Best battery for old Sierra Sound from Soundtraxx - Page 2 - myLargescale.com > Community > Forums

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Old 12-05-2014, 06:15 AM   #11 (permalink)
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When you place 3 super caps in series the storage is divided by 3 so 3 of the 10f units is 3.33F.
However one assumes the sound board only puts out 5.1 volts or less!!

It would be safer to use 2 of the 5.5 volt in series which is 11 volts at 2F or 6 of the 1.7 giving 10.2 volts at 1.66F.

On LGB sound units there are 3 wires for storage and I use a voltage regulator to limit the voltage to the super caps.
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Farad confused

My knowledge of electronics is the layman's knowledge so practically none. So I am really confused now. You are clearly knowledgeable on this subject. My confusion is: If more capacitors = less Farads what is the point of having more? Clearly the object of the 3 caps used by Toddalin was to reach 5.1 volts charging capacity which is near the 6 volts of the battery the Sierra comes with. So why is it better to have 10 volts and less Farads? I somehow in my ignorance imagined that more Farads meaning more storage capacity meant longer time of sound while sound card is not receiving power from the track, so I thought more Farads was good. The people at Soundtraxx told me that the reason my Sierra is shuffling while standing still is because it is receiving too much voltage from the 9v battery installed. So 10.2v or 11v would be even worse. Or alternatively according to you I could keep my 9v battery? I hope this gives you people who understand electronics an idea of the confusion I am now in.
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Trains 3X

Yes, 9 volts into the Sierra is too much and can cause problems.... The Sierra boards were designed for 6 volt input to the board to work properly. The small 6 volt gel cell batteries originally supplied with the boards are a bit hard to find and can be expensive.

The Super Caps have been the answer for me for applications where I've had limited space to work with...

Many of the older installations have been done with all the sound and R/C stuff in a tender or "Battery Car". In those cases, I've used this 6 volt battery very effectively and have one that has been in operation for 6 years...
http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a...battery/1.html

It may seem a bit overkill, but they work very, very well and are only $8

In a Bachmann Big Hauler Box Car used for the battery car.. Negative is connected to pin #2 and positive to Pin 4 through the DPDT on/off toggle switch. The Bachmann cars have been used because the roofs are very easily removed to change batteries..


Last edited by Stan Cedarleaf; 12-05-2014 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks Stan, what is your supercap configuration for the Sierra? 3 supercaps 1.7v each? How many farads each supercap?
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Old 12-05-2014, 06:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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OK, I'm back.

You want to use three 2.7 volt (2.85 volt peak) supercaps wired in series. Anything less than this is a mistake and a potential hazard because the Sierra charges at (IIRC) about 8 volts. Caps in the 6 to 10 Farad range have proven to work successfully. 6 Farads will provide about 90 seconds time and 10 should be about 150 seconds after power is removed from the rails depending on the volume and other features (e.g., lighting) drawing off the caps. The LEDs will remain on a bit after the sound conks out.

Each cap is about the diameter of a AAA battery and about 2/3 as long and ~$2 (in packs of 10) on the bay and you will never need to worry about leaving the sound on or charging a battery again. You don't even need the charging jack (or wall wart) and will never use it again.
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Old 12-06-2014, 05:51 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Train3x when dealing with capacitors in series, the farads divide by the number of units in series.
These units only add if wired in parallel, but now you do not have the higher voltage rating needed.

Resistors are the opposite, they add in series and divide in parallel.
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Old 12-06-2014, 07:45 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Hi Guys... Here's the link to the items on ebay now..


http://www.ebay.com/itm/6-8F-2-7V-fa...d4dcc22http://

Or search for this item on ebay

6.8F 2.7V farad Supercap Ultracapacitor x 10 pcs quick charge discharge slim

I'll see if I can get an image for you later tonight... I'm out running trains at a Christmas show today..

Sorry for the delay, see this post for the reason... Had a heart attack....

http://forums.mylargescale.com/16-tr...tml#post680458

Last edited by Stan Cedarleaf; 12-07-2014 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 12-06-2014, 08:11 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks Toddalin, Dan and Stan.
Will do. Not to ever have to charge batteries must be a blessing. Wish cellphones could work with supercaps.
Since you obviously know what you're talking about I need not fear that the higher than 6 volts of the supercaps will mess up the various settings of the Sierra. They are pretty messed up right now. I Don't really know for what reason. Perhaps they were messed up when I bought the loco second hand. Perhaps like Soundtraxx suggest the 9v NON RECHARGEABLE battery I have in it is messing things up. The exhaust sound sounds randomly sometimes when the loco is still sometimes when it is moving. The dynamo sound is always on very loud. The bell I have not heard yet. The rest works properly I believe.
Fortunately I now have the Owners Manual and am studying the programming procedure with the + & - volume buttons. If you have advice on programing in relation to supercaps please tell me. However I am confident that with the help I have been given in this forum and the Owners Manual I will manage. So thank you and thank you all. I will post results.

Last edited by trainstrainstrains; 12-06-2014 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:59 AM   #19 (permalink)
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The goal is to provide a capacitor(s) that are able to absorb the charging circuits operating VOLTAGE. Anything less is undesirable, thereís nothing wrong with a capacitor bank rated for a higher voltage as the caps in play will only charge to the sum of the input voltage realized from the Sierra cards charging output (approx. 8.0VDC MAX).

In this example itís known that the Sierra card outputs about 8.0V. So were looking for a capacitor bank with some headroom (<8.0V).

Calculations for supercapacitors wired in SERIES are noted below.

Noted, from eBay links:

2.7V/10F
3x2.7v=8.1V
3.33F OR 1/10+1/10+1/10=.3, 1/.3=3.33F

2.7V/6.8F
3x2.7v=8.1V
2.27F OR 1/10+1/10+1/10=.44, 1/.44=2.27F

Amazon link:
5.5V/0.33F
2x5.5=11.0V
6.06F OR 1/.33+1/.33=6.06F

Supercaps are confined to 2.5-2.7V offerings. Farad ratings vary.

Itís plausible to utilize supercapitors of varying Voltage/Farad specifications in series/parallel configurations if desired.

Michael
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:44 AM   #20 (permalink)
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You've just cleared my last doubt, I now understand the logic.
Out of curiosity and not very important I hope, this new knowledge makes me wonder if the fact that I have a non rechargeable battery in the place of the original, no charge from the card is received by the battery which could be the cause of malfunction?
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