Author Topic: BLI Mike initial impressions  (Read 8787 times)

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Bill H

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #45 on: August 04, 2019, 05:03:23 PM »
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We need a thread on moving the headlight to to the upper position.
That would work for me - in fact - on numerous steam engines...

djconway

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #46 on: August 04, 2019, 08:44:07 PM »
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Added a Pennsy (#9630) to the roster 8-1-19.  I can live with the fact that PRR reboilered its USRA mikes almost as soon as they hit the rosters.  Maybe this one got lost in some roundhouse.

I was able to set up a speed table that gets it to start and run at 3.2 SMPH around my test loop pulling 10 cars and a caboose.  I regulated the top end down to 40 SMPH with a speed step 28 setting of 70.
It was quite fast out of the box and I suspect that I may need to revisit speed tables once I have some more run time on the loco.

On my test loop (11" radius) I was able to pull 26 cars (Micro Trains, Atlas, DeLuxe, and others)

Other than the fact that it was LOUD and FAST out of the box the mechanical department is quite happy with the preformance

OldEastRR

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #47 on: August 04, 2019, 10:13:57 PM »
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I am trying to figure out why the BLI looks "jacked up" when compared to the MP version.  It is hard using just these photos, but is looks like the angles of things like the bottom of the firebox point to the same place on the drivers in both.  So, I am getting the impression that the BLI's shell is not seated too high in the cab area.  It almost seems to be an optical effect of having more light visible under the cab in the BLI than the MP version.

Just measure the height of the grab iron to the ground at the front and back of the loco. That will be a definitive answer if the height varies. I think it's an optical illusion as the boiler widens toward the cab.

Cajonpassfan

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #48 on: August 04, 2019, 10:16:38 PM »
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I understand the “heavies” are out now as well. Same mechanism, a bigger-boilered shell?
Any other differences on the model? Anyone has one? Thoughts, comments?
Otto K.

rrjim1

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #49 on: August 05, 2019, 06:51:14 AM »
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I understand the “heavies” are out now as well. Same mechanism, a bigger-boilered shell?
Any other differences on the model? Anyone has one? Thoughts, comments?
Otto K.
Yes, received mine a few days ago and just test ran it a little. Ran and sounded great right out of the box. Happy with mine! 

DKS

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #50 on: August 05, 2019, 07:08:26 AM »
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Here is a close up of the locomotive.  It appears as if it were jacked up in the back, like a race car.  In contrast, the old RR USRA heavy Pacific and Mikado appeared to be jacked up backwards, like a funny car.



Although there are a number of optical issues going on in the photo, it appears that the track is not perfectly flat; it looks as if there's a slight "hump" in the middle. This I believe contributes to the loco looking high in the back. May want to try a different spot for photos, like just a strip of flex on a table or counter.

Cajonpassfan

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #51 on: August 10, 2019, 01:14:30 AM »
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Well, my BLI USRA Heavy arrived today, wanted an undec which were sold out, so I will settle for ATSF. Tough :D
Numbered 3287, the last of the 3160 class (except they weren’t USRA’s, but similar in size and weight). The tender is actually within a scale foot of the 12K gallon ATSF tenders, but needs an oil tank (easy) and six wheel trucks (not so easy). Another project I don’t need... 8)

Initial reaction? I’m impressed. Beautiful finish, nicely detailed, good proportions,  a great runner (so far😬) BLI deserves a lot of credit here. And decent profits, so we can get more steam. ATSF, dare I say?

The boiler on mine seems level, and she’s a great puller, too. I run a mountain railroad, so I cut the top speed to 30mph (CV 5=50, CV 6=20) and reduced the sound volumes way down (CV 134=75). This may not be for everyone, certainly not for N Trak running, but it works for me. Still playing with more CV’s to get her to “coast” downhill without heavy chuffs, no joy so far. Still, a cutting edge model in many ways. I love the new, smaller couplers (you listening, B-Mann?) Pics below...the brass stock car has a 905 Z scale coupler. Sorry about the cat hair that snuck in pics 1 and 2🙀
Tbc, I’m sure...
Otto K.

« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 01:18:45 AM by Cajonpassfan »

Point353

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« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 01:59:46 AM by Point353 »

brokemoto

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #53 on: August 10, 2019, 07:30:30 AM »
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I ran my light on one part of the pike and the MRC/MP eight wheeler on another part.  The sound from the BLI completely drowned out the sound from the MRC/MP.  I am running DC:  MRC 2800 on the BLI and 3400 with pulse OFF on the eight wheeler.

The BLI requires more throttle than does the eight wheeler, thus I am guessing that there is less pulse, which is the usual for the upper throttle ranges on these things.

The BLI will do a top speed of thirty SMPH on the MRC 2800, which is fine for me, as freight trains on that part of the p ike run at  twenty five SMPH.  The BLI pulls eighteen loaded hoppers, of various manufacture and one different trucks plus a Fox Valley waggontop caboose and shows no signs of slipping.  This is level track and seventeen inch radius curves.  Fifteen is usually the limit for that part of the pike, as, anything more and the locomotive appears to be chasing the caboose.  I have not tried anything more than the eighteen loaded cars and  a caboose.

Overall, I like mine  The one thing that i do not like is the flexing wires soldered to pivotting trucks.  Those joints come undone.  I am clumsy with a soldering iron when it is near plastic.

gbcaboose

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #54 on: August 10, 2019, 09:56:06 AM »
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I received a "Heavy" from MBK last week am I'm impressed with the smoothness and the pulling ability. I  pre-ordered an unlettered"Light" from Hogstrains but haven't gotten a shipping notice yet. I'm hoping they're just behind on their notifications and shipping as their website has been showing them as instock for about 2 weeks or so.

Mike

peteski

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #55 on: August 10, 2019, 01:33:59 PM »
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Looks like BLI came out with a winner - appears that it is smooths as a Kato, and a great puller.  Nice! Well, except for one thing I mention at the end of my post . . .

I like the "cable tray" routing the wires from the cab to the tender. About time somebody came up with a better idea on how to do it than letting then hang in a tangle. .

While clever, it is not the first time the wires are hidden in a drawbar. Some other previosu models using similar desogn are the Model-Power American and Mogul, and Minitrix BR18 (European loco).  A variation of this method is also used on Kato FEF-3 and GS-4 locos  since the drawbar  has conductors for the track and motor power.

They sure look like caps to me; whether they perform a keep alive function or not, I don't know.  @peteski might be able to chime in, though he might need a better photo that what I got out of my phone.

I've already changed the speaker to an 11x15mm cell-phone type with an 8mm-deep enclosure.  Much happier now. 
So BLI used 8 ohm speaker in this design?  I know some decoders in the past had oddball high-impedance speakers.

Are those little boxes on the upper right a bank of capacitors? Tha would explain the “excellent power pickup” mentioned earlier.

Well, those aren't tantalum keep-alive capacitors which would be responsible for as you said "excellent power pickup".   These are non-polarized ceramic caps, and if they are used as keep-alive like the similar caps on the ESU sound decoders) they will provide very minimal keep-alive  functionality.  The excellent power pickup can most likely be contributed to good physical connections between the track and decoder (model's weight, wheels, wipers, wires).



I don't have on of these models in hand, but looking at the photos they appear to have solid-center "spoked" drivers.  Very disappointing.  There is absolutely no excuse for any newly designed N scale steam loco to have very toysh-lookign solid drivers (think: Bachmann). :RUEffinKiddingMe:   Come on BLI, see-through spoked drivers have been utilized by most N scale model manufacturers since the infancy of N scale (just look at the early Arnold or Minitrix models).  The non-see-through drivers to me totally ruin the appearance of otherwise nice looking model.  :x
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muktown128

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #56 on: August 10, 2019, 01:57:33 PM »
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I don't have on of these models in hand, but looking at the photos they appear to have solid-center "spoked" drivers.  Very disappointing.  There is absolutely no excuse for any newly designed N scale steam loco to have very toysh-lookign solid drivers (think: Bachmann). :RUEffinKiddingMe:   Come on BLI, see-through spoked drivers have been utilized by most N scale model manufacturers since the infancy of N scale (just look at the early Arnold or Minitrix models).  The non-see-through drivers to me totally ruin the appearance of otherwise nice looking model.  :x

I'm with Peteski on this point.  I do own several BLI PRR M1's, E7's, E8's, and PA's, so it's not like I'm not supporting BLI... 

Point353

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #57 on: August 10, 2019, 03:13:01 PM »
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Well, those aren't tantalum keep-alive capacitors which would be responsible for as you said "excellent power pickup".   These are non-polarized ceramic caps, ...
Are you sure that those capacitors are not of the conformal-coated tantalum type?

ChristianJDavis1

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #58 on: August 10, 2019, 06:20:22 PM »
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I don't have on of these models in hand, but looking at the photos they appear to have solid-center "spoked" drivers.  Very disappointing.  There is absolutely no excuse for any newly designed N scale steam loco to have very toysh-lookign solid drivers (think: Bachmann). :RUEffinKiddingMe:   Come on BLI, see-through spoked drivers have been utilized by most N scale model manufacturers since the infancy of N scale (just look at the early Arnold or Minitrix models).  The non-see-through drivers to me totally ruin the appearance of otherwise nice looking model.  :x

Just remember, this is the same company that couldn't make a see-through stock car, and even had closed stirrups. BLI is a bit of an odd duck, touting "premier" models and then making some very odd decisions. Upon originally hearing of these being announced, I was not very hopeful, but they actually look a lot better than I was expecting. I wouldn't buy one unless it were very cheap, but it's nice to see that they are at least improving.
- Christian J. Davis

Mark5

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Re: BLI Mike initial impressions
« Reply #59 on: August 10, 2019, 07:09:06 PM »
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By all means please tell BLI about your displeasure with the spoked drivers.

Mark