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Zephyr and a booster?

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  • Member since
    August 2007
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 425 posts
Zephyr and a booster?
Posted by GTX765 on Sunday, February 3, 2008 2:33 AM

I have a zephyr and my layout is getting bigger and running multiple engines that all have DCC and sound. I was wondering on which booster to use and how it is to be wired? I will still need to use OPS mode for the Blue line engines. Please let me know how you would go about this?

 

Thanks for any input.

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Metro East St. Louis
  • 5,743 posts
Posted by simon1966 on Sunday, February 3, 2008 8:26 AM
I did exactly what David suggested. In fact what I was able to do was to get a complete Super Empire Builder set cheap off of Ebay.  This way I got the DB150 5 amp booster and a DT400 throttle.  I continue to use the Zephyr as my command station with the Zephyr powering my yard areas, with the DB150 powering the main lines. 

Simon Modelling CB&Q and Wabash See my slowly evolving layout on my picturetrail site http://www.picturetrail.com/simontrains and our videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/MrCrispybake?feature=mhum

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: SE Michigan
  • 860 posts
Posted by fmilhaupt on Sunday, February 3, 2008 8:36 AM

Well, the standard way is to add Digitrax 5-amp DB150s. While the DB100+ is available with higher amperage (8 amps), it's not usually necessary for use with a Zephyr, due to the Zephyr's limit of controlling 10 locomotives or consists at a time.

It's possible to use other brands' boosters, but generally this requires custom wiring between the command station (the Zephyr) and the booster. If you're not comfortable making your own cables, I wouldn't recommend it.

The most commonly used configuration in the case you describe is to use a DB150 with one of more power management devices to break your layout down into different power districts. While Digitrax offers the PM42 to break a booster's output into four separate districts, the DCC Specialties PSX-series DCC circuit breakers do a better job of handling the particular needs of the current crop of sound-equipped locomotives. Unlike the PM42, they are designed to handle gracefully the short-term power surge created by many sound-equipped locomotives when they are first powered up.

 

-Fritz Milhaupt, Publications Editor, Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc.
http://www.pmhistsoc.org

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • 327 posts
Posted by locoworks on Sunday, February 3, 2008 12:54 PM
surely if you have a DB150 to add as a booster, you should set that as the command station as it can run 22 addresses at one time  compared to the zephyrs 10, and set the zephyr as a 2.5 amp booster. you still end up with ( in theory ) 7.5 amps of track power. the only down side could be that you can't use 'jump' throttles on the zephyr if it is set as a booster???  but i don't know if you can or can't????
  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Metro East St. Louis
  • 5,743 posts
Posted by simon1966 on Sunday, February 3, 2008 1:36 PM
I have kept the Z as the command station as I would lose the CV read back and the program track capability, neither of which are supported by the DB150 as a command station.  The 10 slot limit is not an issue for me with the Z.

Simon Modelling CB&Q and Wabash See my slowly evolving layout on my picturetrail site http://www.picturetrail.com/simontrains and our videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/MrCrispybake?feature=mhum

  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: Kansas
  • 808 posts
Posted by jamnest on Sunday, February 3, 2008 3:27 PM

I would agree with the above comments, that you should see if you can pick up a DB150 on ebay.  I have a Digitrax Chief and when I needed to expand the layout I bought a DB150 on ebay.

If you get additional throttles, I would just get the DT4 throttles.  They are inexpensive and easy to use.  Do your programming from your Zepher.  Most visitors to you layout just want to run a train and not proggram things.

When I first got my Digitrax I only had two throttles but since several of my friends also had Digitrax, I asked them to bring their throttles with them when they came to run on my layout.

JIM

Jim, Modeling the Kansas City Southern Lines in HO scale.

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • 327 posts
Posted by locoworks on Monday, February 4, 2008 2:14 AM

 simon1966 wrote:
I have kept the Z as the command station as I would lose the CV read back and the program track capability, neither of which are supported by the DB150 as a command station.  The 10 slot limit is not an issue for me with the Z.

good points there, i hadn't considered the loss of the functions with the Z set as a booster.

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