Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More disappointment from Lionel - Yet another bad ES44AC!

My excitement of receiving my third replacement BNSF ES44AC from Lionel quickly changed to disappointment and disgust.  Upon opening the box, I could tell by the packaging that it had been previously opened by someone else, just like the last defective replacement they sent me.  In both cases, the packs of silica gel were wedged in so the loco shifted in shipping and ripped the small packets open allowing little silica beads to be all over the inside of the foam and box.  Also, all 3 locomotives had broken steps on the pilots needing glued back on.  I know how to carefully open and handle these by now, and I am very cautious to see how they come "out of the box".  They can't even be packaged and shipped without damage.

In any case, everything seemed to work and I thought this saga was finally over.  Then, as I started playing with the idle and power save sounds and volume, I realized this banshee squeal through the sound system and speaker that I've only heard before on a Radio Shack 100-in-1 Electronic Kit Project.

I'm done with this nonsense.  A bad Lionel Genset Switcher and (3) bad Lionel ES44AC Hybrids in a row is more than enough for me to see there are major problems here.  Each of the problem locos has had a list of 5 or more things wrong with it, except this last one which only really had 3 problems.  I've tried to be patient, but for now I need to see what can be done to remedy this situation…hopefully in the form of a refund.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

It's getting laughable with Lionel

I received my replacement BNSF ES44AC diesel engine from Lionel and carefully but eagerly unpacked it for a test run.  Initial inspection revealed 3 loose or broken pilot steps which I was able to glue back on.  The cab windows had small scratches and fingerprints, and overall the loco didn't look "brand new in the box."  Further investigation revealed a covered shipping label where it went to some other guy's residence in Michigan in January 2011.

After an initial lube and oil of the gearing, I gave it a test run.  Since my Legacy remote system is still at Lionel for repairs, I had to use my older TMCC remote.  The engine didn't respond consistently to commands, lurched when running, and exhibited the infamous "smoking coupler" as seen in this video:

Feature reset commands didn't help the situation with the antenna or signal issue.  The chain detail on the trucks had excessive slack, and the contact circuit board under the rear hatch had a stripped screw. Lastly, several contacts, circuit boards, and solder points had the appearance of corrosion of some sort.  Ultimately, it went back to Lionel for the 2nd time after spending a full 11 hours in the house.

I am now waiting for a 3rd replacement from Chesterfield, MI, and of course today my supposedly repaired Legacy remote showed up…and I have no Legacy engines to run with it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

BNSF ES44AC loco and Legacy Remote gets returned to Lionel for Repairs

I decided there were too many issues with the BNSF ES44AC Lemon, er, uh, Loco so I returned it to Lionel for a repair. They agreed that there were too many separate issues and are sending me a replacement. I pushed for a replacement and appreciate Lionel's concern and willingness to try to satisfy me.

Also my Legacy remote has never fully charged so it was returned for repair as well.  Supposedly a known issue that requires some hardware upgrades/mods.

Not much going on with trains during the summer so good time for me and Lionel service.