Thinking of swapping out my increasingly creaky MTS

Lodgie_

Lodgie_

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29 Jan 2020
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Yaiza
I also have a couple of ancient but much loved LGB DC locos which are in fine fettle, so whatever system I select has to support running these on #0. It's a garden railway, probably about 400 ft of track, 7 dcc loco's and 2 non dcc. Usually 3 - 4 running at once.

I've had a look today at Gaugemaster Prodigy and the Z21 system but feel slightly uneasy about them, not sure why. What are the positives and negatives of these and are there others worth considering. This is in Lanzarote and a real problem getting stuff in and returning gear for repair.

Any input appreciated - this is a big investment...
 
P

Portsladepete

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2 Jun 2020
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England
I have had the z21 (white starter type) for a couple of years for my 00 layout, it is in my opinion one of the most user friendly systems on the market, however it doesn’t support running a dc loco on address 0, neither does the black (full price) version as far as I know.
 
Eeyore.Boater

Eeyore.Boater

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24 Oct 2009
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Stafford
I have the white “Starter” Z21 which I bought out of curiosity! I’m a bit undecided on the “user friendly” bit; but having seen a Massoth manual I can see why someone would say that. The new Z21XL has a 6amp output; is that enough for four locos? Fairly sure it doesn’t have support for DC locos.
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
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Paul will probably chip in about the Z21 as he has used it for varying scales including on his G Scale Exhibition Layouts. I bought one on the strength of his experience and find it great as a CV changing device via my iPad. But for the Garden I would want an RC that does not rely on a Phone or Pad screen though I gather certain newer phones have screens that are less affected by sunlight. Thus far for my limited use the Z21 has been fault free. But I think would need mire power for running G, here is where Paul could advise.
 
Lodgie_

Lodgie_

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Yaiza
I do have a couple of large locos with heavy trains and some interesting long drags which 0-4-0 can't manage with more than 3 wagons. It's fairly challenging - almost need RA numbers :)
Paul will probably chip in about the Z21 as he has used it for varying scales including on his G Scale Exhibition Layouts. I bought one on the strength of his experience and find it great as a CV changing device via my iPad. But for the Garden I would want an RC that does not rely on a Phone or Pad screen though I gather certain newer phones have screens that are less affected by sunlight. Thus far for my limited use the Z21 has been fault free. But I think would need mire power for running G, here is where Paul could advise.
Sunlight is a huge problem here, not that I'm complaining but we do get a lot of it. It does make it very difficult to read screens.
 
Lodgie_

Lodgie_

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4 small lgb locos yes, 4 big locos probably iffy, 4 heavy trains probably not, add long trains or a grade no...

(i.e. it depends on the loco, train length, grades, etc.)

Greg
Long trains and grades - yep I have a couple of serious grades which can cause probles and a couple of heavy locos too.
 
L

LGeoB

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12 Dec 2017
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Perth, Western Australia
For the garden, you could use a Roco WLAN maus. Works on wifi - you can interface the Z21 to your ethernet I believe. Personally I separate out the command station from the power side of things. Hence I use a Lenz LZ100 for control but drive the track with a couple of home made boosters - 5 amps each but that is only limited by the power supply.

Geoff
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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400 foot of track, and struggling trains?? :wondering:

As a certain Mr J Clarkson would say: MORE POWER! >:):D:D:D


Either power-districts with boosters, or a more substantial main CS, I would suggest?
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

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Long trains and grades - yep I have a couple of serious grades which can cause probles and a couple of heavy locos too.
I think the Z21 with boosters may be able to manage, but again we need PaulRhB PaulRhB to come in on this one. Hope this with the @ will grab his attention.
 
PaulRhB

PaulRhB

This Way Up
The Black Z21 certainly can and as said above there are the Roco Multimaus controllers that use WiFi if you don’t like touch screen phones as throttles. The multimaus can be found for £90-100 so a fair bit cheaper than most others. (Don’t confuse them with the red wired multimaus ;) )

This thread has the setup with Uhlenbrock boosters

and I switch my Z21 between scales using it on my 44ft HOm layout, 4x2 HOn30 and connect up the booster for G :)
Oh and as the thread it works equally well with the White z21 but bear in mind that doesn’t include WiFi unless you add it as an extra ;)
 
Lodgie_

Lodgie_

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The Black Z21 certainly can and as said above there are the Roco Multimaus controllers that use WiFi if you don’t like touch screen phones as throttles. The multimaus can be found for £90-100 so a fair bit cheaper than most others. (Don’t confuse them with the red wired multimaus ;) )

This thread has the setup with Uhlenbrock boosters

and I switch my Z21 between scales using it on my 44ft HOm layout, 4x2 HOn30 and connect up the booster for G :)
Oh and as the thread it works equally well with the White z21 but bear in mind that doesn’t include WiFi unless you add it as an extra ;)
This sounds a little more encouraging. All mighty complicated for an ex-00 analogue bloke...
 
PaulRhB

PaulRhB

This Way Up
A decent shop should be able to sort you out with the appropriate Z21, z21+WiFi and then find the booster to add on. I got mine ten years ago, Z21 and Uhlenbrock booster from Dcctrainautomation, James knows his stuff! Also Kevin at Coastaldcc shows he’s can get it and another trader I recommend as very knowledgeable.
 
L

LGeoB

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Perth, Western Australia
Have you checked out the Digikeijs DR5000?
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I've used this with Roco WLAN maus and Lenz controllers. I believe it is all the Rage for OO/HO. It also works with Digitrax, JMRI etc. Only puts out 3 amps but good as a command station.

Geoff
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

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This sounds a little more encouraging. All mighty complicated for an ex-00 analogue bloke...
Aha there you are the master has given advice. Have to say that I found the Z21 a dodle to set up and use. The instructions unlike some systems I found to also be understandable.
 
PaulRhB

PaulRhB

This Way Up
The Digikeijs is also good and you can run it with the Z21 app. It’s not quite as plug and play as the black Z21 as you need a retailer who will sort out all the bits like Dcctrainautomation but I have a couple of friends using it and very happy with it.
You should be able to connect it to the larger boosters too, I’m using their 3 amp booster alongside my Z21 when I run the large HSB layout, although I’ve not looked how big they go.