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inobu

Kato JR 500 10-510 DCC Digitrax DN163

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inobu

This is my install for Kato 10-510 JF500

I choose the DN163 because of its size and wiring. The DZ125 is the cost effective route and the install is the same.  The motor install was not too bad and can be quite easy. The first step is to open the shell which is splitting the top shell from the body. The shell separates from the frame and door.

 

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Motor car Decoder install-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Skim through the photos to see how these shrink tubes will isolate the motor leads.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------light boards ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm starting to think it may be better to redo the board and design the two led circuits needed. I going to come back to this.

Here is the best location for the decoder.

 

The wires will actually go through the original access ports but the decoder is over all hidden. It Power pick up of the decoder  will be wired to the bottom of the cars pick ups.  

 

 

 

The objective is to split the LED into 2 circuits. Cut one side of the board to create the common Blue and the other 2 sides to operate the LED via the White and yellow wire. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The TL-1 cannot be used because it only has 1 function. The unit has a 2 LED configuration so the best decoder would be the DZ125.

 

Got the light in but I not sure if it is worth $50. It takes two two full decoders to get the light working like the original setup. I used the mod sheet that Capt provided above. There are a few changes that I made but over all its really do-able. You should calculate the resistor value based on the voltage and current of the LED and DC input voltage.  

 

This really poses a question. Have bi directional lights for one train or two more trains with DCC.

Hummmmmm

Inobu        

Edited by inobu
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KenS

The first test is finding out how many amps the OEM LED's draw and how many volts and amps the decoder can put out.  

 

According to the DN163 manual, the function outputs are limited to a total of 500 milliAmps (half an Amp).  I think that's typical of Digitrax decoders. Presumably that's at track voltage, which should be 12 volts if you have a command station with an "N scale" setting, or probably 16 volts if you don't.  The Digitrax Zephyr puts out 14 volts (13.9 on mine, actually). Digitrax recommends using a "14-volt or less" DCC system for N scale.

 

There's a note in the manual that "Lamps that draw more than 80 mA when running require a 22 ohm 1/4 watt resistor in series with the directional light function lead to protect the decoder".

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inobu

This is my conclusion. The OEM LED has to at least be rated 12V (on the 10-510 JR500) being that 12v is the max output on the DC track. The factor to take into consideration is its current draw.

 

That conclusion was wrong in that the OEM setup has a resistive circuitry that reduced the current/voltage level down to a level that the LED can operate safely. What one has to be cautious about is inducing change. All LED setups have a resistive network integrated into the circuitry that is based on the input power.  Changing the input power can effect the LED operation. Adding a decoder that puts out 125ma needs to have its output reduced if the LED's forward current level 65ma.

 

This means if you add a decoder into your LED configuration you need to calculate the resistive value needed to balance or reduce the current to a level that is acceptable to safely operate the LED.  

 

If we can match the LED specs with a decoder that can drive the led we maybe able to reuse the OEM LED's setup.  Here is the catch to that, the limited space in the cabin of the JR500 will not allow us to (neatly) get a decoder and the OEM setup in the same space. Extra weight is also a deterrent.

 

I need to get a hold of a FR12 to evaluate. I don't want to run wires through a the cars, to put a complete decoder in is too much. TL1 seems to require a large resistor to reduce the power input.

 

This one is going to take some doing I beleive.

 

Inobu

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inobu

KenS,

 

Do you know if it is 500ma total load with 125ma per function lead or total load. Do you know what the dimension of the FR11.

 

Inobu

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KenS

I don't know the per-lead limit, as I've never hooked up more than a few LEDs (two per function max) to a Digitrax decoder.  And that was many years ago on an HO model (but I think it also had six outputs and a 0.5 amp max).

 

By the way, the current output of the decoder isn't what matters, unless you try to draw more (use too low a resistor). What matters is the current drawn by the LED, which is a function of its "forward voltage", any resistance, and the supply voltage. If the current through the LED is too high, it will either blow immediately or have a shortened life.  The current that will immediately blow a LED is far lower than the current that would damage a decoder output, since those are designed to drive lights.  Unless you string several (more than two) LEDs on an output you aren't going to stress the decoder, since most LEDs blow around 20+ milliamps.

 

Most LEDs have a maximum operating current of around 20 milliamps, and driving them at around 10 milliamps is recommended for lifespan, although you do have to worry about dimness if you go too low.  A small surface-mount LED might be more delicate; I don't have any experience with those.

 

Based on photos I've seen, the FR11 is a drop-in replacement for the analog lightboard in Kato's "DCC ready" decoders.  Those are about 1cm square (9mm x 10mm) and 1mm thick.  The thickest part is the surface-mount LED.

 

On the one E231 I've converted to DCC so far, I only installed the motor and cab decoders (EM13, FL12), and left the car lights as analog.  While I haven't operated that extensively yet (my layout is still DC), my assumption is that this will be safe because the analog board is already wired to rectify the voltage to the correct polarity for the LED (or it wouldn't work in reverse on DC), and that Kato would have included enough safety margin to operate a 12v LED at 14v (my DCC command station's output).

 

There is, of course, some risk there, but if I'm wrong I'll only blow the analog lightboard, which I'd have to toss anyway if I converted to DCC.  I did use Kato's FL12 on the cabs, as it has the head/tail reversing function based on the DCC direction, and the LEDs are a part of the car, so I didn't want to risk damage there.

 

 

I have some notes on Kato's decoders on my site, which include pictures of the three decoders, and a walkthrough of my E231 install which shows the analog lightboard installation.

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CaptOblivious

KenS: Kato has confirmed that the LED interior light units are fine to use on DCC as-is. They do not heat up, and as you note, include a rectifier to feed flat correctly polarized DC to the LEDs. The current-limiting resistor is set for (per my measurements) a mere 8mA@11V, and so should be perfectly within the LEDs current limits at 14VDC.

 

KenS is right to note that the 125mA number for the decoder is a maximum capacity: The current-limiting resistor attached to the LED is what determines how much current is actually drawn. In Kato, Tomix, and Micro Ace models fitted with LEDs, those resistors are almost always chosen such as to draw <20mA @ 12VDC. Thus, if you use the existing resistive circuitry, you need add nothing: Just wire the decoder directly to it. If the circuitry drives both headlamps and reverse lights, you will probably have to modify the circuit board. Here are Kato's recommendations for how to modify several common lighting boards. http://www.katomodels.com/hobby/dcc/dcc_tips/light_kato.shtml

 

Also, the note in the Digitrax manual about using a resistor for lamps that draw more than 80mA does not apply to LEDs. Bulbs have a transient inrush current of 10x the steady-state draw. So a bulb rated for 80mA will draw briefly 800mA(!!) when first switched on. LEDs have no inrush current. The FR11 is unsuitable for use with bulbs because it cannot handle any significant inrush current.

 

Most LEDs, regardless of whether they are through hole 5mm or 3mm, or SMD, share the very same little chip of silicon, and only differ in form factor. So their operating characteristics are (generally) identical.

 

Finally, why a 6-function decoder in a motor car? The Digitrax DZ125, for example, is smaller and cheaper.

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inobu

Good info Capt

 

"If the circuitry drives both headlamps and reverse lights, you will probably have to modify the circuit board."

 

This is what I was getting at thanks for the link. 

 

"Finally, why a 6-function decoder in a motor car? The Digitrax DZ125, for example, is smaller and cheaper."

 

That's what I had picked up not knowing what I was going to do. Just needed to try something and bought the DN163 and the DZ143.  :laugh:

 

I'm learning a lot.

 

Code for Digitrax

 

D - Digitrax

N = Scale size

1 = Current max

4 = Function

3 = FX level

X= Company type Kato or Athern

Y= other info connection version

 

The DZ125 is a better option being that the other feature are not needed. I kinda knew that that is why I did not cut the wires all the way out. 

 

I've learned to always leave yourself options.

 

Inobu

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CaptOblivious

Options are good. A DN163 is handy to have…uh…handy, so if you do pick up a DZ125, you were perhaps right not to cut the wires. Of course, and I'm not advocating you actually do this, you could always have an…"accident"…with the DN163, and return it for warranty replacement…;)

 

You were right, BTW, that if you have to modify the light board, you will likely need an additional resistor, or you will need to ensure that both functions wired to the board never come on at once (which is actually pretty easy to ensure, and even if they do, if it's just for a brief moment, no real harm will come). For my KIHA110, I kept the extant resistor, and wired it to the blue common. But a safer bet is to use it with one of the function leads, and buy a second resistor for the other function lead.

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inobu

Capt check out the update in the leading entry.

 

 

Inobu

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CaptOblivious

That's a nice hiding place for the decoder in the cab car! Very handy.

 

I'm all for reusing the existing light boards, but if you are comfortable cutting out bits of perfboard or stripboard to fit the original space, that might be a good route. Having custom PCBs made up is a possibility, but unless a lot of people want them, it would be really really expensive.

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inobu

That's a nice hiding place for the decoder in the cab car! Very handy.

 

I'm all for reusing the existing light boards, but if you are comfortable cutting out bits of perfboard or stripboard to fit the original space, that might be a good route. Having custom PCBs made up is a possibility, but unless a lot of people want them, it would be really really expensive.

 

How about the decoder.

 

I guess a TL1 it's cheaper. $32 for lights..........

 

 

Inobu 

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inobu

 

How about the decoder.

 

I guess a TL1 it's cheaper. $32 for lights..........

 

 

Inobu 

 

Wrong!!!! It won't work need to have two functions.

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PhilipS

When you run all 16 cars, how do you control multiple powered cars? Will they sync?

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KenS

The Kato Series 500 only has one motor car, even with the expansion set to make a 16-car set.

 

I have run an E231 10+5 commuter train with two motor cars. Since they have identical motors and gear trains, they appear to synchronize to each other.  With DCC you could exactly match them using speed tables, although I haven't done that.

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inobu

When you run all 16 cars, how do you control multiple powered cars? Will they sync?

 

There is only one motor car in the line up but I guess you can add another power car. If so you will need to create a consist. A consist is multiple decoders responding to the same address. The key to a successful operating consist is to speed match them. In essence one command is received by 2 or more decoders that must run at the same speed. In speed matching you need to tune/adjust each speed step to create the synchronization of the motor cars

 

If you do not speed match them correctly one motor car will be dragging or pushing the other around the track which is counter productive.

 

Inobu

 

 

Here is a good link to speed matching. http://www.ncmrc.org/howto/Speed_Matching_DCC.pdf

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The_Ghan

KenS,

 

Do you know if it is 500ma total load with 125ma per function lead or total load. Do you know what the dimension of the FR11.

 

Inobu

 

Head / Tail light decoder = FL12 29-352

Interior lighting = FR11 29-353

 

Cheers

 

The_Ghan

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The_Ghan

The Kato Series 500 only has one motor car, even with the expansion set to make a 16-car set.

 

I have run an E231 10+5 commuter train with two motor cars. Since they have identical motors and gear trains, they appear to synchronize to each other.  With DCC you could exactly match them using speed tables, although I haven't done that.

 

KenS,

 

On a consist that has two or more motor cars that are not adjacent, if you don't match the speed between motor cars then the trailer cars between the motor cars will be in tension and could derail on tight curves or points.

 

Cheers

 

The_Ghan

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KenS

I agree, they could.  But with a 10+5 consist that had the motor cars separated by a half-dozen cars, it ran fine at a variety of speeds over my track, which includes a banked curve (414mm radius) on a 2% grade. Any tension or compression (either is bad) between them wasn't enough to cause a problem in that scenario.  Sharper curves, or something with very light cars, might behave differently.

 

That was on DC, where speed matching isn't an option.  I do plan to speed match those motor cars when I get that train converted to DCC.

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inobu

On a multi car unit on a DC track you can make speed adjustments by motor car placement. Divide the train into 2 trains segments, adding cars to the faster segments will give you a means to adjust speed by the load you apply. It all depends on the speed disparity.

 

Inobu

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Spaceman Spiff

Thanks for the write up Inobu.

 

I have bought the DZ125 decoders and have the Kato 800 and 100 series. The motor car looks identical to the 500. I assuming that this is the case and I should follow your write up. Is this correct?

 

 

Cheers

 

Spiff

 

Attached is a pic of my 800 series. The 100 looks identical.

post-425-13569926466721_thumb.jpg

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inobu

Yes,

 

You will see that Katos reuses many of their chassis.

 

Take your time and you will be good to go.

 

Inobu

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Spaceman Spiff

Thanks once again Inobu!!

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Spaceman Spiff

Hi again, looking at doing the install today.

 

I am using the DZ125 decoder. Looking at the instructions it states "grey" for the negative side of the motor and "orange" for the positive side of the motor. I imagine the motor is not labeled + or -? It really doesn't matter which lead goes to which wire does it? If it is reversed the loco operates the same as per normal except forward and back are reversed right?

 

 

Spiff

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KenS

Orange is (usually) supposed to connect to the motor contact that was originally connected to the "right" side of the frame.  This is also called the "positive" or "red" side as a positive voltage on that side should make a properly wired DC loco move forwards.  Note that the Red wire should connect to the positive pickup if you want the loco to operate properly (in terms of direction) on a DC layout.

 

If you get it wrong and don't want to rewire, CV29 can be used to change the "normal" direction of travel, but you'll also need to change the head/tail light orientation if you're using those.  On Digitrax that's reportedly (I haven't done this) done through CV33 & CV34 (turning both "on" by setting the appropriate bits as described in the Digitrax Mobile Decoder Manual).

 

But there's nothing special about orange and gray other than normal direction.

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Spaceman Spiff

Thanks for the info KenS,  it's for motor car with no lighting so it should be straight forward now with your info.  Hopefully when I take it apart it will give some in indication on direction (fwd/aft) :)

 

Spiff

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