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Author Topic: Kato Turnout without Kato controller?  (Read 266 times)

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Offline Pjlons83

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Kato Turnout without Kato controller?
« on: September 22, 2018, 03:21:24 pm »
Hi All,

Sorry if this has been asked before but my searching skills have let me down on finding a solution.... Does anybody have a circuit diagram for powering/controlling a kato turnout without the kato controller?

Regards
Paul
Gold Hill - my rule 1, “just for fun” micro layout;

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Offline RailGooner

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Re: Kato Turnout without Kato controller?
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2018, 03:47:37 pm »
Searching this board for 'kato point' throws up 25 results. Haven't read them all, but glancing through some seem relevant. HTH you Paul. :beers:
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Offline gawain

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Re: Kato Turnout without Kato controller?
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2018, 05:11:50 pm »

Offline Ditape

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Re: Kato Turnout without Kato controller?
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2018, 06:08:56 pm »
I just use Kato switches and a 15V DC supply connected to the switches via snap connectors.
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Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Kato Turnout without Kato controller?
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2018, 07:18:49 pm »
You need a two-wire reversible DC system to operate Kato point motors.   

The Kato blue levers can be wired to AC via a little blue rectifier box also from Kato.

There are some notes about half way down this page which refer to using a biased centre-off DPDT switch or push buttons instead of the Kato levers

http://t-trakhandbook.com/TTrak.070000000/TTrak.070000000.htm?AAO

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Offline dannyboy

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Re: Kato Turnout without Kato controller?
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2018, 07:50:19 pm »
All my Kato points are operated by DPDT centre off biased switches. The switches use a 12v DC supply. These are the ones I have used -

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DPDT-ON-OFF-ON-toggle-switch-Pre-wired-to-operate-Kato-point/273466152509?hash=item3fabda563d:g:nAQAAOxygPtS65-t
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Offline Railwaygun

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Re: Kato Turnout without Kato controller?
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2018, 08:36:51 pm »
You need a two-wire reversible DC system to operate Kato point motors.   

The Kato blue levers can be wired to AC via a little blue rectifier box also from Kato.

There are some notes about half way down this page which refer to using a biased centre-off DPDT switch or push buttons instead of the Kato levers

http://t-trakhandbook.com/TTrak.070000000/TTrak.070000000.htm?AAO



Blue converter box runs off 15v AC

https://www.traintrax.co.uk/24842-converter-p-334.html

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Offline Pjlons83

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Re: Kato Turnout without Kato controller?
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2018, 09:52:34 pm »
Thank you everybody for the replies. Lots of good articles to read through.  :NGF:

All my Kato points are operated by DPDT centre off biased switches. The switches use a 12v DC supply.

Thanks Danny. So the solenoids are 12v then? How easy is it to see when they are in position? Do you just hold for a couple of seconds. I was worried about burning out the motors but I guess a tiny amount of stalling every time is not a big issue and over time you just get a feel for how long you hold it for?

Searching this board for 'kato point' throws up 25 results. Haven't read them all, but glancing through some seem relevant. HTH you Paul. :beers:

Thanks RG. I always find the search function is very general. It’s easy to find lots of general points on the same broad subject but it’s the detail I struggle finding. Maybe I need to refine my searching techniques!  :doh:
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Offline dannyboy

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Re: Kato Turnout without Kato controller?
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2018, 10:28:25 pm »


All my Kato points are operated by DPDT centre off biased switches. The switches use a 12v DC supply.


Thanks Danny. So the solenoids are 12v then? How easy is it to see when they are in position? Do you just hold for a couple of seconds. I was worried about burning out the motors but I guess a tiny amount of stalling every time is not a big issue and over time you just get a feel for how long you hold it for?


@Pjlons83

The switches I referred to are spring loaded, so they just need a gentle push or pull and they then spring back to the centre 'off' position, so the current only passes for as long as you push/pull the switch - less than a second is needed. All the 'gubbins' for the points are inside the point so there is nothing to see there. And the switch is just a switch. If you do buy the switches from the source I quoted, they come with instructions, but they are easy enough to wire up - red and black wires connect to the 12v supply, the two striped wires connect to the point - cut off the plug from the points and connect the point wires to the switch wires via a choc-block. I got a bit of a discount from the seller when I placed a second order. If you do contact him, tell him a bloke in Ireland recommended him. (Think I will have to ask for commission  :)).

Addit: It depends on where the points are in relation to your line of sight as to whether you can actually see the point blade move, but I usually just listen for the 'click' when the point moves.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2018, 10:37:02 pm by dannyboy, Reason: added a bit! »
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Offline Pjlons83

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Re: Kato Turnout without Kato controller?
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2018, 10:40:18 pm »
Thanks Danny. That makes sense!  :idea:
Gold Hill - my rule 1, “just for fun” micro layout;

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Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Kato Turnout without Kato controller?
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2018, 07:54:50 am »
If particularly worried about  possible burn-out, you could fit a CDU to the DC supply before the DPDT switches.   It's not necessary to use a CDU with Kato points as the motors don't need the "thump" of a solenoid, but a secondary advantage of a CDU is once it has discharged it limits the current to prevent burn-out if a switch is stuck or pressed for too long.   If you do try a CDU, you could almost certainly use a smaller capacitor than is typical for driving solenoids.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline Pjlons83

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Re: Kato Turnout without Kato controller?
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2018, 11:31:08 am »
Thanks. One of the links earlier shows a circuit with a push button between the switch and the solenoid, and the switch being a latching type. That way you can position the switch so it shows the direction that the turnout is operated (assuming you remembered to push the button after throwing the switch!). I like the idea of that but after playing around with the cad drawing of the layout I think I’ll be tight for space so controls will need to be basic and compact.

Lots to think about and a few options to play with!
Gold Hill - my rule 1, “just for fun” micro layout;

Clouds Hill - My first layout currently on hold;

Online themadhippy

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Re: Kato Turnout without Kato controller?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2018, 12:04:31 pm »
Quote
One of the links earlier shows a circuit with a push button between the switch and the solenoid, and the switch being a latching type

 I think I’ll be tight for space so controls will need to be basic and compact.

you only need 1 "push button" switch ,so very little extra room required.

« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 12:18:09 pm by themadhippy »

Offline Pjlons83

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Re: Kato Turnout without Kato controller?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2018, 02:23:59 pm »
I’ll only have one point so not an issue but doesn’t having 1 button for multiple points risk damaging the points as you’re driving them stalled each time?

Gold Hill - my rule 1, “just for fun” micro layout;

Clouds Hill - My first layout currently on hold;

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Kato Turnout without Kato controller?
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2018, 02:37:30 pm »
Must admit I don't like the idea of that single push button approach, and I don't see any advantage in doing it that way. Just use biased centre-off DPDTs as has been mentioned. 

They don't have to be large at all.   Here's the panel I built for my lad's HOe layout.  The unbiased on-off switches control the sections, the centre biased on-off-on switches throw the points.



Looks like I need to sort out a couple of bits of the pinstriping!  Also I plan to fit coloured covers on the toggles.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 02:39:08 pm by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

 

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