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Japanese Modelling & Japan Rail Enthusiasts Forum


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

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  1. Imho resetting the decoders or using the sound programmer on them should be avoided. It's very easy to reset them. Also any corruption in the sound storage flash could also result in a self reset. Practically this means don't change anything on them except the locomotive address. ps: Normal factory installed decoders reset back to the factory installed sound files, but these decoders seems to be custom installed using blank decoders. Also backing up the sound samples for later reinstall/nonlicensed duplication seems to not work and could also cause a decoder reset.
  2. Assuming the decoder in question has the top speed set up to full throttle (100%), and you have tested by turning up both controllers to full, then the only difference is voltage. In DC mode, the top speed is set by the maximum voltage of the throttle. This should be around 12V for N scale and most H0/N throttles have a maximum voltage of 16V. For DCC, the N scale track voltage should be around 14V and the decoder drops a bit less than 2V due to losses in the rectifying diode bridge and the motor driver H bridge. The voltage to the motor is thus around 12V. If you have an analog throttle that could output more than 12V DC (like a classic Kato analog throttle) and a DCC central that outputs 14V DCC, then in analog mode, the top speed will be higher. On the other hand, if you have a 12V DC N scale throttle (like a typical Tomix) and a DCC central that outputs 18V DCC (H0 scale voltage), then DCC mode will be faster and also damaging to the motor in the long run. In your case, the analog throttle seems to be the faster. There is an other factor, motor drive frequency. As it was said above, DCC decoders use a PWM signal to set the speed. Some motors don't like high frequency PWM signals (or you accidentally left the filter capacitor in the locomotive during DCC-ing). The classic solution is to set a different PWM freuency if your decoder supports it (after checking for the aforementioned filter cap). For many decoders, you can go as high as 32 kHz and low down to somewhere around 100-120 Hz, which is the typical drive frequency of old pulse power analog controllers. Many decoders default to somewhere around 16 kHz. Very old locomotives even had filter coils in series to the motor, which effectively filter out most power from a high frequency PWM signal.
  3. Similar, but the DD51 is a double engine locomotive while V90-s are single engine ones. Also the DMF31 and the DML61 motors seem to be based on a prewar japanese inline predecessor. Two V90s slightly out of phase might be nearer to a single DD51. Imho it might be possible to get a new preprogrammed decoder with the right sounds without shipping the loco back to Japan and just swap them out. This depends on if Kato still supports this locomotive with spare decoders.
  4. I would like to add that it's possible to set the decoders up to use F1-Fxx, so each car has a dedicated function button on the same address as the motor and the cabs. For a standard emu, this isn't really needed, but for sleeper trains, even multiple lights per car might be good. (for example on 3 or 4 functions for the whole train to simulate various compartements having the lights on or off) Digitrax lighting decoders with 4 outputs are great for this, but they need multi led lights to work and it could get expensive pretty fast.
  5. Sitting down is easy. Getting up is much harder. Btw, i took some photos too:
  6. Cleaning and maintaining your train

    Imho diluted non acidic dishwasher is both safe and effective. For drying the parts quickly try compressed air or antistatic compressed nitrogen cans. There are too many sensitive parts in a locomotive to risk ruining them with something aggressive. For example there could be rubber parts, both on the wheels (traction tires) or on the drive shafts used as flexible cardans in some cheaper motors (the german version of the spring screw drive). Very old locomotives even used paper isolators, and any liquid (even conductive oil) could ruin them.
  7. Tram line plan

    Yes mine keeps lifting a bogie on r103. But judging from the slowdown, the bare chassis is binding in the curves too.
  8. German Intercity (IC) trains models.

    Thanks. This means any photograph showing the panto up on the line is an error. (except maybe when coupled to locos without head end power) As an example of a gas using car, i would like to add the old rheingold restaurant cars that used steam heating and gas stoves. This was before the TEE era though and these mostly ran with steam locomotives. Many east european companies use jumper cables connected to the head end power line for stationary heating and supply during locomotive exchanges. (earlier there were steam lines in use) One of the main reasons pantographs were not really needed on restaurant cars there. Only a the cars sent for international routes or used with locomotives without head end power had self contained hvac, first coal/gas heating and later diesel generators, either under the cars or in a dedicated heating/generator cars. Some of these older cars also had axle generators for lighting.
  9. German Intercity (IC) trains models.

    There were pantographless diner cars. The early variants had gas heated stoves, the later ones used electricity. The source could be either the main head end power line or internal (diesel generator) or external (pantograph). The pantographs mostly disappeard when the last trains were switched to electric heating and they were rarely used on non electrified lines, but when they ran there the car was run from head end power with the panto down.
  10. Where the hankyus sleep

    The yellow one looks like a track inspection vehicle. The blue one is a tamper and there is a similar modell in N, but afaik not with this paint.
  11. Applying Decals to a Kato E231 - Any tips?

    I would like to suggest that you translate the titles too as usually only one set of stickers apply to each variant. I'm fairly sure the 233 series was not used on the yamanote. Checking the paint of your cars (or even the box text) would determine the line they are used on, then you can search which services they ran and finally choose one of the services that are provided on the sticker sheet. Otherwise the paint and the destination signs would not match.
  12. Kato - Rolling Stock Details

    Personally i have a few Kato sets where every detail was applied. In one case (Kato Nohabs) i have to actually remove them as they are not epoch correct and were added later or in some case not at all for that certain locomotive (3 out of 4 had to be modified in some way). For another set, the JNR series 13 kumoni, the applied handle parts are extremly flimsy and if they were added to the package as extras, i wouldn't have put them on. If you want to transport the models to exhibitons, tend to have small accidents (routing and shunting errors) or want to handle them more easily then it's better to have less fiddly parts to break off. So i found a few other reasons besides cost: -safety during transportation, so the parts won't get damaged between the factory and the buyer's home -epoch correctness as some parts, like radio antennas were installed later during the service life of the vehicle -multiple option, this is the usual case when you get more than one part type and must choose which one matches the region and the epoch you want -and being more child (or clumsy hands) safe Actually if i could choose between a nicely applied external detail part of an N scale handrail or one moulded into the shell, i would say the second is better. Doesn't look as good, but it's less likely to break off. I also build Lego trains, not the toy sized offical sets, but scale correct ones (1:42) with car lengs over half a meter. Still the cars i build could be picked up with one hand and turned upside down without falling apart or the passengers getting loose. Some people in my club build more detailed ones, but if you don't lift them at 4 locations with 2 hands and keep them level, they fall apart. Also a small shunting error (higher speed) and you are halfway in the last car with your locomotive. (at least it's Lego, so the owner could rebuild it) Nice to look at, but so fragile, they are almost unusable outside a display cabinet. The N or H0 scale models are the same way meant to be toys as the Lego models. The more flimsy details one has, the more it turns into a model and get harder to play with. For someone who prefers to run their trains this might get to the point of having a so detailed locomotive that you can only handle with white gloves and it's so flimsy it needs a transport frame just to be placed into its box. I have a Kato steam locomotive this sensitive and there are only 2 small surfaces on the whole loco body where you can touch it without breaking off anything. 4 if you add the permanently attached tender. This is barely enough to get it off the transport frame and onto the tracks and back again. Also you have to take out all the foam inserts to get the frame out. Compare this to the open bookcase, grab car in the middle and place on the track method for most of my japanese trains.
  13. You don't have to get any firmware. All you need is the register map in a format that jmri understands. Since jmri is an open source freeware software either you or someone else has to write it. Or you can ask the manufacturer to do it for free. If you don't want to program it, then just use it as a generic dcc decoder. No need to id for that.
  14. Pantograph for Tomytec trams

    This seems to be the same type, although i could be wrong: http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/image/10090252/20/1
  15. Pantograph for Tomytec trams

    For that type, the cheapest option seems to be to get any TLR type shell for around 12 usd and take it off from that. Also if you purchase a bookcase for these trams the case comes with one spare unpainted body and pantograph. The bookcase could also help protect them from damage in the future.