Adding a stay alive to Loksound 4?

 
  ALCO4401 Train Controller

Location: On the Branch waiting for a train order, west of Tarana
G'day DCC guru's,
Can anyone advise if it is possible to add a "Stay Alive" to a Loksound 4.

If so can anyone provide a drawing or photo of where to connect the two wires too. I plan on using a DCC Concepts stay alive.
It is going into a brass D50, as I am waiting to stop the dead spots over the points.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Sponsored advertisement

  andrewstrains Assistant Commissioner

Location: Townsville, Where else but QLD
If I were you I wouldnt waste any money buying the DCC concepts Stay Alive decoders. A mate and I bought 6 last year. In our opinion they are no diferent to any normal decoder, with regards to the stay alive feature. They simply wouldnt work. Also they didint come with any instructions with regards to CVs etc.

I have since bought a number of TCS Stay Alives. They are definatally chaulk and cheese when compared to DCC Concepts decoders. The TCS KA22s Iused are fantastic and highly recomend them.

Andrew
  Roachie Chief Commissioner

Location: Kadina SA (formerly NSW)
Have a look at this video from Gerry Hopkins MMR:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgxM2HDCgug

It shows a C32 loco (Trainorama) with a new TCS "WOW" decoder. At one point it goes over a piece of cloth/tissue and stays alive.

I have been trying to join the Yahoo Group for TCS DCC but the person in charge hasn't approved my membership. I would like to find out more about these new decoders.

Roachie
  Mansfield Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Given he's got a LokSound, then I assume he intends to use it.

So, there are two options I can see.

1) Purchase a LokSound Powerpack, which works very well, but is not cheap nor small. They go for about $50-$60. I installed one today in a Trainbuilder DERM and I can remove the model from the track at slow speed and the wheels keep turning for a few seconds. Noice.

2) A much cheaper option is to go to Jaycar and purchase a few parts, including:

2200 microFarad capacitor, 100 ohm 1/4 Watt resistor and 1N4007 diode.

Go to the LokSound website, and download the LokSound V4.0 manual, and the wiring for either option is shown on Page 26. 2nd manual from the top: http://www.esu.eu/en/downloads/instruction-manuals/digital-decoders/

The trickiest part is indentifying where to solder onto the decoder, be it either the standard or micro decoder.

Mike
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
If I were you I wouldnt waste any money buying the DCC concepts Stay Alive decoders. A mate and I bought 6 last year. In our opinion they are no diferent to any normal decoder, with regards to the stay alive feature. They simply wouldnt work. Also they didint come with any instructions with regards to CVs etc.

I have since bought a number of TCS Stay Alives. They are definatally chaulk and cheese when compared to DCC Concepts decoders. The TCS KA22s Iused are fantastic and highly recomend them.

Andrew
"andrewstrains"

I am not so sure about the "chaulk and cheese" thing, maybe in terms of the keep alive, but the decoders are so similar TCS have requested the courts sort out the intellectual property ownership...

As for the 'keep alive' I think a better solution than a whatever value electrolytic would be to use higher energy density smd tantalum caps, or a small collection of super caps, I have a steam loco tender with I think 3F (that's no typo) of 'keep alive' power is maintained for ages.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Aren't you worried that you could switch off the layout and go to bed and the trains would keep playing with themselves for hours?
  danpickard Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong
Aaron,
Just wondering if the downside of having too much stored power concerns you at all.  I recently purchased a Loksound with the Power Pack from Mike at DCCSound (thanks Mike) for a On30 Na.  The power pack will hold me in power for a few seconds...enough to get me through a dirty patch in one piece.  

My concern with long power back ups is in worse case scenario, a derail.  With more than say 10 seconds of reserve power, that's a long way a loco car keep ploughing on in a direction it possible shouldn't be going.  If someone's track is dirty enough that it needs that much reserve to clear the section, then they need to work on their track more often.  One would hope that a couple of seconds is all that is required pass any slightly questionable sections.  If I needed more than 10 seconds of reserve power to clear a section, I'd rather know why that is the case when I see my loco come to a halt, rather than breeze through and keep the problems a secret.

Cheers,
Dan Pickard
  ALCO4401 Train Controller

Location: On the Branch waiting for a train order, west of Tarana
Given he's got a LokSound, then I assume he intends to use it.

So, there are two options I can see.

1) Purchase a LokSound Powerpack, which works very well, but is not cheap nor small. They go for about $50-$60. I installed one today in a Trainbuilder DERM and I can remove the model from the track at slow speed and the wheels keep turning for a few seconds. Noice.

2) A much cheaper option is to go to Jaycar and purchase a few parts, including:

2200 microFarad capacitor, 100 ohm 1/4 Watt resistor and 1N4007 diode.

Go to the LokSound website, and download the LokSound V4.0 manual, and the wiring for either option is shown on Page 26. 2nd manual from the top: http://www.esu.eu/en/downloads/instruction-manuals/digital-decoders/

The trickiest part is indentifying where to solder onto the decoder, be it either the standard or micro decoder.

Mike
Mansfield
Mike,
Thanks for the info and the links.
Also thanks for being the only one so far that has answered the question that was asked.
  linton78 Train Controller

Location: South Coast NSW
G'day Alco,

I have added two KA2 TCS Stay Alives to Loksound V4 decoders. One was a micro and the other was a standard size model.

The Loksound decoder requires CV113 to be set to its maximum (255). The KA2 S/A with 5 farads of capacitance on board, depending on motor current draw is suppose to keep your loco running for around ten seconds or something. This does not occur with the Loksound decoder though, as it seems ECU has limited (by way of decoder programming) stay alive capability to just under 5 seconds. No big deal though.

If you down load the loksound V4 manual from the ECU website, page 26 shows how to wire the stay alive (ECU calls it a power pack). You will notice there is a difference on how you wire the micro and the standard size decoder. I don't think you mentioned which one you were using?

Another slight difference you may notice is that the ESU Power Pack uses three wires. The third wire enables the decoder to control the charging rate. This is possibly why the ESU product is more expensive.

With the TCS stay alive, I simply used the two decoder pads depicted in the instructions for when using a capacitor. I have had no problems so far and highly recommend the TCS product. I just finished a Z13 class sound install and the KA2 is working very well. See my latest blog post if your interested.

If you can not access the the Loksound instructions PM me with your email and I will send it to you.

I am new to DCC so didn't jump in right away to answer however it seems your not getting very far with info.

Hope this helps,

Linton
http://stonequarrycreek.blogspot.com.au/








Mike,
Thanks for the info and the links.
Also thanks for being the only one so far that has answered the question that was asked.
"ALCO4401"
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Aren't you worried that you could switch off the layout and go to bed and the trains would keep playing with themselves for hours?
"TheBlacksmith"

I am under no illusions, and know this already happens! See Toy Story for the documentary evidence.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Aaron,
Just wondering if the downside of having too much stored power concerns you at all.  I recently purchased a Loksound with the Power Pack from Mike at DCCSound (thanks Mike) for a On30 Na.  The power pack will hold me in power for a few seconds...enough to get me through a dirty patch in one piece.  

My concern with long power back ups is in worse case scenario, a derail.  With more than say 10 seconds of reserve power, that's a long way a loco car keep ploughing on in a direction it possible shouldn't be going.  If someone's track is dirty enough that it needs that much reserve to clear the section, then they need to work on their track more often.  One would hope that a couple of seconds is all that is required pass any slightly questionable sections.  If I needed more than 10 seconds of reserve power to clear a section, I'd rather know why that is the case when I see my loco come to a halt, rather than breeze through and keep the problems a secret.

Cheers,
Dan Pickard
"danpickard"

linton78 has already posted an experience similar to what I have found, the one being, Loksound decoders (possibly all decoders) I presume 'see' the absence of DCC packets being broadcast to their wheels and don't seem to run on endlessly. My thoughts are that this could be connected with the so called 'brake on DC' function, granted no packets is no power, but the caps are seemingly allowing the decoder to think it's in a DC section, or more likely it revolves around a failsafe when valid DCC packets are not being sent. I have to do some testing to see what is going on, but I have not had the time to go testing yet.

Something I left out of my original post is that not all of the capacitance I use in this particular loco is available to the motor. About a quarter of it is used strictly to backup the decoder's microprocessor. Primarily this enables the microprocessor to keep running even after the decoder has shut the motion off, meaning that when power is reapplied (post derailment etc) I do not have to wait for all the startup processes. On reflection I do not regard this type of stay alive to be totally safe to those who don't have a decent knowledge of electronics, so I won't document here how it's done (don't just go connecting a capacitance where you think it goes, things WILL go pop)!

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.