Started a new layout

n&wsteamfan Oct 29, 2013

  1. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    There are several types. I think the Jorger is the best, although it is hard to get, the snail speed controller through Ztrack is very good, you could also go with the Rokuhan controller or the MRC 1300 modified for Z. The white marklin pack is not very good for slow speed operation.
     
  2. n&wsteamfan

    n&wsteamfan TrainBoard Member

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    Its my understanding that the only thing MTL did with the mrc 1300 is put a sticker showing where to stop at to not go above 10v. I'm using the older version of the mrc tech 2 transformer. I was using a pulse mode on the throttlepack I was using.
     
  3. Z_thek

    Z_thek TrainBoard Member

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    That means, your Z-scale engine is getting 14V "kicks" with the frequency of pulses. Not good.
     
  4. n&wsteamfan

    n&wsteamfan TrainBoard Member

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    It's only 14v at full throttle. I'm not using that transformer anymore. I am using the mrc tech 2 loco motion 2500. The voltage goes up to 14 volts at full throttle on this transformer. If I keep it less than halfway it stays under 10 volts.
     
  5. n&wsteamfan

    n&wsteamfan TrainBoard Member

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    My question is what makes a Z scale transformer different? I'm not taking it above 10 volts and its not pulse power. Unless there is a dramatic difference to the other transformers I don't see why it's needed if I keep the throttle below 10v???
    Just my thoughts. Input is welcome.
     
  6. Z_thek

    Z_thek TrainBoard Member

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    Electric motors used in Z-scale locomotives are designed for 10V maximum DC. The reason for that is physical limitations of windings within the motor armature. Because of the smaller size, there is no room for thicker wires that capable to carry higher current. Higher current moving thru the winding means higher heat. The resistance of winding is close to constant. Per Ohm's law (I=V/R) higher voltage means higher current, that equals higher heat. Because of the thinner wires used in the Z-scale motors, the excess heat burns thru the thin insulation of wires, creating shorts within the windings, that means lower resistance, that contributes to higher and higher currents… finally a big stinky SMOKE and warped and melted plastics have the last words.

    Now lets talk about pulse control. The torque output of electric motors is depending on the voltage they powered with. It's not linear, but as a general rule, lower voltage=lower torque, higher voltage=higher torque. To "fool" the electric motor, applying the maximum allowable voltage in the form of pulses makes the motor work harder, pushing out higher torque. The frequency of the combination of high and low voltage pulses makes the motor turn slower or faster. Because the Z-scale motors are smaller, to achieve better results, the pulse control is more and more sophisticated, but regardless, the maximum voltage never exceeds 10V.

    Back to your controllers. To accurately measure voltage output of pulse controllers you need an oscilloscope. Standard meters read averages or in many cases they just get confused and give up. Your MRC TechII LocoMotion 2500 controller is worse than the other one, it's pumping out 20V pulses!!! That means your Z-scale locomotives are under siege by double currents. Adding more potential horror to this discussion, if the pulses are low frequency, the "jolts" dismantle the fine windings, especially in the coreless type motors and that's is an expensive lesson to learn.

    Solution, use a controller that designed for Z-scale.
     
  7. rvn2001

    rvn2001 TrainBoard Member

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    n&wsteamfan,

    I have been running Z scale trains since they were introduced in the United States in 1972. I have burned out several locomotives using transformers/power supplies/controllers that were not designed for Z scale. The MTL 1300 for Z scale is modified inside as well as having the label on the outside so it doesn't put out more than a maximum of 10 volts. Your Z scale trains will run fine on other transformers/power supplies/controllers......FOR A WHILE......but you WILL burn out the motors. I found out the hard way! Your Z scale trains will run much better and for their intended lifetime if you use only transformers/power supplies/controllers designed for Z scale.

    From someone who learned the hard way,
     
  8. n&wsteamfan

    n&wsteamfan TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. I will order one of the MTL modified for Z scale tonight. I'm not one to argue with experience!
     
  9. ztrack

    ztrack TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

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    Very wise advise. We actually have an article in the upcoming issue of Ztrack on just this topic. Listen to these guys, only run with Z rated transformers. By the way, just because the box says it is good for all scales; from Z to G, don't assume it really is Z rated. Do you really want to run Z scale trains on the same transformer that can run G? Also, NEVER trust that eBay listing that swears it is rated for Z. We have a listing of Z rated transformers in the upcoming issue.

    Lajos great explanation!

    Rob
     
  10. n&wsteamfan

    n&wsteamfan TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks, I look forward to reading it. I think I am receiving good advice. I'm just trying to figure out what makes the transformers different. Lajos pretty much summed it up lol
     
  11. n&wsteamfan

    n&wsteamfan TrainBoard Member

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    I have added an inner loop to the lower section. It has switches the can allow it to go on the outer loop too. I'm having the train yard and coal facility turnouts on the inner loop. Pics soon!
     
  12. n&wsteamfan

    n&wsteamfan TrainBoard Member

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    The turnouts are supposed to be here tomorrow. I'm hoping I can get it all layer out so I can start the scenery work this weekend.
     
  13. n&wsteamfan

    n&wsteamfan TrainBoard Member

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  14. n&wsteamfan

    n&wsteamfan TrainBoard Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2013
  15. n&wsteamfan

    n&wsteamfan TrainBoard Member

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    [video=youtube_share;GMgxpvha3Lo]http://youtu.be/GMgxpvha3Lo[/video]
     
  16. Stickboy

    Stickboy TrainBoard Member

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    That's some set up! I look forward to the scenery :)
     
  17. n&wsteamfan

    n&wsteamfan TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks! I can't wait to start detailing it.
     
  18. n&wsteamfan

    n&wsteamfan TrainBoard Member

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  19. n&wsteamfan

    n&wsteamfan TrainBoard Member

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    Trying to get the mine underway.
     
  20. n&wsteamfan

    n&wsteamfan TrainBoard Member

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    View attachment 59325

    Working on hillbilly mountain. I got the roads cut in and a few spots for log cabins
     

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