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 anyone tried the new TCS Keep Alive decoders?
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Author Previous Topic: Hiding a hole in the wall Topic Next Topic: Progress Along the Mississippi River Waterfront
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rick marcroft
New Hire

Posted - 07/14/2012 :  10:01:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just ordered a KAT12. If things go well, I might be refitting my smallish fleet. I'm pretty excited about the possibilities. Anyone already played with one?

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simon1966
Fireman



Posted - 07/14/2012 :  10:48:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit simon1966's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Got one sitting on my work bench, am looking for a suitable candidate. Like you I am rather excited about what they may do.


Country: USA | Posts: 2861 Go to Top of Page

rick marcroft
New Hire

Posted - 07/14/2012 :  11:29:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
arwirghtym then Simon! Looks like you get to write the first review:)


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closetguy
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/15/2012 :  10:46:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit closetguy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi All
Its too bad they don't make them for sound units. I've added the stay alive caps to my Soundtraxx decoders, but wish Soundtraxx would do the same and design a larger capacity system.
Mike M



Country: USA | Posts: 1582 Go to Top of Page

BCBOB
New Hire

Posted - 07/16/2012 :  4:40:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have used them in a GE 44 tonner.
They help running thru switches. Also have one of them in an Atlas S-4. You don't notice any difference if you run on clean track, but going thru turnouts yes with the short wheelbase locos. Our club is modular and sometimes the joiner tracks do not always make the best connections then you see the difference.

Bob



Country: Albania | Posts: 3 Go to Top of Page

n6nvr
Engine Wiper



Posted - 07/18/2012 :  11:08:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
hmm, wonder if they keep an engine running after you hit the emergency stop? power kill function to prevent an engine from running into something?? I know we have some dead track sections on many of our club yard tracks to prevent over-running.

Other than that, I think that having them on smaller engines that have problems with complicated trackwork, but I'm thinking only 2- seconds might be better than having 10-15 seconds running without being fully controlled.


Don't push me bureaucrat, I've got a bit of hangover

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jaynjay
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/19/2012 :  07:52:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow, that could be just the answer for some of my short-wheel base switchers. There is a one particular crossing that plays havic with my engines. I watched the video on TCS and it looks like just what I need. I would like to hear some reviews on this decoder.


John

Country: USA | Posts: 4795 Go to Top of Page

andykins
Fireman

Posted - 07/19/2012 :  08:41:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit andykins's Homepage  Reply with Quote
i brought a pack of 5 of the DCC concepts chips with stay alive, but they give a quick burst of power when stalling, so the loco will "pump" after reading a review of these in a british magazine, im going to purchase a couple, the idea of being able to run a loco over a section of masking tape sounds fun, and with mostly all 4 wheel locos. should be helpful


Country: United Kingdom | Posts: 4111 Go to Top of Page

dnhman
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 07/19/2012 :  09:43:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A good buddy has used the this in an older bras engine which had bad contact designs and reports this unit has worked very well in keeping the engine running properly,

Cheers!, Joe

Country: USA | Posts: 1066 Go to Top of Page

nhguy
Fireman



Posted - 07/19/2012 :  2:20:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by closetguy

Hi All
Its too bad they don't make them for sound units. I've added the stay alive caps to my Soundtraxx decoders, but wish Soundtraxx would do the same and design a larger capacity system.
Mike M



I thought that is what they are designed for also when I first read it. To work with other decoders, sound included. The KA1 and KA2 are just 'keep alive' devices and not decoders. I would think they could be wired in to take the place of the Tsunami 220uf capacitor. (even though it states they are to be used with TCS decoders only) I have an email in to them asking that questions. It is not in the literature/manual. TCS does state that all new TCS decoders with a date of January 2012 have the technology built into their line of mobile decoders. The TCS decoders that are 'KA ready' are built after Nov 2011. You can see by the packaging (shrink wrap) of the KA1 and 2 that they are a circuit with a bank of capacitors connected together.

Bill


Bill Shanaman
Superintendent, Chief Track Cleaner,
New Haven RR in the 1948 to 1952 era
PMRA President 2014-15, OpSIG Member
NCE User Since 1999
Sugar City, Colorado

Edited by - nhguy on 07/19/2012 2:27:09 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 4241 Go to Top of Page

nhguy
Fireman



Posted - 07/19/2012 :  2:37:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit nhguy's Homepage  Send nhguy a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I just received this message from TCS Tech Support.

William;
Yes KA's can be wired to Tsunami's.
http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/mainnorth/alive.htm

Warm Regards,

Dave

TECH SUPPORT

Train Control Systems
P.O. Box 341
845 Blooming Glen Rd
Blooming Glen, PA 18911
Phone (215) 453-9145
techsupport@tcsdcc.com

Bill


Bill Shanaman
Superintendent, Chief Track Cleaner,
New Haven RR in the 1948 to 1952 era
PMRA President 2014-15, OpSIG Member
NCE User Since 1999
Sugar City, Colorado

Country: USA | Posts: 4241 Go to Top of Page

parkerlegend
New Hire

Posted - 07/22/2012 :  1:49:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit parkerlegend's Homepage  Reply with Quote
As of today (07.22.12) I ordered a KAT24 which is the four function stay alive decoder. I will do a video of it Before and after it is installed in an engine and how the engine runs on my dirty track for REALISTIC operation and not and impressive video of an engine running over a 12" piece of masking tape. So that means by the end of the week it will be up on YouTube.

MONSTERRAILROAD
aka Big Al Mayo

Member since 02/21/2008

Country: USA | Posts: 49 Go to Top of Page

parkerlegend
New Hire

Posted - 07/27/2012 :  08:37:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit parkerlegend's Homepage  Reply with Quote
What a good looking decoder. I got the KAT24 decoder from Litchfield Station for $46.00 on Wednesday 07.25.12. It is basically the same width and length as a Digitrax or NCE 9 pin decoder but it is about twice as FAT. I am going to start my video recording today as I install it and show it on the layout in operation before and after. I hope you enjoy it!

Big Al Mayo


MONSTERRAILROAD
aka Big Al Mayo

Member since 02/21/2008

Edited by - parkerlegend on 07/27/2012 08:39:16 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 49 Go to Top of Page

rick marcroft
New Hire

Posted - 07/27/2012 :  4:09:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've got a KA12 on an old, fussy, GP20 from Proto. It's currently rolling at about 2 inches per minute on speed step one, and has not stalled yet. So far, this is a dramatic improvement on the geep's old performance.


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simon1966
Fireman



Posted - 07/27/2012 :  4:23:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit simon1966's Homepage  Reply with Quote
My install was not a success. The decoder is too fat for my installation.


Country: USA | Posts: 2861 Go to Top of Page

rick marcroft
New Hire

Posted - 07/27/2012 :  4:53:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
yeah, Simon, I had to hack off a chunk of the rear weight to get things to fit. Those three capacitors are pretty beefy. So far, I would say it's worth it. I've got a lovely GP20, which until today didn't run well enough to bother with. I might cut down on the weights a bit more and install an MRC 16-bit sound-decoder.


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