I also use 4 TPC’s, 2 MTH Z-4000’s, 48 DZ-2500 turnouts, 1 Base Commander-L for TMCC engines (not sure this is required). The question is do i need to take some of this out of the equation and are the new ZW’s simply a remove the wires from the old ZW’s and put them on the new. Need all the great advice this forum has to offer.
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No one has popped in so guess I will
Just want to make sure I understand correctly you have a existing layout with a Cab-1L command set (Blue case) 2 Z-4000’s that you are going to replace with ZW-L’s. And 48 DZ-2500 switch machines ( witch should be irrelevant as long as they work correctly). You also currently using 4 TPC’s.
For as I’ve stated above since you use TPC’s I assume your not standing at the transformers using the handles. You can actually remove the 2 Z-400’s and all 4 TPC’s and install only 1 ZW-L. The ZW-L has all PowerMaster (TPC) fictions built in for all 4 channels. The new ZW-L has a command binding post on the back of it that the Base-1L will connect to this will allow you to use the ZW-L in command and send the signal to the outside rails of all tracks with the 1 connection.
here’s a really good video on the ZW-L Mike Ragon did when he was still at Lionel
Thank you for your reply. I use the Z-4000 to supply power to accessories and lights. The ZW-L’s will be used tho control power to 4 different mainlines and multiple sidings. All U terminals (common) are linked together. I also have MTH TIU (DCS) connected thru serial cables to both the Legacy and TMCC bases. There is a DZ-2001L data wire board attached to the legacy base. What I am removing are 2 older (Post War) ZW’s that seem to be on their last legs. Perhaps this helps better understand the questions I have. Do I need the 4 TPC’s or can they be removed? Do I need the TMCC Command Base-L? What more do I need if anything?
Oh ok I must’ve missed something along the line, no problem.
When you have the ZW-L you will no longer need TPC’s. You need a command base and no more than 1 command base wether that’s a Legacy 990 Cab-2 set, a Legacy Cab-1L set or a standard TMCC command set. Only 1 is required
good thing to bring up DCS to use the powermaster features of the ZW-L you have to send your command wire to its binding post. (All U terminals on the ZW-L are common with each other) but if you run the legacy signal through the TIU I believe it will die. So you would have to run a wire to the transformer AB then a wire to your layout common. But I haven’t tried that so I don’t know if that would then cause DCS problems. You could I know for sure run the TIU in passive mode and have no issues. Hopefully someone smarter than me on that front will pop in.
I would like to point out again if your just needing 4 outputs 1 ZW-L will do the job. 620W max output should surely handle most anything you though at it. Only down side is to see the volt and amp meters you have to go hold either the B or C handle to see that outputs information. Then again nothing like seeing 2 ZW-L’s side by side all lit up on a layout 😉
I have a ZW-L and like it very much. It has some great safety features. While it does have built in Powermasters and you can address them with either a CAB1, CAB1-L or Legacy 990 systems there are some down sides to their functionality.
One: The built in Powermasters select the track or engine programming. For instance if you program them for Track 1 the ZW-L automatically assigns Track numbers 1 thru 4 to the corresponding handles.
Outside left is Track #1, inside left is #2, inside right is #3 and outside right is #4. It does not give you the option to change which handle is which track number. This goes for programming the ZW-L as an engine.
Two: With the Track Power Controllers the operator chooses which track or engine is assigned to the TPC. The TPC’s unlike some of the other controllers, ASC for instance, do not automatically assign any track or engine numbers.
TPC’s especially the 300 or 400 series also allow better control when used in the command environment. You do not need to dial up the voltage if it is set on command and full voltage. You just use a single command. They also allow better control of MTH engines in the conventional mode but this is moot since the OP has the DCS system.
All in all the ZW-L’s are great transformers but they do have some functionality shortcomings.
Lastly, since the OP already has the TPC’s why not use them.
I do agree with the other responses that one and certainly two ZW-L’s would provide more than enough power to every aspect of this layout.
Having said that, I would suggest the OP just install one ZW-L and if the power is not sufficient either install the two Z4000’s or purchase and install an additional ZW-L then sell off the Z4000’s to offset the expense of the ZW-L’s.