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wiring for the Zephyr

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wiring for the Zephyr
Posted by nsrail man on Friday, February 22, 2008 9:59 PM

I am getting frustrated with my purchase of my DCC system.  I am beginning to wonder if it was a wise purchase.  I decided to rewire my layout with track bus running underneath.  I used 2 different colored wires.  I connected the wires to the power supply and left the other end hanging under the track because I wasn't sure where to connect.  I then connected to my track with wire running to a terminal track from the track bus.  Now when I try to run an engine it just crawls even at full throttle.  I tried an engine with a decoder and one without.  There was no difference.  What am I doing wrong?  I haven't connected at more than one terminal yet but I don't think that should make a difference.

 I thought I followed suggested wiring methods.  Maybe I should go back to DC.

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Posted by Johnnny_reb on Friday, February 22, 2008 11:48 PM

Have you checked the programing of the Locomotive?

Have you set the speed settings?

Have you installed a decoder in said Locomotive?

Reread the manual.

Johnnny_reb Once a word is spoken it can not be unspoken!

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Posted by jktrains on Saturday, February 23, 2008 4:47 AM

Ahhh! The easy to install Zephyr strikes again.  A few preliminary questions.

1.  Based on your description, you only have 2 wires going from the bus to the track, at this time? 

2.  Have you removed your DC power pack completely?

3.  Did you make certain that the same side of the track is always connected to the same color bus wire if you have more than one set of power feeders?

4.  What is your power source for the Zephyr?

As with any problem, you need to break it down into smaller components and eliminate potential issues.  Call it divide and conquer.  Did you try out the Zephyer on a test track separate from the layout?  Simply connect it to a piece of flex track and see if it works properly?  Try a factory installed decoder equiped loco.  Does it work properly?

After doing that, report back on the results for more help.  Remember, sometimes we overlook the obvious, like is it plugged in?

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Posted by jktrains on Saturday, February 23, 2008 4:49 AM
 Johnnny_reb wrote:

Have you checked the programing of the Locomotive?

Have you set the speed settings?

Have you installed a decoder in said Locomotive?

Reread the manual.

Since he is new to DCC, it would be highly unlikely that a newbie, using a Digitrax system, would have been able to change the decoder settings for speed and motor control.  I think the problem is much more elementary.

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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Saturday, February 23, 2008 6:15 AM

It's easier to work forward than backward.

1:  Disconnect the Zephyr from the track, turn it on and put an AC voltmeter across the terminals.  It should be around 15VAC.  That will tell you if it is puting out the correct voltage.  Be sure it has the correct power supply. 15V AC, 3Amps

2:  Disconnect the buss from the track, connect it to the Zephyr, turn it on.  Put the volt meter across the buss at the far end, away from the zephyr.  You should get the same reading.  If not, then the buss is bad. Be sure the buss is not connected to the program outputs instead of the track outputs.  Be sure the buss is heavy enough wire.

3:  Remove all rolling stock from the track, connect it to the buss, turn on the Zephyr and put the voltmeter across the rails.  You should get the same reading.  If not, the track feeder is bad.

4:  Continue adding one thing at a time until the problem occurs.

Dave

Lackawanna Route of the Phoebe Snow

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Posted by simon1966 on Saturday, February 23, 2008 8:02 AM
 jktrains wrote:

Ahhh! The easy to install Zephyr strikes again. 

Bow [bow] You really are the master. 

Of what I am not saying, but I bet there are more than a few on this forum that would agree with me.

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

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Posted by jktrains on Saturday, February 23, 2008 8:13 AM

And what's your suggestion to solve the OP's problem???  Funny, I just scanned the titles to all the threads in the section, I can't find one asking how do I connect a PowerCab to my layout.

The reason for some of those questions is that I suspect the OP is using a something like  an old power pack to run the Zephyr.  This would result in poor operation of both the DCC and Dc loco since the Zephyr is not getting sufficient amperage.  But that's just a theory until the OP responds.  Your thoughts on his problems Oh Digitrax master?

(Oh yea, I saw you're original post before you edited it)

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Posted by Johnnny_reb on Saturday, February 23, 2008 10:27 AM
 davidmbedard wrote:

I get the same questions about the Zephyr.  People dont like to read manuals.

David B

Manuals? We don't need no stinking manuals, thats not the way of real men.Cowboy [C):-)]

Johnnny_reb Once a word is spoken it can not be unspoken!

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Posted by Phoebe Vet on Saturday, February 23, 2008 10:41 AM

I download and read the manuals to help me decide which things to buy.

My complaint about manuals is that they don't contain ENOUGH information.

Dave

Lackawanna Route of the Phoebe Snow

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Posted by Paul3 on Saturday, February 23, 2008 11:55 AM

nsrail man,
I am a long time Zephyr user myself, and I'm not quite sure what the problem is.  There are, however, some questions:

What is the gauge of your wiring?  I use 14AWG for a 200' run for my main track buss with 20AWG track feeders (keep these reasonably short), and my locos aren't crawling even at the furthest point on my layout.

How large is your layout?  Mine is 25' x 50', and I have no problems with low loco speed.

What kind of locomotive in what scale with what kind of decoder?  I have most kinds of locos in HO (Atlas, Kato, P2K, P1K, Bachmann Spectrum, Athearn, Overland, etc.) with mostly Digitrax decoders.

Also, what do you consider normal/proper speed?  I know my old HO club's DC throttles were 18v, so perhaps the issue is that the locos are slow only by comparison?

One final point...check the brake feature on the Zephyr.  The brake is between forward and reverse on the toggle, and has a small green LED next to it.  When you are running and your engines are crawling, look at this LED.  If it's blinking, you're in brake mode.  Turn the throttle all the way off, make sure the toggle is all the way in forward or reverse, then reapply power with the throttle.  This should cancel out the brake.

jktrains,
You never miss a chance, do you?  I swear, it must be in the NCE manuals that if one buys NCE one must go out of one's way to make diparaging remarks about Digitrax products.

FYI: The Zephyr usually comes with it's own power supply (PS315), at least for the US market.

Oh, and maybe there are no PowerCab threads because so few people have bought them?  Wink [;)]Tongue [:P]

Paul A. Cutler III
************
Weather Or No Go New Haven
************

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Posted by JoeinPA on Saturday, February 23, 2008 11:56 AM

NSRail Man:

Is it possible that you connected the programming leads rather than the track leads?

Joe 

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Posted by selector on Saturday, February 23, 2008 5:42 PM
 jktrains wrote:
 Johnnny_reb wrote:

Have you checked the programing of the Locomotive?

Have you set the speed settings?

Have you installed a decoder in said Locomotive?

Reread the manual.

Since he is new to DCC, it would be highly unlikely that a newbie, using a Digitrax system, would have been able to change the decoder settings for speed and motor control.  I think the problem is much more elementary.

Is it not equally as likely that if he is a newbie there is something fundamentally wrong with his use or installation, and nothing to do with the Zephyr at all?  Or its instructions?  Fundamental as in "elementary"?

-Crandell

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Posted by jktrains on Saturday, February 23, 2008 6:28 PM
 JoeinPA wrote:

NSRail Man:

Is it possible that you connected the programming leads rather than the track leads?

Joe 

The power going to a progamming track should not even be enough to get the loco to move.  it should be just enough to power the decoder so it can be programmed.

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Posted by tstage on Saturday, February 23, 2008 6:35 PM

 Paul3 wrote:
I swear, it must be in the NCE manuals that if one buys NCE one must go out of one's way to make diparaging remarks about Digitrax products.

Never found it in mine, Paul...

Tom 

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by jktrains on Saturday, February 23, 2008 7:04 PM
 tstage wrote:

 Paul3 wrote:
I swear, it must be in the NCE manuals that if one buys NCE one must go out of one's way to make diparaging remarks about Digitrax products.

Never found it in mine, Paul...

Tom 

Come on Tom, it was on page 10 of the instructions that came with the EPROM update that included increasing the functions available to F28 in accordance with the new NMRA standards.

Laugh [(-D]Laugh [(-D]Laugh [(-D]

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Posted by jktrains on Saturday, February 23, 2008 7:11 PM
 selector wrote:
 jktrains wrote:
 Johnnny_reb wrote:

Have you checked the programing of the Locomotive?

Have you set the speed settings?

Have you installed a decoder in said Locomotive?

Reread the manual.

Since he is new to DCC, it would be highly unlikely that a newbie, using a Digitrax system, would have been able to change the decoder settings for speed and motor control.  I think the problem is much more elementary.

Is it not equally as likely that if he is a newbie there is something fundamentally wrong with his use or installation, and nothing to do with the Zephyr at all?  Or its instructions?  Fundamental as in "elementary"?

-Crandell

That's what I mean.  Before jumping to possibly having changed speed control settings, which is unlikely because he said that an analog loco reacted the same way, I think it would be better to focus on eliminating more fundamental, or elementary, things first.  Hence, the suggestion to simply connect it to a piece of flex track and try it out.  That would eliminate bus/track wiring issues such as crossed feeders, shorts from other equipment, etc.  If it works fine on a stand alone basis then the issue is somewhere on the layout.  Which becomes more difficult to diagnose without physically being there and seeing the setup.  But, don't suggest its in the instructions.Big Smile [:D]

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Posted by jbinkley60 on Saturday, February 23, 2008 7:28 PM

 

Folks,

This was the 5th post ever by the poster last night and since then there have been 17 replies (none by the original poster, 18 if you include this one) and some bordering on condescending and self-righteous.  Only a couple could be considered truly helpful.  Maybe we should let the original poster respond before scaring him off ?

 

Engineer Jeff NS Nut
Visit my layout at: http://www.thebinks.com/trains/

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Posted by tstage on Saturday, February 23, 2008 10:04 PM
 jktrains wrote:
 tstage wrote:

 Paul3 wrote:
I swear, it must be in the NCE manuals that if one buys NCE one must go out of one's way to make diparaging remarks about Digitrax products.

Never found it in mine, Paul...

Tom 

Come on Tom, it was on page 10 of the instructions that came with the EPROM update that included increasing the functions available to F28 in accordance with the new NMRA standards.

Laugh [(-D]Laugh [(-D]Laugh [(-D]

I guess that's another advantage to getting the Smart Booster.  Glad I missed that...

Tom

https://tstage9.wixsite.com/nyc-modeling

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by jblackwelljr on Sunday, February 24, 2008 7:47 AM

nsrail man,

I  like the idea of testing with a separate piece of flex track.  That eliminates all those track inter-connections on the layout.  If it runs fine on the separate piece, there may be a problem with your trackwork, especially given the fact that you only have 1 set of feeders hooked up.

If you get the same results on the separate piece of track, I guess there always the possibility of a bad Zephyr unit.  Any chance of testing on another established layout?

Jim "He'll regret it to his dyin day, if ever he lives that long." - Squire Danaher, The Quiet Man

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