Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Decoder and lighting recommendations for Atlas/Kato C425s?

1078 views
8 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Shalimar. Florida
  • 2,622 posts
Decoder and lighting recommendations for Atlas/Kato C425s?
Posted by Packer on Friday, August 29, 2008 3:57 PM

I'm in these units what particular type of decoder would be best, and how would one install directional lighting?

I did some research, some places say use the Kato borad replacement, others say use the Atlas board replacement. But I'm am curious which one will fit better because I don't want to modify the weight.

I'm also curious as how to go about directional lighting, since it seems the light bars hold the weights in place, and removing them might make the weights loose.

Vincent

Wants: 1. high-quality, sound equipped, SD40-2s, C636s, C30-7s, and F-units in BN. As for ones that don't cost an arm and a leg, that's out of the question....

2. An end to the limited-production and other crap that makes models harder to get and more expensive.

  • Member since
    April 2004
  • From: Ontario Canada
  • 3,425 posts
Posted by Mark R. on Friday, August 29, 2008 4:46 PM

I'm assuming these are the older run that have a plastic board mounted on top of the motor with a single bulb in the middle (?)

If so, I personally recommend the TCS A4X as a replacement - it will snap right into place. Remove the crimped on truck wires from the old board, crimp them flat and solder them to the end terminals. I don't recommend the Atlas boards as they aren't equipped with "silent drive" and the buzz they produce can be annoying to some folks.

The weights don't actually hold the light bars in place, they are merely notched to clear them - the light bars snap into the shell. To create directional lighting, I cut the light bar off leaving about 1/2 inch from the lense and added an LED with shrink tubing to the remaining stub. The wiring follows the same route of the light bar back to the decoder fitting the original notch in the weights so they don't need to be modified.

Mark. 

¡ uʍop ǝpısdn sı ǝɹnʇɐuƃıs ʎɯ 'dlǝɥ

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Shalimar. Florida
  • 2,622 posts
Posted by Packer on Friday, August 29, 2008 4:55 PM
So how would you connect the motor to the TCS A4X?

Vincent

Wants: 1. high-quality, sound equipped, SD40-2s, C636s, C30-7s, and F-units in BN. As for ones that don't cost an arm and a leg, that's out of the question....

2. An end to the limited-production and other crap that makes models harder to get and more expensive.

  • Member since
    April 2004
  • From: Ontario Canada
  • 3,425 posts
Posted by Mark R. on Friday, August 29, 2008 5:01 PM

Right - forgot about the motor contacts. Carefully unfold them off the old board and snip them off so they won't come in contact with the bottom of the new board. Solder a short length of flexible wire to the end of each copper tab and attach to the side of the DCC board as per normal. Be careful when manipulating the copper tabs as some of the earlier ones don't have a locking tab on them and may pop off sending the internal spring skyward !

Ever look for Kadee coupler springs in the carpet ? .... same thing !!!

Mark.

¡ uʍop ǝpısdn sı ǝɹnʇɐuƃıs ʎɯ 'dlǝɥ

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Shalimar. Florida
  • 2,622 posts
Posted by Packer on Friday, August 29, 2008 5:17 PM

Alright got it.

Am I supposed to glue the weights to the frame or the shell or leave them free? I put one togeher without the light bar, and the weight was shifting around, so I'm thinking gluing them to the frame (probably with JB weld or the like, but just a little bit, so that If I have to take the weights off it won't be hard) and filling them so they don't catch would be best right?

 BTW, way you said cut the lightbars 1/2" from the lense, you meant from the end with the numberboards and the headlight piece, right?

Vincent

Wants: 1. high-quality, sound equipped, SD40-2s, C636s, C30-7s, and F-units in BN. As for ones that don't cost an arm and a leg, that's out of the question....

2. An end to the limited-production and other crap that makes models harder to get and more expensive.

  • Member since
    April 2004
  • From: Ontario Canada
  • 3,425 posts
Posted by Mark R. on Friday, August 29, 2008 5:44 PM

I just left my weights free sitting - yes, if you roll the engine around, the weights will shift a bit, but I haven't experienced any side-effects from it. If you feel the need to attach them in place, I'd suggest a bit of silicone as it would release much easier. Not sure what you mean by "filling them" (?)

Right, 1/2 inch from the end with the number-board lense.

Mark.

¡ uʍop ǝpısdn sı ǝɹnʇɐuƃıs ʎɯ 'dlǝɥ

  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Shalimar. Florida
  • 2,622 posts
Posted by Packer on Friday, August 29, 2008 5:49 PM

Filling the notches on the weights off that make it kind off stay on the shell so that they won't come off if the shell is removed.

I'll look into the silicone adhesive though.

Vincent

Wants: 1. high-quality, sound equipped, SD40-2s, C636s, C30-7s, and F-units in BN. As for ones that don't cost an arm and a leg, that's out of the question....

2. An end to the limited-production and other crap that makes models harder to get and more expensive.

  • Member since
    April 2004
  • From: Ontario Canada
  • 3,425 posts
Posted by Mark R. on Friday, August 29, 2008 5:53 PM

Ok - That was my confusion .... you said fi-LL-ing when you meant fi-L-ing !!! Wink [;)]

Mark.

¡ uʍop ǝpısdn sı ǝɹnʇɐuƃıs ʎɯ 'dlǝɥ

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,206 posts
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, September 1, 2008 3:06 AM

Wanna do it faster?

I have done four Kato C424s, two Kato C425s and four Kato various Alco RS switchers for my  layout now.  I don't worry about directional lighting as locos in the real world all run with lights on at both ends regardless of direction....not just switchers, all locos.

This was info given me when I first asked how locos ran with their lights.

 wjstix wrote:

Keep in mind too that the common model locomotive set up with headlights that reverse to only light in the direction of travel is extremely rare in the prototype.

....(unless you want to consist them and run with just the rear light of the trailing locos when reversing and just the headlight on the lead loco. I am working through so many locos, I am not worrying about  what they look like in a consist.  I will just turn the lights off the second----fourth loco in the consist.)

Anyway, I replace the bulb with an LED set down exactly where the bulb is and work the leads around the little plastic pins, and take a soldering iron to the pins to hold down the bent LED leads with melted-over grey plastic.  I snip the extra length off these and add a short length of resistor.

I take a 1/4" staple from my staple gun, and with the soldering iron, heat it up as it spans the motor contact tabs along the side of the plastic "shelf".  When this is melted in and holds the tabs, I use my dremel to cut them away from the rail contacts on top of the shelf so they are free from direct track power. 

Then I take a $13 NCE DSR13 decoder and slide it under the light bar and bring the leads up around the bar...three on either side (I snip of the yellow lead as I am using the one-light set up.)  I use Digitrax Z125s in the RS's.

Then I just solder the leads to all the correct places on the loco.

Sounds like a lot of steps, but I can now do one in 30 minutes or less.

These older style Kato or Kato combos are a b**ch with their floppy catwalks and loose weights.  That's the only thing I have against them.  But they run so well, and I can get them so cheap by watching Ebay carefully, that I am pleased to convert them to DCC for $13.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Users Online

There are no community member online

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!