New BLI F3 and F7 - Read this review before purchasing!

kverdon Jun 11, 2018

  1. kverdon

    kverdon TrainBoard Member

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    If you were thinking on purchasing one of the new BLI Sound Equipted F3 or F7 locomotives, I would heartily recommend you head over to www.spookshow.net and read the review there. He found numerous errors in the units and gave them an "F for Epic Fail". Basically they look to be very expensive junk. If someone has had a positive experience with them it would be interesting to hear but it does not sound likely. I just cancelled my order for them based on the review.
     
  2. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    That is very unfortunate. When I looked at the D&RGW units I was concerned about some of the details on the roof... but... could not be sure if they were missing something (steam gen)... and was concerned about the orientation of other items. I will read the Spookshow review and comment today when I get mine delivered TODAY.
     
  3. Maletrain

    Maletrain TrainBoard Member

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    I just dropped a bundle on some of these. I guess I better figure out how to repair them.

    This is the problem with the "pre-order/reservation" system we are getting stuck with in N scale, these days. When a manufacturer with a good reputation gets a lot of orders before there are any reviews, then provides something expensive which Spookshow then rates as an "Epic Fail", it puts that manufacturer in the "do not pre-order" category for any of their future efforts, and one mistake basically "takes-out" one of just a few manufacturers of N scale engines. Which is just another nail in the coffin of our hobby.
     
    MikaelB, Hardcoaler and BoxcabE50 like this.
  4. kverdon

    kverdon TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah, you hit the “Catch-22” manufactures now require a certain numbers of confirmed pre-orders before they will tuna certain item. They then drip a clunkervlike this so no-one will trust to pre-order the next item from them so it gets cancelled. The people I really feel for are the LHS owners, the either wind up with a bunch of cancellation once the word gets out, angry customers and/or a bunch of unsold inventory.
     
    BoxcabE50 and Pie39 like this.
  5. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    MikaelB likes this.
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Exactly why people want to see them up close, 3-D, in a shop. To test run as well, BEFORE coughing up what can be meager spare dollars these days. :(
     
    MikaelB, mtntrainman and Hardcoaler like this.
  7. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    If I had one of those, the first thing I would do is to get rid of that bubble wrap. The review said they ran hot, and covering a circuit board with insulation certainly can't help. Of course, if the bubble wrap melts to the board, that option is out the window.....
     
  8. Maletrain

    Maletrain TrainBoard Member

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    Good point about removing the bubble wrap before running the unit. But, better look at the short-circuit potential and maybe use a bit of tape. And, if you need to send the unit back to BLI, it may pay to put the bubble wrap back so that they don't see it is missing and blame you for whatever the problem really is.
     
    mtntrainman likes this.
  9. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    Not sure what shorts would be possible. That blue "antennae" wire is insulated. Of course, maybe if you remove the bubble wrap the heat will melt the loco shell. Unfortunately, the problems described appear to be design related and not workmanship. Workmanship errors are usually easily corrected. Design problems are not. I don't have a dog in this fight, since I'm all DC these days and the only sound I need is those neat Kato soundboxes. Still, it is sad to see a company run into these types of problems.
     
  10. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Well good news for me, I was just thinking about trying one.......
     
  11. silentargus

    silentargus TrainBoard Member

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    Ouch. For the prices they're asking, a screw-up that serious just shouldn't happen- especially not with something as ubiquitous as an F unit, which everybody and their dog's uncle has made high-quality models of already. I wasn't planning on buying any of these, as I've got about all the EMDs I need... but that level of sloppiness, in a model that a company like BLI has no good excuse for messing up, makes me very concerned about the upcoming T1.
     
  12. WFOJeff

    WFOJeff TrainBoard Member

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    It's strange how things turn out, I bought 4 of the BLI AC6000's, 2 UP and 2 SP.

    All ran perfect yet there was a ton of bad press on those also in the beginning...go figure...
     
  13. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    When you take into consideration that Mark (Spookshow) has been generally positive on the BLI models previously released, this "F" grade is a real concern. Mark gave the E6 - E9, PA & Centipede grades of "A". Sure... he had some reservations on the mechanism for those as well... the excessive wires being the concern... he was mostly upbeat on them. I purchased about 30 of those assorted units since 2008 (when they were Precision Craft Models) and thru the run issued concurrently with these F units. I found the E, PA and Centipede units to be excellently detailed and have good mechanical and sound capability. I commented on another thread (What was your latest purchase?) about buying several of the earlier releases which were deeply reduced in price... wondering if there were problems I have not experienced.

    So I just looked at the new BLI F7 units I got. I can run it right now, but, inspection of the units doesn't give me quite the concerns I had reading the Spookshow listing. I don't notice any unusual 'slop' in the gears... but it may not need much to run poorly. I tend to change out the chassis on the unpowered B units for powered chassis... I don't like pulling lead slug with pretty shells around. All my locomotives have to literally 'pull their own weight'.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  14. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    It's important for the manufacturer to understand that future pre-orders may not materialize in the volume they either expect or need because they made an error by releasing an item of inferior design and/or produced with poor quality control, not because there is simply insufficient demand for N scale products.
     
    BoxcabE50 likes this.
  15. Maletrain

    Maletrain TrainBoard Member

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    I am not so sure that BLI is going to take that into account and take added risk. Manufacturers today seem to be extremely adverse to taking risks that they can't control. Which is ironic, because it appears that some are not doing enough to deal with the risks they can control, such as bringing out bad mechanisms or conspicuously inaccurate details.
     
    Ghengis Kong and BoxcabE50 like this.
  16. emaley

    emaley TrainBoard Supporter

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    Based on Spooks review, it looks like this project was off the rails from the get go. I also had my eye on these. Really too bad.

    Trey
     
  17. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sounds like a QC issue and not putting a certain percent through some testing before they went to market. Also sounds like the mechanism may be more complex than it needs to be.
     
  18. cmfowler

    cmfowler New Member

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    my recently acquired E6A in ATSF seems to be having the same issue as Spookshow mentions in his review of the F3s and F7s. It will randomly slow down break squeal and all then rev back up, then at times it will just randomly stall.
     
    drbnc likes this.
  19. drbnc

    drbnc TrainBoard Member

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    There are discussions on a number of boards. I am a participant in one.

    They also now have refurbished E's and F's on their website. I am not amused, having purchased two A/B sets - Bloody Nose F7 and Black Widow F3. I've "emailed" their tech Support through their website about the gear issues, they have 24 hours left to respond based on their stated 24-48 hour turnaround.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2018
  20. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Way back when they released the E8/9 locomotives, I gambled on a few of them and they were horrific runners. I believe they were gearing issues if I remember correctly. They were returned and I have ignored them until the announcement of the F series. I had hoped they would have fixed their issues but that does not seem to be the case. Sure glad I saw this post before I dropped any money down on the units I was interested in.
     

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