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I'd like to power about 180 feet of Realtrack on an inner and outer loop with two separate yards.   I though I would use two end to end O 72 Y switches with the anti derail systems negated to make the link.

Presently using two  phased Z1000s with a plan to link the two loops with switches.  No problems now as long as the no link is made.

I was concerned about the insulated section size between the two loops since the MTH diesels and steamers have center rail pickups anywhere from 7 centimeters to about 22 centimeters and the end to end switches connections.

Does it matter if the center rail pickups on an engine end up having contact on both sides of

the insulated track section even though the Z1000s are phased ? πŸ€”

😞   Could I use a Z4000 to linkup the entire layout and end a lot of issues. !!??

Original Post

      I power two loops with one Z4000.

      One thing I've noticed when running a train is when the occupied loop is set to 15 volts and the unoccupied loop set to 15 volts, when the crossover happens the now occupied loop drops to about 13 volts, the train slows and the now unoccupied loop the volts increase to about 17 volts.

      For me to have a smooth transition from loop to loop I have to set the unoccupied loop about two volts higher.

      Does this sound like normal transformer behavior?

                                                                                                       

fast freight ,

I'm not familiar with the Z4000.........yet anyway, if ever..........but do you have the two loops on different blocks or channels ?     Is there some reason your train might  be drawing a fair amount of current ( smoke on , passenger cars with incadescencts , extra long freight  or other ) ?  Do you have a larger amount of incandescent lights or operating devices on one loop over the other drawing from track power ?

Not being familiar with the Z4 , I figured maybe mistakenly ,  that I could run both my two loops with just the one channel instead of using Fixed 1 and Fixed 2 separately. each with a Z1000 .          I'll have to consult the PDF for the Z4 .

.

 

One thing I've noticed when running a train is when the occupied loop is set to 15 volts and the unoccupied loop set to 15 volts, when the crossover happens the now occupied loop drops to about 13 volts, the train slows and the now unoccupied loop the volts increase to about 17 volts. 

I suspect so, the voltage drop when you have a load is normal, it happens with all transformers to some degree.  If you set the voltages on both loops without a load to be equal, then you'll achieve the result you're looking for.

Not being familiar with the Z4 , I figured maybe mistakenly ,  that I could run both my two loops with just the one channel instead of using Fixed 1 and Fixed 2 separately. each with a Z1000 .          I'll have to consult the PDF for the Z4 .

Each handle on the Z-4000 is good for 180 watts, it's not like the old PW-ZW where you could draw all the power from a single handle.

I power my entire layout with one z4000 and one TIU. Its about 400 ft of total track, all tubular. The two handles are set at 17-18 volts and there are small voltage changes happening continuously as trains transition from section to section. The ammeters also show changes from output to output as the trains move around the layout. All completely normal.

The amperage loads used to vary in a big way running passenger trains with all incandescent lighting around the layout. When two pax trains happened to be on track sections powered by the same handle, you could easily see loads of 4-6 amps, and higher. Lashups also cause big amp loadings. This causes big sags in the output voltage. I have now converted several pax trains over to led lighting which has made a huge reduction in loads. Piece of cake now. I rarely see a load exceeding 3-4 amps total.

All sidings and storage tracks are switched, so there are few if any engines powered up at any time, except the 2 or 3 that are operating. Continuously powered sidings are no big deal for PS2/3 and Legacy engines, as they will stay dark and silent until started up. But tmcc engines will have most lights powered up anytime there is track voltage, which I personally don't care for. Just me.

I am a big fan of the z4000, but I wish the outputs had been designed to have regulated voltage. Then once set the output would stay steady, regardless of load. But that would have been more expensive of course, so here we are! 

Rod

ROD ,  very encouraging reply.  Learning more about the Z4 might just mean putting off the next engine purchase . πŸ™ƒ

You mentioned that the two handles are set to 17-18 volts and the trains run from section to section.  

Would this section to section be similar to what I am trying to achieve with my inner and outer loop being connected With the end to end switches ?   Not knowing much about the Z4 ,does it hook up to the TIU on ,say for instance , fixed 1 and fixed 2 like the separate Z1000s for DCS and using the remote ?

Thanks for the reply.

Dallas; yes the Z4K will work fine for your 2 loop setup. Each handle feeds one Fixed output, each to one loop, with multiple track feeds depending on your loop size. Insulate the center rail at the crossover points of your end to end switches. Set both handles for 17-18 volts (assuming you are running command) and your transitions will be smooth and simple.

I use all 4 TIU outputs, with the variable channels set to fixed so they simulate command voltage outputs. My track is separated into quite a few blocks, each switched, with an average of about 100 ft of track per TIU channel, so as to get the best DCS signal strength I can. But you should be fine with the 2 fixed channels.

Rod

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