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Decoder install in a tram


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Hello, all.  I am wanting to install a tiny Digitrax DC decoder into my KATO Hiroshima tram.  Does anyone have any advice (other than, "don't try this at home", haha).  Maybe a link to a diagram of the motor parts, etc?  Thanks for any help, Mike

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Never seen this done.  Kato does sell lighting units for the Hiroshima trams.


Part numbers for the lights are 11-211 for one set and 11-212 for six sets. Two sets are needed.


On this particular model a diagram of model parts would be proprietary information.  Not your normal tram model.  Kato documentation does not give a parts list.



Edited by bill937ca
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I wonder how close it is to the Kato portrams in design. Those used low voltage motors and a power circuit to reduce the voltage. I sort of expect Kato might reuse as much of that design as possible. There was a decoder board that would replace the Kato power board with a lower voltage dcc output.



search for Kato AND portram and also Kato AND portram AND DCC on the forum and you’ll find some topics on the board installation and also just disassembly of the portram as it’s an intricate little beastie.


if you were to try to rewire the power board to accept 0-12v output from a decoder I would just try wiring a decoder to the track to make sure the dcc output plays well with the little power board before trying to wire it in. Good news is there is a lot of room for the decoder bad news is the power board and powered truck are really crammed into a tiny space and in the portram were very delicate to tease apart and reassemble (did it once on a broken one and it worked after I reassembled it so not sure what I did to fix it, but I expect a whack had gotten something stuck.



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Where do you find there is lots of room for a decoder? The motors are in the ends, where the light kit goes.  That decoder won't fit in the LEX.  Very misleading post.


 Portram is a 2 section articulated tram.  The Hiroshima LEX is a three section articulated tram with two short end sections and a longer center section. Not the same configuration.




This post seems to take the motor truck apart. 




Notes from the above post.

"Two genuine interior lights are used for both leading cars, and the middle car is lit by prism light from both sides."


"One more thing, I wondered where the motor was, so when I removed the trolley, I found a small space between the seat and the floor where a gear and a small motor were stored. This is amazing!"


It may be a 3 volt pager motor like the Portram. Low floor trams are not conventional and models closely duplicating them will not be conventional either.


5616 motor.jpg

Edited by bill937ca
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Oh that is very different than the portram. The portram had the motor in the truck itself and the power regulator board just over it. Decoder just replaces the power board. May be similar here as well, but looking like a different form factor.



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