1. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Looking at that install procedure.. a simple "kato socket to 4pin" thingy-ma-bob does not look too difficult. You can run sound off of that right? Since the headlights have their own decoder.

    Of course.. the question remains... why not the industry standard connector?!
     
  2. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Lurking on the Atlas site, there are some great pictures of the Daylight posted and it is SPECTACULAR!!!! :)
     
  3. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    There's no socket, I've installed these decoders in Kato's Japanese electric MU's. The decoder has contacts on both sides and slides between the brass pickups placing itself between the track pickup and the motor. It should be relatively easy to hard wire other decoders in, Soundtraxx makes a Micro Tsunami with the correct sounds for a GS4, but I'm waiting till I get mine to see how easy it is. There's no specific mention of a decoder for the lights, they just say "controlled by a separate board". Kato make an FL12 function only decoder for their Japanese MU's that also fits in the slot under the Super Chief observation to control the tail and backup lights, but there's no mention of it fitting the GS4, but then they never mentioned it fitting the Super Chief obs either. We'll all find out in a few days when our packages arrive.:tb-biggrin:
     
  4. Lownen

    Lownen TrainBoard Member

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    Depends on your definition of "socket". :)

    Back before I did my own installs, I had a dealer put a single function decoder in to control the drumhead light on my Super Chief obs. They apparently didn't knowabout the FL12 and its socket because they hard-wired a Digitrax single function decoder. :(
     
  5. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    When I got my Super obs I saw the removable panel underneath and thought, "it looks likes there's something meant to fit in here", and sure enough a search of the Kato Japan website revealed their range of decoders. The instructions are entirely Japanese but I eventually figured it out so that the tail lights are on when the car goes forward and the backup light when the train backs up, you can give it a seperate address and consist it with the loco pulling the train. I'm not sure why Kato never promoted it, I can't figure out some of the things they do. There could be some deal with the GS4 headlights they just haven't told us about.

    The Japanese retailers seem to be out of stock of Kato decoders at the moment, perhaps the Japanese are starting to catch on to DCC.
     
  6. J Long

    J Long E-Mail Bounces

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    I saw that! It could pass as HO or even O scale. I see they are on ebay for $300 to $350 buy it now for a complete set with GS-4. So if you didn't pre-order, you may not be out of luck.
     
  7. urodoji

    urodoji TrainBoard Member

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    Confession time. I didn't order the Daylight or the GS-4. I ordered more Harriman cars, so I can renumber them...
     
  8. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    Running mine right now for the first time........

    First impression... WOW!!

    Second impression...WOW!!

    Mechanically they couldn't have done a better job. The 2nd and 4th drivers are sprung. The springs however are very light so I don't think it helps for traction, more just for better, reliable tracking on tight curves and uneven track. The tender to loco coupling is a kinematic drawbar with 4 wipers, more on that later. The detail is outstanding. Traction is unbelievable.

    Now that that is out of the way. The kinematic couplers are a must. The train looks odd with those beautiful articulated cars, then a big gap between the other cars.

    As far as the lighting system goes, the Mars light could be done better but it is not bad as is. I don't have a clue what it is going to take to do it in DCC. Possibly a decoder in the loco just to drive the lighting. There is no way you are going to be able to control it via a decoder in the tender without adding wires. The drawbar has a creative arrangement of 4 wiper wires, 2 on the bottom of the drawbar (like a Mikado) and then two more on the top. 2 of the wipers transmit pickup from the loco to the tender, the other 2 transmit power from the tender back to the motor. The lighting picks up from the main loco power pickup so it will take a unique decoder up front if you want to control it seprately.

    The only thing that I would really want different, and it's not going to happen, is that the loco, just like the Mikado, is geared too tall. When running at a nice cruising speed, around 20-30 smph, it will slow on grades and tight corners pretty dramatically. Top speed is in excess of 100 smph. 147mph to be exact. It took the entire 65" of train 4 seconds to pass at full throttle. No I won't be running it this way but a more reasonable top end should be around 100mph to give more use of the throttle range and keep it from lugging at lower speeds. This seems to be common with the other Kato loco's I own so it is geared to match their other equipment.

    I really love this train even though I have no reason to have a SP train on my layout, it will be there just the same. It's too pretty not too own.

    If I get a chance, I am going to disect it tomorrow and see what makes it tick...
     
  9. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thats good news Tony! Can't wait to see one in person.:)
     
  10. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    The ever mysterious mars light!

    Does the mars light blink when the train is stopped? Is the blink rate related to speed?
    Basically, how exactly DOES the mars light work? :p

    Thanks :)
     
  11. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    If its related to speed, how will it work under DCC's constant voltage?
     
  12. Willyboy

    Willyboy TrainBoard Supporter

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    Too bad about the Mars light. I talked to Jim Hinds (Richmond Control) yesterday and he said when his GS4 arrives he is going to design a new mars light for it. I have his mars light on my F7A's and just ordered another yesterday for my IM F3A. His Mars lights are the cat's meow! And when he designs one for the GS4, I am getting one.
     
  13. lashedup

    lashedup TrainBoard Member

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    I'm in the process of installing a Tsunami micro in the GS-4. I'm in a holding pattern of sorts till I get speakers shipped to me from Tony's Trains (thought I had one left, but can't find it anywhere!). I'll take some photos and try and post them up.

    I picked my 10-car set and GS-4 up at Lombard Hobbies here in Lombard, Illinois. They ordered a few extras and I believe they are selling the GS-4 10-car set combo for $290.

    Couple of photos to tease you guys:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. OC Engineer JD

    OC Engineer JD Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Incredible!!! :)
     
  15. AB&CRRone

    AB&CRRone TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes, great photos. How does it run and pull? I've seen the videos on the Kato site. Just wondering if they are all that good.


    Ben
     
  16. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    The GS-4 is a great looking and wonderful running engine. A new standard that surpasses the Mikado that everyone 'used' to measure other steamers by.

    Unfortunately... I have some concerns about the Morning Daylight set... in particular... the articulated coach car. In the picture below... the Talgo truck is 'floating' above the rails.

    [​IMG]


    It seems that this one car is not cooperating with the expected smooth running of the consist. It will consistently derail on just about all curves... in fact... it stringlines itself and will fall off of the consist on some rather ordinary curves... Kato Unitrack 13.75 and 15 inch curves. Its center (Talgo) truck constantly lifts off of the track when backing up. It appears that some weight needs to be added inside this car directly above the Talgo truck. Interestingly... there were no problems with the triple articulated cafe/diner/lounge car.

    Please check if you are experiencing any derailments of your consist due to the articulated coach car.... and report back on this thread.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2008
  17. river_eagle

    river_eagle TrainBoard Member

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    ran for several hours today, zero issues, but I didn't run the set in reverse.
     
  18. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    No car issues even down to 240mm R but after reading the post and playing around backing the loco up, the trailing truck will derail on 282mm R. It looks like it is interfering with some of the piping hanging below the cab. No issues at all running forward.

    Also while looking at the articulated coach because of Calzephyrs post, I noticed that there is a very creative wiper system between the two cars to bridge the electical contacts in the two cars to help eliminated flicker. The articulated cars only pick up power on the two end trucks. The talgo trucks don't have pickups so this bridging of the power pickups is a welcome find.
     
  19. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Perhaps the placement of the articualted car is wrong?

    On Kato's video, the articulated coach is near the front of the consist, whereas, I've put mine near the rear of the consist. It still derailed on the curved grade... although... it did manage to go though the flat curved section this time going forward... but still derailed going backwards. There is no doubt that this car needs some weight over the Talgo truck. BTW... the triple articulated car has six wheeled Talgo... and the articulated coach only has four wheeled Talgo. Perhaps the little extra weight of the six wheel Talgo prevents the triple articulated cafe/diner/lounge from derailing in the manner noted for the articulated coach.

    The GS-4 has not had any derailment issues... it goes over both turnout and crossings without any issues. Only the darned articulated coach is keeping this from being perfect.
     
  20. skipgear

    skipgear TrainBoard Member

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    I really don't think weight is an issue. The cars should articulate easily in all directions, even up and down a little. It sounds like a bit of flashing or something catching in the articulation mechanism. I would suggest contacting Kato and let them know.

    The articulated coach is shown at the end of the train but the full consist will have 3 of them up front, infront of the kitchen car so I don't think it should matter where you put it in the consist. I can lift either end of the articulated coach 1/4" off the rails before it starts to lift the talgo truck. Check to see that you can do that first. I think it is a bind in the mechanism.
     

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