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Class 800 Azuma
Well, after my little rant about the frankly ridiculous price rises we are seeing in the UK on OO gauge trains I've decided to dip my toe in the N gauge arena and present you with today's purchase a Kato 5 car version of the new LNER Class 800 Azuma high speed train designed by Hitachi (Japan).  I got this in the form of a 'starter' which gives me a fairly large oval of track, controller, PSU, and all the little accessories you need to get a small set up and running (this is only about £15 more than buying just the train on its own so its a real bargain).

Anyway enough of my rambling here's some shots of the model;

[Image: IMG-20220212-171147.jpg]

[Image: IMG-20220212-171204.jpg]

[Image: IMG-20220212-171213.jpg]

[Image: IMG-20220212-171336.jpg]

[Image: IMG-20220212-171346.jpg]

[Image: original-dd3cf389-ef20-4267-a05a-b4a34f7...171404.jpg]
Happily collecting things all my life... :D
[-] The following 3 users Like Nigels's post:
  • Super, generic_truck_69420, HanoibusGamer
So this is the first 'N' Scale for you Nigel?
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
Not as such I do have some other N gauge items, but I'd never seriously considered going N gauge before as they were always very expensive in comparison to OO gauge and N gauge lacks any depth in British Outline range of models.

However now as N gauge is becoming cheaper than OO gauge (even imported goods such as Kato and Tomix) it is becoming more attractive especially as you can pack so much more layout into the same space as OO gauge (i.e. 160:1 as opposed to 76:1).  Of course it will probably mean I'll be going modern image rather than steam, but you can get some nice modern image such as the shinkansen's and other special trains as you know from the real world PlaRail models.

Incidentally the difference in price between this Kato model of the class 800 and the Hornby model of the exact same train is around 1:2 in favour of Kato and I would argue the detail on the Kato model despite being half the size is possibly better than the more expensive Hornby model and the Kato model comes as effectively a full running set (aka track, controller etc) rather than just the 5 car train.  Makes you think doesn't it...  Hornby Class 800
Happily collecting things all my life... :D
[-] The following 1 user Likes Nigels's post:
  • Super
I almost forgot Super, this train also has directional lights on both the driving cars, 3 white for the front and 2 red for the rear.  It is also as far as I know possible to retro-fit carriage lighting kits to these cars which I probably will be doing :)

[Image: IMG-20220215-171746.jpg]

[Image: IMG-20220215-171815.jpg]

[Image: IMG-20220215-171838.jpg]
Happily collecting things all my life... :D
[-] The following 1 user Likes Nigels's post:
  • Super
Those lights are awesome.
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
[-] The following 1 user Likes Super's post:
  • Nigels
They look awesome! does the lights turn on when you put it on the track with power or only when the train moves, it turns on? my first model train only turns on the lights when it is moving. the faster it is, the brighter it is.  ifound it haed to take photo with the light on. XD
[-] The following 2 users Like PerkyHydrAan's post:
  • Nigels, Super
When putting the cars on a normal track with just a DC supply the lights come on even with the controller turned to zero, I'm using a Hornby set type controller at the moment until I get it all setup on a board and I'm guessing even on the 'off' position there is a small current/voltage passing to the tracks.  As this is a new model the lights are naturally LED's and I suspect they have done what quite a few manufacturers are doing lately with LED's and adding a 'keep alive' capacitor to the circuit board.  This acts like a small battery buffer so if you have intermittent contact with the track the lights don't flicker like the older track driven lights used to.

I'm also looking to add coach lighting packs to the coaches as well, these come in packs of 6 from Kato and consist of an PCB with an LED on which clips into the top inside of the car roof which then butts up against a special plastic piece which runs the length of the roof of the car.  The LED then shines into the plastic which then reflects down into the car so you get an even consistent light that is not overly bright and obviously fake.  They even give you a special tinted lens to go between the LED and plastic piece that will tint the light from pure white (aka fluorescent colour) to a more normal old style warmer light if you are fitting them in old style coaches.  These lighting units are powered from pre-fitted wheel pickups already in place in the cars which come as standard.  I've no tried it yet as I need to get the kit, but it seems fairly straightforwards, the body unclips and lifts off, then you fit the parts into the base of the car and replace the body and job done.  Apparently the only small fiddly bit is the power strips that clip into the pickups from what I've read, but I'm going to give it a go.  These lighting kits work with both DC and DCC, although with the latter they will always be on unless you fit small lighting decoders to turn them on and off.  The downside being you need a decoder for each car so even at the $10 or so price for a simple decoder it adds up. 

On the subject of DCC with this set of 5 LNER cars to make it fully DCC you need a total of 8 DCC decoders, 5 of the car lighting decoders, 2 to control the directional lighting (one per power car) and 1 to control the motor car.  So you end up with plenty of control but at a cost and a lot of effort.  Initially I'm only going to fit the car lighting without decoders and leave it as DC for now.  If I later decide to switch to DCC I will only fit a motor decoder and the two for the directional lighting.
Happily collecting things all my life... :D
[-] The following 1 user Likes Nigels's post:
  • Super
Wow thanks nigels! i got more knowledge on model trains. Also, does it really cost $10? in my country, one coach light can be up to $60 even tho it's like small in N scale.
[-] The following 1 user Likes PerkyHydrAan's post:
  • Super
The $10 price is what I saw posted by a guy in the USA and is to cover the cost of the decoder only.  Here in the UK you can get a pack of 6 sets of car lighting for around £45 if you shop around for them.  That would be enough lights for 6 passenger cars and these will work without the decoder, the only issue is you don't get the option to turn the lights off remotely like you would if you have decoders, but as you would need 6 decoders as well its just not justifiable in my opinion.  Besides if the real world trains are the same in other countries as here in the UK they always have the internal lights on anyway regardless of whether it is day or night outside mainly because they have tinted windows these days.  So having them on permanently isn't an issue in my view.  So assuming I only add lights if I can do 6 for £45 that would work out to around $60 I think at the current exchange rate, so yes $10 a car for lighting :)

If you are prepared to buy them from Japan you can actually get them even cheaper, the only downside is shipping and VAT when they land here which will make them at least as expensive as the locally sourced ones.
Happily collecting things all my life... :D
[-] The following 1 user Likes Nigels's post:
  • Super
(02-17-2022, 12:09 PM)PerkyHydrAan Wrote: Wow thanks nigels! i got more knowledge on model trains. Also, does it really cost $10? in my country, one coach light can be up to $60 even tho it's like small in N scale.

I thought this may interest you, a video showing the fitting of DCC decoders and lighting units in this model of train;

Kato Azuma fittinng of decoders & lights
Happily collecting things all my life... :D

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