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Originally Posted by Charlesp34:

Who has it installed on their layout and tell me what you think about it?!

A friend has them installed following a couple of TPC400s and they work very well. I found that the input transient voltage diode would short with a CW80 turned up, so I removed the stock ones and installed some higher voltage ones. The trip on a short is lightning fast. He has them set so when he removes the source voltage and restarts the TPCs, they reset automatically. They work fine and have been installed for about 6 to 8 months or so.

I have only bench tested them, they are not installed permanently on my layout yet. In bench testing, they were faster than the PH-180 that was the power source used for the test. I did several tests using the alarm, reset and optional LED's. Was shorting directly across the track several times for each test. They beat the PH-180 every time and passed with flying colors, a great little device. They trip instantly. (There was no load on the PH-180, and t be fair, I was using the 8 amp setting on the PSX-AC's.)

 

I'm not an expert by any means, but I think you would have a hard time finding a better and/or faster breaker. Not sure how badly they would be needed with the Lionel PH-180's as they also have excellent breakers. I would say that anyone using anything other than the PH-180's and running modern electronic engines might want to seriously consider using the PSX-AC's. (I don't know about the breakers in Z-4000's or the new ZW-L's?)

 

Even if you have the PH-180's (or Z-4000/new ZW-L), these would still be a great idea for added protection. $45-$50 for the PSX-AC is a lot cheaper than new electronics for any of the modern engines, and much less than a new engine.  Got my PSX-AC's at Tony's Train Exchange (they have some additional parts for them also, if you want them). I found out later that Charles Ro now has them for slightly less than I paid for mine. They are listed at the end of their Lionel Legacy/TMCC listings.

 

If you search the forum for PSX-AC (or maybe just PSX?) someone did a video showing their operation a year or two ago. There is also another thread or two on them here somewhere.

Last edited by rtr12

I'm on my second layout with the PSX-1 AC breakers. I believe I purchased these back in 2008 for $32 bucks ea.   I haven't had my present layout running at all this season due to the scenic phase and have supplies strewn out all over the deck.

With my prior layout I used a Z4000 which I believe utilizes a 10 amp breaker on each handle. Although I'm using a different transformer now, I then and still do have the PSX's set at 12 amps and they would still trip before the Z4000 would.

One recommendation I would make is the install the manual reset function. This way you can clear the derailment or issue before powering up that channel again, otherwise it keeps trying to reset every two or three seconds.  I also installed the alarms on mine but the only ones that can hear them are my wife and the grand kids. Obviously my audible levels have faded over the years. LOL

I'll give these two thumbs up.

I've got 9 of these (1 for each transformer power channel) installed right after the transformer.  All other connections (including Legacy Base wire connections) after these breakers.  Interesting to see where power up problems come when running large trains with lights on passenger cars.  The new capacitors have a rather hefty draw upon startup and have required a higher AMP setting (12A) on these to avoid tripping early incidents.

These things work great!  I chuckle at milwrd's comment regarding hearing the audible alarms.  Lots of configuration possibilities with these things for the most discriminating operator.  Highly recommended!

Well, since one of my pet peeves is circuit protection that keeps hammering the short circuit, the TMCC Direct Lockon is a non-starter for me!  Add to that, they will kill the DCS signal if you use them as documented directly to the track.

With my PH180 bricks and their excellent circuit brakers, I view the TMCC Lockon as an answer to a question that never should have been asked.

I have 4 in use in the 12 amp setting for 6-7 yrs. I learned the hard way that I needed them .( & expensive way ) I switched from the old 160 power master to the TCP 400's & the ---- hit the fan ! The reason for the 12 amp setting is in the start up mode if you have 3 or more engines on the same block or TCP . American Models takes a lot of current in start up .  Absolutely well worth the money !!

  Bob G.

Well, since one of my pet peeves is circuit protection that keeps hammering the short circuit, the TMCC Direct Lockon is a non-starter for me!

What I like about the TMCC Lockon is their breakers are much faster and sensitive than the brick breakers.  (I have the bricks too). That "hammering mode" allows you to  walk around the layout, systematically checking things without having to trundle back to the brick to reset the breaker each time.  Where they are really useful is if you have a momentary short at one spot on the track: the TMCC Lockon breaker trips but then resets as the momentum of the train carries it past the short.  You can then  go to the general spot, watch the train, and then localize the problem without having to go back and reset the breaker each time.   A side benefit is because its momentary, you don't put mechanical stress on the train (think couplers/derailment) as it comes to  a dead stop.

By the way, that "hammering mode" has a duty cycle of about 1:2 (1 second on, 2 seconds off.)  I tested the Direct Lockon, and found it trips at around 12-15 amps.  So that's an average current of 5 amps.  Any respectable O gauge layout ought to be able to take that.  I would guess (but don't know) that the circuitry of the Lockon prevents inductive voltage spikes

Add to that, they will kill the DCS signal if you use them as documented directly to the track.

Not my experience at all.  I have mine between the transformer and the TIU.  Maybe I did not follow the instructions!

With my PH180 bricks and their excellent circuit brakers, I view the TMCC Lockon as an answer to a question that never should have been asked.

I also like the green/red pilot lights

Last edited by John Sethian
@Oman posted:

I'd like to see these tested at the 8 amp setting powered by a Z4000. I'm curious as to which protects first; the Z4000 or the PSX-AC. Anybody done this?

From what I've seen with both of my new Z4Ks, just about anything will trip faster. The breakers for the fixed outputs are lightning fast, but the variable track output breakers are very slow.

John SethianMember SUPPORTING MEMBER

That "hammering mode" allows you to  walk around the layout, systematically checking things without having to trundle back to the brick to reset the breaker each time.  You can set the PSX to automatically reset like the TMCC Lockon or set it up for manual reset.  Like John, I don't like the auto reset feature and have mine on manual reset.  Seems like if it is constantly trying to reset it would be hard on the electronics.

Add to that, they will kill the DCS signal if you use them as documented directly to the track.

Not my experience at all.  I have mine between the transformer and the TIU.  Maybe I did not follow the instructions!  The TMCC Lockon does not kill the signal, but definitely degrades it.  This may not be an issue for you on your layout.  Unfortunately, the PSX also degrades the signal.  Both required a 22uH choke to get signal strength back.

With my PH180 bricks and their excellent circuit beakers, I view the TMCC Lockon as an answer to a question that never should have been asked.

I also like the green/red pilot lights  The TMCC Lockon provided a convenient way to connect a PowerMaster directly to the track for command only layouts. I would consider it required if you are using the older PowerMaster 135 brick since its CB is not very good.

I know you asked John, but he does not use PSX-ACs nor does he have a ZW-L (at least I don't think he has one).  John uses PM180s, which has a very fast CB as mentioned many times.

The second bullet is what the PSX was designed for.  Find a cheap CB for the accessories.

I don't have a ZW-L either.  I have asked in the past what ZW-L owners think of its circuit protection, but have not really received an answer.  If it is as good as the PH180 then you probably don't need a PSX.

Make sure you add TVS diodes.

Last edited by CAPPilot

I will disagree with regard to accessories, and instead say "It depends." Older accessories; I will agree, not needed. However, any of the newer ones that have electronics, I say "Heck, Yes!" And at the very least, if you decide not to use one on your accessory circuit, do install a TVS. Spikes and electronics definitely do not mix!



Chris

LVHR

Another issue with the TMCC Direct Lockon I had when I was using them (before I discovered MTH), was that I had about four or five engines that would trip it for no reason, just driving by the connection.  I went to the trouble of soldering things to make sure there was no issue with poor connections and it still did it.  Since they were an assortment of ERR upgrades, and factory TMCC, I decided it wasn't worth the trouble.  Yes, I tried a second one and it did the same thing.

When we put them on our club layout, that's when I found out about the MTH issues.  Lockon installed, no DCS.  Lockon removed, DCS was back.  It may be a sample of one, but one was all it took for me, I was convinced.

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