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@Porschev posted:

Are you sure it won't pass the DCS signal?  I have 4 of them (4 loops) installed between the track and the TIU and the DCS signal on each loop works perfectly: 10/10.  I installed them after past  derailments killed a TIU. :-(    Does anybody know for a fact that there is a choke or filter in the PSX-1AC design that should be killing the DCS signal?

I believe they will pass the DCS signal, but as I recall some folks here were having problems with the PSX-ACs between the TIU and track. I'm thinking some could have added chokes? Been quite a while and I don't remember the exact outcome of the folks having problems?  My PSX-ACs are pretty old (9-10 years) and the discussions I recall were all some time ago as well.

As far as I know there are no filters or chokes on my older PSX-ACs.  I have no knowledge of this, but it's possible the PSX-ACs could have been updated to correct for the DCS signal interference?

Last edited by rtr12

Well, good or rather EXCELLENT discussion. I am going ahead with the PSX-1AC on my 8 block railroad. I'll put them ahead of the TIU, between transformer and TIU. Until some brave soul does thorough testing to see if these degrade the DCS signal (and for that matter TMCC and legacy), I think the protection will have to be on "the wrong side of the tracks".

What a friggin hobby! My trains drag me into every corner of the known hobbyverse!

Don

I apologize if my information is dated about PSX and the DCS signal. Still, however, if the PSX is that much faster than the ph 180 breaker I can't see any advantage to having one after the TIU. It will protect just as well placed before the TIU I would think.

I don’t see any way the PSX AC can be any faster than a 180 watt brick. This is for AC not DC. AC passes through zero 120 times a second. You can’t sense a short circuit when there is no current. Only as it approaches max voltage can it sense a change in current.
On a DC layout it can respond faster than 8 ms but not AC.

Folks using these after a modern transformer, they are really only useful if you want to limit the current on a section to less than ten amps which is what a modern higher power transformer of at least 180 watts trips at.

Want to turn your Post War ZW into a modern transformer? Use a PSX1-AC.

Pete

Last edited by Norton

If there is a generous SME on the forum willing to take on such a study;  (pretty please! )  I suggest the study must answer at least these two questions:

1.) Which position offers the better protection for the TIU; between the track and the TIU or between the TIU and the Power Source.... and WHY?

2.) If installed between the track and the TIU, does the PSX-1AC degrade the DCS signal?  If so, can it be measured?   

I am running PH135 bricks.  In all cases the PSX-1AC trips first and without a visible spark/arc.  I have yet to have a PH135 breaker trip before or with the PSX-1AC.  Before I installed the PSX-1AC's it would take quite a short to trip the PH135 breakers and through the years I damaged 2 TIUs.  While it's only been a year, there has been NO damage to the TIUs since install of the PSX-1AC's.

@Porschev posted:

I am running PH135 bricks.  In all cases the PSX-1AC trips first and without a visible spark/arc.  I have yet to have a PH135 breaker trip before or with the PSX-1AC.  Before I installed the PSX-1AC's it would take quite a short to trip the PH135 breakers and through the years I damaged 2 TIUs.  While it's only been a year, there has been NO damage to the TIUs since install of the PSX-1AC's.

What are your PSXs set at? The bricks set point is fixed, the PSXs are adjustable.

Pete

Norton, I just don't trust Lionel's Chinese contractors to build the PH180s consistently as designed. Heck, when I set up my layout, 5 of the 12 PH180's were out of phase with the other 7!! If they can't get the doggone things in phase consistently (I mean--flip a coin!), what makes you so confident they are building the rest of that transformer to a superior standard?

The PSX-1AC is a cheap defense. We can discuss whether it's the first line or the second, but it's good insurance for me--saving just one loco repair repays the entire investment!

Don

gunrunnerjohn...it's a very fine line...I was just put off by the phasing fiasco. Those are NEW transformers. I was expecting them all to be in phase (yes, I know--please pass the cheese to go with my whine...). But then too, I liked the sonalert addition to the PSX-1AC. That was actually what sold me on the thing.

The PSX-1AC does a good job of notifying me that there is a problem. It has lights, sounds and dancing girls--what more could you ask for? The PH180 just sits there and says "hah! good luck finding that short sucker!"

So yes, I like the PSX-1AC's Chinese contractors better... <grin>

Don

Good point!  My PSX-1AC's are set for 8 amps which probably explains why they trip before the PH135's.   Interesting that I don't get a nasty spark/arc with the PSX-1AC like I do with just the PH135.  Perhaps the PSX-1AC opening at lower amperage is the reason for no spark/arc?    I have tested the DCS signal on my layout and without the PSX-1AC (between track and TIU) and I can't determine a difference. 

Mike, I guess I mis-spoke...what I meant is that the PSX-1AC is FAR FAR SUPERIOR to the PH180 in the manner of notification that a short exists--sound and light. I find that valuable since my blocks are many and pretty carefully assigned, the PSX-1AC generally gets me awfully close to the problem. It works for me anyway. As has been stated several times in his thread, these things are not for everyone.

Don

While some folks do not like the buzzer, I find it very useful.  No matter what I am doing, if there is a short the sound immediately lets me know there is a problem.  I also like the fact that when using the PSX's reset circuit, the power will not come back on until I'm ready, and the reset switch is easy to get at.  One press, power is back.

I don't have to worry about doing anything with the PowerMaster or PH180.

I know there will be some who will come back and say how they don't need it, as with previous pro-PSX posts, but I say try it and you will like it.

Last edited by CAPPilot

Somewhat related here, QSI used to offer something called a Power Guard. It was a box with some TVS diodes and some LEDs that flashed when it sensed a spike. We used them on the clubs modular layout. If you have any doubts that TVS diodes are worth the trouble, think again. The LEDS would be flashing almost continually. The most common reason is dirty track coupled with worn pickup rollers bouncing up and down on the rails. They show up on the auction sites occasionally though really not more effective than a TVS diode, they could be a good tool for keeping track of the condition of your motive power and rails.

Pete

@Norton posted:

Somewhat related here, QSI used to offer something called a Power Guard. It was a box with some TVS diodes and some LEDs that flashed when it sensed a spike. We used them on the clubs modular layout. If you have any doubts that TVS diodes are worth the trouble, think again. The LEDS would be flashing almost continually. The most common reason is dirty track coupled with worn pickup rollers bouncing up and down on the rails. They show up on the auction sites occasionally though really not more effective than a TVS diode, they could be a good tool for keeping track of the condition of your motive power and rails.

Pete

For anyone interested, the first project in the 'OGR Electronics Projects List' is a spike detector that Stan2004 posted. Just below the spike detector is a neat little project forum member Rod Stewart made installing one of these in the roof of a caboose. Links to the original project postings are included for more details.

Last edited by rtr12
@Norton posted:

I don’t see any way the PSX AC can be any faster than a 180 watt brick. This is for AC not DC. AC passes through zero 120 times a second. You can’t sense a short circuit when there is no current. Only as it approaches max voltage can it sense a change in current.
On a DC layout it can respond faster than 8 ms but not AC.

Folks are reporting no spark when shorting the circuit to test the PSX regardless of what the amp setting is. I like and depend on the PH 180 breaker too, but it can't shut of current that fast. How do explain that?

Last edited by turkey_hollow_rr

Folks are reporting no spark when shorting the circuit to test the PSX regardless of what the amp setting is. I like and depend on the PH 180 breaker too, but it can't shut of current that fast. How do explain that?

Simple, the PSX1-AC uses solid state switching to interrupt the current, the PH180, at least the older version, uses a relay to interrupt the current.  So, think microseconds or less for the PSX and milliseconds for the PH180.

@Norton posted:

I don’t see any way the PSX AC can be any faster than a 180 watt brick. This is for AC not DC. AC passes through zero 120 times a second. You can’t sense a short circuit when there is no current. Only as it approaches max voltage can it sense a change in current.
On a DC layout it can respond faster than 8 ms but not AC.

Folks using these after a modern transformer, they are really only useful if you want to limit the current on a section to less than ten amps which is what a modern higher power transformer of at least 180 watts trips at.

Want to turn your Post War ZW into a modern transformer? Use a PSX1-AC.

Pete

Thinking about this, I don’e see a 8 ms issue for AC. True if a derailment occurs when there is no current, but then as the current rises and reaches the set current limit of the PSX, then the PSX will trip faster at that moment than a PH180 which has a relay in it. So yes, the PSX can respond faster than 8 ms…but not until it has to.

@Norton posted:

I don’t see any way the PSX AC can be any faster than a 180 watt brick. This is for AC not DC. AC passes through zero 120 times a second. You can’t sense a short circuit when there is no current. Only as it approaches max voltage can it sense a change in current.

There is no current flowing only during those zero crossings, the rest of the time, the current is proportional to the load and voltage.  During a short, the resistance drops to near zero, and current will rise to infinity.  Obviously, thats not possible, but it does rise well above the trip point.

My guess is that the PSX-AC can trip about as fast as the sample rate allows it.  Assuming the device is sampling the current somehow.

@zhubl posted:

Ok I HAVE to ask what and where did you get those panel meters for voltage and amperage?

Not to mention the Atlas switch controls. I understood there was a relatively easy-to-fix issue with those controls.  I wish Atlas would do the fix and put them back on the market.  They are much nicer than the standard Atlas #56 switch control box.

Simple, the PSX1-AC uses solid state switching to interrupt the current, the PH180, at least the older version, uses a relay to interrupt the current.  So, think microseconds or less for the PSX and milliseconds for the PH180.

Exactly. I know you know, I know I know, and I'm sure some others know. But there seems to be reluctance by still another group to believe that is it possible for a micro processor to sense and cut current in sub-millisecond time intervals.

Those panel meters are RRAmpMeters, another product from the makers of the PSX-AC, DCC Specialties. Unfortunately for us in O gauge, we need the RRAmpMeter model IV for the higher current and the most expensive.  Haven't done it yet, but I'll probably end up with one (maybe more?) someday. For some time now, I've been curious as to what they are like (in person) and how well they work.

Last edited by rtr12
@zhubl posted:

Ok I HAVE to ask what and where did you get those panel meters for voltage and amperage?

rtr12 was correct. The panel meters are RRAmpMeters, another product from the makers of the PSX-AC, DCC Specialties.  I purchased them from Tonys Train Exchange more than a few years ago, along with the PSX-1-AC.  They work great as well.

@PGentieu posted:

Not to mention the Atlas switch controls. I understood there was a relatively easy-to-fix issue with those controls.  I wish Atlas would do the fix and put them back on the market.  They are much nicer than the standard Atlas #56 switch control box.

I purchased the Atlas switch controls long before the recall on those.  Since most of the Atlas switches on my layout are kind of long, #5, #7.5 and the Double slips, each one is using an Atlas 6924 relay along with the #57 switch controller.  I hooked all this up many years ago with the help of Steve Horvath.  Steve is a great guy and a great help to me in learning how wire all the Atlas switches and hook them up.  I met him at York back around 2014.  When he came out to Jersey, (from Montana) to visit family he spent some time with me here at my house.       

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