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    • January 8, 2020 1:54 PM EST
    • Dan Pierce said:

      There is another choice, you can place diodes in series with one motor lead, I use a full wave bridge and place diodes between the + and - terminals.  The more diodes the greater the constant voltage drop.

       

      Yes, one could use diodes to slow the engine allowing it to run at a higher voltage.   

       

      In my case, this higher voltage would make the other two trains run too fast.  As it is, the 44-tonner needs to be able to operate at a lower voltage to run with the other two engines.

       

      I've been wondering if the Phoenix "Big Boost" could be used in the charge circuit for the Sierra (I have one on the shelf), but would sure hate too ruin a Sierra board trying.

    • January 8, 2020 1:48 PM EST
    • My charger, supplied by Sierra, is a simple 6 volt, 100 ma wall wart with a miniature phone plug on it.

    • January 8, 2020 11:58 AM EST
    • Todd Brody said:
      timmyd DeHan said:

      Upon much further investigation I found an On/OFF switch on the bottom of the Heisler and on the other underside is a jack.  Looking through my box of misc stuff I found the rat pack that plugs into the jack.  So, if I am understanding all of this, the general consensus is that the battery is toast and not worth trying to charge.  Is that correct?  Also, with the On/Off switch turned on it indeed "motorboats" and never stops.  I am not running the loco very fast keeping the speed more prototypical for the loco.  

       

      If you have the right wall wart (6 volt) you can try to charge the battery.  You have nothing to loose but some time.  Sometimes you can "shock" the battery back to life by using a momentary/very short term "overvoltage" (e.g., 9 volts) before going back to the correct voltage.

       

      If you like/want to run your trains slow (prototypical?) (below about 9 volts), and/or make frequent stops, forget the supercaps.  You will never get enough charge and continually be fighting the "motorboating."  In that case, your only course of action is to replace the battery and give it a good charge before each run until it fails.

       

      I have a USA 44-tonner that I run point-to-point simultaneously with two trains on other lines (all three use the same reversing unit).  The other two engines use very low voltage/power and the supercaps in the 44-tonner don't get enough charge between points such that much of the way it will motorboat.  The other two engines have Phoenix sound systems that will work down to ~3 volts and use nicads.

       

      Looks like I can't find the rat pack (or as you call it wall wart) to charge the sound.  Can you kindly please tell me exactly what I need to get?  I don't see anything on the Soundtraxx website that indicates what charger is needed.

    • January 8, 2020 6:13 AM EST
    • There is another choice, you can place diodes in series with one motor lead, I use a full wave bridge and place diodes between the + and - terminals.  The more diodes the greater the constant voltage drop.

       

    • January 7, 2020 8:07 PM EST
    • timmyd DeHan said:

      Upon much further investigation I found an On/OFF switch on the bottom of the Heisler and on the other underside is a jack.  Looking through my box of misc stuff I found the rat pack that plugs into the jack.  So, if I am understanding all of this, the general consensus is that the battery is toast and not worth trying to charge.  Is that correct?  Also, with the On/Off switch turned on it indeed "motorboats" and never stops.  I am not running the loco very fast keeping the speed more prototypical for the loco.  

       

      If you have the right wall wart (6 volt) you can try to charge the battery.  You have nothing to loose but some time.  Sometimes you can "shock" the battery back to life by using a momentary/very short term "overvoltage" (e.g., 9 volts) before going back to the correct voltage.

       

      If you like/want to run your trains slow (prototypical?) (below about 9 volts), and/or make frequent stops, forget the supercaps.  You will never get enough charge and continually be fighting the "motorboating."  In that case, your only course of action is to replace the battery and give it a good charge before each run until it fails.

       

      I have a USA 44-tonner that I run point-to-point simultaneously with two trains on other lines (all three use the same reversing unit).  The other two engines use very low voltage/power and the supercaps in the 44-tonner don't get enough charge between points such that much of the way it will motorboat.  The other two engines have Phoenix sound systems that will work down to ~3 volts and use nicads.

    • January 7, 2020 7:43 PM EST
    • Upon much further investigation I found an On/OFF switch on the bottom of the Heisler and on the other underside is a jack.  Looking through my box of misc stuff I found the rat pack that plugs into the jack.  So, if I am understanding all of this, the general consensus is that the battery is toast and not worth trying to charge.  Is that correct?  Also, with the On/Off switch turned on it indeed "motorboats" and never stops.  I am not running the loco very fast keeping the speed more prototypical for the loco.  

    • January 7, 2020 7:39 PM EST
    • Dan Pierce said:

      Does Timmyd understand how to wire supercaps in series?  Not everyone understands series wiring and polarity sensitivity.

       

      Nope!  I don't.

    • January 5, 2020 4:32 PM EST
    • I think there are enough helpful people on this thread to take Tim in any direction he decides. We can go step by step.

       

      Greg

    • January 5, 2020 7:05 AM EST
    • Does Timmyd understand how to wire supercaps in series?  Not everyone understands series wiring and polarity sensitivity.

       

    • January 4, 2020 3:12 PM EST
    • email should be there now Tim

       

      I agree with Todd, I would try the supercap route.

       

      I was referencing this statement: " So, reading all of this is making my head spin." So I was trying to help reduce spin rate ha ha!

       

      Greg

    • January 4, 2020 9:10 AM EST
    • David Maynard said:

      The charge voltage IIRC is 7 volts,

      To remove hot melt glue, I use 90% isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab. Keep rubbing along the edges of the glue blob, the alcohol will wick in between the glue and the item and eventually release the glue.

       

      Thanks David, I will try this

    • January 4, 2020 9:09 AM EST
    • Greg Elmassian said:

      1. An identical battery will stop your head spinning. It will most likely last a while. It's your decision to try the super cap route, if you want.

      2. add the jack and use to charge, or let it charge on the rails, but you will have to wait a bit before the sound comes on, even with a healthy battery. The longer between uses and/or slower the loco runs the longer it will take to charge.

      3. leave it in the sun to warm a bit and peel away, slowly, usually it gives up.

       

      Greg

       

      p.s. I replied to your email on the 28th... maybe you missed it?

       

      My head isn't spinning.  I just don't understand all the electrical jargon.  As such I have no idea what a "super cap" is or how to use it.  I can probably add a jack with clear installation instructions.

      I didn't miss your email, I never received it.  And yes, I checked and have been watching the JUNK folder for it.  Perhaps you can resend it?

       

      Thanks

    • January 4, 2020 8:15 AM EST
    • The charge voltage IIRC is 7 volts,

      To remove hot melt glue, I use 90% isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab. Keep rubbing along the edges of the glue blob, the alcohol will wick in between the glue and the item and eventually release the glue.

    • January 4, 2020 7:29 AM EST
    • Does anyone know the voltage for recharging the battery without the battery connected?  Many times batteries were used to regulate the power and the charge voltage was higher than the battery rating for lead acid units.  Take a car for instance, battery is 12.6 volts but charge voltage can be as high as 14 volts, so supercaps need to be above the max voltage seen.

    • January 3, 2020 7:55 PM EST
    • 1. An identical battery will stop your head spinning. It will most likely last a while. It's your decision to try the super cap route, if you want.

      2. add the jack and use to charge, or let it charge on the rails, but you will have to wait a bit before the sound comes on, even with a healthy battery. The longer between uses and/or slower the loco runs the longer it will take to charge.

      3. leave it in the sun to warm a bit and peel away, slowly, usually it gives up.

       

      Greg

       

      p.s. I replied to your email on the 28th... maybe you missed it?

    • January 3, 2020 5:03 PM EST
    • You are all most helpful and very well versed in the electronics of things.  However, I am not.  I am a musician and photographer.  So, reading all of this is making my head spin.  So please bear with me and let me ask a few questions:

      1. I am guessing from everyone's response here is that the battery to this sound card is more than likely dead.  If so, what exactly do I need to replace it with?

      2. There is no jack on this locomotive to charge the battery, so assuming I am able to 1) determine what I need to replace the existing one and 2) able to install it, how do I keep it from going dead again?

      3. The battery appears to be hot glued to the underside of the coal load.  What is the best way to get it off?

      Thanks guys for all of your help here.

    • December 30, 2019 5:11 PM EST
    • Todd, I was writing as a general example, as many people would try 2 caps thinking it was "close enough" in voltage, as I do state in my post.

       

      Trying to give some basis in fact and reasoning, not just present a recipe without explanation.

       

      Greg

    • December 29, 2019 2:45 PM EST
    • Except that you don't use two, you use three as the link I presented shows.  3 x 2.7 = 8.1 volts, which is well over the Sierra charge voltage.  And you will notice that I did NOT link 2.4 volt caps that are also available, but would be right at the limit of what the Sierra charges at.

       

      Nor did I link the 10F caps which will give you more "shutdown time" at the expense of more motorboating (and a longer "near short") before attaining a working voltage to sustain the system.

       

      I don't even turn my sound systems off between uses.  There is no need to do it.

    • January 5, 2020 7:04 AM EST
    • Greg, 

      Jerry's going to try to duplicate a gear for us, if it will work. I'll try to show some pictures of the final product when he's done. It goes out to him Monday. Thanks for your help along with everyone else! Ken