Author Topic: Kato engines  (Read 1118 times)

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cjp53

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Kato engines
« on: April 16, 2019, 07:27:32 PM »
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I'm new to N scale have a large HO layout in my basement that I did 25 years ago.Now I'm going to make a small layout for upstairs for my grandsons.I have a new Kato CN ES44AC .Do they require a break in period?I very impressed with their slow speed operation.A very good friend sent me the engine and some track.I'm making a small layout from foam board and should have it up and ruining soon.I use to run my HO layout at slow speed for an hour everyday and was never one to run my trains at high speed.I just retired and wish I had done N scale instead of HO.I also have scratched built some truss bridges and a few covered bridges for this N scale out of basswood like I did for my HO layout.I sent my friend a covered bridge,a water tower and shed that I made.

Steveruger45

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Re: Kato engines
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2019, 08:52:06 PM »
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Hello and welcome to n scale.
I have had over the years and have now a good many Kato locos.  All diesel, so I’m not discussing steam locos as I have no experience with steam.  Others on TRW with that experience will likely chip in.

The diesels run extremely well out of the box but do benefit from a small break-in period, say 30mins or so of running roundy- roundy, especially if your converting them to dcc. To my mind it’s not a break-in, in the strictest sense more a bed-in imho as they are so well engineered.
Kato motors do run faster than newer Atlas locos with slow or scale speed motors.
If your using dc control katos slow speed running is good but it’s just you have a smaller dc controller arc to use than you do with an Atlas so very fine speed step control is a little more difficult.

You basically can’t go wrong with a Kato or atlas but don’t forget there are other really good loco makers as well like scale trains, FVM, Rapido and some lifelike too.

If you want to look at some really thorough and good reviews I would recommend to google spookshow and look at the write ups. That fine gentleman is a member on TRW too.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 08:56:09 PM by Steveruger45 »
Steve
Atascocita, Texas

MK

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Re: Kato engines
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2019, 10:52:42 PM »
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In your break-in preriod, as Steve explained above, make sure you run them backwards too.

cjp53

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Re: Kato engines
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2019, 06:55:05 AM »
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Thank you both for your response,I'll run them slow as I think it looks more realistic.And will include running them backwards.That's something I would have not thought about doing.Looking forward to getting the track on my layout and running that incredible looking CN engine.

randgust

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Re: Kato engines
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2019, 08:20:47 AM »
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I always remind newcomers to the scale that this exists, and it's our 'go to' page in terms of whats out there, what works, pictures of the mechanisms, identification of mechanical and cosmetic changes over the years, etc.

http://www.spookshow.net/locos.html

"Spookshow" is a poster here as well, and he's done a lifetime service to maintaining this thing.   He's the Consumer Reports of N scale.

When you're seeing something on the auction sites, or on sale, or in an ad - check there first, because there's 60 years of N scale to wade through and there's a lot of truly poor product traps for the unwary to fall into. 
One of my favorite examples, on a relatively 'new' product:  http://www.spookshow.net/loco/blif3f7.html

In HO I'm not sure you're familiar with Bachmann, but in N they have the complete range of product from vintage turds to excellent.  You cannot trust buying strictly by brand in N.  Every product introduction is an adventure.    Even with Kato, they've had some embarrassing issues.
http://www.spookshow.net/loco/katogs4.html
  The range of quality in N is breathtaking, partly due to the fact that many 'brand names' are strictly importers of contract-built product.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 08:40:27 AM by randgust »

DKS

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Re: Kato engines
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2019, 08:39:29 AM »
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He's the Consumer Reports of N scale.

Well put.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

MVW

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Re: Kato engines
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2019, 09:36:22 AM »
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I simply wouldn't consider buying anything that doesn't earn at least a "B" from Spookshow. In fact, I don't know if I've ever bought anything he didn't rate as an "A".

I discovered Spookshow's site when I switched to N scale about 10 years ago. I've probably bought 20-25 engines based on his reviews, and have never had a clunker.

Indispensable.

JTG

cjp53

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Re: Kato engines
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2019, 04:30:16 PM »
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Thank you for the site on reviews.It's been 15 years I have been away from the Hobby and then I was HO.Thanks to everyone who has responded.When I figure how to post pictures I put some up of both my layouts and bridges and building I scratched built.

DKS

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Re: Kato engines
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2019, 04:42:23 PM »
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When I figure how to post pictures I put some up of both my layouts and bridges and building I scratched built.

https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=42854.0

« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 04:47:06 PM by David K. Smith »
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
                                       —Monty Python

Bill H

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Re: Kato engines
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2019, 07:20:43 PM »
+1
I simply wouldn't consider buying anything that doesn't earn at least a "B" from Spookshow. In fact, I don't know if I've ever bought anything he didn't rate as an "A".

I discovered Spookshow's site when I switched to N scale about 10 years ago. I've probably bought 20-25 engines based on his reviews, and have never had a clunker.

Indispensable.

JTG
Absolutely agree...

qquake2k

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Re: Kato engines
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2019, 12:31:01 AM »
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I too am a huge fan of Kato engines. I have several, both diesel and steam, and they are by far the best engines I've ever run. And I'm a big fan of Spookshow. Amazing resource.