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Kato Point Power Routing

Image of CRAIG WEATHERLEY. CRAIG WEATHERLEY looks at how to switch the polarity of Kato N Scale UNITRACK points.


The innovative Kato UNITRACK system can simply be clipped together with extreme ease, and either secured down or taken up again according to circumstance. Their points are another brilliant piece of engineering; they have motors already built in and have the choice of live and insulated in one point. I sometimes get asked how to change over the frog polarity from insulted to live on Kato UNITRACK points, something that has baffled even the most experienced modeller. Nearly all N gauge points made by Kato have this special ability; I have listed them below:

  • K20-220 Left Hand Electric Point Radius 481mm 15 Deg.
  • K20-221 Right Hand Electric Point Radius 481mm 15 Deg.
  • K20-222 Electric Y Turnout No.2 (EP481-15Y)
  • K20-240 Compact Left Hand Electric Turnout R150mm 45 Degree
  • K20-241 Compact Right Hand Electric Turnout R150mm 45 Degree

With this power routing, Kato have produced one point which will suit both DCC and DC modellers. If you are a DC modeller then don’t be put off, you can still have the power routing set to live as well to make running of small 0-6-0 locos run as just as good as a 4-6-0 locos over the points.

How to set to Live Frog

Simply move all three screws into their other setting. ‘Curved Side’ screw moves to POWER ROUTING, ‘Straight Side’ screw moves to POWER ROUTING and ‘Frog Power’ screw moves to OFF.

Kato Point 03.

Kato Point 01.

Kato Point 02.

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How to set to Insulated Frog

The point is already factory set to NON-POWER ROUTING however if you have already moved the screws then simply follow these steps to get the polarity back to NON-POWER ROUTING. If you have all you do is move ‘Curved Side’ screw to NON-POWER ROUTING, ‘Straight Side’ screw to NON-POWER ROUTING and ‘Frog Power’ screw to ON.

Kato Point 06.

Kato Point 04.

Kato Point 05.

If you use Kato UNITRACK for your layout then you can do some clever stuff which allows a loco to run in a dead section of track. This is down to the POWER ROUTING, NON-POWER ROUTING and FROG terminals on the back as shown previously. My best recommendation that if you are using the UNITRACK is to go for it and experiment with the different settings on the back of the points. In later issues of Right Lines I will be writing an article on my own N gauge German layout which uses this track system, so please keep an eye out for it.

We'll certainly make a point of looking out for Craig's layout...

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