Light Mike, the Kato isn't it.  That leaves the choice of the MRC/MP (if you can find the one you want) or the new BLI.

For me, it's a question of pulling power.  Though the MRC/MP Mike is dated and has a few issues with electrical pickup (solved with a keep alive), it will pull a ton.  If the BLI can do anything close (20 cars would be my minimum), then I'll probably go all in.  The problem is that I don't have much use for the Paragon 3 sound decoder, and their speaker implementation is likely to be lousy (it was in the T1).  So I'll end up paying $230 for the loco, throw away $100-worth of decoder/speaker, and roll my own.  I really wish manufacturers would make DCC-ready units . . .

And with regard to cost comparisons, remember that the BLI has sound.  If you buy a Kato Mike for $90, add an ESU LokSound for $90, add a speaker/enclosure ($5 if you buy bare speakers and roll your own enclosures; $10 if you need a turnkey solution), you're up to $180-190.  And even with traction tires, the Kato isn't the greatest on tractive effort.  A single Kato Mike with traction tires will pull about 15 of my NMRA-weighted 40' boxcars.  If the BLI can do substantially better, it would be worth the extra $50 IF you (1) want sound and (2) don't mind the Paragon 3 sound decoder.

John C.

Cajonpassfan

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Re: BLI Announces Non-PRR USRA Heavy and Light Mikado
« Reply #42 on: May 23, 2019, 09:18:39 PM »
0
John, I’m curious about your dislike of the Paragon 3’s (no criticism intended; just genuinely curious). I don’t own any steam P3 versions (I sent the M1 back) but I do like the Paragon 3 in diesels; I think the F units are very good with their many layers of sound effects. I have the E6’s also and enjoy the sound effects immensely. Brake squeal, manual notch up and down, the “double 8” sound volume controls... Is the steam P3 not up to par? Frankly I like the current steam Tsunami’s better than ESUs, and I enjoy having the subtle (and not so subtle) variety in steam sounds.
I understand the desire to standardize for speed matching and performance continuity, and for motor control, ESU’s are hard to beat. And as for continuity and consistency, well this “upgrade” just blows it all up anyway. Just saying...
Thanks, Otto

Jbub

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Re: BLI Announces Non-PRR USRA Heavy and Light Mikado
« Reply #43 on: May 23, 2019, 10:04:17 PM »
0
John, I’m curious about your dislike of the Paragon 3’s (no criticism intended; just genuinely curious). I don’t own any steam P3 versions (I sent the M1 back) but I do like the Paragon 3 in diesels; I think the F units are very good with their many layers of sound effects. I have the E6’s also and enjoy the sound effects immensely. Brake squeal, manual notch up and down, the “double 8” sound volume controls... Is the steam P3 not up to par? Frankly I like the current steam Tsunami’s better than ESUs, and I enjoy having the subtle (and not so subtle) variety in steam sounds.
I understand the desire to standardize for speed matching and performance continuity, and for motor control, ESU’s are hard to beat. And as for continuity and consistency, well this “upgrade” just blows it all up anyway. Just saying...
Thanks, Otto
I'm not speaking for John but for me it's the quality of the decoder and sound. Yes the p3 has decent sound but put next to a esu with the attitude sound file it's night and day
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Cajonpassfan

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Re: BLI Announces Non-PRR USRA Heavy and Light Mikado
« Reply #44 on: May 23, 2019, 10:34:26 PM »
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Wel, okay, can you be more specific and elaborate about “night and day”? And let’s separate “quality” in decoder output rather than speaker/enclosure. And let’s talk about steam please...
Thanks, Otto