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  1. Just got my tax return! Time to buy a new train. Which one would you guys go for?
  2. Hi guys, I'm finally feeling the urge to take the plunge and delve into making my very first permanent N scale layout from scratch starting from the bench work construction of a dedicated table to fully furnishing it with scenery. It'll be something I'll want to make taking inspiration from a few other Japanese layouts by members in the Japanese Railway Society and possibly some here. I'd like to make it a layout I can proudly display at convention centers and train shows (who wouldn't), without being sanguine for my first project. The name I have so far christened it with (桜木の湯線) is after the area I'm in as well as mentioning my love of cherry blossoms and hot springs. I'd like it to be a mostly steam JGR/JNR era fictional layout. There may be no catenary, but I'll have many EL that I like (EF13, EF65) running on it as well! The first stage in my mind is configuring the final track layout before the first shovelful of sod is turned. I'm using an app called "TrainDesign" to make a relatively complex track arrangement (hopefully not too advanced for my first layout) with KATO N Unitrack to fit within the confinement of space (a single table 1462 mm x 906 mm) I'm willing to spend in my apartment. Does anyone have experience using this, or would they recommend another program? The train table is something I'd really like to make the most of by having it be sturdy, portable and also presentable while still remaining practical and minimal in its embellishments. To give it a "Japanese" flavor, I'd like to stain and lacquer the wood finish of the fascia of the table and add ropes at the narrow ends for carrying it. A layout depicted below ("Yama no yu sen") built by Stephen Gomersall is said to have done such. Note the pedestrian bridge. I'm looking into more details about this layout for more inspiration. Any suggestions or advice? I thank you all for any help you can offer so I put my best foot forward! The layout will also strongly take inspiration from this depot model of a fictional Japanese roundhouse called "Kamanashi Kikanku" built by Phil Hendry. I hope to acquire the same or similar kits from which the roundhouse and turntable were built (Fleischmann). If anyone knows a good locale to purchase them, many thanks! I will soon shown the decided general track plan and rough sketches of the table I'll want to build for sociable critique before moving to the next stage; buying materials. Aside from the roundhouse mentioned above, I intend to have an engine house as well, merely since I'd like there to be plenty of space devoted to showing off my locomotives awaiting their next turn of duty. I have the three bay engine house kit that resembles the classic stone one in Hitoyoshi, one of my favorite landmarks on the line. I would however like to alter the color of the brickwork of the kit by making them a lighter shade (like the VoR shed below) to match the cedar woodwork of the table. If anyone has experience with kits such as what techniques or paints can be used to achieve this, much appreciated.
  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. I came home from Japan with a bunch of EM13 decoders and an 800 and Sunrise. The shopkeeper that I could install DCC on the trains and I presumed that it was a drop in EM13 like all the other trains. When I got home and opened it up I was met with a surprise which was that there was no drop in. Can I hardwire to EM13 to the pickups or do I need to get another decoder?
  5. I want to buy the Kato V13 and I was wondering if I could use the Tomix controller due to its double control capabilities. Is this possible and will I need an adapter if so which one?
  6. Hi, In a previous post on this forum, I mentioned that the newly developed Kato slotless motor was not compatible with Kato French bullet trains (as well as other Kato European trains I bet but I did not confirm that yet). Here is a depiction of the Kato engine used in these trains. Yesterday, I opened my Kato JR700S Nozomi Shinkansen and realized that its engine was, contrary to that of the French TGV I have, the exact same dimension as the new Kato slotless motor (which is significantly smaller and slightly longer than the motor in the French TGV). I was able to replace the JR700S engine with a slotless motor, it now runs great and has a much better behaviour at low speed. One question though: why in the world would the engines in the Kato French bullet trains be so different from those in the Japanese bullet trains ??
  7. Recently I've noticed, that the Kato Shinkansen 100 (10-354) was "missing" a pantograph on the lead car (see the pic). And I was wondering if that was prototypical... It just seems somewhat odd and awkward to have that empty space. I also found pictures of a Shinkansen 100, where this space was occupied by a pantograph, which makes me want to install one myself
  8. Hello, I have been very enthusiastic about the new Kato slotless motor and I purchased a couple of them on Hobbysearch. More precisely, I ordered the Kato motor 11-503-A. Order was smooth and delivery prompt... But... I have a problem. Indeed, my initial plan was to use these slotless motors in some of my Kato trains, in particular for high speed trains such as, for instance the TGV 10-1529 (réseau duplex). After all, the product is advertised on the website as "This product is compatible with motors with flywheels.". However, after receiving the motors, I quickly realized they are slightly smaller than those in my TGVs... And I am left wondering what I can do with these motors... I feel a bit silly but I also believe somebody else could make the same mistake so I come here searching for confort / redemption and mostly ideas ! Thank you !
  9. Hey guys, (Note: All the research outlined below is relatively crude, as i don´t know japanese and had to utilize google translate for most of this. It is likely that i just missed something because of that) I´ve recently been pondering on buying a Kato C57 1 to add to my fleet. This is why I´ve trying to figure out, if there are alternatives to couple 2 steam locomotives together, without using the kinda ugly and un-prototypical Kato tandem coupler, which attaches to the front bogie. And thus I´ve lost my mind and free-time to trying to figure this out... In a nutshell: I did find a way to couple 2 locomotives together in an elegant and prototypical looking fashion (link to this video by shigemon). And while I found, that using the Kato Z05-0746 coupler (originally Kato USA part 28-270) seems to be the most popular way of doing this mod, that exact part doesn´t seem to be available anywhere (quite a trend as we´ll see later). Admittedly, I couldn´t check Kato USA, as their parts-website is under maintenance and is thus not available. Doing more research, I found that this mod is possible with other couplers (yay!). As seen here (video by ゆかり) and here (video by でんきちくらぶ) the mod is possible with Greenmax, other Kato (Z01-0239) and even Micro-Train couplers (though MT couplers seem to require heavy modification to the body, which I don´t want to do). However, once again, both Kato and Greenmax couplers are once again seemingly sold out everywhere. This is where my questions come in: As an "alternative" I did manage to find Kato 28-235. While it does mostly contain stuff irrelevant to the topic at hand, it does seem to contain the Z01-0239 couplers I was looking for. Could anyone perhaps confirm this? I haven´t been able to find any information on the exact contents of this parts bag. I also noticed how similar the greenmax couplers and the Kato 28-187 / 28-188 couplers, so could you perhaps use these as replacements? Shigemon also mentioned, that you could modify z-scale couplers, does anyone know which one he meant? I personally couldn´t find any info on that front... I was also wondering, if there was a way to utilize any other type of coupler (preferably Kato), so any info on that would be appreciated Generally, any info on this topic would be appreciated. I haven´t been able to find a single piece information in english, which is why i am making this post Thanks in advance
  10. I have been looking for a comparison between Kato Eurostars 10-327 and 10-1295... I recently found a - brand new - set of extra passenger cars for Kato 10-327 (ref. 10-328) and I am wondering if it is compatible with the more recent set 10-1295. Would you happen to know this ?
  11. alain10025

    Kato D51-498 often derails

    Hi, I have a couple of Kato steam locomotives (Hitoyoshi, C62-Tokaido and D51-498). I noticed on the forum that some people seem to have issues with certain models derailing often. From my experience, I mostly have issues with the D51-498 with the last set of wheels (see picture below) that tends to "jump" left or right, particularly on turnouts. However, I do not see any way to fix this issue since there does not seem to be any screw to shift the position of these wheels or the stiffness of their connection to the locomotive... Did anyone encounter such issue and find a way to fix it ? Thank you ! Alain
  12. lighthouse

    Trainsetter (Germany)

    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
  13. SL58654号

    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.
  14. 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:
  15. Hi! I’m wondering if the Kato 10-354 takes an EM-13 and FL-12? Thanks!
  16. 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.
  17. 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?
  18. 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
  19. 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!
  20. 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!
  21. 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?
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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!
  25. 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
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