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drivablity issues


Jimbo

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dont know if this the right forum for this but if its not go ahead an move it,,    I have three trains that i run  Now ive expanded my combination's  of rolling stock an locomotives,  the locomotive that i bought to power my blue train didnt like working on cab two, {my outer loop} it didnt like cab one eather, but runs fine on the inner most which is powered with a Kato control ?? the other locomotive only runs fine on the middle loop or cab one, an the other locomotive only likes the cab two which is the outer loop, all three locomotives are Kato all new,, strange or what?? I picked up a nice set of coach's off e bay never used had lights installed in them an then put back in the box {blue train} i purchase  a kato ef81 to power it, which dosent like the two outter loops,   i found the correct {or as close as possible } ef64 kato  which is fine on the otter loop, so no big deal there, i also purchased  a kato dd54 which only likes the cab one or the middle loop, Now the ef81 is pulling the twilight express on the inner loop an works fine but not really the correct locomotive,, I do have the correct locomotive for the twilight express tomix ef81 in the right colors  but it dosent like any of the loops?? Strange?? is it me??   Confused ??? so am i !!

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Jimbo,

 

sorry to hear the issues. one thing to try is switch the Kato controller to one of the other loops and see if the locos that ran well with the Kato controller on the inner loop but not on the outer loops now run well on the outer loops. If so then it’s something with the outer loop controllers.
 

Few questions:

 

what are the other two throttles? 
 

When you say it doesn’t like to run, what is the behavior? Maybe a video of some of the issues to YouTube could help.

 

how often and how many power feeds do you have to each loop?

 

any of these locos used and/ir very old?

 

what’s the track radius on each loop? Does the bad running happen on curves or also on straight sections.

 

wheels and track clean? Might look at getting a can of wd 40 contact cleaner (not regular wd40 lubricant) to clean wheels and track with. Much dust on the layout?

 

might help to make a little matrix for each loco on which loop/throttle it runs well or not will help to see a pattern.

 

this could be one thing or more likely a combination of things you have to carefully tease apart.

 

cheers,

 

jeff

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Jeff im useing a tech ampack 780 on the two outter loops, i can run my inner with the kato  an it works fine with only half throttle, with the tech i have to run half to 3/4 throttle to come close to the kato,  the ef81 i got for the blue train is new, as is the cars, they were from a estate sale {his dad passed away} 6 of them had lights installed in them, he never lighted the 7th, with the kato ef81 the lights just glow, an ends up being run at a higher speed setting,to give off any light, the kato dd54 pulled the cars with no problem with the lighting but was slow, i finally found a ef64 for the blue train works fine but a little slow, ?? the dd54 didnt like running on the inner loop with the kato control but liked to run on the first cab?? {middle loop} with the tech control,, ??  so thats where it stays hauling freight wagon's   the ef81 for the blue train is now on the inner loop pulling the twlight express, the correct tomix ef81 does not like any of the loops an runs slow no matter where its at, the other locomotives i have are fine along with my emus ??? i have a jumper on the outter loop about half way from the main power feed so its getting peanty of juice, the tech likes a higher speed setting because when i use the cross over to the inner loop i have to slow it down!! Im confused lol  yes track is clean as are the wheels an such    3 different kato locomotives an 3 different ways of running i guess?? i have also whats  the word ?? hard wired ?? all 3 loops so no power track or rail joiners,   Its  not that big of a layout only 4 by 8 ??? ,

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Jimbo,

 

so mainly the issue is some of the locos just run slower on the tech throttle vs the Kato? If so then swap the Kato throttle for one of the tech throttles on the slow loops and see if it runs as fast as it does with the Kato Throttle on the inner loop. If so then it’s just the tech are lower voltage output than the Kato throttle.

 

does the tech have a pulse power switch? If so make sure that’s off.

 

locos will all run at different speeds. Even two of the same loco will have slightly different speeds. Throttle as well will have slightly different power ranges and rheostat/variable resistor curves. Your tech throttles may be using a rheostat where as the simpler Kato throttles are just a variable resistor for the throttle and they may behave differently at different areas of the throttle range (ie half way is 0-4v and rest is 4-12v or evenly wirh 0-6v and 6-12v).

 

do you have a multimeter? If so find the setting on both throttles where trains are running about the same and measure the voltage on the throttles at those settings, they should be the same and point to just differences in the throttles.

 

which Kato controller do you have?

 

do any of your locos run the half Kato throttle speed on the outer tracks with the tech throttle at half? If not again it’s a sign the tech throttle is just not putting out as much voltage.

 

so you have 2 power feeds to each loop each on the opposite side of the loop? That’s about the minimum for a loop with about 14’ or so of track and generally should be ok. But you have done some ballasting or scenery cement around the tracks, correct? This can slip into some of the unijoiners and cause some voltage drops. Usually you see this with an area where the trains slow down for a bit then speed back up.

 

differences in the locos cna be just mechanical designs, wear, lubrication, crap in the gears etc, so can’t diagnose that without carefully looking at them. I would focus first if the difference is the throttle. If the Kato behaves the same (ie same speed) on the other loops then it’s just the throttles. Give that a shot first.

 

jeff

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Jeff   finally tested,, kato ok its just run of the mill dc unit,, nothing fancy,, half throttle 6.35 volts  3/4 throttle 9.4 volts  an again at wide open 13.5 volts    ok now mrc tech ampack 780 run of the mill dual throttle dc setup   cab one middle loop half throttle 10.4 volts 3/4 throttle 13.44 volts an full throttle 15.11 volts,     cab 2 outer loop 1/2 throttle 10.92 volts 3/4 throttle 13.28 volts  an wide open at 15.37 volts     its strange the kato doesnt even get warm when in use but the mrc will get warm??  the kato has lower voltage readings but the locomotives run better with the kato unit??  i didnt check for amps just voltage,  any thoughts thanks

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on a side note i take power for my lighting off the mrc unit, the kato just runs the switchs, my lighting is 95% leds an i dont have all the buildings lit 

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Jimbo,

 

have you tried switching the throttles out on the various loops, like putting the Kato on each of the two outer loops to see if trains run fine with the Kato on the outer loops. If the Kato works great on the outer loops (and tech is crappy on inner loops) then it’s the tech throttle. If the Kato does not work well on the outer loops and the tech works fine on the inner loop, then it’s a power connection issue to the tracks on the outer loops probably.

 

the reason the Kato does not get warm is the main transformer from 110v to 15v ac (thing that usually generates most of the heat in a throttle) is being done by the wall wart and not inside the throttle. Inside the kato throttle there is just a rectifier to turn ac to dc (not a lot of heat), a power control chip, and a variable potentiometer. The power control chip just varies the 12v dc fed to it by the rectifier depending on how much resistance there is from the variable pot. Super simple circuit. Don’t know the exact circuits the techs use but the ac transformer is inside them with all the other circuitry to vary the dc output so it will get warmer.

 

try the Kato throttle on the outer loops that should help narrow the issue some.

 

jeff

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Ahh I just went to look at the tech 760 specs and they have a “Accutec TechnologyTM” that increases slow speed performance and increase power on grades and “Proportional Tracking Control” for smoother operations, which leads me to believe they are re using PWM of some sort and maybe some sort of power draw feedback (ie to boost power on grades) and these features may not play well with some of your motors or even the track setup. The two throttle circuits in the throttle appear to be isolated for use with common rail wiring, but it may be some odd thing with the track layout causing an issue between the two throttles on the outer loop.

 

you might try disconnecting one of the tech throttles and see how the problem trains run on the other outer loop still connected. If they run fine then it’s some interference happening between the two tech throttles with the outer loop track setup.

 

What has fo be done to start diagnosing this is to pull the throttle off and the attach a single throttle, one by one, to each of the 3 loops and use a problem engine and see how they do. Knowing what happens with those 9 permutations will really help point to what’s going on and how to fix it.

 

jeff

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Yes, sounds like you need to strip things down to bug test for connection, controller and motor compatibility issues.

 

On a similar note, as has already been mentioned, motors all differ and I’ve found some motors just don’t like certain controllers. My Tomix locos don’t like the higher output Kato Hyper D controller but are fine with the older Standard S which has no PWM.  My son has a Tomix Thomas set and that hates anything but the basic Kato controller. Perhaps a Tomix controller would work better for Tomix but I have definitely had more issue with a few Tomix locos on Kato controllers. Many reverse direction headlights flicker on my Tomix locos unless the track and wheels are exceptionally clean whereas never had this issue with Kato locos.

Perhaps others could comment on Tomix controller with Kato stock. My Microace units also needs about 1/2 throttle to run at a realistic speed whereas Kato stock would often fly at that throttle level. I have locos that I can put to 1/4 power and sit with their lights on while others will start moving with less power without the lights coming on. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kamome
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Guys i changed throttles last night,, then i dug out the single controls i stated with, one is a Tomix. a mrc 1300 dc unit an one is a bachman?? lol  an yes i ran different combinations  of locomotives an my emus  EMUs showed very little difference but of all things my Microace EMU loves the kato, oh well the EMUs arnt an issue, I ran different locomotives an again the Microace loco likes what ever powers it, i have a mix kato an tomix locomotives, i have 2 ef66s tomix they dont slow down they just stop, they have been that way since new, very hard to move at slow settings, i have 2 more tomix locomotives that well run best at a medium speed setting, then theres the kato locomotives, the 4 ive had for sometime are pretty much all matched in how they run they dont seem to mind whats powering them, this issue came about when i decided to do a blue train, kato loco, didnt like the outer loop,7 cars on the blue train hence the outer loop more room for it, then theres the twilight express i finally pulled the trigger on doing it, 6 cars,switched the kato from the blue train to this setup runs on the inner loop an loves it (its a new loco) so found as close as i got get to the correct loco for the blue train, (new loco) its a kato also,ef64 an thats ok on the middle an outer loops,  the other kato is a df54 wanted a desial (sorry for auto correct) an that one only likes the inner an outer loops,  I never thought that there would be that much of a difference in locomotives!!  Kamome made  a good point they all seem to have their own qurks, an run differently ,, so am going to put things back the way they were, an let it go at that,an stop trying to over think things lol, oh an Jeff another note when i check track voltage i did it in 2 different spots, one reading by the power wiring an the other half way around the lay out an the readings were very constent, On a lighter note i do like the headlights on my new Kato's  way better then the tomix lights!! Sorry didnt mean to take up so much bandwidth with this issue  Thanks

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lol Jeff mass produced models!!! nothing is consistent  it just works kind of ha! Thanks

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Jimbo,

 

can’t quite tell from your post of what the general result was when you moved the Kato throttle to the outer loop. Did trains that ran well on the Kato inner but bad on the outer tech throttle run good on the outer with the Kato throttle?

 

yes you need to test voltage around in a number of places as a fe bad rail joiners can cause a very localized area of voltage drop as well. If you have done scenery around the tracks that included spraying or dripping glues, scenery cement, etc they can seep into rail joiners and cause voltage drops.

 

If the tech throttle does use some pulse width modulation then you won’t get true voltage readings with the voltmeter. I suspect they are doing a combo of voltage regulation and pwm.

 

Different locos can behave very differently on the same throttle and of course if a throttle uses some pwm that will behave differently than pure dc voltage control on different motors so a lot of variables. Also if the tech are doing some pwm and some sort of emf feedback power control it could do some odd things when crossing over between loops for that short bit where each throttle is going thru the motor.

 

jeff

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If it’s just the sleepers that create issues, may be worth testing it coach by coach. Is the blue train lit? That will cause a drain on the throttle. I used to have the old bulb lighting in my 12 car Cassiopeia and that would only drive slowly at full throttle on the Kato Standard S (output 12V 1A). Using the Hyper D (output 14.5V 2A) with more umph it obviously ran better. Since replacing with the newer LED lighting, it can travel much faster with less throttle on the Standard S. Worth noting that some older models and designs do not run well with Hyper D. Kato actually produced a replacement light board for their original EF63 as it caused issues but running 2 of these and a 12 car 189 series needed a fair bit of power. Possibly due to the PWM for constant lighting that was included on this controller.

 

Alternatively, is something misaligned or creating extra resistance somewhere? 

Like you get when you go from one controlled track to another and the coaches bridge the insulated joiner and you get a surging effect. Even if the cars are not lit, they still have a brass strip which connects the two bogies electrically.


Anyway these things are always a headache but also a learning experience. You tend to get the same sinking feeling when you buy British n scale tank engines which, in my experience, rarely run very well on any controller.

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reply to both,,   jeff the kato worked fine on all 3 loops,, i think Kamome came across with a good an valid point!! The cars i got for the blue train were from an estate sale, they were never used an had lights already installed in them then put back in the box, The kato lighting has the foil reflector  that sticks on the roof of the car, they have a yellow glow while running, an even at a higher speed setting they are not very bright,??  another note is with the twlight express i installed the newer style {or normal to me} an its fine on all 3 loops no matter what control i use,??    Kamome when i used the cross over track {i have  2 of them}  the blue train will almost stall an whatever one im useing will speed up, when they switch loops, but any other trains transition  with out any problems lol unless i dont match speeds! an are fine, Must be thats why my EMUs dont seem to mind any of the loops an transition without problems,, ??    So take the lights out of the blue train cars an run it?? i dont know me lol but sounds like something i should try!!   Love you guys!!

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Jimbo,

 

ok then it looks like some of your engines don’t like the more exotic power provided by the tech throttles. Simple solution would be to get 2 more Kato throttles to even out your performance some.

 

those could be very old lighting boards that are just drawing a lot of current. In theory a single led light strip (with the light diffuser strip) should only draw like 20ma per strip. Yes playing with removing some of those old lighting strips would be a good experiment. If you have any newer strips that would fit those cars from other trains might pop a few in to see if it fixes your issues.

 

As Kamome notes, with cars with power pickups you are going to have the two throttles crossed over almost all the time (except when the couplers are over the joint) while the whole train is transitioning between the two throttles (because of the usual power strips linking the two trucks in most cars) so you will see that effect for a much longer time than with just a loco.

 

jeff

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11 hours ago, Jimbo said:

The kato lighting has the foil reflector  that sticks on the roof of the car, they have a yellow glow while running, an even at a higher speed setting they are not very bright,

It sounds like they are the older incandescent bulb versions which is probably the main issue of your slow running.

 

This was a very simple idea in the early days of coach lighting as it didn't matter which way the train ran, the polarity would not affect the bulb being lit. They would draw a fair bit of current that would also have to be shared with your loco and its lights, reducing the speed the train ran at.

 

This is essentially what was used for the initial lighting on my E26 Cassiopeia coaches (10-833/4/5) along with other factory-installed lit models from Kato like the initial 651 series (10-164) and the Odakyu 7000 LSE Romance Car.(10-161)   A plastic housing with two copper wires running into an incandescent bulb. You would need a lot of voltage to get a semi-reasonable look. (The standard coach product for adding lighting was Kato # 11-206)

 

Removing these should give you better performance from your controller and if you update in the future, you should get brighter lighting too.

 

All the best

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Wow old bulb lighting unit, they do suck the amps! 
 

jeff

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Kamome   thats what i was wondering??   I have tomix with their lights installed in them an they are fine no matter which loop they are run on.. my only experience with the kato lights are in two EMUs  both run fine an the lights are perfect, {ones only 3 cars an the other is five cars} an no problem with runablity ,, woops shouldnt say that,, i installed  lighting in my twilight express also  that one isnt an issue,,eather,,  my blue train runs on the outter loop because its the longest one i have passanger wagon wise,  so this is all making sence to me now!! i knew i was on to something but just couldnt reach the answer!!   Thank you Sir,,

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just an update, I've replaced the lighting, to a more modern version with the led chips, the old lights that were installed were the bulb type!   Much better lighting an way better runablity!!  I was surprized that a 7 car passanger train had as much drag as they do!! i did one car at a time tested it an put on the track, then the same for the next one an etc etc  then moved them to connect the loco an was surprized at the amount of drag,, just something i noticed,    Also an I'm  guessing here, an i should have looked! but the end car train marks maybe the bulb type lights??   I guess i need to check the numbers on the car box an see which production it is??   Thanks everyone for all of your help!!

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