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to2leo

Kato Tram & Unitram - Preorder

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to2leo

These low floor cars in Nagasaki may interest some.  This car has been offered in N gauge in Japan before by a smaller shop.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfSaiokTopc&NR=1

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YdP5izBl9s&NR=1

 

I have waited 30 minutes just to ride on it.  It is a lot smoother than the existing Nagasaki tram.  I will post the video seeing it going back to depot in my travel topic.

 

After talking with the Kato person in Tokyo and seeing some of the technology that I promised not to take pictures of.  Let just say Portram is only the beginning!

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Hobby Dreamer

Thanks for sharing guys!

 

Any comparisons to the Tomix trams?

 

Also, there was concern about these trams because the motor was small (leaving space for an interior to the tram). Any issues with running these? Are there speed issues, that is are they fast racers?

 

Thanks

Rick

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to2leo

Kato motor is no racer, it runs fine.  A little louder than Modemo IMHO.  After seeing the make up of the motor, I joked with the Kato personel that Tomytec cannot compare.  He responded with a big smile on his face like this  :grin.  I think Kato knows it hits a jackpot!

 

It runs slower than Modemo and certainly Tomytec.  I has a very low speed but very high tolerance with existing Kato switches.

 

2 interior LEDs are already install + directional lights.  It is one amazing yet fully loaded little tram!

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to2leo

Someone from a Taiwanese train forum has taken apart the Kato Toyama tram.  Apparently, Kato uses a type of cell phone motor to make such a tiny engine.  The poster also states it is a 3V motor made possible by lowering the voltage through two copper platings.

 

Thanks to rayblue from TTS forum for the pictures.

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cteno4

hey great photos! mine are in the air right now...

 

I dont think the voltage drop is coming from the copper platings. im guessing some sort of scr, resistor, diode bridge, or other circuitry to do that.

 

they do have a distinctive sound, not loud, but different. got to play with one at one of the jrm member's house last weekend.

 

the low floor w/o the motor in the windows is really great. perfect for filling with passengers!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Martijn Meerts

That's really well designed. I'm wondering though, in P4.JPG you can clearly see the little flywheel sticking out from the bottom of the bogie. On P5.JPG, you can see the flywheel in both bogies, does that mean the trams have 2 motors in them?

 

It'll be interesting to see how long those tiny motors last. I've seen quite a few in small RC helicopters and the likes, and those didn't last all that long. Then again, I'm pretty sure Kato did some stress testing.

 

And for those who want to install a decoder in the thing, make sure to re-program the speed curve/max speed before trying anything else ;)

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to2leo

There are two tiny motors per tram, I guess this is needed in order to give enough power for the tram to make tight corners and 'steep' incline while hiding them underneath the windows.

 

I really cannot see how a DCC decoder can be added without obstructing the view.  Perhaps one solution is to hide the decoder in between the articulation.

 

I gotta be honest, I am enjoying my Kato tram everyday.  I cannot wait for Kato to increase Unitram line with other low floor trams!

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Bernard

Leo - great photos they show a lot of detail. One thing I'm noticing with my tomytech Portrams, when they are in a radius they don't spring back to a straight position, they stay a little in the curve. It doesn't effect performance just looks funny.

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to2leo

Leo - great photos they show a lot of detail. One thing I'm noticing with my tomytech Portrams, when they are in a radius they don't spring back to a straight position, they stay a little in the curve. It doesn't effect performance just looks funny.

 

I wonder if that's also the reason why Kato puts two can motors in the Toyama tram

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cteno4

hmm my tomytec portrams straighten themselves out fine on both my torture loop back made of super mini radius tomix track or my standard ttrak corners that have that funky curve-straight-curve-straight-curve-straight-curve... maybe your shell is sticking a bit. have you tried running the mechanism by itself?

 

cheers

 

jeff

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westfalen

Thanks for posting those photos, I haven't had the courage to pull mine apart yet. Those powered trucks are amazing, Kato really live up to the word 'precision' in their slogan.

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to2leo

Thanks for posting those photos, I haven't had the courage to pull mine apart yet. Those powered trucks are amazing, Kato really live up to the word 'precision' in their slogan.

 

Actually me too, the Kato rep showed me when I was in Kato HQ in Tokyo but still I was waiting for someone who has delicate skills to take the tram apart.

 

This also got me thinking, I wonder who or what installs all the mechanisms.

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CaptOblivious

That is an amazing mechanism. But I don't see any copper plates; anyway, a copper plate isn't going to provide enough resistance to drop 12V to 3V. But the lightboard is a bit revealing: There are a lot of SOT-23 components in there. Perhaps what might be going on (someone with a better background give me a hand?), is that there is a 3V voltage regulator (takes anything between 3 and, say, 14V and outputs a steady 3V) and a transistor (which uses the 0-12V from the throttle to modulate the 3V output from the regulator). That should only require two of the, what, four? SOT-23's on that board.

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NozomiFan

These trains that Kato makes are incredible.

How does the Kato Portram compare to The Tomytec Portram?

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westfalen

There are two tiny motors per tram, I guess this is needed in order to give enough power for the tram to make tight corners and 'steep' incline while hiding them underneath the windows.

 

I really cannot see how a DCC decoder can be added without obstructing the view.  Perhaps one solution is to hide the decoder in between the articulation.

 

I gotta be honest, I am enjoying my Kato tram everyday.  I cannot wait for Kato to increase Unitram line with other low floor trams!

 

 

If you find somewhere to hide the decoder the leads to the motor would need to be connected to whatever component drops the voltage to the motor, then there's the head, tail and interior lights to wire up. Mine might be staying DC for a while, I anticipated this and bought the set with the Kato power pack to give me an extra DC controller.

 

The thing I'm waiting for Kato to do is release separate straight track sections so I can expand without getting a whole track set.

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Gordon Werner

These low floor cars in Nagasaki may interest some.  This car has been offered in N gauge in Japan before by a smaller shop.

 

who released these in N?

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to2leo

These low floor cars in Nagasaki may interest some.  This car has been offered in N gauge in Japan before by a smaller shop.

 

who released these in N?

 

The Nagasaki combino was made by a German company called Hodl.  Their Nagasaki and Hiroshima trams became extremely rare as years pass and the fact that the company had met some financial issues.  You can check out the outdated website but the updated forum here.

http://www.hoedl-linie8.de/HTML/PRODUKTE/TRAM/TRAM.HTM

In Japan, you can purchase the trams at the main Joshin's store in Osaka.  If I remembered correctly, they ran out of Nagasaki and Hiroshima tram last fall when I was there, they were selling other combino tram models for about $420 US vs. $200 US when I was there 4 years ago.

easytrolley%20combino.jpg

 

IMHO, I will take a wait and see approach since Kato and Tomix are finally giving modern tram models a serious look.  Not the least, Kato has figured out how to hide the motors of the low floor trams.

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bill937ca

These low floor cars in Nagasaki may interest some.  This car has been offered in N gauge in Japan before by a smaller shop.

 

who released these in N?

 

It was offered by Dauphin as 79001 Combino Nagasaki JPY18900 or 79002 Combino Hiroshima JPY19845 and were still available in late 2007.

 

http://www.dauphin-railwaymodel.jp/

 

http://www.dauphin-railwaymodel.jp/12.html

 

At one time they had an English language page.

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to2leo

Wow I just went to the Hodl's own forum.  If our German speaking members can contribute on the matter, that will be great.  But apparently Hodl had a not so good relationship with its retailers and distributors.  He seems like he is not in a good mood right now due to financial difficulties, failed production run and some conflicts between the German model railroad industry.

 

However, he is selling some European tram on Ebay.

http://stores.shop.ebay.de/linie8gmbh

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cteno4

I have not seen the Hiroshima and Nagasaki available anywhere lately. they are german mechanisms. i contacted dauphin like 3 years back when i got mine and they did not have them, nor could get them when they had them listed on their site. maybe they just did not want to deal with an overseas order and blew me off with that excuse. dont know.

 

i love them, but the do growl a bit and they run a bit hot so i dont run them for extended periods of time. will be interesting to see what kato does. will take some refitting to move the portrams into these i think, but they are on a start here!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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westfalen

Got an e-mail from Hobby World today to say that my blue and green Portrams were ready to ship.  :grin

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IST

Good for you. Can I ask you to take a picture about all trams on your layout when these will arrive?

 

I got the 2010 Kato catalog, and it seems to me there will be no new tram in different colour in this year (I mean except the red, blue and green ones). Or they just didn't put into the catalog.

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to2leo

Good for you. Can I ask you to take a picture about all trams on your layout when these will arrive?

 

I got the 2010 Kato catalog, and it seems to me there will be no new tram in different colour in this year (I mean except the red, blue and green ones). Or they just didn't put into the catalog.

 

We can always hope!  I think Tomix and Kato are in a little competition to get as much our of their tram system as possible.  Which can only mean more selection for us.

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cteno4

They will roll stuff out through the year that is not in the catalog. most of the stuff in the 2010 catalog is stuff that was shipping jan 1 2010. even the unitram and portram which were shipping in 2009 is only in the opening supplement of new stuff, not in their proper catalog places! so maybe some fun surprises to come this year!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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