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Running Z scale trains with Tomix controllers (DC)


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Has anyone tried or done it? 

Running Z scale trains with Tomix controllers.

Specifications are similar but empirical experience may indicate otherwise.

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katoftw

I haven't done it. But z is 0-10 volts. Tomix n is 0-12 volt.

 

Just don't turn the throttle to Max with using a Tomix controller.

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I understand that the Rokuhan wall adapter provides 12V to the Rokuhan controller. So, is it 10V the top output voltage of the Rokuhan controller?

 

The goal is to use a Tomix controller such the wireless controller (5515) and/or the 5512/5513 controller with Z trains. I have the controllers but no any z scale train.

 

If the output voltage of Tomix controller is to high (12v), could diodes be used to drop the voltage to 10v? would the use of diodes affect the "constant lighting system"? Any ideas welcome.

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Why will someone disable CL in a tomix controller if it has CL and not use CL in a z train if it also has CL? having CL working will be a plus ...anyway.

 

I am searching in parallel from other sources (forums, etc), I found the below.

 

Note 1: I do not have any Z scale products (yet) to check by myself

Note 2: I do not claim that the following information is correct but may help someone as a reference. Even better if someone has z scale products and he/she can help to check it.

  • Rokuhan controller max output 10V and 800mA
  • Wall adapter is 12V (for Rokuhan controller)
  • Rokuhan controller uses 8 AA batteries so that gives 12V 
  • Someone (in 2015) measured the max output voltage of a Rokuhan controller as 10.5V (does not indicate if it was with wall adapter or batteries)
  • Someone (in 2015) claimed that he uses a Kato controller (max output 12V) to power his AZL trains without trouble.
  • Someone (in 2017) indicated that the limit for old AZL is 10V but for new trains is 12v, this due to DCC compatibility.
  • People (in 2017) indicated that 10V is the standard for z scale trains
  • People (in 2015) indicated that they run a mix of Rokuhan, micro trains and AZL trains in their layout

As I mentioned it before, my goal is to know if I can use my Tomix controllers (5512, 5515, 5517 and 5521) with Z scale trains (which I do not have).

I would like to have CL working and all other advance functions that 5512 and 5521 provide. Also, the wireless function of the 5515. 

 

Z scale seems an option to eliminate (or minimise) the problem of running out of space. However, I am aware (or sort of aware) that it will bring other challenges associated to that scale.

 

Probably purchasing a z scale train and using it as a guinea pig would be a option (or an unnecessary expense and waste)

If someone has useful info, pass it on.

 

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brill27mcb
2 hours ago, NXCALE said:

Why will someone disable CL in a tomix controller if it has CL and not use CL in a z train if it also has CL? having CL working will be a plus ...anyway.

I think the concern is that the CL pulses will send 12 volts to the track, which is above the 10 volts specified for Z scale. If the insulation values on the armature windings are not up to that, you could have a short, or heat could shorten the motor life. It's just a possibility... Using diodes to cut down the maximum output from the controller could be done.

 

You've found a lot of other info sources with bits of knowledge. At this point it seems to be up to you to decide to try it or not, since it appears no one here can or will answer your questions with absolute assurances.

 

Rich K.

Edited by brill27mcb
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48 minutes ago, brill27mcb said:

I think the concern is that the CL pulses will send 12 volts to the track, which is above the 10 volts specified for Z scale. If the insulation values on the armature windings are not up to that, you could have a short, or heat could shorten the motor life. It's just a possibility... Using diodes to cut down the maximum output from the controller could be done.

 

You've found a lot of other info sources with bits of knowledge. At this point it seems to be up to you to decide to try it or not, since it appears no one here can or will answer your questions with absolute assurances.

 

Rich K.

 

Hi Rich,

 

Yes, it makes sense about the CL pulses.

 

I read that 12v is the standard for DCC and as Z scale trains can be also converted to DCC, the new z train motors can take or tolerate that voltage.

Ergo, the new z trains should be able to work with a Tomix controller (max output 12V) but maybe not...

 

I also read, what you just mentioned it, about the heat in the motor.

That is, a z motor can take 10.5V So, if powered with 12V, the 1.5V extra will only become heat which could damage the train motor eventually.

 

Yes, I decided to try it by myself so I just ordered a Z scale train!

It is my first z scale item so it is a bit exciting.

 

Once the train is here,

  • I will check voltages.
  • I will measure temperature at the beginning of a run and after 5, 15 and 30 mins of use (if it last that time and it does not melt before...). This using a Tomix controller
  • I want to see how CL behaves with diodes reducing the voltage. The diodes may try to "cut" or filter the CL signal. I will need to check what diodes are the most suitable.
  • I also want to se how the train behaves with the 5521 which has advance features. That maybe the last run of that Z scale "guinea pig"
  • If the diodes make the trick, I will install a switch ("selector") in my controller/s so the controller can be used with N scale or Z scale trains. This will be the best case scenario.

I thought that this query (about z trains and Tomix controllers) maybe an "old and basic question" but it is surprising that there is not clear information for this.

If I find something interesting, I will share it.

 

 

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You’ll need an oscilloscope to read the voltage properly with pwm power. I believe diodes pairs should not affect the pwm as it’s turning power on and off not doing an ac current. I would guess the diodes would just eat a volt of the peak power of each pwm pulse and then should lower the max voltage the motor will see,

 

will be interesting to see the results of your tests.

 

jeff

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