Kato V14 issues

crclass Dec 4, 2021

  1. crclass

    crclass TrainBoard Member

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    All the info I find here seems to say how great Kato Unitrack is. I bought the V14 set and have lots of dead spots. I'm running a Digitrax DCS50. Modern 6 axle locos Kato, Atlas and BLI. The track alignment at the easement piece is terrible and the Atlas loco hits the fuel tank on the joint. Side to side rail alignment is perfect. It is the up and down that is terrible. I have tried several different connectors and tried to tighten the rail joiner as much as I can with the plastic around it that form the rail joiner assembly. I have thought I might just solder the joints but then I haven taken away one of the nice features of Unitrack. The other issue I have is unless I have a good head of steam up the loco stalls on the easement with the rear set of wheels still on the straight piece. I have checked and rechecked the arrow on the easement it really seems like there is no connection electrically. This seems to happen on a couple of easements while others seem pretty good. I have run a track cleaning car over the whole layout several times. Some of the worst areas I took some emery cloth to and followed up with the stainless steel washer rub down (gleaning?). This had no effect on the dead spot. This is only happening on the inside track. The outside track has no dead spots just the top of the rail misalignment issues. Anyone have ideas what I might be missing. I have checked all bad joint areas with a magnifying glass to make sure they are together correctly. By looking at the easement sections it appears the arrow should point into the curve as it has the super elevated side where the arrow is and the other end seems pretty flat. I'm all ears if someone wants to take a stab at this. Thanks
    Scott
     
  2. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Hardcoaler likes this.
  3. crclass

    crclass TrainBoard Member

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    I can not read that guide it is real fuzzy for me. I did the layout in anyrail and the pieces will not connect there the wrong way. I printed that out and verified the pieces. I also double and triple checked the arrows point into the curve. It almost acts like there is a non conductive coating on the rails.
     
  4. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Every transition between doubletrack curve and straight must be a 22.5 degree DT transition curve.

    Each transition curve has two DIFFERENT ends: one for flat track, and the other for super-elevated curve track. Make sure they are installed with the correct end oriented to the attached track.

    You cannot do S-Curves in Double Track unless you use two transition pieces back to back (flat ends connected together). S curves are not recommended anyway, so you would also need at least a short section of straight double track between them.

    Can you post a diagram of your layout? That might help us figure out the problem.
     
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  5. Traindork

    Traindork TrainBoard Member

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    Did you buy the set new or used? Either way, give it a good cleaning.
    Also, run your fingertip gently over the rail joints. If there's a noticeable bump, the rail might not be in the rail joiner, and is just sitting on top of it. My eyes aren't young anymore and I find myself checking the joints using touch.
     
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  6. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Or pictures. Pictures are always good...(y)(y)
     
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  7. crclass

    crclass TrainBoard Member

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    I will work on pictures. The track was new and setup just as the V14 calls for. I did put this in anyrail so I could see exactly which track went where. I can feel a definite lip in the top of the rail several places and I looked at them with a magnifying glass to verify they are in the rail joiners so I'm real confused as I didn't think there was that much play if it is in the rail joiner. V14.jpg
     
  8. Dampfloko

    Dampfloko TrainBoard Member

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    I have found when assembling unitrack that it is easy to get a vertical misalignment with the joiner. I have yet to figure out why this happens sporadically. Sometimes you just cannot straighten the joiner out. Perhaps some casting flaw.
     
  9. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    It sounds to me like your easement pieces may be reversed. That could explain the vertical alignment issues you are having. Try swapping them around with each other. The diagonals (i.e. upper left & lower right easements) should match. The opposite diagonal pair of easements should match too, but use the opposite piece.

    Try that and let us know...

    You'll need a pair of crossovers (or a double crossover) so that trains can get from the inside loop to the outside loop, and vice versa. A single crossover will replace a WS248PC. A double crossover can replace a WS248PC plus a WS62PC
     
  10. crclass

    crclass TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts everyone. After troubleshooting all the track and putting my feeders right next to the easement, I still had issues. On a whim I put my 8 axle DD40 on which I figured would have more issues since they come from the factory that way! It ran around just fine forward/backward slow fast it didn't matter. My conclusion is the 6 axle diesels must need some tweaking on the pickups and they are flexing on the easements just enough to stop them. The BLI is factory equipped with the Paragon rolling thunder decoder. The Kato and Atlas both have the Digitrax decoder (non sound). I will take this over to the DCC board and see if adding a capacitor would help. Thanks again!
     
  11. drbnc

    drbnc TrainBoard Member

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    Had the same issue - primarily with Kato ES44's and Fox Valley 6-axle units. Never could get the "flex" needed in the truck to allow them to reliably traverse the easements. 4-axle units, no problem. The "lift" on the easements, even the v14's, is too much for what little flex the trucks have. Atlas and Intermountain 6-axle units are fine' more slop in their trucks I guess. Next up is to try is use some flex track to make the easements and make them longer...
     

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