MTH Z4000 Question

Hello all.  I’m new here to the forum and also to model railroading in general.  I’m building my first layout in my sons room which will be around the ceiling. I would like to control it digitally with a legacy controller.  I have an MTH Z4000 but if I understand correctly you can’t power it on and off leaving the levers set at the desired voltage or you will trip the circuit.  I would like to be able to flip a switch, pick up the legacy controller and roll.  Is the best way to accomplish this via a few 180w powerhouse bricks or can I somehow modify the MTH to operate like described?  Any help is appreciated. 

 

Original Post

No you can’t leave the phone throttle set at any voltage because the transformer does a self test on power up and the throttle must be fully closed off or you will get a red short light! ! That’s just how the transformer was designed , it’s is really no big deal every time you turn it on just close the throttle off and after power up just set for what ever voltage u need Is required ok

Alan Mancus posted:

No you can’t leave the phone throttle set at any voltage because the transformer does a self test on power up and the throttle must be fully closed off or you will get a red short light! ! That’s just how the transformer was designed , it’s is really no big deal every time you turn it on just close the throttle off and after power up just set for what ever voltage u need Is required ok

Thanks for the input.  That’s what I suspected but wanted to make sure.  

I should have mentioned that I would like to put all of the electronics in his closet on a shelf until he is old enough to operate on his own. So if I have it in the closet up high then I will have to get on a step stool to power up every time. Not the end of the world but I’m sure it could be set up to be a little more convenient.  If this were a regular ground level layout there would be no issue. 

STAMIC006

A DCS remote with the Z-4000 Remote Commander Receiver (40-4002) installed on your Z-4000 transformer will allow you to dial  up the voltage remotely without touching the transformer using Z4K tracks. The handles stay in the off position.

You can also run conventional engines by varying the voltage with the remote.

Joe Allen posted:

STAMIC006

A DCS remote with the Z-4000 Remote Commander Receiver (40-4002) installed on your Z-4000 transformer will allow you to dial  up the voltage remotely without touching the transformer using Z4K tracks. The handles stay in the off position.

You can also run conventional engines by varying the voltage with the remote.

I don’t supppse I can control it with a legacy remote if I add an MTH TIU can I?

Joe Allen posted:

STAMIC006

A DCS remote with the Z-4000 Remote Commander Receiver (40-4002) installed on your Z-4000 transformer will allow you to dial  up the voltage remotely without touching the transformer using Z4K tracks. The handles stay in the off position.

You can also run conventional engines by varying the voltage with the remote.

Scratch that..... all of my track is atlas.

StaMic006 posted:
Joe Allen posted:

STAMIC006

A DCS remote with the Z-4000 Remote Commander Receiver (40-4002) installed on your Z-4000 transformer will allow you to dial  up the voltage remotely without touching the transformer using Z4K tracks. The handles stay in the off position.

You can also run conventional engines by varying the voltage with the remote.

I don’t supppse I can control it with a legacy remote if I add an MTH TIU can I?

No.  What Joe is referring to is a remote control receiver module that can plug into the Z4000.  It is controllable via a remote that was made for it (which allows control of the Z4000 voltage output), or the more versatile DCS remote, but that is a huge overkill for your needs since you have suggested using Legacy Trains, and not said anything about using trains with DCS>

StaMic006 posted:
Joe Allen posted:

STAMIC006

A DCS remote with the Z-4000 Remote Commander Receiver (40-4002) installed on your Z-4000 transformer will allow you to dial  up the voltage remotely without touching the transformer using Z4K tracks. The handles stay in the off position.

You can also run conventional engines by varying the voltage with the remote.

Scratch that..... all of my track is atlas.

Z4K tracks is not actually a track type, it's a name for the control of the voltage using the remote.  Any track system is compatible.

I agree with Rod.  For what you have suggested(assuming you already have trains picked out that have directed your mention of using Legacy), you should get the 180 W brick(s), and possibly a Power Master to go with it (them).  If you skip the Power Master you won't have remote control of the halt function, which I would think might be desirable for a ceiling mounted layout.  (But may depend on how accessible your physical switch for the AC main outlet powering the bricks is - for a small bedroom, it may be just as easy to dash to a wall switch that will kill the Power Houses vs hitting the halt button)

-Dave

For now I’m planning on legacy since I just purchased a new Berkshire.  The room is only 15x13 so a wall switch will work for a kill switch.  I know right now my needs are somewhat specific but now that I have the bug I’m already rolling the idea around of finishing a bonus room to start building a proper layout that can run everything.  

Thanks for all of the good feedback. I’m going to go with the 2 180w powerhouses (one for each loop). 

Dave,  You were talking about the power master for the halt function but would I need it for anything else or would the legacy controller run other conventional trains fine? For instance Atlas diesels.

StaMic006 posted:
Joe Allen posted:

STAMIC006

A DCS remote with the Z-4000 Remote Commander Receiver (40-4002) installed on your Z-4000 transformer will allow you to dial  up the voltage remotely without touching the transformer using Z4K tracks. The handles stay in the off position.

You can also run conventional engines by varying the voltage with the remote.

Scratch that..... all of my track is atlas.

It has nothing to do with your track!     It was only a suggestion on how to use your Z-4000 transformer remotely without having to move the handles. And a added benefit of being able to run conventional trains remotely. Maybe it's not for you, but other members might like the idea, especially if they already own a Z-4000. I can run my PW Lionel and MTH PS1 engines great using this setup, without being near the transformer. 

Joe Allen posted:
StaMic006 posted:
Joe Allen posted:

STAMIC006

A DCS remote with the Z-4000 Remote Commander Receiver (40-4002) installed on your Z-4000 transformer will allow you to dial  up the voltage remotely without touching the transformer using Z4K tracks. The handles stay in the off position.

You can also run conventional engines by varying the voltage with the remote.

Scratch that..... all of my track is atlas.

It has nothing to do with your track!     It was only a suggestion on how to use your Z-4000 transformer remotely without having to move the handles. And a added benefit of being able to run conventional trains remotely. Maybe it's not for you, but other members might like the idea, especially if they already own a Z-4000. I can run my PW Lionel and MTH PS1 engines great using this setup, without being near the transformer. 

I’m pretty sure I get it now. Seems like a good solution but maybe a bit much for a two loop layout. I would probably go that route once I get a ground level layout going. Thanks for the advice. 

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