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Re: Amperage Draw

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  • Don A
    Jeff: I was in a new [actually older than dirt] hobby shop today with my N Scale buddy. Neither of us had been there before. The LHS Owner seemed to know
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 30, 2009
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      Jeff:

      I was in a "new" [actually older than dirt] hobby shop today with my N Scale buddy. Neither of us had been there before. The LHS Owner seemed to know the meter pretty well and he also does a lot of DCC installations. He didn't have a meter there, but drew a diagram.

      He said one end should be connected to the two wires coming from the output power from the controller, and the other end two wires be connected to the track. This would mean to me that 100% of the power is going through the meter. I have never found a decent wiring diagram on the use of the meter, but reading some info, the printed docs seem to say the same.

      Does this seem correct??

      ...don

      --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff BAZ-man" <sjbazman49@...> wrote:
      >
      > Don,
      >
      > You should see ~0.05A+/- 0.02 for MTL GP's and AZL locos. For MTL F7's, you should see >>0.1A. M�rklin locos, similar >0.1A. Are you sure you have it configured / wired correctly ? DCC power on one end, track power on the other? I don't have the manual here at work but make sure that the DCC power only connects to one end and no where else (no bypassing the RR Amp meter). Also, make sure you have the ability to measure Amps (setting, jumper, current range, etc.).
      >
      > Jeff
      > SF Bay Area Z
      >
      > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "John Mui" <jmui@> wrote:
      > >
      > > No Don. I get a higher reading then that with my powercab. Most z scale
      > > engines draw very little current, but its going to draw more then .01 amp.
      > >
      > > John
      > > ----- Original Message -----
      > > From: "Don A" <zbarr474@>
      > > To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
      > > Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 1:31 PM
      > > Subject: [Z_Scale] Amperage Draw
      > >
      > >
      > > >I have a Tony's Ramp meter for checking DCC voltage & amperage. I checked
      > > >the meter on a HO systems and the voltage and amperage were the same as
      > > >tthe HO meter. It seems no mater how many DCC engines I put on the track,
      > > >it never reads over 0.01 amps. Is a reading of always 0.01 normal? Does
      > > >anyone have a table of expected amperages readings as you add more and more
      > > >engines?
      > > >
      > > > Thanks.
      > > >
      > > > ...don a
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > ------------------------------------
      > > >
      > > > Z-scale: minimum siZe, MAXIMUM enjoyment!
      > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • stonysmith
      To measure AMPERAGE, you must break the circuit.. remove one wire from the power pack and connect it to one lead of the meter, connect the other meter lead
      Message 2 of 9 , May 1 8:25 AM
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        To measure AMPERAGE, you must 'break' the circuit.. remove one wire from the power pack and connect it to one lead of the meter, connect the other meter lead directly to powerpack.

        To measure VOLTAGE, you would simply touch the leads onto the two contacts of the powerpack, or one lead to each rail.

        For a picture, see http://www.stonysmith.com/railroad/va.gif

        > He said one end should be connected to the two wires coming from the output power from the controller, and the other end two wires be connected to the track.
      • Jeff BAZ-man
        Correct. You read the Voltage the rails and the Current the RRampMeter. So, the DCC power applied to the rails must pass entirely thru the
        Message 3 of 9 , May 1 9:37 AM
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          Correct. You read the Voltage <across> the rails and the Current <through> the RRampMeter. So, the DCC power applied to the rails must pass entirely thru the meter. If you hold an un-wired RRampMeter to the rails, it will only show Voltage. See the following page from Tony's Train Exchange for connection examples: http://www.tonystrains.com/technews/rrampmeter.htm

          You can simulate a load by connecting any 12v light bulb or a spare Märklin motor to one end while you connect the end to the rails.

          Jeff
          SF Bay Area Z


          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Don A" <zbarr474@...> wrote:
          >
          > Jeff:
          >
          > I was in a "new" [actually older than dirt] hobby shop today with my N Scale buddy. Neither of us had been there before. The LHS Owner seemed to know the meter pretty well and he also does a lot of DCC installations. He didn't have a meter there, but drew a diagram.
          >
          > He said one end should be connected to the two wires coming from the output power from the controller, and the other end two wires be connected to the track. This would mean to me that 100% of the power is going through the meter. I have never found a decent wiring diagram on the use of the meter, but reading some info, the printed docs seem to say the same.
          >
          > Does this seem correct??
          >
          > ...don
          >
          > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff BAZ-man" <sjbazman49@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Don,
          > >
          > > You should see ~0.05A+/- 0.02 for MTL GP's and AZL locos. For MTL F7's, you should see >>0.1A. M�rklin locos, similar >0.1A. Are you sure you have it configured / wired correctly ? DCC power on one end, track power on the other? I don't have the manual here at work but make sure that the DCC power only connects to one end and no where else (no bypassing the RR Amp meter). Also, make sure you have the ability to measure Amps (setting, jumper, current range, etc.).
          > >
          > > Jeff
          > > SF Bay Area Z
          > >
          > > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "John Mui" <jmui@> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > No Don. I get a higher reading then that with my powercab. Most z scale
          > > > engines draw very little current, but its going to draw more then .01 amp.
          > > >
          > > > John
          > > > ----- Original Message -----
          > > > From: "Don A" <zbarr474@>
          > > > To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
          > > > Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 1:31 PM
          > > > Subject: [Z_Scale] Amperage Draw
          > > >
          > > >
          > > > >I have a Tony's Ramp meter for checking DCC voltage & amperage. I checked
          > > > >the meter on a HO systems and the voltage and amperage were the same as
          > > > >tthe HO meter. It seems no mater how many DCC engines I put on the track,
          > > > >it never reads over 0.01 amps. Is a reading of always 0.01 normal? Does
          > > > >anyone have a table of expected amperages readings as you add more and more
          > > > >engines?
          > > > >
          > > > > Thanks.
          > > > >
          > > > > ...don a
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > > ------------------------------------
          > > > >
          > > > > Z-scale: minimum siZe, MAXIMUM enjoyment!
          > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > > >
          > > >
          > >
          >
        • Don A
          Many thanks. I appreciate it.
          Message 4 of 9 , May 1 10:04 AM
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            Many thanks. I appreciate it.

            ...don


            --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff BAZ-man" <sjbazman49@...> wrote:
            >
            > Correct. You read the Voltage <across> the rails and the Current <through> the RRampMeter. So, the DCC power applied to the rails must pass entirely thru the meter. If you hold an un-wired RRampMeter to the rails, it will only show Voltage. See the following page from Tony's Train Exchange for connection examples: http://www.tonystrains.com/technews/rrampmeter.htm
            >
            > You can simulate a load by connecting any 12v light bulb or a spare M�rklin motor to one end while you connect the end to the rails.
            >
            > Jeff
            > SF Bay Area Z
            >
            >
            > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Don A" <zbarr474@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Jeff:
            > >
            > > I was in a "new" [actually older than dirt] hobby shop today with my N Scale buddy. Neither of us had been there before. The LHS Owner seemed to know the meter pretty well and he also does a lot of DCC installations. He didn't have a meter there, but drew a diagram.
            > >
            > > He said one end should be connected to the two wires coming from the output power from the controller, and the other end two wires be connected to the track. This would mean to me that 100% of the power is going through the meter. I have never found a decent wiring diagram on the use of the meter, but reading some info, the printed docs seem to say the same.
            > >
            > > Does this seem correct??
            > >
            > > ...don
            > >
            > > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Jeff BAZ-man" <sjbazman49@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Don,
            > > >
            > > > You should see ~0.05A+/- 0.02 for MTL GP's and AZL locos. For MTL F7's, you should see >>0.1A. M�rklin locos, similar >0.1A. Are you sure you have it configured / wired correctly ? DCC power on one end, track power on the other? I don't have the manual here at work but make sure that the DCC power only connects to one end and no where else (no bypassing the RR Amp meter). Also, make sure you have the ability to measure Amps (setting, jumper, current range, etc.).
            > > >
            > > > Jeff
            > > > SF Bay Area Z
            > > >
            > > > --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "John Mui" <jmui@> wrote:
            > > > >
            > > > > No Don. I get a higher reading then that with my powercab. Most z scale
            > > > > engines draw very little current, but its going to draw more then .01 amp.
            > > > >
            > > > > John
            > > > > ----- Original Message -----
            > > > > From: "Don A" <zbarr474@>
            > > > > To: <z_scale@yahoogroups.com>
            > > > > Sent: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 1:31 PM
            > > > > Subject: [Z_Scale] Amperage Draw
            > > > >
            > > > >
            > > > > >I have a Tony's Ramp meter for checking DCC voltage & amperage. I checked
            > > > > >the meter on a HO systems and the voltage and amperage were the same as
            > > > > >tthe HO meter. It seems no mater how many DCC engines I put on the track,
            > > > > >it never reads over 0.01 amps. Is a reading of always 0.01 normal? Does
            > > > > >anyone have a table of expected amperages readings as you add more and more
            > > > > >engines?
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Thanks.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > ...don a
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > > ------------------------------------
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Z-scale: minimum siZe, MAXIMUM enjoyment!
            > > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > >
            > > >
            > >
            >
          • Don A
            Therein lies the problem. This meter has an unusual design and their info is not really clear on a quick read. I did find a written discussion explaining how
            Message 5 of 9 , May 2 5:02 PM
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              Therein lies the problem. This meter has an unusual design and their info is not really clear on a quick read. I did find a written discussion explaining how to use the meter. You really do have to feed ALL power through one end of the meter and through the internals and display LED's and then out to the tracks/rails. In essence since you are reading both amperage and voltage at the same time, all power must run through the meter. IOW, cut the two leads from the transformer to the track, and insert the meter at the cut and you are set to go. In addition the amperage will vary SLIGHTLY depending which end is fed the power. An explanation for that is that in one direction you measure the amperage consumed by the meter itself, and the other way you do not. I have never found an internal wiring diagram to understand what is happening here. Where it becomes even more unclear is that you can take EITHER end of the meter and then just place the contact points on each rail and read the voltage.

              FWIW feeding all power [ i.e. voltage & amperage ] in one side and through the LED display and then on to the track/rail seems to produce proper readings. You can readily see the amperage increase by putting a drag on the loco - such as weighting it down with your hand.

              I still would like to know if a near zero reading is normal for a Z Scale DCC engine merely sitting on the tracks. IOW "idling", but set to go if you call up it's decoder number.

              ...don



              --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "stonysmith" <stonysmith@...> wrote:
              >
              > To measure AMPERAGE, you must 'break' the circuit.. remove one wire from the power pack and connect it to one lead of the meter, connect the other meter lead directly to powerpack.
              >
              > To measure VOLTAGE, you would simply touch the leads onto the two contacts of the powerpack, or one lead to each rail.
              >
              > For a picture, see http://www.stonysmith.com/railroad/va.gif
              >
              > > He said one end should be connected to the two wires coming from the output power from the controller, and the other end two wires be connected to the track.
              >
            • Glen Chenier
              ... Yes, this is normal. Have not used the meter you describe, but the only current draw from an idle locomotive is that drawn by the headlight if it is
              Message 6 of 9 , May 2 5:15 PM
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                --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Don A" <zbarr474@...> wrote:

                > I still would like to know if a near zero reading is normal for a Z Scale DCC engine merely sitting on the tracks. IOW "idling", but set to go if you call up it's decoder number.
                >
                > ...don


                Yes, this is normal. Have not used the meter you describe, but the only current draw from an idle locomotive is that drawn by the headlight if it is turned on, and a tiny current draw to power the decoder. If the motor is not being powered it will not draw curent.
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