Author Topic: Kato decoders, USA source, GS4?  (Read 935 times)

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Kato decoders, USA source, GS4?
« on: December 22, 2007, 07:27:00 AM »
I see that the new GS4 will be using the Kato Japan motor decoder they created. I assume actually someone else makes it like Digitrax, since it has trainsponding which I think is a Digitrax only feature.

I just got the latest Kato Japan release of the brand new it just started running in July 2007 bullet train, the N700 Shinkansen. It takes a pair of the Kato accessory decoders (Kato 29-352 FL12) in the end cars to control the lights and 1 motor controller (Kato 29-351 EM13) in the middle motor car. This motor controller is the same as the one to be used in the new GD4 tender. So I'm hoping there is someone who offers the Kato decoders from here in the USA. My usual Japanese etailers choose to not carry the decoders for some reason.

This also begs the question, since the motor controller only controls the motor, will the GS4 lights always be on? The decoder is just fine for its original purpose, to control the motor of a Shinkansen train. Kato (and the other Japanese manufacturers) make all their trains about the same way. A pair of cars on the ends have directional lighting just like the prototype and a middle car has a motor only with no lighting as the 'ends' of the car are just connected to other cars in the train. This motor setup is what got used in the Kato RDC cars which is why there was such a strange decoder for them, they aren't like locos but are designed to be very flat to leave the passenger compartment empty for chairs. But that also means the decoder only has a motor to control and no lighting. Much different from the GS4 which obviously has lights front and rear. And which wouldn't be controlled by the motor only decoder.

I'll try to post pics in this thread of the new diaphragm system used on the N700, it looks just like the system they'll use on the daylight passenger cars. Rather ingenious actually and looks pretty decent on realistic radii curves, although it does look odd on the 9" ones ;)


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Re: Kato decoders, USA source, GS4?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2007, 11:10:46 AM »
I got a Swiss trainset from Hobbytrain (Kato) that uses a special decoder for the motor, end lights and car lights. I assumed the owner of Hobbytrain used a decoder company to develop those three decoders but after I read your comments on the Japanese model, I believe now it is actually Kato that started to make models that have decoder hookups that only take their products.