Trainfreak
As my stars have almost aligned and hopefully, within a fortnight or so, I will be able to power up my Z21 black system and test run my helix- can I fit a standard, off the shelf (Jaycar Electronics in Australia) 0-5A ammeter to the supply or is the wave in DCC not measureable?
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AHJAY
No you cannot do that.

The DCC waeform is a complex assymetric square wave, not AC or DC.

Ahjay
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Iain Morrison wimorrison
You get the current draw from the Z21 App or Maint Program as well as track and supply voltages, plus a lot more.
Iain Morrison
Modelling h0e using Z21 with iTrain automation and Railcom
There are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know
http://www.wimorrison.co.uk
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Jack Wong
Is there a product that can measure DC, DCC and AC at the same time? @Ahjay
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Bunkerbarge
Jack Wong wrote:
Is there a product that can measure DC, DCC and AC at the same time? @Ahjay


Jack,  You can purchase ammeters, voltmeters and any one of a huge range of multimeters, both of a fixed variety and portable for the measurement of DC, and AC of a regular waveform.  As you would expect accuracy depends on how much you pay, which is driven by the quality of the meter.  I use a Fluke for domestic work, mainly as I was lucky enough to be employed in the United States so could get one without having to take out a mortgage!

As mentioned above by Iain, to measure DCC volts and current, because the waveform is so unusual a normal instrument will only give an approximate reading at best.  More sophisticated layout control units can take the waveform into consideration and give you a more accurate current reading such as the Z21 and some of the control software.  I have an ESU Ecos controller, which also shows you the current being drawn  by the layout in one of its pages.

Normal instruments that you can purchase for the measurement of volts or current will not necessarily give an accurate representation of volts and current from your layout.  if you are really interested in seeing the current being used then you would be best looking at a controller or a software package that incorporates this function.

A handheld multimeter would still have value as a continuity tester or for testing for the presence of voltage, but that is probably about as far as it would go.
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AHJAY
Yes, I have one on my desk, and am awaiting production of it at the moment LOL

Ahjay
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Jack Wong
Thank you for your advice!@Iain Morrison    

If we can directly display the value of current and voltage, this is a good supplement; we don't need to toss the multimeter back and forth. Thank you@AHJAY
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Ron Solly Sol
 obtain one of these
https://tonystrains.com/news/rrampmeter-by-dcc-specialties/
Ron
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AHJAY
I'd be slightly more patient.... whats coming is both more accurate, much more stable and significantly lower cost than that - AND both amps and volts will be visible at the same time.

regards, Richard
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Trainfreak
Thank you, one and  all for the information- once I have lit up the Z21, I will check the app. for loadings ( I was unaware this was possible)- I also use a Fluke for trouble shooting, but perhaps the DCC specialties unit may be an option later- dependent on word of mouth and forum reviews.
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