Zimo MN decoders with a dinky stay alive included

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Bigmet
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Zimo MN decoders with a dinky stay alive included

Post by Bigmet »

First time for me with the new MN range of decoders as no MX types were available. I suppose I might just get around to testing whether there is any discernable improvement from fitting the included 'stay alive'. (It's nearly 20 years since I tried the Lenz Gold 'USP' with the Power 1 module, and it did exactly as advertised - lay sheet of paper on the track, run loco onto it and stop it under control while on the paper, and then reverse off it - when running on the metal rails as is usual on my layouts, there was no perceptible difference in operation with it connected as compared to without. Since occasional party tricks aren't among my timetable operation requirements I didn't use it. )
Peterm
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Re: Zimo MN decoders with a dinky stay alive included

Post by Peterm »

The included stay alive is really not worth having with it's tiny capacity. You'll notice no advantage unless you use something a lot larger, capacitance wise.
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Bufferstop
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Re: Zimo MN decoders with a dinky stay alive included

Post by Bufferstop »

Bigmet, I'd never seen that done, only running across a sheet of paper at constant speed. My first reaction was how? Then I realised that with DC power available from the stay alive, the wheels were capacitvely connected to the rails through a dielectric ie the paper, so AC signals could pass through.
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Bigmet
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Re: Zimo MN decoders with a dinky stay alive included

Post by Bigmet »

Peterm wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2024 11:30 pm The included stay alive is really not worth having with it's tiny capacity. You'll notice no advantage unless you use something a lot larger, capacitance wise.
According to one of the Zimo cognoscenti I talked to on Sunday, he believes it supports the Zimo feature of preventing a loco stopping 'off power' from dead slow movment, and thus being unable to restart. If track power is lost in this situation, the small reserve should enable it to keep moving a fraction further, (hopefully) until track power is regained when it will stop.

Something of a solution looking for a problem is my feeling: my first striking impression of the benefit that DCC delivered was the complete reliability in starting with a smooth creep into motion. No further need to thump the track support to persuade the loco to start, so common with DC that some folks devised mechanisms for generating a 'thump' when they were too far distant for manual intervention.
Peterm
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Re: Zimo MN decoders with a dinky stay alive included

Post by Peterm »

I'd say that this is one of those times that theory doesn't work in practice. I and others have tried using the small value cap that's supplied and it hasn't made a cracker of difference, and that's even worse (if it can be) with a sound decoder. Some say that there's no need for capacitors if your track laying is perfect and everything else is perfectly clean, but how many of us can measure up to this, especially if like me you have a large layout?

I'll stick with large value cap's.
Pete.
Bigmet
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Re: Zimo MN decoders with a dinky stay alive included

Post by Bigmet »

I have no trouble at all with reliable running on DCC without any need for 'stay alives'. Four reasons in my opinion:
Most locos have had significant necessary 'modifications' to their pick up systems and wiring, much RTR OO is sub-standard in this respect, and the proving method is by use of DC for up to ten hours operation before a decoder is installed, as DC is more sensitive in detecting need for improvement at dead slow, starting and stopping.
All metal wheels on stock, and live crossing flexi track system points throughout, carefully installed and wired with soldered on connections.
In an outbuilding, no household dust, pets, cooking vapour, fluffy clothing, towels, carpets, to generate airborne crap.
Layout operated every day I am home, and a railhead cleaning drag is used every session.
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Free_at_last
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Re: Zimo MN decoders with a dinky stay alive included

Post by Free_at_last »

Bigmet wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2024 4:50 pm I have no trouble at all with reliable running on DCC without any need for 'stay alives'. Four reasons in my opinion:
Most locos have had significant necessary 'modifications' to their pick up systems and wiring, much RTR OO is sub-standard in this respect, and the proving method is by use of DC for up to ten hours operation before a decoder is installed, as DC is more sensitive in detecting need for improvement at dead slow, starting and stopping.
All metal wheels on stock, and live crossing flexi track system points throughout, carefully installed and wired with soldered on connections.
In an outbuilding, no household dust, pets, cooking vapour, fluffy clothing, towels, carpets, to generate airborne crap.
Layout operated every day I am home, and a railhead cleaning drag is used every session.
I take it you don't have sound and a turntable.
I also have trouble free running on all my locos even before I started installing Zimo sound decoders with their dinky/useless 'stay alive'.
The trouble I have is the sound cutting out when the polarity on the turntable changes. The only loco I have that doesn't cut out is an Accurascale Manor.
I wonder if the Zimo 'stay alive' capacitor can be increased or added to, just to give enough power to keep the sound going on the turntable.
Pete.
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Peterm
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Re: Zimo MN decoders with a dinky stay alive included

Post by Peterm »

[quote
In an outbuilding, no household dust, pets, cooking vapour, fluffy clothing, towels, carpets, to generate airborne
Layout operated every day I am home, and a railhead cleaning drag is used every session.
[/quote]

Therein lies the problem. Mine is in a double garage which with it's multi panel lift door is far from protected from dust, heat,humidity and crap in general.

I do have all steel wheels and traction tyres are banned, but with all the drawbacks above, I use stay alives to cut down the amount of times I have to clean the track.
Pete.
Bigmet
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Re: Zimo MN decoders with a dinky stay alive included

Post by Bigmet »

Free_at_last wrote: Thu Apr 25, 2024 6:38 pm ...I take it you don't have sound and a turntable...
Only the turntable, (Peco's until I get around to a scale 70 foot job) present as a functional necessity for my steam operation. Has had a couple of sound fitted locos on it with large stayalives, and they had no trouble at all; the smaller one, a class 24, both maintained a slow creep and sound as the turntable went round and it thus disembarked 'non-stop' onto the road it had entered from! All very unrailwaylike, but the owner was curious to see if it could be done, being a D&E guy with no turntable on his TMD layout...

Details of what stayalive was fitted, have not a clue, as we were intent on tractive capability which was what the visitor wanted to test. (156 diesels, no rolling stock or available length of track to run them on!) The examples we tested all pulled over double their typical maximum load effortlessly, as is normal for current 'heavyweight centre motor both bogies driven' mechanisms. Wonder if he has built a layout yet?
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