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  1. Hi folks! 3 weeks ago I realized one of my dreams with my longtime partner. Trainsetter Ulli Liedtke & Natascha Drews GbR in Germany is now at the model train market. We will produce selected products for the N (1: 150 & 1: 160) and Z (1: 220) gauge in the future. Our first product, which we would like to introduce to you, is available soon in July 2019! The starter set "Hänschen" contains a catenary for the track system Kato Unitrack and Tomix Finetrack in gauge N. 2 pieces long wires for 280mm and 4 pieces short wires for 140mm mast spacing in 0.25mm stainless steel. Of course, the wires are thus suitable for curves, which can be tailored to suit his needs. "Hänschen" is only suitable for the indicated overhead line operation, which means that the pantograph must not touch the wire. Unfortunately we are not ready yet with a website! We are happy to answer your questions via trainsetter-gbr (at) gmx.net or on Facebook and Twitter. Whether in English or German, we will answer your questions. For mid-July, distribution via dealers is planned. Yours sincerely Ulli Liedtke Trainsetter Ulli Liedtke & Natascha Drews GbR email: trainsetter-gbr ( at ) gmx.net Flyer 2019.pdf
  2. SL58654Gō

    KATO SL Hitoyoshi (?)

    My local Kumamoto hobby shop has disclosed to me that KATO intends to produce the SL Hitoyoshi (as well as SL Aso Boy while they're at it) in N gauge during 2022. I trust their word as since they're long-time KATO dealers for several decades now, and I'm a frequent customer of theirs. It makes sense considering the number of JR Kyushu trains and locomotives they've made so far, never mind the Tohoku-region (2028-1) 8620. I'm hopping we'll all see it as a Planned Product in the soon-to-be-released 2022 catalog. I really like their JR Kyushu DE10. This is the video from which I originally learned of the SL Hitoyoshi, way back before I came here. It immediately became my favorite train in Japan.
  3. New DCC Friendly list for Kato. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qRGTOaq-4F89xph3ZxL5iKxM5jptkeoNw77t3X-STY4/edit?usp=drivesdk If you have new data or updates, please reply here and I will incorporate the changes Please keep replies to just updates, if you have installation issues/questions, please start a thread for that model. Thanks, Ed
  4. Hey guys, So, after a few months of planning and thinking, it's finally time to start building this baby! Tomorrow I'll go buy all the material needed for the wooden base and in the weekend I'll start building it. This is the final layout: Since it will go into my living room, and it will be 2.40m long, it will be divided in two parts, almost in the middle, so it will be easier to handle. The base will be of plywood, 1.5cm thick, reinforced with 3x2cm frames. Since the forniture has a Wenge-like color, I'll paint the whole base of a dark color. From below, it should be something like this: The two 45 degrees corners in the front are due to the fact that the 70cm deep base will go against a 60cm deep cabinet, so I'll to cut it in order to avoid hitting my leg every time I walk by. It will go here, below the TV, on an IKEA Besta bench : The TV will limit the space above, I'll have around 30cm to play with, but it should be enough. I'll make videos detailing all the process, which will involve a lot of trials and errors I'm sure, as this is my first build, but that's the fun part! Here's the introduction video:
  5. Hi! I’m wondering if the Kato 10-354 takes an EM-13 and FL-12? Thanks!
  6. Hi folks, I've spent about 4 months building a 3 level layout for my British OO, Japanese N and Lego and it's finally finished*. Hope you like the video. https://youtu.be/Nr3axLF001Q Feel like I have an encyclopedic knowledge of how to build a layout in a shed now, from insulation to wiring etc to the removeable bridge for the door, so if anyone has any questions happy to advise. Bridge has copper strips underneath to keep the connection, and is lifted up to leave the room, with a section of the scenery swinging open. Need to step over the Japanese one to leave which is a bit tricky but there's a handlebar on the outside to help. None of it is digital - Gaugemaster and Kato controllers respectively but with the Hornby HMDC app to control the two branch lines. Lego is battery powered, remote control. Shed is well insulated, have a heater and a dehumidifier in there. Layout is 6m x 2.5m so plenty of space for nice long platforms! *Lots of little details to add to the British one from signals to passenger bridges to station names etc but the laborious work is finally over, now on to the fun stuff: running trains and adding little details. Going to landscape the temple area with static grass, paths and lakes too.
  7. Daniel C

    Kato n gauge motor issues

    The train in question is an E231-500 series motor car which is at least 4 years of age, and has a (I think) 3-pole motor with flywheels on either side. Normally (as everyone who models knows lol) when the power is turned to moderate speed on the powerpack (mine is a Kato standard S) the motor begins to operate and the head/taillights on either side of the train light up. However, this time when the motor car is placed on the track, the head and taillights of the leading cars flicker off, the motor car does not move and a slight odour of electrical burn is emitted from the powerpack vent. If I turn the speed all the way up on the powerpack, the green power lamp on the powerpack turns off with a click (then I push the re-start button) and the controller returns to normal. I suspect that there is a short circuit in the motor (all the bogies and copper plates on the motor car are touching in normal position) but I do not know where. Does anyone have solutions to the problem?
  8. I know that both Kato & Tomix produce E5 and H5 Series models, but I am wandering about everyone's experience with them and what are the differences other than the obvious coupling and diaphragm systems? Most of my Shinkansen are currently by Kato: 100 Series Grand Hikari, E2 Asama, E2-1000 Hayate, E3-0 Komachi, E3-1000 Tsubabsa & E4 Max. As you can tell I have concentrated on JR East Shinkansen. I have one Tomix 200 Series H unit Super Yamabiko, I am a bit partial to the late 80's shark nose sets, which is why i also have the full 16 car set of the Kato 100 Series Grand Hikari! And When I get around to expanding my fleet with an E1, it's gonna have to be the Tomix model, since the Kato model has been out of production since before I moved to China.... But I am not sure what to do when/if I decide to get E5 and H5 sets. I feel that the diaphragm on the Tomix models looks much better and closer to the full width diaphragms on the real trains. And I know from my experience with my Super Yamabiko that the Tomix conductive coupling system is reliable. Would I be right in guessing that the Tomix TN couplers hidden in the noses are not compatible with Kato's Shibata couplers? And if I ever choose to DCC my Shinkansen, how easy is it to install chips on a Tomix Shinkansen? At least the conductive coupling system should mean that the whole train can be fitted with a single multi-function decoder, right? Looking forward to hearing people's experiences, and comments on performance and maintenance would be appreciated too! Ewan
  9. While I wait for my Unitrack to arrive, I've started planning the wiring. I'm hoping someone can help with the turnouts. Please forgive me, I'm new to the hobby and I'm still learning. I'm wiring it for DCC, and I'll be using Digitrax. I'll be using occupancy detection, also Digitrax. In my track plan, each coloured section is a detection block. The purple lines show where I intend to power the tracks with terminal unijoiners (power to each detection block not shown). I intend to control the layout with TrainController. My understanding is that I do not need to isolate my turnouts (Kato #4), as long as I set them to non-power routing, with the frog set to insulated. There seems to be some confusion online about power-routing vs. non-power routing labels but I'd be setting so them so that all rails are powered, regardless of switch position. I've isolated my turnout sections, only for the purpose of occupancy detection, with a block on either side of the turnout. I'm slightly unsure about where to connect the track power for the turnout. At each end of the turnout, I have a separate detection block, which I need to isolate from the turnout. Q. If all rails are live, and the frog insulated, could I connect the power at any end of the turnout? Then I come to the double crossover, which is what has me confused. I believe that I need to power each of the 4 ends of the crossover. However, I have blocks on either side of the crossover, so I would need to isolate the double crossover from the adjacent blocks, so where would I connect the power to the crossover? I suppose I could add a short Unitrack piece (S62) on either side, then I could connect the power at the joins between the crossover and the S62, then insulate at the join between the S62 and the next piece. Unfortunately, I'm already at the edge of the layout, so I can't afford to extend the track plan. Q. Have I understood this correctly? Do I have any other options? Is it best to keep the crossover and turnouts between blocks, or can they be in the blocks? Thanks for any advice!
  10. Last year I completed this steam depot: It was mainly from parts supplied through a magazine subscription. I removed the original double-loop concept so I could run trains from it onto my main layout and have a second line onto the turntable. As the cat has always shown a keen interest, I have at long last found enough pieces of wood to build a box over it to protect it. A front flap gives access to the trains. A couple of 'port-holes' in the flap allows me to view it without having to open it each time. ... the cat is not happy!
  11. My initial track investments have been in Kato's system. Easily available on the retail and second-hand market, trains shows, etc. Curious as to what Kato's history is with releases of new track components. In particular, I would love to see curved turnouts. What's missing in your book, and how likely is Kato to address?
  12. ATShinkansen

    Kato Catenary Transitions

    Hello, I admit it’s been a while since I’ve been here. Train stuff has been inaccessible last year due to moving. It’s come back out, and I’m in a place where I can do something with it once again. Going through my catenary poles, I had forgotten that the set of the arch-style poles comes with two variants, in equal number, as shown below: My question is what is the typical application of each of these styles? Where along the line would each type be more likely to be seen? In addition, I would like to know what the most common transition points would be from one pole style to another, such as from these to the 23-061 or 23-059 (when used for double track with the same spacing). Thanks, Aaron
  13. mvaron

    Shell compatibility

    Hello everyone! I was wondering if anyone would be so kind as to provide me with information, experience, or photos of shell compatibility between different years of the Kato ED75? I have a Kato 3009-5 with the original motor and was curious to know if I could place that model's shell on a newer model motor of a compatible ED75. Thank you! - Mauricio
  14. Yavaris Forge

    C11 leading axle derailment

    Hello, I need some help with my C11 (Kato 2002). It is a very smooth running locomotive but I have problems with the leading axle as it often derails on my turnouts. I use Arnold turnouts which aren't the finest but I would still like to run the C11 until I switch to a better track system. I have already widened the leading axle and it got a little bit better but not much. Any help will be appreciated!
  15. Hey all! So with some difficulty, I managed to get a small Tomix business tower. I have a bunch of card kits on the way which I'm looking forward to assembling. Sadly, the tower had absolutely no interior at all! So I decided to at least add some floors. They're held in place with some blu-tak for now until I go back and add lighting or a more full interior. What's everyone else done lately? Michael
  16. Hey guys, I'm slowly starting to build up track and other supplies for a small N-scale layout mostly using Kato-brand Unitrack. Currently, Kato has a very limited amount of their unitrack available with concrete ties, and I'm just wondering if anyone has ever tried to repaint the black wood tie track pieces to make them look like their concrete-tie counterparts? If so, could you tell me the color(s) used or recommendations for potential colors? ~Phillip
  17. So, here's my take on how to light the interior of a model train. In particular, I'll talk about N-scale KATO trains (I haven't tried this on Tomix) in a DCC system. Since I have DCC, if I wanted to use the KATO lighting kits, I'd need to put a decoder for each car. I have around 80 cars, so the cost would be very high. Besides the KATO light decoders (FR11) are very hard to find, even in Japan. So I decided to just forget about decoders, and have the lights always on. Passenger trains usually have the interior lights always on anyways, and I don't have a yard where they should be off. Without a decoder, I couldn't use the KATO light kits, as the LED's would burn out after a few minutes. DCC system outputs around 18V, but those LED's are usually designed for max 14V, according to their manual (I wouldn't push them higher than 12V though). So I've designed a custom board, with the LED's and a few elements needed to make this work. I have no experience of soldering, so I looked for someone who could do it for me. A friend told me about JLCPCB.com, a Chinese PCB prototype company, that can manufacture a small batch of PCB's. They have a very user-friendly design tool, needed to produce the files that are necessary to get the PCB into production. Each board has: 4/6/8 LED's, depending on the type of car. Shinkansen have eight, some Shinkansen cab cars have six or four (for the Komachi). Other trains have six or eight. The LED's are arranged in two groups in parallel, with each group having the LED's arranged in serial a diode bridge, that converts the AC coming from the tracks to the DC that the LED's need (BR1) a low-dropout regulator, that lowers the voltage from what is coming form the tracks (around 18V) to 12V needed by the LED's (U1) a capacitor, to temporarily store some electric energy in order to avoid the LED flickering effect (C1) a resistor for each group of LED's (so in my case, two total, R1 and R2) This is the electrical drawing of the version with 8 LED's: Here's the list of all the components, with the link to the LCSC Electronics website, used by JLCPCB: - cold white LED, package 0402, link - 40V 1A 550mV @ 1A MBF Bridge Rectifier, link Fixed 35V 12V 2V @ 1A TO-252-2(DPAK) Dropout Regulator(LDO), link - 22uF ±10% 25V 1.2 Ω @ 100kHz -55℃ ~ +125℃ CASE-C_6032 Tantalum Capacitor, link - 402Ω ±1% 0.25W 1206 Chip Resistor - Surface Mount, link This is the PCB view taken from the online editor (easyEDA😞 Each PCB costs around 1.9 euro, in detail: EUR 0.3 for the PCB prototype EUR 1.6 for the components and the assembly Then of course you need to add the shipping. I got them in three separate orders, each time I refined the design. The last order was for a total of 50 pieces, EUR 80 for the components and 30 for the shipping. The minimum size for a PCB if you ask for the components assembly is 2 cm, but that's too wide to fit it inside a car. So once I received them, I had to cut them one by one so they could fit. I cut them to around 1.3 cm using a Dremel. The lengths vary from 13 cm to 6 cm. The next problem was how to connect the PCB's to the copper pick up of the car. The KATO lighting kits come with a set of copper strips that fits in each car, these: After a lengthy search, I was able to find them on Rakuten Japan,sold in a package of 20 strips at 480 yen: This is the link to the Rakuten page. If you need to look for them, this is the title of the item: オリジナル K集電金具 集電板(集電シュー) カトー(kato)にも使えます 20個セット Using a short piece of wire, I soldered these strips to the PCB (I bent them downward so they make a better contact with the wheels): On JLCPCB, they only have cold white LED's, while most of the trains have more like warm white lights. So I had to find a way to make them yellowish. I tried putting a drop of orange paint on each LED, but the result wasn't consistent, you had some really orange ones and some white ones. After watching a video on Luke Towan's YouTube channel, I decided to use his method and apply some Tamiya tape, usually used for masking before painting, on each LED: To fit the PCB inside the cars, most of the time you need to trim the plastic supports, that I think are designed to hold the transparent acrylic strip used in the KATO lighting kits. Without trimming those, you won't be able to close them properly. This is the final result (sorry but getting the right color temperature it's a bit hard, in the pics they all look much more blue than they actually are): I used them on Shinkansen (N700A, E2, E3, E5, E6, E7), E233, E235, E657, E353. They all fit perfectly. I'd prefer them to be a bit warmer, but they're good enough. I think that's it 😄 Paolo
  18. Kanpai Keith

    Kato part numbers

    Hi Guys, I’m taking the plunge with Kato. I’m going to buy a few individual packs of track to get me rolling. Does anyone know the part numbers for R249 45 degree curves, the 248mm straights, feeder track (62mm I think) and 62mm straight all with concrete ties. Also what connector does the feeder track have? thank you
  19. So I am hoping to install DCC sound into a Kato N scale D51 steam locomotive (product number 2016-8). I have the locomotive, but I have yet to purchase a decoder or speaker. I wanted to know if anyone else has done this or a similar project and if they have any recommendations for which decoder or speaker to use and if they have any tips for doing the conversion. Thanks in advance!
  20. I have recently fitted some Kato lighting to my Green Max 3 car emu 30257/8/9, which runs quite smoothly and quietly. It was a fiddly job but the non motorised cars were the easiest and were fitted within two or three attempts. However, the powered centre car needed a lot of trial and error, and in the process the body has stretched sideways resulting in the chassis becoming loose under the body. Any advice please? Is this a common pitfall when handling such delicate models and I stress I was really gentle when trying to align the lighting coils in order to function properly. I have a new Farish British Railways class 31and it is very noisy compared to the GreenMax unit. Are the Japanese motors superior to the English ones? Could anybody give me the technical description of the motors used in each brand. Could I also ask if a "Brawa super quality" N Gauge brand exists, please, and the motors they fit to their models? I just cannot tolerate the poor quality junk that British companies churn out for the captive market here.
  21. So I am using a DCS50K (Kato Part No. 29-119) DCC system to run my Japanese train layout. I currently am using the standard wire connectors and splitters that come with Kato track (Item No. 24-825 & 24-827). However, I am having issues with power drop and poor DCC single pick up by some of my locomotives. These wires use 22 gauge wire which is considered thin for a standard DCC power bus. I am thinking of making my own power bus using 14 gauge wire. However I need to make a custom plug so I can connect the power bus to my DCS50K. Does anyone know if you can purchase uncrimped versions of the plugs used by Kato so I can make my own power cables? If you can, what are the called and who makes them? Part number? Thank you in advance for your suggestions and help.
  22. ranger10178

    My first foray into T-Trak

    Hi all, After finding some 6mm MDF in the garage, I've decided to give T-Trak a go. I've got 3/4 of the way through putting two "standard" 308mm x 300mm modules together. The photos show the results: Poorly assembled, constructed etc, but hey it's a learning curve!
  23. Tokyo West

    Maranouchi West floor layout

    Hi everyone! So I'm currently living in Shenzhen, China for 2 years while I teach music at an international school. During our first October holiday, we got to visit Tokyo, Japan, where I fell in love with the vast and efficient system of trains and the general politeness of the people we met. I've been lucky enough to live in several countries in my life, but Japan strikes me as a shining example of what other places could achieve if they fully committed to public rail transport. So, I got some trains from the wonderful Kato store, as well as a pair of second hand Shinkansen (100 and 300) from Popondetta Akihabara, and enough track for a simple double loop with stations. After a couple of weekend trips to Hong Kong, I built up enough track for a much larger double loop with some buildings and sidings. Then I began building a viaduct system to run the Shinkansen. I based my system on the central Tokyo station, and the next commuter stop on the Yamanote line, Shimbashi. That's my simple 4 track commuter station across the street from a row of large skyscrapers (still collecting those) and behind that, the Shinkansen viaducts. That's the main diorama of the layout, and everything else is mostly for operation. I enjoy a mix of scenery and passenger operation, especially with a variety of different types of trains with different roles, Commuter, Limited Express, and long distance Shinkansen. Here's a basic rundown of my layout plan, and eventual additions. The layout is basically complete at this point, and what I'm going to add are staging tracks and a connecting ramp between the upper and lower lines which will make the operation more fun. I began by thinking about the kind of operation I most enjoyed, with commuter trains making regular stops and shuffling back and forth, and ducking away to let faster express trains by. Once I had that idea down, I started designing the scene I wanted. I particularly liked the spot in Tokyo, the Maranouchi skyline seen from the imperial gardens where the trains are running in between the skyscrapers. The main diorama is loosely based on that. Tokyo station at the moment is represented by a single-level 4-track terminus, and a lovely old Faller station kit built by my father in the late 1980s! I thought it a decent stand-in for the gorgeous red-brick Maranouchi station building. My apartment has a spare bedroom which we mostly don't use - so it was perfect as a spot for a return loop. The Shinkansen line is essentially a single track loop folded into a dumbell shape with a return loop at each end. I've tried to keep the 'driving on the left' system as far as possible - so familiar to me from designing OO British layouts for so long. Since I'm focusing on Tokyo amd Shimbashi, I'm focusing on the JR West Shinkansen, which have always been my favorite - the 100, 300, 500, and 700 series. I finally got an E7 though. The blue and gold is so pretty, and since the line to Kanazawa will eventually link up with Osaka, I consider it an honorary West Shinkansen, even though it leaves Tokyo via Omiya. The way I run this layout at present, trains leave Tokyo station and cross to the inner track. Eventually they terminate and cross back to the outer track in the other direction, and terminate back at Tokyo. More details and structures to come! I had a frustrating period of trying to do a city pavement base for my Maranouchi scene with thick card - which bent up and wouldn't lie flat, even with metal rulers glued to it. In the end I gave up and went with thin card which sits flat much better. I'll keep updating it as I can! I have an order of track and structures on the way which will spruce up the Tokyo Station a little. Also coming are the two wonderful Odakyu Romancecars - 7000 and 10000 series, both in wine red color. Favorites of mine from Microsoft Train Simulator back in the day! All best! Keep 'em rolling, train fans! Michael
  24. Hello everyone! I‘ve recently bought a full Tomix Twilight Express 92240/41/42 set on YAJ and since all my other rolling stock is from Kato and equipped with their 11-702 knuckle couplers I got a question regarding the Twilight Express‘ end car. It appears that this car is equipped with a dummy coupler and thus cannot easily be equipped with different couplers. Does anyone know if this is correct and if there is a cheap/easy fix for this issue as my model train club has a head-station possible to be used in their layout and it‘d be pretty odd to have "Hand of God" turn the whole train around because of a dummy coupler on one end of it. I already sorted out converting the loco to Kato couplers but would also like to know if the gap between cars gets too small once they‘re equipped with knuckle couplers as it seems to me that they‘re already reasonably close to each other. Thank you in advance for reading and I hope somebody could help me. Kind Regards from Germany, Jan
  25. I'm curious if anyone has added DCC sound decoder to their Kato Shinkansen, specifically the E7 or N700A. I saw a thread on here from back in 2015 that started addressing this but it seemed to end very anticlimactically due to limitations at the time. It seems like the non-motored trailer cars for the N700A have a cavern under the floor piece with a metal weight. Since the metal strips already run through here it seems like an easy place to stash a sound decoder with a sugar cube speaker. I assume a decoder and speaker will come close to weight to the metal already there. I think the biggest question here though, has anyone ever generated sound files for any of the Shinkansen?
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