Category archives: Kato turnouts

Kato and Digitrax recommend the best DCC performance with the Unitrack turnout requires that you set each 4 turnout to "Non-power-routing". Kato makes a Unitrack double-crossover, their No. If you are wiring the DS51K1 internally to this track segment, it is easiest to program each turnout pair to the same address; done this way, activating one track switch address will result in the This procedure is best done after installation of the decoder to the turnout.

The process is "blind", so it is easier to program this decoder after installation because you can then test the operation of the turnout with its new address. The DS51K1 can be installed into the base of the turnout or attached to the bottom of the layout near the turnout. Turn off track power and temporarily connect the yellow programming wire from the DS51K1 to the same rail as the black wire.

Turn on track power. Using your throttle, select the address you want to program into Kato manufactures both a 4 and 6 turnout; one DS51K1 will control one Kato turnout solenoid. In cases where there are two turnouts in a crossover track arrangement, you must use two DS51K1s, each assigned to the same address.

Installation of the four decoder wires requires soldering skills. And, just to make things interesting, Kato uses the colors of black and red for their turnout control wires, while Digitrax uses black and red for the power and data bus. You will make four connections, two connected to the turnout motor and two An important series of developments in model railroading have taken place that makes it much easier to enter the hobby and enjoy it right away.

DCC is part of that process since it makes it easier to handle the train operation aspects of the hobby. Other improvements have been the ready availability of correctly decorated locomotives and cars, scenery systems such, and, most importantly of all, advanced track systems.

Everything just clicks together. These modular track systems Kato recommends, and Digitrax concurs, that the best DCC performance with the Unitrack turnout requires that you set each turnout to "Non-power-routing". Kato has offered a variety of turnouts in their H0 Unitrack line. Join The Digitrax User Group. Become Our Fan On Facebook!

Follow Us On Twitter! Digitrax, Inc. Search the Tech Support Depot. How many locos can I run? What are LocoNet and RailSync? How do I Reset Everything in my Locomotive? KB Modular Track Systems An important series of developments in model railroading have taken place that makes it much easier to enter the hobby and enjoy it right away.Unitrack is very reliable, and doesn't usually cause problems.

A standard module only has 1 interior rail joint per track. If a module has a lot of short pieces of track the number of rail joints increases quickly-- and those are the places where reliability and your trains can falter. To increase reliability I recommend soldering all track connections on modules. Now, you can argue that soldering makes it difficult to un-build a module.

Practically speaking, what are the chances you'll ever do that? If you ever do, you'll probably be able to pop off the entire length of track at once and reuse it-- soldered joints and all. I've been going back and soldering the track on my existing modules with mixed success-- fresh, un-sceniced track solders very nicely.

Unfortunately, once you've got grass, glue, glop, and goop in the gaps, it's almost impossible to solder. For those places I recommend drilling holes through to the underside of the module, soldering wires to each section of track, and joining them beneath the layout. I'm hoping for much better performance this year!

The original power-feed design of T-Trak modules called for using Kato's 62mm power-feed track on each mainline. The plans on the Official T-TRAK web site show the feeder on the front mainline at the right end of a module; the back mainline at the left end.

The power-feed has a socket underneath where the power cord plugs in. Make sure the KATO logo is showing when you plug in the connector! The power feed track is mounted on the module so the end of the power feed without the plug is at the end of the module. The hole also lets you make sure the plug is firmly in the socket in case it wiggles loose.

Looking at the plans, with the hole at the 'inboard' end of the power feed, that's where the plug must be. Looking at the diagram here, which represents a typical module missing its center section. It may not be the best way to do it, but it's the standard-- there are too many modules wired this way to switch now! When both tracks are connected to a single DC-Analog power supply, and both blue wires go to one terminal and both white wires to the other, trains on the two mainlines will run in opposite directions.

Trains will run without issue-- until we add a double-crossover. When we switch the double-crossover to run a train from one track to the other, we instantly create a short circuit.

The Blue rail from one track will be connected to the White rail from the other track. DCC-Digital uses the same power supply to run both mainlines, just like a single DC-Analog power supply running both mainlines.

kato turnouts

With the same short-circuit issues. For DC-Analog power, this means trains on both tracks will run in the same direction. What if we had added a 2nd DC-Analog power supply for the 2nd track? If both trains were running in opposite directions, using the double-crossover would still cause a short circuit. When using the Terminal Unijoiners make sure the joiners with the blue wires connect to the outside rails. Unfortunately, the design of the Viaduct power attachments is contrary to the T-Trak "Blue to the Outside" rule.

However, there's a fairly simple work-around. The viaduct connectors are keyed; there's a notch along one side of the socket, and a corresponding nub on the plug. This makes it impossible to mis-align the plug, but doesn't allow Blue-to-the-Outside. The fix is simple. I've placed the power connections on the 2 adjoining sections of Viaduct so the connections are on the ends of the Viaducts nearest each other.I am using Kato Unitrack for my layout, and for a beginner it has been perfect.

I have not had a single track problem to date. Right now the turnouts are working great for DC, they route power only to the active line, the inactive line is dead. It seems to me that with DCC, I would want all rails to have power all the time.

Is this correct?

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If so, what is the best way to bypass the power switching of the Kato turnouts? Some models of Unitrack turnouts have a jumper of sorts on the bottom to toggle them to be non power routing.

Otherwise, you need to provide additional feeders to the rails - a good idea regardless. Unless you have a very simple and trivial track plan, you'll want multiple feeders spaced out around the layout to ensure power delivery at all points of the layout and no slowdowns of the trains.

Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 's. Visit my web site at www. I will need to open up one of my turnouts and see if I have the jumper. My plan was to have multiple feeders, but there are some areas where the feeders would be a bit of overkill, such as on each and every spur. I suppose if I don't have the jumpers, I could solder some jumpers between the rails. As I understand it, the outer rails are always hot, and the turnout switches power on the inner rails.

And yes, it is N scale. All I have at the moment are 6 turnouts and I didn't remember seeing a means to change the power routing. I was also looking to add crossovers and it looks like they are in the same boat as the 6 turnouts. I read the description of what is required to DCC-enable the 6 turn-outs and I am reticent to open them up. A My eyesight isn't what it used to be, and B I have very limited mechanical prowess. I will either solder some jumpers to the rails, not a very elegant solution, or sprinkle feeders all over the place.

I knew about the insulated Unijoiners, but not the feeder Unijoiners. I have at least one more question for you. Did you isolate the turnouts, and if so, where? I am just getting started and all I have is Kato track and engines, so I know no different. All I know is that I put the track together, put on the trains, and everything works. The light kits in the passenger cars, plus a couple of engines, was a little more than the Kato power supply could handle.

I am still using the Kato supply to power my switches and my isolated switching yard. I was looking at the Digitrax Zephyr Xtra, but haven't made up my mind yet. I am also looking at the TCS engine decoders. What made you choose the PowerCab?

It seems like when I was doing my research, the Zephyr had a bit more power out of the box than the PowerCab. BrianinBuffalo Hi Richard. The gaps in the rail on the switch is large enough that you do not need to worry about that.

Just remember to isolate ALL 4 ends where the turnout branches to two lines. The grayed out sections needs the isolated track joiners. CSX Robert. It is NOT neccessary to isolate the turnout.Welcome, Guest. Please login or register. I have a friend who has a unitrack layout with an NCE powerpro? I do not know exactly what decoders he has to run his turnouts.

kato turnouts

I was attempting to describe how to do the above and failed. The manual was not much help. Granted - I am sorry for not knowing the particulars of his layout. I was wondering if someone could help me at least start to program the system to throw one of his turnouts.

Thank you! All brands of mobile and stationary decoders should be fully compatible with your system. So in case NCE does not make a stationary decoder compatible with Kato switch machines, somebody else probably does. IIRC Kato switch machines are solenoid-based, have 2 leads and the direction of throw is controlled by the polarity of the DC current applied to those 2 leads.

Ken Rice Crew Posts: 54 Respect: 0. Does your friend already have decoders hooked up to his switch machines? Sort of sounded like that the way you worded your post. If so, we need to know exactly which ones to be able to give sensible instructions. The Digitrax DS64 can be configured to operate the Kato turnouts. So how does one throw a turnout under such circumstances?

Thanks much! Quote from: w neal on February 18,PM. Ah, one of those RTFM moments SMF 2. Logged Buffering Logged Peteski de Snarkski -"Look at me, I'm satirical!!! Has he programmed the addresses for the switches? From the manual: "The Switch-Kat cannot be programmed on your programming track.

It is always programmed while connected to the mainline track. This decoder can be programmed by all systems that support accessory control using the procedure below.Lets say I build a unitrack layout that uses only one 6 turnout. Do I need any of the two above items to operate that turnout? For a layout with ten 6 turnouts. How many if any do I need of the two above items to conveniently operate the turnouts on the layout?

Sorry for simple question but I cannot seem to find basic documentation explaining this on KATO's website. First off, the control switch hooks up to your turnout, which then hooks to the AC terminals on your powerpack DC only, i have no idea about DCC. As for the DC converter, if you are going to hook it up to the AC terminals, you dont need it. What you need is productwhich is the turnout extension cord.

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This is use for when you have to make long distance runs with the wire. As for the one turnout plan, you realy dont need any of this if the turnout is close enough to where you can feel that you could operate it manualy the little black sliding thingy on the side of the turnout.

But if is far away, here is what i think you might need for DC, seeing that is what i am using 1 turnout control switch, 1 adaptor chord, and if you want it, a turnout extension chord. And for the ten turnout plan, you may not need all of this if you could operate it manualy, but here goes, 10 turnout controls, 1 adaptor chord, and i think 10 turnout extension chords. Again, i stress that you may not need all of these things if you could operate the turnouts manualy.

It will save a lot of money. And there might be somethings is missed, but im still trying to get all of this myself. Thanks SD, much appreciated. Yes, I'm using DC too. And there will be no manual switches, all remote.

And for the ten turnout plan, you may not need all of this if you could operate it manualy, but here goes, 10 turnout controls, 1 adaptor chord, and i think 10 turnout extension chords". With my other layout, the 9 PECO turnouts were all just wired with a long roll of common hook up wire and a generic radio shack switch panel with lots of momentary push buttons two for each turnoutand spade connectors crimped on the wires to hook to powerpack.

No PECO switches or harnesses were necessary. All wiring ran under the plywood baseboard of course. And their extension cord?

KB611: Using Kato #4 N-Scale Unitrack Turnouts With DCC

I'm interested in a diagram for the method using normal DPDT toggle switch without any center OFF posistion and a momentary push button in line with it. That way I can look at the toggle at any time and see which position the turnout is presently in.

Are 12 volt DC power supplies OK to use? There are many of these, including Radio Shack, and I already have a heavy one not in use which has I think about three amps or so rated. Check out our. Login or Register. Latest Headlines. Popular Topics. Model Railroading Tools. Model Railroader. Model Railroader Video Plus. Latest User Videos.

kato turnouts

New Products. In Our Store. Current Issue. KATO Unitrack basic question: turnout accessories. Order Ascending Order Descending.Everything on model trains, model railroads, model railways, locomotives, model train layouts, scenery, wiring, DCC and more. Enjoy the world's best hobby I have yet to figure out the best way to operate my 6 Kato turnouts.

The DS64 is just a stationary decoder. It is compatible with any DCC system. So you can use a Power Cab to send the signal to it.

Kato N Scale DCC Santa Fe Layout

I find this setup works just fine for the size of layout I have 2 scale miles in HO. I use the same setup with 16 switches and Kato Unitrack and it works great. Also I like that track because it is very easy to change the layout which I have done many times. And it stays put without being nailed down. Hello, Ed and Gene, also if you are reading this. Is that correct? I guess I am a little confused on how this all works together, but would be interested in more understanding of your setup.

Thanks for any help you can provide. Being that the switches points circuit is separate from the DCC track circuit then they work independently from each other. Peco u will have to change it through the ds64the ds64 will operate either ,if u have any problems call digitrax they are great with customer service.

The fundamental nature of DCC systems to the NMRA standard is that any make of control system will work perfectly with any make of loco or accessory decoder, because they are all designed to perform to a compatible set of operating standards. A school physics textbook will give you the basics of electricity, and there are many free online electronics courses available.

Thankfully, others were willing to be more helpful and provide some answers and alternatives that I was looking for. Simple to hook up, 2 wires to track buss and 2 wires to the switch. As a bonus there are connections for remote switches and directional lights.

Throw the switches from the NCE cab or buttons on a console. I even use 1 for my double cross-over. Your email address will not be published. Add a photo or image related to your comment JPEG only.

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Watch Video. Model Train Help Ebook.In looking at what track I want to get for my first layout, I was through Kato Unitrack Can these switches be operated manually as well, or do they need power to make them switch? Are the switches momentary, or do they run power constantly to keep the switch locked one direction or another? I expect I'll setup the tracks a few different ways as I experiment with what works, and would prefer to start without hooking them up to power I'm not worried about how to do it, I'm pretty good with wiring although they look plug-n-play if you use their switches anywayI just don't want to be constantly re-doing it if I don't have too Not familiar with the HO scale turnouts but the N scale turnouts can be switched manually.

There is a small "button" down in the road bed that can be slid back and forth to change the route. The remote part of the turnout uses a momentary pulse of power to switch routes. The switch machine coil is hidden in the roadbed and it's a " bipolar" coil that is switched by polarity as opposed to the more typical "twin coil machines" that Atlas uses.

At any rate, leaving power on the coil continuously would burn it up. I can't remember about the 4's but the 6's also "power route". You can park a train on a siding while running a train on the main because as long as the turnout is lined to the main, the siding will be dead of track power. Thanks for the info. We will be runinng N. The "Power Route" is different from what we have now Atlas HO turnoutsso that's good to know I may need to run extra feeders.

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That explains why they show extra feeders on their track plan examples. There is really no reason to have power routing because you can stop the loco and park it anywhere you want on powered track. If at all possible, I would recommend using 6 turnouts exclusively because they are better for longer locos and rolling stock.

DCC is in the future I've been looking at yard layouts using 6's to see how much space it's going to take.

How to make Kato Turnout Controls

Would like Loco tracks and tracks for rolling stock, but still not sure on how much room I will have Kato has been much more reliable for me. I activate some of the turnouts manually and some of them electrically, depending on the distance from the operating position.

NOTE: The terms, "Power Routing" and "Non-Power Routing" mean exactly the opposite of what you expect when you're looking at the labels on the underside of the turnout, at least in N scale. Google the Web to see what I mean. But if I remember correctly, only the 4 turnouts can actually be set as far as the power routing option. I think 6's power route no matter what. I would have to agree about the high quality of Kato.


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