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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-18-2015 02:22 PM
toddalin
Quote:
Originally Posted by beavercreek View Post

This is where the Sierra boards will be used. I have made up some Supercap boards and they work fine....well sort of.

The real problem with them is that you do not get the start up sounds and it can be hard to sync the motion for the first initial chuff speed as the board is 'popping' until more voltage is supplied to the rails while the caps charge up, which of course increases the chuff and also the rate of movement of the loco.

Once the loco is in motion they are great and bad spots on the track or switches are overcome happily just like with back-up batteries.
Standing sounds are also just as they should be.

Nature of the beast, but worth the trade-off. Only happens when you are starting and the caps are discharged..., which can actually be everytime if you let it "idle" long enough for them to discharge.

When others discuss putting resistors and diodes in the path to the caps to limit the current when they are discharged, I say it just prolongs this "agony" because the boards seem to be robust enough to take the momentary current draw of the discharged caps.

If you can find a Phoenix "Big Boost" add-on, you can get the caps to charge/stay charged down to ~3.5 volts, well before the engine moves.
09-18-2015 01:13 PM
beavercreek I know that this is an old thread but I wonder if the original posters might be still available?

I have quite a few Soundtraxx Sierra boards that were being used in my locos ( or ready to be installed) when I was totally DC analogue.
I always had problems with batteries (forgetting to turn off, forgetting to charge, having to replace 'dead' lead acid gel ones and so on).

Now that my layout can have DCC/DC/Battery and live steam, I have been replacing a lot of the Sierra boards with DCC sound boards (such as ESU, Massoth etc).
But I also have some plain motor DCC decoders and also some Locos that will remain DC. I will also have a couple or three, of the Sierras, on battery locos with the Aristo Revo system.

This is where the Sierra boards will be used. I have made up some Supercap boards and they work fine....well sort of.
The real problem with them is that you do not get the start up sounds and it can be hard to sync the motion for the first initial chuff speed as the board is 'popping' until more voltage is supplied to the rails while the caps charge up, which of course increases the chuff and also the rate of movement of the loco.

Once the loco is in motion they are great and bad spots on the track or switches are overcome happily just like with back-up batteries.
Standing sounds are also just as they should be.

So I have found a solution...connect the on/off switch, that came with the Sierra kit (or any SPST switch) between the capacitors and the board on one of the leads (positive is the preferred method but t doesn't really matter).
When you are finishing a session with the loco....turn off the switch to the caps when they have been charged after running (run for a bit if the loco has been standing for a timeand the caps are discharged).
When the loco is put on the track for the next session. turn on the power supply voltage so about 5 to 6 v and then switch on the caps....voila...starting sounds and a loco that can be synced for chuff and movement if wished.
12-18-2014 11:57 PM
trainstrainstrains Very difficult to program the shuff rate with the + & - buttons on the Sierra , a little erratic timing on the shuffs Dont think it has anything to do with the supercaps, probably the RR Concepts StationMaster I'm using , or dirty not very well connected track. Probably bests to synchronize it to the wheels.
12-18-2014 10:31 PM
toddalin Another satisfied customer.
12-18-2014 09:04 PM
trainstrainstrains
super supercaps

I've installed three 2.7 10f supercaps in series for the Sierra on my Aristo-Craft 2 8 8 2 mallet's tender as toddalin suggested , great stuff, really super happy about it, thanks todallin.

PS first time image upside down, do not know for what reason.
12-11-2014 03:11 PM
toddalin Sounds right.

Also as a point of reference, with the track voltage at max, measure the voltage across the battery terminals before installing anything.
12-11-2014 02:44 PM
trainstrainstrains So I would measure my max track voltage and install supercaps in series adding up to the same or greater voltage and install a resistor between track and supercaps. Is this correct?
12-10-2014 02:45 PM
toddalin It looks to me that that battery charges at ~ track voltage and you control the current to the battery to keep from overpowering it, similar to the way LEDs are done.

If the battery can approach the track voltage, even current reduced, I would think you would want a supercap capable of withstanding this voltage. You may need to series 9 caps for the necessary voltage and would still want some resistor in there to limit the current.
12-10-2014 02:09 PM
trainstrainstrains I'm attaching a photo of the Dalle wiring diagram with some technical information on the bottom right (of the first installation) that I hope can help toddalin and you experts determine the appropriate supercap configuration for this card. If it looks viable I might be the guinea pig for supercaps on the Dallee.
12-08-2014 08:14 PM
trainstrainstrains Your experiences and the others are as good a guarantee as any, my confidence on supercaps is so recovered, I will do the simple install on the Sierra as soon as the 2.7v 10f supercaps arrive. Thanks again. About the Dallee I'll wait and see....
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