N scale Kato GS-4

woodone Apr 17, 2010

  1. woodone

    woodone TrainBoard Member

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    Anyone know how to tell a first run from a 2nd run GS-4.
    I think I just got bit by a old 1st run locomotive.
    Installed DCC with sound. A Tsunami.
    Everything check out OK. I read the decoder and version on the programming track and set it up on address 3.
    Ran it back and forth a couple of times was just about to start programming with Decoder- Pro, and the locomotive just quit. Sound is there but NO motor drive.
    Took to the work bench and hooked up a power supply to the motor( After I disconnected the decoder to motor) Motor runs on dc. I then hooked up a test motor to the decoder.
    Sound works but I can't read the decoder any more. I think that I blew the fuse on the inside of the decoder. Will have to get the decoder repaired or replaced.
    The BIG question is how do I tell the 1 run units from a 2nd run, or can you?
    The part number on the Kato box is 126-0301
    I still have to get this locomotive running with sound.
    Thanks
     
  2. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    If it is a 1st run, it will not have the spacers shown on this page.
     
  3. Powersteamguy1790

    Powersteamguy1790 Permanently dispatched

    Try resetting the decoder to its factory default settings on the programming track. See if it runs on your mainline track with the factory default 03 address. Then reprogram the locomotive on your programming track if it responds to the default address.
     
  4. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hey J,

    I'll bet that Jarette at Soundtraxx will tell you that you tripped the motor fuse and decoder will have to go back for repair. Ask me how I know. That happened to me on both my KATO GS-4 and IM AC-12 installs. Still waiting for my AC-12 decoder to come back. BTW, you won't be unhappy with the install when complete.

    Carl Sowell
     
  5. woodone

    woodone TrainBoard Member

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    All first run units that have been updated would. What about the ones that were in the field that never got back to Kato or the ones the owner never updated.
    The second run units don't use shims.
    Kato changed something so they were DCC friendly.
     
  6. woodone

    woodone TrainBoard Member

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    Bob I did try to do a reset- No go- Can't read the decdoer, I have blown the trip fuse, it will have to go back to Soundtraxx.
    I am just trying to find a way to tell the 1st and 2nd units apart.
    I do many DCC installs and I know I will run into this again.
    The problem is I know of no way to telling which is which.
    This last unit I did ran on DC fine. It also did not show a short on a program track. I go throught the program track on every install I do first.
    It was not untill I ran the unit with the decoder installed that the short showed up.
    Then it was too late!
     
  7. woodone

    woodone TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Carl.
    I know that I have tripped the fuse- has happened to me once before.
    I will be on the phone Monday AM to talk to Jarette.
    I just need to find some way to tell these two runs apart.
    I know the sound and motor control will be GOOD. I have one GS-4 number 4453 up and running and it sound real good.
    This unit, number 4449 is for a client of mine.
     
  8. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    If you look on the bottom of the box, the Bar code will tell you.

    If it is 4 949727 517568 then it is a first run unit. If the last set of numbers is higher than 517568, it is a second run unit. Imbedded in to code is the date of manufacture. The above information is from my, known, first run unit.
     
  9. woodone

    woodone TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks David.
    That will come in handy for future installs. Do you have any idea what the date code is?
    Need to put that data is a storage jar somewhere.
    Thanks again.
     
  10. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    No I don't, I just know it is imbedded in the second part of the number along with the part number of the unit. I am not sure which format they are using so it is difficult to tell.

    I know the the second unit 4453 has the fix, and the second set of numbers is differnt by more than just the single digit difference of the part numbers. It has the number of 519128 for a difference of 1560. There are about 100 different bar code algorythms so it would be difficult to decipher with out knowing the elements and the seed value that comprise this number. I know as a manufacturer, we bar code everything with 6 dffferent elelments and it creates similar 6 digit representation.
     
  11. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I will say that I know that I did have the 2nd run, since I have #4453. Yet, I managed to blow one of the Kato/Digitrax decoders by having the frame short (confirmed by continuity meter, showing that shifting the drivers could create a short to frame). When I had the Tsunami put in, the documented frame modification was done, not just the spacers, and have never had a problem since.
     
  12. woodone

    woodone TrainBoard Member

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    Rick.
    I am not sure that I understand you.
    Your 2nd run unit blew a decoder and you had to install a 1st run update to make it work? Is that what you mean?
    I have done several of these GS-4's and never had a problem until this one.
    Most of the units were the locomotive number 4453 which are 2nd run locomotives.
    David's bar code numbering information will sure help with the identification of these locomotives.
    I will sure be looking at that bar code from now on, that is for sure.
     
  13. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes, exactly. It actually blew decoders twice. It is possible something else caused the issue, but once the frame mod was done, never had another issue. I think there must be a tolerance issue which, on occasion can hit, and the frame mod is "fool proof" method of preventing the driver-to-frame short.
     
  14. woodone

    woodone TrainBoard Member

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    Rick
    Did you modify the frame and install the shims both? Where did you get the information for the frame mod?
    BTW I just got off the phone with Kato USA. I had to order a shim kit. So, I asked about the 2nd run GS-4 number 4449 and was told that the bar code was the same as the first run units. It is the same product so the UPC is the same bar code per Kato.
    The difference is in the frame. There is more clearance at the rear driver, both to the rear and vertical areas on the frame. From what I was told you have to look real close to be able to tell the difference. I was hoping David’s (DCESharkman) information about the bar code would help. Guess not. Also was told that some of the War Baby units had 1st run frames, so anyone doing a DCC install on these better check them real close. seems like there are 3 to 7% of these showing up. Somehow a tray of 1st run frames got mixed in with the 2nd run frame for the War Baby's.
    I guess the next unit that I do a install on a unit numbered 4449 I will use a DVM and check the rear driver by moving it to the rear and pressing up to the frame to see if there are any shorts. Be on the watch for the War Baby’s too. From Rick’s information I guess I better check them ALL !
    I am going to test the one that I have in hand before the new decoder gets put in that is for sure.
     
  15. dstuard

    dstuard TrainBoard Member

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    I have a #4453 that has been test run (DC) only. I'd have to check more closely, but as far as I could tell (casual inspection) the shims were not present. That would explain your blown decoder fuses.

    Anybody else missing shims on 4453?

    Gotta get out the geezer goggles I guess.
     
  16. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I was never able to see any shims on my 4453. Since this was my first decoder install, I had Vince, at TopHobby, put in the Tsunami, and make the frame modification. It was my only loco at the time, didn't want to screw it up.

    Glad to see that they are now admitting that there might be some 1st gen frames in the 2nd run. While KatoUSA repaired my first blown M13 for free, it was difficult to convince them, at first, that there was any possibility of a 4453 showing electrical continuity between rear driver and frame.
     
  17. woodone

    woodone TrainBoard Member

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    The 4453 unit is a 2nd run locomotive. The frame is different, so NO shims.
    They are DCC friendly per Kato.
    Does not explain Rick's two decoder failures. As his loco was a 4453 I believe.
    With a Tsunami decoder there is some type of fuse on the PC board of the decoder. When the decoder gets a short (rail to motor) it trips and must be replaced by Soundtraxx.
    .
     
  18. woodone

    woodone TrainBoard Member

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    Rick, the only frame mix up was (suppose to be) on the War Baby units per the information I was given.
    So as far as a 1st run frame making it to a second run unit WHO really knows.
    Kato does not know where the frames went per say.
    They thought they were all used up in the production of the War Baby runs.
    I guess I question this information as did not the 4453 units get produced before the War Baby's were released.?
    ?
     
  19. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yep - I had my unit well before the War Babies were released. I'll never know, for certain, or if it was just a tolerance issue. But, it has now been a full year with the Tsunami, without any other problems. I'm happy.
     

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