Author Topic: BLI Mike initial impressions  (Read 6029 times)

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Nato

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #105 on: August 20, 2019, 01:39:15 AM »
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 :)         A little late to the party. I finally got to test drive one of the three I purchased (a UP Light one). Robert 3985 and I finally spent yesterday evening cleaning the track and others tasks needed to get my layout operational after installing new tunnel portals and other work over the last several months.My layout is not DCC but CVP Wireless DC. Both Bob and I took turns piloting the locomotive around with a short consist including a correct CA1 Union Pacific Caboose. I was surprised that for a sound equipped locomotive you do not have to crank the throttle to almost Warp Speed to start up. With the power on the headlight is on dim and there are steam sounds from a standing locomotive, when you reach starting speed you hear the turbo generator start up, the headlight brightens up then the locomotive starts up. The Chuff Rate when running does not sound too bad to Robert or me. Comparing it to the Model Power latest run 2-8-2 with sound and a Vandy Tender the BLI locomotive has some added on detail that the otherwise fairly detailed MP locomotive does not have. All in all we were impressed, and I would say BLI has a winner, even though the Paragon System Decoder sounds like it is quite different to program. I cannot wait to run my three , a Undec  Heavy, a Burlington Heavy , and the UP locomotive on the Wasatch N Scale layout when it is set up at the next show we attend so I can use full DC  with all the bells and whistles. Nate Goodman (Nato).  :)

Mark W

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #106 on: August 26, 2019, 10:24:56 PM »
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Also late to the part, but finally got to take mine out of the box.  Once the plastic was free, one of the tender wheelsets fell to the floor.  No biggie (yet), we've all replaced wheel-sets a thousand times.  Very next thing I saw were the notched cylinders and was instantly filled with dread.  For the first 20 minutes, that's all I could focus on.   :facepalm:

Thankfully, after the initial run, I dug into the box looking for paperwork and found the detail parts to fill in those notches!  While I hate the idea of 'dumbing' down things for radius capability, I have to give them a bonus point for having the foresight to include the fillers. 

I'll echo the running characteristics are quite smooth, however mine starts with a bit of a jerk.  Perhaps this can be tuned with BEMF and trim and such? 

A mild distraction, I don't believe anyone else has mentioned; mine emits a faint but noticeable 'digital buzz' when the motor has power.  Quite similar to the sound a non-decoder equipped motor sounds. 
Initially, mine also displayed frequent stopping, and even shorts!  I was puzzled for a bit until I thought back to the wheelset falling out when I opened the package.  On closer inspection, I found both that it was very narrow in gauge, and there was a metal burr hanging on!  With the burr removed and the wheel properly gauged, I effectively eliminated this problem.  So, for those having issues programming, or with weird function behavior, you might want to check wheel gauges to ensure the two halves are fully separated and have total isolation between the rails! 

Ok, let's dive into sounds..  Ultimately, I turned the sound level of everything down to 35, bell down to 20, and whistle at 50.  One thing I don't understand is the "Power Chuff Threshold".  It seems to randomize the chuff volume during throttle adjustments.   :?   I've found this action is useful to vary the chuff sound and avoid 'machine gun fire', but I don't want to have to feather the throttle every few seconds.  If anyone knows the real purpose/function of the power chuff, I'd love to hear it.

Lastly, the whistle.  I quite like the functionality of 'double-tapping' the whistle to initiate an alternate ending whistle.  I absolutely HATE that the sound file interrupts itself when intending to sound two or more rapid short bursts.  I don't know if these decoders accept firmware updates, but this is a no-go for me.  If there can't be a fix for this, I'll be replacing the decoder with a loksound. 

Last thing that stood out to me is the coal load.  Easily one of the best coal moldings I've seen!  In fact, looking closer, they're not moldings at all; they're glued particulate.  Nice touch.


Overall, like almost everyone else, I am also quite pleased.  If it weren't for the whistle interrupt, I would already have a few more! 




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Cajonpassfan

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #107 on: August 26, 2019, 11:45:50 PM »
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Hmm, strange about the whistle: mine don’t do that...
whose DCC throttle are you using? I get all kinds of cool effects with NCE...
Otto K.

Mark W

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #108 on: August 27, 2019, 05:51:34 PM »
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Here's a sound sample.  Pretty certain this is a decoder issue, not a command station. 
In any case, I'm on a DCS100.

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Cajonpassfan

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #109 on: September 07, 2019, 09:58:55 PM »
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Anyone interested in replacing their BLI Mikado P3 decoder with a Tsu2 or ESU Loksound, more power to you. You shouldn’t pay for a sound decoder twice, so I’ll offer to buy the (undamaged) P3 from you, if you’d like to sell it. Just PM me if interested.
Thanks,
Otto K.