New ACL FT ABA, A & B powered (4 motors), pulling 12 passenger cars, 11 lighted ( dim elongate neon-like bulbs in one car I took apart, others may be regular incandescent); when the train approached a gentle gradient, the breaker on the ZWL lit up and the track went dead. I removed one car at a time until at nine cars, eight lighted, it ran O.K. all around a long double loop, Cars all MTH 18" Premier. Would the Z4000 power up enough (without breaking) to run all 12 passenger cars? Or is there another way to get enough juice to the track without the circuit breaking? ? Best way to measure power draw accurately?

Waly

"Reflecting on four score, mostly with trains"

Original Post

Either one is limited to roughly 180 watts at any one output(handle), so you would probably experience the same thing on the Z4K. 

The TOTAL wattage available is different/higher on the ZW-L, but you still can't get more than 180 out of any one of the 4 outputs (additionally,  it will be less on the 4th output if the other 3 are close to max, due to the total being cut back to 620 watts from the originally advertised 720 all those years ago.  The 4th one maxes out at 80 watts if the other 3 are at 180 - which is unlikely, but easy to understand math).

People that need more power to the track I think use one of the higher power capable TPC units Lionel sells and use the combining cable/pigtail to feed 2 power house supplies into the TPC.  This is of course only useful if you use TMCC or Legacy, since you need to control the TPC in that environment.

-Dave

A solution is to put LED's in the passenger cars. Assuming you do not choose that alternative another choice is to break up that loop into two power districts. You have 21' of passenger train, it must be a very nice layout. At the bottom of the grade start a new power district about 15' long. This way the entire train will not be in the same PD while climbing the grade. At the end of the 15' transition back to the other PD.

Tom

Regardless of the rated power each output can only deliver 10 amps. UL requirement. Doesn't your ZWL have ammeters? 12 passenger cars lit with incandescents are likely drawing 5-6 amps alone. Measure the current draw with just the cars on the tracks. Each motor has a stall current of around 2.5 amps. While its unlikely they are approaching that you can see the motors alone could be drawing 10 amps.

Pete

Thanks Dave, Tom, and Pete.  Dave, this is LC+ (no BT), but couldn't I still double up on the power?  Tom, I have some of the little converter units from Guns, just haven't put the LEDs into the cars (deciding which cars to use them in). I have no power districts so that is a possibility; the whole double loop/over n under is graded, all up and down a few inches in 140 feet. Pete, the ammeter on the ZWL reads almost 6 for the cars, just over 8 with FTs going upgrade. elsewhere on the Forum someone said the meters on the ZWL were not too accurate(?). Maybe the're pretty good after all.    I'm happy with the 9 cars for now. Maybe just avoid any changes now; but these all are good possibilities if I rewire, etc. thanks.

Wally

"Reflecting on four score, mostly with trains"

Wally, one of the lines on my S gauge layout is 140' around, equivalent to about 180' in O gauge. It has an elevation change of 6", the gradient is 2.4%. When I feel adventurous (not too often) I can run 4 trains on that line, which even in S gauge can be more than 10A. So that line is divided into two power districts each fed from a different handle of a ZW-L. Works perfectly.

Tom

ADCX Rob posted:
Cho Cho Wally posted:

Thanks Dave, Tom, and Pete.  Dave, this is LC+ (no BT), but couldn't I still double up on the power?

The TPC400 will allow 22 amps per power district if you are using TMCC/Legacy/LC/LC+/DCS.

I don't have any of the TPC units, but my comment regarding needing TMCC/Legacy was assuming you need to address the TPC to get it to pass any voltage to the track.  Perhaps that is untrue? 

I know the original TMCC PowerMaster had the Command/Conventional switch that would always set the output to full if set to Command, - do the TPCs have a similar switch?

-Dave

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