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Using a 1F 5.5v Super capacitor on a Zimo decoder

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:26 pm
by Wayne Kinney
Hi Guys,

I have recently been using zimo decoders with their kit that allows you to add capacitors as energy storage modules to keep the loco moving over a dead stop on the track (point frog or dirty section of track). This is very similar to the Lenz Power 1 energy module.

Page 50 to 51 on the zimo decoder manual gives a breif explaination of how it works:
http://www.zimo.at/web2010/documents/MX ... MX640E.pdf

The instructions state that you should use 25v capacitors, which are very large at a useful capacity (2200uf).

I would very much like to use one of the new super capacitors due to the smaller size and high capacity, in fact I know the Lenz Power 1 uses a 1F 5.5v Super Capacitor. I have sourced one here:

http://www.dccsupplies.com/shop/product ... cts_id=620

The problem is because this supercap is rated at 5.5v, what electronics would be needed in order to wire this up to the Zimo decoder? Some kind of voltage regulator? Or is it possible at all?

Any input on how to wire this 5.5v supercap to the zimo decoder would be very much apprciated :)

Re: Using a 1F 5.5v Super capacitor on a Zimo decoder

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:13 pm
by Bufferstop
Reading various web sites no mention is made of how they react to overvoltage situations. I would assume they are like any other component and unlikely to survive if connected to too higher supply voltage. You would therefore need to keep the voltage down to 5.5v. If this is sufficient for your motor to run then it may be possible to use them, but there are a number of cautions to using them that I would not want to disregard.

Re: Using a 1F 5.5v Super capacitor on a Zimo decoder

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:21 pm
by Wayne Kinney
Many thanks for your reply,

Yeah, I guess they are probably incompatible, it would have been nice concidering the smaller size, but...

I am using 2200uf capacitors which keep the motor running for about a second after loss of power, which is probably more than needed. So I can use smaller capacitors and also have the option of using 2 smaller capacitors located in 2 different positions in the loco, if space is limited.

Thanks,
Wayne.

Re: Using a 1F 5.5v Super capacitor on a Zimo decoder

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:50 pm
by apx068
Wayne Kinney wrote:The problem is because this supercap is rated at 5.5v, what electronics would be needed in order to wire this up to the Zimo decoder? Some kind of voltage regulator? Or is it possible at all?

Any input on how to wire this 5.5v supercap to the zimo decoder would be very much apprciated :)


Hi there,
There is a very simple solution but with a downside...

If you add a bunch of them in series then the voltage is spread over all of them, ie 3 could handle 16.5Volts and 4 could handle 22Volts. Sadly nothing's for free and this reduces the capacitance down to 1/3 or 1/4 respectively. Do a google search on "voltage over a capacitor" and there are lots of articles.

I'd be nervous about a rating of 16.5 Volts but would be OK with 22 Volts. That would still give you the equivalent of 250,000uF though. Much better than normal capacitors but probably quite expensive and can you fit them all in?

One thing I tried which was moderately succussful was to modify a loco so that there were two electrical connections to the following goods van. That had a pair of large normal capacitors in it. Don't forget the resistor though to stop a huge current inrush!

Cheers,
Jason

Re: Using a 1F 5.5v Super capacitor on a Zimo decoder

Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:31 am
by Wayne Kinney
Hi,

Thats one way, although I only wanted to use the one cap for the space advantages.

It looks like ill stick with the normal caps, but I may start using 16v caps instead like Nigel Cliffe has done. These are smaller and I will tweak my DCS200 to keep the volts to about 14v.

Re: Using a 1F 5.5v Super capacitor on a Zimo decoder

Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:38 pm
by Martin71
Hi

I have used many different methods in the past with caps but in the end I came back to 2200mF or 4700mF in a parallel circuit. I use the super caps for lighting in coaches and I would not recommend a series circuit with 5.5v

4 caps in parallel which feed 2 x 8 function only Zimo decoders and a 6 function loksound 3.5, Yes all for the one loco!

Image

Sub circuit on cap 1 resistor in series to stop inrush current and parallel to that a diode for quick discharge to motor.

Image

Thats what works for me and I have tried the super caps........too much effort.

Hope that helps.

Martin

Re: Using a 1F 5.5v Super capacitor on a Zimo decoder

Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:05 pm
by Wayne Kinney
Thanks Martin,

I didn't realised so many of you were using the capacitor method :D

Re: Using a 1F 5.5v Super capacitor on a Zimo decoder

Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:22 am
by Martin71
Hi

I guess theirs more than you think, about 4-6 months ago their was another post on here where the guy showed how to install the caps into a Hornby tank loco.

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