Stay alive/keep alive for DC

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Rog (RJ)
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Re: Stay alive/keep alive for DC

#11

Post by Rog (RJ) »

He's right, you can't use any old capacitor because it will be subject to voltage reversals when the loco changes direction. What you need is a non polarised capacitor, as stated earlier by Stese. A normal polarised electrolytic capacitor won't work and could possibly explode.

The suppression capacitors that are normally connected to the motors aren't electrolytic, so they are safe where current reverses but they are of very low value and don't give any "stay alive" action.
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teedoubleudee
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Re: Stay alive/keep alive for DC

#12

Post by teedoubleudee »

Stese wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 10:55 pm teedoubleudee, don't most locos already have this in the form of suppressor capacitor?
1. As Rog has said, suppression capacitors are of a very small value, typically measured in pico farads and have no "stay alive" potential. They are non polarized.

2. Total capitance value increases when connected in parallel, so if all locos are connected to live track power then the capacitance value equals the sum of all and will be available to every loco so connected.

3. Under NO circumstances should polarized capacitors eg electrolytic type be fitted in any circuit where full reverse voltage could be applied as they WILL explode - search the net for video confirmation.
Most people are shocked when they find out how bad I am as an electrician
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IanS
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Re: Stay alive/keep alive for DC

#13

Post by IanS »

teedoubleudee wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 12:57 pm
Stese wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 10:55 pm teedoubleudee, don't most locos already have this in the form of suppressor capacitor?
1. As Rog has said, suppression capacitors are of a very small value, typically measured in pico farads and have no "stay alive" potential. They are non polarized.

2. Total capitance value increases when connected in parallel, so if all locos are connected to live track power then the capacitance value equals the sum of all and will be available to every loco so connected.

3. Under NO circumstances should polarized capacitors eg electrolytic type be fitted in any circuit where full reverse voltage could be applied as they WILL explode - search the net for video confirmation.
The capacitor on a 8-pin plug arrived today. It is a non-polarized capacitor - 220micro farads - 35v 105DegC on the outside.
Their advert does emphasise that 'ordinary' capacitors can't be used in any circumstances. They don't mention non-polarized. Probably because they cost only around £1 each (or less in bulk) for the biggest size they offer and a blanking plug is cheap too.
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Re: Stay alive/keep alive for DC

#14

Post by Viscount »

Interesting. Does it actually work?
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IanS
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Re: Stay alive/keep alive for DC

#15

Post by IanS »

Viscount wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 9:50 pm Interesting. Does it actually work?
My limited testing suggests it does not work! Having watched a video from Strathpeffer Junction about stay alive on DCC it seems the size of the capacitor is far too small to make any observable difference.

My limited testing was to run a loco with it fitted on a rolling road and then pick it up. The wheels stopped immediately, the same as without the device.
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Re: Stay alive/keep alive for DC

#16

Post by Viscount »

I couldn't see how it would work at that rating. Thanks for confirming!
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Rog (RJ)
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Re: Stay alive/keep alive for DC

#17

Post by Rog (RJ) »

It may help the loco to get over specks of dirt on the track, I certainly wouldn't expect the wheels to keep turning for any length of time.
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IanS
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Re: Stay alive/keep alive for DC

#18

Post by IanS »

Rog (RJ) wrote: Tue Aug 09, 2022 10:05 am It may help the loco to get over specks of dirt on the track, I certainly wouldn't expect the wheels to keep turning for any length of time.
I would have expected the wheels to keep turning at least a 1 turn. There was no visible movement, unlike stay-alive units on DCC.
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