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Questions about the "Kato" EM13 decoder


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#41 Martijn Meerts

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 05:11 AM

Other than that mine ran terrible (because of the broken axle) I haven't actually had any issues with the loco getting hot or causing a short. Even with the broken axle, it pulled all 18 Morning Daylight cars.

 

I have new wheels on the way, so will be interesting to see if I came across any other issues once the new wheels are in place. It's definitely not Kato's best locomotive though. At least the learned from it, since the FEF-3 is supposed to be really good :)


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#42 inobu

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 07:01 AM

It one of those anomalies that took a while to play out. It appears that the first release was really bad. Depending on the type of layout and its radius the problem could be skewed or masked. If the layout had tight and long turns the wheels would short. That's when the heat build up would occur. The heat could dissipate on the long straights skewing the problem again. As guys installed Decoders the problem would surface instantanously. Like in Gavinos case.

Kato remedied the problem with the spacers but that was for the DC crowd. As the decodes shrunk and conversions started the problem appeared to resurfaced. It's funny you can see the posts in the forums that created the time line. What's odd is the tender has the rear light but no led components to make it functional. It like it was unfinished.

I guess the 5th release is due this March it will be interesting to see what inside.

Inobu

#43 gavino200

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 04:51 PM

 As guys installed Decoders the problem would surface instantanously. Like in Gavinos case.


Inobu

 

It turns out that mine wasn't first the first run after all - assuming the engine belongs with the box it came in. Ebay. My issue seems to be that the decoder fried from running the motor with the wheels locked. It runs perfectly in DC now. If it blows again with a decoder rethink the situation again.



#44 inobu

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 07:48 PM

Based on your point #2 I would think its the decoder install. If it failed so quickly. It's just guessing on my part

There are a number of areas that could short out so Be careful

inobu

#45 gavino200

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 08:28 PM

Based on your point #2 I would think its the decoder install. If it failed so quickly. It's just guessing on my part

There are a number of areas that could short out so Be careful

inobu

 

The install seems pretty simple. I'll think it through before doing it again. You lay the 13 in its slot, chip side up, over the trup pickup strips. The L shaped copper strips over topside of the decoder 'legs', and also over the ends of the drawbar. Are there any particular pitfalls that you have seen?

 

 

I'll also check it on the program track before running it. I wish I could find a new draw bar. Mine seems ok, but it has taken a bashing, and those things are fairly flimsy. 



#46 inobu

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 08:58 PM

You have to test for shorts between the top and bottom frames. Also check the travel of the rear wheels. If it touches the top frame.
Watch out for the lighting board. It gets its power from the lower frame.

Also there is a spring under the front pilot truck. If someone used the wrong spring it can work its way up to the bottom frame and short the two sides.

Like you said the draw bars are problematic. When you inscert the half moons if that a open too wide it flexes the rods where they short each other.

Now that mine passed the basic decoder test I'm working on the sound decoder. I have mine torn apart again.

When I get it done I'll start another thread and post it.

Inobu

For testing I used these philmore 500 test leads.

#47 gavino200

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 09:45 PM

You have to test for shorts between the top and bottom frames. Also check the travel of the rear wheels. If it touches the top frame.
Watch out for the lighting board. It gets its power from the lower frame.

Also there is a spring under the front pilot truck. If someone used the wrong spring it can work its way up to the bottom frame and short the two sides.

Like you said the draw bars are problematic. When you inscert the half moons if that a open too wide it flexes the rods where they short each other.

Now that mine passed the basic decoder test I'm working on the sound decoder. I have mine torn apart again.

When I get it done I'll start another thread and post it.

Inobu

For testing I used these philmore 500 test leads.

 

 

Thanks. I ordered a set of philmore leads. I'll refer your post and this thead when my decoder arrives and I have the engine open again. I may have a few questions. I'm going to test it thoroughly before I chance zapping another decoder.

 

 

BTW, I would love to know how/where you got your two fried GS4s. 


Edited by gavino200, 16 January 2017 - 10:47 PM.


#48 gavino200

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 06:59 AM

Apparantly, there will be more drawbars available in March, when the new release comes out. I'm going to wait until then and replace mine. I think I'll go to sound as well. I just tried sound for the first time and I love it. It's much louder than I expected. 

 

In the meantime I'm looking for a fried unit to do in tandem.



#49 Martijn Meerts

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 11:41 AM

I went with a hard wired ESU decoder for my GS4, I don't like the very limited feature set of the Kato motor decoder, I want some more control over the motor settings. I've had trains that run pretty bad, but because of the fine tuning settings in the more advanced decoders, you can still get it to run really well.

 

The replacement wheels I ordered should be getting to me hopefully this week, unless customs decides to be a pain and keep them for 2 weeks, which wouldn't be the first time :D


Mixed Japanese N-scale: http://www.jr-chiisai.net

#50 gavino200

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 04:40 PM



I went with a hard wired ESU decoder for my GS4, I don't like the very limited feature set of the Kato motor decoder, I want some more control over the motor settings. I've had trains that run pretty bad, but because of the fine tuning settings in the more advanced decoders, you can still get it to run really well.

 

The replacement wheels I ordered should be getting to me hopefully this week, unless customs decides to be a pain and keep them for 2 weeks, which wouldn't be the first time :D

 

What decoder did you choose? While I'm leaning toward sound, I haven't decided what to put into my GS4. I've ordered an EM13 but I can use that for that ridiculously priced EVA Shinkansen that I couldn't resist pre-ordering.

 

Good luck with the wheel project. Pay close attention to the position of this part (below) on each side. There are two possible positions. It need to point toward the counterweight side of the wheel. If they aren't right the wheels will lock. That's where I messed up on my first attempt.

 

rMWrIeU.jpg


Edited by gavino200, 17 January 2017 - 04:41 PM.


#51 Martijn Meerts

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 07:48 AM

I used a LokPilot Micro v4. They're readily available here, have plenty options, and well, I have the ECoS and ESU's LokProgrammer device, so going with ESU makes the most sense in my case :) I use ESU for pretty much everything, and they recently announced a new function only decoder which is really small, so that one should fit in pretty much all cab cars. I do also use Lenz decoders now and then, especially the Silver+ Mini, since that one can be set up as a function only decoder with bipolar outputs, which is great for especially MicroAce cab cars, since they sometimes use multi-color LEDs.

 

With regards to the wheels, I'll replace them 1 by 1, so all the drive rods etc. should not get messed up. But you never know :)


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#52 gavino200

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 09:13 AM

 

With regards to the wheels, I'll replace them 1 by 1, so all the drive rods etc. should not get messed up. But you never know :)

 

Ah, yes that would be the smart way to do it. I took them all out at the same time and rebuilt, one by one. I had to draw a pretty good diagram and arrange the parts carefully to do it. I forgot to note the position of that little piston connecting rod, though. 

 

I'll do it the sensible way next time. :)


Edited by gavino200, 18 January 2017 - 09:13 AM.


#53 gavino200

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 06:47 PM

I managed to pick up a  drawbar today. Next up, Morning Daylight with sound. Just have to pick up a suitable decoder.

 

I have the cars all running smoothly. They go through all parts of the track at any speed with no derailment. They're on the yard waiting for the GS-4 to return.



#54 Martijn Meerts

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Posted 22 January 2017 - 04:59 PM

Got my replacement wheels, only replaced the single driven wheel so far, and the train does run better, but still not as smooth as I'd want it to. Will replace the other wheels when I get some time.


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