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Old 02-01-2014, 06:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default question about an older Sierra sound system

Hi, again......picked up an older Bmann 4-6-0 a while back and the guy said it had a SIERRA SOUND board installed in the tender but wasn't working properly. I finally decided to check it out to see if I could get this thing to work. Or maybe remove it and reinstall it in another tender. The board says.....SOUNDTRAXX (2) 2001/SIERRA STEAM/800109/VER 1.3/THROTTLE UP. It has a big 6v rechargable battery . Does all this mean anything to you guys? there are no numbers on any of the terminals. I tracked all the wires and found 2 that were tied up and not being used. The engine or tender doesn't have any reed switchs for the whistle and bell. Could these wires be the whistle and bell wires? The previous owner installed 3 toggle switchs on the bottom of the tender ,not sure what they are all for. He also added extra power cables to plug into a trailing railcar with powered trucks and also to the engine. I'm just hoping to end up with a nice simple useable sound system. So. if anyone is familar with one of these, please share any info that might be of some use to me. Thanks, Rob
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Old 02-01-2014, 07:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default RE: question about an older Sierra sound system

you need a good battery also did you try it? do search for instructions to see how its wired.
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Old 02-01-2014, 08:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default RE: question about an older Sierra sound system

a SIERRA SOUND board installed in the tender
Rob,

I have one or two of them, bought secondhand from a pal. Soundtraxx used to have the manuals online, but they aren't visible on the website. They will talk to you, so email or phone and ask for the manuals.

Another good source is the R/C throttle manufacturers - RCS in Oz used to have wiring diagrams showing how to couple their throttles to the Sierra board - and they showed all the connections. Tony may read this and offer some advice.

I found the Sierra wiring diagram on my computer, (a scanned page now a PDF,) showing all the connections. You should have two rows of 8 screw-in electrical terminals, one at each side, numbered 1-8 and 9-16. Right? Send me a message with your email address and I will forward a copy.

P.S. The big 6V battery is certainly kaput - it is a lead-acid gel-cel used in alarm systems. They expire if you don't keep them charged. Recycle it carefully. It was used to keep the sound going while the loco is stationary with track power off. It was recharged while the loco was powered.
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Old 02-01-2014, 08:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default RE: question about an older Sierra sound system

Thanks for the info.......this board has no screw terminals and no numbers. just a long multi wire plug in terminal. As far as the old battery goes.... what should I use to replace the big 6v ?
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Old 02-01-2014, 10:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default RE: question about an older Sierra sound system

Robert... I have the manuals in digital form... email me and I'll send you one.. [email protected]
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default RE: question about an older Sierra sound system

If the system works, if can work with a dead battery once the voltage is high enough. I had replaced the batteries in the past but now just use three supercaps wired in series. Now I never need to charge or change the batteries.

There are usually two toggle switches. One is for off/on (DPST) that disconnects the battery and wheel pick-upsand the other raises or lowers the volume. Pins 7 and 8 are the input from the wheels. Pins 1, 2, and 3 are for the volume toggle (momentary SPDT, center off) with pin 2 being the common. Pins 9 and 10 go to the speaker. Other pins are for other effcts (e.g., lighting).
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Old 02-01-2014, 01:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default RE: question about an older Sierra sound system

I have never seen a Sierra sound card that did not have screw terminals. The terminal # was etched on the pcb.

You can find instructions for hooking up various sound systems to RCS on board ESC's including Sierra here: http://www.rcs-rc.com/pages/instructions
What you will not find are instructions on how to hook up Sierra for regular track powered use.
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default RE: question about an older Sierra sound system

I have the pdf files that I downloaded from Sierra years ago for the steam and diesel largescale sound units I own.
I can send them to you if you give me your email address, or perhaps Greg can add them to his web site if Sierra is ok with it.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default RE: question about an older Sierra sound system

Thanks for all the ideas.......what are "SUPER CAPS"? And how are they used to replace rechargeable batteries?
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default RE: question about an older Sierra sound system

Posted By robertalan51 on 02 Feb 2014 08:20 AM
Thanks for all the ideas.......what are "SUPER CAPS"? And how are they used to replace rechargeable batteries?

Wire three in series and simply replace the battery by putting the + end where the battery + was and the - where the battery - was. You can also remove the charging jack if you desire because you will never use it again.


Supercaps on ebay
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