American Z Line SD70, SD70M, SD75M, SD75I

zfuture Apr 5, 2014

  1. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Don, I have all my engines cleaned before I get them. The thick AZL grease is the worse. I have two of the new chassis, and both runs well. One is quiet like the first generation, but the other is loud, but its not bothersome. Ed tells me the out of seven engines we order, mine is the only one that's quiet. :D
  2. PuppySnacks

    PuppySnacks Guest

    AZL SD70: DCC


    ...Anyone from/affiliated with AZL?
  3. Jaques Connard

    Jaques Connard TrainBoard Member

  4. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

    Have you thought of contacting the manufacturer of the Z-2? Seems to me the manufacturer of the add-on equipment is responsible for installation instructions. While I've only recently started doing DCC all my installation info came from documentation or the manufacturers web site.

    Also on a practical side, if company "A" provides installation instructions for company "T" , it can become an implied endorsement of company "T" over, say, company "D", who in turn just might become disinterested in cooperating with company "A". And that wouldn't be good for any of us.

  5. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Ed is trying to get TCS to make a decoder for the GP38, but I don't think one decoder will fit both engines. The placement of the PC board is too far back.
  6. Jaques Connard

    Jaques Connard TrainBoard Member

    I'm confused by some of the terms used in Z-scale. I thought "RTR" meant "ready to run"... meaning, I pull it out of the package, place it on my track, apply power... it runs. I didn't think it meant having to have some degree of mechanical skills to put parts of it back together or possible disassembly and reassembly to get to run.

    I seem to be also misunderstanding of the terms "DCC ready" and "drop-in" decoder, after reading some of the comments posted. Good thing I'm not a newbie wanting to test the waters of Z-scale... or, the additional expenses of DCC. Some folks have a limited amount of hobby cash.
  7. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

    The GP30, GP38 and SD-70 use the 'drop in' Digitrax DZ123Z0. Some users already have some decoders. Many used the TCS Z2 for the AZL products and must be wired in.

    The Light pipes don't match up well so some change out the surface mount LED for a T1 to get it close. Some remove the light pipe and replace it with a fiber optic, glued to the original SMD LED.

    The DZ123Z0 sorta drops in. They did not have the proper electrical contact early on so the placed a solder blob on the contacts, then smashed it down. It is still to thick and does not easy 'deform' when pressed in the frame post notches. I use a solder-sucker (could us a wick) to remove most all of the blob as all that is needed is the solder residue to make more than enough contact.

    Nothing is perfect in our market products.
  8. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

    The newest version of the SD70/75 has s new light board, there are no clips on the new board board to remove to facilitate connection of your own choice of a 2 funtion decoder such as a Z2 to the light board There are permanent traces on the light board now instead, replacing the clips. It has been reported that cutting the traces to the pads for the blue and white wires does not work for the LED lights as they do not have a common supply or common ground, so cutting the traces kills the lights but the motor works correctly. So currently the only solution supposedly is to use the digitrax so called drop in board to replace the light board in the newest version of these engines. No one so far has come up with a modification to board to allow the use of a Z2 the same way we did on the original version of the SD70/75. If anyone has installed the digitrax board and wants to send me a light board from the latest version of the SD70/75 I am willing to try a figure out what can be done so we can use the Z2. I have several Z2's and a motor I can connect to light board so I can test getting the LED's to work correctly.
  9. Don A

    Don A TrainBoard Supporter

    True, nothing is perfect -- but when you advertise something and charge a substantial fee, the product(s) should work 100% together, as advertised -- not some "sort of close" or "maybe close"

  10. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Member

    Find Robert Ray's post from an earlier post (not *this* post). He reversed one of the SMD's. I found a simple jumper solution but I cant find the pix at this time. I don't have a new SD70 (yet :rolleyes:) to do this again.
  11. eit27

    eit27 TrainBoard Member

    The stock board, it is possible to install a Z2 decoder on it and have the lights function as they should. However, it takes quite a bit of work. Isolating the light circuit is not the easiest if you want it to function properly. I have one completed, and 5 more before NTS. After NTS, I will take the time to map out the conversion.
  12. grymg

    grymg TrainBoard Member

    Hello, I just received my ACE yesterday and installed the front snow plow without any issues.

    I noticed it also came with a spare truck set (nice!) and also another non-plow body mounted coupler. Is the second coupler meant to be installed on the back? I see there are holes on the body to accommodate the install but looks like it reduces the turn radius. Also need to glue this to prevent being pulled off by loads.

    Or is this just another option for the front?

    ztrack likes this.
  13. ztrack

    ztrack TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

    The 2nd pilot without a plow is an option for either the front or back. But I would be careful using it since the coupler is a dummy one. You really want a working coupler installed where it will be connected to another loco or cars. In my option, installed the plow on your lead loco is a must!!
    bostonjim likes this.
  14. ddechamp71

    ddechamp71 TrainBoard Member

    That's what I did with all my 6-axle AZLs, that are set to operate MU'ed back to back : aft end keeping their truck mounted AZL couplers and forward end converted with body/pilot mounted MTL couplers and snowplow. The results fits to me. :)

    On the opposite my GP38s, whose purpose is switching (of course "hand-off") and branch line operations are due to receive pilots and body mounted MTL couplers on each side (first undec unit painted and converted, and two more waiting for the same treatment).

    Kurt Moose likes this.

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