Author Topic: Kato "Pocket Line" Steeple Cab  (Read 3174 times)

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strummer

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Kato "Pocket Line" Steeple Cab
« on: July 02, 2013, 10:05:19 AM »
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I've always had a fondness for interurban-type stuff,and was recently lucky enough to pick up one of these locos.

It runs "ok", but I wonder if there is someone out there who might have a suggestion or two as to how to improve the over-all performance. Also,since it's based on a Japanese unit and not covered on Spookshow's website,I have no idea how it's assembled,or how to take it apart for cleaning and lubrication.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Mark in Oregon

u18b

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Re: Kato "Pocket Line" Steeple Cab
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2013, 10:59:54 AM »
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Pop the cab off- straight up.  I usually pinch between the hood and the lip of the roof.

Pull hood off.  Latches are at the end on the noses.

Underside, Pull coupler covers to get at screws (I think.)

Screws hold weight- nothing more.

Now you have access to motor, wheels etc.

Wipers on top merely rub back of wheels.

I "Americanized" mine.  Added horn, smoke stack, A/C unit, and custom decals.  Also added a weight in the cab and DCC decoder.



« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 11:02:39 AM by u18b »
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Ian MacMillan

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Re: Kato "Pocket Line" Steeple Cab
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2013, 11:09:30 AM »
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Nice engine. I may pick one up for my paper mill.
I WANNA SEE THE BOAT MOVIE!

Philip H

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Re: Kato "Pocket Line" Steeple Cab
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2013, 11:43:48 AM »
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I think if you stuff a really basic z scale decoder in there you can smooth out the engine running issues.  Of course, the Pantograph on the electric one needs work - it's chunky plastic.  Depending on your application, there are a ton of pans available from European and Japanese vendors that would look way better.
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basementcalling

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Re: Kato "Pocket Line" Steeple Cab
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2013, 12:22:02 PM »
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Nice engine. I may pick one up for my paper mill.

It does look vaguely industrial, though perhaps not in that paint scheme.  :ashat:


Would it benefit from adding wipers that contact the rails under the chassis seeing you are relying on just 4 wheels for electrical pickup?
Peter Pfotenhauer

randgust

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Re: Kato "Pocket Line" Steeple Cab
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2013, 03:35:36 PM »
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Basically what is under there is the Kato 11-104 chassis.  Really nice tiny 5-pole motor, larger 42" wheels, and pickup wipers instead of end-axles.

That's what I used as a starting point for my Trackmobile.

First thing I did was to follow others example and dump the 42" wheels for smaller wheels, nearly any Kato-style split axle works, I substituted 27" Kato 11-105 wheels and also got rid of the metal retainer on the bottom.  It worked well and slowed it down a lot.

The bigger issue is the electrical pickup.  It's a four-legged stool with no equalization.  So one wheel is always in the air, like it or not, the pickups don't push anything 'down' on the railhead like end-axle pickups with vertical wipers on most diesels and the Kato 11-105.  So any plastic frog, speck on the railhead, whatever, will stall it.

I could not figure out any way to equalize it as the plastic sideframes hold everything steady for the worm gear to worm relationship.  If it budges the gear tolerances change.  But jeez alou, when it ran, it ran great and pulled like a little moose.

I got frustrated enough on the Trackmobile with how well it ran and on how bad the pickup was that I paired it up with a dummy scale test car built on the leftover Kato 11-105 pickup truck that I'd cannibalized.   Using jumper wires to the 11-104 chassis worked wonderfully and made it completely reliable.   So if you can use kato caboose trucks, tender trucks, 11-105, trucks, virtually anything permanently coupled to it as a pickup car, you've got a winner.  But without it, it's a four-wheel POS.

I've bought the 11-104's just for that five-pole motor.  It's pretty nice.

I did a full construction thread on the trackmobile when I did it, won't repost unless needed.  You can cut and shorten and modify that chassis to no end.    There were a lot of four-wheel longer wheelbase industrial diesels out there that can be emulated.   If you paired it with an idler flatcar, or a transfer caboose, or something else useful it really makes a pretty decent tiny switcher, one of the better ones I've done.

The success I had on this approach with the 11-104 was what gave me confidence in the tiniest one I've done yet - the operating Burro crane, same problem - a 4-wheel stool that doesn't equalize - and married that to a 40' boom-tender flatcar equipped with kato caboose trucks for 8x8 electrical pickup.  Equally successful and it runs through #6 Atlas switches without a hiccup.

Here, check this one out  Whitcomb 4-wheel 45-ton centercab - http://www.northeast.railfan.net/images/htr8.jpg
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 04:02:16 PM by randgust »

Mike C

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Re: Kato "Pocket Line" Steeple Cab
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2013, 07:39:02 PM »
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  Bought one of these last year just for the heck of it. Runs great, as long as you keep it away from switches, as others have said. I have the one with the pantograph , didn't know they made one without. The pantograph on mine is a VERY nice metal one. It will raise and lower, probably could make it operational. Possibly this is a newer run ?.......Mike

brokemoto

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Re: Kato "Pocket Line" Steeple Cab
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2013, 09:12:17 PM »
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I hardwired one to a cheater boxcar made from a LL BL-2 plastic chassis and an Atlas fifty foot boxcar.  Pulls every piece of rolling stock that I own up a fifty per cent grade with a seven inch radius curve at fifteen SMPH.

strummer

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Re: Kato "Pocket Line" Steeple Cab
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2013, 12:59:10 AM »
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  Bought one of these last year just for the heck of it. Runs great, as long as you keep it away from switches, as others have said. I have the one with the pantograph , didn't know they made one without. The pantograph on mine is a VERY nice metal one. It will raise and lower, probably could make it operational. Possibly this is a newer run ?.......Mike

The one I picked up also has a nice metal pantograph as well...

Mark in Oregon

strummer

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Re: Kato "Pocket Line" Steeple Cab
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2013, 04:49:10 PM »
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Ok

I got it apart,it's been cleaned and oiled,and it amazes me how well a little four-wheel unit can run.

Now if we can convince Kato (or someone) to made a 2 truck motor,either steeple-cab or box...

Mark in Oregon

PGE-N°2

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Re: Kato "Pocket Line" Steeple Cab
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2013, 09:55:26 PM »
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I've never seen a N scale Trackmobile. It must have been an interesting build.
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See photos of the original owner's layout here:
https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/about-face/sets/72157603977732928/

It sounded like a good idea at the time... too bad the caboose wasn't in on the plan.

randgust

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Re: Kato "Pocket Line" Steeple Cab
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2013, 10:09:29 PM »
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Photos won't be out on the website much longer, but here you go:

http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine/showthread.php?78816-Trackmobile-in-N-scale!/page2


http://forum.atlasrr.com/forum/topic.asp?ARCHIVE=true&TOPIC_ID=19428

Here's the 'Ah-HAAA' shot you need to see on how to hack up the chassis:

http://gustafson.home.westpa.net/TMB01.jpg
« Last Edit: July 06, 2013, 10:13:53 PM by randgust »