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Kato "DCC Friendly" models

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Atomsk

Interesting, I didn't realise about the lightboards. Kato don't exactly go out of their way to make people aware of that option...

From what I can tell, the Kato EF58 will take a TCS K0D8 type board.  The pictures in Martijn's how-to article show a light board nearly identical to the one in my Kato E and F units.  When my Aodaisho EF58 comes in, I'm going to try installing a TCS K0D8.  I'll let everyone know how it goes.

 

It looks like TCS's K1D4 will work for many other engines that have "wing" style motor contacts.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Atomsk

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Ewan.in.gz

Yup you can certainly do that. Usual scenario would be to have a lighting decoder for each end and a motor decoder in the middle, all running off the same address.

OK, great! That is what I was thinking.... It seemed to be pretty pointless to make you have to have a different address for each car in a train....

 

Ewan

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katoftw

From what I can tell, the Kato EF58 will take a TCS K0D8 type board.  The pictures in Martijn's how-to article show a light board nearly identical to the one in my Kato E and F units.  When my Aodaisho EF58 comes in, I'm going to try installing a TCS K0D8.  I'll let everyone know how it goes.

 

It looks like TCS's K1D4 will work for many other engines that have "wing" style motor contacts.

 

 

TCS decoder part numbers are just a shortened version of Katos/Digitraxs part numbers.

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Atomsk

TCS decoder part numbers are just a shortened version of Katos/Digitraxs part numbers.

Perhaps, but TCS makes batter decoders.  The lighting features have more options, and work way better than Digitrax's.  TCS also has two more funciton outputs than Digi.

 

p.s. I plan on installing a K0D8-A in my EF58 tonight.

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Basilem84

Hello everybody,

 

I would like to start a new N scale Japanese layout with Kato trains. I own a ESU Ecos 2 and would like to know what is your advice in term of decoders ? 

That said I'm not really a solder guy so would like to find an easy way to transform the train DCC compatible. Does the Kato/digitrax decoder works well with the Ecos ?

 

Thanks in advance for your help dear Japan train fans :)

B

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kvp

There are 4 kinds of Kato trains. The ones that have space for Kato's DCC decoders, the ones that have NEM plugs for standard decoders, the ones that can be soldered up easily and the ones that need extensive modding to get a decoder in. The first two cases are plug and play, the second two are harder. You have to check each train about their DCC readyness or at least friendliness. The ESU center is good, just set the output voltage to N scale, so around 12-14V.

 

The trains that can take Kato decoders can usually only take Kato decoders, so you should use those. The ones with NEM plugs work with most decoder brands, i've used Digitrax and Fleischmann decoders in these but other will work too. Wiring up decoders in DCC friendly trains is a harder job, especially bicolor headlights as you have to modify those too. Wiring up DCC unfriendly trains require lots of cutting and frame/shell modifications, so that is only for experienced modelers.

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Guest keio6000

Further to what KVP said:

 

There are three major manufacturers of japanese trains in n scale. bizarrely, the two besides kato, tomix and microace, have done basically nothing with regards to DCC and so if you are DCC centric and don't want to do much work, you probably want to stay away from them.

Many and maybe even most but certainly not all KATO EMU and DMU sets support plug and play DCC.  Sometimes, even new releases don't.  Before buying any set, you should carefully check whether it supports DCC fully, which for a basic japanese train means a decoder for the lights on each of the end cars and a decoder for the power car.  Fortunately, the price is very reasonable: a set of the three that you neeed costs about $40-$50.  There are a few sets out there that claim to be plug and play DCC ready, but in which only the end cars supports plug and play dcc while the motor car does not.    Crazy!

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Basilem84

Thanks Keio and KVP for your answers.

 

Yeah I think I will stick on Kato models. The only problem I have is to find a good source to know if a model is DCC friendly or not. For a specific model some place they said is DCC ready and some says nothing so difficult to be 100% sure. Do you have maybe a good tip to know where I can find a secure source and if its NEM or Kato P&P ?

 

Yeah like the Kato Tokyo Metro series, they only have the leader car decoder plug and play feature but you have to DCC the motor car by your own.

 

Cheers,

B

Edited by Basilem84

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kvp

DCC ready usually means it has one or more connectors from one type or the other for adding DCC decoders. DCC friendly means you can add it with minimal soldering and usually no serious cutting or milling. The rest of the trains are usually DCC unfriendly. Usually you have to search the internet for info on each set before buying it or have to check in person, because DCC readyness is completly random even for Kato and nonexistent for other manufacturers.

 

ps: One remark though: most Tomytec train collection motorized frames are acually DCC friendly, so you only have to solder your decoder to 2 preinstalled motor tabs and 2 preinstalled pickup tabs and there are no working headlights to worry about. This means it's easier to add DCC to these build yourself train kits than many ready to run sets.

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Basilem84

Great information KVP thanks for your help.

 

I will start a thread when I begin my layout :)

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railzilla

I got the Kato RhB Allegra ABe 8/12. I was very pleased with the Glacier Express and the Ge 4/4 and of course if Kato makes models of Swiss prototypes i have to get them. Its a very nice EMU BUT it is not DCC friendly at all. I tought i could use a Kato Drop in Decoder. However it looks like Kato hired some Tomix engineers. The motor is surrounded by a split frame. Using solder Kapton tape and a drill for the plastic it is possible to for in a Decoder. No metal works are needed since the wires can be routed between the two metal frames. There is not much space for the motor and it runs very well .Its with the right couplers the first time. Kato even packed two extra couplers for The GEX coaches

However as this model is also targeted for the European market and I wonder why KATO did not prepare for a DCC version. Even the Japanese outline models were all prepared for their EM13 Decoder or replacement  Loco Decoders

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jrcrunch

wow this DCC things intimidates me

 

how much usually the parts sell for? 

 

for example 7 car e231-500 train?

1. motor

6. cab units

 

 

are these easy to add on? or soldering skills is required?

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katoftw

prices vary and it is best to look at retailers available to you to purchase.  in a E231-500, you need 1 for the motor, 2 end cab for the direction head and tail lights as a minimum.  if you wanna control interior lighting, then you'd need 1 per car in consist.

Edited by katoftw
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Takahama Trainwatcher

I have a query about the DCC status (namely, do the EM13 and FL12 decoders slot in?) of 2 recent Kato models:

 

10-1371 KiHa 25 1000

 

The 2017 Kato catalogue, on p67, indicates that 10-1371 is "DCC friendly". I have struggled to find any DCC information about it on the web except:

Loco1hobby indicates it is not DCC friendly (http://www.loco1hobby.net/en/dmu-and-kihas/1553-kato-10-1371.html?search_query=10-1371&results=1)

Plazajapan ebay store indicates it is DCC friendly (http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Kato-10-1371-Type-KIHA-25-1000-Takayama-Line-Taita-Line-2-Cars-N-scale-/361869324329?hash=item544117b029:g:~PAAAOSwMVdYEbud)

The Kato web page is silent about that, as is often frustratingly the case.

 

10-1367 HB-E300 "Resort Shirakami"

 

The 2017 Kato catalogue, on p69, indicates that 10-1367 is "DCC friendly". However, everything I have found on the web suggests it does not take the EM13 and FL12 decoders.

For example, Nariichi-san at Model Train Plus makes it clear that 10-1367 is not DCC friendly (http://www.modeltrainplus.net/products/kato-10-1367-series-hb-e300-resort-shirakami-aoike-unit-4-car-set and October 3 https://www.facebook.com/pg/modeltrainplus/posts/).

 

Usually, I regard the catalogue as being accurate. It may be wrong as regards 10-1367. I note in the past it has been wrong, I think, as regards the 221 series (10-435 / 10-436). 2013 catalogue p56 - it is not DCC friendly. 2014 catalgoue p 56 - it is DCC friendly. 2015 catalogue p59 - it is DCC frienldy. 2016 catalogue p52 - it is not DCC friendly. In all cases, it does not include a flywheel motor, which suggests that it is not DCC friendly.

 

Any firsthand information regarding 10-1367 amd 10-1371 would be appreciated.

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kvp

DCC friendly usually means it's easy to solder in a wired decoder with minimal cutting. DCC ready usually means it can take a Kato decoder.

 

A label stating that it's not DCC friendly means it's hard to solder in a wired decoder. The reason for this are usually a very DCC unfriendly headlight unit as EMU/DMU motors are mostly easy to isolate and add a decoder to.

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westfalen

The DCC symbol in the Kato catalog means the model will take the EM13 and FL12 decoders.

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Ochanomizu

DCCフレンドリー = "DCC Friendly" = as Mr westfalen mentioned above.

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kvp

imho DCC friendly does not equal with DCC ready. I've seen both and one usually means it can take some kind of decoder, while the other means it can take a plug and play decoder (either EM/FL for japanese or usually NEM for european prototype Kato trains).

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smkehoe

Hi - I am new on here and am enjoying reading the threads. My issue is one which I feel has been answered somewhere already but let me ask it anyhow. I am new to DCC and have a NCE Powerpro system. I purchased a Kato EM13 drop in decoder to put in a commuter model train (middle car, 321 series) and had no problem installing it (I think). See attached photos. But when I try to get the ProCab system to recognize the decoder I just get the message "Can Not Read CV". Since I bought two EM13 decoders I tried the other but no joy. I know the track is fine and everything because I have another train running on the system with no problem. I was sure to remove that locomotive from the track before trying to program the new one. I have read the NCE Manual and what to do if I get this message but honestly have no clue. I am not proficient at all in the electrics behind all this and remain hopeful there might be something I can do which is simple to fix it. Any thoughts?db5f1cafb03ad448dbd5c72bc287d903.jpg166111d9ff59d9cf828172f6a56a88e1.jpg

 

 

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Takahama Trainwatcher

Hi - I am new on here and am enjoying reading the threads. My issue is one which I feel has been answered somewhere already but let me ask it anyhow. I am new to DCC and have a NCE Powerpro system. I purchased a Kato EM13 drop in decoder to put in a commuter model train (middle car, 321 series) and had no problem installing it (I think). See attached photos. But when I try to get the ProCab system to recognize the decoder I just get the message "Can Not Read CV". Since I bought two EM13 decoders I tried the other but no joy. I know the track is fine and everything because I have another train running on the system with no problem. I was sure to remove that locomotive from the track before trying to program the new one. I have read the NCE Manual and what to do if I get this message but honestly have no clue. I am not proficient at all in the electrics behind all this and remain hopeful there might be something I can do which is simple to fix it. Any thoughts?

The first DCC-friendly (takes the EM13) train I got would not respond to the command station. I have had the issue with some of the older models. I have always been able to solve it courtesy of the tip about "shims" as found at the link below.

http://www.sumidacrossing.org/ModelTrains/ModelTrainDCC/DCCReadyEMU/

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kmcsjr

Anyone now how to find out if

10-195

10-449

10-807

Are DCC friendly?

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Kiha66

Anyone now how to find out if

10-195

10-449

10-807

Are DCC friendly?

 

From pictures I've seen online, those models have kato's older, non DCC ready frames.  However it's relatively easy to hard wire an EM13 to the motor car, I just did it on my 0 series shinkansen which uses a similar design.  The cab cars are a little trickier, but still possible to do.  The downside is the decoders are somewhat easy to see inside the car.  Hope it helps! 

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kmcsjr

Ok. I will risk the moor hardwiring. I have a question in another forum about programming EM13 with FL12. Hopefully that will finish the problem. Thanks

 

 

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