Turn of the millennium Kato trainset.

Calzephyr May 17, 2019 at 7:23 AM

  1. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Back in the 'old days' about 2000 AD... Kato put out some relatively low priced trainsets which included an F7 diesel, a tank car (Japanese style), 2 covered hoppers and a center cupola caboose. The set also included a oval of Unitrack. I got a few sets and stashef them away... because Kato was known (back then) to short run F7 units. These sets apparently did not sell very well for some odd reason... perhaps because the non-proto tank car and caboose. I openned up one of the sets and noticed that the F7 also had Rapido style couplers... which by that time were 'passe' (outdated). So... now I am wondering if these units may also not DCC ready. I have been converting most of my locos to DCC lately and would llke to know before disassembling these units if it will not be worth the effort. I figure I could get some DCC ready chassis instead... or just sell off the sets.
    Have any TB members tackled the conversions of these Kato F7 units????

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  2. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    I'm not sure if you can tell since these (I think) don't come in jewel cases. You could tell whether the inserts were blue or green but it's not 100% for sure. But no jewel case, no inserts. I would pop the shell and you will see quickly if it's DCC ready or not. It's pretty easy to pop the shell on the F7s.
     
  3. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    I am wondering if Kato was dumping
    antiquated F units in these trainsets just before they retooled the chassis to be DCC friendly.

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  4. jtomstarr

    jtomstarr TrainBoard Member

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    Photo’s please if you have them ?

    Tom
     
  5. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    This page will have the information your looking for on the Kato F7's

    http://www.spookshow.net/loco/katof.html

    I'm going to say just looking at the photos on Marks site, if the models still have the Rapido couplers, they are not DCC ready. And from the looks of the photos they maybe a real bear to try and convert to DCC.
     
  6. Ghengis Kong

    Ghengis Kong TrainBoard Member

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    Just look on the bottom to see if it has a split frame(non-DCC) or not and that will be your answer.
     
  7. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    The MTL conversion is easy
     
  8. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks for the great responses. I had forgotten to check Spookshows terrific website. Unfortunately for me... these original sets were using F7s of the mid to late 1990's non-DCC split frame chassis design. There were some later trainsets offered by Kato which might be DCC ready... but I don't have those.

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  9. drgwspup

    drgwspup TrainBoard Member

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    As someone who has converted several of the DRGW train set F7s, they are non-DCC ready. I used an Aztec milled frame swap and the TCS M1 decoder. Unfortunately Aztec is no longer in business. You could mill the back of the frames yourself if you are so inclined.

    If you are selling them off are any DRGW?
     
  10. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    Time to grit your teeth and get on with it. I've converted numerous non DCC ready F7's for DCC and it's not that hard. Just costs some time with a dremel to carve out space for the decoder and for wire routing and you're done.
     

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