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Author Topic: Potential track change to my main layout 'Kimbolted'  (Read 1302 times)

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Offline newportnobby

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Potential track change to my main layout 'Kimbolted'
« on: April 27, 2017, 01:38:14 pm »
I am seriously considering moving from Peco code 55 to Kato Unitrack on my main layout ‘Kimbolted’, purely for the ease of operation i.e. no soldering, built in point motors etc.
However, the layout contains at least 26 or more code 55 small electrofrog points each measuring 123mm in length so they can only be replaced by Kato #4 points which measure 124mm. If I went for #6 points which are 40mm longer than the #4 points I would lose far too much space and would have to completely alter the current design. The #4 points have additional features over the #6 points such as alterable directional powering. As Kato do not make a double slip which is an intrinsic piece of the current design, some amendments will have to take place anyway and one or more planned features lost.
An alternative would be to attempt connecting code 55 to Unitrack, in which case the hidden fiddle yards behind the backscene could be converted to Unitrack whilst leaving the scenics as code 55.
However, all this is, to a certain extent, moot until I have tried running all my motive power through Kato #4 points as these smaller points have been known to cause problems mainly, I believe, with older locos/units with wide flanges such as the ‘pizza cutter’ wheels.

As such, and with the great help and advice of fellow member ‘outofgauge’ (a.k.a. Neil) I have ordered Kato track to construct a single oval with small passing loop, the loop points being #4s and the curves each end being 282mm radius. The oval will measure approx 4ft x 2ft and will be temporarily rigged up on a suitably sized board and operated via a Bachmann controller from one of their sets. Every loco and DMU I have will be tested forwards, backwards, at different speeds and the item itself will be lifted, turned 180 degrees and then tested again just to ensure there is no directional difference. Following this I will then know whether I (a) have a large enough success rate to consider progressing with the change or (b) need to abandon the change and sell off the Kato track.
I will, for anyone’s interest, publish a list of success/failure by manufacture reference so as to let others see what did/did not run through #4 points although it will be subject to interpretation as no two models are the same, being hand built items.

Online REGP

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Re: Potential track change to my main layout 'Kimbolted'
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2017, 03:37:51 pm »
I must admit I chucked Peco set track for Kato for the same reasons, but that was before I had got very far with the layout.

It's Certainly a bold move for a layout that's well established like yours.

I like the idea of the test track for #4 points and assume you've been briefed on the Mike Fiffer tip about cutting a grove in the running rail to allow the blades to seat more easily, if you have trouble.

Don't forget to let us know how you get on.

Ray

Offline gawain

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Re: Potential track change to my main layout 'Kimbolted'
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2017, 03:44:07 pm »
Sorry to contradict a moderator;
Kato double slip

http://ttrak.wdfiles.com/local--files/internally-modify-crossover/Slide1.jpg

Tony

Offline railsquid

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Re: Potential track change to my main layout 'Kimbolted'
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2017, 03:49:46 pm »
Sorry to contradict a moderator;
Kato double slip

http://ttrak.wdfiles.com/local--files/internally-modify-crossover/Slide1.jpg

Tony

Umm, that's a crossover, not a double slip?

"Eigatani Tetsudo" - Japanese and other trains (planning), featuring:

Offline railsquid

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Re: Potential track change to my main layout 'Kimbolted'
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2017, 03:55:15 pm »
The main issue I had with Kato #4 points was with a left-hand one immediately after a right-hand curve, causing derailments in a random variety of stock of all nationalities.
"Eigatani Tetsudo" - Japanese and other trains (planning), featuring:

Offline newportnobby

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Re: Potential track change to my main layout 'Kimbolted'
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2017, 04:24:36 pm »
This is the test track plan. Note that apart from the end curves and the #4 points everything else is not necessarily correct and straight pieces will be bought to fit the 4ft x 2ft board.


Again, Kato don't make curved points so the lower of these 2 diagrams will not be possible which is a great shame as I really like the shared passing loop. Any suggestions, anyone? :help:

Also, on the top diagram I have shown where, using Peco track, I would place the feed and double insulated rail joiners. Would I need IRJs in the same way using Kato track please? (DC operation)



I like the idea of the test track for #4 points and assume you've been briefed on the Mike Fiffer tip about cutting a groove in the running rail to allow the blades to seat more easily, if you have trouble.



I believe the same advice is shown here, Ray.............................
http://nrmrc.org/sites/default/files/publications//what_you_need_to_know_about_kato_unitrack_turnouts.pdf


Online Atso

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Re: Potential track change to my main layout 'Kimbolted'
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2017, 04:48:13 pm »
Hi Mick, Tomix make a double slip that can be convinced to join up with Kato Unitrack after a bit of surgery. The advantage of using the Tomix product over Peco is that Tomix use the same 15 degree turnout that Kato does and has integral motors while Peco's is (I think) 10 degrees and doesn't...

Try somewhere like Plaza Japan on ebay for Tomix products.

Hope this helps.

Offline Dorsetmike

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Re: Potential track change to my main layout 'Kimbolted'
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2017, 05:01:41 pm »
Arnold, Fleischmann and Minitrix all make fairly short double slips, I've used them with Peco track and I've found Kato will connect with Peco so you should be  able to to connect Kato to the  continental makes which all have motors that clip on
Cheers MIKE


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Offline Malc

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Re: Potential track change to my main layout 'Kimbolted'
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2017, 05:05:50 pm »
I don't think you need any IRJs, Mick. I have used No6, 4 and crossovers on my layout and haven't had any issues in either DC or DCC.
I'm not sure if life is passing me by, or trying to run me over.

Online REGP

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Re: Potential track change to my main layout 'Kimbolted'
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2017, 05:55:15 pm »
Yep the NRMRC item covers the same ground as Mike Fiffers video.


Like Malc I've not needed to use IRJs, apart from creating a reversing loop that is.

Ray



« Last Edit: April 27, 2017, 10:39:16 pm by REGP, Reason: typo »

Online daffy

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Re: Potential track change to my main layout 'Kimbolted'
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2017, 05:56:24 pm »
I haven't tried it yet but I have been told Fleischmann Piccolo track will happily mate with Kato * using the latters special bit of track (20-045 I think), the advantage being that the Fleischmann stuff is also preballasted so needs only a little packing to bring it up to Kato level. And Fleischmann do a length a flex-track too for those awkward curves and situations.

I will be interested to know if anybody has used these two together.

* one wonders what the child of these two would be called : Kaschmann?  :hmmm:  Fleischto?  :hmmm: Pickato.?

Anyway Mick, good to see that the Kato Users Group is gaining a new member. :thumbsup:
Mike

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Online dodger

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Re: Potential track change to my main layout 'Kimbolted'
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2017, 06:28:54 pm »
The main issue I had with Kato #4 points was with a left-hand one immediately after a right-hand curve, causing derailments in a random variety of stock of all nationalities.

I gave Kato No4 points with a similar problem a RH point following a right hand curve the only locos in my fleet were a Dapol Q1 and a Farish 108. Even the M7's and Ivatt tanks had random derailments even after modifying the point as described on the web.

I had to sacrifice length of sidings for reliable operation.


Dodger

Offline PLD

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Re: Potential track change to my main layout 'Kimbolted'
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2017, 07:17:15 pm »
I am seriously considering moving from Peco code 55 to Kato Unitrack on my main layout ‘Kimbolted’
Sorry to go against the grain, but I do feel it to be a retrograde step, especially for an established layout and if as it seems it would compromise the design of the layout...
some amendments will have to take place anyway and one or more planned features lost.

The unitrack is great for a test track or temporary set-ups, but not for a permanent layout, at least not the scenic portion.
You only have to lay the track once (if you do it properly) you have to look at it every day, and to me there is no disguising the plastic base...

 :sorrysign:

Online austinbob

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Re: Potential track change to my main layout 'Kimbolted'
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2017, 07:31:59 pm »
I'm glad someone said that before me Mick. If your layout is basically working why would you want to contemplate such a big change with all the attendant potential problems.
You're a brave man. Good luck whatever route you take.
 :beers:
Size matters - especially if you don't have a lot of space - and N gauge is the answer!

Bob Austin

Offline newportnobby

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Re: Potential track change to my main layout 'Kimbolted'
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2017, 08:13:41 pm »
Thanks to all who have replied.
The acid test will be what does/doesn't run through #4 points but it's good to know the Tomix double slip has built in motors.
@PLD @austinbob
It may seem a retrograde step but the simple fact of the matter is age and a triple bypass have left me unable to solder so all the Seep PM1s are sat in a bag in the wardrobe. Meanwhile if something goes wrong in the fiddle yards (mainly the lack of frog polarity switching) I have to crawl under the layout to get to the other side so anything to make life easier helps!. Yes, it's going to be tricky to match the current track plan/track spacing, but until I've carried out the testing the whole thing is not confirmed.
@daffy Don't count those chickens yet, Mike :no:

 

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