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Is my Z4000 killing my TIUs?

I have a Z4000 transformer that I’ve owned since new in 2005 and 3 TIUs of various ages.

Fixed input 1 on my first TIU stopped working for controlling or adding engines. I purchased a second used TIU to take its place, and one day, while running trains, the train using fixed channel 2 suddenly stopped and the channel no longer worked after that.

I thoroughly checked my wiring and found no shorts. I’ve had no major derailments or any sparks occur recently either.

I purchased a third brand new TIU from TrainWorld around December 2020, thinking I was having bad luck with old TIUs. I sent out the other two to be fixed by a tech. The tech said the two older TIUs had burned up diodes on the channels that stopped working. I just received the two older ones back today and they work just fine. I had plans to possibly sell them or at least one.

However, I was using my brand new TIU today, and I suddenly had no control over my engines. Sometimes I would, sometimes they would not respond. I tried this with multiple engines, same problem. I tried cleaning the track and using a small test track, same thing. I reset the remote and TIU and tried to add an engine, but got the “No engine to add!” I tried using every channel on the TIU with my test track and got the same result. I also tried tethering the remote with a phone cord and using a different remote all together. I tried this with and without an external power supply. Nothing made a difference. I also tried reloading the TIU software and that also made no difference. I then tried with the just fixed, older TIUs and they both worked fine.

This new TIU is acting just like how the bad channels on the other two acted, except on every channel. The one thing they’ve all had in common is they were using my Z4000 for track power when they failed, which has never been serviced since new. I have also occasionally seen voltage spikes on the Z4000 screen recently which also has me concerned. I run both the external TIU power supply and transformer off a surge protector power strip. Until I figure out what’s going on, I’m not going to use the Z4000 for fear of damaging my two now good TIUs.

Is there something I may be doing wrong, or is my Z4000 likely to blame? Also, if the new TIU needs repair, will it be covered by the warranty?

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