MTH remote control box, in line with Z1000 transformer doesn't work. I wonder why?

RWL posted:

...

So does it go Like a daisy chain?

Power Brick to Z controller to track?

mth a

Well, there are many ways to wire it and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but here's how I'd do it.  What I'm trying to show is the idea of keeping each inter-connection segment with a pair (red & black) of power wires together until "the last moment" when they must be split.  This doesn't use the minimum amount of wire, but I believe is the neatest way especially if using 2-wire lamp cord or "zip cord" for the red/black pair.

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RWL posted:
Casey Jones2 posted:

Wire it up like you initially did but wire the DCS Remote Commander in passive mode because it just may work.

If you mean having the power go thru the Z1000 then to the track, and then having the Remote Commander connected to the track separately, and with no power to it:

I already tried it, and it doesn't work. The light on the R.C. box lights up, then blinks when receiving commands from the remote, but will not control the locomotive.

I can control the loco with the transformer, but not the remote.

Right.  I thought you said you tried this (with no joy).

mth dcsrc passive

But to be clear, above diagram shows the "passive mode" that Casey Jones2 is talking about.  I believe this is what you mean when you said the DCS-RC was connected to the track with no power to it...i.e., with NO connection to the DCS-RC input connector as shown in above diagram.  As before, in the configuration you'd want the Z-1000 controller set to the max/full CW knob setting when using (attempting to use) DCS command mode via the DCS-Remote-Commander.

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stan2004 posted:
RWL posted:
Casey Jones2 posted:

Wire it up like you initially did but wire the DCS Remote Commander in passive mode because it just may work.

If you mean having the power go thru the Z1000 then to the track, and then having the Remote Commander connected to the track separately, and with no power to it:

I already tried it, and it doesn't work. The light on the R.C. box lights up, then blinks when receiving commands from the remote, but will not control the locomotive.

I can control the loco with the transformer, but not the remote.

Right.  I thought you said you tried this (with no joy).

mth dcsrc passive

But to be clear, above diagram shows the "passive mode" that Casey Jones2 is talking about.  I believe this is what you mean when you said the DCS-RC was connected to the track with no power to it...i.e., with NO connection to the DCS-RC input connector as shown in above diagram.  As before, in the configuration you'd want the Z-1000 controller set to the max/full CW knob setting when using (attempting to use) DCS command mode via the DCS-Remote-Commander.

Yep, that is what I tried, and with, as you said, No Joy.

stan2004 posted:
RWL posted:

...

So does it go Like a daisy chain?

Power Brick to Z controller to track?

mth a

Well, there are many ways to wire it and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but here's how I'd do it.  What I'm trying to show is the idea of keeping each inter-connection segment with a pair (red & black) of power wires together until "the last moment" when they must be split.  This doesn't use the minimum amount of wire, but I believe is the neatest way especially if using 2-wire lamp cord or "zip cord" for the red/black pair.

OK, let me take a stab at this setup. I tried laying out what I thought was the way, but got confused with the Red and Black Banana ins, and the barrel outs.
So than is this the layout?

1) Power out of Z1000 brick to splitter, then, from splitter, into Red sides of each of the Barrel Ins on Z Controller and Remote Commander.
2) Power out of each, from Red Banana Outs to either 1 or 5 on switch.
3) Power out of 2 and 6, on switch, brought together, into a reverse splitter, and back to single point on track.

4) Common out of Brick to Black side of the  Barrel In on Z Controller, out of Black Banana Out from Z to Black side of the Barrel In on Remote Commander, then out of Black Banana on Remote Commander to the track

Is this close to what we are looking at?

stan2004 posted:
RWL posted:
Casey Jones2 posted:

Wire it up like you initially did but wire the DCS Remote Commander in passive mode because it just may work.

If you mean having the power go thru the Z1000 then to the track, and then having the Remote Commander connected to the track separately, and with no power to it:

I already tried it, and it doesn't work. The light on the R.C. box lights up, then blinks when receiving commands from the remote, but will not control the locomotive.

I can control the loco with the transformer, but not the remote.

Right.  I thought you said you tried this (with no joy).

mth dcsrc passive

But to be clear, above diagram shows the "passive mode" that Casey Jones2 is talking about.  I believe this is what you mean when you said the DCS-RC was connected to the track with no power to it...i.e., with NO connection to the DCS-RC input connector as shown in above diagram.  As before, in the configuration you'd want the Z-1000 controller set to the max/full CW knob setting when using (attempting to use) DCS command mode via the DCS-Remote-Commander.

Yep, that is what I tried, and with, as you said, No Joy.

Not sure about using the term splitter and reverse-splitter, but where 3-wires come together I'm simply suggesting something like a twist-on wire nut.  Here's the diagram updated showing the coax power connectors (5.5mm/2.1mm) which are on the input side of the Z-controller and DCS-RC.  The output side of the Z-controller and DCS-RC have red/black banana jacks to which you can insert bare-wires.

mth b

You can buy pig-tail wires with either male or female coax (5.5mm/2.1mm) connectors on them for less than $1 each on eBay.  Or you can use the screw-terminal adapters I showed earlier in the thread.

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stan2004 posted:

Not sure about using the term splitter and reverse-splitter, but where 3-wires come together I'm simply suggesting something like a twist-on wire nut.  Here's the diagram updated showing the coax power connectors (5.5mm/2.1mm) which are on the input side of the Z-controller and DCS-RC.  The output side of the Z-controller and DCS-RC have red/black banana jacks to which you can insert bare-wires.

mth b

You can buy pig-tail wires with either male or female coax (5.5mm/2.1mm) connectors on them for less than $1 each on eBay.  Or you can use the screw-terminal adapters I showed earlier in the thread.

I am going to have to digest this diagram a bit. I think I understand it but I am not completely clear just yet.

Thanks for the responses.
I really do appreciate it.

stan2004 posted:

Not sure about using the term splitter and reverse-splitter, but where 3-wires come together I'm simply suggesting something like a twist-on wire nut.  Here's the diagram updated showing the coax power connectors (5.5mm/2.1mm) which are on the input side of the Z-controller and DCS-RC.  The output side of the Z-controller and DCS-RC have red/black banana jacks to which you can insert bare-wires.

mth b

You can buy pig-tail wires with either male or female coax (5.5mm/2.1mm) connectors on them for less than $1 each on eBay.  Or you can use the screw-terminal adapters I showed earlier in the thread.

I now have a complete understanding of this, I think, and have written a step by step set up instructions, which you will see below:
I would appreciate if you could let me know if there is anything amiss.

Thanks for all of the detailed help,
Roge
_______________________________________________________________________________

WIRING POWER BRICK
TO Z-CONTROLLER or ZW-C & TO REMOTE COMMANDER MODULE 

  1. Power (RED) from BRICK to center pin 3 of DPDT SWITCH.
  2. Power (RED) out of pins 1 & 5 of DPDT SWITCH to (Red) side of separate COAX MALE PIGTAILS.
  3. Common (BLACK) from BRICK to be split into two conductors, and to (BLACK) side of each of two COAX MALE PIGTAILS introduced in Step 2 Above.
  4. One each of two COAX MALE PLUGS to Z-CONTROLLER, and REMOTE COMMANDER COAX Power In terminals.
  5. Power (RED) out from Z-CONTROLLER (RED) Banana Plug to pin 2 of DPDT SWITCH.
  6. Power (RED)out from REMOTE COMMANDER (RED) Banana Plug to pin 6 of DPDT SWITCH.
  7. Power (RED) from pin 4 of DPDT SWITCH to TRACK CONNECTOR.
  8. Common (BLACK) from both the Z-CONTROLLER and REMOTE COMMANDER to be merged together and to TRACK CONNECTOR.

  I prefer a toggle with screws for best connections. Rockers look better but take more space topside and are too easily bumped imo. I like the feel and solid click that most toggles maintain. I think rocker click tends to go soft. I think most toggle cases are less prone to meltdowns when the metal limits are pushed to failure inside. Push on connection is often easier to use in hard to see or reach places when a pigtail connected to the sw. then the sw. mounted, just doesn't happen.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Adriatic posted:

  I prefer a toggle with screws for best connections. Rockers look better but take more space topside and are too easily bumped imo. I like the feel and solid click that most toggles maintain. I think rocker click tends to go soft. I think most toggle cases are less prone to meltdowns when the metal limits are pushed to failure inside. Push on connection is often easier to use in hard to see or reach places when a pigtail connected to the sw. then the sw. mounted, just doesn't happen.

I agree on the toggle, just wanted confirmation.
Regarding the screw on connectors, I think you are inferring that push on's can come loose, and fail the switch.
Is that correct?

As far as the amperage, most are 10 amps and above.

There is that too, but I'm thinking pressure. Pressure actually has bearing on possibilities of resistance per square inch of contact, a "built-in overkill" of sorts. 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





stan2004 posted:

Not sure about using the term splitter and reverse-splitter, but where 3-wires come together I'm simply suggesting something like a twist-on wire nut.  Here's the diagram updated showing the coax power connectors (5.5mm/2.1mm) which are on the input side of the Z-controller and DCS-RC.  The output side of the Z-controller and DCS-RC have red/black banana jacks to which you can insert bare-wires.

mth b

You can buy pig-tail wires with either male or female coax (5.5mm/2.1mm) connectors on them for less than $1 each on eBay.  Or you can use the screw-terminal adapters I showed earlier in the thread.

OK, I have the DPDT switch,12 - 24 volt / 20amp, and 18 gauge barrel pigtails.

I wired up the Z-1000 and Remote Commander, per the diagram above, which makes perfect sense, and things just are not working correctly at all.
I did verify that the switch is wired properly, with power in and power out of each of the two controllers going to the same end of the switch,
and with both powers ins into one side, and both power outs from the other side.

The Remote Commander barely runs my SD-70, very slow to start up, and I get no sounds of it at all.

The Z1000 runs conventional at full speed even with the knob turned all the way down.
The instant that I flip the switch to that controller on, the loco takes off, so I get no chance to check for sounds.

The Z-100 runs the Lion Chief but kind of funky, and with no sounds at all.

Any ideas?

So introducing the DPDT switch causes both conventional mode (using Z1000 controller) AND command-mode (using DCS-RC) to stop working.

I'd disconnect the DPDT switch and confirm the two modes still work independently.  In other words, the brick barrel plug directly into the Z1000 for conventional...and the brick barrel plug directly into the DCS-RC for command.

If the engine takes off at full-speed in conventional with the Z1000 knob turned down, then the Z1000 may have "shorted" thereby applying full brick voltage all the time.

As I see it, the "no sound" problem should be addressed later.   You might have stated in above but also remind us exactly what DCS engine you have (PS2 or PS3, item number).

Thanks Stan,

When I get home this evening, I will look and see about the DCS Loco.
It is the SD-70 from the sets that MTH had out a couple of years ago.
There was BNSF, CTX, Union Pacific, and mine is the BNSF.
Now those sets come with a Dash-9.

All worked perfectly before wiring in the DPDT switch.
However, as you have suggested, I will take it bake to standard configurations (Conventional Only) and (Remote Commander Only), then report back.

Could the 18 gauge barrel pigtails have anything to do with it?
Or could the switch be doing something to the signals?

stan2004 posted:

So introducing the DPDT switch causes both conventional mode (using Z1000 controller) AND command-mode (using DCS-RC) to stop working.

I'd disconnect the DPDT switch and confirm the two modes still work independently.  In other words, the brick barrel plug directly into the Z1000 for conventional...and the brick barrel plug directly into the DCS-RC for command.

If the engine takes off at full-speed in conventional with the Z1000 knob turned down, then the Z1000 may have "shorted" thereby applying full brick voltage all the time.

As I see it, the "no sound" problem should be addressed later.   You might have stated in above but also remind us exactly what DCS engine you have (PS2 or PS3, item number).

So, I tried the DCS loco, with power straight out of the brick, into the Remote Commander Box, and then to the track, and it works perfectly. Power Up, Sounds, Couplers, everything.

I have to do a bit of re-wiring to get back to straight conventional. I will do that tomorrow evening, and report back

The MTH DCS locomotive is PS3
I am not sure what you mean by "Item No", but there is a 2nd sticker on the bottom that says "PASS D2", and a 3rd one that simply says "4".


Also, as mentioned before, the loco is just as it came out of the box, and has never been programmed in any way.

It could be the switch. If you can remove it and make the same contacts wire to wire, in both configurations and it works, then the contacts in that switch are incompatible.  Usually it is point materials.   (Ive run into this with points blocking serial data after I replaced the relay with the "alternate". )

Another switch type or brand with brass to brass contacts should solve it if it IS a toggle internal contact point issue.

Also, every one in a whíle the pins of a switch are not in a normal arrangement. They do this to please big buyers at times.

There are usually numbers &/or letters next to each terminal that will match a tech sheet on the switch. Ideally you check with a meter, but expect to follow any numbers vs a diagram or map position.  Likely doesn't apply... just one of those "sometimes" notes.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Adriatic posted:

It could be the switch. If you can remove it and make the same contacts wire to wire, in both configurations and it works, then the contacts in that switch are incompatible.  Usually it is point materials.   (Ive run into this with points blocking serial data after I replaced the relay with the "alternate". )

Another switch type or brand with brass to brass contacts should solve it if it IS a toggle internal contact point issue.

Also, every one in a whíle the pins of a switch are not in a normal arrangement. They do this to please big buyers at times.

There are usually numbers &/or letters next to each terminal that will match a tech sheet on the switch. Ideally you check with a meter, but expect to follow any numbers vs a diagram or map position.  Likely doesn't apply... just one of those "sometimes" notes.

thanks for the suggestions,

I will take your advice, and try to make up the two configurations with direct wiring, including the 3-way connections with the grounds. This should be simple enough to direct wire the red side directly to and from each controller.

Also, these switches did not come with any nomenclature on the pins. Simply some voltage info on the side of the block.

I ordered them from Mouser, and they are Carling switches, so I trusted them to be good, but maybe not. They weren't terribly expensive, so it is not that much of a loss.

Can you recommend any good switches?

stan2004 posted:

So introducing the DPDT switch causes both conventional mode (using Z1000 controller) AND command-mode (using DCS-RC) to stop working.

I'd disconnect the DPDT switch and confirm the two modes still work independently.  In other words, the brick barrel plug directly into the Z1000 for conventional...and the brick barrel plug directly into the DCS-RC for command.

If the engine takes off at full-speed in conventional with the Z1000 knob turned down, then the Z1000 may have "shorted" thereby applying full brick voltage all the time.

As I see it, the "no sound" problem should be addressed later.   You might have stated in above but also remind us exactly what DCS engine you have (PS2 or PS3, item number).

OK, I have done a fare amount of experimenting. 
I also went thru all of my wires and pigtales, and verified that all have good continuity.

1. I went back and tried both controllers on their own, and they work flawlessly, and with all Locos.

2. I hooked everything up without the switch.
Z-1000 Hots connected, with RC Hots not connected
All grounds connected together as before.
RESULTS: Conventional Loco took off as soon as power was turned on, with the Z-1000 knob at "0".
Same as with switch in place.
Based on this result, I didn't go to the trouble to try the RC by itself.

3. I tried again, and this time I disconnected the grounds from either the Z-1000 and/or the RC box.
RESULTS: Definitely better results, but non that made seance, as all seemed backwards.
I can't remember the exact details, so I will try it again tonight and track the changes.

Bottom line is this: I believe that it is the grounds being tied together that is causing the confused behavior when all is connected with the switch, especially when I get the same results with the switch removed, and with the unused Hots simply not connected.

I feel that somehow there is some back feed, via the grounds, so I have a couple of alternatives to consider.

1. Alternate Switch wiring, using same DPDT:
a) Run Power and Ground into both Controllers.
b) Run Power out from both Controllers to one side of the Switch.
c) Run Power out from center of that side of Switch out to Track.
d) Run Ground out from both controllers to opposite side of Switch.
e) Run Ground out from center of that side of Switch to track.
Pro: Hot and Ground completely isolated between controllers.
Con: Power to all controllers at all times, even when not used.

2. Replace 2D2T switch with 3P2T switch:
a) Connect all Power leads, in and out, to Poles 1 & 2, as in original diagram.
b) Connect Grounds, separately, from Brick to each Controller.
c) Connect Grounds out from both controllers to outer terminals of Switch - Pole 3.
d) Connect Ground from center pin - Pole 3 out to track.
Pros:
1) Complete isolation between controllers and their signals
2) No power to Controller when not in use.
Con:
1) More expensive switch
2) More complex wiring.

Again, I will report back on the wired results, when using the original DPDT configuration, and disconnecting grounds from one or the other controller.

Stop the presses!  I gave you bad information on the Z-controller.   I examined mine and it appears "Black" is NOT common between input and output.  Instead it the "Red" that is connected internally.  OTOH for the DCS-RC, the "Black" is common between input and output.  I'll have to revise my diagram.  Maybe it can still be done with "just" a DPDT configuration but as you have intuited, it may require a more complex (e.g., 3P) switch type.  

If you have a meter, with nothing connected to the Z-controller, could you measure the Ohms between the input center-pin and the output "Red" banana...and separately the Ohms between the input "sleeve" and the output "Black" banana?  You can plug in the barrel-connector with pigtails if it makes it easier to attach the meter probes.

stan2004 posted:

Stop the presses!  I gave you bad information on the Z-controller.   I examined mine and it appears "Black" is NOT common between input and output.  Instead it the "Red" that is connected internally.  OTOH for the DCS-RC, the "Black" is common between input and output.  I'll have to revise my diagram.  Maybe it can still be done with "just" a DPDT configuration but as you have intuited, it may require a more complex (e.g., 3P) switch type.  

If you have a meter, with nothing connected to the Z-controller, could you measure the Ohms between the input center-pin and the output "Red" banana...and separately the Ohms between the input "sleeve" and the output "Black" banana?  You can plug in the barrel-connector with pigtails if it makes it easier to attach the meter probes.

Boy do  I know the feeling.
Up is down and  down is up.

I will check that out and, if I find as you suggested, I will try it again with regard to the reversal.

Thanks for checking into your controller.
That is going above an beyond, and I sincerely appreciate the effort.

Roger

stan2004 posted:

Stop the presses!  I gave you bad information on the Z-controller.   I examined mine and it appears "Black" is NOT common between input and output.  Instead it the "Red" that is connected internally.  OTOH for the DCS-RC, the "Black" is common between input and output.  I'll have to revise my diagram.  Maybe it can still be done with "just" a DPDT configuration but as you have intuited, it may require a more complex (e.g., 3P) switch type.  

If you have a meter, with nothing connected to the Z-controller, could you measure the Ohms between the input center-pin and the output "Red" banana...and separately the Ohms between the input "sleeve" and the output "Black" banana?  You can plug in the barrel-connector with pigtails if it makes it easier to attach the meter probes.

It is really strange.
I just did a continuity check on my Z-1000, and I get continuity between the center input and the red output, but on the other side I get high resistance between both the center and sleeve input and the black output.

stan2004 posted:

Stop the presses!  I gave you bad information on the Z-controller.   I examined mine and it appears "Black" is NOT common between input and output.  Instead it the "Red" that is connected internally.  OTOH for the DCS-RC, the "Black" is common between input and output.  I'll have to revise my diagram.  Maybe it can still be done with "just" a DPDT configuration but as you have intuited, it may require a more complex (e.g., 3P) switch type.  

If you have a meter, with nothing connected to the Z-controller, could you measure the Ohms between the input center-pin and the output "Red" banana...and separately the Ohms between the input "sleeve" and the output "Black" banana?  You can plug in the barrel-connector with pigtails if it makes it easier to attach the meter probes.

OK, I redid the test without the switch, and with each controller wired in discreetly.

1) With the Z-1000 wired up, I got power to conventional locos with the knob at 0.
However, when I disconnected the ground from the HC the power stopped, and worked with the knob, as it should.
Now, when I disconnected the ground from the Z-1000, the power was still there, with the Z-1000 knob at 0.

2) WIth the HC wired in, separately, all worked as it should.

This leads me to believe that it is a ground issue with the Z-1000.

I will try reversing the hot and ground out of the Z-1000 to see what happens.

I'm thinking: less time messing with wiring, more time playing with trains!  So here's my recommendation. 

mth rev c

The DPDT switch now selects and switches BOTH red and black to the track.  The "penalty" is that brick power is applied to both the Z-controller and the DCS-RC all the time.  So even if only one is connected to the track at any given time, the other is nevertheless powered up (albeit its output goes nowhere).   Even if the DPDT is set to the "center-off" position with neither connected to the track, both the Z-controller and DCS-RC are powered up from the brick.

I did just measure the power penalty.  The Z-controller draws between 3-5 Watts (knob position OFF-max) with nothing connected to its output.  The DCS-RC draws about 1 Watt with nothing connected to its output.  So this method does has a small power "tax".  This tax is deducted from the 100 Watt brick capability.

While it may be possible to use a common Red (vs. Black) in this situation, it assumes facts-not-in-evidence.  I try to show this in the revised diagram above with Orange and Green being the 2-wire inputs.  In other words, I should not assume any commonality from input to output. 

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stan2004 posted:

I'm thinking: less time messing with wiring, more time playing with trains!  So here's my recommendation. 

mth rev c

The DPDT switch now selects and switches BOTH red and black to the track.  The "penalty" is that brick power is applied to both the Z-controller and the DCS-RC all the time.  So even if only one is connected to the track at any given time, the other is nevertheless powered up (albeit its output goes nowhere).   Even if the DPDT is set to the "center-off" position with neither connected to the track, both the Z-controller and DCS-RC are powered up from the brick.

I did just measure the power penalty.  The Z-controller draws between 3-5 Watts (knob position OFF-max) with nothing connected to its output.  The DCS-RC draws about 1 Watt with nothing connected to its output.  So this method does has a small power "tax".  This tax is deducted from the 100 Watt brick capability.

While it may be possible to use a common Red (vs. Black) in this situation, it assumes facts-not-in-evidence.  I try to show this in the revised diagram above with Orange and Green being the 2-wire inputs.  In other words, I should not assume any commonality from input to output. 

Works like a charm. It was those commons, letting signal thru, or something. Thanks for all of the help. One more hurdle crossed, and now on to the next, but this was one of the most critical to getting the system running with out a DCS system.

Thanks again,
Roger

RWL posted:
stan2004 posted:

I'm thinking: less time messing with wiring, more time playing with trains!  So here's my recommendation. 

mth rev c

The DPDT switch now selects and switches BOTH red and black to the track.  The "penalty" is that brick power is applied to both the Z-controller and the DCS-RC all the time.  So even if only one is connected to the track at any given time, the other is nevertheless powered up (albeit its output goes nowhere).   Even if the DPDT is set to the "center-off" position with neither connected to the track, both the Z-controller and DCS-RC are powered up from the brick.

I did just measure the power penalty.  The Z-controller draws between 3-5 Watts (knob position OFF-max) with nothing connected to its output.  The DCS-RC draws about 1 Watt with nothing connected to its output.  So this method does has a small power "tax".  This tax is deducted from the 100 Watt brick capability.

While it may be possible to use a common Red (vs. Black) in this situation, it assumes facts-not-in-evidence.  I try to show this in the revised diagram above with Orange and Green being the 2-wire inputs.  In other words, I should not assume any commonality from input to output. 

Works like a charm. It was those commons, letting signal thru, or something. Thanks for all of the help. One more hurdle crossed, and now on to the next, but this was one of the most critical to getting the system functioning with all three types of locos, and with not need for a DCS system.

Thanks again,
Roger

 

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