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Kato "DCC Friendly" models

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Densha

Not because I'm going DCC, but just curious. What would happen if you don't install the cab decoders and only the motor decoders? Is that actually possible and does that result in the headlights being always on?

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nik_n_dad

What would happen if you don't install the cab decoders and only the motor decoders? Is that actually possible and does that result in the headlights being always on?

 

Yup. Possible.  headlights AND taillights are both on all the time, regardless of direction or motion.

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surfingstephens

Hi I have just purchased a N700 but cannot get the EM12 chip installed there is not enough clearance under the drive shaft so the cover will not close??

 

I know this is old, but thought I would respond for whomever else may run into this.  I have this train.  The reason the drive shaft won't clear is that there is a DUMMMY board in there  and you are putting the board on top(and this creates the drive shaft issue). You must pull out the dummy board first and THEN you slide in the em12 chip.  I made this same mistake and it took me like three days of staring at it to realize there was a board there that would slide out. 

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Bernard

If at all possible could you post a photo of your decoder install with the dummy board taken out?

Thanks.

 

Hi I have just purchased a N700 but cannot get the EM12 chip installed there is not enough clearance under the drive shaft so the cover will not close??

 

I know this is old, but thought I would respond for whomever else may run into this.  I have this train.  The reason the drive shaft won't clear is that there is a DUMMMY board in there  and you are putting the board on top(and this creates the drive shaft issue). You must pull out the dummy board first and THEN you slide in the em12 chip.   I made this same mistake and it took me like three days of staring at it to realize there was a board there that would slide out. 

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surfingstephens

If at all possible could you post a photo of your decoder install with the dummy board taken out?

Thanks.

 

Hi I have just purchased a N700 but cannot get the EM12 chip installed there is not enough clearance under the drive shaft so the cover will not close??

 

I know this is old, but thought I would respond for whomever else may run into this.  I have this train.  The reason the drive shaft won't clear is that there is a DUMMMY board in there  and you are putting the board on top(and this creates the drive shaft issue). You must pull out the dummy board first and THEN you slide in the em12 chip.   I made this same mistake and it took me like three days of staring at it to realize there was a board there that would slide out.  

 

Sure..go to this thread and look at post #40 "surfingstephens"  etc..

http://www.jnsforum.com/index.php/topic,951.0.html

I can take a picture with the decoder installed this evening.  I actually just had a problem with it 1 year later.  The electrical connection is not good and I am shimming it again, so I will have it opened up.

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surfingstephens

Here is the picture as promised.   Nothing really new here, except I can't get this thing to work anymore.   I am starting to think something is wrong with the EM chip.   It appears to have a good electrical connection and I have shimmed it.  Still no luck.  It was behaving irratically for some time and then it just quit working.  If anyone has a simple way to test the board I am all ears.   I did try just clipping to the the track and then touching the wires to the copper strips and seeing if I could get the motor turning with no luck.   If you look close at the copper strips you can see a little of the white card stock underneath them that is the shim's that have been discussed.  I even shimmed under the wheel section just to see if there might be a contact issue between the wheels and the copper strips.    

 

I also took apart the entire body and checked the contacts for the EM card to the motor.  It looks visually snug and good.  I could solder the thing in place, but that seems a bit drastic.

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KenS

Shims can be hard to get to work, if they're not exactly the right thickness, they won't work right.  I had a bit of trial and error on one of my trains to get it shimmed properly.

 

Still, if yours were working and then stopped, that doesn't sound like a shim problem.  I know it sounds obvious, but if you have another DCC train, try that and see if it works.  I wasted HOURS the other day trying to find a short when my command station had gotten confused and needed to be reset.

 

I'd pull the EM13 and verify that the train still works on DC, and that you don't have a problem with the driveshaft binding or the electrical pickup.  If that works, put the decoder back in and put the car on the programming track and try reading CV08.  If that works (shows value 129) then the decoder is working (at least on the input side). Check the other CVs to ensure that you are using the right address. 

 

If you can't read it, try a couple of times: sometimes it's flaky.  But if still can't, then either the connection to the track pickup is bad or the decoder is bad. A decoder could go bad if you picked up the train, and touched the wheels with a static charge on you.  It's not very likely, but it's not impossible.

 

If the decoder seems to work for reading, one thing to try is a reset to factory default (set CV08 to "08"), then see if it works with address 3, although you might want to try to confirm that the decoder-to-motor contact is good, first, before resetting it.  There are lots of CV settings that can make a decoder stop working, but a reset should fix any of them.

 

Note: I'm assuming your DCC station allows CV reading. Not all of them do.

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surfingstephens

Thanks, that gives me some new ideas to try and a way to make some kind of progress on this issue.  The other trains are working.  Now I have to remember where the dummy board is that enables me to run it dc.  I am sure I put in a good place 1 year ago. Running the odds on finding that board in my head as we speak... chuckle

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surfingstephens

Well with all the help I got it working.   Sure enough it all boils back to a poor electrical connection.  The real issue is getting the back of the EM board to press against the copper strips well enough.    I realized I had some very small springs from my AFX slot cars and slipped them under the copper brackets to press them up against the EM board.  It works.   Really, I think at some point I am going to solder a small wire to each side of the EM board on the backside and then solder the wire on to the copper strips.  Poor design they have for sure on this, but that has been discussed.

 

I also added  a picture of the "dummy" white EM board that comes installed withe the train for DC and you have to remove for DCC operation.     

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KenS

My experience is that the problems tend to occur on the older trains, or newer models using older tooling.  Recent designs have been problem-free for me.

 

The EM13 contact is very sensitive to the space, and tolerances, between the frame and the motor.  I think Kato had some problems getting the early designs made to match their intended dimensions.  It's a clever way to make a decoder, but personally I'd rather have an NEM connector.

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surfingstephens

My experience is that the problems tend to occur on the older trains, or newer models using older tooling.  Recent designs have been problem-free for me.

 

The EM13 contact is very sensitive to the space, and tolerances, between the frame and the motor.  I think Kato had some problems getting the early designs made to match their intended dimensions.  It's a clever way to make a decoder, but personally I'd rather have an NEM connector.

 

I agree.  I have a new train (TGV) coming in today and it uses the NEM connector, which appears to be a much more reliable way to connect.  On the plus side I have learned a lot about how the electrical on these trains work that will make the next one that much easier.  Hooking up the DC card made it much easier to see how sensitive the electrical connections of the EM card really was.  The other thing to note is that the "dummy" dc card that comes installed in the train is thicker and more rigid than than the EM card which contributes to the problem.  Thanks again.   

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qinter

I have installed DCC on the N700 and I am trying to install one on the N500 but there doesn't seem to be any easy way of doing it.

 

Appreciate it if anyone can share their experiences and advice to install the EM13 for the Kato N500.

 

 

Thanks.

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Melandir

I have installed DCC on the N700 and I am trying to install one on the N500 but there doesn't seem to be any easy way of doing it.

 

Appreciate it if anyone can share their experiences and advice to install the EM13 for the Kato N500.

 

 

Thanks.

 

As far as I remember Kato N500 is not DCC friendly isn't it?

 

maybe if you provide some pics we can better help

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westfalen

N500? Do you mean the 500 series?  If so it does not take the EM13/FL12 combination.  I hardwired mine with a Digitrax DZ125 for the powered car and a TCS Z2 in each end car for the head and tail lights.

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qinter

Thanks.

 

Any instruction on how to hardwire the DZ125?

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katoftw

http://www.digitrax.com/static/apps/products/mobile-decoders/dz125/documents/DZ125.pdf

 

The wiring diagram is in this pdf. It doesn't seem to support bipolar tail lights, but everything else seems to be supported, even transponding.

i haven't installed one yet, but wouldn't you just wire it with the white and yellow wires splitting to support the bipolar lighting? ie-

 

front white headlight + rear red tail light = white wire

front red tail light + rear white headlight = yellow wire

 

all feeding back to the blue common wire?

Edited by katoftw

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westfalen

http://www.digitrax.com/static/apps/products/mobile-decoders/dz125/documents/DZ125.pdf

 

The wiring diagram is in this pdf. It doesn't seem to support bipolar tail lights, but everything else seems to be supported, even transponding.

This is where the TCS Z2 comes in. TCS decoders support 'on/off' button control for the motor, you use a decoder in each end car and connect the orange and Grey motor leads to the lights.  These instructions for a Micro-Ace Skyliner explain it all.  I've done a few of my Japanese trains this way.

http://www.tcsdcc.com/public_html/Customer_Content/Installation_Pictures/N_Scale/Micro_Ace/Keisei%20AE100%20Skyliner/AE100_Skyliner.html

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katoftw

Could you not use a DZ125 and wire up the front light wire for the headlights, and the rear light wire for the tail lights.  and just oppose the wiring for the other end car?  and ignore/remove the motor wires?

 

edit//

although the end cars are actually rotated 180 degrees, so the wiring should be the same, as the pickups are opposed.  right?

Edited by katoftw

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kvp

 

although the end cars are actually rotated 180 degrees, so the wiring should be the same, as the pickups are opposed.

Since this is DCC, the track polarity should not matter. (the signal is rectified so the forward direction is always fixed regardless of the placement on the track) Otherwise, yes, wiring one function for the tail lights and one for the headlights should work. Also using the motor outputs (with an acceleration curve of 99,99,99) for bipolar lights should be ok too and this requires very little modification. (just cutting the pickup traces and connecting the decoder) The latter will require two addresses, one for the motor and the other for the end cars (and in one end car the outputs should be reversed), but leaves 6 outputs unused, so they can drive the interior lights or anything else.

Edited by kvp

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westfalen

Could you not use a DZ125 and wire up the front light wire for the headlights, and the rear light wire for the tail lights.  and just oppose the wiring for the other end car?  and ignore/remove the motor wires?

 

edit//

although the end cars are actually rotated 180 degrees, so the wiring should be the same, as the pickups are opposed.  right?

If you wire the decoder directly to a white and red lamp or LED you could do it that way but the advantage of using a Z2, or any TCS decoder, is that you just solder the orange and grey wires to the circuit board for the head/tail lights without any extra wiring or alteration to the circuit boards.

 

I've used this method in Micro Ace Kiha 40s with two decoders, a DZ125 or whatever is the cheapest at the time for the motor and a Z2 for the head tail lights.

Edited by westfalen

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westfalen

Since this is DCC, the track polarity should not matter. (the signal is rectified so the forward direction is always fixed regardless of the placement on the track) Otherwise, yes, wiring one function for the tail lights and one for the headlights should work. Also using the motor outputs (with an acceleration curve of 99,99,99) for bipolar lights should be ok too and this requires very little modification. (just cutting the pickup traces and connecting the decoder) The latter will require two addresses, one for the motor and the other for the end cars (and in one end car the outputs should be reversed), but leaves 6 outputs unused, so they can drive the interior lights or anything else.

The head/tail light decoder in the rear car has the black/red pickup wires in reverse from the front one, or you could program CV29 to reverse the decoders direction.  All three decoders in a train are given the same address, if the two TCS decoders in the end cars are programed as per the installation intructions on the TCS page pressing F3 turns the head/tail lights on or off and the correct ones are lit depending on the direction of travel.

Edited by westfalen

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E6系

Could you not use a DZ125 and wire up the front light wire for the headlights, and the rear light wire for the tail lights.  and just oppose the wiring for the other end car?  and ignore/remove the motor wires?

 

edit//

although the end cars are actually rotated 180 degrees, so the wiring should be the same, as the pickups are opposed.  right?

 

Hello Mr katoftw,

 

So sorry, but it is not possible to have the DZ125 function without connecting the motor wires.  You will find it impossible to program the decoder and it will fail to work.  However, you do have several options for DCC on a Kato shinkansen that is not DCC-Friendly:

 

1. 3 x DZ125 and use 2 x for cab car lighting.  Wire the motor wires to the light boards and set V-min CV02, V-mid CV06, and V-max CV05 all to 65 for those two decoders only.  Set all 3 decoders to the same address;

 

2.  3 x DZ125 and wire the headlights and tail lights as you suggested.  Wire the motor wires to a 1k resistor. 1/4W is OK but they get a little warm, so it will be better if you can fit something larger;

 

3.  1 x DZ125 and 2 x Kato FL12 headlight decoders.  Attach small wires to the FL12s (I use black, red, white, yellow, and blue ... the right colors).

 

In all cases, all three decoders should have the same address.  Also, did you know the FL12s have the Digitrax Transponding feature built in?  It is because Digitrax make the Kato decoders.  Therefore, they are fully compatible.  And if you use Transponding you will know exactly where both ends of your consist is.

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katoftw

If you wire the decoder directly to a white and red lamp or LED you could do it that way but the advantage of using a Z2, or any TCS decoder, is that you just solder the orange and grey wires to the circuit board for the head/tail lights without any extra wiring or alteration to the circuit boards.

 

I've used this method in Micro Ace Kiha 40s with two decoders, a DZ125 or whatever is the cheapest at the time for the motor and a Z2 for the head tail lights.

awesome.  thanks.  great answer as i have both a kato 500 shinkansen and microace kiha 147s/40s to do.

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katoftw

Hello Mr katoftw,

 

So sorry, but it is not possible to have the DZ125 function without connecting the motor wires.  You will find it impossible to program the decoder and it will fail to work.  However, you do have several options for DCC on a Kato shinkansen that is not DCC-Friendly:

 

1. 3 x DZ125 and use 2 x for cab car lighting.  Wire the motor wires to the light boards and set V-min CV02, V-mid CV06, and V-max CV05 all to 65 for those two decoders only.  Set all 3 decoders to the same address;

 

2.  3 x DZ125 and wire the headlights and tail lights as you suggested.  Wire the motor wires to a 1k resistor. 1/4W is OK but they get a little warm, so it will be better if you can fit something larger;

 

3.  1 x DZ125 and 2 x Kato FL12 headlight decoders.  Attach small wires to the FL12s (I use black, red, white, yellow, and blue ... the right colors).

 

In all cases, all three decoders should have the same address.  Also, did you know the FL12s have the Digitrax Transponding feature built in?  It is because Digitrax make the Kato decoders.  Therefore, they are fully compatible.  And if you use Transponding you will know exactly where both ends of your consist is.

thanks for the response.  making alot more sense now for a ddc noob like myself.

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