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Kato N Gauge Hitachi 800 with MS560

Kato N Gauge Class 800 with slide-in MS560 Sound Decoder

Kit: MS560; SugarCube6; STACO3A

Kato's Class 800 has a special design for DCC conversion - track contact strips are sprung loaded up against the motor contacts where a specially designed decoder can simply slide between - track contacts on the bottom of the decoder, and motor contacts on the top. Other pads are provided on the decoder for speaker connection and stay-alive. In theory, this should make DCC sound installation very simple...

This is Zimo's MS560 sound decoder, with its' special design for these types of Kato models.

Example 1

The undertray is removed and we can see the pickup strips going from one end of the model to the other.

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We need to add wires from the decoder for our speaker, - we use a pair of purple wires for this.

Example 1

We'll also prepare the decoder for a stay-alive, using blue for common positive, and grey for ground - our intention is to fit a STACO3A kit.

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Some care is required to slide the MS560 between the pick-up strips and the motor contact clips. In fact, we had to adjust the shape of the motor control strips a few times before we got a good connection, but once working, was quite reliable.

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The undertray can be refitted, and the wires for speaker and stay-alive fit into groves up into the seating area.

Example 1

We actually soldered some wires onto the pick-up strips in order to test the installation before putting the tray back on - this was safer than putting it on the track where everything woud be close to the live rails.

Example 1

Some minor modification is required to fit the SugarCube6 speaker - a MicroCube would have gone in no problem, but wouldn't have been very loud, so this is definitely worth a little modification.

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The stay-alive wires are fed to the other end, and we attach our STACO3A stay-alive kit. This is a small PCB for managing the charging, and a pair of mini GoldCaps connected in series. Carefully positions and secured with double-sided tape, and Kapton tape around the GoldCaps, this fits nicely at the other end.

Example 1 Example 1

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This install is fairly straight-forward - the slide-in sound decoder is a neat idea, though you certainly need to take care to get everything lined up well. The STACO3A is absolutely superb, giving a few seconds of backup time, so the model runs flawlessly, and the SugarCube6 gives plenty of volume too.

Disclaimer

Please note that these guides are provided as useful resources for you, as-is. YouChoos cannot be held responsible for errors in the information, or for any damage caused to your models or equipment if you choose to follow any of the steps detailed here.

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