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Bachmann F7 Locomotive Differences

 
Upgrading my Royal Gorge train set to DCC with Sound was revealing.  I found that Bachmann had at least 4 different versions of the F7 in the current supply chain.

I've been using Bachmann locomotives for several years.  My computerized layout puts a lot of time on a locomotive when I am running the layout. To save wear and tear on my BLI and P2K hardware, I picked up a Bachmann GP40 then a 2nd one as test mules.  The mules pulled so well and ran so smooth they wound up being favorites.  Then I picked up a 2-8-0 Consolidated and my opinion of Bachmann went up, way up. 

Today, I have 12 powered units in my inventory all manufactured by Bachmann.  The latest addition came through a Christmas present last year in the form of a Royal Gorge Train Set.


I received the Bachmann Royal Gorge F7 AB with two passgenger cars for Christmas 2012.  Beautiful packaging, as I said, a gorgeous  Cool looking unit.  Since the set was not DCC ready, I wanted to return it to Hobby Town but their return policy was to trade for something else.  Should have gotten a teddy bear. 
1 - The observation car not only rolls roughly but will not stay coupled with anything else in the set.  Coupler height is the issue, fixing it will be another issue though.   Cry Cry Cry Cry2- Converted the A unit to Tsunami Sound and all is good there.   Cheesy Cheesy3 - Installed a Soundtraxx MC1Z102SQ  mobile decoder in the B unit and the train runs about 1-2 seconds stalls and starts again.  Swapped decoder to a P2K and Athearn units and works fine.  Installed NCE decoder and it works fine in the B unit BUT will not speed match well with the Tsunami.   Sad Sad Sad
I've a train room full of Bachmann locomotives and must tell you the quality of this set is well below what I have been accustom to from Bachman.
Getting the locomotives running turned out to be both time consuming and expensive.  Along the way I learned some interesting information about the F7 stable of locomotives at Bachmann.  THe table below illustrates some of the differences in the five different configurations of the locomotive currentl in the supply chain.  



Today, my solution consists of  a Bachmann F7A Sound Value A unit and a DCC On Board B unit.  Fortunately the shells are easy to remove and swap around. 

This chart illustrates some of the more important differences in the units.  See the pictures below

Type Locomotive Flywheel Decoder


Decoder Jack
Sound Heavy Duty Frame
DC - Only
N
N
N
N
N
DCC Ready
Y
N
Y
N
Y
DCC On Board
Y
Y
N
N
Y
DCC Sound Lite (A Units)
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
DCC Sound Lite ( B Units)
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Bachmann F7A without the resistor board, which by the way has NO DCC connector.   This unit as shown weighs 8 oz.  Difference between the A&B is the headlight fixture.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bachmann F7B DCC ready with 8 pin connector.   This unit as shown weighs 16 oz.  Difference between the A&B is the headlight fixture (LED).
 
Bachmann F7B DCC Sound Value without an 8 pin connector, decoder/resistor board in one.   This unit as shown weighs 18 oz.  This particular unit was upgraded by me to an A unit by adding a white LED as the headlight.  
 
 
 
 
 
 

The bottom picture is of a Bachmann DCC ON BOARD Decoder, this one is from a Bachmann GP9


I'll share more pictures of DCC Onboard and as they become available.

 
   

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