Guide to the MTH Z-4000 Transformer DVD
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2020-07-03 11:29:19.
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In this 45 minute instructional program from 1998, it starts with an introduction message by NKP 765 engineer Rich Melvin. There are plenty of dos & don'ts on this 2 lever transformer. Rich also mentioned the lionel ZW transformer which features some similarities from the post-war lionel product. Remember, when powering the layout, the red wire is for the center rail, & the black wire is for the outside rail only. On the Z-4000, both throttles are at 1.5 amps except that one is at 10 volts, & the other at 14 volts. Another thing that the transformer has that the lionel ZW doesn't have is the 8 buttons & 4 volt screens. Like every MTH transformer, the red button is for directions, the yellow is for the bell, the black button is for the program, & the white button is the whistle. When rich talks about the electrical load, the ceiling lamp, the toaster in the kitchen, the radio/stereo & the vcr was shown. On the VCR clip, look carefully for 3 tapes on top of the machine: OGR summer 1995 issue, All Aboard 150 years on the right track, & amazingly enough, there is the original 1986/1987 editing of 765 Autumn spectacular from Greg Scholl! No kidding! Before going Back to the transformer itself however, rich also talks about some tips on what amps mean especially talking about the sizes of the hose such as the garden type and fire truck hose. Not to mention the pressure of the hose. All motors on every locomotive have their own resistance to the flow of electricity. A layout scene with a pair of N&W J class 4-8-4s on different freights are included. Although the Z-4000 powers 2 locomotives on separate loops, there should be no other trains connected to the throttle being used, only the test locomotive. For example, Rich tested a Chicago & northwestern dash 8-40CW. When testing the track & test engine, Never change the voltage during the test. A screen display showing the locomotive on the layout, what kind of voltage it uses & also for the low & high amps. Another test locomotive is the BNSF dash 9 44 CW which also runs around the loop. Every few months, run the test again. If your locomotive has the same Amp reading, everything is ok, especially when it's at the lower amp reading. But if the motor slows down, not only will the resistance go down, but the current will go up & to make matters worse, more amps means more heat. Rich also mentioned the QSI sound system which was the inventor of the MTH proto-sound. In addition to the Proto-sound itself, there is also the QS-1 QS-2 & QS-2 plus. To program the sound system, the Z-4000 has a special micro processor. Before the Z-4000, operators have to swing the ZW throttle up & down which causes their arms to ache as well as wearing off the transformer. Feature 6 is the sound system volume. Default is at 100%. When you press the program button, the whistle & direction buttons are acted as the page up & down buttons. When you are on feature 6, press the bell button to select, & your QSI equipped locomotive is ready for selection. When you want the sound volume on your QSI equipped locomotive, press the bell button until you hear the volume of the sound that you want for your layout. Feature 11 is the demo mode. default is off by 1 ding. Feature 25 is the whistle and/or horn in neutral. 2 dings mean that the whistle is activated while 1 ding means the bell. Feature 45 is the squealing brakes. Default is armed at 1 ding, 2 means it's on, & 3 means it's off. Feature 40 is the lock out enable. Default is off on 1 ding & on at 2 dings. The volts screen can also be acted as the feature screen. Several programming steps consolidated into 1 keystroke is called a Macro. The lockout Macro is at feature 50 & sometimes 51. Feature 52 is the booster speed. Boost the track speed to 25 seconds only. For proto-effect, a subway set is shown as an example. To do that hold the bell button for 3 seconds, & watch the train stop by itself, makes special sounds, & also leaves the depot. For diesel or steam like the Amtrak genesis for example, press the bell button 3 seconds, & use the lever twice. Feature 18 is operational clear which means that programming is clear as well as restoring their factory default settings. FIinally, Rich talks about some minor problems with the Z-4000 transformer. This is known as the 40 volt spike problem which Melvin mentioned the QSI power guard priced at originally $79.
With MTH going out of business in 2021, this 45 minute instructional video can help you how to program your locomotive, as well as inspecting on what volts you want for your layout.
But for MTH collectors who wanted to grab every locomotive, rolling stock, track, accessory & transformer, the time is starting to run out, & this is an important video to grab it you want to build or expand your layout. So after 40 years of the model railroading business, thank you Mike wolf for giving us model railroaders the true quality of O gauge 3 railroading over the years.
Additional remarks by Steamboy:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? Maybe.
Image quality: Excellent!
DVD Value: Excellent Value!
Recommend to others? Definitely.