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Josef - I would love to help you, but I can't follow the instructions as supplied in the .pdf file. The drawings and written descriptions seem to be in conflict. One of the transistors is used to invert the optical chuff trigger, which allows it to work properly. But I can't really figure out what the other two transistors are doing yet. I would suggest you contact Phoenix Sound directly.

Looks like the idea of the super socket might be good, but if the manufacturer doesn't supply the proper interface on the other side of the socket, it just means we all have to become electronics hobbyists in order to enjoy add-on products and/or the suppliers all need to redesign to not only match the socket, but to fix the loco's problems!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Del- Thanks, I wondered if anyone else has seen that link or tried to install a 2K2 in the 27. I'm sure that Bachmann will address the issue, or someone will figure out whats wrong.
 

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Hi Josef
I posted the electronic link that included this a couple of posts back.

My present thoughts are to pickup powere from the board and fit magnets to the wheels or axles on the tender
I have done similar on other locos fitting three magnets on a wheel gives a close match but not exact unless you run at
under 5 mph you wont see it.

This method avoids all electrical complications with the optical pickup and all sound is in the tender.
It also means I can bring the tender inside to the computer for programming without the tender.

Ideal method would be to rip out all the electronics and start again.
As Del said it is a right mess.
Dave
 

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Posted By Del Tapparo on 04/08/2008 6:10 PM
Josef - I would love to help you, but I can't follow the instructions as supplied in the .pdf file. The drawings and written descriptions seem to be in conflict. One of the transistors is used to invert the optical chuff trigger, which allows it to work properly. But I can't really figure out what the other two transistors are doing yet. I would suggest you contact Phoenix Sound directly.
Looks like the idea of the super socket might be good, but if the manufacturer doesn't supply the proper interface on the other side of the socket, it just means we all have to become electronics hobbyists in order to enjoy add-on products and/or the suppliers all need to redesign to not only match the socket, but to fix the loco's problems!




I just looked at those instructions and I can't figure out what they are doing either.

The upper and lower transistors seem to have the bases connected directly to track voltage through that 2.2K resistor and the collectors to the front and rear headlight respectively, but then the description suggests that the K2K is powering the lights ?????????

Also, requiring that one shut off the smoke unit to operate the sound makes those instructions totally useless IMHO.

knut
 

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OK first most people cannot do what the file says to do.:D" border=0>

Second it is easier to wire in a reed switch....attaching it to the frame with a very small zip wire, facing one of the engine's drivers, with a MU plug leading away from it following the ganglia of wiring leading to the tender...then attaching it to the P-5....making sure the plug is between the engine and tender.

This may seem hard but trying to do all that the file says to do my be harder for most of us....and I am also electronics eliterate....

I have already did my mentioned method on my K-27 and a K-36.

On the K-36 I used 4 magnets glued to the engine's driver..with super glue.

This is the only way to get the timing perfect...as voltage comes close but not close enough.

Bubba
 

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The 2 transistors turn the head and backup light when the track polarity is right. The power for the lights comes from pins 1/2 and 12/11, which are connected to track or battery depending on the way you have the switch set.

The 3rd transistor is the chuff input, it inverts the sense of the signal for the 2k2 (actually it conditions the signal so it gets to within 0.6 volt of ground so it works right)

The statement "we are powering the lights" refers to the fact that power "into" the 2k2, comes "out" of it on pins 6 & 7, which will feed the chuff circuitry, and the smoke unit if switched on. So I suspect the circuitry on the 2k2 cannot handle the smoke unit load. Again, the lights are powered by the battery or track pickups. They made a mistake in their comments.

Pretty darn funny, they go to the work to get the chuff circuits working, but not the smoke... well, it seems funny to me.

Regards, Greg
 

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Posted By Greg Elmassian on 04/29/2008 2:55 PM
The 2 transistors turn the head and backup light when the track polarity is right. The power for the lights comes from pins 1/2 and 12/11, which are connected to track or battery depending on the way you have the switch set.
The 3rd transistor is the chuff input, it inverts the sense of the signal for the 2k2 (actually it conditions the signal so it gets to within 0.6 volt of ground so it works right)
The statement "we are powering the lights" refers to the fact that power "into" the 2k2, comes "out" of it on pins 6 & 7, which will feed the chuff circuitry, and the smoke unit if switched on. So I suspect the circuitry on the 2k2 cannot handle the smoke unit load. Again, the lights are powered by the battery or track pickups. They made a mistake in their comments.
Pretty darn funny, they go to the work to get the chuff circuits working, but not the smoke... well, it seems funny to me.
Regards, Greg





Hi Greg -

Yes, the two transistors turn on the lights as required, that was pretty clear, but I don't understand why they were added in the first place.
Seems to me, just looking at the schematic, that the ligts were already directional without that mod. Does adding the Phoenix sound unit somehow defeat the built-in directional lighting provided by the factory?

As to the third transistor, is it required to invert the signal for the Phoenix sound unit (which is what I thought) or just to pull the signal to within 0.6 volt of ground? If it's only the latter, one could replace D3 and D4 with a Schottky diode and reduce the drop that way.

I also can't follow your last comment about power coming out of the Phoenix unit on pins 6 & 7. 6 & 7 on the interface board of the K-27 is the positive and negative voltage from the diode bridge and power should be fed into the Phoenix sound unit, not the other way around.

There must be a better way to hook up a Phoenix sound unit than the mod that is shown - butchering the existing "DC board" and having to disconnect the smoke unit doesn't sound like an acceptable solution to me.

Regards, Knut
 

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Cut.



and



Throw.



Do it whatever way you have proven to your own satisfaction has worked reliably in the past.
 

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The chuff input on analog/DCC capable sound cards like the Phoenix, Tsunami or Digitrax all need to see the track signal (on DCC) - or - the track voltage (on Analog DC).
When they see a track voltage on the chuff input that exceeds 3 to 5 volts, they chuff ONCE. (voltage dependent on the brand of card)
They will not chuff again until there is NO VOLTAGE on the chuff input for AT LEAST 10 milliseconds.

Got that?

Read it again.

Another way of saying this is:
If there is NO VOLTAGE for at least 10 milliseconds on the input then the sound card is cocked and ready to produce a chuff.
As soon as the voltage on the input EXCEEDS the trigger voltage (3 to 5 volts) the sound cards makes a single chuff sound and will not make another until the card is once again "cocked".

Notice that there are two states here:
1) Zero volts for longer than 10 milliseconds creates a cocked state,
2) Trigger state, which starts a chuff sound as soon as the voltage exceeds the trigger voltage
The trigger voltage can be either positive or negative with respect to one of the sound cards track power inputs. It can be plus DC or minus DC. It can even be AC voltage or a digital signal like DCC.

For all the cards listed above, the card can be cocked, and trigger another chuff BEFORE the previous chuff completes. This allows long chuff sound for slow operation yet lets another chuff start as soon as needed when the loco is moving fast. The loud attach overriding the long low decay of the previous chuff.

Just for kicks, I installed a 2K2, an Tsunami, and three different Digitrax cards in my Kay while leaving the Kay set up for Analog DC
Then I did the same five cards again, but this time using a couple different DCC decoders.

I tried all of the procedures found on the Bachmann, Phoenix and Digitrax sites as to the transistors and such.

In some ways, all the installs worked,,,,
well, sort of worked,,,
well, at least some worked until they burned out something.

I started with something simple.
FIRST ATTEMPTS
I connected the five different cards track inputs to the track pickups, connected a speaker, and connected the chuff input to the Kay's optical signal.

No good! The Kay's chuff signal never goes to zero volts with respect to either track unless the power is off feeding the track. The Kay's optical signal is always 1.2 volts above zero due to the two .6 volt drops across the diodes in the dummy card's bridge and the huge filter capacitors on the boards in the tender and loco. The sound cards only chuff once when they first see power and the optics sends a signal. after that, the sound card is never "COCKED" because it never sees zero volts except on dirty track. You will get a cuff at power up and every once in a while when running on dirty track, thats it.


SECOND ATTEMPTS
No good! The Kay now chuff's perfectly in time with the drivers. The chuff works at all speeds from about 5 volts up to a full 24 volts dc without missing any chuff's or erratic chuff's, even on dirty track. Since one of the sound card track inputs is connected to the ground of the dummy cards DC output, and so is the optical circuit, the sound card now sees zero volts when the Kay's chuff signal is at zero volts. The 2K2 when equipped with the battery pack worked all the way down to zero volts, but the chufing was not in time with the drivers until track voltage reached 3 or 4 volts. The meant that the Kay produces standing sounds until well after the loco was moving. In this arrangement, the battery does not power the Kay, a battery could be added to power the Kay logic and produce reliable chuff's all the way from 0 to 24 volts.
The real objection to this second method has to do with the polarity of the track signals applied to the sound cards. Since the cards are now connected to the output of the bridge on the dummy card, the polarity is always the same. All these sound card depend on the polarity to sound either two toots for forward or three toots for reverse. Connect the track leads to pins 6 and 7 and the loco will always give you two toots no matter which direction the loco starts moving. Reverse the wiring and you always get three toots. These cards also depend on polarity changes to set up triggers for other sounds like the coupler crash, cab chatter and reverser lever squeaks or the drains on the cylinders.
Worse still, the sound cards depend on the voltage for some of the effects or controls on DC. For example, you can blow the crossing signal on the 2K2 by running at a constant, fairly high speed for a while, then lowering the voltage just slightly. the crossing signal will sound. However, the large capacitors and voltage regulators interfere with this. sometimes you get a crossing signal, sometimes you don't. Worse, you may get a crossing signal every time you top a hill or exit a curve. In the brief testing I did, all of the voltage depended controls were so erratic and undependable as to be useless. One other problem has to do with the fact that the motor gets 1.2 volts before the sound card sees any voltage. Three bridge rectifiers in series is required in the motor circuit to get the loco even close to having any effects like the single toot on stop or steam release on stop to work correctly.


THIRD ATTEMPT.
I connected the five different cards track inputs to pins 1 ans 12 of the socket, connected a speaker, and connected the chuff input to the Kay's optical signal and installed a transistor to "invert" the signal. This arrangement sort of works. chuff at low speeds in nonexistent or erratic. from about 8 volts to half throttle, the chuff is reliable, but cuts out at half throttle and once again becomes erratic. below 8 volts the chuff sometimes works, but may cut out if you place your hand near the tender, or touch one rail or place a lighted car on the track. I used a scope to analyze what was really accomplished by the transistor. Once again, the chuff input was not going to zero volts to "COCK" the cuff sound. Instead of dropping to 1.2 volts, it now dropped to .6 volts or the forward bias of the transistor. Basically, track pickup noise has a better chance of dropping the voltage to zero when there is only one forward junction to contend with. I then tried adding bias and dropping resistors to tweak the circuit. That was successful, so much so that I was able to remove the transistor and simply use a resistor between the one rail and the chuff input. This was still a little tricky, If the resistor is too large, the chuff doesn't work reliably. If it is too small, it burns out the bridge in the sound card or the bridge on the dummy card. I then tried a power transistor instead of the little plastic ones. That burned out another sound card. so running low on cards, and wanting to save some for my DCC attempts, I stopped trying to improve the Analog DC experiments.

My conclusions for Analog DC, The Phoenix 2K2 comes the closest to working, If you have the programing cable and disk, You can disable most of the sounds and special effects that are polarity or voltage dependent. Wire the track inputs to pins 6 and 7 of the Kay socket. Then use reed switches and track magnets to trigger the bell and whistle as is done on LGB. This will give you a very accurate chuff exactly timed to the driver positions and will sound good if you have shimmed or replaced the CW's. It will even give you that wheel slip rapid chuff's when starting up with a heavy train or climbing a steep grade. You can NOT get drifting or labored chuff's unless you sacrifice the bell and whistle and use track magnets to operate the labored/drifting (or even Doppler) effects.

FOURTH and more ATTEMPTS
I also performed these same steps using DCC in conjunction with three different decoders. Since the Analog DC experiments only took a couple days and the DCC ones took several weeks, there isn't room here to cover the DCC aspect of the Kay installation. After all, The question above was only about the 2K2 and sound on DC.

For both DC and DCC installations I tried to use th optical chuff. For DCC I wasn't much more successful than with DC. Some methods and tricks yielded a reliable chuff but had other drawbacks. And, remember that a DCC equipped loco should also run on analog DC. That I believe would be an impossible feat for the optical chuff and all the regulators and circuitry in the Kay.
For DCC I ended up abandoning the optical cuff. I epoxied a reed switch in each cylinder where the optics had been hounded. I epoxied a magnet to the light interruption flag The two reed switches were wired in parallel. One side of the switches connected to the left rail pickup in the loco. The other side of the reed switch connected to the draw-bar between the tender and loco with the chuff input connected in the tender to the draw-bar post. All other wiring, circuits, diodes, lights, boards, and plugs were removed. The only boards remaining in the Kay are the two pickup boards above the first second and fourth drivers. Those were re-wired with braided copper ribbon. There are no connections between the loco and tender other than the draw-bar.
The sound card is installed in the tender. Two wires to the tender truck pickups, two to the speakers, one to the draw-bar for chuff input.
I added a backup light to the tender as well as two lanterns and hanger brackets at the rear. Each lantern is fitted with three 12 volt bulbs, (white, red, green) and driven by a function decoder mounted to the rear wall of the tender shell. The two track wires from the function decoder have a two pin plug so that I can remove the tender shell, unplug the two conductor cable and set the shell to one side. The sound decoder stays in the floor of the tender with the speakers.
For the boiler, I used the same method. A two conductor cable with a plug in the middle so I can easily separate the boiler from the motor rand frame. I use a function decoder on the smoke box for the three colored 12 volt bulbs in the marker lights plus one in the headlight. A second decoder function near the firebox operates bulbs for the flicker. The motor decoder is mounted in the frame 1/2 inch to the rear of the flywheel. screw terminals on the decoder connect the track pickups and motor. Wires to the motor are kept short in this location to insure the best possible speed regulation under varying load. A fan and the smoke generator are connected to a plug on the decoder as well as a slow motion turnout motor used to operate the reversing lever.

All in All, I am happy with this arraignment. It is very clean. any wire over an inch long is one of the two conductor track cables and has a two pin plug for easy disassembly. There are no wires between the tender and loco and I have all sorts of options for lighting. I the stupid rock concert in the firebox is replaced with constantly varying realistic fire.

It works well, but it falls far short of what I had hoped to do. I had hoped that I could make up plug boards with a variety of different sound cards, Decoders, and even RC setups. I had looked forward to being able to swap from DC to DCC to Air-wire, to DCS, to RCS and back with the simple swap of a board and perhaps throwing a switch or two. I really wanted a loco that could easily swap and compare various sound boards or decoder. Seems such a system is still a long way off.

For your DC system with a 2K2, I'd say, there is no need to strip the entire system. Just install reed switches and magnets. You could retain all the other lighting, regulators and such. On the other hand, I'm sure there is much that you could improve by re-wiring the entire loco. Most likely, from what I've learned, you will eventually end up riping it all out as you experience various failures. Or, you could get lucky and never have a single problem with the pickups, short circuits, or blown transistors and voltage regulators.

B0B
 

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One question, Bob.
Are you still on Stanley and Howard's Christmas Card List?
 

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Bob -

If the key problem with the chuff input is NO VOLTAGE, what about using a low-power MOSFET as the interface device?

If the off leakage or off resistance is still not sufficient to satisfy the chuff input requirements of these sound cards, then a small form A reed relay driven off the optical sensor could be another option.

Knut
 

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The LEDs in the optics take a specific voltage to begin functioning, if I recall.
Up to 5 volts or so, you've got nothing.

Kind of like the headlight on the loco.
Unless you have a certain amount of available power, you've got nothing.
 

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Posted By Curmudgeon on 04/29/2008 11:37 PM
The LEDs in the optics take a specific voltage to begin functioning, if I recall.
Up to 5 volts or so, you've got nothing.





Depends on the type - anyone know which one bachmann is using?

But a typical opto-isolator LED has a forward voltage of 1.3 volts (1.7 volts max), so I doubt that is the problem.

The requirement that Bob mentioned, sound systems basically requiring an open circuit for a few msec. (if true) is definitely an issue since the bachmann circuit doesn't give you that.
 

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Come to think of it, Phoenix and the other sound module manufacturers really need to update their units to bring them into the 21st century.

Requiring a true open on the chuff input is ridiculous - you get that with a mechanical device like a relay but not with any solid state device. There is always some leakage current present. Hall sensors are becoming very popular for chuff synchronization - does that mean they don't work either with these sound modules?
 

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No idea, just what I was initially told.
Along with the design criteria inspector was dyslexic.


Add in the 14.5:1 gear ratio, which makes the uinit come off the line quicker than we are used to, the additional components in line with the opto chuff circuit, and Bob's observations, makes you happy it works at all.
 

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Knut, much of my bench testing involved supplying power to pins 6 and 7 from a separate supply. I did this to insure the opto isolator had power to operate. I wanted to isolate the other problems, uneven chuff, erratic chuff, chuff failure at over half throttle.

I had determined from the start that the opto circuit would not work without about 5 volts, and that some sort of battery would be needed for dc operation. The problems with the opto chuff are definitely a result of the opto circuit ground not being at the same potential as the rail used by the sound card as the reference. This was proved when I connected the track leads of the sound card to pins 6 and 7 instead of 1 and 12. When one of the sound cards track leads is connected to the same ground as the opto circuits, the chuff works perfectly. Of course all the side effects make that solution unworkable, as I pointed out above. It is also possible to put a transistor or even a simple resistor between one track lead and the opto circuit ground and get the chuff to work at some voltages. This turns out to not work at all voltages and can cause failures in either the sound cards or the regulator chip in the Kay.

There are certainly ways to fix the opto chuff. I did use a small 12 volt relay driven by the opto output. I used the contacts to connect the sound card chuff input to one rail. Yes, That works. It works even at full speed. The micro relays use reed switches and can easily operate at 4 or more times the RPM of the Kay drivers, even on rollers with 24 volts applied to the motor. since the current needed to drive the chuff input (a fraction of a milliamp) is so small there is no worry about the contacts arching, and should last forever.



Of course, that solution adds even more complexity, below 5 volts on the track, you now have to power the relay, and a transistor to drive it, and you need a diode to suppress the coil, and a resistor to bias the transistor, and then you need to limit the voltage to the circuit to prevent burning out the coil or driving transistor. You have the get the limited voltage from one of the three regulators in the Kay, Which one? will you need another wire from the loco to the tender, or will you tap onto the regulator in the tender? Now, what about supplying the battery for the relay and chuff circuit to the regulator? how long will it work if the regulator is also supplying the fan, cab lights, and flicker circuits? What if the regulator you select is also powering the marker lights and smoke unit?


You see, the list of what it takes to make the opto work 100%, just goes on and on. Every solution just leads to new problems, maybe some you can live with, maybe some that are worse then the problem they resolve.

Sometimes in the past I disagreed with TOC on some of his statements. I learned. Why is it so hard to understand that when TOC says replace the optics with reed switches, that is exactly what is needed. I had to find out for myself if the optics can be used for DCC or DC or even a decode red loco ruining on dc track. I did not doubt TOC when it came to battery or DC, but I thought it might work on DCC. The answer is, sure, throw enough hardware at it and I'm sure it can be done. Faced with a choice of installing $5.00 worth of reed switches and magnets, then making one connection to the track pickups, or the alternatives to make it work with the opto circuit, I only see one choice that makes any sense at all.

TOC is RIGHT. Reed switches!
 

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TOC is RIGHT. Reed switches!


Bob -

I don't see any post in this thread where TOC says to use reed switches, but I'm sure that works.
One side of the reed contact obviously goes to the chuff input of the sound module, where do you connect the other side?

And do you still need the two transistors that were added for the front and rear lights - are these required to provide the automatic two or three blasts of the whistle?

BTW - if a reed contact works, then a MOSFET should work as well or a reed relay as you pointed out, but that requires a bit of thought how to power it.
I personally rather not do any mechanical mods if possible; it's a shame that Bachmann includes the two opto-sensors and then not use them.
But everyone does whatever they feel most comfortable with.
 
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