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ZIMO STARTFU MX10 DCC Command Station with MX32FU Wireless Handheld and 240W Power Supply

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MSRP: $2,461.68
Price: $1,972.31
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Item Number: STARTFU
Manufacturer: ZIMO DCC
Manufacturer Part No: STARTFU

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ZIMO START MX10 DCC Command Station with MX32 Handheld and 240W Power Supply

Package Contents:

ZIMO MX10 DCC Command Station

ZIMO NG200 Power Supply - 240W 30V 8A IP65 CV+CC

ZIMO MX32FU Wireless Cab DCC Walk Around Hand-held Throttle

Plus Terminal Block Set, USB Stick, and cables.

ZIMO MX10 DCC Command Station

The MX10 is the central unit or "Command Station" of the digital control system from ZIMO.

The ZIMO Command Station features modern technology and compact design.

At first glance, you see the very small dimensions (18 cm wide, 3 cm high), and the lack of heat sinks and fans. 

Thanks to state-of-the-art power electronics - five high-frequency switching regulators for rail outputs and supply voltages - the device does not run hot, despite 20 A on the rail and 5 A on the bus (continuous load!).

The ZIMO system takes care of applications where high currents could cause damage (N-gauge, etc).

Thanks to special circuitry which manage shorts on the track when connected to the MX10, there are fewer sparks than on many weaker digital control systems.

The ZIMO system offers more than "a lot of power".

The advanced functionality of the ZIMO system is made possible through the incorporation of a high quality processor, expanded memory and robust software inside, plus quality measurement technology for precision RailCom detectors, a variety of integral bus connections and a standard integrated radio system.


MX10 Basic Equipment

The ZIMO MX10 DCC Command Station set includes the following: 

  • Command Station
  • WiMi Antenna
  • Terminal Block Set

NOTE: Power supply and handheld controller sold separately.

MX10 Front View

  • Knob: Adjusting current, power supply and other values, throttle, collective Stop (press for 2 sec), Standby initiate (4 sec), .. 
  • Multi-color screen: In normal operation display voltages and currents of the rail outputs, AOS inputs, communication, etc.
  • Button 1: Enable and define "automatic operations", Start decoder update, etc. 
  • Button 2: Access MX 10 menu (after scrolling knob), Start decoder sound loading, etc. 
  • Button 3: Start the driving operation from the MX10 ("Basecab"), General "Back" button, etc. 
  • USB socket for USB flash drive for carrying out the self-update, data loading and saving, decoder update and sound loading 
  • "SUSI" interface for fast sound loading for ZIMO decoders (takes about 1 min instead of 10 min) 
  • CAN socket for ZIMO cabs (controllers MX32, MX31, MX21, MX2) and ZIMO modules (MX8, MX9) 
  • XNET jack for input devices such as Roco Lokmaus, Massoth Dimax Navigator, and other XNET devices


The "Normal screen"

MX10 Normal Display

... and its Display Panels

Setting screens for: 


Current VOLT & AMP Master and Detail

Short Circuit Display (OVC)

Drive Screen

Menu for "BaseCab" Functions


MX10 Rear View

  • Far left: large screw terminals for power supply (NOT transformer) with galvanically isolated DC output, 25 - 35 V, 80 - 600 Watt 
  • Medium size screw terminals for "Track 1" (Schiene 1"" = Main Line) up to 12 A 
  • Triple screw terminals for DC voltages "S1" and "S2" (the precursors of the track outputs "Schiene 1" and "Schiene 2")
  • Small screw terminals for "Track 2" ("Schiene 2", as programming and decoder update track, or as a second circuit with its own data signal) up to 8 A
  • Above the screw terminals, 8 inputs for AOS's and other contact track inputs, emergency stop buttons, ... and 6 LED and relay outputs 
  • CAN socket for ZIMO devices with sync cables for connecting boosters and StEin modules 
  • LAN connector for Ethernet (for example, the wireless router), Loconet socket, USB client socket (to connect the computer), WiMi antenna



System Configuration

Typical system configurations consisting of MX10, MX32 cabs and MX32FU (wireless), Stationary Setup Modules of "StEin" class

NOTE: the use of "old" cabs (MX31, ...) is possible; but, for the "old" modules MX8 and MX9, special precautions must be adhered to (using the second CAN bus)

NOTE: In pure computer control or operation via virtual input devices (mobile phones, tablets, ... via USB, LAN), the MX10 can be used without cabs (controllers).

MX32FU radio cabs can be operated in tethered or radio mode. When operated with the current MX10 command station – in contrast to earlier ZIMO systems – NO additional radio module is required, as this is already built-in to the command station.

This figure shows a more extensive setup with multiple ZIMO devices:


Primary Power Supply, Driving Voltage and Driving Current

The Command Station requires an external regulated power supply (NO transformer) to provide primary power to the system, control bus and track outputs, which means a significant reduction of the power loss and heat compared to the "old" devices. Therefore, the ZIMO Command Station can achieve high output power (up to 600 W) from a very compact design.

Track output voltages are available in a wide range from 10 to 24 V, are stabilized and fully adjustable in fine steps (0.1V).

The main output ("Track 1", or "Schiene 1") delivers a maximum continuous operating current of 12 A, the second output ("Track 2", or "Schiene 2") 8 A; the latter can also be used as a programming or decoder update track. The current limit is also adjustable in fine stages (0.1A).

And of course, high voltage and short circuit protection is integrated into the design.  An important feature of the over-current or short-circuit protection is the adjustable threshold time to prevent cut-outs from little shorts on frogs, etc.

Moreover, the device can also detect differential overcurrent ("OVC adaptive") in addition to the absolute current so a shutdown occurs at sudden power increases, even though the absolute threshold has not been reached, to protect the wheels and pick-up shoes in small scales (N, TT, ...) when a true short circuit event occurs.

Netzgerät des MX10

The Power Supply (30 V, 240 Watt)
delivered with the Start Sets


Track Protocols and Data Management

DCC (NMRA or VHDM specification) and MOTOROLA (MM, the Märklin digital track signal) are the basic protocols supported.  The hardware and software are open for expansion to other standards, if such a need becomes necessary in the future, especially for faster methods of data transfer.

Of course, the possibilities of standardized protocols are fully exploited, so for DCC there are 10239 locomotive addresses, 2048 accessory addresses (each with 4 sub-addresses), 14/28/128 speed steps, 28 functions, etc.

RailCom and ZIMO "Train Number Impulse" (In German = Zugnummernimpulse = "ZACK") "Bi-directional communication" using "RailCom" is an integral part of all relevant components within the ZIMO system.

The MX10 is equipped with two "RailCom Global Precision Detectors", one for each of the rail outputs. "Global" means that it detects all those RailCom functions that are independent of the current position of the vehicle; "Local detectors" deal with address detection in single track sections. "Precision" means that reception and evaluation of the RailCom messages is carried out not only by the standardized thresholds, but that the RailCom signal is analyzed to decipher attenuated and distorted RailCom signals and to be readable even on large systems.

The global RailCom messages are optimized to increase the efficiency of data transfer to the decoders (to put it simply: RailCom messages are answered by DCC packets - because obviously arrived in the decoder - and do not need to be repeated). Above all, RailCom messages contain information which are then forwarded to driving devices and computers. 

Simple applications are: reading and display of CV values in the "Operational mode" (i.e. on the main track), ongoing display of the driving speed (real time clock) measured in the decoder, alarm signals, or (in accessory decoders) the point positions, etc.

The ZIMO MX10 also recognizes the "classic" ZIMO train number pulses ("Zugnummernimpulse") sent by all ZIMO decoders (in DCC format since about 1998).

Booster Solutions

Boosters are usually only needed for very large layouts and/or large scales due to the high track current of the MX10 (up to 20A). The preferred solution is to use another MX10, which is synchronized with the "Central MX10". The use of foreign boosters is possible, but less advantageous, because the only communication with such devices is the outdated NMRA "Control Bus" (in practice, only simple short messages).

CAN Bus (internal to ZIMO System Communications) and Bus Systems for 3rd party products

On the MX10, as usual for ZIMO products, there are two parallel-connected CAN Bus sockets (RJ-45); these are 8-pin, because, besides the actual 6-pin CAN Bus, more connections are needed for a "sniffer" (front socket) or for booster and StEin module control.

Another socket (front) contains the X-bus (especially for ROCO Lokmaus and similar devices), the connection of third-party products such as S88, Loconet (Fred's) is forseen. 

Wireless communication with ZIMO Cabs (controllers)

The MX10 is equipped with a Wi-Mi module. Mi-Wi is a variant of the "ZigBee" standard in the 2.4 Ghz band, which is approved worldwide, and provides a higher data throughput than the 344 MHz band previously used by ZIMO. Potential disadvantages compared to 344 MHz band with respect to the penetration inside buildings are compensated by the network capability.

LAN connection for Wi-Fi enabled input devices and as an alternative to a computer interface

Mobile phones and tablets (with suitable apps installed) can be used to control a layout via a wireless router connected to the LAN socket of the MX10, or via a connection to the home network.

The same LAN socket can also be used as an alternative to the USB interface for computer communication (advantage: more computers on the line).

USB (host) socket on the front panel for USB sticks and Micro USB (client) socket on the back 

The USB (host) socket, is used to plug in a USB stick, from which you can update the MX10 and decoder software, as well as the loading of sound projects into a sound decoder.

Long experience (with the MX31ZL and MXULF) shows that the use of a USB stick is often easier than the update from a computer because uncertainties with operating system, drivers and interfaces disappear.

Alternatively, the USB (client) socket can be used to connect a computer, using software for decoder programming (ZCS, ADaPT - PFusch, TrainProgrammer, etc.), plus the decoder update and sound project loading (ZSP, ZIRC). Moreover, the programs for system control (STP, ESWGJ, TrainController, etc.) communicate via the USB (client) socket.

The MX10 ls the Decoder Update Device

As already mentioned above, the MX10 can be used in two ways for a decoder update:
1) The decoder update collection file ("Sammelfile") or sound projects are put on a USB stick and the decoder update or sound project loading is handle via the USB (host) socket. 
2) The decoder update process is performed by connecting the MX10 via the USB (client) socket to the computer, so MX10 as just an interface between the computer and decoder.

The MX10 as Stand-alone Device - Digital Centre

Users who put no value on a "physical" hand controller, can use the computer with appropriate software (eg ESTWGJ, STP, TrainController, ADaPT, ...), and use phones and tablets, to control the layout , without "real" connected Cabs (controllers).



ZIMO NG200 Power Supply - 240W 30V 8A IP65 CV+CC

The ZIMO NG200 Power Supply is a high-performance dustproof and waterproof AC-to-DC power supply providing up to 240W of power.  

The fully-potted silicone and the aluminum case facilitate excellent heat dissipation.  

Other features include the wide working temperature range between -40 and +70, the fan-less design, the adjustable output voltage and current, the surge susceptibility up to 4KV (EN61000-4-5), low no-load power consumption (<0.5Watt) at remote OFF and workable for 277VAC input. 

These attributes make the ZIMO NG240 Power Supply ideal for indoor and outdoor model railway applications requiring remarkable reliability.


Operation Mode: Constant Current (CC) 
Output Current: 8 A 
Output Voltage: 15 V to 30 V 
Output Power: 240 W 
Input Voltage: 90 VAC to 305 VAC, 127 VDC to 431 VDC 
Dimming: With Dimming 
Number of Outputs: 1 Output 
Mounting Style: Panel 
Maximum Operating Temperature: + 70 C 
Minimum Operating Temperature: - 40 C 
Open Frame/Enclosed: Enclosed 
IP Rating: IP65 

Length: 244.2 mm
Width: 68 mm 
Height: 38.8 mm 
Unit Weight: 2.798 lbs


ZIMO MX32 Tethered and MX32FU Wireless Cab DCC Walk Around Hand-held Throttle

The tethered MX32 and its wireless version MX32FU walk around hand-held throttles, are the main input devices of digital multi-train control system from ZIMO. 

They are used together with the MX10 DCC Command Station or with its predecessors (MX1, MX1HS, MX1EC).

They can also be used with the ROCO Z21 Command Station.

MX32 Features

MX32 Specifications

Current demand (at 20 - 30 V on the CAN Bus Cable )70 mA to (during battery charging) 300 mA
Battery in the (non-wireless) MX32 version / in the wireless MX32FU 100 / 2200 mAh
Battery life in the (non-wireless) MX32 version / in the wireless MX32FU 15 min / ca. 5h 
Dimensions Wfront - Wback x Hfront - Hback x L 160 x 70 x 20 - 40mm
Weight MX32 180 g
Weight MX32FU 240 g

The Exterior Design of the MX32

The ZIMO trademark ergonimic "curved" design of the MX31 has been retained with slight corrections. The basic idea of this form of housing is that the device can be used as a table-top driving desk or as a walk-around hand controller. This concept has been proven useful by ZIMO users for many years. The OLED touch screen is the externally visible innovation of the MX32.  The screen measures 2.4" diagonal and has a resolution of 320 x 240 pix, and supports the requirement for enhanced functionality and ease of use.

Cable Version - MX32 and Wireless Version - MX32FU

The MX32 cab comes in three versions:

  • MX32 for exclusive use on the CAN bus
  • MX32FU with integrated radio module and a permanently installed battery for optional use wireless or via the CAN bus (the battery is charged via the CAN bus cable at the same time)
  • MX32ZL, the "central driving desk" with built-in mini command station. 

The operation is virtually identical in wired or wireless mode; only certain loading functions (photos, larger files, ..) may take longer with wireless connection or are not allowed.

The new ZigBee standard uses the 2.4 GHz band for radio communication within the ZIMO system. The network capability of ZigBee causes the forwarding of messages from node to node (ie between the cabs) when a device is located in a radio-shadow.

Software Update via USB Stick

A USB (host) socket is installed so a commercial memory stick can be connected to make the software update go as smoothly as possible. Additional collections of loco images, languages, signal diagrams, etc. can also be loaded via a USB stick. 

ZIMO has a planned future update to enable automatic distribution of these new data files from the central (MX10) command station (via the CAN bus) to synchronize all connected devices, which is especially convenient for layouts with many connected devices. 


There is no special hardware included in the MX32 for "RailCom" because the detectors are in the Command Station (global detectors) or supplied by external modules (local detectors). The RailCom information reaches the MX32 on the CAN bus like all other data.

RailCom is an integral part of the ZIMO system and affects the accuracy of the decoder to make feedback on the system. Of course, operation is also possible with decoders that do not use RailCom; but it is better to use RailCom enabled decoder, i.e. those that report more than just CV values and its own address. This means in practice that updatable decoders are necessarily preferred, so that new software with new features of RailCom can be developed and deployed.
RailCom is also a prerequisite for the automatic detection of new locomotives on the layout, which will prevent annoying difficulties associated with forgotten locomotive addresses in the future.

The Operating Concept

The keys are arranged like the proven MX31. The operating and programming operations offer much more information and comfort due to the larger color displays and high-performance 32-bit microcontroller including large memory (RAM and Flash with more GB): loco images, function icons partially animated, analog speedometer, slider bar, etc.

As usual with modern equipment, it is desirable that operation without detailed study of the operating instructions is feasible ("intuitive ..."), which is possible of course. In the current usage, this takes place on screen with information about the current options, for example, the current assignment of the soft keys and other flexibly assigned keys. Moreover, if required, a context sensitive help file appear.

Since the MX32 (plus slider Scroll wheel and rocker button) has a complete set of "real" buttons, the touch function of the screen is used primarily for changing the mode of presentation (switch between small and large locomotive photo, switching between speedometer scales, throw points in the future layout displays, etc.). 

In the operating state "LOCO", thanks to RailCom (with a suitable command station of the new generation) there exists constant contact with the controlled vehicle, as far as decoders and command stations support this: e.g. display the real speed on the screen speedometer, the engine load, the predicted stopping distance.

One focus is the operational states "SERV PROG" and "OPMODE PROG", i.e. programming in "Service Mode" or in the "Operational Mode" ("Programming on the Main" - "PoM"). Even 3rd party decoders (by manufacturers other than ZIMO) are supported by the CV handling with command line storage and CV Set management, and ZIMO decoders with expanded scope. RailCom with its function of CV reading in normal operation (i.e. without a programming track) is very helpful here.

The operating state "SWI" (Switch mode - WEI in German) summarizes points and signals, regardless of their connection type with different decoders and modules, in "Switch Panels", where they can operate using numeric key or touch. These are planned for the future, in addition to the functions already known from MX31, such as routes and AOS's ("Automated Operation Sequences") , there will also be miniature Layout Panels on handhelds, probably in conjunction with control panel software on the computer, such as STP or ESTWGJ.

* RailCom is a Trade Mark of Lenz GmbH


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