need info on kato santa fe 4-8-4 with 3762 on tender

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gandyman

New Member
hi-i'm new to n scale and recently acquired the above mentioned locomotive-it apparently is a dcc unit-barely familiar with dcc but based on what i've read that is correct. it supposedly has a bad wire from decoder to brush motors?-i only have dc controlled units presently-and am looking to find out what the value of this loco may be whether running or in need of repair-and is it possible( if i were to repair it)could i use it on dc only-does this setup have sound etc.-thank you all for looking and any info u have is greatly appreciated!
 

TrinityJayOne

N gauge fan
Decoders generally have a "DC mode" you can enable. When turned on, if the decoder detects a DC signal it will make the loco behave exactly like a DC one would and you'd be able to use it on your layout. The sounds and lights will usually still work, just at a basic level with no control (you'll probably get steam chuffs but you won't be able to activate whistles, cylinder cocks etc). This is often disabled by default though in order to avoid a Crazy Eights should a DCC train accidentally enter a DC-powered block of track, so you may need a DCC setup to change this setting. Infact if you're going to be fiddling with the wiring I would HIGHLY SUGGEST you test it on a DCC programming track first, because if something isn't done right a jolt of DC may end up frying it.
 
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bnsf971

Gomez Addams
Staff member
hi-i'm new to n scale and recently acquired the above mentioned locomotive-it apparently is a dcc unit-barely familiar with dcc but based on what i've read that is correct. it supposedly has a bad wire from decoder to brush motors?-i only have dc controlled units presently-and am looking to find out what the value of this loco may be whether running or in need of repair-and is it possible( if i were to repair it)could i use it on dc only-does this setup have sound etc.-thank you all for looking and any info u have is greatly appreciated!
AFAIK, Kato itself has never produced an American prototype 4-8-4 other than the SP GS4. So, trying to tell you what it's worth without even having pictures would be impossible at best. Do you have a way to take pictures of this engine, and post them here?
 
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gandyman

New Member
well that explains it--yes it does appear to be the kato SP GS4--after looking closer i noticed white stars in center hub of all 8 wheels -and using a photo online it totally matches up---apparently it was attempted to be worked on and "hidden" covering the loco and tender with what may be bachmann body--only good thing is i knew b4 buying the set that it wasnt functioning-whew--so now i have a kato loco with the dcc installed? i placed it on dc track and did get sound and lights but no engine power-is this worth anything to anyone or am i just gonna have a display?
 

TrinityJayOne

N gauge fan
Ahh, the GS4. I had one, returned it though because of very average performance. Make sure you give it a bit of juice before deciding it doesn't work, because only one axle is actually powered and the rest are driven by the rods. If it hasn't been taken care of then it'll be very stiff.

As for the wiring, I'd be careful. The wiring in mine was quite complex and the engine is an absolute mongrel to disassemble compared to a simple split-shell diesel. I would lift off the tender and check the decoder there. If it's a Digitrax with a fat little round speaker then you might just have one of the "Kobo Custom" installs - basically GS4s that Kato USA would send to Japan for a sound installation. They have two separate decoders, the Digitrax sound one in the tender and a motor-only decoder in the engine itself.

As for value, it's probably not worth much unfortunately. Granted Kato don't do a Kobo Custom of this anymore, but the install is not ideal and wouldn't be hard to improve upon. There's also the fact that Kato still sell these brand new. If it's the all black "Wartime" paint one then you might get a better price as they don't make that model any more.

126-0303.jpg
 

bnsf971

Gomez Addams
Staff member
If it is the GS4, be aware they had an issue with the rear drivers touching something they weren't supposed to, and would fry the motor functions of the decoder. There is a fix for this, I think it's tape or something to insulate the frame/motor. This was on the first run of them.
 




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