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I am a teacher at a high school in North Georgia and I will be starting a model railroad club at the school next year.

Since I teach history I wanted to add some variety to the locomotives and trains I already own, so I purchased a KATO TGV THALYS 10 car set that is produced for the European market. Once I received it I put it on my little KATO uni-track test track and the THALYS power unit went around 5 times and then stopped.


I was baffled and eventually sent the power unit to KATO USA to be repaired. KATO USA sent it back and I tried it again and much to my dismay
it still travels around the track 5 times and then stops.

I am running a Digitrax Zephyr command station that is DCC, but will run non DCC locomotives - I have other KATO USA locomotives that I don't have DCC cards in and they run fine out of the box. So my question for everyone on the forum is to ask if the European electrical standards are different from the USA ones and this will prevent me from getting this locomotive to run?

I was told some years back that it is the transformer that converts the electricity and that an electrical motor is an electrical motor - is this a false statement or could it be the card that is in the European KATO TGV and it doesn't like the signal that the Digitrax Zephyr is sending it?

Any help anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

DW
 

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Hi & welcome to MRF,

If I read your post correctly you are running the Kato unit on a DCC set up on address 0 ?

Unfortunatly, despite what the manufactures say it is really a no no, especially with the smaller motors you get with N-Gauge. Basically they do not like it & suffer from overheating - just briefly listen to the noise an analogue locomotive makes on a DCC powered track - the noise tells you its not happy at all.

You may just be "lucky" with your other analogue locomotives but I would advise against running them on DCC.

Sorry to be negative, but hope this explains at least part of the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response.

So are you saying that all I would need to do is drop in a DCC decoder in the locomotive and all will be well with the world?
 

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QUOTE (NorthGeorgiaUSA @ 12 Apr 2008, 20:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks for the response.

So are you saying that all I would need to do is drop in a DCC decoder in the locomotive and all will be well with the world?


Basically, yes - although I'm not too sure about decoder fitting to "N" - hopefully it will be an easy install - what do the instructions say ?
 

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QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 12 Apr 2008, 15:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Basically, yes - although I'm not too sure about decoder fitting to "N" - hopefully it will be an easy install - what do the instructions say ?

I'll have to get back to you on that. I haven't purchased a decoder yet.
I guess I'll just have to go back to being patient. I'll come back on and let you know how it works out. Thanks for the information - and have a great rest of the weekend!
 

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If your model is Kato 10910 then it is DCC friendly and you could use the plug in Kato decoder as Poliss suggests. But this won't make the lights in the dummy power car work? Kato do an accessory decoder for the other end I think, but according to that website above they're more expensive than the locomotive decoders!!

The other option is to use any N scale decoder such as a TCS M1 and a matching accessory decoder for the other end, but check first that the model hasn't been designed to make this very difficult on purpose by Kato! I think it is just a question of working out which wire should go where, and perhaps being brave enough to rip out the old Kato PCB if needed. You won't know until you look inside. Hope this helps!
 

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Just a thought but could any of the problem be related to the difference between US power, which is supplied at 60 Hz, and European power which is generally supplied at 50 Hz ?.

Expat.
 

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QUOTE (Expat @ 13 Apr 2008, 11:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Just a thought but could any of the problem be related to the difference between US power, which is supplied at 60 Hz, and European power which is generally supplied at 50 Hz ?.

Expat.

***No, the power input to the DCC system is rectified and regulated. The problem is exactly as suggested by Brian/DBclass 50. Use of the "run DC loco on Zero" is to be avoided if possible, especially for N.

An example of how destructive it can be:

A client accidentally left a non-chipped Fleischmann HO scale loco with a large heavy can motor on the DCC track overnight. The end cap of the motor was literally toasted & looked like charcoal when I opened it up - it had been totally cremated by the heat generation of the "run DC on zero" position. This was a heavy metal very robust can motor... You can imaging what it will do to ANY tiny N scale motor!

Richard
DCCconcepts.
 
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