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Kato #4 turnout only operates when turnout control is held in middle position for a few seconds

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  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
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Posted by wjstix on Monday, November 20, 2023 2:19 PM

As someone who does use Kato track (albeit HO scale), I still think it's just they way the Kato controller works. I've had it happen when I snap it very quickly that nothing happens - apparently, the moving part went over the electrical contact too quickly. Moving it more slowly then works fine.

Stix
  • Member since
    November 2023
  • From: Providence, Rhode Island
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Posted by The_Abigail on Monday, November 20, 2023 10:49 AM

i have whatever turnouts and controllers are used in kato's V1 set. got mine used off of ebay and im not really familiar with the model numbers

-- Abigail

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  • Member since
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  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, November 18, 2023 3:01 PM

Hello and Welcome Aboard!  Welcome

My disclaimer is that I have no Kato turnouts and know nothing about them.  This discussion sounds like they are twin-coil switch machines.  My experience with Peco and Atlas twin-coils makes me wonder if a Capacitive Discharge circuit would help.  This kind of "reluctance" of twin-coils to throw over suggests they are not getting enough power, a situation which is often remedied with a CD circuit.

You can get a complete CD circuit in a package called a "Snapper" from Circuitron.  Or you can Google up a circuit, buy the components (2 resistors and 2 capacitors) and solder them together.  One circuit will likely be sufficient for an entire layout's worth of twin-coils.

Good luck. 

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Friday, November 17, 2023 1:32 PM

The_Abigail

It's an EP718-15L if that's any help, it also has the little black manual lever on it which works fine, only acts up when I use one of my 2 turnout switches.

 
Sorry to say, but that thing is Kato's #6 turnout. The #4 is designated EP481-15L (or R). The 718 (or 481)  is the radius of the curve in millimeters, the 15 is the degree of curvature, and the L (or R) is the right-left hand direction. Both use the same frog, which is not really an official designation of the turnout.
 
The #4 is Kato's pride-and-joy (despite screwing up the power-routing screw on the bottom), and it is a newer model than the #6 (which never got upgraded when the #4 came out). The #4 has a plugin power connector, and the #6 has an integrated power line (no external connector).
 
Sounds like there is something wrong with the tiny little motor inside the #6 trackbase shell. Or maybe a burnt-out or loose connection. Both turnout motors require a momentary contact switch and not a continuous power switch. Kato makes some big bulky switches that are suitable (24-840, which it looks like you have). You probably should not hold those levers in the halfway position; let the spring do its thing and snap to the other side to release the current.
 
Here's a link that has a lot of info:  Kato Turnout Info
 
Hope this helps.
 
Robert
 
 
EDIT TO ADD   I think you need at least five posts that are moderated, and if you behave in those, the moderators will remove the newbie moderated status. So, browse the forum topics and respond to a few more.

LINK to SNSR Blog


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Posted by wjstix on Friday, November 17, 2023 10:33 AM

OldEngineman
I've found that it's best not to flip the Kato switch levers "too quickly", as sometimes the switch won't throw all the way.

I've found that too, if you flick too fast it sometimes doesn't take. I believe the controllers are set up so the actual electrical contact happens as the lever moves up or down, and is dead at each end of the throw (i.e. all the way one way or the other). If you go over the contact too fast, it doesn't work sometimes.

Just to check everything, make sure the power is the correct 12V DC.

Stix
  • Member since
    November 2023
  • From: Providence, Rhode Island
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Posted by The_Abigail on Thursday, November 16, 2023 6:44 AM

It's an EP718-15L if that's any help, it also has the little black manual lever on it which works fine, only acts up when I use one of my 2 turnout switches.

-- Abigail

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  • Member since
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  • From: Danbury Freight Yard
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Posted by OldEngineman on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 9:34 PM

Is this one of the powered #4 switches (with the metal frog), or is it a manual #4 with a switch motor added (these have plastic frogs)?

If it's one that has a replaceable switch motor (plastic frog), you could try replacing the motor itself.

If it's one that has the non-replaceable motor (metal frog), well, it might be more finicky. Does the switch throw freely enough "by hand" (using the black lever)? Or does it feel like it's "hanging up"...?

Also, there's "internal switchgear" beneath the track that gets moved when the switch is thrown, that could be gumming things up (and requiring extra power).

Or the switch motor itself could be acting up.

Unfortunately, you can't disassemble the powered #4's without breaking the internals inside. Too bad they made them that way. The unpowered switches DO disassemble if needed.

I've found that it's best not to flip the Kato switch levers "too quickly", as sometimes the switch won't throw all the way. But don't leave the lever in the middle position too long, either, as it could burn out the motor.

  • Member since
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  • From: Providence, Rhode Island
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Kato #4 turnout only operates when turnout control is held in middle position for a few seconds
Posted by The_Abigail on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 9:26 AM

I have a Kato #4 turnout that will not switch fully unless whichever turnout controller it is connected to (I am using 24-480s) is held in the middle position for some amount of time. This only occurs on my #4 left turnout, the '480s do not appear to be at fault. My layout is set up in a M1+V1 config, the turnout in question experiences the issue with or without an extension cable. I bought my V1 set from Trainz.com's ebay page, and the rails arrived with what I think is the lubricant on them, my M1 set was bought at a train show in Amherst, and I think is NIB. 

-- Abigail

Note: I am currently not a full member, my messages will not be sent until approved by moderators. Thank you for your understanding.

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