Kato to release upgraded Unitrack Crossing Gates

NorsemanJack Mar 16, 2017

  1. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    Years ago Kato sold an automatic crossing gate system in the US. Despite the "toy like" aspects, it was one of the coolest (and most costly) Unitrack components available. They were removed from the market many years ago, possible due to poor sales and also their incompatibility with DCC. At some point, they released an upgraded system for the Japanese market that utilized optical sensors and was DCC compatible. Some people have "imported" these despite the non-US appearance. Kato USA just sent an email announcement today that they will be releasing a US version of this upgraded system. The photo looks pretty promising. Unitrack users: stay tuned!

    More details here:

    http://www.katousa.com/N/Unitrack/accessories.html
     
  2. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wowsers !!!!

    Be sure you are sitting down and have a firm grip on your wallet when you check the MSRP !!! Plus the added double track attachment !!! :whistle::eek::censored:
     
  3. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    Yep. Same as it ever was. The old system was also very expensive, but it was REALLY nice. I still have one (with the double track attachment). The original was really impressive. It could keep track of traffic on both tracks, coming and going, and operate the gates accordingly. It would even figure out if a train started into the area of the crossing but then backed out. I've been planning to reincorporate my original into my new modular shelf unitrack layout, but will likely add one of the new units as well. They are just so darn cool. :)
     
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  4. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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  5. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Neat, but for a U.S. prototype, Kato should have omitted the gates blocking the left lanes. Would have looked much better without these and perhaps would have been a little less costly too. Not looking a gift horse in the eye though -- this is indeed a neat accessory.
     
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  6. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    The so-called four-quadrant crossing gate set-ups are becoming more common to help prevent the impatient or the clueless from driving around the gates and ending up as a hood ornament on a locomotive.
     
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  7. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Interesting! Never seen anything like that anywhere before. Impatient or clueless really does sum it up.
     
  8. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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  9. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    Probably more costly, as this is just a modified version of the one already available in Japan. Other than the black/yellow gates and crossbucks, the two units appear to be identical.

    http://www.newhallstation.com/store/product_info.php/products_id/1045
     
  10. glennac

    glennac TrainBoard Member

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    Hope there is a means of silencing the sound. Otherwise, that 'dinging' would drive me nuts every time a train passed. :confused:
     
  11. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    But...but..everyone is clamoring for more sound in N Scale ! They even have a cattlecar with moooooooing sounds...LOL :confused::confused::confused::confused::confused:

    However...I wonder what that little switch on top of the front left does ????? hmmmmmmmmmo_O
     
  12. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    That switch, and the one on the opposite corner, are very likely manual switches for the gates (mechanical, not electrical). The older unit had a similar "switch."

    The old unit had a separate control box that had an adjustable volume control. The newer units appear to be an "all in one" product, so no flat ribbon cable and separate box like the old one. The new ones apparently have a "selectable" bell sound that offers various types of sound. Maybe one of them is a null setting so that it can be turned off. I think the hole on the top, left side provides access for the adjustment with a flat screwdriver.
     
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  13. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah, approx. $300 for a double track crossing. But I guess those who want to keep their Unitrak layout all Unitrack might go for it but I really like the offerings from Berkshire junction. A set of crossing lights with no gates is $64.95 includes detection unit. Here is the URL:

    http://berkshirejunction.com/scenery-products/
     
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  14. Traindork

    Traindork TrainBoard Member

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    I'll probably get a set just for the coolness factor. As my layout gets rebuilt, I'll occasionally set up some Unitrack on the floor and run trains. There's no excuse for not running trains.
     
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  15. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    Most people buying UniTrack aren't doing it to save money. :ROFLMAO:

    That said, at regular discounts, a double track Unitrack setup will cost $208.60. Not sure how sophisticated the detection is with the Berkshire junction units (and they are very nice), but the Kato setup is very impressive so far as tracking what has entered, left or reversed within the crossing gate area. The operating gates are also pretty cool. To each their own! :)
     
  16. subwayaz

    subwayaz TrainBoard Member

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    Looks interesting; so I guess I'll have a name for the change in that barrel after all


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  17. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Oh dont get me wrong...I think its a pretty snazzy setup (y) But at 200.00 each for a double and needing 2 setups...that is 400.00 I will spend on something else...at the moment. :whistle: The arms going up and down would be cool to watch. The flashing lights would be cool to watch. The 'ding...ding...ding' of the bell would drive me crazier then I already am in short order !!! I would probably get annoyed at the arm movements and flashing lights after awhile too. With at least 2 trains running opposite directions...at different speeds..and tripping that thing at 2 different crossing on opposite sides of the layout....:cautious::eek::rolleyes:

    Still...I like the looks of the thing (y)(y)(y)(y)(y). Just cant pull the triger at the price. Maybe someday...:D
     
  18. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    Maybe you should pull the trigger half way and buy just one? Then you would only risk being "half crazier." :) (and half lighter in the wallet)

    I haven't seen my old unit in action for over 15 years, but I actually have fond memories of the ding.....ding......ding. Don't knock it until you've tried it! (y)
     
  19. subwayaz

    subwayaz TrainBoard Member

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    That sure does sound and look interesting and cheaper by far. Who cares that it isn't Kato I just want functional and simple since I'm not an Electrical Engineer


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  20. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    I don't think it is a question of whether or not somebody "cares that it isn't Kato." Among the reasons people buy Kato Unitrack is the simple, quick, reliable, plug-and-play usage. That is what the product provides, albeit at a price higher than many other options. It is great that there are other good options out there for folks who have other priorities.
     
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