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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
I have encountered a problem with my z21 start and was wondering if you could help me please? The problem is that if I connect a piece of track to use as a programming track directly to the track output on the back of the control box any train I put on the train either judders and then goes full throttle one way then the other or doesn't respond at all. I've tried resetting the decoders but it won't program anything. The strange thing is if I connect the track through my booster I can control the trains normally but still can't program. I get errors if I try and read CV's or write them.
Everything seemed fine until I updated the firmware on the z21 and of course I can't now roll this back.
Any help you can give would be most appreciated.
Kind regards
Paul
 

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it doesn't help but I always refuse all upgrades, 1st law of engineering,- if it works don't fix it.

are you using 4 digit long addresses as this helps,? the shooting off sounds like a non decoder fitted loco, also I find coding with an ESU coding rig is better this is then connected to the prog track terminals then test on the prog track.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Kristopher
Thanks for your reply. All the locos I have tried have chips inside. I've tried resetting the whole system as well and still get the same result even if I haven't set up any addresses on the app for any of the locos. It's almost if the system has interference from somewhere which I thought might be the problem as I've recently moved but then I would get the same result using my booster if that was the case.
 

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Would it be correct to say that the programming track function worked satisfactorily before the firmware update was installed?

If so, attempt a reinstall of the update and test; just in case something was corrupted on the first install.

Still no good? Refer to update supplier for corrective action would seem the appropriate action. Upgrade forthrightness to boot.groin interfacing if they claim all is well...
 

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Right you must set up the addresses, possibly they are all still set to '3' so I set for instance 44555 to 4455 and say 60018 to 6018, now on Z21 when you prog you will get if you want a series of numbers come up and the first is the short sequence and that goes up to 128 I think, but you should use the 4 digit sequence and these also come up, Z21 works these out for you. If they are all on 3 then everything that has a live feed will move because they are all 3. Now I found all this out as you are doing and I have quickly run out of the sequence to 128 so had to switch over to the long sequence. I have no idea what your booster does, I have found Z21 does not need anything else and when I have tried with various electronic booster and other aids it works far less well, trust Z21 on its own, so my layout is 5.2 metres by 4 metres, I run 8 roundy loops and have had 10 locos running simultaneously and I include 4 gradient tracks at 1 in 33 also some locos use a bit of power for sure yet Z21 thinks it is easy peasy.

So that is the next step and do buy an ESU tester, prog the decoder on that then fit to the loco as sometimes in the loco it is reluctant to prog (dunno why) so I connect this to the prog output on the black box as I do with the test track which I also use for wheel cleaning, just ensure you only use one of these at a time, for wheel cleaning I simply run the loco against an upright and use a cotton bud that all works well too,

The Z21 manual is typically German lots of removing from the box then it tells you how wonderful they are and to enjoy but with some imagination you'll get it to work, if not I'll take photos and make out a simple manual for you (and any others not wanting to ask)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok thanks for your help. I'll try but still not able to program anything at the moment. I've been using DCC for over 7 years and never had this problem before. All the chips are programmed with numbers from 1 to 30 so I know that they can't be all set to default. I thought it might be because I'm using laisdcc decoders but I have a few locos which have different chips in and they behave the same way. It's just strange that everything was fine until the update. I would try to reinstall the update but when it sees the update has been done it won't let you reinstall.
 

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I think I would put each one on the test track and ask to read the decoder, it is possible it has reset them to default 3? anyway doing this would be a good discipline anyway, I'd still suggest you go 4 digit as this sets 2 fields not one., hey every now and then I find an older loco that is still on the up to 128 sequence but then I reset it anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As I said previously I can't read or write on any track. I can control normally through the booster and each loco has its normal address. I think the problem lies within the z21 itself and its dcc signal its sending to the track. This would explain why I can control through the bus connection to the booster but not from the track output on the z21 itself. I've sent a message to Roco to see what they say. Thanks for your suggestions though.
 
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