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Author Topic: Kato Unitrack wire colour  (Read 830 times)

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Offline Lightningf6

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Kato Unitrack wire colour
« on: January 14, 2020, 12:47:21 PM »
Hi all,

Kato cables come in several varieties: blue/white, red/white, black/white and possibly some other combinations. Can anyone point me towards documentation which explains the Kato wiring system, e.g. which is live and which is ground, why are some plugs green, etc?

Many thanks.

Online dannyboy

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Re: Kato Unitrack wire colour
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 02:19:18 PM »
Whilst not fully answering your question, the blue/white are provided with track power pieces and red/white are provided with the points. Not sure if I have seen a black/white combination.   :hmmm: . I will have a look at my layout later, if nobody comes up with a fuller answer and see what I can find out.

Addit: I have just realised, the Kato points have red/black, not red/white, wiring. As regards which is ground, it does not matter which colour you use , as long as you use the same colour throughout.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 02:28:01 PM by dannyboy, Reason: added a bit »
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Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Kato Unitrack wire colour
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2020, 02:54:57 PM »
To be honest I'm not sure there is a "Live" and "ground" as such?   The track wiring is reversible DC so what you need to worry about is that all the track in a given circuit is connected with the same polarity - eg. left rail blue, right rail white (or whatever the convention is, I don't actually know).  If you're using the Kato cables and connectors and you align the power feed tracks the same way round then it should all work as-is.

Point motor wiring also carries reversible DC, so again if you're using the Kato cables and point levers then everything will just work.  The point lever's two positions correspond to Open (the curved route) and Closed (straight route) rather than Left or Right.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline weave

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Re: Kato Unitrack wire colour
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2020, 03:30:42 PM »
Hi,

As said blue/white for the track and red/black for the points although I think there is no difference in the wires as such, they are just colour coded so you know which is which.

The red/white wire with the green plugs is an AC connector which I think is for things like signals, turntables or other powered accessories. I think.

Hope helps.

Cheers weave  :beers:


Offline NeMo

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Re: Kato Unitrack wire colour
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2020, 04:48:03 PM »
As said blue/white for the track and red/black for the points although I think there is no difference in the wires as such, they are just colour coded so you know which is which.
Correct. I have used red/black for the inner loop and blue/white for the outer loop, for example.

@Lightningf6, you may be overthinking this! Kato Unitrack is plug-and-play, so if you're worrying about which is the ground wire or whatever -- you're doing it wrong!  ;)

Cheers, NeMo
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Offline Gizzy

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Re: Kato Unitrack wire colour
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 05:56:52 PM »
I agree with what has been said already.

Blue/white is power and black/red for points.

I have some Kato signals and the level crossing on my layout that I'm currently building, but these wires are much thinner than the power and point ones and have a separate power supply....
Gizzy

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Offline Lawrence

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Re: Kato Unitrack wire colour
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2020, 07:07:01 PM »
@Lightningf6 if @railsquid doesn't come up with a comprehensive answer, pop over to https://jnsforum.com/community/ and ask there, it's not 100% n gauge but it is (pretty much) 100% Japanese modelling

Offline railsquid

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Re: Kato Unitrack wire colour
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2020, 10:49:55 PM »
I can't add anything to what's already been said, mainly because I don't use Unitrack any more.
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Online Invicta Alec

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Re: Kato Unitrack wire colour
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2020, 11:03:21 PM »
I can't add anything to what's already been said, mainly because I don't use Unitrack any more.

Why not Railsquid?

Can't see me ever moving away from Unitrack.

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Offline railsquid

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Re: Kato Unitrack wire colour
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2020, 12:01:49 AM »
I can't add anything to what's already been said, mainly because I don't use Unitrack any more.

Why not Railsquid?

Can't see me ever moving away from Unitrack.

Because I've transitioned to Tomix Finetrack, which is similar in principle but provides a much wider range of trackwork, including double-slips and curved points. I do have my original Unitrack, some of which will get used in a storage yard when I get that far.
Takahachikawa - Japanese and other trains

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Online Invicta Alec

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Re: Kato Unitrack wire colour
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2020, 12:15:26 PM »
I can't add anything to what's already been said, mainly because I don't use Unitrack any more.

Why not Railsquid?

Can't see me ever moving away from Unitrack.

Because I've transitioned to Tomix Finetrack, which is similar in principle but provides a much wider range of trackwork....................

Railsquid, thank you. I've heard the same complaint from others about the somewhat restricted Kato range.
Tomix would appear to give more options but since there doesn't appear to be a decent UK stockist I guess I'll stay with Kato. It is after all, very reliable track.

Alec.
You can't beat a nice drop of Southern.




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Offline Gizzy

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Re: Kato Unitrack wire colour
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2020, 02:19:15 PM »
As Alex mentions, Tomix track is often difficult to find here in the UK. However Gaugemaster seems to stock it these days.

I've managed to obtain some of their single tram track from Plus Daughters in Basildon, but I'm happy with the Kato Unitrack I'm using, although it would be nice if they produced double/single slips and curved points.

It's a shame that both Japanese makes are quite difficult to use together, unlike track produced by UK firms such as Hornby and Peco, but it isn't impossible as I've found out....
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 03:21:42 PM by Gizzy »
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Offline tunneroner61

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Re: Kato Unitrack wire colour
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2020, 02:59:23 PM »
Just had a peek at the Gaugemaster site. No hint of Tomix track, but a section for Tomytec. Are they the same with a different brand name? Nowhere near the range as suggested in earlier posts.

Norman

Offline Gizzy

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Re: Kato Unitrack wire colour
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2020, 03:22:45 PM »
Just had a peek at the Gaugemaster site. No hint of Tomix track, but a section for Tomytec. Are they the same with a different brand name? Nowhere near the range as suggested in earlier posts.

Norman

I believe it is the same, but perhaps Railsquid can confirm if that's so....
Gizzy

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Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Kato Unitrack wire colour
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2020, 04:14:11 PM »
Yes Tomytec and Tomix are brands within the Tomy group.


I believe the Kato adapter track 20-045 is actually intended for joining Tomix and Kato track together. It has a recess to take the Tomix joiner thingy  :)








« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 04:39:16 PM by ntpntpntp »
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

 

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