Kobo Shop question. What do you get for your money?

kmcsjr Jan 4, 2014

  1. kmcsjr

    kmcsjr TrainBoard Member

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    I'm seeing more Kobo Shops locos, from Kato. Now I can see buying a Kobo Shops Mikado. I'm going to have to get DCC put in a few and t is beyond my skills. But in a Diesel, is the difference really just the decoder? That's all I could find on Katousa site. (Except the tease about Christmas and new years cars)
    Thanks
    Marty
     
  2. Wal

    Wal TrainBoard Member

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    When you instal the decoder yourself in a DC loco, you get the DC light board + the decoder. When you get the Kobo installed decoder, the original light board is not included in the package. IMO, Kato drop in decoders are a breeze to do.
     
  3. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Decoders installs scare a lot of guys who wanna run DCC. Having Kobo Shops do it for you takes some stress off. THE Wife bought her E5 with a Kobo installed TCS decoder. Me...I'm kinda glad she did ...LOL.
     
  4. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

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    It could be the right thing for you to have the decoder already installed, but you will loose the chance to learn how to troubleshoot when there is an issue.
     
  5. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thats why having friends who can help you troubleshoot and diagnose DCC problems over the phone is such a blessing !! ;-)
     
  6. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    If you can take the light board out of a Kato diesel and put it back in then you can install a decoder, you don't even have to separate the two halves of the frame like you have to with Atlas locos, the only easier installations are the true plug'n'play ones with the six pin socket.
     
  7. rogergperkins

    rogergperkins TrainBoard Member

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    I started modeling in n-scale about 40 years ago and thus accumulated several locomotives before I finally decided in 2012 to add the DCC option.
    I have elected to have decoders installed in some of the locomotives because I wanted it done correctly. I have used two individuals to do the installation.
    The most recent project was installing DCC in 3 Kato RDCs; labor charge $20 USD per locomotive then cost of the decoder. I am pleased with the work.
    However, I chose the installer because of convenience, but without any first hand recommendations of his work.
    I go to this detail to make the point that "buying a KOBO DCC installed locomotive" removes that "unknown aspect" of hiring it done.
    I have been making my new locomotive purchases of Kato locomotives from dealers who have the KOBO installed version.
    I have five Kato Mikados in which I would love to have DCC decoders, but the quotes I have received for retro fitting are discouragingly prohibitive considering my hobby budget.
     
  8. jagged ben

    jagged ben TrainBoard Member

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    Doesn't the Kobo Mikado come with a rear coupler that automatically uncouples with a DCC function? I remember seeing a video once upon a time. Perhaps with that particular loco there are significant advantages. Disclaimer: I have never even seen a Kato Mikado.

    For diesels I would never buy a Kobo version, it's not worth it when installing decoders is so easy on Kato locos. (Now, Atlas might be another story.)
     
  9. Spookshow

    Spookshow TrainBoard Member

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    I have one of the Kobo DCC Mikados. And yes, it has a DCC-operated coupler on the tender (along with a DCC-operated fire in the firebox). Very cool stuff, but also ridiculously expensive. The jet-powered RDC-3 is pretty cool too, and something you can only get from Kobo.

    Cheers,
    -Mark
     
  10. Larry E Shankles

    Larry E Shankles TrainBoard Member

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    The advance notice on the Kobo Congressional paint scheme GG1 included wording to the effect that it would have custom applied details, which the standard GG1 did not have. I have searched all over mine and can't find anything different about it except the paint. The price was exorbitant for just being painted differently.
     
  11. jmha

    jmha TrainBoard Member

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    I have 3 Kato Mikados, which I have installed decoders in by myself. The thing is to dismantle the locomotive the right way, it is very complex in its buildup. GHQ made a superdetailing kit some years ago, where they had a manual on how to strip a Kato Mikado. A Lenz N-scale decoder will fit within the boiler shell, there is a weight that can be removed to provide the necessary decoder space.
     
  12. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    3 good reason that sometimes it may be best for some to let professionals do it. I applaude you guys who can dismatle a steamer to begin with...let alone install a decoder and/or sound. ^5
     
  13. Mike C

    Mike C TrainBoard Member

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    I also have a Kato mike that I added the decoder to . I tried for about a year to get someone local to do it with no luck. I also thought about sending it to one of the major DCC installers but paying over a hundred dollars just didn't cut it. Finally I got up the nerve to do it my self. I found that it was much easier to do than I had imagined. If you follow the instructions on the TCS site its really no problem. ....Mike
     
  14. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    No problem for some of you.

    I don't like admitting that I can't fix something. BUT! As these new fangled gizmo's get more and more complicated and the detailing more refined. Dammed if that don't piss me off. For as much as I pay for a new locomotive I would expect it to give me at least 100 hours of operating service...right out of the box. Now if some of you have experienced better service time, would you explain that to the 30 or so locomotives sitting on my workbench that died on line.

    My eyes are tired and my patience is running out. Pretty soon I'm going to pull all the stuff out onto the street and sell it for whatever I can get out of it.

    So, what was it we were talking about?


    On another note I've complained about this before but it's like someone is sitting somewhere on a power line and disconnecting me from TrainBoard. I can be mid-sentence, in my stride and up pop's "Must Recover Webage, Waiting for TrainBoard" Funny guys, very funny but I'm beginning to think someone at TB would rather I move on. :rats: GRRRRR.:oops:Angry in Big Bear.
     
  15. Spookshow

    Spookshow TrainBoard Member

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    The "American Railroads" GG-1 from Kobo has redesigned/custom blower ducts. Maybe that's the one you were thinking of?

    [​IMG]

    Cheers,
    -Mark
     
  16. Dave

    Dave Permanently dispatched

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    Looking at some etailer pricing, it looks as though a Kato diesel with the factory installed TCS M1 decoder is about $55 more than the DC loco. To buy the decoder is about $30 so you are paying $25 to have it installed. I am not even comfortable removing a shell so I would probably pay that to have one installed at the factory. I suspect most people would not.

    Some of the products the Kobo line has put out are incredible, but also very pricey as Mark said. I have the M497 Jet RDC and the 'cool factor' of that thing is amazing. It is, however, not for everyone.
     
  17. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    THE Wifes 'Kobo Shopped' E5 with a TCS decoder was only 119.00 when they first came out. I didnt think that was to bad.
     
  18. Spookshow

    Spookshow TrainBoard Member

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    I checked the description for the "Congressional" on Kato's website and they do indeed state "custom painted and detailed", which seems like a bit of a stretch to me. It's definitely custom painted, but I don't really see anything in the picture that qualifies as custom detailing (as compared to the "normal" ones) -

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Maybe they're calling the stripes and lettering "detailing". Either that, or maybe it's just some marketing guy running amok :-(

    Cheers,
    -Mark
     
  19. fifer

    fifer TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

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    Oh Yeah.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Mike
     
  20. glennac

    glennac TrainBoard Member

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    But Mark, the photo you show isn't the Congressional.

    thdgum5h.jpg
     

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