ZIMO Customer Service


Answers to your questions regarding decoder, software, update and sound can be obtained free of charge under the following service number:

Tel. +43(1) 813 10 07 13

(Monday to Friday from 11:00 - 17:00)


It is often easier to present the facts in writing, i.e. by e-mail. Some things can be solved within hours, some things take "a little" longer.


Preliminary clarification saves time and money! If it is not clearly a repair case, it is advisable to first find out from the specialist dealer or from ZIMO by telephone or email whether it is not just a problem with the settings (CVs, ...). Approximately one third of the sent decoders need only a "Hard Reset" (CV # 8 = 8).

In most cases, products that were produced a long time ago can also be repaired. However, because spare parts are no longer available, there are cases where repairs are not possible. Then we try to deliver a replacement product from new production at a reduced price.

The repair process via the specialist dealer usually saves the shipping costs, but is often not the fastest option, as the transport in both directions is often carried out in collective packages. When sending directly to ZIMO, the fastest possible return of the product is guaranteed; however, the sender bears the shipping costs in both directions himself. This also applies to warranty cases (as these are mostly foreign shipments).

Address for repair shipments:

               ZIMO ELEKTRONIK GmbH
               Schönbrunner Straße 188
               1120 Vienna

A repair form filled out as completely as possible is helpful for the processing !
Especially for sound decoders: see operating instructions "Small decoders", chapter "Notes for repair cases".

    .... from non-EU countries:

Unfortunately, even within Europe some customs officers are still up to their necks. Affected is the movement of goods to and from Switzerland and Norway and of course USA / Canada. To avoid major delays and possible additional costs due to customs procedures, the following procedure is recommended:

- In the case of smaller objects (e.g. defective decoders or a single driver's desk, etc.) it is preferable to send them by letter, as letters are usually not checked by customs. Experience has shown that unregistered (unregistered) letters are less likely to be intercepted than registered letters!

- If a parcel transport is unavoidable (and there is no possibility of transport to a neighbouring EU country), the following procedure proves to be the right one (since a customs-compliant handling - reservation procedure, ... - is practically impracticable due to the bureaucratic effort): Rather diffuse content indication (like "model railway accessories for repair") and low value indication (e.g. in the case of Switzerland 10,- for a decoder or sFr. 50,- for a basic device)! Then the customs office usually refrains (because the control would be too laborious) from an article or even "identity"-covered proof of origin. Dispatch by post and not by parcel service, since parcel services are harassed by the customs office more than the post office (officials among themselves ...) and prescribe the recipient customs clearance costs, which we then have to pass on to the sender.

Invoicing of the repair costs::

The settlement usually takes place afterwards, invoice enclosed in the return package. ZIMO does not make cash on delivery deliveries if possible, as these would cause additional costs and the way of collecting the money is often perceived as a nuisance.

Repair costs can be paid by VISA (send card number and expiry date with order or separately) or by bank transfer to one of our accounts (see invoice or letterhead). The credit card is preferable especially for small amounts (repair or update of single or fewer decoders, etc.).

Note: When invoicing private customers in the EU, we must charge Austrian VAT (and not that of the recipient country) without exception. In the case of non-EU countries, this is also the case for (non-declared) letters, but this still costs less than customs clearance. Parcels to non-EU countries that are inevitably declared to customs, on the other hand, are exempt from VAT on the sender's side. Import duties have to be paid in the recipient country. Translated with

Warranty: :

ZIMO products are carefully inspected before delivery. Should damage nevertheless occur within the guarantee period (24 months) if the product is handled properly, it can either be sent directly to ZIMO or to the specialist retailer where the purchase was made.

In the sense of a for all sides simple completion there are no "guarantee documents" with ZIMO and we do without otherwise usual formalities like the transmission of the purchase receipt, we reserve ourselves only the possibility of the demand of information. However, a detailed description of the defect should be enclosed, preferably a completed ZIMO repair form.

The warranty covers, at our option, the free removal of any faults which are demonstrably due to manufacturing, material or transport faults or the free replacement of the defective parts. The warranty does not cover the cost of returning the repaired item, nor does it cover packaging and shipping costs for returning the repaired item to a sender abroad, although ZIMO often waives its right to charge the return costs for reasons of goodwill and insignificance. The standard return method (unless otherwise requested by the sender) for small items (single or few vehicle receivers) is by non-registered letter, for larger items (devices, modules) by parcel. If the item is returned via the specialist dealer, it will be returned to the dealer - if possible in a cost-saving manner by enclosing it with new deliveries.

Warranty claims expire in case of improper handling, non-compliance with the instructions in the operating instructions, use together with defective third-party products, or unauthorized modification of the defective product.

The warranty period shall not be extended by repair or replacement.

Software updates which give the product new or extended functions or correct errors which have been detected since delivery are not carried out as a guarantee service, provided these errors do not affect the basic functions of the product (e.g. the obligatory properties according to the NMRA DCC standard). This also applies in cases where the characteristics of the product do not completely correspond to the wording of the operating instructions; similar to computer programs, a complete manufacturer's inspection is not possible due to the variety of possible applications.

If a ZIMO product is sent in together with a third-party product (e.g. locomotive with built-in ZIMO decoder), ZIMO accepts no liability for any damage to this third-party product that may occur during repair work. ZIMO also reserves the right to charge the sender for the cost of the work required to remove and reinstall the ZIMO product to be repaired or replaced (the decoder from the locomotive / into the locomotive).


Tips for avoiding damages:


  • Do not confuse terminals for TRAFO and SCHIENE - This error is still one of the most common repair reasons for base units. Special protective elements in the device usually allow an easy repair, but sometimes a total loss of the basic device can be the result.

  • Carefully manufacture CAN bus cables (if ) and use them - interchanging or terminating the wires (e.g. caused by "scribing" on the plugged cable) will damage the connected devices and modules.


  • Avoid contact with live parts of the locomotive - do not remove shrink tubing.

  • Avoid jamming the decoder when mounting the locomotive housing - decoders are often destroyed by mechanical pressure when screwing on the housing.

  • Remove any direct connection between rail and motor connections safely - especially in older models there are sometimes multiple connections that have been inserted into the construction for better current collection and are easily overlooked during digitization. The protective devices of the decoder are ineffective against such connections.

  • Avoid short circuits, especially of positive and ground lines - these cannot be switched off (like other output lines) when a short circuit is detected, because they come directly from the internal rectifier. A total loss of the decoder due to "burning" and burn holes in the circuit board are often the result.

  • Do not continue using defective motors - Although winding short circuits allow the motor to continue running with (sometimes imperceptibly) reduced power, overcurrent peaks occurring millions of times can gradually destroy electronic components.

  • Investigate causes of malfunctions such as overtemperature shutdowns - Vehicles in proper condition usually consume much less power than the decoder intended for them can deliver. If there are nevertheless shutdowns due to overloads, the cause is often a defect (defective equipment, "fine tuning", ...).

  • Do not use higher driving voltage than necessary - the higher the voltage, the smaller the reserves in case of overloads of all kinds. It should also be noted that in digital systems without stabilization (especially older non-ZIMO systems), the rail voltage is higher depending on the current traction current consumption, i.e. with low current. Especially when all trains are at a standstill, the nominal value of the transformer can be far exceeded.

2020 07 22