Energy storage (Elkos & Goldcaps) for ZIMO decoders  


Example: MX645 with 1800 µF Elko


Example: MX695KS with 10000 µF Elko

Energy storage modules in vehicles - connected to the decoder - are used to:

  • pass dirty sections of a track or powerless frogs
  • play sound without interruptions (in reality the most important point)
  • avoid energy loss because of RailCom or HLU cut-outs

A special connection technique ensures that the utilized energy storage modules don't have too much in-rush current and that they don't disturb decoder programming, HLU, ZIMO loco number recognition or RailCom.

When slecting an energy storage module, the specifications of the decoders have to be taken into account. The options are:

  • ZIMO decoders WITHOUT special energy storage connection (MX621, MX622, MX630, etc. --> SPEIKOMP, ELKSODR
  • ZIMO decoders WITH 25V energy storage connection and limited charging capacity (MX633, MX645, ...) --> ELKSOMT
  • ZIMO decoders WITH 16V energy storage connection and limited charging capacity (MX633, MX645, ...) --> ELKSOPL
  • ZIMO decoders WITH 16V energy storage connection and unlimited charging capacity --> ELKSOGR and GO... (Goldcaps)

For small decoders (i.e. N, TT, HO, etc.), ZIMO recommends and exclusively offers energy storage solutions on ELKO basis, because Goldcaps usually are too big (bigger than the decoder itself) and expensive, and furthermore in most cases not needed. Additionally, the "ordinary" low-cost ELKOs get better every year.

As energy storage modules for large scale decoders, ZIMO offers a variety of solutions, with ELKOs or Goldcaps. For most cases ELKOs are enough (about 10,000 to 50,000 µF); the costs of this solution are very low, and with modern ELKOs (see product range ELKSOGR) it is already possible to bridge powerless periods of some tenths of a second to even some seconds, of course, this is highly dependent of capacity and consumption.

In case, more capacity or memory time is needed, Goldcaps in different variations can be connected directly (7 pieces connected in series, self-assembly or prefabricated module). For more details see the last rows in the following table (starting with GOLDSORG). Typically, capacities and discharging times are 10 times higher than with big ELKOs; this way, power can be supplied for at least some seconds.

   
       

SPEIKOMP

Modification

 

A collection of components to build your own energy storage module for decoders of the types MX620, MX621, MX630, ..., MX646, MX647 (NOT for MX631, etc. see below)

SPEIKOMP contains:

Throttle 100 µH, diode 1N4007, resistors 100E und 3K3, and two ELKOs 470µF/35V (Ø10 x12 mm), 680µF/35V (Ø10 x20 mm), to use depending on loco space; hookup see instruction manual!

Note: bigger ZIMO decoders (like MX631, MX632, MX634, MX644, MX645) are equipped with an integrated energy storage connection and therefore do NOT need the components (throttle, diode, etc.) of SPEIKOMP or ELKSODR, but just the ELKOs, see ELKSOMT, ELKSOPL.

  10X 

ELKSODR

Sortiment
Modification
energy storage
with throttle, diodes, ... ELKOs

For 10 ZIMO decoders WITHOUT special energy storage connection (MX618, MX621, MX622, MX623, MX630, ..., various older and possibly future miniature decoders).

ELKSODR contains the necessary components to build your own energy storage module (see decoder instruction manual) for 5 decoders and a small ELKO sortiment. For every loco more than one ELKO can be used (connected in series, depending on space):

10 of each: throttles 100 µH, diodes 1N4007, resistors 3K3, resistors 100E,
10 Elko 470µF/35 V, 8 x 20 mm (diameter x length),
10 Elko 680µF/35 V, 10 x 25 mm

Note: bigger ZIMO decoders (like MX631, MX632, MX634, MX644, MX645) are equipped with an integrated energy storage connection and therefore do NOT need the components (throttle, diode, etc.) of SPEIKOMP or ELKSODR, but just the ELKOs, see ELKSOMT, ELKSOPL.

  . . . ELKSOMT

Sortiment 35 V
Modification
energy storage
with ELKOs

For 10 - 20 ZIMO decoders WITH 20V energy storage connection (=integrated) (MX631, MX632, ..., MX644, ..., various older types like MX640, MX642, ... generally MTC-types.

In this case only capacitors are needed (no other components), connect them to the corresponding wires (blue, grey) or solder pads or to the MTC-interface. For more efficiency, more than one ELKO per vehicle can and should be used (connected in parallel, depending on space). ELKSOMT contains:

20 Elko 470 µF/35 V, 8 x 20 mm (diameter x length),
20 Elko 680 µF/35 V, 10 x 25 mm

Note: in most cases 25V would be sufficient, only with AC analog (Märklin) 35V may be needed.

  . . . ELKSOPL

Sortiment 16 V
Modification
energy storage
with ELKOs

For 20 - 30 ZIMO decoders WITH 16V energy storage connection (integrated) (MX633, ..., MX645, ..., various older types like MX643, ... generally PluX-types).

In this case only capacitors are needed (no other components), connect them to the corresponding wires (blue, grey) or solder pads or to the MTC-interface. For more efficiency, more than one ELKO per vehicle can and should be used (connected in parallel, depending on space). ELKSOPL contains:

20 Elko 680 µF/16 V, 8 x 20 mm (diameter x length),
20 Elko 2200 µF/16 V, 10 x 20 mm

ATTENTION: the total capacity, if various ELKOs are connected in parallel (or bigger ELKOs than described here are used) 5000 µF MUST NOT be exceeded!

. ELKSOGR

Sortiment 16 V
Modification
large scales
energy storage
with ELKOs

For 5 - 10 large scale decoders with 16V energy storage connection (MX645, MX696, possibly future types).

Per vehicle more than one ELKO can be used (connected in parallel, depending on space). ELKSOGR contains:

5 Elko 10000 µF/16 V, 18 x 35 mm (diameter x length),
5 Elko 22000 µF/16 V, 22 x 44 mm

Note: for the older types MX69, MX690, additional components (throttles, diodes, resistors) have to be connected to the ELKOs; see instruction manual.

  TANTSOPL

For two or more decoders with 16V energy storage connection (only for MX633 series and MX645 series)
30 Tantal capacitors 220 µF/16V
(7 x 4 x 2 mm)

SUPERCAP68

For a decoder with 16V energy storage connection (MX633, MX645, MX695, MX696)
6800 µF/15V
(20 x 15 x 5.8 mm)

  . . .     GOLDSORG

Sortiment
Modification
large scales
energy storage
with Goldcaps

For two ZIMO large scale decoders with 16V energy storage connection (MX695, MX696, possibly future types).

At least 7 Goldcaps have to be connected in series to reach the necessary dielectric strength (7 x 2.5V = 17.5V); this chain is then connected to the corresponding terminals or pins of the decoder; see instruction manual. GOLDSORG contains:

15 Goldcap 1 F/2.5 V, 8 x 12 mm (diameter x length)

Note: the effective capacity is - for a chain of 7 Goldcaps - 0.14F; i.e.140,000 µF, which corresponds approximately to 5 to 10 times a typical ELKO endowment.

    GOLMRUND

Modification
large scales
energy storage
with Goldcaps

For 1 ZIMO large scale decoder with 16V energy storage connection (MX695, MX696, possibly future types).

The prefabricated module GOLMRUND contains 7 Goldcaps connected in series, and is connected to the corresponding terminals or pins of the decoder; see instruction manual.

(round construction:   d x h = 25 x 14 mm)

Note: the effective capacity is 0.14 F, i.e. 140,000 µF

    GOLMLANG

Modification
large scales
energy storage
with Goldcaps

For 1 ZIMO large scale decoder with a 16V energy storage connection (MX659, MX696, possibly future types).

The prefabricated module GOLMLANG contains 7 Goldcaps connected in series, and is connected to the corresponding terminals or pins on the decoder; see instruction manual. Functionally, GOLMLANG is identical to GOLMRUND, the only difference is the dimensions:

(long construction:  l x w x h = 60 x 8 x 14 mm)

Note: the effective capacity is 0.14 F, i.e. 140,000 µF

Last update: 2018 07 31