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KB513 Zephyr - Non-USA Power Supply

Note: Zephyr (DCS50) has been superseded by Zephyr Xtra (DCS51) which is available in an EU version that comes with the appropriate power supply.  This article only applies to the original Zephyr (DCS50)Q: I´m a foreign model railroader, and I want to buy a Zephyr without power pack. The instruction manual says that I can use a 18 Volt DC trafo in order to power the Zephyr. Can you suggest a way to connect a Zephyr DCS 50 to German current (220/50)? A:  In the North American market, Digitrax recommends the use of a dedicated PS315 power supply or equivalent for use ...

KB4 Zephyr Quick Start Guide

DCS50 Zephyr - Quick Start Guide 1. Unpacking Your ZephyrUnpack your box and locate the DCS50 Command Station and the PS315 power supply. 2. Before You BeginBefore proceeding to the next step, make sure the Throttle Knob is turned all the way to “STOP” and the Direction/ Brake lever is set to “BRAKE”. 3. Connecting the Pieces TogetherOn the back of the DCS50, locate the gray screw terminal strip. On this strip, locate the two terminals labeled “RAIL A” and “RAIL B”. Attach your layout track wires to these terminals. It does not matter which is which. 4. Turn on ...

KB522 Zephyr - Running 10 Locomotives at a time

Q:  I want to buy the Zephyr. I have read the manual, read articles on the Tech Support Depot, but I still find it confusing. So, here's my question: Can you run multiple trains at the same time with the Zephyr, without additional throttles, each locomotive performing a different task, and if so, am I right in assuming that this can be done by punching in the locomotive address, adjusting the throttle and direction, and when I punch in another address, the previous locomotive will keep on doing whatever it was doing until I punch its number again and change ...

KB270 Broadway Limited Locomotive Shuts Down Zephyr

I have a Broadway Limited Import diesel locomotive equipped with factory DCC and Sound. Every time I turn on my Digitrax Zephyr DCS50 the engine starts to short out. It begins to slow down and then jerks a little and sometimes it stops completely. My Zephyr shows a line of flickering zeros across the dial and the engine decoder number even flickers on and off at times. I have checked all terminal connections and for foreign matter on the track but have not had any success in solving the problem.I have taken all cars off the track to make sure ...

KB271 Zephyr as a Throttle

I have a Zephyr and a DB150. How can I wire the two together so that the Zephyr acts as throttle and the DB150 supplies power? At this this time I have only a single block. The easiest way to handle this situation is to divide the railroad up into two power districts. If one command station unit is more powerful than the other, then the area controlled by the weaker unit (in this case, the 2.5 Amp Zephyr) could simply be a single siding or engine terminal. The Zephyr would then become a booster, supplying power to this small ...

KB33 Programming Soundtraxx Tsunami Decoders with Digitrax Zephyr

Zephyr Xtra (DCS51) and Zephyr (DCS50) systems can program Soundtraxx Tsunami decoders using Blast Mode Programming on the Mainline.  Blast Mode Programming will program EVERYTHING sitting on the main line track so, you MUST remove everything from the track that you are not programming or use an isolated piece of track connected to Rail A & B. NOTE: Track power must be ON during Blast Mode Programming. You will not be able to read back CVs using Blast Mode Programming.  To use Blast Mode Programming with Zephyr, close Option Switch 7. 1. Press the "PROG" key. 2. Press the "SWCH" ...

KB819 Zephyr - Customizing Operation with Option Switches

The DCS50 is set up at the factory to run right "out of the box", but the DCS50 does have several operational options that you can use to customize the perfomance of your railroad.  It should be noted that: Most customers never have any need to change these options.Changing DCS50 Option Switches1. See the DCS50 Option Switch Table that follows to decide which option switches you want to change.2. Press the PROG key. The display shows the last decoder programming mode used by the DCS50.3. Press the SWITCH key. The display shows the last switch used by the DCS50 and ...

KB820 Zephyr - Frequent Shutdowns

If the Zephyr DCS50 repeatedly shuts down briefly and then comes back on again, it is probably being run too close to its pre-set current limit of 2.5 Amps or it may be overheating due to restricted air flow to the bottom of the unit. In this case it may clip or mutilate some outgoing packets of information to keep the track current within acceptable limits.To solve this problem, reduce the track current load by running fewer locomotives or setting up additional power districts and adding more boosters to provide more power for the layout.  With more sound decoder equipped ...

KB821 Zephyr-Exit Key

HELP!!!!!!!!If your Zephyr DCS50 display isn't showing you what you expect based on the manual, press the EXIT key to return to normal operating mode. Also make sure that the "Power" is on. Then try the throttle task again. If you think you might have made an inadvertent change to one of the factory settings in either the decoder or the command station, try resetting everything to the factory settings and try the task again. Please see the related articles (below).

KB823 Zephyr - Clear and Shut Down System

Shutting Down Your Zephyr when you are finished running.Some users prefer to release all addresses active in their system before shutting down. This can prevent unexpected results when you power up the layout again.  There are two ways to do this. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________To release addresses one at a time (this is optional):1. Press the LOCO key. 2. Enter the loco address on the numeric keypad. The display will flash the Function Indicator Dot and the loco address. Press the LOCO key again.3. Set the Throttle Knob to STOP.4. Press the EXIT key.5. Repeat for all locos/addresses used in your session._____________________________________________________________________________________________________Alternately, you can clear all ...

KB824 Testing LocoNet Cables with an LT1 on a Zephyr Xtra DCS51 or a Zephyr DCS50

1. Disconnect the wire harness from the LT1.2. Plug one end of the LocoNet cable being tested into the LT1.3. Connect the other end to the cable into on of the LocoNet ports on your DCS50. Make sure the Track Status Indicator Dot is lit.4. All four LEDs on the LT1 will light if the cable is good. LEDs may not all be the same brightness, this is normal. NOTE: Only three LEDs will light if the Track Status Indicator Dot is not lit.5. If any of the LEDs fail to light, recrimp the plugs on the LocoNet cable and ...

KB826 Zephyr - Adding Another DCS50

You can add a second Zephyr to add more power and an additional throttle on the DCS50 and two additional Jump ports for using DC power packs to control DCC locomotives.  You will need to change Option Switch 02 to c (Closed) on the second (and any additional DCS50s you might choose to add to the layout as well).  The diagram below shows you how to do this.

KB828 Zephyr - Switch Mode

Switch Mode is used for sending commands to accessory decoders and for changing Option Switches (OpSw) in your DCS50. The most common use of switch mode is for operating turnouts (track switches).To change the position of a turnout:This note assumes that you have already installed and programmed turnouts and turnout decoders on your layout.  Each turnout is connected to a stationary decoder that controls the operation of that turnout.  There are several different stationary decoders for this purpose such as DS64 and others.  Please see the related articles below.1. Press the SWITCH Key. 2. The last switch address selected by ...

KB829 Zephyr - Decoder Speed Step Settings & Status Editing

The Digitrax DCS50 Zephyr is set at the factory to send 128 speed step commands to all mobile decoders.If you have a non-Digitrax decoder that can’t run in 128 speed step mode, you can change the number of speed steps the DCS50 sends to that decoder so that you will be able to control the decoder. This is called status editing the decoder. When you status edit a decoder, the DCS50 will send a different format to that specific decoder address without affecting the 128 speed step operation of Digitrax decoders and other 128 speed step decoders on the railroad.NOTE: ...

KB831 Zephyr - Error Messages

The DCS50 Zephyr displays three types of error messages: Short circuit shutdown occurs when the DCS50 detects a short circuit in the power district where it is connected to the layout. This can be a loco that has derailed or picked a switch or some other conductive material lying across the tracks. In this case you will see “o”s walking across the display from left to right. Once the short is cleared, the DCS50 will resume normal operations. Current overload occurs when the DCS50 has reached its 2.5 Amp current limit. In this case you should run fewer locomotives or ...

KB832 Zephyr - FULL Message

If Zephyr DCS50/DCS51’s display shows FuLL this means that it has reached the limit of 10 (20 for the Zephyr Xtra) locomotive addresses that it can manage at one time. If you want to select additional addresses, you will need to release one or more loco addresses before you will be able to select other locomotives to run.The DCS50/DCS51 runs a “purging” routine that helps eliminate addresses that have not been used for a period of time to make slots available for running other addresses.If you see this "FuLL" message while you are operating, you can release locos that you ...

KB833 Zephyr - Dispatching Locomotive Addresses or MUs

Dispatching is a special feature incorporated in the LocoNet "language" to meet the needs of operators that wish to enforce a strict discipline in how operators gain access to locomotives during an operating session.Dispatching also lets you run MUs with basic throttles (such as the Utility Throttle series) that can't set up their own MU's and run four digit addresses on basic throttles that only have two digit capability (such as UT1 and UT2). It also lets you have newcomers run trains on the layout without giving them access to the entire operation.When you dispatch a locomotive address or MU ...

KB834 Zephyr - Releasing An Address From A Throttle

DCS50 Zephyr has ten "slots" available for train control.  When you are finished running a locomotive address, release it from your throttle so that it is available for other throttles to select and run and so that your command station will have room to run other addresses.To release an address from a throttle:1. With the loco address selected on the throttle, use the Throttle Knob to set the locomotive’s speed to STOP.2. Press the LOCO key to release the address from your throttle immediately. The address will begin to flash in the display.3. Press the EXIT key to dispatch the ...

KB835 Zephyr - Stealing A Locomotive

Another way to describe "stealing" is "sharing"; it is a process where one operator can mutually control a mobile decoder with another operator.This feature can be useful for training new operators or supervising engineers who insist on breaking the speed limit. The supervisor can "steal" a locomotive that is selected on a trainee's throttle and be able to closely supervise that locomotive's control, taking over when necessary. The supervisor can gain instant override control without having to physically "grab" the trainee's throttle. This lets you have unskilled visitors participating and enjoying operations without too much anxiety for either party.If you ...

KB580 Zephyr Xtra - Making DCS51 or DSC50 a Booster/Throttle

How to disable command station capability in a DCS51 (Zephyr Xtra) or DCS50 (Zephyr) so it will operate as a booster and throttle without command station capabilityIf you have outgrown your Zephyr Xtra or Zephyr and have moved up to a more powerful command station, you can disable the command station capability in your DCS51 or DCS50 and continue using it as a booster and throttle in your system.Digitrax operators who upgrade from Zephyr to more powerful command stations for their systems can change Zephyr into a Booster/Throttle by setting OpSw 02 to closed. Changing DCS51/DCS50 Option Switch 02 to closed to disable command station capability: ...

KB837 Zephyr Xtra and Zephyr - Multiple Unit Locomotive Operations

  MU (Multiple Unit) OperationsIt is not uncommon to see two, three or even four diesel locos pulling in consist at the front of a train. Sometimes, there is a locomotive added in the middle of the train or at the end of the train to give “helper service” to the head end locomotives. This is called Multiple Unit Operation or MU operation. With DCC, each locomotive is separately controlled. But in the case of MU'ing we would like to have more than one locomotive address controlled by a single throttle to simplify MU operation.Your DCS50 uses universal consisting to ...

KB838 Zephyr - Function Operation Troubleshooting

If the function you want to operate does not respond, check the following:1. Is Track Status [4] on? If not press the POWER key to turn it on. 2. Did you select the correct loco? If not, select it now.3. Is the function you want to use installed in the loco? If not, you may need to install it. Most new locos have a head lamp/backup lamp installed, but most do not have any additional lights or sounds installed.4. Change the position of the Direction Control Lever and see if the lamp comes on in the other direction. If the ...

KB839 Zephyr - Making Function 3 Non-latching

The DCS50 Zephyr normally treats Function 3 as an on/off function unless you set it up as a non-latching function like Function 2. This means that F3 can be used either as a normal function operating as an "On / Off" switch, or to control a function that only requires a momentary activation like some couplers.To set up Function 3 as a non-latching function, set the DCS50’s Option Switch 6 to closed as follows:1. Press the PROG key. The last programming mode used by the DCS50 will be displayed.2. Press the SWITCH key. The display shows the last switch used ...

KB840 Zephyr - Functions F0-F8

DCS50 Zephyr can control Functions F0 - F8. Most DCC mobile decoders have function outputs that you can use to control lamps, LEDs, sound, smoke generators and other on/off devices installed in your locomotives. Most locomotives made today come with a head light and sometimes with a rear light, too. With DCC, these are controlled by the decoder’s function outputs. You can also install additional DCC controlled lighting such as cab lights, Mars lights, ditch lights, rotating beacons and others on your locos. The addition of these functions can add to the fun and realism of your locomotives.You must have ...

KB841 Zephyr - Functions

DCS50 Zephyr can control Functions F0 - F8. Most DCC mobile decoders have function outputs that you can use to control lamps, LEDs, sound, smoke generators and other on/off devices installed in your locomotives. Most locomotives made today come with a head light and sometimes with a rear light, too. With DCC, these are controlled by the decoder’s function outputs. You can also install additional DCC controlled lighting such as cab lights, Mars lights, ditch lights, rotating beacons and others on your locos. The addition of these functions can add to the fun and realism of your locomotives.You must have ...

KB843 Zephyr - Reading Back CV Values

Your DCS50 can read back the CV data values programmed into your decoders. You will use your programming track for reading back CV data values.To read back CV values using a programming track:1. Be sure that only the locomotive you want to read back is on the programming track.2. Press the PROG key to enter programming mode. The Zephyr DCS50 will display one of the programming modes available. Once the mode you want to use is on the screen you can go to step 3.For example, to use Paged mode stop pressing the PROG Key when the following screen appears:3. ...

KB844 Zephyr - Programming Error Messages

When you are programming decoders, there are a few error messages you may encounter.There are many causes for these error messages but most can be solved by checking the following:1. Be sure the programming track is connected properly to the DCS50.2. Be sure a decoder is correctly installed in the locomotive with all motor and pick up connections made correctly.3. Be sure the loco with decoder correctly installed is making electrical contact with the programming track and that it remains in contact with the programming track until programming is complete.  Check to see if the track is clean and the ...

KB845 Zephyr - Operations Mode Programming

Programming On The Mainline: Operations Mode ProgrammingOperations Mode Programming [Ops Mode] lets you program CVs in DCC locomotives equipped with Extended Packet Format decoders while they are on the mainline.  This is handy for situations where you want to make an adjustment to a specific locomotive while it is in service.  There are also situations where mobile decoders from other manufacturers can only be programmed in this manner. A typical use for Ops mode programming would be to change the acceleration rate (CV03) or the deceleration rate (CV04) of your locomotives to simulate the weight and braking capability of the ...

KB846 Zephyr - Programming Mobile Decoder CV's Other Than Locomotive Addresses

There are many different CVs that have been defined to control operating characteristics of your locomotives. Your decoder manual has a complete listing of CVs that are available with specific decoders, what they do and suggested values for each CV. Programming these CVs is simple:1. Be sure that only the locomotive you want to program is on the programming track.2. Press the PROG Key to enter programming mode. The DCS50 will display one of the programming modes available. Digitrax recommends the Paged Mode when you are using the programming track. As you press the PROG Key repeatedly, you will cycle ...

KB847 Zephyr - Programming Display Table

This is a table of the various DCS50 Programming Displays.  There are four programming methods available in with Zephyr, which are displayed in the left hand column.  The right columns show the display for each type of method:

KB848 Zephyr - Changing a Locomotive Decoder's Address

1. Be sure that only the locomotive you want to program is on the programming track.2. Press the PROG key on the DCS50 to enter programming mode. The DCS50 will display one of the programming modes available. Digitrax recommends the Paged Mode when you are using the programming track. If you press the PROG key repeatedly, you will cycle through the following choices: PAGE   PHYS   dir   OPS For example, to use Paged mode stop pressing the PROG key when the following screen appears:Each time you press the LOCO key the display will toggle between Ad2 and Ad4. ...

KB849 Zephyr - Jump Ports-Using DC Power Packs as DCC Throttles

DCS50’s Jump A & B ports can host two DC power packs that work as additional throttles to control DCC locomotives.You begin with an operating DCS50 attached to your layout.   In addition to the throttle built into the DCS50, you can create a LocoNet to add additional Digitrax throttles and other Digitrax devices.  Jump Ports:You can also connect up one or two smooth DC power packs as shown in the following illustration.  These power packs must also be powered, since the Zephyr jump throttle connections detect the voltage level from the individual power pack(s) and makes adjustments to the command control ...

KB850 Zephyr - Set Up A Service Mode Programming Track

Your DCS50 has two sets of DCC outputs. This means that you will be able to program decoders using one set of DCC outputs while the layout is running on the other set of DCC outputs. When you hooked up your DCS50 to the layout, you used the RAIL A & RAIL B connections to the track. Now we will use the PROG A & PROG B outputs to set up a service mode programming track.NOTE: The programming track is powered for programming only and cannot run locomotives. You will have to manually move your locomotive on to the track ...

KB853 Zephyr - Emergency Stop

To stop everything on the layout immediately:Press the POWER key to turn off power to the whole layout. This option will stop everything on the railroad.

KB854 Zephyr - Brake Operation

To use the pre-set braking rate to stop and start a locomotive: Move the Direction Control Lever [ 2 ] to the BRAKE position, the Brake Indicator Dot will begin blinking and the loco will slow down to a stop at the brake rate you have set up in the Zephyr DCS50. As the loco slows to a stop, the Brake Indicator Dot will change from blinking to steady on to let you know that the brake is on.Move the Direction Control Lever to the FORWARD or REVERSE position and the loco will accelerate at the programmed brake rate to ...

KB855 Zephyr - Stopping a Locomotive Immediately

To stop a locomotive immediately Make sure the loco address is selected on the throttle and turn the Throttle Knob [1] counterclockwise until it is in the STOP position. The loco should slow to a stop as you rotate the throttle knob. This lets you slow down your loco and stop it in a prototypical manner. If you have set up deceleration (CV4) for the loco and you move the throttle knob to STOP, your loco will slow down and come to a stop at the programmed deceleration rate.

KB856 Zephyr - Setting Speed Limit

To control the speed of a locomotive:1. Select the loco address on the Zephyr.2.  Place the reverse lever [2] into either forward or reverse.3. Turn the Throttle Knob  [1] clockwise to increase speed and counterclockwise to decrease speed. Setting Speed LimitsYou can limit the speed on any locomotive controlled by the DCS50. This feature is very useful if you are running your layout with young children who want to make the trains GO FAST!!! By setting a reasonable speed limit on the throttles used by the children, everyone can have more fun with the trains.To set a “speed limit” for ...

KB857 Zephyr - Status Editing

QUICK INSTALLATION Notes for users with decoders not made by Digitrax:1. The DCS50 command station operates in 128 speed step mode. If you are using a locomotive with a decoder that does not have 128 step capability you will have to adjust either the decoder or the DCS50 so that both are using the same number of speed steps to communicate. We call this procedure status editing. You can status edit each individual decoder or you can change the DCS50’s system default by setting the DCS50’s Option Switches 21-23 and run all of your decoders with fewer speed steps to ...

KB858 Zephyr - Shutting Down & Resuming Operation

When you are finished with your session, you should shut down the DCS50 by turning off power to the system.Shutting Down DCS50 Zephyr1. Bring all locomotives on the layout to a stop by setting set the Throttle Knob for each loco to STOP. 2. Turn track power off: Press the POWER key, the DCS50's Track Status Indicator Dot will go off. The display will briefly display "Po" followed by two characters, the Po means power off, the two characters indicate which software version is installed in the unit. The display will automatically revert to showing the last loco address selected ...

KB859 Zephyr - Locomotive Direction Control

Changing Locomotive Direction with DCS50 Zephyr:Move the Direction Control Lever [2] to FORWARD or REVERSE to change the direction of the loco address running on the throttle. To determine the direction of a loco that is not moving, simply look at the position of the lever. You can move the lever quickly past the BRAKE position with no adverse effects. If you change direction while a loco is moving it will slow down to 0 speed and then speed up to the commanded speed according to the decoder’s programmed CV (configurable values) for deceleration and acceleration.

KB860 Zephyr - Selecting and Running your DCC Locomotive

To select and run a DCC equipped locomotive with a known address follow these steps:1. Set the DCS50's Throttle Knob [1] to STOP. 2. Place a DCC equipped locomotive (one with a decoder installed) on your digital layout that is controlled by your DCS50. In this example we assume that you have a new Digitrax decoder that is factory programmed to address 03. If your decoder is using a different address, simply use that address as you follow these instructions.3. Check the DCS50's Track Status Indicator Dot [4] to be sure that track power is turned on. Press the POWER ...

KB861 Zephyr Hook Up As Easy As 1-2-3

These simple instructions will help you get up and running quickly. A full description of all controls and technical reference information are included later in this knowledge base. This section assumes that you are using a new set straight out of the box.1. Hook up the wires from the track to the RAIL A & RAIL B terminals on the DCS50. Insert the wire from one rail of the track into the RAIL A terminal on the back of the DCS50. Insert the wire from the other rail of the track into the RAIL B terminal. Turn the screw counter ...

KB862 Zephyr - Rear Panel Connections

Zephyr Rear Panel Connections1. RAIL A & B - for connecting the DCS50 to the rails on the layout.2. PROG A & B - for hooking up the programming track. Section 16.1.3. JUMP 1 & 2 - for connecting one or two smooth DC power packs to the systemfor use as additional throttles. Section 25.24. POWER IN - plug in the PS315 here.5. LOCONET PORTS A & B - for connecting the DCS50 to other LocoNetdevices for expanding your layout.6. YOUR LAYOUT -  You can connect Zephyr to most existing layouts.

KB863 Zephyr - LCD Display

The DCS50’s LED Display is made up of 4 digits/letters on the main part of the screen and 4 Indicator Dots across the top of the screen.  When you are running a locomotive, you will see the address of that locomotive in the display and the Function Indicator Dot will be lit. This means that the throttle knob will control speed, the direction lever will control direction and braking and the number keys will control the functions on the locomotive. You will see the following display if you are running loco address 1873 on your local throttle.The LCD has three ...

KB864 Zephyr - Control Panel

The front panel of the DCS50 Zephyr has a throttle knob & direction control lever, indicator lamps & display, which give status indications and operate your railroad. Before you select and run a locomotive, take a few minutes to look at the DCS50's controls and display.1. The Throttle Knob is the large silver and black knob on the right side of the DCS50. The Throttle Knob controls locomotive speed from STOP to FULL speed. Turn it clockwise to increase speed and counter clockwise to decrease speed.2. The Direction Control Lever is the small silver lever (located on the left side of ...

KB355 PM42 Short Circuit/Auto-Reversing Failure when used with DCS50 (Zephyr)

PM42 Short Circuit/Auto-Reversing Failure When used with Zephyr (DCS50) The PM42 is designed to control 4 independent power subdistricts that can be set up as either a “Short Circuit Manager” (the factory setting) or as an “Auto-Reversing Controller.” The PM42 factory setting for trip current is 3 amps. The trip current can be modified to settings from 1.5 amps – 12 amps to accommodate the needs of your system. In addition, each of the 4 power subdistricts can be set for slow, regular, faster or fastest short circuit management. While a trip current of 3 amps will work with most ...

KB231 Zephyr - What does "SLP" mean on the DCS50?

What does SLP mean on the DCS50? The "slp" message on the DCS50 means that the unit thinks it is temporarily in sleep mode. This may occur if the LocoNet data line is grounded for more than 1/8 of a second. You may initially try to exit Sleep Mode by cycling the "Exit" key on the DCS50, or powering down and repowering the unit. If this problem continues, you must check your LocoNet for a shorted connection.

KB629 Decoder reset to factory default settings using Digitrax Zephyr Xtra (DCS51) or Zephyr (DCS50)

Performing factory decoder reset using Digitrax Zephyr Xtra (DCS51) or Zephyr (DCS50)Overview:To reset a Digitrax decoder to factory defaults the user must set CV08 to a value of 08. It is recommended that this procedure be performed on the dedicated service mode programming track using direct mode programming.Procedure:1. Place the decoder equipped locomotive on an electrically isolated service-mode programming track which is connected to Programming Outputs Prog 'A' & 'B'.2. Press the PROG MODE key until “dir” appears in the LED display.3. Press the STEPS CV key. (The LED display should read “t###” with the # symbols replaced by actual digits)4. Enter “08” using ...

KB384 Zephyr Xtra and Zephyr - Can I add a booster?

Q:  Can I add a booster to my Zephyr? A:  Yes. Since the DCS51 Zephyr Xtra and DCS50 Zephyr are equipped with LocoNet, adding additional boosters is easy; you simply divide your railroad up into power districts and add the boosters and their individual power supplies. These are connected together using LocoNet cables. Because the Zephyr Xtra is rated at 3 amps and the Zephyr is rated at 2.5 amps: most boosters have higher ratings, you may want to have the Zephyr control a smaller area that has fewer power consumers (locomotives, lighted passenger cars), such as a main line ...

KB129 Recommendation For Small Starter Layout

I have a 4x8 H0 scale layout.  I'm 13 years old and REALLY thinking about switching to DCC, I need to know really fast because I want to ask my parents to get it for Christmas.You wouldn't know by looking at those who edit the Tech Support Depot, but there actually was a time when we too were thirteen, and just starting out in model railroading.  In many ways, we still are thirteen years old; we just can't move as fast.  Consider this photograph from our youth: This little bit of ancient model railroad history dates back to the 1950's, ...

KB578 Using MRC RailPower 1370 with Zephyr Xtra Jump Ports

Q:  I have an MRC RailPower 1370 DC power pack.  I was wondering if that would work as a jump throttle on my Zephyr till I get my UT4 LocoNet Throttle? A:  We think that the answer is "No", but you will need to verify whether this power pack produces pure or pulsed DC power directly with MRC. Throttles used with Zephyr Xtra via the Jump Port must produce pure DC power, often referred to as "smooth" power packs. Many "advanced" analog power packs use automatic pulse injection to make model locomotives run better at slow speeds. This uses 1/2 wave AC ...

KB579 Zephyr Xtra - Reset to Factory Default

  To reset the DCS51/DCS50 to factory settings: If you change command station option switches and experience unexpected results, just set OpSw 39 to “c” (closed) to reset the unit to the original factory settings. 1. Press the PROG key. The display shows the last decoder programming mode used. 2. Press the SWITCH key. The display shows the last switch used and its commanded position. 3. Use the numeric keypad to enter the number of the Option Switch you want to change; in this case 39. 4. Press the "c - / CV-WR (lower right of keypad)" key to set the ...

KB677 How to program a locomotive address with Zephyr

This procedure should be done on an electrically isolated programming track1. Be sure that only the locomotive you want to program is on the programming track.2. Press the PROG key on the DCS50 to enter programming mode. The DCS50 will display one of the programming modes available. Digitrax recommends the Paged Mode when you are using the programming track. If you press the PROG key repeatedly, you will cycle through the following choices:      PAGE     PHYS     dir     OPSFor example, to use Paged mode stop pressing the PROG key when the following screen appears:Each time you press the LOCO key the ...

KB680 Can I add Radio and IR to my Zephyr Xtra?

  Can I add Radio and IR to my Zephyr Xtra?Yes.Adding radio and/or IR to Zephyr and Zephyr Xtra is the same as adding it to any other existing Digitrax layout or Digitrax Starter Set. Digitrax offers InfraRed, Duplex Radio and Simplex Radio systems for wireless operation.  Any combination of these wireless methods can be used on the same layout at the same time.Infra Red Wireless OperationAll current Digitrax throttles are Infrared capable (InfraReady) in that they come from the factory equipped with the IR emitters required to send IR information to LocoNet.  To use this functionality, you only need to ...

KB939 DCS51 (Zephyr Xtra) Operating Cheat Sheets

  Digitrax DCS51 (Zephyr Xtra) Operating Instructions by Dan Bourque v1.0 Selecting a locomotive or consist 1.         Press the “LOCO” key (display will flash) 2.         Enter the address of the locomotive or consist             - For a consist, the address will normally be the lead locomotive             - For a 3-digit locomotive number, use “0” for the first digit 3.         Press the “LOCO” key again (display will stop blinking) 4.         Move the direction selector on the throttle to either “Forward” or “Reverse” 5.         Move the speed knob until train moves   Dispatching (releasing) a locomotive or consist ...

KB179 Zephyr - Q&A, DCS50 as a Booster

If a Zephyr has been switched to run as a booster/throttle (no command function), can it still be used to program locomotives on the programming track? No, when using the DCS50 as a booster, the programming outputs are disabled. Programming is a function of the command station only, so when the Zephyr is toggled to booster mode, it loses the programming function. If a Zephyr has been switched to run as a booster, does the throttle still work? Yes, but you must assign an unique throttle ID to the Zephyr which is acting as a booster. Assigning Throttle Identities To ...

KB948 Retired Digitrax Products Continue To Work With New Products on LocoNet

I own a Digitrax Starter Set that is now discontinued. Can I still use it and can it be upgraded?LocoNet lets you use all Digitrax LocoNet components in your system no matter when you purchased them. You can continue to use what you already own with new components as they become available. Note:  This will work with all starter sets except for Challenger. If you have a Challenger Set and you want to move up, the best thing to do is to purchase one of the new sets and use the DB100 series booster that came with your Challenger as ...

KB468 Zephyr - Consisting Tail to Tail

Q:  I'm wanting to know how to MU two locomotives together that are in a tail to tail configuration. I know that this can be easily done with a DT400 or DT402 throttle but not sure how to do it with the Zephyr. A:  Make sure all the locos in the consist are traveling in the same physical direction on the track (both going to the left or to the right). Remember that "reversing" takes place in the locomotive not on the track, so it is important that the engines be traveling in the same direction when they are MU'd.  ...

KB217 Zephyr - Quick Start Guide

Setting up your new Zephyr: Unpack the DCS-50 command station and the PS-315 power supply. On the back of the DCS-50,locate the gray screw terminal strip.On this strip, locate the two terminals labeled “RAIL A “and “RAIL B”.Attach these terminals to your track wires.It does not matter which is which. Before proceeding to the next step,make sure the throttle knob [1] is turned all the way to “stop” and the direction/brake lever [2] is set to”brake”. [See photo blelow]. Now, find the plug on the back of the DCS-50 marked “POWER IN, 15 VAC, 2.5 AMPS”. This is where you ...

KB220 Selecting another locomotive at speed

What happens when I select a loco that is currently running at a different speed than the throttle is set to? example... running loco 'a' at half speed then switch to loco 'b' does loco 'b' suddenly change speed to half throttle? (which is the last position the knob was indicating for loco 'a' this would make for a nice crash if I planned on backing loco 'b' out of a siding, and it goes forward instead at 50% right into a bumper) You're right, when switching the loco 'b', the newly selected locomotive would be commanded to operate at ...

KB225 Zephyr - Will the DCS50 support a fast clock?

Will the Zephyr support a fast clock? Yes. Because Zephyr is fully equipped with LocoNet, it will work with LocoNet based fast clocks.

KB227 Zephyr - Braking District?

I have a Zephyr control station and I would like to set up a Braking District as shown in your PDF sheet in the Basic DCC issue section; you show a DCS100 connecting through a modified LocoNet cable to a DBxxx booster -- can this same setup be used with a Zephyr system? No. The braking district described here uses Super Chief and a second booster to create a braking district. Super Chief is configured by toggling OpSw47 and connecting it to a second booster that is properly configured. Because Zephyr does not have an available OpSw47, and because there ...

KB593 Throttle Knob-Not Responding

Q:  I have three engines lashed together. The sound is coming through . However when I turn the knob there is no response. The engine in the window is blinking and there are two stationary dots above A:  If you are using a DT300 series or DT400 series throttle, make sure that the Track Status Indicator dot in the upper right of the display just below the right throttle knob is on solid.  If it is not on at all Track Power is OFF.  If it is blinking, Track Status is in Idle and the throttle knobls will not move the locos.  To ...

KB238 Zephyr Xtra, Super Empire Builder Xtra or Super Chief Xtra? What's the difference among the Digitrax Sets?

  Zephyr Xtra                             Super Empire Builder Xtra                            Super Chief Xtra                                                Command Station DCS51 DB150 DCS100 Current Rating 3 Amps 5 Amps 5 Amps or 8 Amps Throttle DCS51 DT402 DT402 Throttle Controls Single Knob, Direction Switch Dual click encoder throttles Dual click encoder throttles Function Control F0-F29 F0-F29 F0-F29 Keypad Full Numeric Keypad Full Numeric Keypad Full Numeric Keypad Display Large LED Multi-line Backlit LCD Multi-line Backlit LCD Throttle Capacity 20 22 120 Loco Capacity 20 22 120 Loco Address Range 00-9000+ 00-9000+ 00-9000+ Stationary Address Range 01-999 00-999 00-999 Turnout Position Reporting Yes, last command sent Yes, last ...

KB244 DCS50 (Zephyr) Operating Cheat Sheets

  Digitrax DCS50 (Zephyr) Operating Instructions by Dan Bourque   v1.0 Selecting a locomotive or consist 1.         Press the “LOCO” key (display will flash) 2.         Enter the address of the locomotive or consist - For a consist, the address will normally be the lead locomotive             - For a 3-digit locomotive number, use “0” for the first digit 3.         Press the “LOCO” key again (display will stop blinking) 4.         Move the direction selector on the throttle to either “Forward” or “Reverse” 5.         Move the speed knob until train moves   Dispatching (releasing) a locomotive or consist 1.         ...

KB253 How do I get started with my Zephyr?

I've recently purchased a DCS50 system to run my HO trains. Since I'm new to the hobby I'm throughly confused on what parts I need to wire my 4 x 8 foot track to my control box. How many feeder lines do I need and what size do you recommend, and how do I hook these up to my control box? What size does bus wire do I need and how do I connect all this to my system? So far, all the articles just make recommendations general terms without specifics. I have purchased 2 terminal clips but have yet ...