Finally the SD40-2 has arrived

J o e Aug 29, 2009

  1. plugsy

    plugsy TrainBoard Member


    The decoder was made first to fit the GP-35 and GP-9. The SD40-2 was made afterward and should of been made to fit the TCS (which means the same board as the Geeps).
    A bit much to ask TCS or Digitrax to make a decoder just for the SD unit.

    David I thik the SD40-2 will be the most popular z scale loco for some time, so digitrax or TCS would do well to have a specific decoder for this loco, I cant wait for MTL or AZL to have DCC factory installed decoders.

  2. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

    I don't thing either AZL or MTL will be quick to embrace the idea of DCC equipped locos straight from the factory. Reason being that then they become liable for any electronic snafus in the decoders.

    It is enough to warranty the loco itself without being responsible for some one elses electronics. TCS decoders come in a static bag to reduce chances of something being wrong when the customer receives them. It's best if the customer be responsible for installing the decoders.

    Electronic components almost always come with a disclaimer that they can not be returned to the store for exchange. For TCS to have a no questions asked return policy on their decoders is going the extra mile IMHO.

    I think it is best if we let the customer be responsible for altering the original, although I certainly agree that it would be nice to open the box, place the loco on the test track and away we go all DCCed up.
  3. minzemaennchen

    minzemaennchen TrainBoard Member

    It was, I guess, the intention of MTL to have a common board. Might be right that this is a kind of a stuff-up, but asking MTL to change the chassis casting so a aftermarket decoder will fit is a bit too much. The aftermarket has to react, even it's a small difference. A circuit board to change is a 5 sec. job, a casting for a chassis not...
  4. Z_thek

    Z_thek TrainBoard Member

    Exactly. You're 100% correct. And MTL too...
  5. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

    I'll stay out of the DCC argument, but in a way I get how you guys feel.

    One thing though... Please don't ever make "with DCC" the only way you can buy locomotives. Locos with DCC can run, but don't run well on DC.

    ZFRANK TrainBoard Member

    .....I am still on DC, but it would be great to have one DCC drop-in that fits all (AZL, MTL). Some kind of standardization shouldn't be too difficult here. Different types of drop-in per loco type will keep the price of the pcbs unnecessary high. Offering locos with factory installed DCC, more detail etc, will push up the price of an loco. See what Märklin, Roco did with their HO locos 500 Euros per locomotive is no fun and does not realy help to encourage newcomers to start the model railway hobby.
  7. plugsy

    plugsy TrainBoard Member


    We have seen the impact of DCC in larger scales and how popular RTR factory fitted DCC locos are, so why not Z?

    MTL's limited warranty is only for 90 days and does not cover improper use, I cant see how having a factory fitted decoder will upset the apple cart from a liability senario.

    In order for Z scale to grow it needs to offer the same as its larger scale cousins and factory fitted or universal DCC is a major part of this.

  8. plugsy

    plugsy TrainBoard Member


    I agree, if we have a table top layouts there is no need for DCC loco's, yes the factory DCC installed locos will be more but would possibly be cheaper than buying the decoder seperatly and then operating on your SD40-2 for an hour or so to get it correct.

  9. zmon

    zmon TrainBoard Member

    Joe, Please do not send me any $$$$ or the loco.... Loren wants the loco for himself, and we have worked out a trade.... So please do not waste the work you've done because of my arrogant atitude... I know i can be an ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ at times, and this is one of my shinning moments at being a true ass.

    This does not change the fact the i'm not interested in the SD 40 from MTL... So please hook up with Loren when you have time, and put the loco in his hands.

    Tony B...
    Wasatch Z Club
  10. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

    Well boys and girls, since we are all human and make occasional blunders or slip ups, I guess we are all in good company.
    Back slapping is now in session

    Tony, no need to call yourself names.......let me do that :eek:)

    I think your disappointment, frustration and anger is justified in this instance, Joe let you down........but in time the feelings will subside and you will still enjoy what MTL, AZL, or XYZ makes as long as it runs good. I think I would have felt exactly the same had this happened to me, only difference is, I would have had an advantage though because I could have run up a big tab at our local eatery, yelled, "drinks for everyone", and when the waitress gave me the check, told the waitress as I got up to leave "here, Joe said he'd pick up the tab"

    And Joe, I know you have a good heart, and mean well, and for all the years I have known you, I've never seen you play dirty or attempt to get one over on anyone, but you did drop the ball on this one my friend.
    When you come over next time, please bend over and I'll give you a good swift kick in the butt for Tony. Or would that mean you'd stop bringing doughnuts when you come?

    I even have one corner in our family room that is reserved for 'standing in' if that will make you feel more contrite.

    Now, let me say one more thing......and this is not intended to take the spotlight off Joe's hung head, but I know from personal experience with Joe that he often bites off way more than he can chew and sometimes chokes on his food choices. Maybe he is a glutton for punishment, so in this case, yes there are hurt feelings, disappointment, frustration, and certainly some justifiable anger, .....but we gotta move on.

    Hey, this reminds me of being a family, the kids squabble all the time, yet when dinner is called they all sit down and share one thing in

    So, bottom line is, it's dinner time in Z scale. AZL and MTL continue to throw more items at us than most can afford or care to admit to our spouses that we indulge in, and more chow is coming our way.

    So, sell the kids, give the dog and cats away, (for you Karin), cancel the trip to that far away vacation spot, take out a second mortgage, and tell your brother or sister in law that you are sorry but you can't loan them the money they requested for their kid's college you are broke...(heh heh heh) and let's get on with more Z.

    Remember boys and girls, we gotta keep our priorities in order here......

    Let's see......where were we? Oh yeah, Joe was going to refund money to Tony, and give the loco to someone, and Tony was not going to accept the loco, and then I came along and opened my mouth to try to smooth some feathers since I hate to see banty roosters squabble.

    So I think this is how it's supposed to go.......

    Joe gives the loco to me and I'll figure out what to do with it, (I don't really want to keep it), Joe keeps Tony's money, and I give Tony some other AZL or MTL product in exchange for the loco value.
    Tony isn't overly happy about this, but at least he has product to show for his money spent.

    That's one scenario. Or......Joe returns the money to Tony and keeps the loco for himself to own or to sell, (after all, it is a third number and unique and I believe it has a couple of extras on it), and Tony takes the money and does with it as he wishes, and I stay totally out of it.

    The apology has been made, the truth is out in the open and now it is time for healing and forward movement.

    What say guys?
  11. Z_thek

    Z_thek TrainBoard Member

    There is a slight difference in production runs between O, HO, N, and Z-scale. I don't think
    a Z-scale factory equipped DCC locomotive could be reasonably priced for a production run of 100 or so. For those, who are interested in DCC, installing a decoder is a snap. For less skilled interested Z-scalers the decoder installation is available by various services.

    Well, you don't see it, but trust me, there are plenty of lawsuit loving characters who do.

    Factory fitted DCC decoders have close to zero effect over the growth of Z-scale. Trust me, the big boys in the field of manufacturing have enough data to make vise business decisions.
  12. plugsy

    plugsy TrainBoard Member


    Most z scalers come from the larger scales, so having DCC factory fitted locos is an attraction and a great option...the "big boys" are not always right..

    Im pro DCC factory installed choice, I guess we agree to disagree.....
  13. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

    I agree with Chris, I hope they still stick with DC rather than DCC ready. To all you that love DCC remember, you are still a minority in the model railroad hobby. Sure you are more vocal and more apt to be on the boards as you are more likely tech savy. DC still out sells DCC and probably always will until things change over to radio controll.
  14. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

    There is nothing wrong with being DCC ready versus DC only. It is still a DC engine until converted. DCC ready just means it is easier to convert - room for a decoder and the motor is easier to isolate. The AZL SD70's and GP-7's were some of the first with the removable boards and when the Z-2 came along, AZL's became much easier to DCC.
    I think the small amount of money spent to have an engine DCC ready is well worth it to the manufactorers. The DC people are happy - leave the shell on and run as is. Take off the shell and either drop in or wire in a decoder and the DCC people are happy. Win - Win for all.
  15. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    You are right, David. It doesnt have to be dcc versus dc. I guess what we are not happy about its the change of the post design. What used to be a easy to dcc, its now one of the hardest. It used to take me at most ten minutes. Now it takes at least a hour. It takes a lot of measuring. You dont want to take too much metal off the chassis.
  16. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

    Joe, Tony: I'll buy it if its not too late. If Joe sent you the money back, I'll then buy the loco from Joe. Or, you can have a unique one still :)
  17. zscaler

    zscaler TrainBoard Member

    Got my SD40-2 UP today and she's a beaut! Took the engine apart (after making sure it ran okay on DC) and measured the two boards. The board between the cutouts on the regular board was 7/32". The MZA4 was 15/64". So a difference of only 1/64". So if I trim 1/128" off both sides then the boards should be the same size.
    Wait a minute!


    My micrometer doesn't go down that far.

    Is that what they call a "skoatch"? Skoatchy? ;)
  18. BrunoR

    BrunoR TrainBoard Member

    Please forgive me if I have missed the information, but are there any plans at MTL to release undecorated SD40-2 shells and accessories packs including plows, horns, for example?
  19. ddechamp71

    ddechamp71 TrainBoard Member

    Coucou Bruno!

    I definitly agree with you, we need some undecs! When they're available I've plans for 2 Nationales de Mexico samples.:tb-wink:

  20. TechRepJapan

    TechRepJapan Permanently dispatched

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2011

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