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Thread: Kato LED Light System Installation

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    Default Kato LED Light System Installation

    I bought LED lighting kits for my Broadway limited passenger cars. Here are some pics and videos of the installation and finished night time run. The kits for the 13 cars cost me $ 90.00.
    1) the lighting kits and Passenger car
    2)Passenger car
    3) disassembled passenger car
    4) Led light not assembled
    5) LED light assembled
    6) lighting power stips
    7) power strips installed
    8) LED light installed
    9) Foil stip installed in the inside roof of the passenger car
    10) Lighting stip installed on top of the foil
    11) Passenger car reassembled
    12) Passenger car lite on the track
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS-bODk2xLg
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yANWoujVVs

    Sparky(Jeff)

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    More pics of the installation


    Sparky(Jeff)

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    Sweet, I plan on lighting mine at some point, have to get an E8 to haul them first though, they're still being dragged around by my Challenger!
    Last edited by Davejb; 10th Apr 2010 at 09:43 AM.

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    Very nice Jeff. looks great
    Brian
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    DO you know if this is similar to the lights that go into the California Zephyr cars? THey look great! Would not mind putting lighting in those once they arrive.

    ~Sean

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    All of the Kato coaches take the same light or LED kit. I have installed the same LED kit into a UP Steamliner train as well as a Amtrak Superliner train. The dome car take two of them, and the dome dosen't light up. Don't waste your time and money on the light kit. Spend the extra amount and get the LED kit.
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    For DCC folks: The FR11 and FL12 drop-in decoders for the Kato lighting kits give the ability to toggle the lights, as well as transponding.

    http://www.katousa.com/N/accessories.html

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    All there lighting kits fit threr passenger cars. I thought about the DCC for the lighting kits, it draws away from your DCC system. It doesn't bother me to have the cars lite up all the time. I bought the kits from MB Kliens.They also sell single lighting kits. I was told to stay away from the incandesent lighting kits, they have been know to melt the cars.
    http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/KATO_.../kat-11210.htm


    Sparky(Jeff)

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    Did you try out the amber filter that comes with them? I find LED's are too white for some applications

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davejb View Post
    Did you try out the amber filter that comes with them? I find LED's are too white for some applications

    No i didn't, they are easy to install, i do agree that the white light doesn't fit all the cars. It is just a clip that connects on to the end of the lighting part.


    Sparky(Jeff)

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    Default kato lighting kits

    Jeff, I bought KATO lighting kits for my Silver Streak Zephyr passenger cars, but I'll be darned if i can figure out how they install. All of the instructions are in Chinese...(maybe Japanes)...and unfortunately I missed that class....lol. Anyway, I need some serious help installing my kits. The number on the KATO kits is 11-212. The information on the KATOUSA webpage says they fit all KATO passenger cars. Did I buy the wrong kit?

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    To light Kato carriages, especially double deckers, use the universal LEDs from Evans designs. Works out cheaper, and the lighting has less flickering. I haven't hard wired mine yet, simply wrapped the end of the led wire around the long copper strips. Will at some stage in the future reduce the length of the the wires and make the installation neater.

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    Default Installed Kato's Led Lighting to six El Capitan Hi-Level cars.

    Wow! It was really really challenging trying to figure out how to install Kato's 212 kit into the El Capitan Hi-Level cars. The light bar wouldn't snap in, the car's windows got loose and fell out, and the power clips install didn't look anything like how to do it in the instructions and you-tube videos. But I finally figured it out and now have 6 cars with lights. I need to buy another 6 light kit for the remaining cars. Whew. I tried fitting the amber bar but I have too fat fingers and poor eyesight that it kept falling out. I think I'm going to need magnifier glasses.

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    TBH, I'm not convinced the amber bar really changes anything. YMMV, of course, but I tried my Excursion Train both with and without the amber bar and hardly saw any difference.

    Heiko

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    The amber filter is for the heavyweight cars.
    They were lit by incandescent bulbs.

    The stainless and slick lightweight cars use fluorescent lamps. They do not get the filter. The earliest ones should even have a slight greenish cast. But the blue/white cast is fine.
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    I just got the LED lights on Ebay for a 15 car Broadway limited consist, and for the 16 cars in the Cali Zephyr set... I went to Utube University, and found them super easy to install. The total cost was like 27 bucks for every 6 cars....very reasonable I think.
    Awesome upgrade

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    Though not often modeled the domes and some sleepers used blue lights. In the domes it allowed the passengers to see the outside moonlit world clearly. In the sleepers it was just easier on the sleeping passengers. I would suspect that chair cars had it too. Tamiya makes transparent paints that work great for tinting LEDs, lenses and windows.I used the incandescent light bar long before the LED version came out. The only problem I had was a caboose that sat an a siding with the light glowing for six or seven hours. So, I just make sure to keep the cars moving, most of the time. If the cars are to sit, cut the power to that track.
    Last edited by ChicagoNW; 28th Aug 2016 at 09:09 PM.
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    I have a set of Kato Superliners that I was going to light using the Kato Lighting Kits, but now am not so sure about that. Are people suggesting to use "normal LED's" rather than the Kato Lighting Kit? If so, I assume that I would also need to replace the trucks with (at least) one powered truck.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"

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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat457 View Post
    If so, I assume that I would also need to replace the trucks with (at least) one powered truck.
    Most (if not all) Kato passenger cars come with pickups already installed on the trucks. All you have to do is connect then to your lights.

    Andrew

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    Andrew,

    Thanks, I really hadn't looked as the idea of lighting them is just a thought and for something down the road.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"

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