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M Graff

z21 shorts when connected to the power supply.

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Hi, I have a friend who has some issues with his z21.

The original power supply died, so he got a new MeanWell 18V DC 3.3 Ah switched supply instead.

It has the right plug for the z21 input socket with positive on the center pin, just like the original.

When he plugs it in it shorts out (i.e. the light blinks red).

That's without any track connection...

What's up with it?

I find it strange as I use a power supply of the same specs on my z21....

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1 hour ago, M Graff said:

Hi, I have a friend who has some issues with his z21.

The original power supply died, so he got a new MeanWell 18V DC 3.3 Ah switched supply instead.

It has the right plug for the z21 input socket with positive on the center pin, just like the original.

When he plugs it in it shorts out (i.e. the light blinks red).

That's without any track connection...

What's up with it?

I find it strange as I use a power supply of the same specs on my z21....

 

Fault with the Z21?

Maybe that's the reason his original power supply failed?

Or the original supply failed and damaged the Z21?

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2 hours ago, M Graff said:

Hi, I have a friend who has some issues with his z21.

The original power supply died, so he got a new MeanWell 18V DC 3.3 Ah switched supply instead.

It has the right plug for the z21 input socket with positive on the center pin, just like the original.

When he plugs it in it shorts out (i.e. the light blinks red).

That's without any track connection...

What's up with it?

I find it strange as I use a power supply of the same specs on my z21....

 

 

Then try your power supply on his Z21 ? Eliminates any possilble fault on his Z21 first

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The Z21 power supply is 20v for 230v. if you are using an 110v then the output is 18v @ 4a - either way the replacement power supply doesn't have the same specs.

 

I agree that the use a working  SMPS on your friends unit (e.g. your one)  will confirm whether the z21 is faulty.

 

EDIT - the z21 SMPS is 18v for 230v input.

Edited by WIMorrison

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Hi.. I had this problem.. I think a software update sorted it, but not 100% sure if that was it..

  • Agree 1

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Hi,

 

This a bit late,  but I also used to get the Red Flashing LED on my Z21, BUT there was NO SHORT CIRCUIT.

I checked the current draw on the Z21 and it showed 2.6A which is almost at the practical limit for the Z21. I know it's meant to be 3A, but if you read the documentation this is not a continuous 3A.

Anyway I added a booster and I no longer get the problem. So, although I can't find this documented, it appears that the Z21 will give a Flashing Red if there is too much power needed on the track, or, presumably, if there is too little power from the PSU.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Regards,

 

John P

 

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On 17/02/2020 at 17:35, JohnTGillott said:

I believe the Z21 has a dedicated power supply and needs this to work, see instruction book.

Not important.

What is important is that any replacement can give the same voltage and current as the original (and ideally should be a SMPS.)

This is so that the overload cut-out will work correctly.

 

If the replacement is underpowered there is the possibilty of the Z21 will not trip quick enough (or at all) under overload conditions.

 

I have a couple of boosters which require 120W laptop supplies.

With 90W ones they don't trip under overload conditions.

I found out because I was a tight *rse and tried to use an existing 90W supply.

 

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Posted (edited)

bit of a late reply but i had this when i plugged in the power supplies the wrong way round

ie modem into z21 and z21 power into modem

so the z21 is very particular as to power feed 

Edited by terryj

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Hi,
Apologies if this should be a new thread but the heading to this seemed applicable.

 

I need some help with a z21 white (doesn’t say Start) controller that has continuous flashing red with no track connected and I can’t connect to it with old app on iPad or new app on Android phone.

 

Background; a gentleman purchased a layout with the z21 controller and iPad over the internet (usual site) and it was damaged in transit, our club received a request for someone to help fix the electrical problems, I went and fixed the wiring problems, all to do with wires pulled out of connector blocks and all connected to lights.

 

When the controller was powered up it gave continuous flashing red, disconnected track, still flashing red, rebooted still red. I came away and read up on all the z21 documentation I could find and went back having put the app on an old phone of mine.

 

Still flashing red all the time, iPad that came with the layout and my old phone connect to the router ok but neither connected to the z21. Grey bar on my phone, red X over wi-fi symbol on iPad. Both devices say they are connected and both come up in the DHCP list when logged into the router. The x21 does not come up in the DHCP list. Tried changing the network cable for a known good one and using different ports, no change. Both lights on the network connector on z21 are on. One light seems to flash after z21 power up, suggests data is passed at this time.

 

I haven’t checked that the correct power supply is connected to the z21, I’ll check this the next time I go over but it’s a half hour journey each way so would like to collect as much info as possible first.

 

Do I need to connect a PC with the maintenance software to unlock the z21 before it will talk to the apps? Youtube videos seem to show people unpacking and using similar units without unlocking them.
Does the light on the front remain red until the z21 is unlocked?
The z21 was in use with the layout before it was purchased but would it need to be unlocked again if someone has done a 5s reset?
Does the z21 white have to be unlocked the same as the z21 Start? Are they the same thing in a different box?

 

Sorry for the length of this.
Malcolm

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The immediate problem appears to be that you are no0t connected to the wifi network with the iPad as you have the red X across the wifi symbol. Also, have you entered the correct address for the z21 into the app? the default address should be 192.168.0.111 but that might not be the case.  You need to ensure that the wifi network is the same for all devices.

 

You can reset z21 to default by powering on and holding down the Stop button until it flashes purple.

 

If you then reset the z21 router then everything should be back on default and that should then work.

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You also mentioned that you are able to look at the DHCP table to find your phone and the router but not the Z21.

 

That is a problem, The Z21 router should NOT be set for DHCP, it should have a static address of 192.168.0.111.

 

BTW the router should be a TP-LInk.

 

Regards,

 

John P

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Thanks for the comments. Yes the router is the TPLINK one the same as in all the pictures the iPad and the Android phone connect to z21_???? can't remember what the numbers were but it started with z21. Yes both iPad and phone were in the DHCP list, I think they were 192.168.0.100 and 192.168.0.101, and I think the router was 192.168.0.1.

The address for the z21 is set to 192.168.0.111 in the app. The app on the phone is a new download, nothing changed. The app on the iPad is as received, supposedly configured for the layout, appears to have correct locos and track.

The z21 had been reset with 5s press of stop button until both blue and red leds were on (which I assume is what they call purple. Both the router and the z21 have been rebooted in every sequence you can think of with delay both ways around.

 

Should the z21 have a red led until connected to router? Should the z21 have a red led until connected to tablet or phone? 

How does the router know the IP address for the z21, there does not appear to be any static IP addresses reserved in the router?

Is there any way to check that the z21 is connected to the router?

Does the z21 white have to be unlocked the same as the z21 Start? Are they the same thing in a different box?

Malcolm

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Posted (edited)

The address fir the z21 is as I said earlier 

 

192.168.0.111

 

amd you should check that this address is in the app as the Z21 address.

 

you should also have a cable from the tplink router to the z21.

 

the Z21 maintenance program can also be used to confirm that the z21 is working correctly- install it on a PC and connect to the z21 router by cable or WiFi and use the address above to connect to the z21 

 

normally the light should be blue - either flashing or solid, depending on how the z21 has been configured.

Edited by WIMorrison

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Hi,

 

I've just checked mine and the router is 192.168.0.1. My iPhone is 192.168.0.100.

 

The Z21 is 192.168.0.111, but it does not show up on the list of devices on my iPhone (it has a fixed connection and a fixed address).

 

Also I unplugged everything and the Z21 comes on with a Blue light.

 

I don't think you have  networking issue it sounds like the Z21 has a problem as the Flashing Red light means either a short or a power overload.

 

BTW the Z21 will not respond to any commands if the light is flashing red.

 

Two things to try:

 

Disconnect everything from the Z21 apart from its power supply, it should power up with a blue light.

 

Make sure you are using the correct power supply, it should be an 18V 4A supply. If it isn't then the Z21 may detect that there is too low a voltage, or too little current and that can also cause the red flashing light.

 

Also make sure that the LAN cable from the Z21 IS NOT connected to the blue WAN port on the router, it should be connected to one of the other, yellow, ports.

 

Regards,

 

John P

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Thank you but I'm sorry WIMorrison but do you read what I write?

I wrote "The address for the z21 is set to 192.168.0.111 in the app. " to which replied "The address fir the z21 is as I said earlier 192.168.0.111 amd you should check that this address is in the app as the Z21 address."

To me those look very much like the same numbers.

I also said "Tried changing the network cable for a known good one and using different ports, no change. " so your comment "you should also have a cable from the tplink router to the z21." seems unnecessary.

Thank you anyway, it's quite possible that it is something simple that I've got wrong.

 

Thanks John, I've not powered the z21 up without the router plugged in but with just power and router the light is flashing red.

It could be the power supply, I have not checked them, all I've done is unplug them (either at the mains or at the back of the units) and I've always made sure that I didn't swap then over but I didn't connect them up to start with. They were already connected when I went around to the gentleman's house.

I can say that both power supplies must have European two pin plugs as they have two pin to 3 pin adaptors on them. I would therefore assume that they are original but they may well be the wrong way around. I’ll check this the next time I go over but it’s a half hour journey each way so would like to collect as much info as possible first, just in case they are the correct way around.

 

I'll also take a portable with the maintenance software next time I go around and see if anything can be done with that.

Malcolm

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I won’t offer you any more advice or tell you what is wrong as you are so clever you obviously know the answer.

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As I said thank you for your help.

And no I don't know the answer, but I had tried to give as much information as I could.

Malcolm

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Malcolm a little friendly advice ?  I know its hugely frustrating when something doesn't work, but nipping at someone who is trying to help is NEVER a good idea. Others will look at your comment and just move on to another thread instead of helping out. You will always get the same information (and differing advice) given over and over and over BUT. If I had a pound for every time I've heard " but that's what I said"   "That's what I did". That's what I meant" when actually it wasn't ! , I would be Rich :yes:

 

Ian has been running his system for quite a while and has built up useful knowledge which he passes on to help others starting out or with problems :help:

For what its worth, I will say that when I switch my system on, before I ever switch on and connect any other devices, it powers up and the system light goes Blue. The only time it went red was after I had moved it and the router, and yes, I had switched the power supplies round. Box was flashing red. 

 

You may well find that your router is connected to the Z21 fine and your devices will link to the router, and even possibly the Z21  but untill the Z21 clears the fault it wont work and wont communicate with the devices

 

Hope this helps if not or if it's been oft repeated,  feel free to ignore it.  :)

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9 hours ago, Mattc6911 said:

The only time it went red was after I had moved it and the router, and yes, I had switched the power supplies round. Box was flashing red. 

I just tried this on my setup, and with nothing connected to the Z21, I plugged in the router supply to the Z21 and got a red flashing light.

 

Regards,

 

John P

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Apologise to all, it came out worse than intended, I was actually about to remove the first line after reading it but Ian replied before I had the chance.

I have tried all the way through to give as much information as possible and ask questions as simply as possible it was just that the 'as I said earlier' comment niggled a bit after having just said that that was what it was. Can we let it drop, it wasn't intended to be nasty.

 

I'm intending to go and see the gentleman today if he is available and this is my plan of action:-

1) check the power supplies and swap if necessary.

2) power up with nothing other than the power connected.

3) if still blue try powering up with a 15V 6A supply I have (I know the voltage is a bit low but it's the closest I've got).

4) connect a pc with the maintenance software directly to the z21, depending on how this goes...

5) try to ping 192.168.0.111 or

6) put the router back in with both the pc and the z21 hard wired to it.

7) try wireless connection from pc, then phone & ipad.

 

I'll let you know the results.

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Have you checked the connection between   router and z21 isn't plugged in the Lan socket?  It should be in one of the four yellow  ones.

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Yes checked it's not plugged into the blue WAN port and tried two different cables (at different times) in both of two of the yellow LAN ports.

Hope that makes sense, I tried to make it clearer and think I failed.

Tried cable a in port 1, cable b in port 1, cable b in port 4, cable a in port 4. That should cover it.

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A further router test would be to cable connect a laptop to the router's yellow LAN ports, and then seeing the DHCP address the PC has been allocated.  If all is good, expect the Laptop to be given an address in the router's 19.168.0.x range.    (command line "ipconfig /all" on Windows to find out the network addresses ).     That would confirm a "good router" and "good cable".   

If PC networking skills extend far enough, could then run a server on the PC, and try connecting a wireless device (phone?) to the PC via the WiFi on the Router.  

 

Then, with higher confidence in the router, attention could turn to the Z21.   

 

 

- Nigel

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Didn't have a pc with me last time, will try the ipconfig bit next time I'm there but not sure about the server bit. Can try doing a ping from pc to phone.

Had checked with a couple of wireless devices, iPad and Android phone, they both connected ok to z21_xxxx and logging in to the router the DHCP list gave them as 192.168.0.100 and 192.168.0.101 respectively.

Malcolm

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