Small stay alives for DCC - shunters

 
  carpocarpo5 Locomotive Fireman

Hello all,
I have been scouring the interweb looking for stay alive/keep alives suitable for use in a small shunter.
Size is always the problem here.

The TCS KA-1 is too big.

I have looked at the DCC concepts Zen decoders but cannot find the dimensions thereof.

What are people putting in their small locos?

(I am specifically trying to address erratic slow operation of my NSW Z20 Class - I do not want to have to permanently attach a wagon to carry the stay alive.)

Cheers,
Carpo

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  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
Hello all,
I have been scouring the interweb looking for stay alive/keep alives suitable for use in a small shunter.
Size is always the problem here.

The TCS KA-1 is too big.

I have looked at the DCC concepts Zen decoders but cannot find the dimensions thereof.

What are people putting in their small locos?

(I am specifically trying to address erratic slow operation of my NSW 30 Class - I do not want to have to permanently attach a wagon to carry the stay alive.)

Cheers,
Carpo
carpocarpo5
DCC sounds

Contact Mike he can give you a circuit small enough to fit. I have one of his in my VR F Class
Cheers
Rod
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
It is good to remember that a capacitor is one of those components that is not easily miniaturised, so you might find a smaller version, but it will not necessarily do the job. The current consumption of the motor in a model is not necessarily that much less in a small prototype like a shunter, and unless the stay-alive capacitors are large enough, they will not do the job.
  robertc Chief Train Controller

You could make your own if you take some care if commercial offerings don't fit.
A sausage string (series) of 4 of these might do the job. They do not have to be all together in a bunch to work, so could be scattered about where there is room and linked by appropriate lengths of flexible wire.
If you are an electrical novice find a competent mate to help.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/10-Pcs-0-22F-5-5V-Electric-Double-Layer-Gold-Capacitors-/390999860438?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item5b096864d6

Info on how to make your own is on the page
http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/mainnorth/alive.htm

regards
Bob Comerford
  NSWGR1855 Deputy Commissioner

Hello all,
I have been scouring the interweb looking for stay alive/keep alives suitable for use in a small shunter.
Size is always the problem here.

The TCS KA-1 is too big.

I have looked at the DCC concepts Zen decoders but cannot find the dimensions thereof.

What are people putting in their small locos?

(I am specifically trying to address erratic slow operation of my NSW 30 Class - I do not want to have to permanently attach a wagon to carry the stay alive.)

Cheers,
Carpo
carpocarpo5
You can cut a TCS KA2 in half and it will fit it in a NSW 30. There is enough space for sound as well. see http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/mainnorth/alive.htm. Scroll down to the bottom of the page. I followed the idea and it was worth the effort. I used a Zimo small sound decoder.

Terry Flynn.
  NSWGR1855 Deputy Commissioner

Hello all,
I have been scouring the interweb looking for stay alive/keep alives suitable for use in a small shunter.
Size is always the problem here.

The TCS KA-1 is too big.

I have looked at the DCC concepts Zen decoders but cannot find the dimensions thereof.

What are people putting in their small locos?

(I am specifically trying to address erratic slow operation of my NSW 30 Class - I do not want to have to permanently attach a wagon to carry the stay alive.)

Cheers,
Carpo
You can cut a TCS KA2 in half and it will fit it in a NSW 30. There is enough space for sound as well. see http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/mainnorth/alive.htm. Scroll down to the bottom of the page. I followed the idea and it was worth the effort. I used a Zimo small sound decoder.

Terry Flynn.
  carpocarpo5 Locomotive Fireman

Thanks all - I have seen all of those web pages - interesting but not useful in my current situation.
Unfortunately, I am not about to break the coal bunker off my loco (when I glue something it stays glued.

Here is the beastie in question. My second attempt at a kit build - Why no one is making a ready to run Tank is beyond me (Shrike models? I think you have one planned for 2016....?)

http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f28/Carpo5/Model%20Railway/Z20%20class%202013_zpskmnfixsh.jpg

I think a ZEN decoder with stay alive may be the solution - I don't need a lot of capacitence - just to get past the little stutters and shudders.
It is a pity DCC Concepts don't publish more about their products - some of their info is great - but fundamental info about a stay alive such as capacitence and dimensions should not be too much to ask.

Having said that, I sent an email to DCC concepts and they replied:
"Our smallest stay-alive unit is 21/9/5.5mm"

I will get one of these and add a post here with my thoughts.

I considered making one but stories of popping capacitors (I have seen them go - not pretty) scare me off.
I am a mechanic - not an electrician!

Cheers,
Carpo
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I considered making one but stories of popping capacitors (I have seen them go - not pretty) scare me off.
I am a mechanic - not an electrician!
carpocarpo5
That will only happen if you wire the capacitors around the wrong way, or use ones with too low a voltage rating.
  linton78 Train Controller

Location: South Coast NSW
Hi Carpo,

The ESU V4 decoder user manual, page 26 shows the schematic for a simple stay alive circuit.

http://www.esu.eu/en/downloads/instruction-manuals/digital-decoders/

It's basic, a capacitor, resistor and diode.

I have had a lot if success cutting TCS KA2 stay alive up. The caps are wired in series so they can handle the track voltage.

I have a Trax 13 class running with a modified KA2 fitted.

Hope that helps,

Linton
  carpocarpo5 Locomotive Fireman

I have installed the DCC concepts stay alive in my Z20 class and it is an improvement but no panacea.
I may be able to squeeze a second one in the boiler - this stay alive is very small - but for any meaningful stay alive capacity, you need to plan this one well ahead and fit it into the rear of the loco under the coal bin.

Carpo

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