Author Topic: Kato FEF-3 844 *Warning* Inpspect closely before running!  (Read 2625 times)

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kverdon

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Kato FEF-3 844 *Warning* Inpspect closely before running!
« on: December 24, 2014, 09:07:23 PM »
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I received my new Kato FEF-3 844 this week and was initially very pleased with the look and running of the locomotive.  That was until today while the engine was running along smoothly, it suddenly lurched to a stop and tipped over on it's side, in the tunnel of course. When I removed the locomotive, I was dismayed to see that the right rods were dangling, the driver crankpin was missing and the front 2 drivers were out of quarter!  The traction tire on the left side had also come off.  By some miracle I was able to locate the miniscule crankpin inside of the tunnel.  What really surprised me however was when I turned the unit upside down to start repairs I notice that it appears to be missing 1-2 screws that attach the bottom plate that covers the drivers and holds the front/rear trucks.  There was only one screw in the rear holding the plate on.  There were 2 holes in the front that were empty.  I know the front hole was definitely a screw hole and I'm guessing the second was as well as it is under the front 2 drivers.  I do not know the sequence of events but the missing screws allowed the front drivers to get about a 1/3 turn out of quarter. 

Unfortunately Kato does not list these screws as being available so I'm going to have to contact the e-tailer I purchased it from and request a replacement locomotive (yeah, good luck on that one, they are probably already out of stock!).

The take home here (outside of lousy Kato quality control) is that you had best closely inspect your locomotive for missing screws, parts etc before running it.

thanks,

Kevin

peteski

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Re: Kato FEF-3 844 *Warning* Inpspect closely before running!
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2014, 09:35:08 PM »
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You should be able to  contact Kato USA directly - they will help you (they always do).
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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up1950s

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Re: Kato FEF-3 844 *Warning* Inpspect closely before running!
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2014, 09:45:46 PM »
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a touch of Walthers GOO under the head of the plate screws ought to be the safety from that happening . Thanks for sharing .

woodone

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Re: Kato FEF-3 844 *Warning* Inpspect closely before running!
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2014, 10:52:04 PM »
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you might want to look at this exploded view of the 844: I only see two screws?
http://www.katousa.com/N/FEF/maintenance.html

kverdon

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Re: Kato FEF-3 844 *Warning* Inpspect closely before running!
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2014, 11:29:58 PM »
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Thanks, yep, looks like I was just missing the front screw. I will definately be picking up some spare crank pins. They are really very fine. I was amazingly lucky to find the one that popped out.

Kevin

victor miranda

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Re: Kato FEF-3 844 *Warning* Inpspect closely before running!
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2014, 11:38:05 PM »
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look around the track.  the screw may have fallen.

... Kato shoulda got it snug I agree.   
I wave a magnet when I am looking for wayward screws.

I hope you find it.  the ones on the bottom of the Mike look close.

victor

spookshow

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Re: Kato FEF-3 844 *Warning* Inpspect closely before running!
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2014, 07:44:30 AM »
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That's interesting. Something very similar happened with mine, except that it was both crankpins popping out simultaneously. I was able find and reinstall them, but it never ran right after that so I sent it back to Kato for repairs. It never occurred to me to check for missing screws, although now I wish I had.

Cheers,
-Mark

u18b

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Re: Kato FEF-3 844 *Warning* Inpspect closely before running!
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2014, 10:36:10 AM »
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look around the track.  the screw may have fallen.

... Kato shoulda got it snug I agree.   
I wave a magnet when I am looking for wayward screws.

I hope you find it.  the ones on the bottom of the Mike look close.

victor

That was exactly my first thought.  While possible, it is hard to imagine that the screw was left off totally.

Not tightened properly?  And then fell out.
Seems more likely.

This is a case where one of those track cleaning cars by Aztec is good.   It is amazing what that little magnet can pick up.
Ron Bearden
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"All get what they want-- not all like what they get."  Aslan the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis.

up1950s

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Re: Kato FEF-3 844 *Warning* Inpspect closely before running!
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2014, 11:05:15 AM »
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Boy , I really hope the cause of the pins coming out is the bottom plate screws backing out . To have pins going awol all on their own would be heart breaking .

bobdobbs

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Re: Kato FEF-3 844 *Warning* Inpspect closely before running!
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2014, 02:30:44 PM »
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No problem with my FEF-3 with Kato Installed TCS K6D4 decoder reference side rods or missing screws.  I am having issues with slow speed control on DCC.  with Factory defaults, speed step 1 is way too fast.  Disabling BEMF (Set CV61 to 0 ) makes it run even faster.  Setting CV66 (motor trim forward)  to 1 actually produces the slowest results (with BEMF CV61 set to 1), but nowhere near a creep like I can get from any of my other DCC locomotives regardless of the type of decoder or company of manufacture.  This is my first locomotive on the layout with a coreless motor, and I am not sure if this has something to do with it.  Beyond that, the locomotive surges randomly when BEMF is engaged, and if I turn BEMF off, it does not surge, but once again slow speed suffers.  This is a beautiful model and does run really well, I just can not get slow creeping starts like I have seen on DCC.  I am using a MRC Prodigy advance wireless system, and I have never had a problem with slow speed operation before, even my Bachmann S4 runs incredibly well at very slow speeds.  I have contacted TCS and they suggested turning BEMF off, and that does not help.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2014, 02:58:44 PM by bobdobbs »
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victor miranda

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Re: Kato FEF-3 844 *Warning* Inpspect closely before running!
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2014, 04:38:50 PM »
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not likely to be a good thread to ask that question...

low speed control is an issue with all DCC. (it is both my opinion and techinical from the electronics involved)

ask in the DCC area about which decoders are good with coreless motors.

I do not have a solid answer.

victor

bobdobbs

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Re: Kato FEF-3 844 *Warning* Inpspect closely before running!
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2014, 09:46:50 PM »
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not likely to be a good thread to ask that question...

low speed control is an issue with all DCC. (it is both my opinion and techinical from the electronics involved)

ask in the DCC area about which decoders are good with coreless motors.

I do not have a solid answer.

victor

uh, thanks?
[

jdcolombo

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Re: Kato FEF-3 844 *Warning* Inpspect closely before running!
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2014, 11:46:10 PM »
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not likely to be a good thread to ask that question...

low speed control is an issue with all DCC. (it is both my opinion and techinical from the electronics involved)

ask in the DCC area about which decoders are good with coreless motors.

I do not have a solid answer.

victor

There is a thread about this in the DCC forum.  Put simply, it appears that BEMF control as implemented in the TCS decoder is not playing nicely with the coreless motor.  For those who want DCC, it may be better to hard wire a decoder with a more flexible BEMF implementation, such as an ESU, Lenz, or Zimo.  I'm having good luck with an ESU LokPilot after considerable adjustment to the BEMF parameters.

John C.

cgw

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Re: Kato FEF-3 844 *Warning* Inpspect closely before running!
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2014, 06:27:48 AM »
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Looking at the exploded drawing on Katos web site there are only two screws.  looking at three of my FEFs there are  only two screws fresh out of the box.  However there is a third screw position between drivers one and two.   it does not have any screws installed.   Most likely it was found redundant and the kato engineers decided to leave it out and found it not cost effective to change the associated tooling. 

As far as quality goes, these are the best steamers to date. No problems out of the box. Run with great performance out of the box.have about eight hours of run time on each loco and  no problems so far.    I am in the process of installing a micro tsunami heavy steam decoder in the tender with a knowles 13X18 speaker. so far so good.


kverdon

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Re: Kato FEF-3 844 *Warning* Inpspect closely before running!
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2014, 11:28:27 PM »
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I did run my Aztek track cleaner with magnet a few times round the track but no luck finding the screw.  I'll give Kato USA a call Monday. I will say, however that once I got everything squared up and put back together, it is running pretty well.

Kevin