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The Next Station Is...

My DCC installations in Kato trains

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The Next Station Is...

I'm slowly converting some of my trains to DCC and as I do, I'm putting tips and lessons learnt on my blog. So far I've converted (all Kato):

 

EF210-100 (Digitrax DN13K0A)

EF510 (Digitrax DN13K0A)

E6 Shinkansen (Kato EM13/FL12)

 

On my to-do list is a E2 Shinkansen and E5 Shinkansen - a gift from my parents that is yet to arrive with me! - and I'm hoping to get more freight locomotives to convert.

 

I hope these tips are of use!

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Takahama Trainwatcher

Thanks for posting that. It complements Inobu's posts on DCC decoder installations well.

I'm putting a Digitrax DN163K0a decoder into a Kato EF64-1000 (3024-1). I scratched my head initially on seeing the DC motor tabs not coming up the sides (and unable to do so, too!). From posts such as http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/2798-kato-eh500-3037-1-dcc-install/ there seemed to be a need for the Kapton tape, but I couldn't see why that would be so in the EF64-1000. I guessed it would not be necessary, then found this great post from AlpineAustralia http://www.jnsforum.com/community/topic/778-installing-a-digitrax-dn163k0a-decoder-into-a-kato-df-200-50/ which describes an installation where the motor tabs/contacts are placed differently. Indeed, in such cases, Kapton tape is not needed.

I did run into the problem of not having electrical connectivity with the DCC decoder in. The longitudinal brass rails weren't making contact with the board at all. The vertical plastic guides for the brass rails were the problem, so I put thin plastic inserts under part of the brass rails (away from centre plastic clip, so the clip could still secure the board). The plastic inserts lifted part of each brass rail and the contact was perfect. You can guess the problem, though. I'm not satisfied with how the body shell sits now, even after some cautious excavation inside it to make room for the decoder's protruding components.

I like your idea of shaving down those vertical plastic guides somewhat, so I'll think I'll try that (and remove the thin plastic inserts). It should give another mm of clearance... maybe then the body shell will clip on satisfactorily.

Thanks to everyone who has posted detailed instructions and experiences with their DCC decoder installations. It is not an easy field. So, for the record, I'd say the Kato EF64-1000 (3024-1) accepts the Digitrax DN163K0a decoder, but you may need to file out more room in the roof cavity, you will not have to do anything with the motor tabs (no need for Kapton tape), and you may need shave down the plastic guides for the brass rails in order to allow electrical contact between them and the underside of the decoder. Do it all with care though. I don't have the money to accept responsibility for mishaps!

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