is this normal?

b-16707 Dec 6, 2010

  1. b-16707

    b-16707 TrainBoard Member

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    just got in my digitrax zephyr and running a non dcc loco. when i power on the tracks, the loco makes a rather loud buzzing electrical noise at idle (which slowly gets replaced by the motor noise as i add throttle) that doesnt happen if i use my regular dc power pack...is this normal?
     
  2. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Yep. :)

    The DCC signal is a square wave. The buzzing is caused by the motor idling between the constant positive and negative current chatter.

    You'll notice that as power is applied, the buzzing will be reduced. This is because during throttle up, the square wave tips gradually to one side of the current opposites, allowing, say the positive wave to be applied longer than the negative wave, giving the motor forward movement.

    At least, that's how I understand it. [​IMG]
     
  3. b-16707

    b-16707 TrainBoard Member

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    good info. i was afraid that my loco would burn out or something from all the energy running through it! kinda cool though....sounds like a real loco idling...sort of if i dont want to get a sound decoder haha
     
  4. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    I think that point is up for debate. It may take a loooong time of a loco sitting idle to heat up, but I suppose it is possible to do some damage.

    During a normal operating session, I dont think you have anything to worry about. Just dont leave the system on and the loco idle overnight. :p
     
  5. Railroad Bill

    Railroad Bill TrainBoard Member

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    Agree that, Mark

    Use the Zephyr analog feature a lot and have always been told "you could cook 'em."

    My experience shows the DC's run hotter than decoder equipped and DC's do heat up just standing still, but alls well after my typical 30 min operating/play times and occasionally 1 hour continuous runs ...

    Mostly, it was running 6 hours a time at N-trak shows that I did avoid ...
     
  6. retsignalmtr

    retsignalmtr TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, do not leave a non-decoder equiped loco on powered track without running it. The loco's will creep along on their own. The DC loco's motor will get very warm and could damage it. I was running an Atlas GP7 DC loco on my N scale layout and put it on a track in my engine terminal and forgot to turn off the toggle switch. An hour later I was looking for it and it was gone. It moved on it's own into the engine house but when I found it and tried to run it, the lights were on but no movement. The motor was very very hot and I believe the heat made something swell up in the motor binding it. Later when it cooled down it ran perfect again. The frame needs to be milled to accept a decoder, but I like the sound it makes as it sounds like an EMD loco.
     
  7. bandit59

    bandit59 New Member

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    Oh My.........

    I learned about this the hard way back in the days when LGB digital first was available and not a lot of information. A new motor and lost pride and all was good from there on.
     
  8. TPWMAN

    TPWMAN TrainBoard Member

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    It will burn up the motor. I've done it to a few of mine running 00. It will let the magic smoke out nad then that's all she wrote.
     
  9. lexon

    lexon TrainBoard Member

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  10. N_S_L

    N_S_L TrainBoard Member

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    There was a rather funny post awhile back, where a large quantity (50+ if I recall correctly) of DCC locos sitting in a yard were newly exposed to DC... said the sudden noise when he applied DC power scared the ******* out of him. I still chuckle thinking about that scenario.

    So yes, normal ops
     
  11. b-16707

    b-16707 TrainBoard Member

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    great info here. thanks for the input.

    i only plan to run 00 for now until i get a chip for my loco. but i suppose i should wire a track section where my locos that cant take a decoder can sit idle/off without being powered
     

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