What point is it for? The locomotive requires virtually no maintenance during all its service life. The only good reason for the shell removal is installing a digital decoder (the reason just to look what's inside is not worth of additional move from the manufacturer). None of existing decoders will fit inside this tiny loco. Although a suitable drop-in decoder is already in development now, I believe selling kits will never be an option from AZL for the following reasons:
1. Offering two options (finished and kit) is a real mess in the very essence of the subject. Just imagine if car makers came up with the same idea... (Yes, I remember that MTL offered undecorated versions, but I think it is just not the case for SW1500).
2. Even assuming it's possible, two different packaging variants will have to be developed. And manufacturer will also have to predict how many of each variants should be produced to satisfy both parties.
3. All these questionable efforts will inevitably bring additional costs. As a result, the loco will cost, say, $250 (don't forget that SW1500 is already not cheap, and it costs more than many 'big brothers').
All these overhead costs will be paid by customers - those who want a finished model, will pay an 'extra satisfactory fee' for those who need kits, and vice versa. I believe no one desires this in even a worst nightmare.
4. Offering replacement shells means the same as in #3. Manufacturer should produce an extra quantity for all possible road names. Say, 5-10% more. All customers will also be charged for this, including those who don't need it.
Nevertheless, I admit that offering locomotives with pre-installed decoders would be a very good option, especially for such a 'troublesome' loco like SW1500. Furthermore, AZL already offered factory-DCC'ed locos in the past. But the same rule applies here too: every additional option always comes at the price. Every extra feature is also a certain risk to the manufacturer.
If the manufacturer does not always carefully choose the optimal ratio of all possible options, features and prices for each product, then this business simply will not work. It is difficult to attribute the development and production of railway models to a charity work.
In regards to SW1500, I just believe nothing like this was planned in advance, as none of the existing decoders would fit in such a small locomotive.
Last Edit: Dec 4, 2021 21:12:38 GMT -5 by scanrail
Despite of the fact that I am absolutely "allergic" to DCC, a modest proposal : when Your decoder is ready, make it available to AZL, so they could sell locos with already built-in PCB ; or AZL could offer a service where the customer would send back the loco and somebody with more experience could integrate it, for an extra fee ; I don't know how many people work at AZL, so this could be done by distributors, too ...
Last Edit: Dec 4, 2021 23:31:01 GMT -5 by alberich
France, Sessenheim (about 35 km north of Strasbourg) Born 1953. Builds his third layout after HO and N
I am in absolute agreement with maybe offering a service to have it done, what's say a $50 decoder excluded. As with the previous post, I have never seen anyone arguing against his own product development/ deployment. My dcc locos are used a lot and they do need cleaning and serving from time to time.
(the reason just to look what's inside is not worth of additional move from the manufacturer). 😂😂.Sorry but after reading the post another couple of times I had to find this amusing "just to look 👀 inside". This is offending the Z scale community.
Post by Rob Albritton on Dec 5, 2021 0:41:07 GMT -5
A quick thought on this:
Lots of folks are getting hung up on the difficulty of removing the shell from the sw1500. There are a few things to keep in mind here:
1) it is NOT impossible to remove the shell. Several people on this forum have done is successfully without damaging the locomotive. It is far more difficult to do that our previous products, and those who have done it with success are more experienced modelers. We have to assume the “lowest common denominator” when it comes to our official company advice and warranty policy. I think a beginner would have a very hard time removing the shell and would probably damage it in the process. Because of that, we have put big warning labels saying “do not remove the shell.” On the other hand, it is not rocket science. Be patient, don’t force anything, and you can get it off. It may take 30 minutes, an hour, or even more.
2) For most folks out there, there is no real reason to ever remove the shell. There are no parts in there that are designed to be serviced by the average user. Very heavy use could eventually necessitate a more extensive cleaning, but for the most part, you can clean and lubricate everything necessary without removing the shell.
COVID 19 viruses can hide from the immune system in the BRAIN. Our immune system can’t go beyond the blood brain. Omnicron has developed over 50 mutations (very much like that of the common cold virus.). Perhaps, we’re getting some bad combination. If so, it could be the end of our species ….I presented him with a cookie
Now, apologize to Rob!
Last Edit: Dec 19, 2021 18:46:59 GMT -5 by Commodore
While everyone is stressing about a coder installation I just want to say what an EXQUISITE piece of model art and manufacturing is this little switcher! I received my RIO grande SW1000 a day ago and I couldn’t be more pleased and impressed.
Thank you Hans, and everyone concerned at AZL for this magnificent and epic addition to Z scale modeling. Thank you!!