Digitrax Zephyr Help

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by Tim K, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. Tim K

    Tim K Member

    A couple quick questions.

    If you use the DC jumper option for an add on throttle do you
    actually plug the DC trasformer into an AC outlet like you would for normal use ?

    I know that may sound like a stupid question but it does not mention plugging in the DC unit into the wall.

    Question #2

    I am running an anologue Loco until my new DCC loco arives and
    it does not seem to have near the power it did with the DC controller.

    Will this change when I start running a DCC Loco or does the Zephyr not have a lot of power?

    I am planning on running at least three Locos at a time does this mean I will need a booster as well.

    Thanks for your help.
  2. Tim K

    Tim K Member

    I do have the throtle set at it's highest value .

    Tim k
  3. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    Maybe someone that is using a Zephyr system can field question 1. I would think that the PS needs to be plugged in to operate but I don't know that for a fact.

    As for running your analog engine on DCC, you will probably notice some change in performance but that is not always the case.

    I have a Bachmann spectrum F7 a&b set that I have not converted that run terribly on DCC address 00. They run fine in DC mode. I have 2 Atlas SD-40s that ran beautifully in DC mode and using "00" address in DCC modes. I have dropped decoders in both and they still perform great.

    I have an Atlas GP-9 w/o decoder that runs well as above - but a decoder equipped GP9 runs terrible.

    A lot depends on product quality and condition of your track. All trains perform better on well maintained track.

    On your question about adding a booster, if I am not mistaken, I believe the Zephyr is rated at 2.5 A. If you allow .5-.7 amps per loco you should be able ro run 3 or 4 locos comfortably. If you start loading up on other control decoders, detectors, etc. you may have to look at expanding - which is easy to do with that Digitrax system.

    BTW - I use a Digitrax Radio chief - 5Amp system. I have had 7 DCC eguipped locomotives and 1 non DCC engine running at one time on my layout with no strain.
  4. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Generaly, a non decoder equipped locomtive will not work well on a DCC station's power. I'm failry certin DCC uses AC ( alternateing current) while the motors are DC ( direct Current) and that this can cause problems. You should probably use your old transformer until you get a DCC equipped locomotive. Out of Curioisty, which did you get?

    Generaly, most worth while power systems can handle 6-8 locomtives before it needs a booster. I was running all my Conrail locomtives at once on my Spectrum Magnum DC power pack. it was pretty impressive! lots of rumbling. the set you have should be albe to handle it.

    I'm already beginning to realize that DCC is alot of electronics. Its time for me to get the brillo pads out and clean the rust off my brain. All these Amps and volts and Currents... I need to refresh my memory.
  5. Tim K

    Tim K Member

  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Performance of an analog (DC) loco running on a digital (DCC) system will be different. How it will be different is dependent on the individual loco, unfortunately.

    As for the "jump" throttle feature. YES the jump throttle must be plugged in to the wall electrical outlet. The Zephyr reads the variable DC power coming from the powerpack as if it were a signal from a throttle.

    A decoder equipped loco will generally perform better than an analog loco on a DCC system. However, much depends on the quality and characteristics of the loco. A crappy DC loco with a decoder in it is not likely to get any better. But a good runner on DC should be a good runner on DCC.

    The Zephyr has plenty of power to run several locomotives. I say several, because how many you can run depends on their individual power draws. As long as your total does not exceed the Zephyr's capacity (~3.5 amps, I believe) you should be fine.


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