Author Topic: What booster can I use for a DB50 Zephyr for programming  (Read 533 times)

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Paradise275

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What booster can I use for a DB50 Zephyr for programming
« on: September 09, 2018, 12:38:05 PM »
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I know the Zephyr DB50 does not have enough power on programming mode to program most sound decoders.
I though someone told me that NCE made a booster that would fix the problem.
I can't find any reference to it. Or is there another booster available that would work as well or better?

Rick

mmyers

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Re: What booster can I use for a DB50 Zephyr for programming
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2018, 12:53:12 PM »
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Rick,
 Just about any programming booster will work with it. Soundtraxx has their PTB -100. DCC Specialties has their Powerpax. Both work well. NCE does not make a programming booster but their DCC systems work better at programming pesky sound decoders ou of the box.

DCS50 Zephyr also has "Blast Mode" programming which can be turned on by closing Op Switch 7. It is not in the DCS50 documentation but instructions can be found in the current DCS51 manual. The older model DCS50 has it built in but Digitrax did not advertise it.
If you use Blast mode it basically uses full power to program. Remember to set op switch 7 back to Thrown when done using it. A little bulky but it works with no additional cost.
Martin Myers

reinhardtjh

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Re: What booster can I use for a DB50 Zephyr for programming
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2018, 01:34:38 PM »
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If you use Blast mode it basically uses full power to program.

This is the only real caveat about using blast mode on the DCS50 - If you've made any wiring error and screwed up the isolation, then you're going to get the full current (2.5a) and possibly blow the decoder.  The reason normal programming has the limited current is (1) The NMRA committee figured that was all that's needed because (2) limited current could show a short without it being damaging to the decoder.

So maybe try it on non-blast mode first.  If it doesn't show a short, but also doesn't program, then try blast-mode.
John H. Reinhardt
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RBrodzinsky

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Re: What booster can I use for a DB50 Zephyr for programming
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2018, 05:10:05 PM »
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I have used the Soundtraxx programming booster with the Zephyr, but it was only really needed for the older Soundtraxx decoders. I have no issues programming modern decoders, such as LokSound, without the booster.
Rick Brodzinsky
Chief Engineer - JACALAR Railroad
Silicon Valley FreeMo-N

nstars

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Re: What booster can I use for a DB50 Zephyr for programming
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2018, 05:51:07 PM »
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This is the only real caveat about using blast mode on the DCS50 - If you've made any wiring error and screwed up the isolation, then you're going to get the full current (2.5a) and possibly blow the decoder.  The reason normal programming has the limited current is (1) The NMRA committee figured that was all that's needed because (2) limited current could show a short without it being damaging to the decoder.

So maybe try it on non-blast mode first.  If it doesn't show a short, but also doesn't program, then try blast-mode.

It's important to mention the DCS51 has blast mode, not the DCS50.

Marc

mmyers

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Re: What booster can I use for a DB50 Zephyr for programming
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2018, 06:03:03 PM »
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Marc,
 DCS50 has blast mode. It was never documented by Digitrax but it is in there. Loy Spurlock documented it in his DCS50 "How To" manual. I have used it on mine. Firmware version is PO10.
Martin Myers