Kato Unitrack vs Bachmann EZ track (N scale)

Moderators: eightyeightfan1, Catt

Kato Unitrack vs Bachmann EZ track (N scale)

Postby Neon Man » Jan 24th, '10, 09:07

Can I please ask some questions regarding these two brands? :worship:


(I tried looking up the info on their websites and using the "search" feature here first, but couldn't find what I wanted. Perhaps I didn't phrase my searching correctly.)


Anyway, I am under the impression that the Kato Unitrack is the preferred choice over the EZ track product. As I am still armchairing it, I would like to decide on one brand or the other before I start buying anything! . . . What do YOU guys think?


Since any layout I will build will have to be quite small, I will not need any remote turnouts or crossovers and would prefer to operate them manually to minimize wiring, etc. But both the Unitrack and the EZ track turnouts and crossovers seem to be remote only. (I know that Atlas and Peco offer manual turnouts, but I wanted to go with a built-in roadbed product rather than the "flex track" stuff) . . . Is it possible to manually move a remote turnout?


Finally, If I am forced to use the remote (wired) crossover, would I need a separate power pack?



Thanks very much, guys! :cheers: I would greatly appreciate your opinions and suggestions!



All best,
Joe
"I've got my facts pretty clear . . . all I want now is to know what they all mean."
Neon Man
Switchman
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Jan 16th, '10, 22:14
Location: Jackson, NJ

Re: Kato Unitrack vs Bachmann EZ track (N scale)

Postby poliss » Jan 24th, '10, 10:12

Kato Unitrack looks better. See a side by side comparison here. http://z.about.com/d/modeltrains/1/0/o/ ... grated.jpg It's also easier to connect to standard track if you wish too. With Unitrack you just have to pull the Unijoiner out, but with the Atlas track you would need to cut the plastic connector off if you still wanted to use the built in trackbed. Although the Unitrack comes with built in point motors it also has a switch for manual operation. If you wanted to operate them electrically you would need a Kato point/turnout switch as they use a 12v DC system. You can make your own switches for them if you don't mind soldering. Kato have now introduced 'superelevated' curved sections. See http://quinntopia.blogspot.com/2009/12/ ... track.html
Also worth considering are Tomix and Fleischmann track. See photos of all three types here. http://quinntopia.blogspot.com/2009/09/ ... adbed.html
User avatar
poliss
Conductor
 
Posts: 103
Images: 2
Joined: Jul 28th, '09, 12:54

Re: Kato Unitrack vs Bachmann EZ track (N scale)

Postby Steamtrains » Jan 24th, '10, 11:35

Joe....Welcome to The Gauge... :welcome:
You don't say what you'll be using for track power, but if you're using DC, most DC power packs have a fixed 12v. output as well as the variable DC, so you wouldn't need another pack.
Good luck on your new undertaking... :tada:
Gus (LC&P).
User avatar
Steamtrains
Engineer
 
Posts: 2621
Joined: Dec 15th, '08, 21:44
Location: Brownsville, TX

Re: Kato Unitrack vs Bachmann EZ track (N scale)

Postby Brakie » Jan 24th, '10, 12:55

Joe,Kato Unitrack is superior to Bachman's E-Z Track there is no doubt about that..

The Unitrack has far more pieces then the EZ track but,the is a problem with the #4 Untitrack switch and as you can see in the photo link the ties is spaced to far apart.

Here's the fix for the #4 switch as presented by John Sing..

http://community.webshots.com/album/63811183jlGNcs


Now then,I use Unitrack and found it to be bullet proof and the #6 switch works smooth.
Larry
Engineman
SSRy
Brakie
Moderator
 
Posts: 3159
Images: 0
Joined: Dec 3rd, '08, 01:10

Re: Kato Unitrack vs Bachmann EZ track (N scale)

Postby Neon Man » Jan 25th, '10, 18:16

Thanks to poliss, Steamtrains, and Brakie for your replies! :cheers:

Okay, you guys have reinforced my decision to go with the Kato Unitrack :tada:


And poliss, it great to know that I could operate the Kato turnout manually! Brakie, I have also read of other people being unhappy with Kato's #4 turnout . . . . I will plan to use #6's no matter what!

Steamtrains, I still haven't decided to go with DCC or the "regular" DC (but probably will) and thanks . . . I do vaguely remember there are sets of terminals for "trains" and "accessories" on the power pack. Probably will go with Kato's power pack then.


Thanks again for your help!

All best,
Joe
"I've got my facts pretty clear . . . all I want now is to know what they all mean."
Neon Man
Switchman
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Jan 16th, '10, 22:14
Location: Jackson, NJ

Re: Kato Unitrack vs Bachmann EZ track (N scale)

Postby poliss » Jan 25th, '10, 22:08

If you decide you want to operate your points remotely I've just found (tonight) a circuit diagram that shows you how to make the switches yourself without having to buy the expensive Kato ones. http://modratec.com/mud_points.php
User avatar
poliss
Conductor
 
Posts: 103
Images: 2
Joined: Jul 28th, '09, 12:54

Re: Kato Unitrack vs Bachmann EZ track (N scale)

Postby Brakie » Jan 26th, '10, 12:30

poliss wrote:If you decide you want to operate your points remotely I've just found (tonight) a circuit diagram that shows you how to make the switches yourself without having to buy the expensive Kato ones. http://modratec.com/mud_points.php



While that is a good idea and all I can't understand why anybody would do all that wiring since Kato uses a very simple bullet proof plug and play system.

I don't think you would actually save any money after acquiring the needed items.

There are ways to beat the high cost of Unitrack..I started with the M2 set which is a basic loop with passing siding I then added 3 V3 yard switching sets which contain 3 #6 switches,switch controllers and various pieces of track.I bought these at discount and over 4 months.I bought extra track packages at discount as well.
------------------------------

Joe,I also decided to use the #6 switch since its no longer then a piece of 9 3/4" straight track..
Larry
Engineman
SSRy
Brakie
Moderator
 
Posts: 3159
Images: 0
Joined: Dec 3rd, '08, 01:10

Re: Kato Unitrack vs Bachmann EZ track (N scale)

Postby poliss » Jan 27th, '10, 13:06

The advantage is that you can use switches that can be placed on a mimic panel. If you already have the conventional switches then the total cost of the diodes required is 32 pence or 51 cents. Note that the diodes are the only extras required for operating Kato point motors.
User avatar
poliss
Conductor
 
Posts: 103
Images: 2
Joined: Jul 28th, '09, 12:54

Re: Kato Unitrack vs Bachmann EZ track (N scale)

Postby Brakie » Jan 27th, '10, 16:17

poliss wrote:The advantage is that you can use switches that can be placed on a mimic panel. If you already have the conventional switches then the total cost of the diodes required is 32 pence or 51 cents. Note that the diodes are the only extras required for operating Kato point motors.



Well to each his own but,all that wiring isn't necessary with the Kato Unitrack system..That's the beauty of it-no complicated wiring.


IMHO that's another excellent case of complicating the simple. :wall1:
Larry
Engineman
SSRy
Brakie
Moderator
 
Posts: 3159
Images: 0
Joined: Dec 3rd, '08, 01:10

Re: Kato Unitrack vs Bachmann EZ track (N scale)

Postby Neon Man » Jan 27th, '10, 18:04

Well yes, I'm definitely trying to keep things simple! . . . . I'd rather operate the turnouts by hand, but I can appreciate the fact that Kato is "plug and play" so to speak. And I will be using #6 turnouts as I go along.

I think I'll just get a basic oval starter set, set it up on my 2' x 4' coffee table, get a feel for it (I've never had N scale before), and go on from there!


Thats what it's all about, right guys?? :lol:


Thanks again and all best,
Joe
"I've got my facts pretty clear . . . all I want now is to know what they all mean."
Neon Man
Switchman
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Jan 16th, '10, 22:14
Location: Jackson, NJ

Re: Kato Unitrack vs Bachmann EZ track (N scale)

Postby MountainMan » Jan 27th, '10, 19:24

That is, in fact, "what it's all about". Best of luck and many hours of enjoyment to you. :tada:
User avatar
MountainMan
Engineer
 
Posts: 1840
Joined: Dec 15th, '08, 01:15
Location: Rockvale, Colorado

Re: Kato Unitrack vs Bachmann EZ track (N scale)

Postby Brakie » Jan 27th, '10, 20:23

Neon Man wrote:Well yes, I'm definitely trying to keep things simple! . . . . I'd rather operate the turnouts by hand, but I can appreciate the fact that Kato is "plug and play" so to speak. And I will be using #6 turnouts as I go along.

I think I'll just get a basic oval starter set, set it up on my 2' x 4' coffee table, get a feel for it (I've never had N scale before), and go on from there!


Thats what it's all about, right guys?? :lol:


Thanks again and all best,
Joe


Joe,Both Master sets comes with 12 3/8" radius curves..These will not fit on a 2'x4' without overhang. :wall1:

Yup,I found out the hard way :oops: and had to order 9 3/4" radius since I wasn't to sure the 11" would fit.

Go with at least a 30" width..

Or order 9 3/4" curves"(equals 18" curves in HO) .. :shoot:
Larry
Engineman
SSRy
Brakie
Moderator
 
Posts: 3159
Images: 0
Joined: Dec 3rd, '08, 01:10

Re: Kato Unitrack vs Bachmann EZ track (N scale)

Postby Neon Man » Jan 29th, '10, 15:55

Neon Man wrote:I think I'll just get a basic oval starter set, set it up on my 2' x 4' coffee table, get a feel for it (I've never had N scale before), and go on from there! Thats what it's all about, right guys?? :lol:




Okay so I broke down, went out and bought the Bachmann "Yard Master" train set today. :shocked:


Now (*sigh*) I finally have firsthand experience with N scale!

And yes, I am proving all you guys right! :tada:


What I have learned so far:

1) N scale is really hard to see . . . :roll:
2) the Bachmann EZ track is really hard to see . . . . :roll:
3) Once you finally get the track hooked up, it's really important to make sure that there are NO misaligned joints . . . and it's really hard to see . . . and feel .. . . :nope:
4) Although the Bachmann product is about the cheapest you can get, it works pretty WELL after you break it in for a few hours, slowly varying the speeds that you run it, etc. :tada:

5) the track is really hard to see

6) the Rapido couplers that my train set came with are OK for what I can see

7) I know you guys are getting my point.

8) Now I will thoroughly appreciate a good quality loco that can run at really slow (prototypical) speeds, but I really like my little Bachmann 0-6-0 switcher! :goldth:

9) I am also now really HOOKED on this hobby, and that's what's really important!



All best, and thanks, :)
Joe
"I've got my facts pretty clear . . . all I want now is to know what they all mean."
Neon Man
Switchman
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Jan 16th, '10, 22:14
Location: Jackson, NJ

Re: Kato Unitrack vs Bachmann EZ track (N scale)

Postby Neon Man » Jan 30th, '10, 09:51

[quote="Brakie
Joe,Both Master sets comes with 12 3/8" radius curves..These will not fit on a 2'x4' without overhang. :wall1:

Yup,I found out the hard way :oops: and had to order 9 3/4" radius since I wasn't to sure the 11" would fit.

Go with at least a 30" width..

Or order 9 3/4" curves"(equals 18" curves in HO) .. :shoot:[/quote]


:yup:


Yes indeed, Brakie! That's one reason I got the cheapo Bachmann set for "practice". It fits exactly on my table since it's 11.5 inch radius. Ordinarily, you would never have a train running right along the very edge of a table, but since I live alone there is no danger of anyone bumping into it.

After playing around with my set all last night, I'm coming to realize that N scale would not be a good choice for a switching setup for me. But . . . I really like N scale much better than HO for continuous running!! :tada: That's why I don't mind the old style rapido couplers. But I really am looking forward to getting a better quality set later one, especially a good (DCC ready) loco with lighting that will "crawl" at prototype speeds, etc.

All things considered though (for a cheapo starter set), my "Yard Boss" setup isn't too bad! The rolling stock is crisply painted and all lettering etc. is very sharp and clear. And even though the loco isn't really well detailed, it still is pretty good for a steam loco. *lol* I am also noticing that it seems to run better and better the longer I keep it going.

Could anyone offer me advice as to which would be the largest locos I could run with 11.5" radius? I was hoping to get a 2-8-2 Mikado or a 4-6-4 Hudson someday.

Thanks again guys! :cheers:



All best, and having fun,
Joe
"I've got my facts pretty clear . . . all I want now is to know what they all mean."
Neon Man
Switchman
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Jan 16th, '10, 22:14
Location: Jackson, NJ

Re: Kato Unitrack vs Bachmann EZ track (N scale)

Postby Brakie » Jan 30th, '10, 13:06

Joe wrote:After playing around with my set all last night, I'm coming to realize that N scale would not be a good choice for a switching setup for me.
-----------------------
Joe,Actually I have built switching layouts in N scale..I used MT couplers and magnets for uncoupling..I even did switching back in the 80s when I used the Rapido coupler..


As far as the Kato 2-8-2 that should run on 11 1/2" curves with no problem.The 4-6-4 will to.

BTW..Those are very smooth running locomotives.


BTW..The wee scale has a tenancy to become larger as you gain experience and the Horribly Oversize scale will look big and bulky.
Larry
Engineman
SSRy
Brakie
Moderator
 
Posts: 3159
Images: 0
Joined: Dec 3rd, '08, 01:10

Next

Return to N/Z and Smaller Modeling

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest