Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Resurrection and Staying Alive

CPH 16 back at Mount Windeatt
Don't worry, this post has nothing to do with religion or music!

In February 2012, I mentioned that the CPH had been withdrawn from service. It had never run well and I was not satisfied with the electrical pick up arrangements.  At the time, I contemplated the purchase a new chassis and motor but other priorities intervened, as they do, and so the CPH just sat in the staging area.

Over the intervening 15 months, I have read a number of blog posts and articles about 'Stay Alive' or 'Keep Alive' capacitors being used as a way to overcome short term losses of power. From what I read, this seemed like a solution for my 30 Class tank locomotive and, to a lesser extent, my 50 Class. Despite having some additional pick-ups fitted, both still stall in particular locations on the Atlas points that I purchased back in the late 1990s.Yes, I could replace the points but that will be a major task probably causing a significant amount of damage to finished scenery. Hence attention has turned to the concept of the uninterrupted power supply.

Not having any experience with these and having no feel for the extra space that the Stay Alive would take, I decided to use the CPH as a trial. After a bit of investigation, I purchased a DCC Concepts decoder and 'stay alive' capacitor. However, I compromised the trial somewhat by also upgrading the electrical contact wipers on the unpowered bogie using the same Hollywood Foundry product that I had used for the 36 Class.( http://philipscreek.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/power-to-36.html)

The 'Stay Alive' is the blue object on the left
The upgrade of the wipers worked well and improved the performance of the CPH to some extent, but I'm not sure about the new decoder and stay alive. I did try to test the stay alive by running it over an unpowered section of track but The CPH  stopped dead. When I asked the manufacturer about this, he politely told me that I would need a capacitor about ten times larger than the one I purchased to get the result I sought! So in one respect, the trial delivered an answer and the CPH is back in service  but I need to keep searching for a solution.

Clearly when it comes to 'stay alives', size does matter!