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Did I Kill It?

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  • Member since
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  • 7 posts
Did I Kill It?
Posted by Lukestang_59 on Wednesday, July 26, 2023 5:36 PM

Howdy, all!

I recently took delivery of a new Kato FEF-3 with sound and it was running great until about 5 minutes ago. I had noticed the cab wasn't popped all the way into place, so I put some gentle pressure on the cab to pop it back in. As soon as I did this, I lost sound and the speaker started making popping noises. The locomotive won't respond to any inputs either.

Being entirely new to DCC, is there anything I should be looking for as a simply fix, or do I just need to send it back to Kato at this point?

Thanks, Lucas

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Posted by tstage on Thursday, July 27, 2023 9:50 AM

Lucas,

It sounds to me like the decoder/speaker fit is a bit too tight in your FEF-3 cab and something (a speaker wire) is now possibly shorting to the decoder and/or chassis.

Does your DCC system blink off & on?  What happens if you remove the cab?  Does that restore everything to normal?

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, July 27, 2023 10:12 AM

Lukestang_59
I recently took delivery of a new Kato FEF-3.

Lukestang_59
Should be looking for as a simply fix, or do I just need to send it back to Kato at this point?

Since it is new, I would contact Kato. It sounds like it was assembled incorrectly from the factory and should be considered defective product.

-Kevin

 

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by NVSRR on Thursday, July 27, 2023 10:53 AM

I would say since it is new.  It is a warranty job.

 

shane

A pessimist sees a dark tunnel

An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, July 27, 2023 11:31 AM

Although I agree that since it is new, contacting Kato about sending it back under warranty makes sense, there are a couple of 'non invasive' things you could check first.

You might try the engine on regular DC power. (Most all DCC engines now have "dual mode" decoders so the engine will work on DC or DCC.) It will take more power than a non-sound engine to get sound to start and for it to move, but if it works on DC, it is more likely to be a problem with the decoder itself rather than say a wire going to the motor getting interupted or shorting etc.

You could also try putting it on your programming track and try to read a CV. If you can't, there could be a short circuit or a problem with the decoder. If it reads the CV OK, try changing the address to the default 03/0003 and then try the engine on DCC using that 03/0003 ID. It can happen that the ID gets changed without you realizing it, making the engine not respond to what you think is it's ID.

 

Stix
  • Member since
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Posted by wrench567 on Thursday, July 27, 2023 11:27 PM

  Hi Lucas.

 If this is an N scale locomotive, it could be a contact problem on the decoder. Some N scale locomotives use a contact strip and friction for a lot of contacts. Not the best system.

  If it were mine. I would send it back.

    Pete.

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, July 28, 2023 9:19 AM

When you pressed down on the cab, had you removed the engine from the track, or was it sitting on powered track? If the latter, it could be your pressing down moved the wheels a bit so that they short circuited. This might have affected the decoder. Otherwise, I think it's unlikely there would be wiring in the cab that could be affected by your pushing down on the cab to snap it all the way into it's intended position. 

I would still try the things I suggested in my earlier post, since none involve opening up the engine or anything. If something is really wrong, none of those will make it worse; otherwise, it might turn out to be something simple like the decoder ID changing or something. If none of them work, then go ahead and contact Kato about returning it under warranty.

p.s. one of the decoder manufacturers (forget which one right now) said that a huge percentage of decoders they get back for warranty repair are "fixed" by simply doing a factory reset - which the modeller could have easily done themselves.

Stix
  • Member since
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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, July 28, 2023 3:40 PM

In the ESU forum, recently there have been a number of reports of Loksound sudden death.  Just changing the address has bricked some decoders.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

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Posted by John-NYBW on Saturday, July 29, 2023 6:38 PM

Speaking from experience, it doesn't take much to fry a decoder. It can happen in an instant. All it takes is a wire or a terminal touching something it shouldn't and the decoder is toast. I learned the hard way trying to retro fit DC locos with decoders and not properly insulating all the connections. 

I don't know about your specific loco but it sounds like pressing the cab back into place might have caused the decoder to make contact with something it shouldn't. If that is what happened, I think you need to return the loco to Kato. That should be covered by the warranty. 

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, August 1, 2023 9:25 AM

This looks like it may be yet another instance of someone posting a question and then disappearing. 

Just in case they are reading the posts, I would still suggest checking the things I mentioned. It's possible the decoder works but something got set incorrectly - perhaps a brief short caused by the engine derailing when pushing down on the cab. 

Stix
  • Member since
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Posted by BigDaddy on Tuesday, August 1, 2023 6:40 PM

This was not Lucas's one and only post.  He has been a member since 2018.  He has not been as prolific as some of us Confused in his postings.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

  • Member since
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Posted by Lukestang_59 on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 6:26 PM

Howdy howdy, all. I apologize for the lack of replies. I thought I had email notifications on so I hadn't been checking this forum due to the lack of email notifications. 

As far as trouble shooting goes, I checked to see if my issue was as simple as needing to reprogram the address or reset the decoder. Upon trying to reprogram the decoder, I got a readout saying "SHORT DETECTED," which seemed to make it pretty obvious that some sort of a short was causing my issue. I have since sent my model off to Kato for repair. Thank you all for the help!

  • Member since
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  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, August 3, 2023 11:26 AM

Lukestang_59
Howdy howdy, all. I apologize for the lack of replies. I thought I had email notifications on so I hadn't been checking this forum due to the lack of email notifications. 

That appears to be an ongoing problem with the forum, you're not the first person that didn't get the notifications they had requested when they posted their question. Given how many folks have posted questions and then never responded to the replies, I suspect it's been an issue for a while.

Stix

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