Tag Archives for " Bachmann Model Trains "

Bachmann Digital Controller

Do you have multiple locomotives?  No problem, as long as you have a digital controller.  The Bachmann Digital Controller will do the job!  You aren’t familiar with Bachmann Digital Controllers?  Oh, yeah, I forgot how old school you are.  Well let me see if I can give you the low down buddy. Fire away!

What is a Bachmann Digital Controller?  

The Bachmann Digital Controller is a device that allows you to control up to 10 different trains on the same train circuit at the touch of a button.  It’s a little bigger than your common TV remote control.

Are they easy to purchase and operate?  

Bachmann is perhaps most popular for their starter kits for beginning toy train hobbyists.  Most Bachmann starter kits will include a digital controller right with it.  Usually they will also include a couple of different locomotives and some cars for them to pull.  All packaged right up in one convenient bundle.  It’s a pretty cool deal.  They don’t stiff you on the bill either.  If I were just beginning and wanted an HO size model train I would be all over that.

Are the Bachmann HOs good quality locomotives though?

Bachmann model locomotives are perhaps the most popular trains these days for hobbyists who are just beginning.  Bachmann does a cool job of making simple straight forward starter sets that let you get going with your model train experience in just a matter of minutes and it does all this at reasonable prices.  Bachmann always has an ear to ground watching for up coming trends and fads, so you are likely to find what want with Bachmann.  Put simply, Bachmann trains rock for beginners!

How long has Bachmann been in existence? 

The Bachmann company is just about as venerable as locomotives themselves, having been founded by two families, the Carlisle’s and the Bachmann’s.  Bachmann’s an American company, founded in Philadelphia, though it has since transplanted its operations to Beijing around the turn of the millennium.  Although they were around long before relative new comers like Lionel and American Flyer, Bachmann didn’t enter the model train making business until after these other 20th century companies were the well established industry leaders.  Bachmann only really started making a splash with model locomotives in the 1950’s but when it did it was in the right place at the right time.  It’s enlightening to see Bachmann’s starter kits in this adversarial way.  By tapping into the customers that Lionel alienated Bachmann established themselves as the new top dogs in the model locomotive making world.  The Bachmann Digital Controller is just the one of the many innovations that Bachmann has chosen in order to remain the most popular beginners model locomotiveer makers around.

How does the Bachmann digital controller function?  

Well to understand it you first have to get the problem that it solved.  Back in the day before controllers, it used to be that trains moved because the track was electrified.  So, you hit the power and every locomotive on the track would move.  To create a layout with more than one train you needed separate circuits and power sources or else both the locomotives would only move at the same time. You can see that this would quickly get out of hand in terms of power sources and wiring and tracks as you attempted to move on beyond three locomotives.  What the Bachmann digital controller and other copycat devices did was place chips into individual locomotives By placing a chip in each individual train, the locomotive can now differentiate between commands sent to its tiny processor versus those sent to the other locomotives.  This makes it so that the track is no longer in command.  The controller tells the microchip when to go and the train follows its command.  It was an easy computer age solution to an old hardware puzzle.  Good stuff, huh?

What about old vintage locomotives?  Does the Bachmann controller exclusively work with their computer age locomotives? 

No. Actually you can install the chip into the trains wiring yourself.  There is some explanatory literature out there but it is possible to make old locomotives control with a digital device.  I personally steer clear of anything involving soldering, but as you know I’m all thumbs.  I’ve heard that even I can do it and as you know I don’t even know the difference between a Phillips screw driver and a flathead. 

Anyway, that’s what I can tell you about the Bachmann Digital Controller.  Did that clear up your question? Now, the one with the straight head or the one with the x head?

Here is more information on Bachmann Model Trains. Here is a website with a free mini-course dedicated to Model Trains.

Thomas the Tank Engine Model Trains

You have a diminuative Thomas lover in your family and you want to get him or her a toy they’ll really like?  But you don’t just want to buy him yet another little wooden locomotive that he pushes around.  He’s got those cool Thomas books and he can uncannily imitate George Carlin and Alec Baldwin on the DVDs?  A Thomas the locomotive coloring book just seems too cheap?  You want something a little more enjoyable for the little guy?  Okay well I have the solution for you.  Bachmann has just the set for your favorite little Thomas worshipper.

What’s so great about Bachmann’s Thomas the Tank Engine beginner set?

Four words: Thomas the Tank Engine! 

If the kid is into Thomas the Tank Engine already he’ll just go bonkers over this beginner set.  Most sets include not solely Thomas but Claribel as well.  Kids really like to follow along as Thomas actually takes off by himself, no more pretending to contro him manually.  Bachmann really gets it correct, even including the moving eyes that mimic what the little ones are used to on the shows.

Then, of course, it’s also Bachmann! 

Bachmann is one of the most popular brands for amateurs just starting in on the model train hobby.  You get everything you need to get setup within minutes all bundled in one reasonably priced package.  It includes the trains and digital controllers so you can operate them easily.  The beginner sets also give you enough track to get you started right out of the box and enough choices so that you can get exactly what you want.  This is perfect for someone just getting started. The whole thing can be up in running within an hour of having it out of the box.

Is Bachmann a good brand?

Bachmann is really the industry leader when it comes to HO scale beginner kits.  Bachmann made their name in the model train world by creating less expensive, smaller and simpler to use alternatives to the Lionel O scale locomotives in the 1950’s and they have been at the top of the model locomotiveing world ever since.

This is good family gift.  As a pastime model locomotive building and operating will be sure to create a great bonding experience between the little guy and his dad.  The hobby of model locomotive building can be a real window into history and locomotives.  Few hobbies do more to develop a kid’s math skills, sense of history and creativity all at the same time.  Model locomotive making and operating is a cool hobby in general for developing the mind.  It can really create some valuable family experiences.  Because it requires that the parent aid the child to set up and operate the track the two can work together which will create great memories as well.  Put succinctly, Thomas train just rocks as a model locomotive gift!  

Here is more information on Bachmann Model Trains. Here is a website with a free mini-course dedicated to Model Trains.