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amtk908

Kato 10-1567 E6 Komachi Lighting Issues

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amtk908

Greetings All,

 

I recently added a Kato 10-1566 and 10-1567 E6 Komachi to my collection. Today I was installing Kato 11-212 lighting units in all seven cars and have run across a problem with the four cars in the 10-1567 set. The three cars (two cab control vehicles and the motor unit car) in the 10-1566 set, the lighting works just fine, steady with no flicker at all.  The four cars in the 10-1567 set though have serious flicker issues. Actually they are off more than they are illuminated at all. I have checked removed and reinserted the copper strips that come with the lighting kit and I have checked to make sure the copper strip is making good connection to the leads on the LED board. I have even tried bending the copper strip slightly into a curve up curve down wave pattern thinking that it may not be making good contact with the buss that is under the  floor that the tabs on the truck contact. I removed the motor equipped car from the consist and gently rolled the consist back and forth. Even the slightest movement results in the lights flickering or not lighting at all.  Gently pressing down on each car seems to help; perhaps the cars are too light to ensure good contact between the truck tabs and the buss?  The cars do seem rather light as they weigh only 24 grams. I have installed the Kato 11-212 lighting kits in over 80 varying pieces of equipment and have never had an issue like this.  I should mention that the track is spotlessly clean and other trains equipped with 11-212 lighting units run with no flicker at all over the same trackage.

 

Has anyone else encountered this issue with the Kato Komach set?  I would appreciate any suggestions that anyone may have.

 

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

 

My best regards and be well,

Cliff

 

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roadstar_na6

It would then probably be easiest to just put in some weights. Lead tape might be a solution, glue something of that in the roof and below the seats. Maybe that‘d be enough.

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katoftw

Since the trouble car are from the same set. I would be investigating those. Not just the copper strips from the lighting kits. But the whole power pick up system.

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Kamome

It seems sometimes you get a train occasionally that beyond all reasonable adjustments, you can’t seem to stop it flickering. I have a 700 series that have the headlights flicker and despite adding fish tank plant weights to the underbody, adjusting the pickup strips and contacts, it still flickers on clean level track. You could look at the Poppondetta lighting with capacitors as an easy fix.

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railsquid

Gunk can sometimes build up in the pockets on the bogie conductor strips where the axle pinpoints sit. Cleaning these out can be tedious, but I've had good results with flickery car end lights. No guarantee though.

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amtk908

Thank you all for your suggestions. It appears that the issue is between the bogies, the bogie contact pinns and the copper buss.  I'll continue to work on it.  Now I just have to figure out how to get the bogies off the farme. Kato usually has some elegant clips, etc. but on the E6, I still haven't figured it out.

Thanks again and best regards,

Cliff

 

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Yavianice

You could try what TOMIX does and put springs on the contact pins. Not sure if it also works on the E6 as I do not own one from KATO.

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amtk908

Time for an update....

This have improved about 90%, not perfect but much better than they were. Everyone had a piece of the puzzle and I thank you all for your help.

 

Here is what I did...

Since the bogies and their contact with the copper bus seemed to be a strong contributing issue, i disassembled the trucks and gave the wheels, wheel faces, axel ends and the copper axel cups a good cleaning with isopropyl. There was a surprising amount of yellow-amber light oil that came off the surfaces, probably from the manufacturing process. I then gently lifted the copper buss where it made contact with the bogie contact pins. At first I raised them too much and was lifting one wheelset off the rail. I reduced the amount of lift of the copper bus so all wheels were in contact with the rail and the bogie would slew correctly. The rise of the buss that I settled on puts the contact area just even with the top of the trough that the buss sits in. The bogie will be bit tighter to slew due to the increased downforce of the buss strip but, so far, no derailments or picked switches. I then removed the wavy bend that I mentioned earlier from the lighting kit copper contact strip. I returned it to flat condition and gave it a good cleaning with isopropyl. The wavy bend made no difference and it works just fine as manufactured flat. I reassembled and tested each car individually with a roll test and then assembled all into the train consist. The results were about a 90% improvement in eliminating the blink-off and ficker. Is it perfect, no. Can I live with it, yes. I may experiment later with adding just a bit of weight inside the car body, but for now, I think I'll just sit back and watch it run.

 

The bottom line is the primary issues were oil on the wheelsets and bogie contact cups and poor contact between the copper buss strip and the bogie power contact pins.  I would say the biggest issue was the copper buss strip. The buss strip is floating, not secured, at the car body end which is a different design from most of the Kato equipment that I own. Perhaps being a bit low in the trough and floating allowed it to bounce away from the bogie power contact pins. Regardless, it has illustrated to me that the Kato designer engineers are not infallible, prior to this experience I thought that they were. Still, a wonderful model of excellent construction that just need a bit of tweaking.

 

Thanks again to everyone for their kind assistance and advice.

My best regards and be well,

Cliff

 

Edited by amtk908
Correct typo
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katoftw

A well place styrene strip might help with the floatiness

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