Noisy KATO F7A

Trainguy64 Feb 28, 2022

  1. Trainguy64

    Trainguy64 TrainBoard Member

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    Hello all.
    Recently purchase a new KATO F7A Santa Fe livery.
    Installed a TCS decoder and it runs as it should except it sounds like coffee grinder.
    I called the shop I purchased it from and they said they don't deal with warranty issues and I should call Kato USA.
    Kato said they could fix it but I would need to pay for shipping to them.
    Now this is one of Kato least expensive locos so paying in the neighborhood of $40 Canadian for shipping "did I mention I'm in Canada" doesn't seem worth it.
    The rep from Kato agree that the shipping cost may not be worth it and the shop should take it back for a refund given that its brand new but the shop will not budge on there return/warranty policy.

    Is there something I can do to get rid if the grinder sound?

    Thanks.
     
  2. tehachapifan

    tehachapifan TrainBoard Member

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    Were you able to test run it on DC prior to the decoder install and, if so, how did it sound at that time?
     
    MK likes this.
  3. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Have to ask did it make the noise before the decoder install? Then we can go from there but it sounds like maybe something is not in place after the install.
     
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  4. Trainguy64

    Trainguy64 TrainBoard Member

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    No I did not run it before the decoder install as I don't have a DC pack.
    I looked to see if something was rubbing but could not see anything out of place.
     
  5. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    During the decoder install was the trucks, drive line, or motor moved any or frame sections taken apart because it more or less appears to be something misaligned in the drive.
     
  6. Trainguy64

    Trainguy64 TrainBoard Member

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    Didn't move or touch any of that stuff.
     
  7. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    Take it apart and do a reinstall of the decoder. Sometimes a reinstall realigns everything back inadvertently.

    Not saying it can't happen but I've never heard of or experience any noise from Kato's F7. If I had to guess was an install gone not completely right

    Can you post pictures with the shell removed or pictures of the various steps of your install?
     
  8. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Maybe the frame halves are over tightened causing some binding. Perhaps backing off a 1/4 turn on each screw will resolve the squeal.
     
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  9. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    I 2nd that and it may be the easiest thing to do first.
     
  10. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    According to the OP, this is a recent Kato model so there are no screws to secure the two frames like Atlas locomotives. Decoder installations for almost all Katos are literally just drop in. (With this one you may need a little soldering for the motor tabs.)

    https://tcsdcc.com/installation/n-scale/1637

    So the noise is coming from elsewhere.
     
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  11. Trainguy64

    Trainguy64 TrainBoard Member

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    Ya the decoder was just drop in and I had to use a few spots of solder on the tabs to keep them in place and nothing else was tampered with under the cab.
     
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  12. freddy_fo

    freddy_fo TrainBoard Member

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    Trainguy, can you post a quick vid with sound so we can hear the exact noise?
     
    Doug Gosha likes this.
  13. Trainguy64

    Trainguy64 TrainBoard Member

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    Yes I can do this later today after work.

    Thanks.
     
    Doug Gosha likes this.
  14. drgwspup

    drgwspup TrainBoard Member

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    A video with sound, hmmm. Has anyone compiled a list of videos of various N scale locomotive noises and their corresponding fixes?? Asking for a friend, lol. Might make a great sticky thread.

    Mark
     
  15. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    When you installed the decoder, did you make sure the rear clip locked the board down? I've seen many people who missed this and the board slides over the clip. DSCN4634 copy.jpg
     
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  16. Trainguy64

    Trainguy64 TrainBoard Member

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    Yes rear clip installed plus a small amount of solder on the tabs as the clip wasn't holding the tabs down as tight as it should have been.
     
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  17. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    LOL... I guess I have too many ancient Kato F units.

    I will be looking at my 'newer' Katos (which will have also have TCS decoders installed) just in case I have a similar issue.

    Only possible reason for these to squeal would be misaligned trucks causing a worm gear binding.
     
  18. tonkphilip

    tonkphilip TrainBoard Member

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    I have six new SP and UP F7s from Kato and they all run smoothly and quietly. But, they are DC and I have not tried to add DCC. - Tonkphilip
     
  19. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Hey, wait a minute. Is it coffee grinder or squeal? OP said coffee grinder.

    Doug
     
  20. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Grinding and squealing can be due to worm gear binding. I have not seen the truck to worm gear connection on these newer DCC ready chassis. I have been slow to upgrade my Kato engines because I have many BLI and Intermountain F units which I find much better detailed.
     

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