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Guide to N-Scale loco motors???


gavino200

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I'm looking for a guide to  the different types of motors used by Kato, Tomix, and others. Some perform better than others. I'd like to be able to take the motor into account when buying a train. Up until now I've only considered how the train looks and how easy it is to DCC convert. 

 

I'm assuming that they reuse a relatively small number of motors for all their many trains. I'm also guessing that some motors that look similar, have important differences. Is there a listing of motors somewhere, or a thread where the difference between motors is discussed. All my trains are Kato, but I think the next train I get will be a Tomix, and I'll probably branch out a bit as time goes on.

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Actually most Tomytec motors are different and choosen to fit in the chassis. They tend to be sealed 3 pole types and i rarely see the same motor type in a different chassis type. These cheap motors are limited to 12V DC (14V DCC). More modern is the 5 pole type and many Kato units have exposed motors of this type with replacable brushes. The 3 pole variant of this type was used by ancient Tomix chassises. This is good for servicability but means more ways for the motors to get dirty. Kato motors tolerate overvoltage better up to 16V DC. Tomixes are usually 12V DC. Even more advanced is the coreless type that runs smoother but is more sensitive to momentary overload and overheating than the classic types. Some Kato trams and all Tomytec buses have tiny pager motors that need active regulation to run even on 12V DC or in case of the buses 3V DC.

 

I have more than a dozen motor types just from Kato, Tomix and Tomytec trains. Sometimes a reissue of the same train or chassis comes with a different motor.

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Also wise to inform about the spare motor units availability. Kato and Tomix/Tomytec will have their spare motor units easier to get. Although I am not really sure with old models especially for Kato and Tomix (not Tomytec). Greenmax maybe fairly easy since they now released newer power units and some of them are coreless ones. Micro Ace doesn't have spare motors.

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When it comes to Kato, I have seen mostly 2 types of motors so far:

A 5 pole straight wound one, usually without flywheel which was/is used on the models using the older motor car chassis and some locos and a newer 3 pole with skewed windings, usually with flywheels, these are found in the newer models. I think they started to use them around the time they introduced the "DCC-Friendly" Chassis. When it comes to newly made models that are reruns or based on older models they will however still use the older 5 pole motor.

 

So far I have to say I had more luck with the 5 poles as they usually run very smooth and quite, with the 3 poles I had some problems including strong vibration and loud noises on some motors, but that might just be my luck. The first one I had of these also ran very quiet and smooth (at least until it too started making noises).

Edited by Gryphr
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1 hour ago, kvp said:

 

Interesting. Most of the Tomix power units differ only in flywheel/wormgear/drive rod arrangement. Looks like there's only about. three or four different motors.

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13 hours ago, Gryphr said:

When it comes to Kato, I have seen mostly 2 types of motors so far:

A 5 pole straight wound one, usually without flywheel which was/is used on the models using the older motor car chassis and some locos and a newer 3 pole with skewed windings, usually with flywheels, these are found in the newer models. I think they started to use them around the time they introduced the "DCC-Friendly" Chassis. When it comes to newly made models that are reruns or based on older models they will however still use the older 5 pole motor.

 

So far I have to say I had more luck with the 5 poles as they usually run very smooth and quite, with the 3 poles I had some problems including strong vibration and loud noises on some motors, but that might just be my luck. The first one I had of these also ran very quiet and smooth (at least until it too started making noises).

 

Your post went right over my head. But I've been reading and I can understand you now. Can you tell me some specific 5 pole motor locos that work very well. I have an older (5 pole) C-62 which is one of the strongest motors I've ever seen. I also have  (3 pole) a Type 500 Marunouchi that runs well but is noisy. I've been meaning to open it up and try the rubber band trick. 

 

Here's what I've been reading. Sumida Crossing of course.

 

This page is mostly theory and history, but it's worth reading.

 

http://www.sumidacrossing.org/LayoutElectricity/ModelTrainPower/DCTrainMotors/

 

This page talks about the general 5 point/3 point shift and talks a little about Microace. I ignored the parts about HO and the US manufacturers.

 

http://www.sumidacrossing.org/LayoutElectricity/ModelTrainPower/TypicalDCMotors/

 

I'm going to let this stuff settle for a while, and then start hunting down specific information on different loco motors.

 

I'll be interested to learn how the Kato Eva Shinkansen motor is constructed. It's amazing, Runs smoothly fast and slow. No perceptible change in speed with incline or decline.

 

Edited by gavino200
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The no perceptible change in speed could be achived by overpowering the train, so the motor runs under load around the same speed as it would run without a load. In that case, the speed is limited only by the voltage. 

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My experience is that Kato motors can be serviced while Tomix are pretty much sealed (even the open framed ones). Kato use clip on caps to hold the brushes in their guide tubes while the Tomix tubes are a complete assembly pressed into the motor body. Trying to remove and refit the tube will cause it to work loose and lead to weird arcing/overheating problems. I was able to fix that on a Kato motor by gluing the brush tube back into the housing, but wouldn't like to try the same trick with Tomix as it wouldn't be possible to leave the brush and spring out while waiting for the glue to dry.

 

Tomytec use much smaller sealed can motors, at least in the 20m chassis I have. They don't seem to like heavy loads at low speed, presumably in much the same way as the real thing tends to draw a lot of current and overheat in that scenario. They will pull away smoothly with nine trailers (motorised KuMoYuNi 147 with a dummy KuMoNi 143 in front and an eight car Kato 165 Series dummy behind) but you have to get up to line speed at a realistic rate and not just cruise around.

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18 hours ago, gavino200 said:

Your post went right over my head. But I've been reading and I can understand you now. Can you tell me some specific 5 pole motor locos that work very well. I have an older (5 pole) C-62 which is one of the strongest motors I've ever seen. I also have  (3 pole) a Type 500 Marunouchi that runs well but is noisy. I've been meaning to open it up and try the rubber band trick.

 

The EH-500 is a good example, very strong and smooth runner while being quiet. I don't think I have any Kato Locomotives with 3 Pole Motors, as most of my Rolling Stock consists of Multiple Units

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3 hours ago, Gryphr said:

 

The EH-500 is a good example, very strong and smooth runner while being quiet. I don't think I have any Kato Locomotives with 3 Pole Motors, as most of my Rolling Stock consists of Multiple Units

 

I have the EH-200 and yes it's a strong runner. Very odd mechanism with the two car drive-train. 

 

If I understand what I read correctly, many of the EMUs such as the new Shinkansens are 3 pole motors motors. Basically anything that's marketed as "DCC friendly". While the KatoUSA trains are still 5 pole. So you probably have a bunch of 3 poles.

 

 

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16 hours ago, kvp said:

The no perceptible change in speed could be achived by overpowering the train, so the motor runs under load around the same speed as it would run without a load. In that case, the speed is limited only by the voltage. 

 

That's interesting. Can you tell me more about this?

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6 hours ago, gavino200 said:

That's interesting. Can you tell me more about this?

Basically if your motor is strong enough, the speed will change on ramps, but so little that you can't see it. Having traction tires also eliminates wheel slip that would happen if you start or stop too suddenly. These trains essentially jump to the speed set on the throttle without much visible acceleration or deceleration. We expect most N scale trains to behave like this without control electronics.

 

Some lower powered trains like Tomytecs do struggle with high loads and you have to watch their temperature to avoid damaging them. On the other hand, trains with large flywheels, like some of my Kato locos accelerate more realistically thanks to the flywheels resistance and could take out and store power there for smoothing out speed changes on shorter ramps.

 

A counter example would be a seriously underpowered train, like longer 8 bricks wide (1:42) lego trains with 2 powered bogies. You can jam the throttle fully open on 6 to 8 car trains (~3-4 meters long) and they start to move very slowly and accelerate realistically, as the power to weight ratio is very low, so even with 8 traction tires, the two H0 scale sized motors are barely enough for the heavy 0 scale train. Burnt out power bogies due to exceeding hourly load rates (aka not driving carefully) are a common occurance at longer exhibitions. At 1:2 motor to trailer ratios, the trains start to behave better and usually fully motored trains behave like the model trains we are used to. Sadly due to cost and engineering reasons, i usually have to use 1:3 motor-trailer rates.

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