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Author Topic: Kato turnout control project  (Read 220 times)

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Offline Stuart B

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Kato turnout control project
« on: October 14, 2019, 04:59:44 PM »
I've seen the video and understand the wiring concept for DPDT switches on a board for controlling Kato turnouts (rather than have a long line of switches on the end of a redundant controller) but I have to questions.

1.  What's the best wire guage to order for x soldering and power feed?
2. Can folk suggest a suitable power supply transformer with simple +/- terminals

Thanks.

Offline Nigel Cliffe

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Re: Kato turnout control project
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2019, 06:13:29 PM »
I've seen the video and understand the wiring concept for DPDT switches on a board for controlling Kato turnouts (rather than have a long line of switches on the end of a redundant controller) but I have to questions.

1.  What's the best wire guage to order for x soldering and power feed?
2. Can folk suggest a suitable power supply transformer with simple +/- terminals


I doubt the wire gauge matters much, unless your wire runs are very long.  16/0.2 would be where I'd start.

Power supply.   Assuming you're using the DPDT switches to reverse the polarity, then you need a 12v DC supply.  Simplest way is to buy a power supply "brick" with a cylindrical connector, plus a matching socket.  Some PSU's will come with a socket in the box.   I'd suggest 12v DC, and 2A or higher.   Numerous sources online for such things, either electronics suppliers or some DCC specialists will stock them to power devices.

I'm assuming you know the Kato motors need just a short pulse, so you need centre-biased switches (ie. they return to "no contact" in the middle setting after use).   Or, you need additional electronics to cause a short pulse to be sent and then switched off.   



Online ntpntpntp

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Re: Kato turnout control project
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2019, 06:17:42 PM »
Wire gauge depends on the current you need to carry and how long the wiring is - longer lengths means more resistance and voltage drop over that length.

The good thing is I don't believe Kato turnout motors needs as much current as a more traditional solenoid. You'd probably get by with 7/.02 wiring, but to be honest I'd use 16/.02 to allow some headroom.  If you look at the Kato point wires they seem to be thicker than 7/.02

Here we have (from left to right): Kato, 7/.02, 16/.02, 24/.02 wire




The Kato point system requires 12V DC, so the obvious choice is a redundant train controller :-)  Otherwise there are hundreds of 12V DC power supplies out there on ebay etc. Most come with a concentric plug to suit the common sockets you find on equipment, but you can always cut the plug off and fit a two-way choc-block connector if you need screw terminals?

Do you prefer the idea of momentary DPDT toggle switches to the Kato levers then? The levers seem quite fun :-)  (I have some for my test track, though I don't use the Kato system on my layouts).   They don't *have* to be directly attached to a Kato controller, there is a little ac/dc converter block which plugs on the end of the string of levers and can takes power from any typical 12-15V ac auxiliary outlet from a model railway power pack.

[edit] Ah, Nigel posted as I was writing. Looks like we've said mostly the same thing :-)
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 06:19:24 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline Stuart B

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Re: Kato turnout control project
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2019, 06:37:44 PM »
Thanks for the replies, the main reason to go to a swithchboard setup is that the more complex my layout gets (up to 5 turnouts powered in and one waiting for more track, the more chance of confusion and derailment.  I want a graphic of the layout with the switches at the corresponding point.  I'll start looking round for components, they don't seem expensive so I've a bit of leeway if it all goes pear shaped.

Online ntpntpntp

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Re: Kato turnout control project
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2019, 06:56:48 PM »
@Stuart B   I must admit I do prefer a mimic diagram for my control panel.   

In the past I've used push-buttons for point control (traditional 3-wire solenoids rather than the Kato system), but for my latest loco depot project I've used momentary SPDTs.

(This was before i added coloured covers to the toggles to distinguish points from sections from signals  :D )

« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 06:58:17 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

 

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