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Tomix Shinkansen - Poor Slow Speed Running on Kato SX


Mutley

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Hi everybody, I'm having a few difficulties and wondered if anybody else had experienced the same thing.

 

Since my switch to the Japanese scene, it has been exclusively Kato all the way for me.  Everything runs beautifully and on the odd occasion where something comes out of the box and is maybe a bit noisy, everything is so accessible that I can whip the underside off of the motor car and a touch of lubrication always does the job.

 

I've never owned any Tomix gear, even back in my first Japanese venture about 15 years ago and in searching for a Kato 500 Series (I foolishly sold my Kato model several months back thinking that it I didn’t use it much …) I came across the Tomix Kodama set.

 

I bought that, together with an N700-8000 and I love the fact that the lights don't flicker and when running at speed, they run very nicely indeed, if noisier than my Kato sets.

 

My initial anxiety with Tomix was that I have Kato SX controllers and I'd read in a few places that Tomix doesn't always play nicely with these.

 

Here's my problem: at slow speed, both the N700 and 500 Series are not very smooth, irritatingly so in-fact.  It feels like the units are fighting themselves and I wondered if it might be down to the PWM used by the SX controllers, not interacting well with the Tomix motors / electronics?  Both units seem to suffer from the headlights flickering on and off at the tail end when starting off.  All of my Kato stock runs very nicely through these sections, no light flickering etc so I'm confident that the wiring and trackwork are in good order.

 

I borrowed a Gaugemaster controller to test the theory and the flickering disappeared and running did seem to be better.  Thing is, the SX controllers work beautifully for the majority of my stock and I wouldn't want to be without them but just wondering if this is a problem anybody else has had?

 

I did see that there's a push-button device that can be added to the SX to cancel-out the PWM but that doesn't seem to be generally available.

 

I'd welcome any thoughts or advice you may have.

 

Thanks

Mike

Edited by disturbman
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roadstar_na6

The higher-spec Tomix controllers also have PWM, so I don‘t think that‘s the issue.

Edited by roadstar_na6
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Yavianice

I have not had any problems with Tomix trains, or any other trains, on kato power pack SX except some DCC equipped trains and some Kato trains.

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My tomix shinkansens do the same on non pwm kato controllers.

 

Just the slightest more turn on the throttle fixes it though.

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Thanks for your replies all. 

 

It's really odd: if I apply around 40% power on the SX to get the train moving,  it feels like there's a small surge at regular intervals, not what I would say is 'jerky' running as the trains aren't moving quickly enough, but it's just enough to make you feel that they're not quite running right!

 

As you say with the non-pwm controller @Katoftw, I can apply a bit more throttle and the problem goes away. 

 

I do like the Tomix sets as models, so much so that I've just also taken delivery of a 12-car 200 Series (my favourite so far) and a 10-car E2 Yamabiko set.  The 200 Series does demonstrate the same characteristics and is not great at all with both motored-cars in the train, but running as a 10 car set with only one motor, 50-60% throttle and it runs beautifully. 

 

The E2 is actually a decent slow speed runner, which makes it all the more puzzling! 

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Sounds like a sx issue as with regular dc power packs I’ve never noticed any particular overall difference in running performance between Kato and tomix.

 

jeff

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disturbman

@Yavianice, was wondering if it could help resolve @Mutley’s issue.

 

@cteno4, as noted up thread, it’s most likely an issue with the PWM of the controller.

Edited by disturbman
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Yavianice

I understand that @disturbman, but my issue was different from his issue, as my KATO trains would still run normally at slow speeds, they would just fall asleep after a while. I guess @Mutley could give it a try, were it not that the KATO 22-092 PWM filter has long been sold out on the "regular" sources and is not scheduled for reproduction afaik.

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disturbman

I didn’t remember your exact issue, and I’ve no expertise in electronics. I thought that, if the issue is related to the PWM of the controller, the filter could maybe help resolve it. It was just a thought.

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brill27mcb

Are these long Tomix trains with 2 powered cars, or just a shorter train with 1 power car?

 

Rich K.

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I am not very experienced in electronics either however I have also experienced some anomalies with Dapol, Kato and Tomix stock using the original (older) Kato Hyper D power pack.  It had a small dial for PWM and I believe this did affect some of the models I own. Most were older models in this case and Kato has since replaced the controller with an updated model (Hyper DX), supposedly more friendly with European models.

 

I am not clear whether the PWM or the 2A output is the issue in these cases. Those trains that have issues seem fine with the Standard Kato controller although lights don't come on until about half speed.

 

Tomix EH500 (2147) Rear headlights flicker and motor has some stuttering

Tomix Thomas the Tank Engine, Jumpy running

Kato DF 200 (7007) Motor stops and starts and rear headlights flicker

Dapol Terrier. Jumpy running. I haven't tried running this at higher speeds as I thought I was in danger of doing some irreparable damage.

 

Kato EF63 (3057-1) This was highlighted as an issue by Kato and they later produced a new lightboard to replace the original. The next release (3057-4) had the updated board as standard. Not sure if there were any motor issues or just problems with the Head and Tailights

 

All subsequent Kato and Microace N gauge purchases have had no issues nor have any other of my Kato or Tomix HO gauge stock.  I would assume often the problem is older designs, motors, lightboard components that are not tested with these newer controllers. I have not bought any Tomix N scale models in some time so I cannot comment on their compatability.

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On 1/21/2021 at 10:57 PM, brill27mcb said:

Are these long Tomix trains with 2 powered cars, or just a shorter train with 1 power car?

 

Rich K.

Hi Rich, my 200 Series has 2 powered cars: not terrible but not great either with both in the train, so I removed one of them and it is certainly better.  The others are 8 or 10 car trains and have a single powered car.

 

Perhaps the two are fighting each other in some way?  Going back a year or two, I had a lot of British OO gauge and used to run it all with DCC.  I remember when double heading with some of my steam locos having to switch off PWM on the decoders, or the locos would fight each other and it would result in some really jerky running.

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On 1/22/2021 at 2:51 AM, Kamome said:

I am not very experienced in electronics either however I have also experienced some anomalies with Dapol, Kato and Tomix stock using the original (older) Kato Hyper D power pack.  It had a small dial for PWM and I believe this did affect some of the models I own. Most were older models in this case and Kato has since replaced the controller with an updated model (Hyper DX), supposedly more friendly with European models.

 

I am not clear whether the PWM or the 2A output is the issue in these cases. Those trains that have issues seem fine with the Standard Kato controller although lights don't come on until about half speed.

 

Tomix EH500 (2147) Rear headlights flicker and motor has some stuttering

Tomix Thomas the Tank Engine, Jumpy running

Kato DF 200 (7007) Motor stops and starts and rear headlights flicker

Dapol Terrier. Jumpy running. I haven't tried running this at higher speeds as I thought I was in danger of doing some irreparable damage.

 

Kato EF63 (3057-1) This was highlighted as an issue by Kato and they later produced a new lightboard to replace the original. The next release (3057-4) had the updated board as standard. Not sure if there were any motor issues or just problems with the Head and Tailights

 

All subsequent Kato and Microace N gauge purchases have had no issues nor have any other of my Kato or Tomix HO gauge stock.  I would assume often the problem is older designs, motors, lightboard components that are not tested with these newer controllers. I have not bought any Tomix N scale models in some time so I cannot comment on their compatability.

Thanks, that's really useful.

 

I'm just about to pack everything away for a month or two as we are moving house but I think I'll try to get hold of a 'Standard S' when I'm up and running again and wire the layout so that I can choose which controller to use, depending upon the train.

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brill27mcb
4 hours ago, Mutley said:

Hi Rich, my 200 Series has 2 powered cars: not terrible but not great either with both in the train, so I removed one of them and it is certainly better.  The others are 8 or 10 car trains and have a single powered car.

 

Perhaps the two are fighting each other in some way?  Going back a year or two, I had a lot of British OO gauge and used to run it all with DCC.  I remember when double heading with some of my steam locos having to switch off PWM on the decoders, or the locos would fight each other and it would result in some really jerky running.

 

Yes, if one power car loses electrical track connectivity and goes momentarily dead, it turns into an axles-locked sled for the other to try to pull, thanks to the worm gearing. Think about it: If the train is too long for Tomix to use just 1 powered car, the situation is going to be much worse if one of the cars is changed from a light, free-wheeling trailer to a heavy, wheels-locked dead weight. Even if it's only for a moment, there can be knock-on effects. The newer Tomix trains with electrical connections between all the cars through the couplers helps immensely to prevent this. The flywheels can help a little, too.

 

If a fancy control uses "back emf" sensing of the motor, I can't imagine how it will react to the feedback from two motors behaving differently at the same moment.

 

I have an old Tomix 16-car Series 100 shinkansen with two powered cars, and if it starts running erratically I clean the wheels on both. That usually helps a lot.

 

Rich K.

Edited by brill27mcb
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