ESU Loksound 5 Install into Kato Mizukaze Twilight Express

RBrodzinsky Jan 6, 2021

  1. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Over the past couple weeks, I ended up installing 25 DCC decoders! ESU LokSounds, LokPilots, LokPilot Fx, and even some Kato FL12s! Kept me busy, to say the least.

    One of the most interesting installs in this batch was the Kato Twilight Express (Mizukaze). A resort cruise train (prices starting at $3500 per night per person), this is a beautiful model with amazing detail. Also, not a difficult install to perform, once I located where to find LokSound files for Japanese trains.

    First, the video



    Japanese LokSound v4 and v5 files can be found at https://desktopstation.net/sounds/index_eng.html You do need to use Google Translate for the actual sound file pages. I used the DMF15HSA v1.41 file, then modified to move function key assignments around to standard "US" mapping. (Funny note: the Japanese for "drive hold" gets translated to "keeping speed")

    The model train has the motor in car #4, with the two cab's at either end only having lights. Kato has provided drop in slots for their FL12 decoder, so these were used directional lighting at each end. The cabs are quite unique, with an outdoor patio / observation deck for the car in the rear.

    Here is one of the cab car ends (same at both ends). You can see the observation deck below the cab window.

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    Lights for front of train

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    And lights for the rear. Note the cool lighting for the patio / observation deck

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  2. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    As with the design of many of the Japanese trains, Kato has a low profile motor located below the floor of the passenger car (similar to real life for these trains). As noted above, this is in car # 4

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    This is a bedroom car (two small, one large) with three baths. The large bedroom has a huge bath.

    The corridor side

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    And the room side

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    There is also a translucent overhead light panel that sits over the rooms
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    To access the motor, one just needs to pull the fuel tank / motor cover off. Simple slide the cover towards the front

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  3. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    One end of the frame has a metal "V" for the gear shaft, the other doesn't.

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    The side without the V is designed to fit a Kato EM13 (motor only) decoder, but this gives us the perfect spot to run the wires to the motor and frame pick ups.

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    Start by drilling two holes in the bottom of the frame, so that they will be on either side of the drive shaft., and then place corresponding holes through the brown interior plastic piece. Where I placed the black and red dots on the motor are where the motor tabs contact the brass pickup strips. Kapton tape (zoom in to see) is placed on the strips to isolate the motor tabs, and solder points are placed on the strips as well the tabs.

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    Matching holes in interior floor

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    Now it is time to destroy the bedrooms and two smaller baths. The decoder and caps will be in the combined bedroom, while the Soberton 12x8mm speaker fits in the combined baths

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    I also drilled a hole through the wall between the bedrooms and bath, for the speaker wires. Here is everything in place

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  4. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    To hide the decoder and speaker from being seen, I placed some tape across the corridor doorways, and put tissue (wrapping) paper across the bedroom picture windows (these folks may just be sleeping late, or enjoying themselves). The bathroom windows already have a white translucent cover

    IMG_1731.JPG

    One also has to sand down the area above the speaker on the overhead light panel (just a little) to get everything to fit

    IMG_1732.JPG Reassembled car with shaded windows

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    BigJake and Sumner like this.
  5. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Nice! Is that a veranda on the front, or what?
     
  6. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    As said in first post “The cabs are quite unique, with an outdoor patio / observation deck for the car in the rear” so, yes, the front has one, too, for when the train runs the other way.
     
  7. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Oops, I was so enamored by the beautiful pictures...

    Black Tie required? Tea or Champaign?
     

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