Digitrax Zephyr question

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by Squidbait, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    OK, I've looked at, but never played with a Zephyr. I've used Digitrax systems (way back to the original Challenger days, plus the new DT400 units).

    If you are running one loco, say address 3, forward and at speed 10, and another loco is running in reverse say loco 8, at speed 20...

    ... what happens when you switch from loco 8 back to loco 3? I had assumed the throttle knob was an encoder (like on the DT400's), but I've been told that when you switch back to another loco, it will immediately take the throttle and direction settings of the previous loco! :eek:

    So in the case outlined above, if I went from loco 8 back to loco 3, loco 3 would immediately change direction and speed up! :eek:

    Can this be true? If so, this definitely falls under the "What were they thinking" blanket! wall1
  2. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    I have a D'tx Zephyr...and I'm not sure what it is you're asking. Do you mean to say that you want to switch locos "on the fly"..?? What was controlling the second loco (#8 in the first place...? You can control up to three locos (or consists) with the basic unit, but you need two additional "power packs" to connect to the command unit and use these as additional throttles. This is the set up I have now. I can "dispatch" a moving loco from the command console to any one of the other two throttles, but I have to preset the speed and direction settings on the second throttle so the loco will not "feel" the change from one throttle to the other. Is this what you're wanting to know..?
  3. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic


    I think so. Any other DCC system I've used (Digitrax, MRC, Bachmann, NCE, Ecos) lets me control more than one locomotive at a time. All I have to do is punch in the locomotive's address, and I can change the speed and direction for that locomotive without having to alter what any of the other locomotives are doing.

    Are you saying the Zephyr will only control 1 loco at a time? I can't start one moving, select another and the first will continue doing what I told it to?
  4. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    You know...I've never tried that...Let me check it out & I'll get back to you....:mrgreen:
  5. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Well...I'm back. Here's your answer...IT DOES DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO...!!! I set one loco going and sent it on its way (I've got continuous running)...I dialed up another loco and did some yard switching...fully expecting the first loco to come to a stop....It didn't...she just kept on going...Must have been 10 minutes or so before I switched back to it...I did, of course have to re-set the original speed & direction settings so it wouldn't come to a screeching halt. It worked great!!!!
    Why did I never do this before...?? It doesn' say ANYTHING about this in the manuals, and being a former DC'er, I just figured it'd be a one loco-one throttle situation.....:mrgreen:
  6. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    This is the question I want answered. On any other DCC system worth its salt, that WON'T happen... it shouldn't matter where the throttle is set. Do you know for a fact that if you switch back to the other loco without adjusting the throttle, that it will come to a screeching halt (or worse)?
  7. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Ok..Ok....If you leave the throttle and direction settings the same (not move anything), the first loco will attempt to pick up on those settings when you come back to it....I don't see what the problem here is, though. I don't foresee where I would be having a loco going in reverse, and leave it in reverse as I switch away from it....I would normally stop it before doing anything else.....
  8. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    The point is, that in any other system that I'm aware of, the setting of the throttle knob has no bearing on the speed or direction of the loco when you come back to it.

    The system should remember the settings for speed and direction for each loco. The position of the throttle knob should be irrelevant when you return to a given loco. The knob should change the existing settings, not impose new ones.

    Play with an MRC Prodigy, or use a DT400, you'll understand what I mean.
  9. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Ok....I'm just glad I found out I can have two (at least) locos running (one under "control") at the same time...!!! I'm a happy camper..!!!
  10. Geoff H

    Geoff H New Member

    Re-motoring Athearns

    Hi mate

    I know quite a few people (including me) who have had problems with the initial current draw of the older Athearn locos and in Aus the main decoder that was used was the NCE especially price wise but then after the failure of some of these decoders and by more experienced modellers in DCC than me, they decided to try the TCS decoders - especially the T1 which will handle quite a huge initial current spike and to my knowlege one fellow who has about 100 Athearn locos and all with this brand decoders fitted, he has only had one fail and OOps was the problem especially when that wire doesn't go there so he just used the Goof Proof warantee and had it replaced.

    I only have ten Athearns but they are all what you would consider antique models and with the TCS and my system (CVP Easy DCC) they all run fine. Of course all of my new models are usually Proto or Spectrum or later model Athearns.

    I think it is horses for courses and most DCC systems are compatable especially if they have the NMRA certification label on them. This at least allows you to know that they meet the minimum requirements on the industry.

    The older Athearn mechanisms can be tuned to run better as well which also goes towards reducing power consumption.

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