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alpineaustralia

Installing a DN163k0a into a Kato Eurostar !

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alpineaustralia

Recently, I came to correspond with a really nice ebay seller who suggested that a Digitrax DN163k0a could be installed into a Kato Eurostar with some modification and that he had done so. Curious as I was, I told him about this site and asked whether he would be happy to provide pictures and a description of his work. He graciously provided the following which I hope you find as interesting as I did:

 

" Hi,

 

I am attaching two photos. One is the modified body shell and the other is with the DCC board installed. You can do whatever with the photos.

 

Since I have done this a while ago, I didn't exactly remember what I did until I opened it up again today. So my description before was not quite complete.

 

First, on the chasis side, I re-direct the headlight LED to the center, insulating the legs to prevent short circuit. On hind sight, I should have done it with thin wires.  I also reverse the polarity of leads going to the motor. I guess somehow I couldn't program the DCC board correctly, so I chose to do it physically. I also insulated the oringal contact copper tabs properly. Oh, as you might noticed, I replace the DCC board's marker light LED with the RED LED salvaged from the OEM board.

 

As for the body shell, you can see the section with red circles being cut/ removed to create clearance. How much to trim is a matter of being careful and keep trying, since your installation will be different. With sufficient clearance, the body shell will fit back nicely without bulging, etc. I also trimmed away part of the plastic headlight lens to clear DCC board. After trimming, you can sand it with fine sand paper (Tamiya 1000~2000 grid) and then polish it with plastic polish to help improve internal reflectivity. With the ultra bright LED, I didn't have to polish it very much and it's still bright enough when looked from outside.

 

One final note on opening the motor car. The best way to open it is to first slide back the yellow strips between the upper and lower half of the car. In doing so, you want to be very careful not to break the little tips of the yellow strips and the hooks inside. Once you slide back the yellow strips, you can remove the nose by pulling it slightly down and then forward. Now you can pull the body shell slightly outward and the body shell will come out. I think opening the car without breaking anything is the hardest part of the whole project.

 

I used to travel a lot to Japan and have acquired many Japanese N scales. I have about 30 Japanese Katos sets, the Eurostar is one of the fineset in fit and finish. Of course the more recent TGV and,Euromed/AVE series are also very nice... Actaully the motor cars are identical. except for the body shells. So, I have also digitalized the Euromed. The newer TGV also have power pickup in the coaches. I was thinking to retro-fit the Eurostar using the new bogies. But since the parts can only come from the European distributors (not sold by Kato in Japan even in its factory store) and they're extremely expensive (For all the bogies and couplers, I can easily buy another set of Eurostar), so I have put off the project indefinitely..

 

Anyhows, wish you good luck in the hobby.

 

Jeff"

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Bernard

Alpine - Thanks for asking Jeff to share this information & photos at the forum. As you would say, "Good one Mate!"

 

Jeff- Also a thanks to you for taking the time and posting the install here. This will help a lot of modelers, now and in the future.

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CaptOblivious

That's pretty frickin' cool. Very nice find, Alpine.

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alpineaustralia

I must admit I didnt believe him at first when he mentioned what he had done but thought I'd check it out. Turned out to be a really nice bloke and hapy to share. Glad you boys liked it.

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mariaclarie

HI, Alpine i am also searching for that installing procedure from couple of weeks. You have to solve my problem buddy. :)

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waldoman33

thank-you from me for this post too. I was trying to do some service to my eurostar and couldn't work out how to remove the shell. The advice was easy to follow and correct - job done!!! :grin

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PhilipS

So your Eurostar did not have the new 6 Pin NEM 651 Plug?

 

My new Thalys did.

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Spaceman Spiff

The older TGV sets didn't have factory installed boards that accept NEM plugs. With my older TGV sets I needed to get a replacement circuit board that accepted NEM decoders. These boards are difficult to find now. Its good to see you can get regular drop in decoders to work in these units.

 

My new TGV Duplex set came with factory installed boards that accept NEM decoders with is nice. The DCC & train manufacturers need to do a better job in making the parts fit  better though. It was a tight fit for the Digitrax decoder.

 

Spiff

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Spaceman Spiff

G'day, bringing up an old thread.

 

Has anyone tried this. I have installed the decoder and it runs well. I have removed the old Kato oem board lights and soldered them to to the decoder but the lights don't work. The original decoder lights did function ok. I un-soldered the Kato oem light, tested it and it illuminates fine. The lights were selected to the on position via the throttle. Any ideas?

 

 

Spiff

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kvp

Could it be, that the kato lights are bipolar (need a power and ground connection) and the decoder's light output is not (provides only the ground and the other end has to be pulled up externally)? If the tail lights are on a separate connection, then usually connecting the other end to either the ground or (usually) the power output should work. Also, on the picture above, the current limiting resistor is on the board, so you have to add one manually between the leds and the decoder, otherwise the leds would burn out (or the decoder's output pins if they are the weaker). You could test the decoder's output without the leds by turning it on and then mesuring the voltage between each two points you would connect to each led. If you see the right voltage, then you just have to add the leds with the resistors (also check the polarity of the leds).

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Spaceman Spiff

Thanks for the info KVP. Maybe a dab of red paint will fix the bulb lol

 

 

Spiff

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Spaceman Spiff

Dragging up an old thread. I have installed a 163 into a tgv as posted above. The new Kato Eurostar livery release is using thr old style board. *%#*%#^. Why didn't Kato use the NEM boards I don't know? Another 163 install into a TGV style loco coming up.

 

Spiff

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westfalen

Dragging up an old thread. I have installed a 163 into a tgv as posted above. The new Kato Eurostar livery release is using thr old style board. *%#*%#^. Why didn't Kato use the NEM boards I don't know? Another 163 install into a TGV style loco coming up.

 

Spiff

This is why I don't buy decoders for Kato locos until I have the loco and take the body shell off, to quote a well known movie they are like a box of chocolates.

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