Author Topic: Does the ESU 58731 Board Fit the Kato N GS-4 (Latest Run)?  (Read 1409 times)

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tehachapifan

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Does the ESU 58731 Board Fit the Kato N GS-4 (Latest Run)?
« on: January 04, 2022, 12:32:45 AM »
0
Looks like it might. Also, if it does, is it only the track power that it connects to when you put it in-place in the tender? I can't really tell if it's fully plug-n-play, save for addition of a speaker. I guess the Kato decoder designed for this unit is fully plug-n-play, or do you need to run additional wires? I find I'm rather perplexed by how the board in the tender interfaces with the board in the loco (thru pics, I don't own one yet).

« Last Edit: January 04, 2022, 12:37:39 AM by tehachapifan »

peteski

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Re: Does the ESU 58731 Board Fit the Kato N GS-4 (Latest Run)?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2022, 12:42:49 AM »
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There are no connections from the tender to the headlight.  The headlight board in the boiler is powered from the rail pickups only.
The drawbar has 4 conductors in it: 2 for track power and 2 for the motor.  The decoder's fingers only make those 4 connections inside the tender.
If you want to control the headlight from the decoder in the tender, you will have to wire it in separately, and modify the light board in the boiler.

At least that is how the older GS4s were wired, but I don't expect the new run to be different.
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tehachapifan

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Re: Does the ESU 58731 Board Fit the Kato N GS-4 (Latest Run)?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2022, 12:44:56 AM »
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Thanks! Just to confirm, the ESU board I mentioned does fit this loco?

peteski

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Re: Does the ESU 58731 Board Fit the Kato N GS-4 (Latest Run)?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2022, 12:49:30 AM »
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Thanks! Just to confirm, the ESU board I mentioned does fit this loco?

Yes, the ESU 58731 LokSound 5 Micro Direct NMRA DCC Sound Decoder - Kato Japan Type (EM13) is the standard board that replaces the Kato's blank circuit board.  Plug-n-play install.  But with all those semi-loose brass strips in the tender the install is a bit of a challenge.  One of those 4-handed sons of biaches.
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tehachapifan

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Re: Does the ESU 58731 Board Fit the Kato N GS-4 (Latest Run)?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2022, 01:40:05 AM »
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OK, thanks!

RBrodzinsky

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Re: Does the ESU 58731 Board Fit the Kato N GS-4 (Latest Run)?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2022, 10:33:54 AM »
+1
Kelley Duford posted a video a few months ago on this (
 and then a bit more showing running wires to the headlight,  mars light and a rear light (
Rick Brodzinsky
Chief Engineer - JACALAR Railroad
Silicon Valley FreeMo-N

nightmare0331

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Re: Does the ESU 58731 Board Fit the Kato N GS-4 (Latest Run)?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2022, 02:20:06 PM »
+3
Kelley Duford posted a video a few months ago on this (
 and then a bit more showing running wires to the headlight,  mars light and a rear light (
/>

That guy is a crackhead!   :trollface:

So...short story long...

without any additional wiring (minus soldering a speaker in) you would have a 'drop in' install with this board.

Now...things get a little muddier...

[ Guests cannot view attachments ]

Want to control the forward lightboard?  At bare minimum you will have to run F headlight and blue/ground, remove the front lightboard contacts to the frame and solder the leads to the inputs to the board.

Want to have a separate mars light?  there are 3 function outputs on the 58731 board (F, R and 1 aux output) so run 1 Aux up to the forward board.  Isolate the two LED's and dropping resistors and tap them in independently.

You might also be saying 'but Kelley, what about those crappy greenish/orangish LED's that Kato continues to use?'...now is a good time to change those.

And...since you've come this far, might as well tap into R headlight output and common and add a scrap chunk of PCB with a SMLED and resistor for a rear light.

Anywhoo...I can certainly take more pictures...this was just a quick snapshot since I'm in GS4-palooza mode here.

Enjoy!

Kelley.
www.dufordmodelworks.com

tehachapifan

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Re: Does the ESU 58731 Board Fit the Kato N GS-4 (Latest Run)?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2022, 02:33:10 PM »
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Thanks, guys! Great info!

peteski

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Re: Does the ESU 58731 Board Fit the Kato N GS-4 (Latest Run)?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2022, 10:00:25 PM »
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So the latest run of GS4 still uses those yellow LEDs? :?  Weird, since Kato has been using warm white LEDs on many in their recent locos.

If someone does not want to run wires for the headlight or mars light, you can just install a function-only decoder in the loco and have it set to the same address as the decoder in the tender. Function-only decoders are not expensive.

If you want to run wires, you can eliminate the blue wire by installing a simple circuit which generated the "blue" voltage in the loco.  That way you only need the AUX output wires.



Don't forget to add a series resistor in each AUX circuit. To make the circuit even more compact, there are dual-diode SMD components available. They look like those tiny SMD 3-lead transistors.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2022, 10:02:31 PM by peteski »
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Dwight in Toronto

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Re: Does the ESU 58731 Board Fit the Kato N GS-4 (Latest Run)?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2022, 04:13:36 PM »
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This is an interesting thread indeed. I’ve got one of the 126-0302 versions of this wonderful loco, and had put in that early, but very simple/basic dcc decoder, oh, maybe 10 years ago. I would love to upgrade to the ESU sound unit that you guys have highlighted here.

Is the sound decoder available from Kato?  I couldn’t find it on their website. If not, I’d be interested in hearing about other sources, availability, ballpark cost etc.; thanks in advance for any leads.  This is kinda exciting!

peteski

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Re: Does the ESU 58731 Board Fit the Kato N GS-4 (Latest Run)?
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2022, 05:18:33 PM »
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Is the sound decoder available from Kato?  I couldn’t find it on their website. If not, I’d be interested in hearing about other sources, availability, ballpark cost etc.; thanks in advance for any leads.  This is kinda exciting!

No, Kato does not sell sound decoders.  They are available from DCC dealers.  Both ESU and ZIMO (ZIMO was out first) make the Kato EM13 style decoder.

Both brands are available from https://store.sbs4dcc.com/dcc-mobiledecoders.aspx , although the ESU one is currently out of stock (ZIMO is in stock).  Not sure who carries those decoders in Canada.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2022, 06:22:51 PM by peteski »
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nickelplate759

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Re: Does the ESU 58731 Board Fit the Kato N GS-4 (Latest Run)?
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2022, 05:59:13 PM »
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No, Kato does not sell decoders.  They are available from DCC dealers.  Both ESU and ZIMO (ZIMO was out first) make the Kato EM13 style decoder.

Both brands are available from https://store.sbs4dcc.com/dcc-mobiledecoders.aspx , although the ESU one is currently out of stock (ZIMI is in stock).  Not sure who carries those decoders in Canada.

Actually, yes they do, but not sound decoders, and  the EM13 motor decoder is listed as out of stock. 
http://search.cartserver.com/search/search.cgi?cartid=s-1078&keywords=Decoder&maxhits=25&go=Search&bool=AND

That said, the EM13 is a pretty basic decoder.

<edit> On further reflection, I suspect that @peteski already knew that and just forgot to type the word "sound"</edit>
« Last Edit: January 06, 2022, 06:00:46 PM by nickelplate759 »
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

peteski

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Re: Does the ESU 58731 Board Fit the Kato N GS-4 (Latest Run)?
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2022, 06:25:16 PM »
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Actually, yes they do, but not sound decoders, and  the EM13 motor decoder is listed as out of stock. 
http://search.cartserver.com/search/search.cgi?cartid=s-1078&keywords=Decoder&maxhits=25&go=Search&bool=AND

That said, the EM13 is a pretty basic decoder.

<edit> On further reflection, I suspect that @peteski already knew that and just forgot to type the word "sound"</edit>

Exactly. I fixed my post.  The original Kato decoders (the EM13 motor control, and the smaller function only decoders that plug into some of their passenger cars) are very basic decoders, I believe manufactured for Kato by Digitrax.  Thankfully ZIMO and ESU stepped in to make the sound decoders with the same outlines.
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Dwight in Toronto

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Re: Does the ESU 58731 Board Fit the Kato N GS-4 (Latest Run)?
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2022, 09:52:59 PM »
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Hey Peteski, thanks for the speedy response, and for sharing the link to Streamlined Backshop. That vendor is new to me, and he’s a bit south of where I am here in Toronto, but it’s become an increasingly small world with respect to online commerce, so no problem I’m sure.

Unfortunately, both manufacturer versions are shown as out of stock, but I’ve sent an email enquiry all the same.

I’m unfamiliar with Zimo … comparable to ESU?  Has a slightly higher price point.

Anyway, thanks again - all I can do is try.

peteski

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Re: Does the ESU 58731 Board Fit the Kato N GS-4 (Latest Run)?
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2022, 11:26:46 PM »
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Hey Peteski, thanks for the speedy response, and for sharing the link to Streamlined Backshop. That vendor is new to me, and he’s a bit south of where I am here in Toronto, but it’s become an increasingly small world with respect to online commerce, so no problem I’m sure.

Unfortunately, both manufacturer versions are shown as out of stock, but I’ve sent an email enquiry all the same.

I’m unfamiliar with Zimo … comparable to ESU?  Has a slightly higher price point.

Anyway, thanks again - all I can do is try.

Yes both ZIMO and ESU are top quality decoders - leaps better than any of the American makes I worked with, and as expected, their pricing is higher than most American makes.  Both manufacturers are European, and they cater to European customers. ESU has a wider range of sound files for American prototype locos, and the sound files are free. ZIMO's American sound file selection is a bit  more limited, and not all the files are free.

Streamed Backshop is a top notch dealer, but since you are in Canada, the money exchange rate, duties, etc. might make the the cost unreasonable.  I'm not sure if there are any Canadien dealers for ZIMO or ESU.
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