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    • December 29, 2019 1:43 PM EST
    • Yeah, I would be a little concerned about two 2.7 volt supercaps in series, which gives you a 5.4 volt cap, so you would need 3 of them, which is what I assume Todd did, 3 in series give you 8.1 volts, which should give you plenty of margin, given the "charging circuit" from the Sierra. When "building up" multiple caps, realize that supercaps are VERY intolerant of over voltage.

       

      I would also agree with the 1 ohm resistor, in case you have a sensitive short circuit detector in your setup. All good suggestions and better than the actual battery in my opinion too.

       

      Greg

    • December 29, 2019 7:18 AM EST
    • Try these for higher voltages with super caps wired in series.

      6 pieces for $4.11 and free shipping., less $$ in bulk!!

       

      https://www.ebay.com/itm/6pc-2-7V-10F-Cylindrical-Ultra-Super-Farad-Capacitor-High-Power-Supercap-10x26mm/113702182907?hash=item1a792d9ffb:g:sr0AAOSwTHlcnvSd

    • December 28, 2019 5:12 PM EST
    • Use these wired in series to replace the battery and never worry about the battery (including charging it) again.  If you worry about the load, put a 1 ohm resistor in the series.  I do this on my Sierras (without a resistor) and have never had a problem.

       

      Depending on the volume setting, the sound will continue for about 30-45 seconds after the engine stops receiving power.  The lights will continue a bit beyond this.  This is enough to get some of the shutdown sequence of the sound system.  10F caps have also been used with success and prolong the shutdown sequence.  In either case, ther will be a bit of initial "motorboating" when the power comes back on.  It does no harm and lasts a whole lot shorter than when the lead acid battery runs down.  Even so, there is a way around this using a small relay and associated small capacitor to uncouple the supercaps prior to their fully discharging so that some charge is retained and you don't start from scratch when the power comes back on.

       

      https://www.ebay.com/itm/3pcs-2-7V-6F-2-7V-ELNA-DZ-Farad-Super-Capacitor-10x30mm-For-Power/112096523616?hash=item1a19793560:g:EqIAAOSwaB5Xr-1D

       

       

    • December 28, 2019 12:15 PM EST
    • I am not clear what I should get to replace the existing battery.

      Any chargeable battery with the same voltage rating will do if you are running track power.  Or do without and the sound stops when you stop the track power.

      However, most people use battery power for the loco, which can be used to feed the Sierra without a 'keep alive' battery. You do need an optical isolator which they used to supply.  Greg probably knows where you can get a replacement. 

       

    • December 28, 2019 9:20 AM EST
    • The local Batteries plus actually sells the same lead acid gel batteries that came with the Sierra boards. I replaced mine with NiMh batteries.

    • December 28, 2019 8:47 AM EST
    • Pete Thornton said:
      Craig Townsend said:

      Sierra sound board for sure. The two screw terminals give it away, and the two buttons for "programming". Not sure on the other board.

      It was the battery that told me it was Sierra.  That's a lead-acid (as used in home security systems 20 years ago) gel battery and is undoubtedly dead.  It is supposed to charge as you run along and keep the sound going when you stop.  If you google "sierra sound battery replacement" you should get some ideas.

       

      Doing a Google search for Sierra sound battery replacement returns many articles from years ago.  So, I am not clear what I should get to replace the existing battery.

    • December 28, 2019 8:39 AM EST
    • Greg Elmassian said:

      Timmy, I have the Sierra manuals if you need/want them, email me if you do.

       

      Greg

       

      Email sent.  Thanks!

    • December 25, 2019 2:05 PM EST
    • Timmy, I have the Sierra manuals if you need/want them, email me if you do.

       

      Greg

    • December 25, 2019 2:02 PM EST
    • Actually, if you try to charge the battery while running, it is almost an exercise in futility unless you continue to run at a fairly good clip.  Sierra provides a jack to precharge the battery.

      Be that as it may, at this point in time, you probably can't get that battery to charge.  I have been replacing them with supercaps.  I use three 6-10 Farad caps in series to get up to the necessary voltage.  I even added a relay so that the system cuts out before the supercaps discharge all the way so they don't need to recharge from "0" each time the engine starts.  Starting at "0" volts the sound system will make all kinds of "motorboating" noise until the voltage is high enough to sustain the system.

    • December 25, 2019 11:51 AM EST
    • Craig Townsend said:

      Sierra sound board for sure. The two screw terminals give it away, and the two buttons for "programming". Not sure on the other board.

      It was the battery that told me it was Sierra.  That's a lead-acid (as used in home security systems 20 years ago) gel battery and is undoubtedly dead.  It is supposed to charge as you run along and keep the sound going when you stop.  If you google "sierra sound battery replacement" you should get some ideas.

    • December 25, 2019 7:16 AM EST
    • Small speaker can be under all the boards, look at the bottom of the engine for many holes where the sound will come from.

       

    • December 25, 2019 1:29 AM EST
    • Speaker goes to pins 9 and 10.  You appear to have wires there going somewhere.

    • December 24, 2019 11:09 PM EST
    • Sierra sound board for sure. The two screw terminals give it away, and the two buttons for "programming". Not sure on the other board.

    • December 24, 2019 7:38 PM EST
    • Looks like Sierra Sound card with a Bachman I/O Card or similar ilk to me.

       

      Michael

    • December 26, 2019 8:38 PM EST
    • Double post again 

    • December 26, 2019 8:38 PM EST
    • Unfortunately I did not. I missed out because I had a software crash on my phone.I took it back to the store and they opted to replace it?? I hope there will be more of these locomotives popping up on Ebay in the future..

    • December 26, 2019 4:41 PM EST
    • So the auction closed at $41 with 2 bids, so did you win it Ken?

    • December 26, 2019 4:38 AM EST
    • Pete, 

      Received your information and the contacted Jerry via email and I'm waiting for a response. I'm watching the bidding on the circus locomotive. As mentioned before, I have the most rigorous maintenance schedule on all our engines, cars and other equipment, whether they be cheaper or more expensive. We have Bachmann locomotives from 25 years ago that are still running for our kids program with no problems whatsoever, due to that maintenance and especially not pulling too much weight. When the kids and public like a certain locomotive, I try to do my best to make sure it's out there for them to run but we don't put more than two to three cars behind these engines and we run them with momentum as well. That with the maintenance seems to make them last practically forever. Even though every locomotive eventually will break down, as with any vehicle, we seem to hold it off for a lot more years than most which shows that with complete and proper maintenance, and careful operation practices, even the cheaper locomotives will last a really long time. We do have a lot of LGB, USA, Aristocraft, Accucraft and Piko locomotives as well in this program which get the same vigorous maintenance. I learned with this kind of regular maintenance and good operational practices, any locomotive can provide a significant amount of years of service, depending on how it is treated, as long as the drive has a somewhat reasonable and descent design. I learned a lot of this from Barry Olsen.

      Thank you very, very much for the emails and information! It's very helpful!

      Ken

    • December 25, 2019 12:09 PM EST
    • Ken Mathews/Imagination Station Kids On Track said:

      You know what's interesting Greg is that what you and I would consider less interesting, cheaper locomotives, the public absolutely adores. I'm a little confused however about what you mean by a $25 gear. Are you referring to a gear that I could purchase from Bachmann or is this an item that's is made by Jiro because I definitely want one if it's going to work. It kind of sounds like by what Pete was saying, that the gear is available through some sort of auction? Forgive me for acting a little dumb here but I'm still a little bit confused. 

      Ken, Greg's $25 gear is the one made by Jiro in Delrin for my 4-4-0 and 2-6-0. We don't know if it will fit.

       

      Alternatively there's an auction on eBay at the moment for a Keystone Circus loco that's starting at $40 and closing in 1 day.  Nothing wrong with a spare locomotive which has decent wheels, etc.  If you could get it for $45-$50 I would buy that and swap the gears.  Someone has bid on it, and that person may have put a maximum bid of ??$$.  If you want the spare complete loco, make a bid of $45 and see if the system immediately tells you you have been outbid.  If so, decide how much you want to spend and keep bidding until you reach the (your) max. (Or until eBay says your the top bidder.)
      https://www.ebay.com/itm/Keystone-2-6-2-Circus-Steam-Engine-G-Scale-Used/202858698738?hash=item2f3b5217f2:g:-w8AAOSwoBFd--cb

      Pete, by the way, I can remove the gear out of the drive without an issue but I didn't want to tear the whole locomotive apart unless I knew I could get the gear. I do see your point about needing information about the diameter and how many teeth it has but as you can see in the photo, there aren't too many teeth left to count, so I don't know if we'll get that accurate count.

      It's not too tricky to count even in that state.  But the diameter is the first step - even if it is only approximate, it will help tell Jiro if the gear will work or if he needs to see your original.

      I'll contact Jiro immediately when I get the information from you and see if they can help me. The circus locomotive seems to be a bit expensive and I really hate to take a perfectly good locomotive apart when it is operational and running.

      If you keep liking inexpensive locos like this one, you'l lbe doing a lot of it.  They aren't made to last. 

      If you find contact information I'll go ahead and contact them though. Thank you for your dedicated search for that info.

      PM (message) sent as soon as I post this.