Re: Power for Z-Scale Decoders

Mark Gurries

With respect to the USA

Z scale track voltage and Z scale decoder voltage ratings are not directly related.  The voltage rating of the DCC electronics are typically the same as N and HO.  30V is common standard of electronic parts used.  The voltage rating of the power devices used to drive the motor does not define the physical size of the parts.  

The NMRA does not define specific voltage for specific scales.  They have one standard for all scales: 12V.  Does not change with DCC.

The purpose of having a specific track voltage as a standard is for reliability purposes for both the motor and lamps.

DCC track voltage typically is a bit higher than the DC track voltage because of voltage losses inside the DCC decoder.  The goal is to get 12V at the motor terminals, the same motor operating condition under DC without a decoder.

On Feb 12, 2019, at 8:25 PM, Jay <> wrote:

Z Scale recommended voltage should be 9V.
12V is pushing the upper limit of the true Z Scale decoders in Z Scale engines.
The UP6Z is recommended by Digitrax for operating Z scale.


Best Regards,

Mark Gurries
Electrical Engineer
DCC Website & NMRA DCC Clinics:

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