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Japanese Modelling & Japan Rail Enthusiasts Forum


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About kvp

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    Budapest, Hungary
  • Interests
    Japanese trains and train models in N gauge.

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  1. Greetings (or Konnichiwa) from Michigan!

    Japanese turnouts from both Kato and Tomix are power routing. This means they cut power to the rail on the side of the frog when a direction is not selected. (Newer Tomix turnouts are a bit smarter and cut both rails, which is great if you want to build a reversing loop.) This means that most straightforward track layouts allow a single feed point on each loop (mainline track) and the turnouts sort out the power, so only tracks being selected with the turnouts get power. Generally, we could say that tracks that you can push an unpowered train to from the feed point will be powered, and tracks that you can't, will be unpowered. The general setup for Kato Unitrack is one controller per loop, with only the turnouts controlling the power to every part of the layout. You only have to isolate the loops from each other (on both rails) and double track crossovers (both single and double) have this isolation built in. This is essentially plug and play and especially suited for floor running, where minimal cabling is a plus. You do get isolators for the turnouts for the special cases, but there are very few of those. For the case when a certain track configuration (like a Z shaped siding) can't get power through the straight way, you can disable this power routing on the Kato #4 turnouts by moving a screw on the bottom of the turnout. There is no extra wiring required at all.
  2. Greetings (or Konnichiwa) from Michigan!

    Actually for the sensors to work, you just need metal wheels on the leading cars and the control is by PWM, which is what DCC decoders output to the motors. This makes all trains that could be converted to DCC, compatible with the Tomix system. This system just puts the decoders into the blocks, assuming that most people own more trains than there are blocks on their layout. (the largest demo layout by Tomix so far had 12 blocks) If you want automation under DCC, you still need all the sensors and blocks the Tomix system uses, but block controllers will be replaced by block occupancy sensors and you'll also need a DCC central too. Considering a typical japanese EMU needs at least 3 decoders (2 cabs and 1 motor), this could get really expensive and if you want signalled block operation, what most japanese systems use, you could get by using the stock analog power routing turnouts and analog controllers. (possibly a Tomix PWM/CL system for constant intensity and always on lights, including directional head/tail lights /DCC F0/ with off the shelf analog trains) For a layout, i always say, that one should consider what one wants to model. Which trains? Where do (did) they run? Which sceneries do you like and would like to model? And so on... selecting the trains or selecting the location usually determines the other. Then when you have a trackplan, you can start planning operations. When you know where do you want your trains to move and how, you can decide which system (manual analog, computer controlled analog, manual digital, computer controlled digital) you find the best to be able to run that traffic you want. Deciding for a technology only to find it hard to implement (like adding dcc decoders to japanese trains) or it ends up as overkill (like full computer control if you want to control manually) or not enough (single loop without turnouts) is imho not the right end of the design process to begin with. Imho, first find out what do want to achive and then find the tools and technologies to make it real. Just my 5 cents though... ps: I seem to remember that there was a Kato japanese style layouts track plan page somewhere on the net...
  3. Considering all of these shows are promotional for Japan and all japanese rail companies, i don't think there is a really big incentive to go after anyone sharing it. As long as the YT videos are up and nobody is bothered to take them down, we can assume they will leave everyone else in peace. Especially that nonregistered people and search engines only see the text content of some of the subforums, without any pictures or clickable links. (at least that was the case with the old forum, might worth checking now)
  4. It's interesting to see that current european and chinese model train production is very similar to the classic small scale manufacturing that is still done in Europe by a few individuals and small companies. Tomix has a similar production system and the hand painting is especially visible on the cheaper Tomytec items. Now comparing the Lego production process, with the directly tool steel and aluminium CNC-d molds and the automated pad printing shows how they managed to keep some of the production in Europe. (the reason is that almost no manual labor is involved, even the packaging is automated) The third way is the 3d printed, 3d painted models we start to see for very small production runs, where each model is printed on order and painted by a non flat surface inkjet painter using UV curing base material and paint. (it's the same UV curing material used for modern tooth repair) This allows each model to be made individual, so road numbers and other things could be unique or even selectable by the customer. Prices here are mostly influenced by the cost of the design engineers.
  5. According to the japanese wikipedia entry, by spring 2017 only 75 cars were remaining at JREast with both 483 and 489 series fully retired everywhere with no original JNR style sets remaining in service. So it looks like, these JRE sets are the last ones.
  6. Already done by a great Japanese modeller:
  7. Berlin GT6N trams

    The power units are sized for 1:150, so either this or no european models at all. On the other hand afaik the already issued european articulated buses are also 1:150 and it isn't that visible.
  8. Not H0 or N scale and not even japanese, but there is an exhibition right now at the Budapest railway historical park and i was invited. That's my station and some of my trains. And yes, that's lego... (it's a huge modular layout built by 3 clubs and has 6 stations)
  9. Tomix - New Releases

    And finally a 103 series 1000 subseries! :-)
  10. Tomix - New Releases

    Actually that's how i ended up with a kumoni pair (electric rolling stock tractors) that have rapido couplers on one end and Tomix shibata TN-s on the other, so one way or the other they could couple to most of my loco hauled and emu stock. My dmu-s have Tomix TN janney couplers, so they would still need an adapter for that. But even JNR (and later one of the JRs) has used a coupler converter baggage car just to couple different stock together in regular service as they also had the shibata/janney problem with loco hauled/DMU/EMU stock. On some of the videos, you can see old cabooses used as converter cars to move emu stock with locomotives. Japanese models are just following the prototype more closely. (adapter cars are allowed for in service trains, but add on coupler adapters are only for service movements and emergencies) Btw. the european solution was to use the NEM coupler socket, so everybody could install their favourite coupler type or even drawbards for permanently coupled stock. I used this on newer british stock with alternating long and short couplers to get closer coupling on some of my N scale non kinematic equipped 3rd rail emus. On the other hand Arnold has issued the N scale Brighton Belles with nonstandard power couplers between the cars (and rapido-s on the ends) that could not couple to anything else and is more fragile than anything i've seen from Japan.
  11. Layout ideas and attempts

    Just a random idea, a layout using only 280 mm curves and turnouts:
  12. Dirty Old Girls.

    That's roughly what you get from the near proto scale Tomix TN couplers (the freight variant), but automatic uncoupling is often needed if you don't want to keep reaching in though the thick scenery. (btw. in theory there is a rapido adapter for the TN couplers, but i wonder how usable is it)
  13. JR Freight: Etchujima Line

    Interesting. I traced it on google maps and it looks like it was double tracked in the past, but only the double tracked bridges and one bypass siding remains from that. Also the rail loading yard's lead and the street patterns beyond that look like the tracks continued towards the islands. edit: that line seemed to be the Harumi freight line...
  14. Dirty Old Girls.

    Those are the solutions suggested by european manufacturers and in case of the 2nd, Tomix itself. On the other hand, if you prefer the american couplers, then imho all through tracks should use either electromagnetic uncouplers or a mechanical contraption (either hand or motor operated) to raise and lower the underfloor uncoupler magnet. This means the permanent magnet is out of the way for normal operation and put under the track only during the uncoupling. This is also important as not only the wheels, but some of the cars themselves have iron parts in them (mostly weights). Btw. that's really nice weathering!
  15. Thanks Lee! After watching the different offical JR rail cruise schedules, i find two things strange. One is the amount of bus usage during the day (when you could see the scenery from the train), especially compared to the unofficial cruises seen on the tv show which use mostly rail only. The second thing is the amount of kids at certain stops. When these cruises become scheduled, this needs the kids to be there everytime a cruise arrives, which could be like twice a week. How do they manage that?