signal controller circuit

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mymodeltrain
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signal controller circuit

Post by mymodeltrain » Fri Jun 03, 2022 3:57 am

I want to get a signal controller circuit for the railway. Please suggest to me a simple circuit for 12V DC. Thanks

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ge_rik
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Re: signal controller circuit

Post by ge_rik » Fri Jun 03, 2022 5:31 pm

Do you want it/them to be radio controlled or hard wired?

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Re: signal controller circuit

Post by mymodeltrain » Fri Jun 03, 2022 5:41 pm

ge_rik wrote:
Fri Jun 03, 2022 5:31 pm
Do you want it/them to be radio controlled or hard wired?

Rik
A simple hard-wired circuit is better for my situation.

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ge_rik
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Re: signal controller circuit

Post by ge_rik » Fri Jun 03, 2022 6:53 pm

mymodeltrain wrote:
Fri Jun 03, 2022 5:41 pm
ge_rik wrote:
Fri Jun 03, 2022 5:31 pm
Do you want it/them to be radio controlled or hard wired?

Rik
A simple hard-wired circuit is better for my situation.
I've not used them for signalling but I have used servos and servo testers for operating points.
https://riksrailway.blogspot.com/2021/0 ... servo.html

I know GregH on this forum uses servos successfully for operating his signals. I was concerned about cheap mini servos in an outdoor environment but Greg hasn't had any problems and, although he is based in Sydney, he tells me they get more rain in a year than London.

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philipy
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Re: signal controller circuit

Post by philipy » Fri Jun 03, 2022 8:51 pm

mymodeltrain wrote:
Fri Jun 03, 2022 3:57 am
I want to get a signal controller circuit for the railway. Please suggest to me a simple circuit for 12V DC. Thanks
As well as Rik's input there are a number of other questions that need answering before anyone can really give you definite advice.
i.e.
What sort of signals - colour light or semaphore?
How do you want to control them - simple on/off switches or automatically from train detection/ turnout setting?
How far from the switch to the signal(s)?
etc.

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Re: signal controller circuit

Post by mymodeltrain » Fri Jun 03, 2022 9:11 pm

philipy wrote:
Fri Jun 03, 2022 8:51 pm
mymodeltrain wrote:
Fri Jun 03, 2022 3:57 am
I want to get a signal controller circuit for the railway. Please suggest to me a simple circuit for 12V DC. Thanks
As well as Rik's input there are a number of other questions that need answering before anyone can really give you definite advice.
i.e.
What sort of signals - colour light or semaphore?
How do you want to control them - simple on/off switches or automatically from train detection/ turnout setting?
How far from the switch to the signal(s)?
etc.
I want to have the circuit detect the train motion and then turn the lights on, with 3 colors red yellow then green.

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Re: signal controller circuit

Post by Phil.P » Fri Jun 03, 2022 10:12 pm

Are you dead-rail, or track powered?

There are many ways to detect the train being 'in section', the simplest (if you are dead-rail) is by the axles of the stock creating a path between the two rails.

Personally, I would not use IR outside.

You could also mount magnets under you loco's, and use a Reed-switch. This can be quite a robust system.

Phil.P

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Re: signal controller circuit

Post by ge_rik » Sat Jun 04, 2022 7:28 am

mymodeltrain wrote:
Fri Jun 03, 2022 9:11 pm
I want to have the circuit detect the train motion and then turn the lights on, with 3 colors red yellow then green.
Ah. That's a whole different kettle of fish.
You can quite easily construct and program something to do that with Arduino or Pickaxe, but that requires some knowledge of electronics and computer programming. It is a fairly shallow learning curve, but it depends on how confident you are with a soldering iron and computers.

The alternative is to buy ready made electronic modules. If you are using track power and DCC, it will be relatively easy but if you are using battery power or live steam then, as Phil says, it will require a bit more homework and investment in the requisite bits of equipment.

I'm sure we'll be able to work out something which will suit you, if you give us a bit more info on how exactly you want it to work and what type of railway and trains you are running.

Rik
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Re: signal controller circuit

Post by mymodeltrain » Sat Jun 04, 2022 4:10 pm

ge_rik wrote:
Sat Jun 04, 2022 7:28 am
mymodeltrain wrote:
Fri Jun 03, 2022 9:11 pm
I want to have the circuit detect the train motion and then turn the lights on, with 3 colors red yellow then green.
Ah. That's a whole different kettle of fish.
You can quite easily construct and program something to do that with Arduino or Pickaxe, but that requires some knowledge of electronics and computer programming. It is a fairly shallow learning curve, but it depends on how confident you are with a soldering iron and computers.

The alternative is to buy ready made electronic modules. If you are using track power and DCC, it will be relatively easy but if you are using battery power or live steam then, as Phil says, it will require a bit more homework and investment in the requisite bits of equipment.

I'm sure we'll be able to work out something which will suit you, if you give us a bit more info on how exactly you want it to work and what type of railway and trains you are running.

Rik
Rik,
After extensive searching around, I found Blocksignalling in the UK has a very robust circuit that fits my purpose. It is compact, and it does not require too much wiring. I ordered one circuit board last night, not to mention that the price is also very reasonable. If someone has the same interest, it is www.blocksignalling.co.uk.
Thanks all.

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Re: signal controller circuit

Post by philipy » Sat Jun 04, 2022 4:42 pm

Well done for finding them. I can't say I've come across them before but they seem to have some very interesting bits and pieces and, as you say, at very reasonable prices. At £16.99 +£2.99 p&p for a complete 3-aspect control module it's not even worth thinking about designing and building your own. :)

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Re: signal controller circuit

Post by ge_rik » Sat Jun 04, 2022 6:08 pm

That does look interesting. However, it uses an IR detector which might prove problematic outdoors unless you can position it away from direct sunlight (eg under a bridge).

Again, I know Gregh has used IR detectors on his railway for signalling

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Re: signal controller circuit

Post by mymodeltrain » Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:15 pm

mymodeltrain wrote:
Fri Jun 03, 2022 3:57 am
I want to get a signal controller circuit for the railway. Please suggest to me a simple circuit for 12V DC. Thanks
signal_railroad_final.tif
It turned out that the Blocksignalling circuit is very well designed. It was delivered pretty fast for international delivery. The manual is very well written; very informative. There, we can see instructions on how to set 2-, 3- or 4-light settings. There are options to adjust the duration of signaling. While waiting for the circuit, I made the signal itself by repurposing materials in my workshop.

I used the brass tubing and soldered with the wire connectors after removing the red plastic cover as the holder for the lights. After that, I soldered those 3 holders to the 1-inch stainless steel washers in the back. The holes were created on the brass tubing for wiring.

Since the holes on the washers were large, I cut and glued the base of the insulin syringe needle cover. The opening now is precisely 5 mm, thus I can fit in the 5-mm LED lights. The rest of the needle cover tip was inserted on top of the brass tube, I used the syringe puncher to hold them inside tight and straight before gluing them together. Then, I cut the Sharpie cap into 3 equivalent pieces and used them as the shades for the LED lights. I sprayed everything with black paint.

The Blocksignalling circuit was sprayed with polyurethane for water-proof purpose and installed inside a Lionel house. Overall, the setting is great, I have already installed the system outside the garden. It works great. A movie can be found here:
https://www.youtube.com/shorts/Ygh8bJwYm0s

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philipy
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Re: signal controller circuit

Post by philipy » Mon Jun 20, 2022 9:46 pm

You've made an excellent job of that and the sequence seems to work very well. Well done.

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