Functions for Digitrax Zephyr

Discussion in 'DCC & Electronics' started by Nick8564, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. Nick8564

    Nick8564 Member

    I am looking to buy the Digitrax Zephyr to start off my DCC experience. I want to buy the UT4 throttle with it. The Zephyr has 8 functions and the UT4 allows for 12 functions. My question is will I still only have 8 fuctions even from the UT4. I thought I would but just wondering. Thanks
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I believe that the functions are a "function" of the decoder, not the system. If the throttle addresses all 12, and the decoder has 12, there should be no problem, regardless of the command station (in this case the Zephyr).

    I use the Zephyr, but do not currently have another throttle, nor do I have a 12-function decoder in any of my engines.

    You may want to ask RailwayBob. He's a Gauge member, and one of the Digitrx gurus at our modular club (

  3. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    Hi Nick. While the UT4 may advertise 12 functions and the Zephyr advertises 8 functions, it is highly unlikely you will ever get anywhere near using either 8 or 12 functions. And, your use of the functions will depend on the capabilities of each decoder you install in your loco.

    I'm not familiar with the functions on the Zephyr but I presume they are the same as with a DT300/ 400 or a UT4.

    One of the functions included in most locomotive decoders is the lights. This is usually controlled by function F0. Your throttles definitely have an F0 or similar "turn the lights on or off" function. Another function with lights is to dim them (sometimes referred to on the railways as "Rule 17"). Your throttle will definitely have this function - probably F1. If you want to add gyrolights (assuming your decoder can operate them), this may be another function.

    If you install a sound decoder, you will need two other functions - one to turn on the bell (usually referred to as a "latching" function), and another to blow the horn or whistle. These two functions are usually shown on the throttle as a bell and a horn.

    So, we're now up to 4 functions and I'm running out of ideas for the other 4 or 8 functions. Also, your throttle may have the capability to reprogram (or reassign) functions. And, if you press a combination of two function keys, you can usually get another bunch of functions.

    All of which to say that it is highly unlikely that you will come anywheres near close to using all of the functions listed on your Zephyr or your UT4.
  4. Alan B

    Alan B Member

    As I understand the Digitrax system, you would only have eight functions. The Zephyr would not understand commands F8 through F11. The convention on most decoders is to have sound functions assigned above F4 anyway. So, unless you are operating sound, you will probably not see any limitation.
  5. billwv

    billwv Member


    I have Zephyr with DT400. And it supports 12 functions. 12 functions become significant when you have sound equipped Locos, such as QSI, which uses all 12 function keys.

    The answer to your question is, you will have 12 functions when using UT4.


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