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Kato signals working on DCC

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  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Narrandera, NSW Australia
  • 32 posts
Kato signals working on DCC
Posted by hepkat63 on Thursday, November 11, 2010 7:50 PM

Hi All,

just wondered if anyone has successful been able to get Kato's Signals working on DCC layout?  As I am sure those that have them know, when you plug them in to the DCC system, they go red only and don't work when a train passes.

I have searched the web high and low -and apart from the obvious answer (they work with DC only) - I can't see anyone that has got them working.  I can't believe that all those millions of smart people out there - that no one has achieved this !

I also have found somewhere on the web that states that Kato Japan actually sells the DCC version of the signal, but they cannot export this - which sounds weird?

There is obviously a HUGE market out there for Kato  - so not sure why they have not implemented a DCC signal solution.  I am of course - modeling in N scale.

  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • 327 posts
Posted by locoworks on Friday, November 12, 2010 2:35 AM

it works on a timer rather than any detection system once the signal routine has been triggered.    perhaps an IR detection system could be fitted to trigger the signal sequence and the light be supplied with DC from a seperate power source??  basically you are feeding it the DC it wants and not using the trigger built into the track base.

  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Narrandera, NSW Australia
  • 32 posts
Posted by hepkat63 on Friday, November 12, 2010 2:49 AM

hmm, I thought that - but if you just plug in the separate power supply that comes with it - and nothing else - the light is green.  By not plugging the track piece into the layout and then manually activating the switch - nothing happens (was expecting signal to go to red ?).   As soon as you plug the track piece into the layout, the signal goes red - and then never changes.  I thought perhaps if i isolated the track piece - leaving it plugged into the separate power source and then somehow re-wired the actuator so that it was triggered?

  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • 327 posts
Posted by locoworks on Friday, November 12, 2010 4:20 AM

how does the actuator work??  is it done mechanically, or is it done by shorting one of the rails with a contact strip that a metal wheel does by bridgeing the gap?  if it is mechanical only then isolating the rails so the DCC current can feed through just them should work, but if it relies on an electrical short to trigger it then that won't work. actually it may do if the DC is wired common return with the rail that has to do the shorting??  so the rail is double insulated at the fishplates??

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • 13,279 posts
Posted by cacole on Friday, November 12, 2010 7:52 AM

Connecting it to DCC produces a high frequency square wave AC voltage and the signal probably requires DC.  You need to use a separate power supply instead of your DCC system.

 

  • Member since
    October, 2010
  • From: Narrandera, NSW Australia
  • 32 posts
Posted by hepkat63 on Friday, November 12, 2010 2:17 PM

I am not quite sure how the actuator works, but believe it is a timer.  As for the last answer - ok, I'll try that - and hook it up to a DC source, isolate the track and see what happens. It actually comes with it's own DC power Supply unit (which must be powered from somewhere else - I powered the power source (mouthful there..) from the Digitrax, so I'll try a separate unit.

I guess I'm going to have to take the bottom of it off and check the wiring..

  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • 327 posts
Posted by locoworks on Saturday, November 13, 2010 2:46 AM

don't confuse the actuator with the timer.  the timer is what does the sequencing from red back to green. the actuator is the mechanical or electrical trigger that 'starts' ( actuates ) the timer.

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