Anyone know about these new Katos?

Twibil wrote:


Well, when you consider the construction & operation of 'INTERNET', all of the supposed 'rules' are just 'guidelines'. Just what the 'rule' is dealing with, and how much of a 'Hot Button' thing the 'offence'is kind of determines the level of response from other INTERNET users.
rule ... guideline...
Take your pick!
Chuck D.
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Er, that's why people ask questions, Bob. To find out. But at least I know enough to quote the post I'm replying to so that people can tell what the heck I'm referring to.

And you'd be wrong.

Wrong again.

Still wrong.
Ya'see, nobody mentioned club-mandated *decoders* at all, and there aren't any. What the club *did* decide to do was standardise on the *controllers*, which are all NCEs because (A) that's the same system we *have* to work with when we run at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, (B) having looked into all of the available systems in depth we all agreed that the NCE was probably the best bet, and, (C) the club got an amazing price break by purchasing a bunch of controllers at once.

I -and everyone else, too- got this nasty post because you didn't bother to understand what the situation was before you boiled off your self-satified but incorrect bunch of assumptions. But somehow I doubt we're going to be seeing any Mea Culpas from you.
Have a nice day,
~Pete
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Twibil wrote:

http://www.katousa.com/Zcart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPathq_116_117&products_idT6&zenid+e052a0df709dc882e2e94278cce7b5
A) Yes, they're compatible. After all, that's what DCC is all about, right?
B) I have nine Kato locos on my roster, and all of them are excellent runners. (There were a few runs, many years ago, that used an inferior pickup system that has since been eliminated. But even those can easily be upgraded to excellent runners.) I'd grade them as better runners than the Genesis locos, although the Genesis locos generally have a higher level of detail.
BTW, those Genesis locos have MRC decoders in them, which is why you're having running-quality issues. Shitcan the MRC crap and put real decoders in them. You *won't* be disappointed.
C)I don't own any of the "Kobo" (Kato-w/installed sound) locos, but I do have a pair of the Kato SD40-2 "Mid" locos into which I've installed the Digitrax DH165K1A/SFX004 motor/sound decoders. I'm guessing that's what the Kobos use. It's an easy drop-in. The first one took me about a half-hour, and the second only 20 minutes. In retrospect, I couldn't see paying the "Kobo" premium for such a simple install. The only problem is that the SFX004 comes with an SD38-2 sound scheme, so you'll have to load the correct one for your loco (available from the Digitrax web site). It'll take a PR3 to do that, but if you can find someone who has one it's a five-minute operation to upload the correct sound scheme.
HTH, Stevert
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Dunno. That's why I asked.

If I have to choose, I'd prefer a good runner to a well-detailed piece of inert scenery. I can always add detail.

Aha! That solves *that* problem! Will do. And thanks.

Hmmm. One of our club guys is a full time computer guru, has a PR3, and knows all about this stuff, but due to the recession he's working *very* long hours and is difficult to contact. (He also speaks a language that he *thinks* is English, but somehow fails to communticate with people who don't have an advanced degree in computer science.)
Thanx for all the advice and taking the time to write it.
~Pete
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Twibil wrote:

Yes, all the basic functions will work, and some of the non-basic ones will work, too, but NCE and Digitraxx each use some of the optional control variables differently, so you'll have to experiment. It's quite likely that some of your club-mates have worked out the equivalences. Depending on the decoder, some functions will not be accessible from the NCE controller, and vice versa. But that's true for any decoder and controller combination.

Superb mechanisms. Smooth, and according to reports from a couple of clubs who run their locomotives many hundreds of hours per year, the most durable of all.

Yes, they are as good as any other sound-equipped units. Horns sound good, as does e-motor whine (if present.)
IMO 1" speakers are too small for a convincing deep-bass diesel throb or growl, but tastes vary. I think speakers in a dummy unit sound better, since they can be bigger (Eg, 1.5" speaker has an effective area more than 2x that of the smaller speakers, so it can push twice as much air, which makes a huge difference at lower frequencies.)
If you want instant service, an extra fee is reasonable. If they are merely piggy-backing your "special order" on their next regular one, they should offer a discount - it's instant turnover, after all...
cheers,
wolf k.
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(SNIP)
Thanx, Wolf.
All useful information.
~Pete
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Since this thread has turned into bunch of OT pointless crap, let me add some more:
Digitrax DCC decoders are compatible with NCE system. DCC has been around long enough that majority (dare I say "all") brands of equipment work with each other. After all, DCC is a standard (lets not really go there). The bottom line is that you should have no issues.
I don't know about H0 as I model in N scale but in N Kato is pretty much the top locomotive manufacturer as far as quality goes. Body details aren't too shabby either. I suspect that the same holds true for their H0 models.
I wonder what Athearn uses for DCC decoders. In any case if they "blow their brains out" on regular basis than I suspect that the problem is with the way the layout is wired. Usually voltage spikes and shorts cause this type of issues. I know, you'll probably going to say that other brand of decoders doesn't have this problem.
If you are afraid of the Digitrax decoders why not buy DC versions of those Kato locos you want then install whatever DCC decoder you prefer?
Peteski
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(A) It's simply NCE for the command system so any NMRA DCC decoder will work.
(B) Kato has a rep for good engines. Athearn Genesis used to use MRC decoders, they finally got smart and now use Soundtraxx Tsunami sound decoders.
(C) There are lots of good mail order businesses available.
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