IGGY,

Like Chuck I use the PSX-AC for all my circuit protection as well as having TVSs installed.  Not only is it an excellent electronic circuit breaker, but it performs several other functions such as an alarm and LEDs let you know of a short, manual or automatic reset, track power on, plus others.  However, this makes the PSX a bit expensive.

For a less expensive full protection option, LOU1985's setup works well but you have to replace the fuse every time you have a short.  Some folks use other types of circuit breakers but if you want the best protection using a fast blow fuse (or a PSX) is best.

Here is a simple diagram using the TMCC handheld for command and the ZW's handles for conventional.

ZW-TMCC-CB-TVS

The TVS actually provides better protection for your engine's electronics than a CB or fuse.  Many on the forum say only one TVS, at the transformer, is needed.  Since a TVS can fail without you knowing it, I like multiple TVSs as backup, one at the transformer and one at each track connection.  There is some thought that placing the TVS as close to the engine as possible is better, and actually inside the engine is best.  TVSs are cheap so get a bunch.

Ron

 

TCA, TTOS, NCT, LCCA, PRRT&HS

 

Volunteers don't get paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!  Author Sherry Anderson

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Iggy;

I use two PW ZW’s to power my layout. When I was first building, I knew I had to add protection for my TMCC/Legacy engines, so like you I started a search for info. To this techno-peasant, a lot of what I found might as well have been written in Urdu!!! Finally, I came upon one of  Jim Barrett’s Backshop videos (#8). He gave a clear, easy to follow presentation (I do not, and will never run DCS, so I was able to simplify the plan with just 4 sets of in/out connections). As a digital subscriber, you can buy just the episode on the circuit breakers from the OGR digital library for 99 cents - a real life-saving bargain. Here is a link to the video.

https://ogaugerr.com/vod-backshop/

Paul

Techno-Peasant of the First Order

Provisionary Member - Brotherhood of the Crappy Basement Layout

 TCA 15-70689

LCCA RM-39621

LOTS RM-9326

Rod Stewart posted:

Does anyone know the make and model no. for the 10 amp breaker used in the Lionel PoHo by chance? These seem to work really well and would be way less than a PSX-AC.

Rod

Do you mean to use the circuit breaker part from inside a PH as an add on to your ZW or other transformer? I doubt that it would be cheaper as a part. Also, seems that Lionel does not have parts available for the PH except the cord.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

cjack posted:
Rod Stewart posted:

Does anyone know the make and model no. for the 10 amp breaker used in the Lionel PoHo by chance? These seem to work really well and would be way less than a PSX-AC.

Rod

Do you mean to use the circuit breaker part from inside a PH as an add on to your ZW or other transformer? I doubt that it would be cheaper as a part. Also, seems that Lionel does not have parts available for the PH except the cord.

I don't think he is looking for the Lionel Part Number as much as the OEM Supplier part number which would be potentially reasonably expected to obtainable for under $5-$15 each through Mouser, Digikey, or similar.

Upgrade the circuit breakers inside your transformers to new solid state devices. That will protect your transformers properly, but not the trains. Most OEM CBs I've run across in postwar ZWs are way out of calibration and don't protect anything. 

For protection of your engines, I'm with the guys above: Get the PSX-AC. It is considerably faster acting than what is in the transformer and can adequately protect your engine against short circuits.

As Ron and others have recommended, add TVS devices to your transformer outputs. These will protect your delicate electronics from harmful voltage spikes. HIGHLY recommended that you have these installed!!! Do note that if you are running with a DCS TIU, the TIU has internal TVSs on each channel. But multiple TVSs will not hurt. BTW, if your accessories have electronics, be sure to add TVSs to those circuits as well.

 

Chris

LVHR

Trainlover9943 posted:

Don't the PSX-ACs only work with command? I seem to remember someone saying that they don't work well in conventional. 

They require a minimum voltage to operate. 18 vac in TMCC is fine, but low voltages like when running conventional may be too low. The low voltage limit is about 10 volts.

https://www.dccspecialties.com...ts/pdf/psx_hints.pdf

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

I just looked at the online manual for PSX-AC series CBs. There is no mention of a minimum voltage requirement. I've used them in a conventional environment w/o issue. Chuck, your link points to the DCC version, which is different. 

Also, there are versions available which support multiple circuits. More expensive, of course, but may be cheaper than buying multiple single circuit units.

One can always contact American Hobby Distributors (800-671-0641) and ask them.

Chris

LVHR

While many modern component systems are "light speeds" faster than a thermal breaker or fuse and are a great idea as a SUPPLIMENT, I wouldn't trust any without a thermal fuse/breaker somewhere as backup.  Add one, but don't simply replace thermals outright.

Too many variables that could go wrong. Shorts, to components forgetting their jobs short term, and lots of toasty power boards.  Combined, the two should make a nice team.

(yes, many can "forget" and appear bad for one power up, then recall their job the next day at power up and continue working for a decade or more without issue.  I didn't design them or anything, just noted the failures I didn't like )

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





The Lionel PowerHouse 180 has an excellent circuit breaker and needs no help.  The PowerHouse 135 has an ordinary thermal breaker, I'm not a big fan of those for total protection.  The new Legacy PowerMaster has good circuit protection as well, don't know how good the old TMCC one is.

cjack posted:
Trainlover9943 posted:

Don't the PSX-ACs only work with command? I seem to remember someone saying that they don't work well in conventional. 

They require a minimum voltage to operate. 18 vac in TMCC is fine, but low voltages like when running conventional may be too low. The low voltage limit is about 10 volts.

https://www.dccspecialties.com...ts/pdf/psx_hints.pdf

I just got in a lionel RW transformer and am wondering should I get use the PSX or the direct lock on from lionel.  With both I would use TVS diodes. 

The TMCC Direct Lockon kills the DCS signal, so don't get one of those if you run MTH command.  The PSX-AC had that problem, but I know they're aware of it and should have fixed it.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

The TMCC Direct Lockon kills the DCS signal, so don't get one of those if you run MTH command.  The PSX-AC had that problem, but I know they're aware of it and should have fixed it.

Alright. I'll stay away from that and get the PSX. The transformer is being used on my workbench. I'm just wondering about the minimum voltage, if I go below 10 volts, will the PSX just not work or what happens? 

I think the PSX-AC just doesn't work a low voltages.  They're designed for command operation.  I have one around here somewhere, I should dig it out and test it if I could only find it.

A lot of stuff still in boxes here, until I get the layout functional, I haven't unpacked all the stuff as I plan on storing much of it under the platform.

John, you have recommended these in the past, Sensata / AirPax PP11-0-10.0A-OBV.  These are magnetic breakers that are "instant."  Price point of under $12 each when you buy 4 of them.  I haven't tested mine yet, but seem to be of very good quality.  As others have suggested, adding TVS diodes is essential as well.

2019-04-25 09_02_17-PP11-0-10.0A-OB-V - Airpax _ Sensata Authorized Distributor

2019-04-25 09_00_42-PP11-0-10.0A-OB-V-AIRPAX _ SENSATA-Datasheet

 

https://www.onlinecomponents.c...00aobv-10090622.html

 

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And I still like those.  Magnetic breakers are much better than the thermal breakers, the response is way faster.

I actually use and old pre-war #91 breaker on my test bench when I'm testing stuff that I'm unsure if it'll try to draw excessive current.  It beats the 2A thermal breaker on my test bench every time when there's excessive current draw.  The thermal breaker will supply 4-5 amps for seconds before tripping.

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