Using a Sierra Sound card with a PWM ESC

maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,913
554
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
I'm looking for suggestions for off the shelf components that can be used to convert PWM current to DC so a Sierra Soundtraxx sound card can be used in conjunction with a modern ESC in a battery powered loco. There would also be a need to add a voltage regulator to reduce the installed battery packs' (non PWM current) voltage from 14.2/15.4 v to feed 6- 6.5 v for the "stay alive" functions on the Sierra card.

I have had this done for me before but regrettably the person who very generously supplied me with a very neat board with both these functions, forum handle JohnS no longer appears to be registered on this site. I trust he is still hale and hearty. Any electronics specialists out there who would like a commission for 3 devices to help me achieve my aims ? :) Max
 
Tony Walsham

Tony Walsham

Manufacturer of RCS Radio Control.
25 Oct 2009
2,186
48
Casino, NSW
Thanks Greg.
What never ceases to amaze me is how many Sierra sound systems there are still out there.
I think it was 15 years ago Sierra production ceased.
I sold out of the last Pwm - Linear card with a 12 volt regulator (# SSI-12v5) version probably 5 years ago and then found a few more of the earlier # SSI-9.
I have three made up and another 4 x bare pcb's I can build up. So they will still be available for a little while yet.
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,913
554
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
Hi Max.
You need an # SSI-9. A$ 19.
Remote Control Systems - Parts & Install kits and scroll down to the bottom.
The problem purchasing is the cost of postage. One will cost you A$ 25. 10 x pieces will cost the same.

Hi Tony, that's great. Order placed and PM will be sent. That looks like what I need. I just have a question about the power to the board for what I call the "stay alive functions" that is in the PM. Max
 
Tony Walsham

Tony Walsham

Manufacturer of RCS Radio Control.
25 Oct 2009
2,186
48
Casino, NSW
Max.
Did you down load the instructions? They explain how to power the stay alive feature such as the coal shovelling.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
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San Diego
www.elmassian.com
Max, I even read the instructions, thus prompting my opinion and mention of "more functionality". :cool:

Tony, there are a lots of people who have small "caches" of Sierras, besides TOC ha ha!

It's sort of a testimony of how rugged they were, and good sound quality.

Greg
 
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

Registered
20 Apr 2017
522
127
USA
I used to buy them from Roger when he switched to Phoenix. Still have one in the parts box with a kit for the optical isolator. I think it's for an RGS Goose and it was intended for my EBT M-1.
 
Del Tapparo

Del Tapparo

Registered
I'm looking for suggestions for off the shelf components that can be used to convert PWM current to DC so a Sierra Soundtraxx sound card can be used in conjunction with a modern ESC in a battery powered loco. There would also be a need to add a voltage regulator to reduce the installed battery packs' (non PWM current) voltage from 14.2/15.4 v to feed 6- 6.5 v for the "stay alive" functions on the Sierra card.

I have had this done for me before but regrettably the person who very generously supplied me with a very neat board with both these functions, forum handle JohnS no longer appears to be registered on this site. I trust he is still hale and hearty. Any electronics specialists out there who would like a commission for 3 devices to help me achieve my aims ? :) Max
Max - I sell PWM to DC Converters on my website. PWM to Linear DC Converter
 
maxi-model

maxi-model

UK/US/ROW steam narrow gauge railways 1:1
27 Oct 2009
4,913
554
Bucks/Oxon/Northants area
Max - I sell PWM to DC Converters on my website. PWM to Linear DC Converter

I had thought about using your product Del but it seems the Tony's RCS product seems to offer a better solution in terms of integrating and simplifying an installation with a Sierra in an RC/battery environment. I have purchaced 3. Reminds me I must get an order to you for some more insignia for the growing West Well Lumber Co. fleet.

Moving further with the sound issue, going with Greg's suggestion in having distinct and near prototypical sounds for my locos has led me to looking at the Phoenix P8 as a "standardised" solution. They have a benefit in being supplied, and fitted if nessesary, by a UK based agent who I have used for a number of years for RC installations and maintenance of my live steam locos. Being a short hop the M40 from where I live is another plus point. Phoenix have a sound library that matches the 8 in the roster that are to be converted. Those ones are not covered by the 3 Sierras and where vehicles that are particularly suited to the MyLocoSound cards, e.g. diesel and electric.Yes, the Phoenix cards have been around a while but seem to offer a sufficant level features that are adequate for my needs without pushing me into, to my mind, potentially complex and costly DCC solutions that are out there and, vitally, supported by a UK dealer. But as they say,never say never. Max
 
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Tony Walsham

Tony Walsham

Manufacturer of RCS Radio Control.
25 Oct 2009
2,186
48
Casino, NSW
Max - I sell PWM to DC Converters on my website. PWM to Linear DC Converter
Hello Del.

I too use your PWM to DC filtering pcb's. Mainly so pwm controllers can be used trackside with DCC equipped locos. They work well.

Unfortunately the Sierra requires more than simply filtering PWM
They require opto isolation to prevent a sneak path back to ground and thus cause the Sierra to go to full speed and not have any at idle effects such as Fireman Fred shovelling.
Diesels would simply go to full speed and stay there.

The circuit I use was supplied by Soundtrax soon after they were first released all those years ago.
 
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