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Screwy Nick

Supercaps in place of battery in Sierra

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On another forum someone posted a schematic using super capacitors (three 2.7v 6 - 10 Farad wired in series) in the older Sierra sound systems.  All of my batteries have gone below the ability to re-charge due to my lack of attention.  Here are my results:

Base Test: Sierra switch ON, no battery, no caps, system stuttered and came alive @ 12V.
First Test: Sierra switch ON, caps in place of battery, ran it for 45 sec, (I was slow to react on the video) removed track power and the sound continued for 60 sec before the caps were fully discharged just as I was about to add track power. 
Second Test: Switch ON, ran for 60 sec, removed track power. Sound system idled for 45 sec, restored track power and sound ramped up. 
Third Test: Ran for 30 sec and disconnected the caps. When the caps were reconnected the system started up with no stuttering. I published the First test, have the videos of the other two and if requested will upload them also. 

 

 

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So your thinking off using the caps instead of the batts for steady sound on questionable track ...

 

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No, pick up continuity is not the issue, the Sierra performs smoothly no matter what the track condition, even without track power, like if you stopped for water or to pic up passengers,  the sound system keeps producing for a period of time, then cycles down.  My problem is I can't properly maintain the batteries.  They are Gel Cell and if neglected for more than 3 or 4 months they discharge to the point they will no longer accept a charge.  Using the Supercaps just drop the loco on the track and away you go, no matter how long they have been sitting.     

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Now to assemble the components for the 'low voltage cut off' circuit.  Not really necessary, just keeps some charge in the caps so the next start up doesn't start with the stuttering, and for me, just because.  

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And it works.  I just need to find the 'sweet spot' on the potentiometer,  the Supercaps are storing the juice instead of a battery.   Also can switch the system OFF and the caps will still store, but this was more fun. 

image.thumb.png.0766f4ea8b43bfaffaf31813a0d51f5a.png

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Here's what I learned:  The person who designed the circuit runs his trains at 14volts or more.  He confirmed to me that anything below 10 and it reverts back to operating as though it has no battery, and the super caps discharge.  So in effect, not for me who operates on straight DC.  BUT, since I put all that into it, going to continue testing and messaging the circuit till I get the results I want, or close. 

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