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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

Well I think I have done it. I let the smoke out of my Airwire reciever(decoder), in laymans terms I fried it. I am pretty handy with the tools and basic electronics know how but I fumbled on this one. This is very discouraging conidering I have wired more locomitives, RC cars and boats, and so on without ever frying anything.
This is what I am working with. I have a Airwire reciever(decoder), Phoenix P5, and a 14.4 volt battery all to be installed in a brass tender. I followed all the instructions. All components where isolated from the metal frame of the tender. The decoder I mounted with velcro tape as well I mounted the P5 the same way. I hooked everything up according to the directions. I made sure my polarity was correct, double, triple checked it going to the decoder. Placed the jumber just like the Airwire says. I confirmed all my hook ups from the decoder to the P5 where just like the direction shown. I flipped the switch and within seconds I had a puff of smoke and orange glow emitting from the decoder. Prior to my fatal test I had not done the following. I did not make any connections to lights, chuff trigger or the motor. I did connect a volt meter to the motor posts on the Airwire decoder, just for testing purposes.
I did manage to gather conflicting direction on hooking up the P5. According to the Phoenix instructions there is two green wires coming off P5 that connect to terminal 4&5 on the Airewire, I connected those. As well there is two power leads being connected to the same power source as the Airwire. In my case that would be the 14.4 volt battery. From what my the supplier that sold me everything says the P5 gathers power from the Airwire through the DCC leads at terminal 4&5 on the Airewire decoder board and I should not have connected the P5 to the power source at all.
Is this true? If this is true could that have caused me to destroy the decoder? If it is, then the direction that came with the Phoenix are misprinted.
I did contact Phoenix and they tell me the hook up I did for the P5 was correct and should not have caused the problem. I tried contacting CVP Products (maker of the Airwire). They do not answer the phone all day yesterday or today and have not called me back. Slight disappointment there.
After I realized what had happened I tried in vaine to track my err down. No luck. I disconnected everything. I also attempted to test the P5, like the Phoenix instruction tell you to, and it appears that it could be fried as well. I hooked up my battery and speaker like the Phoenix direction show and get nothing, not a peep out of the speaker. Tried the volumn up and down and nothing.
Below is a top view of the decoder with the pen marking the part that smoked.


Below is the bottom view of the decoder with pen marking the part that smoked & burned.

I need help, I do not want to do this again. If you have installed similar to mine and can put on a scratch pad a basic wiring diagram I would appreciate all the help. I do have another Airwire decoder coming as well I have a Phoenix 2K2 (holding off on the P5 for now) I will be useing on my second attempt.
Again thanks for your help. I can use all the advise I can get.

Glen

 

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Glen,
Sounds from your explanation of connections that you did everything right,except maybe a fuse between the battery and the decoder. I have never used the alternate connection for powering the P5. Other than that I have done at least 2 dozen installs without anything like that happening. One of the first things I do with a new decoder is mark the + and - terminals with red and black markers as a reminder,but it sounds like you checked your connections. Did you do it with a voltmeter or just visually? Thats the only thing I can think of is that the power was reversed. I don't think the extra power connection to the P5 would have done it. I don't know if the P5 is protected on the alternate power input from a reversal with a bridge rectifier or not. The Airwire decoder is not. Keep trying CVP, Al should have some help.
 

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Ouch, that was expensive smoke. I am by no means an expert, but have put a couple of Airwire/P5 combos together, and the only power connection when using DCC/Airwire is the two green wires from Airwire 4,5 to C1 1 and 2 on the P5, shown here:


From your description, I think your second power connection feed back through the P5 onto the Airwire, and yes, probably toasted both. Hope the next install goes better. Nick
 

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Super Modulator
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Yep, it sure appears that power was supplied to the P5 twice, and most likely opposite polarity, there will not be any polarity on the P5 track inputs.

That should have melted down the power sections on both units.

Regards, Greg
 

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I have seen that happen. First of all, you only need to connect the 2 DCC wires from the AirWire to the P5. There is no need to connect the battery to the P5. If you short the DCC output, it can cause what you describe. Hooking your extra power wires could have done that.

Take your time and wait for CVP to call you. In most cases, they can fix your AirWire receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all, Since I had written the post earlier today. Both Phoenix and CVP got back to me. Both manufacters will take a look at my toasted electronics and advise if they can be fixed.

I feared that I had done what you are all saying by connecting the power supply directly to the P5. Not to point blame on anyone manufactere, but if I refer to the directions of the Phoenix P5 on pg 17 clearly shows power leads coming off the battery and feeding direclty into the P5. As well it shows the normal DCC connections going from the P5 to DCC posts on the Airwire decoder.
I hope they can be fixed. They where, as you all know, a big investment.

Thanks again, Glen
 

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I certainly hope so too. I never paid any attention to the P5 manual. I just hooked them up the easy way.
 

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Super Modulator
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The idea was "backup" battery to the phoenix, and a DIFFERENT power supply to the DCC decoder.

In common use, like on DC track voltage, people hook a battery to the P5 so it will keep making sound when the train stops.

Then you connect "track" or in this case "battery" power to the airwire controller, and let the airwire power the P5, like track voltage would.

By trying to use the same battery, and getting polarity not "right", it seems to have created a short circuit.

I think it might have worked, but need AirWire to confim this specific installation.

Regards, Greg
 

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Greg.

The P5 does not run on regular DC track power. There is no provision for a back up battery.
The P5 is designed for DCC track power or battery power.
I believe what you are thinking of is the P2k2 which has no morphed into the PB9. These do have back up batteries for use with regular track power.
 

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Posted By Bill Swindell on 01/22/2009 9:17 PM
Tony, I refer you to the P5 manual. C1 6 & 7 are for alternate power input.


Hi Bill.

Yes you are correct.

However, the only problem is every one of the dozen or so P5's I have had though do NOT have the Violet or Black wires on the plug in connector for C1.
They only ever have the two green and two brown wires in the plugs in the kits I have had.
 

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Super Modulator
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I looked at the site, and Phoenix has a diagram with the battery power going to the AirWire receiver AND the P5 AND also the wires between the AirWire and the P5.

So, that is a supported configuration, all I can guess is maybe you got the polarity wrong. Page 17 shows this.

If you followed that diagram (which does not actually identify all the connection "names") nothing should go wrong.

It appears C1 should be positive (and connect to Airwire 5) and C2 negative (and connect to airwire 4) in this diagram, but it's unclear the polarity of the AirWire 4 and 5...

I went to the AirWire site, and they do not define the polarity of these pins, page 2 says output A and output B, but page 9 shows a red wire to pin 4, and a black wire to pin 5. Page 15 again shows these same colors associated with pins 4 and 5. Finally page 16 shows the same color wires, but now, looking at the schematic, pin 4 REALLY APPEARS to be a ground in this schematic.

So if pin4 is ground, and pin5 is positive, then it goes against the polarity the P5 requires.

It looks to me if I have not made a mistake, that the wiring diagram on the Phoenix site is incorrect, and would put the wrong polarity into the P5 inputs. That sure seems like a bad thing.

Regards, Greg
 

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Gregg,
Under normal circumstances the Airwire DCC output on pins 4 & 5 is not polarity sensitive. It can be connected either way.
 

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Super Modulator
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The situation I see is not the airwire output, but the input to the P5... which has defnite polarity requirements...

Check out the pages I indicated and see if you do not see the same thing...

The P5 is definite about the polarity on it's input. The Airwire is NOT definite about it's polarity on the output, but it seems to be as I stated....

(inputs can be polarity sensitive, outputs are, well, outputs)

Regards, Greg
 

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Hi Greg.

Unless the consumer actually insert wires themselves into # 6 & # 7 on the Phoenix P5 C1 plug, it is not possible to hook the AW and P5 together where Phoenix show.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
At least I am not the only one who sees the discrepency in the directions of the Phoenix.

Tony-The violet & black wire where sent with my P5. The directions of the Phoenix show them being use, I used them. OUCH!!!

Gregg-Thanks for your research. It seems you have found out what I found out the hard way.

Further information has come from the supplier that sold me the equipment. Apparently I should have not made any additional power hook ups for the P5. The DCC (Green) wires coming off the P5 carry all the power requirments from the Airwire post 4&5 to the P5.

You would think that at least one of the two manufacterers would get the directions correct.
Keep you all posted on the repairs. Thanks again.

Glen
 

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Gregg,
Beg to differ,but the non color coded pair of green wires from the P5 can be connected either way to terminals 4 & 5 on the decoder,works fine. Same thing with the TCS FL4 decoder for lights. I don't pay any attention to it, just put a good tight twist on the wires and connect them. If you are trying to use the Aux power connection,then it might make a difference, can't say, but I'm sure not going to try and find out the hard way.

Tony, I have received some P5's that have the aux power leads attached to the plug.

I'm going to toss something else in here that I read sometime back but of course can't find again. So,it must be taken with that in mind. I believe the extra power connection for the P5 is supposed to keep the operating voltage to the P5 at an operable level when the Airwire decoder is under a heavy load to its motor outputs,that might draw down the power enough so that the power to the DCC output is not sufficient for the P5. Wish I could remember where I saw that.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Tony,
The wires where sent loose in the package. I just mailed everything back to CVP & Phoenix. Both CVP & Phoenix seem to think they can fix them. Got my fingers crossed.
Tonight I will be installing a Airwire & 2K2 comdo. Dare I ask should I follow the instructions again. Any pointers on that install?

Thanks again for your help

I am so glad I joined MLS. If it was not for the help all of you provide I would go NUTZ.

Glen
 

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Glen,
Don't give up on the P5,they are a great match with Airwire.
 
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