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Model Railroading > ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly


Date: 03/16/23 13:18
ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: wheel_slip

The Postman dropped off a package today... Lucky the wife is outta town... Inside is the ScaleTrains D&RGW GP30 locomotive and here are my thoughts on this four axle beast.
A buddy of mine also got a shipment of these models earlier than mine as did ANOTHER friend. These things must be popular. There has been some discussion within the three of us about some of these models having decoder issues. This kind of depressed me because it wasn't an issue with only one model but several. So, with this in mind I put my D&RGW 3014 directly on my LokProgrammer track and went to work changing the road number from 003 to 3014.

Well, crap! The decoder will not read on the LokProgrammer track at all. I then opened up the decoder testing feature (throttle) within the LokProgrammer and tried to operate the locomotive at address 003. Guess what? It works as intended. All functions and lights work as intended as well. I let the locomotive run for a little while to maybe charge the stay alive feature and then I decided to try to read the decoder again and unfortunately I still could not read or write to the decoder. I set the software to change the address and left it while I picked up the phone and called ScaleTrains... There I was met with a voice mail system, so I left a message and I have heard back from Mark ALREADY. He is going to try to replicate the issue.
After about ten minutes the programmer seemed to give up. I then decided to try to program the locomotive on the main using my NCE DCC system on the layout. Interesting that nothing happened at address 003, so I decided to just try 3014 because I had just tried to change the address, so.... The model fired right up. The model responds to all commands and functions as intended. Interesting.

So, about the model. It's beautiful. Paint looks great and I find no flaws whatsoever. The details are appropriately applied and everything seems tight and straight, there is no sloppy glue work that I have found. The windows look nice as do the number boards. The lighting looks down right great. Walkway & ground lights as well as working tri-color class lights. Headlights are bright enough and of good color, not that insane blue tinted waste of effort you find on some models. How's it run? Like a Swiss watch. Very quiet, very smooth. Typical of other ScaleTrains models.

Overall, this is an awesome model. I am able to program using CV's on the main so all is well. Hopefully a fix will be found before I get around to dimming the class lights and turning the sound down... The next time this locomotive  appears, it's going to look like it's been around awhile.    






Date: 03/16/23 13:33
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: SeaboardMan

Nice review, but I noticed that bus has been stuck in place for a while.
john



Date: 03/16/23 14:02
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: SOU3921

I've had alot of issues with Lok V4s, V5s, and LokProgrammer lately.  A new computer and updating to the latest LokProgrammer solved a couple of those issues.

Also, a trick I've recently learned on V5s to trick LokProgrammer, get a good unit that works, read it, take it off the programming track, then put the "new" to be programmed loco down and program away.  After the unit is programmed, put it back down on the programming track to update the firmware.

I've heard there's a firmware bug that is causing issues.  

Very aggravating, but I guess it's the price we pay.
Cooper



Date: 03/16/23 14:19
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: inyosub

What a beauty. I have a D&RGW one on the way. Now I am glad I chose to order one along with a UP A+B 
I just do NCE without a programier so I should be fine.
I was wondering; did you add the re-rail frogs or did they come on the loco? They are a nice and very Rio Grande touch.



Date: 03/16/23 14:20
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: SPDRGWfan

I was wondering; did you add the re-rail frogs or did they come on the loco?
Yes, they come with the McCarty re-railers.  D&RGW switched to using them around 1979 looking at the photos.


Nice D&RGW -01400 caboose!  I can't see the rivets but 01436 would be from the batch that was constructed with rivets (01400-01469) and the welded cabooses were 01470-10490 (from memory).

Even though I model late 70's thru early 80's I checked the GP30's from that period and some had been modified already - receiving the McCarty re-railers in late 1979.  Mars went out of business in 1977 (again from memory) so if the nose signal lights went bad, they would be replaced with Pyle signal lights.  So even though these GP30's were modeled after late 1980's thru 1990's versions, they are close to around 1980 or so.  I decided to order both large logo GP30's #3014 and 3027 as well as small herald #3014.  All of those have the earlier style snowplow.  I hope that ScaleTrains does do the earlier D&RGW GP30's in the phase 1 version (D&RGW road #3001-3013).  I should be getting mine any day.

Thanks for your review.

Cheers,
Jim Fitch



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/16/23 14:30 by SPDRGWfan.



Date: 03/16/23 15:13
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: mcdeo

I guess my first question is, are you updating your software? The recent updates seem to work better for me than even several months ago with the ESU software and not having it lose communication with my programming track. I know ESU is always pushing the envelope with new features in their decoders. 

Mike ONeill
Parker, CO



Date: 03/16/23 16:23
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: wheel_slip

LokProgrammer software is the latest edition.... In speaking with Mark at ScaleTrains, it is the same version as he has....

Andy 

mcdeo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I guess my first question is, are you updating
> your software? The recent updates seem to work
> better for me than even several months ago with
> the ESU software and not having it lose
> communication with my programming track. I know
> ESU is always pushing the envelope with new
> features in their decoders. 



Date: 03/16/23 20:07
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: Roadmaster

SeaboardMan Wrote: " . . .that bus has been stuck in place for a while."

Maybe the driver's a railfan and the bus is "having mechanical issues."  :)

Matthew



Date: 03/16/23 20:30
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: koloradokid

wheel_slip Wrote:

>
> Overall, this is an awesome model. I am able to
> program using CV's on the main so all is well.
> Hopefully a fix will be found before I get around
> to dimming the class lights and turning the sound
> down... The next time this locomotive  appears,
> it's going to look like it's been around
> awhile.    

Yes, Please dim those class lights.  The only time I recall ever seeing class lights in use on the Rio Grande, they had the red up and it was so dim as to be hard to tell they were even on.  

RR



Date: 03/16/23 20:38
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: TomG

Wouldn't be the first time I parked my Bus trackside for pictures or just railfanning. A few times in places it probably should not have been parked.
I've never seen red class lights used but I have seen white extra class lights and they were pretty bright.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/16/23 20:40 by TomG.



Date: 03/16/23 20:53
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: Skuat

Just talked to a buddy of mine and he had the updates from last week and had issues with programming on the LokProgrammer. He said there’s a new update available tonight that corrects the issue. Once updated he could program the GP30 with no issues on the LokProgrammer.

Scooter

Posted from iPhone



Date: 03/17/23 01:54
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: funnelfan

Thanks for the review, should be getting my DRGW unit shortly.
 

Ted Curphey
Ontario, OR



Date: 03/17/23 08:41
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: wheel_slip

UPDATE!!!!!
To solve  the decoder programming issues, simply pop the shell off, slide the DIP switch #2 to the down position and it works like a charm....

Andy
 



Date: 03/17/23 09:40
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: BAB

SOU3921 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've had alot of issues with Lok V4s, V5s, and
> LokProgrammer lately.  A new computer and
> updating to the latest LokProgrammer solved a
> couple of those issues.
>
> Also, a trick I've recently learned on V5s to
> trick LokProgrammer, get a good unit that works,
> read it, take it off the programming track, then
> put the "new" to be programmed loco down and
> program away.  After the unit is programmed, put
> it back down on the programming track to update
> the firmware.
>
> I've heard there's a firmware bug that is causing
> issues.  
>
> Very aggravating, but I guess it's the price we
> pay.
> Cooper
Thats why all of mine are Soundtraxx easy to program work great dont need any extra things other than my hand held throttle.



Date: 03/17/23 12:24
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: WrongWayMurphy

So as I understand it, there is nothing wrong with the ScaleTrains product or the LOK sound decoder,
it's just the LOK sound programmer that's the problem?  Or is it the combination of decoder + programmer?



Date: 03/17/23 12:50
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: TomG

I solved the LOK sound problem too, I ordered 3 without sound.



Date: 03/17/23 14:21
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: ChrisCampi

WrongWayMurphy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So as I understand it, there is nothing wrong with
> the ScaleTrains product or the LOK sound decoder,
> it's just the LOK sound programmer that's the
> problem?  Or is it the combination of decoder +
> programmer?

It looks to me reading Andy's post, that one of the Dip switches on the light board was in the wrong position. If you read a ST instruction sheet, they have a big warning that if you mess with the dip switches, you'll disable some functions. Good info Andy. I was starting to think you might need a Lokprgrammer for the Lokprogrammer :-)



Date: 03/17/23 14:25
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: BNSF-E9

No problems here.
Program, fire up, head to work at the mill, mine, and the city.
ScaleTrains does it again......outstanding!








Date: 03/17/23 15:23
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: Highhood

I of course screwed up my order of 1 unit.

Bought a high hooded nw unit not realizing it was in pelver blue.
While I am still looking forward to receiving it I do not have anything to run it with from that time frame.
But I will still run it with my 2 athearn ns highhoods.

Jon Fink
Schenectady, NY



Date: 03/19/23 19:50
Re: ScaleTrain's GP30... Good, Bad and Ugly
Author: MarkG

BAB Wrote:
> Thats why all of mine are Soundtraxx easy to program work great dont need any extra things
> other than my hand held throttle.

My sentiments also. I've heard the claim from the LokSound crowd that the sound is "better." After listening to LokSound and Soundtraxx decoders for comparison my senior citizen ears can't tell any difference. For me it was better to just standardize on one brand, and I chose the less complicated Soundtraxx.

TomG Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I solved the LOK sound problem too, I ordered 3 without sound.

Again, my sentiments as well. All my purchases I've ever made from manufacturers that "featured" LokSound decoders as their sound option have been non-sound units. I add the decoder and speakers later.

best regards,
Mark G.



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