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For what it is worth Martin, I too have a zephyr and have experienced the same problems with programming.

From what I have read I believe the power output to the programming track is too low and really needs a booster. I have had some success using a little gadget called the 'decoder tester' from

The decoder can be plugged into the tester and the tester attaches to the programming track with alligator clips. You can then set up the decoder before ever installing it into the loco. The point of this is that the alligator clips seem to make much more positive contact with the rails of the programming track than the loco wheels do.

There is also a power booster available I believe - I'll check into this and report back, but I must say that so far the tester has solved my immediate problems of not being able to program the decoders at all.

Hope this helps
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