Product Finder
Click Here To Subscribe

PowerShield X Series for DCC and AC

Posted by on Dec 20, 2014 in Tips DCC Components, Tony's Tips |

Buy PowerShield X Here
PSX1-4 Manual (PDF – external link)
PSX-AR Manual (PDF – external link)
PSX Hints (PDF – external link)

DCC Specialties, manufacturer of the unique HARE, Wabbit and other exclusive DCC products, has acquired the rights to the former PowerShield, a market leader line of high performance, reliable DCC circuit breakers and auto reversers. Many new product improvements and innovations have been incorporated in the new series named PowerShieldX.

Protected by U.S. patent numbers 7810760, 7810761, 7810435.

psx_2255

PSX-1 Shown Above

DCC Specialties is so confident about the PSX’s quality and performance that they are providing a 1 year “Goof Proof Warranty”.

Figured I’d let you know. Got the PSX-AR and replaced the digitrax AR-1. Took 5 minutes. The sound decoder that wouldn’t make the loop before works perfectly! So, for what it’s worth, at least with the NCE Power Cab, this makes a HUGE difference with sound decoders. And, it’s definitely quieter and smoother with all my engines. Thanks.

The PSX series is a product of Larry Maier’s 10 years experience in designing and producing intelligent, solid state, DCC circuit breakers and auto reversers. The PSX specifically addresses the increased inrush loads (currents) which occur due to large capacitors used for sound systems. This load appears as a system short circuit until the capacitors are charged. The logic in the new PSXs determines if the load is a true short or just an inrush overload.

I received my new PS-X 4-circuit circuit breaker yesterday, and installed it today in place of my existing 3-circuit circuit breaker. I purchased your new one because it was advertised as being able to handle the inrush current of sound-equipped locos, and it worked beautifully! I am using an NCE PowerHouse Pro system, and when a short-circuit occurred, I had to shut down the system using the Emergency Stop button on the ProCab. Disrupting to the operating session to say the least! My ‘acid test’ consisted of shorting out the power district containing at least three sound equipped locos, removing the short, and watching the system come on automatically. This is EXACTLY what I have wanted for a long time (well, since I got into DCC). Thanks again.

There are (4) versions of the new PSX-AR Series Integrated DCC Circuit Breaker and Auto-Reversers:

(1) PSX-AR, with integrated stall motor decoder
(2) PSX-ARFB, same as above with added network feedback
(3) PSX-ARSC, with integrated snap coil decoder
(4) PSX-ARSCFB, same as above with added network feedback.

The PSX series also includes 4 DCC power district circuit breakers that incorporate all the same intelligent and exclusive features:

PSX-1: 1 Block Control

“Re: Reverse loop inside another reverse loop question? Actually, Ralph, the AR1 is really little more than a glorified set of switches that are activated by a mechanical relay. If you really, really want to get the bullet-proof fix, consider the combination short-circuit/ reversing gizmo from Tony’s Trains. It’s called the PSX-AR, I think. Because the short circuit and reversing functions are integrated in a single chip, you don’t have to worry about timing considerations between independent devices which themselves can react differently depending on loads, conditions, phases of the moon and how many old Archie comic books are in the atttic. You don’t really need to think about anything at all other than what placement of gaps makes the most sense for you operationally. Hook it up, run trains and have a nice day. If something gets wacky, the device will flip-flop polarity for awhile and then finally give up and shut the whole shootin’ match down. No mechanical relays -all electronics.”

I installed one of your PSX-AR auto-reverse modules on the feed to my turntable, after having problems getting a Lenz LK100 unit to work. The Lenz unit was very unreliable, resetting and shorting all the time. When I substituted the PSX-AR, it operated faultlessly and invisibly right from the start, with no adjustment required. You don’t hear any relay clacking or chattering and in fact you don’t even know it is there. It is a pleasure to use your products, they are well engineered and produced and your support and customer service is excellent. Regards, – Adrian G., Melbourne, Australia

Features PSX-AR and PSX-ARSC

  • Automatic Coordination of Auto Reverse and Circuit Breaker Tasks: It is both a auto reverser and a
    circuit breaker. Fast, all solid state design with reliable quiet electronic reversing, no blinks, clicks or sparks!
  • Adaptive Load Reset: Electronically senses if the overload is a real short or due to in-rush capacitance of sound decoders.
  • Automates Reverse Loop Turnouts: Integrated stall motor or snap coil decoder, automatically lines up
    switch machines is when the polarity is reversed. Switch machine can also be controlled with standard DCC accessory commands or push buttons.
  • Manual or Automatic Reset: Automatic reset of the breaker or a push button switch can manually reset.
  • Outputs for LED Indicators: LEDs can be added to monitor; input/output power and status.
  • Wide Range of Current Trip Setting: Trip currents are adjustable adjusted by jumpers or CVs: 1.27 to 19.2 A
  • System Reset: A single CV command sets all Addresses and CVs to original factory values.
  • Output for Audio Alarm: An audible sounder can be added to the card to alert you when there is a short.
  • Booster Function for Low Current: Some boosters need help when resetting. Adding a jumper kick starts low Amp systems.
  • Auto Stop with CV Reset: A photocell can detect a train in the reverse section and turn off power. A DCC command can then restore the power.
  • Board size: is 5 3/4 by 3 3/4 inches, designed to fit standard Radio Shack enclosure.

Features PSX-ARFB and PSX-ARSCFB

  • All of the above plus Feedback and Block Occupancy Feedback, Shorted and Occupancy Status to Digitrax (LocoNet), Lenz (ExpressNet) and NCE (CabBus)
  • Block Occupancy Outputs: Indicates block occupied or if there is a real short, Occupancy Amps adjustable

All PSX Series DCC Circuit Breakers include Network Feedback at no extra charge. Feedback, Shorted and Occupancy Status to  Digitrax (LocoNet), Lenz (ExpressNet) and NCE (CabBus).

I would like to thank you for all the great DCC Specialties products. I’ve experienced issues with other product manufacturers, but after replacing some DCC components the layout is working great. I’ve started using the PSXAR and love them. The locos and even the sound equipped locos travel through them with absolutely no stalling or hesitations. In the past a few people have had trucks on locos and rolling stock melted due to short circuits, even with another manufacturers circuit breaker installed. Recently we were setting up our N-Trak layout at a show and the power supply got turned on. I wasn’t aware that there was a short in a new module until at least 2 hours later. Thanks to the PSX circuit breakers doing what they are meant to do, 2 Digitrax command stations and power supplies were saved. We fixed the short, turned the system back on and everything worked great. Thanks again for great products and exceptional customer service.

– Byron A. Iowa

I was having a new furnace installed and the furnace crew, while I was upstairs answering the phone, ran around in haste flipping every switch they could find in the basement to test out some electrical circuits. They turned on the railroad while all the metal items they dropped on the track were all over the place. Naturally, I had no idea the railroad was on, and it remained in a state of constant shorting for well over 2 weeks. I unplugged the system, but wondered if it would ever work again.

You see, when my friend and I finally were able to reach the railroad system area to begin testing for problems, we fully expected all of Tonys Trains Powershields to be dead. We also expected the NCE system and booster to be dead. Upon turning on the system we found disappointing strange glowing lights, no track power, and no other signs of life. Eventually, we tried to reset one of those fancy computer circuit breaker multi plug in boxes that was used to plug everything in to. This test was met with a loud pop, a bang, and was complete with blue smoke. The thing was dead.

After carefully testing each item out, all plug in circuits, etc, we then came to the point where we could plug the system back in to a new surge protection strip. Much to our surprise the system not only came up, but all systems were working fine.

When I realized that while one of those expensive computer surge protection boxes had taken a major hit, and that instead every single one of Tonys Trains Powershields, used to protect each town in the event of a short, had protected the railroad and all operating equipment, and had even survived themselves for well over 2 weeks of constant shorting.

– Bob D.

I’ve seen a demo of one of the new ‘adaptive’ breakers from DCC Specialties that was nothing short of phenomenal. We had no less than 14 sound locos in the district – more than half of them older QSIs … and it recovered from a quarter test short without having to roll any of the locos off of the track! The breaker just kept feeding the power “slowly” until everything was running normal. And it was a reversing section and it worked just as well when reversing. We just could not create a scenario where the breaker would fail to recover. So – if you’ve got one of those beautiful lighted Cal Zephyrs and an ABBA set of sound-equipped Fs to pull it … this breaker will allow your layout to come back to life normally after I or someone just like me blows a switch. I know -you- never do this but you see I’m an old fart who can’t see very well and so this happens more often than I wish. So, if recovering from shorts is a problem for you … this is one suh-weeeeeet breaker!

– Jim B., California

Some good news. I just received and tested the DCC Specialties new breaker/reverser, PSX-AR . Finally, a unit designed to work with the Soundtraxx Tsunami, QSI-type decoders’ inrush current.

My power source is an NCE PHP. I changed the PSX trip current to the lowest setting, 1.27 Amps. I verified this trip point with a variable power resistor.

I started with one BLI engine. Either a dead short or a 10 Ohm short of any time length required 2.5 seconds after removal for reset. Two engines, the same. Three. Four. Five. SIX!

These were all idling, so I got four running and they began running again 2.5 seconds after any short was removed.

The logic on this board seems to handle the capacitors as if they were not there.

The older PS board requires a setting of 4 Amps to work with QSIs, if I remember correctly. Thus, the new design should make it much less likely that heat damage will occur with a partial short. Gets my vote.

– Hal G.