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 Keep Alive Capacitors for On30 Locos
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Author Previous Topic: A small distraction - Estrella Copper Co. Topic Next Topic: Broke Back Mining & Logging Railroad
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Reg Barron
Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/29/2014 :  09:58:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Barry,

I believe the answer is yes, but I don't have the older HO Shay. I suggest you do a comparison between your sound card and the DSD B2TS in the photo. You might also put some CRC on the track, wheels and pick ups and run the loco for about 10 minutes. With all those wheels on a three truck, it might cure the issue. The shrink wrapped 750 Tsunami is really easy to add a keep alive to. It will also give improved sound and loco control. In On30, I have one shay with the DSD B2TS, and keep alive, I have another with the Bachmann Tsunami without keep alive. Both are very reliable (but the DSD did have some issues before the keep alive install). Finally, if you do decide to use the 750, you might need to add an additional heat sink.

Regards,

Reg Barron



Country: USA | Posts: 211 Go to Top of Page

barry dupler
Engine Wiper

Posted - 11/29/2014 :  11:07:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Reg,

I have treated both my track and a locomotive wheels with CRC. I am not getting the same electrical reliability with the shays as with my rod engines. I have had good luck with keep alive in my other engines, and so it is worth trying on the shays. I have six am hoping I could use the keep alives with the older sound cards rather than upgrading them to newer sound decoders.

I appreciate your advice. Thanks!

Barry



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mabloodhound
Fireman



Posted - 11/29/2014 :  4:32:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Barry, clean the oil off the rails and rub the rail heads with a carpenters graphite pencil (the wide type) The graphite is an excellent conductor and doesn't collect dirt or dust like oil.



Country: USA | Posts: 6700 Go to Top of Page

Reg Barron
Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/19/2014 :  3:08:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I recently had a problem with a KA-2 install in a new Bachmann Porter with factory installed sound. When power was turned off (with the loco at rest), it would surge forward for an inch or so, and toot the horn. This was similar to a problem I had had with a rail truck install. The problem turned out to be caused by a CV setting. Bachmann locos are released with analog mode turned on so the locos can operate on regular DC. I turned CV 12 (Alternate Power Source) from 1 to 0, and the problem was solved!

Regards,

Reg Barron



Country: USA | Posts: 211 Go to Top of Page

BigLars
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 08/22/2015 :  2:53:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Reg,
Thanks for this thread! I just installed KA2's in three Porters two 0-4-2 and an 0-4-0.


My current build:
http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=50375

Edited by - BigLars on 08/22/2015 4:10:00 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 11372 Go to Top of Page

Grabnet
Crew Chief



Posted - 08/22/2015 :  3:32:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BigLars

Ray,
Thanks for this thread! I just installed KA2's in three Porters two 0-4-2 and an 0-4-0.



Congratulations. Did you solder to the BACHMANN circuit board or tie in to the stock capacitor leads? Also did you install in the loco or a trailing tender?

I am anticipating doing the same to a couple of my Porters.....particularly one with factory sound and am looking for real world advice.

Thanks. Doc Tom



Edited by - Grabnet on 08/22/2015 3:33:19 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 619 Go to Top of Page

BigLars
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 08/22/2015 :  4:14:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Doc Tom,
I followed Reg's directions and soldered the KA2 directly to the circuit board. You need a steady hand and a very fine tipped soldering iron.

On the 0-4-2 I cut the top off the metal coal load to leave a little space to have the KA2 sit lower down on the top of the fuel bunker.



My current build:
http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=50375

Country: USA | Posts: 11372 Go to Top of Page

Reg Barron
Engine Wiper

Posted - 08/22/2015 :  5:06:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Larry,

I am glad you had success!

Doc Tom,

Most of the info you are looking for is detailed earlier in this thread, but here is a short summary:

- with the Bachman factory installed sound board in the Porter, the blue positive wire of the KA must be soldered directly to the circuit board to any one of the four components that are circled in the drawing from Soundtraxx (shown earlier in this thread). The negative wire from the KA can go to the negative capacitor wire. If the KA is soldered directly to the original cap wires (and correct polarity is observe), the best one would get is sound only Keep Alive.

On shrink wrapped Tsunamis, it is not necessary to solder directly to the circuit board, one can solder the blue positive wire of the KA to the blue Tsunami wire. But this easier method will NOT work with the Bachmann sound Porters.

On the 0-4-2, I hid the KA in an extended fuel bunker. On the 0-4-0, I cut the KA in half and hid it in the roof. Earlier, I had simply painted the KA black, and stood it upright in the rear corner of the cab. I always use KA-2s in Sound Porters because the keep alive in a KA-1, is so short. A Soundtraxx Current Keeper is about the same as the KA-2, but the circuit board is longer and thus harder to fit and I don't know how to cut and reconnect it. An enclosed cab or an added tender would also be effective ways to conceal the KA.

Hope this helps,

Reg Barron



Country: USA | Posts: 211 Go to Top of Page

Grabnet
Crew Chief



Posted - 08/22/2015 :  8:33:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you both for this very helpful information. I will be bookmarking this thread for my future attempt at installing a KA-2 . Doc Tom


Country: USA | Posts: 619 Go to Top of Page

Reg Barron
Engine Wiper

Posted - 07/11/2016 :  8:32:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just received a new KA-3 by TCS. This one is small enough to fit inside the roof of the Bachmann Porter 0-4-0 with sound, without modification to the roof, window frames, or capacitor unit. The circuit board side should be down for best fit. I just did a dry fit, and have not wired or glued this one in yet. When painted black it should be nearly invisible with the loco running on a layout. Presently, I have KA-2s in three of my Porters, and I am very happy with their performance.

Regards,

Reg Barron



Country: USA | Posts: 211 Go to Top of Page

Grabnet
Crew Chief



Posted - 02/10/2019 :  6:22:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well it took 3.5 years but I finally got up the courage to install a TCS KA 4 in my little On30 Porter.

First off a BIG THANK YOU to Reg Barron for the wonderful explanation and detailed diagrams in the earlier part of this thread. I printed the diagrams and pictures and knew exactly where to place the leads of the KA4 capacitor on the very tiny OEM Soundtraxx decoder. Reg gave very good instructions on how to microsolder as well.

Everything worked perfectly and now the little Porter literally can crawl on my logging mini layout. It has great sound as well.

No that is not a 12 pack of Perrier waters in the cab, it is the KA4. You can see how small it is!



Next step will be to secure it to the inner roof of the cab, paint it all black and enjoy the heck out of this little engine.

Thanks again Reg!!!

Doc Tom



Country: USA | Posts: 619 Go to Top of Page

Reg Barron
Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/11/2019 :  6:09:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Doc Tom,
I am glad it all worked out well for you. Since starting this thread, I have read that some people have wrapped copper wire around a soldering iron and let it extend a little out the front for delicate soldering, but I have not tried it yet? David Popp at MR has also added a KA to a Porter and also to a Heisler. Since the sound Heisler has two circuit boards, he had to connect the KA to both to get sound and motor power back up. I have not tried this yet, since my Heisler runs very well without the KA back up. The new sound Tsunami and Econami seem to be pre-wired to easily accept KAs.

P.S. I have really enjoyed your threads on your two micro layouts!

Reg Barron



Country: USA | Posts: 211 Go to Top of Page

Grabnet
Crew Chief



Posted - 02/11/2019 :  8:50:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Reg Barron

Doc Tom,
I am glad it all worked out well for you. Since starting this thread, I have read that some people have wrapped copper wire around a soldering iron and let it extend a little out the front for delicate soldering, but I have not tried it yet? David Popp at MR has also added a KA to a Porter and also to a Heisler. Since the sound Heisler has two circuit boards, he had to connect the KA to both to get sound and motor power back up. I have not tried this yet, since my Heisler runs very well without the KA back up. The new sound Tsunami and Econami seem to be pre-wired to easily accept KAs.

P.S. I have really enjoyed your threads on your two micro layouts!

Reg Barron



Thanks Reg for all the ideas. I am glad you have some info on the Heisler too. I have one of the Heislers as well.



It does run well. I did not know that there are two circuit boards in it. I think it will be many more years before I start tinkering with this little gem.

The Porter was becoming a shelf queen until the Keep Alive was installed. Thanks again for all the work you put into the documentation on the install. Doc Tom



Country: USA | Posts: 619 Go to Top of Page

lemkerailroad1
Crew Chief

Premium Member


Posted - 04/28/2019 :  11:54:36 PM  Show Profile  Send lemkerailroad1 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
i have found this late but is the w/sound and w/o sound boards close enough to be the same
as i have several porters with no sound but i realized after not running trains for a few years
i need a keep alive in a few places???????

and yes i cleaned my track before running on the lower level that is wired up......lol


On30 Dave
seen on G+, YOUTUBE and FB

Country: USA | Posts: 843 Go to Top of Page

BigLars
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 04/29/2019 :  4:45:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by lemkerailroad1

i have found this late but is the w/sound and w/o sound boards close enough to be the same
as i have several porters with no sound but i realized after not running trains for a few years
i need a keep alive in a few places???????

and yes i cleaned my track before running on the lower level that is wired up......lol


The boards are completely different.


My current build:
http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=50375

Country: USA | Posts: 11372 Go to Top of Page
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