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Zephyr on the fritz?

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  • Member since
    April 2008
  • 64 posts
Zephyr on the fritz?
Posted by misterconsister on Thursday, July 10, 2008 3:27 AM

My Zephyr just stopped running locos recently.  They (DCC locos) sort of growl and jiggle but no movement of the throttle or direction changes anything.  An analog loco moves slowly but only in one direction.  I'm using just a simple piece of track to test so I don't think its in the track (I've used two separate pieces so far).

I tried to measure the DC voltage (20V setting) but I'm not sure if I'm grounding it properly.  Should the ground probe go to the third hole in an outlet or is there a better way?  When I measured the voltage with one probe in the outlet ground and one on the rail (both rails separately), the meter gave a slight reading then faded back to 0. 

I set the Zephyr Option #39 to closed to reset to factory settings.  No difference.

Any idea what's going on?  Thanks,

Eric

 

I'm kinda likin this stuff

  • Member since
    September 2007
  • From: Charlotte, NC
  • 6,099 posts
Posted by Phoebe Vet on Thursday, July 10, 2008 7:01 AM

There is no DC voltage to measure.

Measure from track A to track B with an AC volt meter.  You can do it at the DCS 50 or at the track.  Do not use the ground lead.  Because it is an asymetric square wave with variable length pulses, rather than a sine wave, the measurement will not be acurate, but it will be close enough for what you are trying to determine.

Any mass produced item tends to have the same kinds of failures across the production run.  If you touch base with Digitrax tech support they will probably know exactly what the problem is.

Dave

Lackawanna Route of the Phoebe Snow

  • Member since
    July 2008
  • 1,187 posts
Posted by mfm37 on Thursday, July 10, 2008 8:37 PM

Did you cycle power to the Zephyr after closing OP Switch 39? Unplug the power supply for 30 seconds then reconnect.

You can measure the track voltage on your Zephyr using a DC volt meter. First make sure that address 00 is set at speed 00 then dispatch it.

Touch the positive probe to the rail A terminal and the neg probe to the Ground terminal on the Zephyr. Note the reading.

Touch the positive probe to the Rail B terminal and the neg probe to the Ground terminal. Again, note the reading.

The two readings should be less than 1/2 volt difference. Add them together and you have the total track voltage. Should be around 13.5 volts if using the supplied PS315 power supply. If it's less than above, check the power supply voltage at the coax plug with an AC meter. It should be at least 15 volts AC.

If one or the other is not at the above amounts, contact Digitrax. 

 

NOTE: Ground treminal is the one marked on the Zephyr. It's in the middle. In this case, Ground referred to IS NOT the round hole on the 110 volt wall outlet.

 

Martin Myers 

  • Member since
    April 2008
  • 64 posts
Posted by misterconsister on Thursday, July 10, 2008 8:38 PM

I tried it with AC and got 15.9 volts at the track.  Seems like the voltage is getting there but the signal is scrambled.  Does that happen?

Eric

I'm kinda likin this stuff

  • Member since
    July 2008
  • 1,187 posts
Posted by mfm37 on Thursday, July 10, 2008 8:57 PM

It could happen but the buzzing and the analog engine moving slowly in one direction makes me think otherwise.

After doing my previously posted voltage check with a DC meter, try the following.

Select address OO and put the direction control to forward and turn the speedall the way up. Take both of the rail A and Rail B voltage readings. Write them down. One should be very high, the other very low. Their total should be the same as your first total when address 00 was at 00.

Now reverse the direction switch and leave the throttle all the way up. Take the measurements again. One will be high, the other low but they will be omn the opposite rail from the test above. Total should again be the same as all other measurements.

 Now if all of the above tests as noted, addres 00 is working properly and tarck outputs on the Zephyr are functioning correctly. Look for troublein your wires, track, or engines. In that order. 

  • Member since
    April 2008
  • 64 posts
Posted by misterconsister on Wednesday, August 13, 2008 7:14 PM

Just to follow up.  The RailA output wasn't outputting what it was supposed to.  Paid the $35 and sent it to Digitrax for repair.  They sent it back fixed pretty quickly.

 

Eric

I'm kinda likin this stuff

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