• Thanks for sharing, Pierre. Always look forward to your review on new tech.

  • Pierre,
    You wrote “With the Z2-8+, no problem: just reprogram the decoder for anything (except servo motors)”
    1. How do you address the programming issue with servo motors that you currently have? I assume you use the Z2-8+ as DCC servo decoder too.

    After reading your above review and on servo motor, I am swinging towards these two simple solutions. I like the idea of push button to control turnouts and signals as shown in Qdecoder video. I think it could be the solution for the CTC that I wanted to build.

    Back to my drawing board.

    • Hi Jimmy: apologies, my article is not clear. The Z2-8+ is NOT compatible with servo motors at all! (That may well be its only limitation…)

      • Thks for informing me. What a pity. I hope they will support servo in the future. I have added their web to my Links for future reference. I hope some signal manufacturers will also produce N scale DB Ks signals that are compatible with their decoders.

  • Alain LM

    Pierre,

    Your articles convinced me to purchase this Qdecoder Z2-8+ for a trial run, and least to say that I’m very much pleased with it. I’ve been able to switch my newest Kato Unitrack turnouts very easily, either connecting the two wires to one pair of A outputs or using the connection between one A output and the “trafo” output. The latter method obviously allows 8 turnouts per decoder, which makes the price per point more affordable than with Lenz LS150 that I’ve been using so far (for Minitrix solenoid turnout motors).

    I’ve also been able to switch Kato double crossover (WX310) with only one output of this decoder that is powerful enough to switch the 4 motors at the same time.

    The functionality of this accessory decoder seems amazing. I’m probably going to use it for motors only, but it can do much more than this. I had no difficulty to read CVs, unlike function decoders. I’m contemplating creating a JMRI decoder file for it. Yes, Qdecoder are providing their own configuration software for it, but it requires acquiring their proprietary programmer. There are also some configuration files for (Freiwald) TrainProgrammer, but again you have to buy Train Programmer. I like very much my TrainController software, but for programming decoders, I vote for JMRI without hesitation.

    Alain LM

    • Thanks for your feedback Alain, I am glad you like the Qdecoder!

      The Kato double crossover is on my shopping list, to complete my hidden train station. It’s very interesting to know the Qdecoder is powerful enough!
      Are you sure we are not close to the power limit / do you know how much the 4 solenoids of the Kato crossover actually need?

      You are right, the Z2-8+ has so many possibilities. The only problem being that this requires a LOT of CV changes. I am exactly like you: I drive with TrainController, but I program with JMRI DecoderPro.
      I have no plans to add JMRI definitions for the Qdecoder, I thought about it, but it’s just a crazy amount of work. Good luck if you try 😉
      Pierre

      • Alain LM

        Don’t know how much current the double crossover draws. But I didn’t have any one hiccup all day using it on a regular basis, and nothing observable on the trains running.
        I tested it on a temporary setup, with “trafo” connected to “gleis”, in other words switching power coming from the DCC power. In a definitive layout, I would use a separate transfo for accessories decoders. I’m using an IB2 with a 12v Conrad transfo.

  • Alain LM

    Pierre, and all interested,

    I’ve create a decoder definition of this Z2-8+ decoder (and others from Qdecoder) in JMRI. It took me quite a long time as I did it by small increments, but it is now available in JMRI repository on-line. It will be available in next test version 3.9.4.

    This is actually a quite complicated decoder and the documentation, though abundant, is sometimes misleading. I have to praise Qdecoder support that is very responsive to all requests.

    The QRail programming software from Qdecoder is quite well done, but unfortunately can only be used, at the moment, with Qdecoder programmer. So I hope that the JMRI definition will be helpful. Though some features will be missing compared to Qrail (graphic wiring diagram), you will find some others only in JMRI, such as selection of modes and instructions by name (enum list).

    Feedback is welcome, in private messages or on the JMRIusers group.

    Alain LM

    • Hi Alain, I can’t speak for the whole JMRI community, but thanks a lot 😉

      For now, I am still using the Z2-8+ as a simple point decoder (therefore not needing JMRI to help me with the config). I am glad you discovered the Qdecoder thanks to my blog post.

      I am sure this JMRI profile will be of great help for many (it will for me later!).
      I hope the guys from Qdecoder saw this JMRI definition venture positively, for what it is: a way to sell more Qdecoders by offering an alternative programming method for their customers.

  • Pierre P

    Qdecoder website is hard to understand. And most of there pages are not completely (or at all) translated.
    You made a good review. Do you think you will talk about other Qdecoder products ? At least, what product do what ?
    For myself, I’m searching the good product to control my Inglenooks puzzle (and other things later). It’s hard to find a product who can have a DCC control AND a push-button one, with ligth states.

    Do you have some tips ?

    • It is hard to understand, and unfortunately their product naming is very technical and confusing. It’s a pity because their products seem to be great.
      The differences between all products are basically just the number of outputs, and which advanced signaling options they support.
      Did you have a look at the table: http://www.qdecoder.de/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4&Itemid=151&lang=en

      I currently do not plan on reviewing other Q-Decoder products, but I surely will keep an eye open!

      • Pierre P

        Oh yes I’ve already taken a look… Not really better.
        Thanks for the answer !

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